Thursday, August 28, 2014

Do You Have the 'Low Risk, High Reward' Approach to Relationships?

Nobody wants to lose in life. It is tough to lose in anything, be it in your life, promotion at the workplace or even a mere game of 30 seconds. I have been reading up on investment banking and I discovered the bankers do a risk assessment that helps guide the decisions they make regarding mergers and acquisitions etc.It is funny to me now that i think about the fact that most of us are like bankers, especially us the ladies. We do a risk assessment before we go into a relationship, and that's OK! You should do that so you know what you are getting yourself into. However, the problem comes in when we want to assess the other party without putting ourselves under the microscope to be assessed. 

Relationships, like business are a two-way street that require commitment from both ends of the spectrum if there is any chance of them succeeding. These days, most people go into relationships with the aim of finding out everything about the other party, getting all the relationship benefits they can get, without actually commiting to a relationship. I believe it's called the 'go with the flow' syndrome that we have all invented to suit our selfish needs. We want to get as much as we can from the other party and bail when we get tired or bored without having to cut the ties of a formally-established relationship. Sad!

The chances of you ever finding happiness in a relationship with this approach is slim to none! No one wants to be with someone that believes in obtaining the benefits of a mutual relationship, while strategically planning how to bail on it when it suits them. These days young ladies lead men on so they can get expensive gifts; it helps if he is financially bouyant because then, he won't notice he's  being used to fill up the lady's wardrobe. On the other hand, most young men lead women that genuinely care about them on so they can get sex from them. It's a low risk high reward approach because most of these people do not bare themselves before the other party. They don't share intricate details of their lives, they don't want you to meet their friends even after months of knowing them, they don't want to commit but they want to reap the benefits of commitment.

If this is your approach to relationships, I'd advise you to quit now! It is synonymous to selfishly using people to fuel your desires and get what you want, while they are left at a deficit. It is wrong, it shows a lack of empathy and above all, it is a form of emotional abuse. Things were created to be used and people were created to be cared for. The world is in chaos because things are being cared for while people are being used. Stop this attitude; it will probably get you all the things that stroke your ego for now, but in future, those things won't matter, and you'll realize you lost valuable relationships because you were too busy reaping rewards you did not want to work for.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You Can't Have a Testimony Without the Test

You've probably heard this a million times; to have a testimony, you need to face the test. This is the part many of us are not willing to come to terms with.  Sometimes the test seems too long, too difficult and downright impossible to get through. We try our best to guess the answers to the test. We hear of someone's testimony and try to do exactly what that person did, we pray like that person did, fast, cry out to God and try so many other 'methods' someone else used, yet we wake up the following day and our test is still there pushing us to the brink of faithless-ness.

Don't lose hope! Your test is unique!  It may be the same situation someone else you know faced, but designed to teach you a completely different lesson. I have recently come to understand that God tests us to teach us.  His intention is not to frustrate us or suppress us. No! His word says he wants us to have life in abundance. However for us not to mismanage his abundant gifts, it is imperative that we go through the tests, the training, the course, the whole nine yards. Sometimes the test is designed to break you because you have the wrong attitude and then re-mould you so you can have the attitude God desires. It might be to break your pride or self sufficiency so you can rely on God fully.
It is only after you've learned the lessons from your test that your testimony will arrive. The thing about this test is we can't fake anything. We can't pretend we've learned the necessary lessons when we haven't because God knows us inside-out. He created us so he knows what we're thinking,  he knows our flaws  our deepest desires and our wildest imaginations.  There's no point fighting against your test because your testimony won't come.  You can't drop out of the university in your second year, yet expect to receive a certificate the day your classmates graduate.  Go through your test! Pray for a sensitive spirit so you can learn your lessons quickly and above all, praise God fervently throughout your test! It will confuse the enemy that's telling you to accept a quick fix that has a hidden price! God makes no mistakes! He knows why he's testing you, and his plans are way better than yours for "He is able to do exceeding,  abundantly above all we can ever ask or imagine according to his power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20). Go through your test, your testimony is on the way! God makes no mistakes!  XOXO

Friday, August 22, 2014

Don't Be Left Behind!!!

Those were the words that haunted me as I went to bed a couple of nights ago. After my usual routine of watching tv for at least a couple of hours a day, I struck up a spontaneous conversation with one of my acquaintances on BBM and the conversation steered in the direction of relationships. She asked why I wasn't seeing anyone and I simply told her "I haven't met the one. Many men out there are either cheats and liars or downright shady in the way they earn a living." (I'm not planning to have a criminal record. I may be a president's wife one day).

She went on to ask how many women get married every saturday if good men are so hard to find, I responded that some women are lucky, while others are willing to put up with liars and cheats for the glory of being called "Mrs". Her response? "At least they are getting married". I paused..... and carried on the conversation. Like I stated earlier, she is an acquaintance of mine and I really didn't think I knew her well enough to have an in-depth discussion about that response. I went on to say many men are weirdos, they meet you today and propose to marry you next week. That sounds really sweet, but am I willing to marry someone I barely know? No! The divorce rate is high enough as it is, I have no plans to contribute to it. Worse still is the fact that some of these men get offended when you ask for sufficient time to know them and often accompany their proposals with a barrage of insults.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Healthy Choices Make Happy People!

Our choices can make us or break us. That's something I've learned growing up. So many of us fail to make healthy choices especially in our youth because unhealthy choices seem to be a lot more fun, and we can't help but let ourselves be lured by the exuberance that comes with these unhealthy choices.

In order to live a life that is truly full of happiness, and void of expectations of horrible consequences from bad decisions in the past, it is important to start making healthy choices now. When most people hear the word 'healthy', they immediately think of a slim well-toned body that shows off the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. However, what's a healthy body without a healthy mind?

Many of us are so worried about how our bodies look, we completely forget about how healthy our minds are. I told my friends recently that there are too many broken relationships and marriages because there are too many psychologically unhealthy people, walking around oblivious of the brokenness within them. It's time to start making healthy choices where your heart, spirit and body is concerned. All these three components make up your entire being so one aspect shouldn't be fed while others are deprived.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Put A 'Price Tag' on Yourself

I had an interesting epiphany while I was out shopping sometime last week. I walked into a shoe store and given my love for shoes, I was soon spoilt for choice. My prudent side kicked in, and I decided price would be the determining factor. Afterall, I didn't need a new pair of shoes urgently, I just like to have shoes at the ready should a new idea for an outfit pop into my head. I started to look at the prices. Some of them were so expensive, I could literally hear my bank account emptying, others were just ok and some were ridiculously cheap. I observed the more expensive shoes; they had detail, some bling, their soles were strong yet comfortable, the designs were out of this world- unique, different, able to make any pair of legs beautiful. The analogy that popped into my head immediately cracked me up. Aren't we all  like shoes?I believe we are!

There are so many of us that are strong, beautiful/handsome, easy to get along with, intelligent and really the kind of person anyone would want to take home to mama! But the problem is we place ourselves on the cheap stand. In spite of all the details that have been meticulously engraved and instilled in us, we are scared we are too high on a pedestal, so we place ourselves on a lower pedestal so people can afford us. In other words, we put ourselves on sale. Sadly, most singles, especially ladies keep reducing the sale price until it is almost free... and yet we wonder why people that do not understand the quality behind our design come around and treat us like a pair of cheap slippers, instead of a pair of Louboutin heels.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Are You Hoping for a Miracle?

Everyone prays for a miracle at some point in life. Some situations are just beyond our human control and are seemingly impossible, the only way out is a miracle. My understanding of a miracle is that it is a life changing event that defies human logic. It is out of the ordinary and often beyond human comprehension. Everyone yearns to experience at least one miracle in their lifetime, but what happens if the miracle we expect does not happen in spite of our incessant prayers?

I read summer by Karen Kingsbury this week, and it opened my eyes to an entirely different dimension regarding miracles. There are times when we pray so hard for something, and we completely fixate on the expected outcome, we don't see other things God might be bringing to our attention. It happens that sometimes God makes things work differently from what we expect because he has an entirely different purpose for that situation. I like how Karen illustrated this with 1 Kings 19. Prophet Elijah was in trouble, and was at risk of being killed. He ran away and was fed by angels for a while. During this period, God spoke to him and asked him to stand on a mountain where he will pass by. There was a strong wind, followed by an earthquake and then fire! Surely Elijah must have been thinking... "Ooh that must be God" as each of these things occurred, but surprisingly, God was not in any of these events. He was in the gentle whisper that came afterwards!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lessons Learnt From Motherhood

 I learn a lot about God’s awesomeness in watching my child grow and appreciating how much I have also matured in the process. I was one of those mothers that never felt they were ready or good enough to raise another. In fact, I might have said a few times that I didn’t want one of my own. I was so conscious of my shortcomings that I had to discuss it with someone I respected and also prayed about it. Whenever I mistakenly drop an object, I wondered how I will be able to carry and tend to my child without hurting her. My worries atimes take me past myself because now that I have a daughter, I am extra conscious of the kind of people around her. I feel like I am the only one that can watch over her perfectly.

I guess the way I feel is typical for first time mums and even mums generally. Last week, I walked into the Daycare place to pick my daughter up only to discover hot water poured on my child. I couldn’t alter a word as tears streamed down my eyes imagining the pain she was in. I was both livid and sad. I could hear the woman in charge muttering words but I couldn’t make any sense of it. My fears came back to haunt me. Those voices from the earlier days were speaking louder.

I had failed my child. I was supposed to have sensed she was in trouble but I didn’t. I was suppose to have told them at the daycare that she is a very active child and must be closely watched. I couldn’t even feel any anger towards the woman at the daycare. I felt it was entirely my fault.

In the middle of all this self bashing, she opened her eyes and smiled at me. She babbled and smiled some more like she was sharing a joke with me. I smiled back through the tears in my eyes and I hoped she understood just how soothing and reassuring her smile was.

All the lessons of the past months came back to me. I am her mother but I can only do so much, the one watching over her is greater than me and all my worries. God is the real parent, I am just a foster parent.

It might look bad but it is not always bad. The wounds are drying up fast and she has not thrown any tantrum or had any high temperature.

Peace lives in strange places. I could never have guessed that what I needed to calm myself was the smile of my wounded child. In that moment, I knew God was trying to tell me something.

God always leaves a channel to be thankful. In retrospect, I can see it could have been worse and I am just so thankful that she is fine.

I am indeed flawed but I am made perfect in God’s love. I see His face in the bubbly smiles of my ten-month old telling me I am not here by myself.

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