Friday, September 26, 2014

When Life Hits Hard...

There are times in life when it seems like nothing is going the way we want. We work hard, do the right things and try our best to avoid associating with the wrong people. In spite of our efforts, it seems people who couldn't care less about hardwork get all the perks, they get the good things in life and we are left to wonder what the real formula for a successful life is.

It's easy to sink into depression when things aren't going well for us. We tend to avoid hanging out with people, we over-eat, we find conversations with people laborious and sometimes we find ourselves crying for no reason. I know because I've been there and for months, I didn't know how to get out.
My bible is right by my bed side, but on those days it was the last book I felt like reading. It took a lot of courage to get out of that place, it took a lot of prayers and simply rebuilding my faith like I was building a house all over from scratch. It took speaking to friends and family, and simply laying my burdens on God. Truth be told, I still find myself returning to that place sometimes, but now I'm armed with God's promises.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Understanding God's Ways

It is mind boggling sometimes when we make plans and pray for our plans to fall through and it seems God can’t hear us. When everything looks like they are falling in place and all of a sudden our plans come crumbling down. All the time and energy expended seem to have all gotten wasted.

I have found myself saying let God’s will be done many times without being sure if I really can take it if my prayers are not answered in my set myopic direction. Before asking for God’s help, the majority of us are guilty of having thought out plans we need the Lord to follow as guidelines.

More puzzling and equally pleasurable is the way God laughs in the face of our plans. It is His way of reminding us who is in charge of our lives.

My close friend was at crossroads and couldn’t decide what exactly she wanted to make the much desired progress in her career. She finally decided to pursue her Masters’ Program, so she invested money and time in search of a reputable University outside the country. She finally found a good one and was set when her dad suddenly pulled the stool from beneath her by saying he wasn’t financially buoyant at the time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Were Created for a Purpose

The book of Esther is one if my favourite books in the Bible. I read it each time with so much delight, you'd think it's my first time. What has always fascinated me about Esther's story is how everything seemed to work in her favour. She went to the harem alongside hundreds of other women, who I believe were just as beautiful, but for some reason, the head of the harem liked Esther and favoured her.

Like the other women, she went in to the king and he favoured her. She became queen in a foreign land! When Haman started with his plot to destroy the Jews, Esther was in the palace, blissfully unaware of the impending doom that was due to befall her people. She was safe in the palace and would probably not have suffered the same fate. She was at the peak of success, happy and content, until Mordecai sent her a message saying "Don't think for a moment that you'll be safe if the other Jews are killed" (Esther 4:13). His message spurred Esther to act and well, the rest is history.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Why Unhealthy Relationships Lead to Marriage

Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend about relationships, unhealthy patterns we tend not to notice and of course the hottest relationship topic- divorce. My friend went on to inform me about a friend of ours that's in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage, yet unwilling to get help. I didn't have a reaction to her not wanting to get help; I am aware that many women who are in abusive relationships tend to accept abuse as a way of life. However, the pressing question on my mind was "didn't she see all these signs in him before she got married? Why didn't she jump ship when things would have been less messy? My response to these questions came from pondering over past conversations with friends who were at the time, of marriageable age.

One of the main reasons why unhealthy relationships lead to marriage is because we are beginning to stretch the meaning of consistency and stability. After dating a certain individual for a lengthy period of time, irrespective of how tempestuous that relationship might be, many of us are willing to forge through the storm by getting married. This is rather surprising for me; to know that a person has mistreated you severely, let you down when you needed help the most, and possibly abused you emotionally and physically, yet believe it's best to spend the rest of your life with that person is just a little bit unthinkable for me.

I generally ascertain this trend to an obsession with a certain lifestyle- be it the feeling of being in a relationship, even with the least acceptable individual, or the feeling of virtual stability. By virtual stability, I mean a fake kind of stability projected to the public in spite of the storm raging within. This of course is because many people believe that getting married is the most important part of a relationship. Weddings are beautiful; of course we all want to get married, but the wedding pictures, no matter how perfect they seem will fade into something poisonous and ugly if we have married the wrong person.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why You Just Can't let Go Of a Bad Relationship

Bad relationships have reverberating consequences on a person's life. They affect an individual's sense of worth, self-esteem, healthy mental development and emotional intelligence. In spite of all these, many people, especially women are unwilling to let go of relationships that hurt them, belittle them, and emotionally rob them of their true sense of self and virtue.

Of course there are always excuses fro holding on, ranging from textbook lines like "I love him and love overlooks all wrongs" to very ridiculous statements like "He probably charmed me withe some love potion because I just can't let go in spite of his misbehaviour".... a friend of mine said that recently for real, and all I could do to keep myself from yelling at her was stare harder at the TV.

Many people are so hungry for love, for some sense of acceptance, and for companionship, that they become blinded even when they being treated badly. Abuse, be it emotional or physical becomes a way of life for them and some of them hold on to the excuse of "We've been together for so long, we have to make it work." I wonder who came up with that. I started to ponder on this... why is it that in spite of hurt, pain, and clear indications of lack of love or respect, people find it hard to let go of bad relationships. I came up with the following plausible explanations

You Think They're Doing You a Favour: This is not necessarily a conscious thought or even one we dare to admit to anyone or ourselves for that matter. However, from my conversations with many people in this boat, I deduced this was the case. Many of the ladies in this situation speak fondly of how they'd never had a plane ride or dreamed of hanging out at a certain restaurant until they met Mr. X who showed them 'le good life'. For them, this is the ultimate dream, to live a lifestyle that they can't afford on their own. Hence, subconsciously, most of these women start to accept ill treatment and belittling behaviour simply because they believe wrongly so that Mr. X is the prize and by being with them, he's simply doing them a favour.

Monday, September 15, 2014


My group on BBM is on a 100 days of gratitude challenge. The concept is for members of the group to consciously share a testimony everyday for one hundred days. When we started, I was overwhelmed with a list of the things I wanted and needed to achieve. I nagged unconsciously and I sometimes have to caution myself. I imagine if I were God, I would be mad at my consistent and needless humming.    So, when the suggestion came for us to start this challenge, I was hopeful it could be the kind of therapy I needed.

The first day, I just posted a general almost bland thanksgiving note. I look back now and wonder at my attitude; I must have been so overwhelmed with my needs that I didn't take note of all the good things happening around me. People were however sharing their testimonies and short of leaving my mouth open and sometimes screaming uncontrollably in the office, there was nothing else I didn't do. Those testimonies are simply out of this world. God is working; people are living a life filled and evident of God’s grace.

 I have become better tuned into the spirit in the group and I was surprised how much of mouth gushing testimonies I also had to share. In sharing and reading about other people, I slipped into the consciousness of just how blessed I am and how faithful God has been.

I wake every morning with songs of praise in my mouth. I find it hard to contain myself atimes not because those needs are gone but because I have realized the beauty in knowing I have a guaranteed life in Christ. It is refreshing from the inside out to be able to see all the positive things happening in my favour.

Today, I got to work and met my immediate boss brooding. I encouraged him to share what was on his mind and when he did I discovered he was plagued with the same illness I was plagued with.  I asked just how well he would have fared if he was involved in accident or worse still if he was sacked or if he died.  I explained to him how much goodness we are surrounded with but are to blind to see.

The act of thanksgiving is self cleansing. the light and peace one feels from inside easily transcends to our surroundings and helps to lift the spirit of those around

Today , I noticed just how often I see tiny grains of glass on the road, I know my driving is not the best that there is but i have been saved from all these road dramas. I am deeply thankful to God,the keeper and guardian of my body and soul.

You can come on this beautiful journey too,You'd be suprised how blessed you are when you count your blessings.

What Love Really Is

 I think love is the most misunderstood term on earth. There are so many definitions of love, one can't help but wonder which is right. Many people are aware that love is not just about the butterflies in the tummy that soon die off as you get to know Mr. or Miss Perfect is not all that perfect. However, many people are still unaware of what love itself is! I've heard definitions like "love is a decision", "love is more than just a feeling", "love is an undeniable magnetism between two people"....well, so is lust.

After reading an interesting blog post titled "Love Is Not Enough", I got thinking. The writer of the post highlighted correctly that taking just the way we feel about someone as the determining factor as to whether or not we should be with that person is a recipe for disaster. A fellow blogger posted on his blog that there are other factors that come to play if we want love to be enough; factors such as respect, care etc in addition to the emotions we feel make love enough. Having carefully read the two posts, I came to my own conclusion. Love is an umbrella under which the constituent factors for a successful relationship/marriage are found.

What is the difference between love and lust? They both give you butterflies in your tummy, they both last for as long as you are both willing to make things work and they both make you feel like you are walking on air when things are going well. Some people say "love lasts longer" I don't know about that. I know of pure lustful relationships that have lasted for decades. What then differentiates love from lust? The constituent factors which are not found in a lustful association.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Should You Give Up Your Dreams For Love?

This question tugged at the strings of my heart for weeks after I returned home from an eye-opening conference. I was privileged to be selected to attend a conference designed to empower young women who are just embarking on the inception of their careers. I may have been partly prepared for the awesome experience but I was in no way prepared for some of the horror stories that made me question what was more important. Some of the women who came to address us at the conference spoke about how they had to sacrifice something for their careers, and in most cases, that the sacrificial lamb was marriage.

I couldn't help but did my mom, my aunts and so many other strong, 'career-driven yet married' women do it? Do we have to sacrifice one thing to get the other or can we have it all? Why are women often expected to drop their dreams and aspirations and become someone else? How on earth did my mother manage her career, get to the top, yet kept the whole family happy and intact? Do women who have it all have some sort of super powers that makes everything fall into place? Hmmm...I think I've gotten to the bottom of this train of thought and the answer I have arrived at is "No, women who have it all do not have super powers. They do not give up anything for love".
As women, we are emotional beings; that in itself is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we are a pleasure to work with, we are sensitive to the feelings of others and we tend to possess higher emotional intelligence. It is a curse because based on our emotions, we are willing and ready to throw away dreams we have held dear for so many years! When we fall in love, we tend to change our dreams to fit that of the man who has managed to steal our hearts. Some of us throw away all our dreams and aspirations altogether. Afterall, according to society's standards, if we are married, we are the epitome of success. Society says marriage is all we need to feel fulfilled....society couldn't be more wrong!

STOP giving up your dreams for the sake of love. It is very unhealthy! If a man expects you to give up your dreams and aspirations so you can become half of him, then it is time for you to hit the curb, wave goodbye and start walking. I know... I know...marriage is based on compromise, but sacrificing your identity just so someone else can be happy is not the type of compromise you want to make. Not only does it result in a dissatisfied you, it will cause resentment to build up in your relationship over time. You are one whole individual with whole dreams and aspirations! Any compromise in your relationship should be geared towards finding middle ground so both of you can achieve the dreams you desire.

Many women eventually have to give up love because they realize sometimes a little too late that it cannot replace the feeling of pursuing and achieving their dreams. The love they abandoned everything for evolves into something else that may be sustainable but may also be a routine- a routine they didn't plan for because they thought they'd have butterflies everyday and talk long walks in the park. Surprise surprise when the mister who did not give up on his dream has to work late, has to travel to meetings, has interesting issues to discuss at the dinner table and they have nothing to say except "Sally got 80% on her maths test". Inevitably, such women will start to long for the dreams they abandoned, they will long for the life they desired before Mr. X came into the picture and slowly, they will start to rebel against the terms and conditions Mr X has grown very comfortable with. irreconcilable Differences becomes the term of their divorce and Mr X is angry that he was deceived. 'She agreed we'd move to New York; I'd work and she'd stay home with the kids. She's so selfish!' Well...can't blame him for something you agreed to in the first place.

Stop giving up your whole self to be half of someone else. Don't let go of your dreams simply because you believe someone else's dream is more important. All those women I know who have it all, stood their ground from day one! If Mr. wanted to move to Los Angeles, the question they asked was "Can I pursue my dream in Los Angeles?" Stop giving up everything for love. As a woman, your dreams are important too! Your aspirations are important too! If you make this clear from the beginning, a man who truly wants you in his life will understand he must take your dreams into consideration before he makes any life-changing decisions. However, if you give him the impression that your dreams can be swept under the carpet, well....that's what you'll get!

How much should you give up for love? Nothing! True love won't make you half of who you truly are. XOXO

Monday, September 8, 2014

Signs You're Immature In Spite of Your Age

 "Age is just a number"... that statement may sound cliche but I am beginning to accept it is cliche because it's so true. So many of us, in spite of our ages that remind us wrinkles are not far off, still act like we are spoilt ten year old kids. We react without any measure of emotional intelligence and act like the world revolves around us. Here are some signs you are immature and probbaly in denial:

You Only See Things From Your Point of View: This is very common amongst people who are caught in a personal fable and believe intelligence begins and ends with them. This characteristic is toxic to personal groeth, building relationships and even working well with other people in terms of career achievements. Your point of view may be correct but not whole. One analogy I like to use here is the story of five blind people who went to 'see' an elephant. One stood in front of the elephant, held the trunk and concluded that the elephant was like a long rope, the other touched the side and insisted the elephant must be similar to a wall....the list goes on but you get the point. They were all touching the same animal, buyt from different angles, hence their idea of what the elephant looked like was different. The same is relatable to life. Your point of view will not always be whole. If you always insist that you are right, then maturity is yet to meet with you.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Why 'Good Guys' Don't Always Get the Girl

Society has a box for the good guys; they are usually quiet, reserved, sometimes shy, very visible in church, most have a questionable sense of style and can't utter two sentences without preaching. Unfortunately many of these good guys chase ladies they desire unsuccessfully. They try their best and put their 'best good' foot forward yet women seem to elude them. Many of them assume women like men who treat them horribly, and give up, while others approach their church pastors to 'hook them up' with these evasive women. There are a few reasons these good guys struggle to get the girl and I've highlighted some of them below:

They lack the skill to woo: There are so many good guys out there with the best intentions that just don't know how to win a woman over. They don't have any understanding whatsoever of how women ought to be treated, or how to sweep her off her feet. They don't even have the right broom! No matter how good a man is, if he cannot make a woman feel special, her attraction to him will end up being nothing more than a feeling in passing.

They are boring: Being boring is a sin! Really it is! It is your moral obligation to not bore people to death. Most of the men in the good guys box are mostly guys that focus only on issues they hold dear-academics, poetry or even bible studies. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but chances are the woman you fancy might not be interested in those things. To catch and keep the attention of the girl you admire, you need to expand your interests. You need to read up on new things so you can have somethingto say. It is really boring when you take a girl on a date, and spend the entire time staring at your toes or simply staring at her in awkward silence because you have nothing to say.

They lack spontaneity: Almost every girl loves a little spontaneity! Believe it or not, even the most prudish and frigid woman likes to be pleasantly surprised every now and then. If you are one of those guys who are so set in their ways, they feel they might lose their minds if they try something new, then it's time to learn and practise spontaneity. Being spontaneous makes you more interesting, more appealing, and a lot more fun to be with!

They let others do their 'leg work': Many good guys are not confident enough to express their feelings so they send other people to do it for them. They speak to their pastors to convince the girl they like or push their friends to convince her. This has to be one of the most unattractive qualities in a man. Letting others do the wooing work for you suggests weakness and lack of self-confidence  Strap on whatever source of confidence you need and do the work yourself.

Being a 'good guy' means nothing if you can't keep a girl's attention long enough for her to see it. It will simply be like a degree certificate you hang on your wall but don't know how to work with.


Monday, September 1, 2014

What Do Real Men Have to Offer?

I am tired, exhausted and completely exasperated by the amount of unsolicited advice constantly doled out to women. "A real woman supports her man's dreams", "a real woman stands by her man no matter what", "a real woman doesn't strive to win arguments with her husband", "a real women keeps herself in shape for her man, manages her man's finances, helps her man achieve his goals....the list goes on. I have to ask "what do real men do while real women are busy running helter-skelter to make sure their men are not bothered by the sound of a mosquito. Why is there so much advice out there for women, yet no one focuses on men? Why are women expected to constantly bear the burden of the relationship? What do real men have to offer? or rather, what should real men aim to offer?

I find it interesting that there are more absent fathers in the world than there are absent mothers, yet women are being told they are doing something wrong. Women are constantly being advised to support the dreams and aspirations of their spouses, yet no one encourages women to follow their dreams. It's time for men to step up to the plate, and meet women halfway in this 'real women-real men' relationship business.

Real men should support the dreams of their wives! Women are always expected to give up everything once they find a suitable partner. Never mind any dreams and aspirations she may have, many men now believe if she is not home by the time they arrive at home, she is not worth the trouble. She is not supporting them, therfore she has to go. HUH?! She had dreams before she met you, and as a real man, your mission is to help her achieve those dreams just like she helps you achieve yours. I have read about men who prevent their wives from obtaining a masters degree or accepting a fancy job because she won't be home early enough to cook dinner. Real men don't crush their wives' dreams, they build them!

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