Monday, June 29, 2015

Breaking The Habit Of Sin

I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. You know those towns where church services are the highlight of one’s social life. There were not so many distractions so the church was a major social gathering. I looked forward to choir and drama practices. It was just a way of staying close to God (so I thought then) and having a great interaction with people . Anyone watching would have passed me off as a really zealous Christian as I never missed any church program but I had my struggles. I had become so used to the church that nothing entered my head or heart anymore. I wasn’t really reading my bible or doing things that would edify my spirit. I was just the typical bench warmer. I led a fairly moral life but inside of me needed an overhaul. My understanding of a relationship with God was deeply flawed. I didn’t do some  terrible things not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t want to be judged by the church crowd.
 I had deep my spiritual struggles, I just never had the grounds to exhibit my other not-so-good traits.
As the years rolled by, I left my childhood town and I was like an animal uncaged. Not only did I forget my roots, I sunk really low.

I knew something was missing but it was just so hard to lay hold on what exactly was wrong. I answered an altar call one day- the first of many, and started making my way back to God.
I struggled with sin and at some point I almost gave up. I felt like I was never going to get it right. As I found my way out of the pit of self-condemnation, I discovered that being able to keep God’s commandments is a function of understanding that holiness is achieved by faith and God’s grace.

There are always going to be temptations. You will always have to face drunk reckless drivers that would have you cussing out before you realize what you have done. You would have a job that might make you lie about delivery time. You will sexually attracted to someone you are not married to. Long story short, you’ll discover it takes more than you saying you are born again and promising yourself to stop doing some things. You will require an inner strength that can only be of the Lord.

Someone needs to know that we are not made whole by our own power. I relied on my strength for a long time trying to fight sin but I have realized that my strength can’t make me holy, I needed to stay nourished spiritually. When you become born again, you are so fired up that you think that you can conquer sin by yourself but that always changes with time.
You’ll find yourself falling short too many times if you let yourself go.

Don’t make the same mistakes I made. Don’t think a casual stroll on the edge wouldn’t make you fall. Don’t think you know so much that you stop reading God’s words. Don’t be so contented in your own knowledge that you think there is nothing new preachers have to say.
Stay hungry. Don’t starve your spirit man.

At this delicate times, you need God more than ever. If you take in the right things, you will not have to struggle with sin, you will live comfortably above it.

May God never desert us all.

Stay blessed.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Being A Christian Doesn't Cure Infidelity. You Require More.

With the frequency with which infidelity occurs in relationships, it is understandable that it always comes up as an object of discourse. I have written about it many times but since my first post on it, my eyes have been opened to certain truths that I'd love to share.

When choosing that special one, we are quick to say we want a God fearing person who understands how deeply important it is to keep and fulfill God’s commandments. Such person is not likely to have an affair or be caught in other messy situations we hope.

Who fits this description better than an influential man of God? One that is so deep in the Christendom that he understands what is totally wrong and what isn’t. Probably the one others look up to for strength and guidance. It is disheartening however when one reads of this men of God slipping.

The latest of such stories is Billy Graham’s grandson Pastor Tchividjian admitting to an affair before his congregation while married.

Honestly, I am not one to judge but situations such as this one can be mind puzzling. Maybe the unbelieving philanderer can’t get over his lust or doesn’t understand the sanctity of the marital bed so as to defile it but how does one explain a man of God. The one that reads the bible often enough to probably recite all its verses. The one that enjoins other people to keep the same commandments he is breaking. How does such person slip?

How to Gently Cut Off Bad Friends

No one should tell you the kind of friends to keep. As a mature individual, I’d expect that you already know what’s good for you and what’s not. But the thing is patterns in relationships and friendships, detrimental as they may be can be very dangerous, and often lead to the same mistakes recurring simply because you have the proclivity to choose certain kinds of people as your buddies. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with inclination; some people come into your life, and are just so awesome, you wonder how you’ve been living without them all these years until their true colours start to show, and it starts to dawn on you that you’ve made an error in judgment.

Cutting people out of your life is not always easy because some people are always in your face. No matter how hard you try to let go of them, they stick to you like glue, and you often find yourself in the name of diplomacy enduring the friendship much more than you are enjoying it. These kinds of friends are the gossips, story-fillers, unnecessarily aggressive know-it-alls, and the ones who are always making you second-guess your decisions. Cutting them off is usually never easy because they know so much about you, you’re probably worried they’ll tear down your reputation should things get ugly. Here are a few tips to gently letting go of bad friends:

Reduce communication.  This is the first step to cutting off a friend that has become a thorn in your flesh. Many people make the mistake of cutting off all communication, immediately alerting their ‘friend’ they might be displeased, which in turn leads to discussions in circles that eventually cause them to mend their friendship in spite of the unhappiness that comes with it. To reduce communication means to check on them once in a blue moon, and give formidable excuses as to why you just can’t hang out. Work, school or a project eluding you is always a good place to start.

Be Polite. Chances are you will bump into the friend you are trying to cut off at some point, or you will be invited to come over. The key thing here is to be polite. Give hugs, smile, pay a compliment, refer to how stressed out you are, talk about plans you’ve already made, and let them understand how sad you are that you can’t honor their invitation.

Don’t gossip about them: Seal your lips with glue if you must! The fact that you are trying to cut a bad friend off doesn’t mean you have to start spreading stories about him/her, even within your circle of friends. The reason is that gossip will eventually turn the tables on you, causing you to be the one in the dog box trying to make things right.

Make new friends. Best way to get rid of the old? Come with something new! People underestimate the ability of new relations to break old vicious cycles. New friends can make the process easier. In essence new friends or friend can occupy the space your bad friend once occupied hence completing the removal process. Advice: Don’t gossip to your new friend about your old friend. If you begin the foundation of a new friendship with gossip and tales of others, that friendship will dry out when there’s no more gossip. Begin new friendships with people who are the opposite of your old friend- people who are driven, strong and uplifting. In such company, there is no need to tear anyone down, even if that person deserves it.

Ending a detrimental friendship as gently as possible can actually turn out to be a long process, but the longer it is, the more amicable the separation will be. Not everything has to end with a fight. XOXO

How to achieve the work-life-family balance

Balance is probably every woman’s nightmare. The one recurring question I’ve heard at meetings where successful women were given a platform to speak was how they’ve been able to become successful, keep their homes together, and still manage to crawl out of bed every morning. Why no one asks men the same question is still beyond me, but that’s a topic for another day. The work-family-life balance is indeed a nightmare for women as it sometimes causes them to make life-changing decisions all in a bid to ensure they have the important things on lockdown.
So how can you achieve it? I got some pointers from women with the most nerve-racking jobs who still have time to meet with their friends for dinner every now and then, and still attend to their children’s pressing needs. Here they are:

1.       Choose the right partner! The most valuable lesson I learned from these women is that the kind of person you choose to marry will determine how balanced your life is. A partner who’s wrapped up in his/her own little world, or obsessed with gender roles within the family will probably not be of much help to you when it comes to striking balance. An obsession with gender roles suggests that your partner will not cross into your zone to assist you even if all the boxes around you are falling into bits and pieces. He will not help you clean on weekends, assist with putting the children to bed, or even order takeout for days when you return home exhausted; just like she will not pay a cent towards the family’s financial upkeep because you know, that is your territory. An obsession with gender roles will result in one partner falling beneath the weight of all they are expected to do, while the other partner simply lives in an oblivious zone to these struggles.

2.       Get help…As much as you need. I find it rather interesting these days that women are often made to feel guilty for getting help. People say things like “How can you expect a stranger to raise your children?” or “Will your children ever sing the song ‘sweet mother’ for you and mean it? These statements suggest that to have true balance, a woman must either give up one phase of her life, or suffer beneath the strain of her choices alone. If she wants to be a mother and a career woman, fine! But she shouldn’t complain when the strain breaks her neck. Well, that’s what it sounds like. The option of getting help is often a last resort approach. I learned that it is necessary to get help as soon as you need it. It doesn’t hurt to have a person who comes in once or twice a week to clean the house, and do the laundry. It doesn’t hurt to pick up ready-made meals on your way home to ease the strain of having to cook after a long hard day, and not getting any time to spend with your children or even your husband. It doesn’t hurt to have your children picked up from school by a well-trusted individual who can help them with their homework, while you simply go over it with them after dinner. Getting help does not mean you are weak. It means you are a leader who knows when and why she should delegate. With sufficient help on your side, there’s no reason for your work life, family life or social life should suffer.

3.       Be realistic with yourself. You are not a robot. The more time you spend stressed out, the more drained you become emotionally, and the more your self-esteem takes a big knock. Decide on the things that are truly important to you and focus on them. You don’t have to volunteer to help out with every single event at church if you know you barely have the time as it is, and you don’t have to step up to the plate every single time within the neighborhood to do a bake sale or organize a car wash. Sometimes, we do these things for the wrong reasons- to either make people admire us, or to fulfill our sanctimonious desires. Sometimes, it’s OK to have nothing to do and just spend the weekend resting. Sometimes, it’s OK to send your children on a day excursion to somewhere interesting with the nanny while you bond with your spouse, and just have some fun. It doesn’t paint a bad picture of you, unlike what the world would have you think. It paints a balanced picture of how you understand that everyone in your family needs your attention and they all need a different kind of attention.

You can achieve work-life-family balance if you are open to understanding your limitations and your needs, instead of drowning in the pressure the world believes you should drown in. Any more tips? Do share! XOXO

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Five Signs You Are Too Desperate

Marriage is lifelong – so it is meant to be.

Seriously, it really should be lifelong, meaning; decisions pertaining to marriage need to be well thought out. The problem is the society makes it really hard. A friend of mine called me some time ago and I could tell from the tone of her voice she was trying to hold in her anger. She shared that an elderly driver at her workplace has made it his duty to remind her how old she is getting and how much she needs to settle down as soon as possible. Can you imagine that?

While marriage talks from friends and family can be slightly tolerable, nobody enjoys when a stranger weighs in on one's personal matters. Imagine if we were all taunted by random individuals of how we might end up as old lonely maids.

Really though, I am still trying to work out the relationship between getting married and being fulfilled. I wonder why a woman is expected to chase after marriage like it is her only call.

While I am not trying to undermine the institution of marriage, I honestly don’t think it is all one has to aspire to.

There should be more reasons to want to live. There is also the need to be confident in one’s space before entering a union with another.

I know there is always that biological reason to want to do things and get it over with but I also believe there is God’s time for everyone and everything. It is good to want to be settled, what you don’t want is to be perceived as desperate and thereby taken for granted in some cases.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Don't Get Married!

Last week, I read all about the turnout of radio personality and video blogger Toke Makinwa. The tales of her husband’s infidelity and the resulting pregnancy was on every social media outlet. I felt sorry for Toke; It wasn’t because it was Toke, but really because any woman in such a situation would probably feel like her world is crashing around her. I was tempted to write about it but I held back. Now I’m writing about it because I am sick of infidelity. This past weekend was an eye opener for me; I watched a married man camp in my neighbor’s apartment while his wife was led to believe he was out of town. It wasn’t his first time visiting. As a matter of fact, he has been her most frequent visitor in the past couple of months. I was pushed to ask the question ‘why do people get married?’

Marriage is an institution ordained by God, built to reflect the way Christ is married to the church. Marriage is a sacred entity, a reflection of God’s unfailing love and his unending grace. Why mess it up with infidelity? I sometimes sit and wonder: what would it be like if God promised to love us, cherish us and be there for us, but joins the devil to point at us and mock us, while tormenting us with our biggest fears  every chance he gets? How would we feel if we got to know that Jesus who died for our sins also makes deals with the devil behind our backs? How would we feel if God betrayed us, and brought shame on us in spite of us faithfully worshipping him?

Why get married if you know you still want to play the field? I don’t understand it. Why get married when you know you have unresolved feelings for someone else, or you don’t have any willpower to reject advances from the opposite sex?

The problem is many people do not marry the ones they love; they marry the convenient reliable one, with the hope that they can keep the one they love on the side, or continue with the adventure of having multiple partners

Marriage is not just about spending money on a good venue, taking beautiful photos and sticking to your gender role in the marriage (which is why I have an issue with gender roles, but that is a topic for another day). Marriage is a great commitment that you have to weigh very carefully before you decide to work down the aisle. The problem is many people do not marry the ones they love; they marry the convenient reliable one, with the hope that they can keep the one they love on the side, or continue with the adventure of having multiple partners. If you happen to be one of these people, please don’t get married.

Don’t get married if you are not mature enough to stick with your commitment or fight the urge of temptation. Don’t get married if you cannot be faithful. It is better to be single, playing the field than it is to get married and make a fool of your spouse. People usually are quick to blame the other woman/man as it may be, but I always say ‘the married individual is more culpable than his willing accomplice’. At the end of the day, if the other woman/man is not married, he or she is not betraying any vows. Don’t get married if you believe marriage is all about financial provision. It’s not. It’s a lot more than that. Marriage is a deal made with God as the witness, and shouldn’t be treated with flippancy. It’s about emotional protection, nurture and forgiveness.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Get Past Failure

This past week, I was stuck in my thoughts thinking about the many times I failed in the past. As much as people say “get over failure”, I have come to realize that simply by reminiscing, failure can still evoke the same emotions as it did when it just occurred. So there is no getting over it if we want to be honest with ourselves; what we can do is get past it.

There is something about failure that many people are unaware of; failure provides a comfort zone. Yes, failure, especially repeated failure can cause us to either become comfortable with stagnancy or simply choose to go through the motions of life. This is what makes failure dangerous; contrary to what we many think failure is not dangerous because of mocking fingers or the embarrassment that we may face, but because of the loss of zeal it brings with it- the self-doubt, the “do I really have to this?’ thoughts, and of course the “I’m already comfortable where I am, why should I try harder?” thoughts. Failure is dangerous because besides the fact that we have failed, we might start to embrace that failure.

It is important to get past failure if we intend to achieve anything extraordinary in life; perhaps it might not be extraordinary, it might be a small dream such as publishing a book or starting a coffee shop, whatever the dream or vision is, we must first get past failure to achieve anything.
First things first, reminisce about your failure and be honest with how failing made you feel each time. Check the progression of your feeling with each failure. Did you feel your world was crashing each time? Or as time went on, did you start to feel like it was no big deal? The latter might be signs of you giving up on yourself without realizing it and the best way to conquer that is to understand that each failure, separate as they may be, had the same effect on your life- they all pulled you back from a point of achievement, they pulled you back from a vision, they halted a victory march you had planned in your head, and that is simply unacceptable.

Secondly, write down all the things you wish to achieve, INCLUDING the ones you’ve already failed at. Ask yourself which one of these things still excites you deeply and which ones don’t. Which one of your dreams has changed because you have a different vision? Take notes of these things and then begin to strategize.

Having a strategy in life is always key if you want to achieve anything. Some people are not able to strategize on paper, they do so mentally. Whichever way works for you, make notes of the necessary process you have to go through to get to your achievement. I am a big fan of writing these points in my journal or making a poster out of them and putting it up on my study wall.

Now, the difficult part begins- the part of actually taking action. This is not the easy part, because I’d like to think no one likes the part where they have to work hard when they can have easier ways. Unfortunately, some dreams require more hard work than others. Start this phase by working even when you don’t feel like it. This requires a lot of discipline and commitment, and I can tell you it is very difficult to commit to something you really feel you don’t have to do right away. But your commitment is what will make it so exciting for you, turning your back on it will begin to seem difficult.  You will soon find that you can barely wait to work on it, and every chance you get, you want to ensure you improve it so it’s better than what it was before.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Help is necessary in life, and sometimes, even with the possession of natural talent, we need some help from people who may even seem to be less skilled than we are. We need constructive criticism, and lots of funny and strange advice. We need to even converse with people who do not necessarily understand what we are saying, but can help us break things out and look at them from a simpler point of view. We need help, no matter how little, so don’t be afraid or arrogant to ask for it.

Lastly, get rid of any feelings of fear. Fear is the one wall that stands between us and our ambitions, and it is only normal that we fear failure especially if we have failed before. Starve your fears and feed your focus. Don’t let fear cripple you; don’t let it dull your excitement. Yes, there is a possibility that things won’t work out the way you want but there’s also a possibility that they will. As long as there is a chance of success, there is a need to try. There is a need to try harder than you ever have and keep trying till you break through. Fear is not an option when you are in a race with and against yourself.

Failure does not have to break you. You can let it make you stronger instead. Keep succeeding, keep shining. Everything you work for will work out one day, and that day could be soon. So it’s best you’re ready when the opportunities come knocking. XOXO

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Let Your Ex Stay Your Ex

People meet, people love, and people leave.
It is just one of the mysteries of life.
Love is probably the most abused emotion. Not everyone we love would love us back same way. Humans are gifted with understanding many languages but one word that defies understanding sometimes is goodbye.
You’d be surprised how incomprehensible goodbye can be even for some of the smartest people.
Image result for Getting over an exBreakups happen for different reasons and in some cases, it isn’t pretty. You’d find some people still holding on to memories that were once shared in the hope of reigniting an already quenched fire. They stay back even long after the other person has moved on.

Not every break up is unpleasant and it is normal to see ex-lovers who make really good friends. However there are cases of ex-lovers who don’t understand when there is someone new and they still want to call in the middle of the night or wouldn’t stop with the endearing words in their messages. They get so carried away that they forget it is not alright to do some of the things that used to be ok.

Many times, these actions are seen as innocent and unassuming but time tells a different tale. I heard a story of a guy that invited his ex to his wedding all in the guise of being ‘just friends’ and eventually cheated on his wife with the ex. People keep their exes close for different reasons and not everybody is the same but 50% of the time,the relationship is everything but innocent. You might have good intentions but people see actions and seldom get to appreciate the intention behind it. So, while you may understand that there is nothing happening between you and your ex, your partner might feel uneasy and you owe it to your partner to make them feel secure in the relationship.

You need to get your act together if you want to keep and stay happy in your relationship.

Your ex might be a really good person and you might not be able to explain how the feelings faded but your ex is definitely not your confessor. It makes no sense that you feel burdened and your ex is who you feel comfortable enough to talk to. The fact remains you have a history and constantly trying to stay in touch might bring back fond memories. You don’t put your hands in fire and expect it not to scathe your skin.

Start making time to stay in your partner’s good books. There is a reason your ex is your ex. If things were so good between you two, you wouldn’t be in a new relationship. It is time for you to suck it up and do the right thing.

Since you are acting like you don’t know understand what being in an exclusive relationship means, I’d better remind you. You don’t drive holes through a roof and still wonder why it is leaking. You should be smart enough to know that your new relationship needs nurturing. 

Every relationship needs trust to thrive . You should not allow your past ruin your present. If you still have feelings for your ex, deal with your emotions without dragging another person into your mess.

Bottom-line is you need to be sensitive about your partner's emotions.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Don't Let Yourself Go After Getting Married!

I have heard it way too many times: people let themselves go after marriage!It is mostly a physical change or an adoption of a 'don't care' attitude towards their physical appearance, but I have also come to learn that people let go of so much more than their abs and firm thighs.

It is often inevitable that the body will experience changes after marriage. For women, after childbirth, body changes can sometimes not be avoided. However, there is no reason for us to let ourselves go after we settle into the routine life of marriage.Women are often the ones on the receiving end of the 'letting go' advice- they are told to run to the gym, hold on to their bodies, and make sure they stay attractive. Men with pot bellies and flabby arms hardly get the same advice, but oh well, that's not the real gist here.

For me, letting go has a different definition in its own little way. I believe marriage brings comfort (as it should), but that comfort can cause many of us to simply settle for the status quo. Many people see marriage as an achievement, and once they have it in the bag, it is not exactly necessary to do anything else. I have noticed that before marriage, many people have a lot of zeal, they have big dreams for their future, and some even had small dreams which could have big impacts on their immediate environment. They had drive and lots of potential  but all these have been lost in the comfortable haven of marriage, causing most individuals to adopt a laid back approach, even towards their physical appearance.

Of course, the focus shifts from oneself to the benefits of the family as a whole, and some things unforeseen take priority over others, but I have learned that it is important to make sure we look after ourselves in every way possible while we are in the business of looking after our families. There is no joy in letting ourselves go. There is nothing noble about sacrificing the core of our dreams simply to take a laid back approach, in a bid to satisfy the happiness of others, at our own detriment. Marriage does not mean we should let go of ourselves intellectually. Marriage, unlike many of us unknowingly believe is not an identity thief.  Marriage is not the ultimate achievement, and it is not the end of individuality. If anything, marriage births a new kind of individuality- a person who has the support of another- an irrefutable support system that ties up all the loose ends where your dreams and plans are concerned.

To truly be happy in life, we have to remember that we have to look out for ourselves. There is no point in suffering inside while we make others happy (think about the amazing entertainers in the world who committed suicide). We have to hold down our identities and stay true to who we are. Eat healthy! Not to keep your body young, but also to keep your soul young. Your old age will thank you! Pursue your dreams, even if you have to do so part-time. It is better than doing 'no-time'. Pamper yourself as often as possible- even your partner will thank you! Not many people are keen to climb into bed with a partner who smells of sweat or food. Taking a shower is not a crime against the earth, nor is keeping your skin in good health. Yes, inner beauty is very important, but we must feed the outside too. We should be happy to see ourselves in the mirror, and not simply sigh with resignation as we go about looking after others.

The fact that many people let themselves go physically and intellectually is the reason they are out in the cold today, wondering what happened after all the love and care they showed. Love is not about giving out by also receiving, and the best gift you can give yourself and others, is to look after yourself while you look after them. Don't let yourself go! XOXO

God Stopped Her From Having An Abortion

 This is the story of Kimberly Henderson as shared on her Facebook page. I hope it blesses anyone out there who's faced with making difficult choices.

:Two years ago today I was sitting in an abortion clinic thinking not having Vaida was best for me.
People remember dates for birthdays, and anniversaries. Well this date is forever burned in my brain. It's a day that I will remember and I remember every single detail of that day. I think that is Gods way of showing me that HIS plan is and will always be greater and bigger than anything and everything I've ever known.
I sat in the abortion clinic for nearly 7 hours. I remember wearing a pink t shirt that was soaking wet from crying. Below is my post from that day and I remember crying the entire time I was writing it. I hope that by sharing this that it touches someone. 

"Today I was at the abortion clinic. I had my mind made up. My boyfriend was cheating on me. I have small kids, what will people think?? I kept telling myself I'm all alone I need to do this. Sitting there.. I could hardly make out anyone or anything through the tears. People were eating fast food around me, laughing, texting. I on the other hand was a wreck. I kept my face down, my face was drenched in tears. I kept telling and giving myself every reason to go through with this even though I did not believe in it. I kept saying I'm on birth control this could not happen..I kept trying to justify it. But my heart was heavy. I felt like I was about to make a horrible horrible decision and God was giving me signs to not do it.. I woke up this morning, my daughter was sick I had to find a sitter, I got lost, my car broke down for about 15 mins and I got here late but they still got me in. I prayed God would stop and give me a sign, give me the strength to get up and walk out of here..
The lady called me to the desk. Last step before you go back. I fumbled through my wallet to find my drivers license and out fell a card a couple left on the table Saturday night when I was working... It had their church name on it.. On the back was a common verse...

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10

I knew God was speaking to me. 

Two of my best friends called me just in time and said the most comforting things. "I will be there for you..There's a reason God gave you that gift."
I told the lady I changed my mind. As I was about to walk out. A young girl no older than probably 19 says to me.."Are you going to do it?" I told her I couldn't.. She said.."I wish I could be brave like you.." I told her she was brave and she could do the same thing. She said she had to do it because of some serious circumstances.. As I turned around she said.."When you see your baby's face for the first time you're gonna be so glad you walked out of here today."

Pouring tears I walked out and felt a huge weight off my shoulders. No matter what your circumstances are God doesn't make mistakes and he is here for you.
This is my testimony. If you have any negative comments you can refrain from making them here. I will let it be known that I do not care what people think. Hence this post. My friends and family mean the world to me. And have my back 100%. Even if I have to do this by myself. I thank God everyday for them. " 

Most of all I remember the enormous amount of relief and strength I felt when I walked out those doors. No guilt. No shame. No regrets. I remember feeling that this all... This all has to mean something one day. My daughter Vaida Everly has a purpose. Her name means beautiful life. And lord she is just that.. A beautiful life. After a scary pregnancy, and after countless weak moments thinking I just could not do this by myself.. September 12 2013 I welcomed my beautiful Vaida Everly into this world with both my best friends by my side. I remember seeing her for the first time and bursting into tears. And engraved in my head were the words that girl told me before leaving the clinic that day. "When you see your baby's face for the first time you are going to be so happy you walked out of here today.." She was beyond right. 6lbs 4oz of pure perfection and no matter what pain I felt physically and emotionally... She gave me a feeling of joy that I can't even explain. A kind of joy that if a war was going on outside I wouldn't even know it. I am so in love.

My once tiny 6lb baby is now 18lbs. Full of life. Full of energy. Loves to laugh. Loves to smile.
And last but not least she is that beautiful baby girl I was singing to at midnight in the kitchen. The video that has touched millions of people all over the world. Singing to her in our kitchen for a memory keep sake is the reason our entire life is about to change. For the good. For the better. She was meant to be here.I'm so lucky. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Five Ways To Have A Great Inexpensive Vacation

I could hear a police siren and several angry voices of drivers cussing out one another. It was a typical Lagos afternoon, everywhere was jam packed and the traffic looked hopeless. The sun was shining in all its glory and it was one of those times it was hard to appreciate its beauty. The weather was really hot coupled with the fuel situation which forbade me from turning on my car air conditioner. I could feel as sweat slowly made a path for itself through the divide in my back going all the way down.

The stress I felt and the dissatisfaction was not peculiar to me. I could tell tens of the oily faces that stared back at mine felt same way. It is a familiar page we all live on. I allowed my mind roam and I wonder how many of these people take a break from these madness once in a while. It is hard to be productive if we live a life so stressful.

We need to take time out sometimes and just cater to ourselves. Many people think holidays or vacation are too luxurious or expensive but we owe ourselves that balance in our lives. Afterall all work and no play makes Jack a dull and unhappy boy. Holidays don’t necessarily have to be in those faraway exotic locations serving dishes we can’t pronounce. You can have a deeply satisfying and relaxing vacation with little budget.

The key thing is to plan ahead.

Have a budget: spontaneity is good but not all the time. It is necessary that you keep tab on your finances. You don’t want to come back from the vacation financially stressed. So, set aside the amount you can afford. It need not be done once. You can remove it from your salary or earnings as early as the beginning of the year. As a salary earner. After I sort every other pressing need on my list, I put aside some money which I save specially to spoil myself and taking a vacation comes under this for me. I believe little drops makes a large pool of water.

Map out your Plan: Decide on where to go. Do you have enough money for flight and hotel or would travelling intestate do just fine. This plan will help you to make the most of your budget. Perhaps your family or friends have a vacation house or stay in the city you want to visit, you can inform them of your intention to stay with them or at their house. This wwould save you money that can be used on something else.

Choose a place to go: Depending on your budget, decide what places are within your range. If you can’t afford the Maldives, perhaps you could try places like Kenya or Gambia. You could even travel to another state different from where you live. The idea is just to breathe the air outside the pressure that is your everyday life.

Book ahead: You won’t believe just how much you can save from booking ahead from flight tickets to hotel rooms. The earlier you make reservations the cheaper it is. So if you have plans of travelling by December, you can decide to book now if you have the money. I know someone that books even a year ahead and she always gets great deals. You can also enjoy discounted rates by booking in bulk.

Make sure you have fun: Try new dishes, make new friends. Get to know a little about other cultures. Don’t make your vacations all about shopping in different malls. There is so much nature has to give. Take your time to savour every moment, it is only for a while remember.

These are my main tips. Do you have others you might want to share? Kindly use the comment box.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Infidelity Is Here to Stay?

I recently watched a couple of videos, one of them being a TED talk where the speaker spoke about infidelity and the fact that it is here to stay. According to her, infidelity is a result of longing and dissatisfaction in a relationship, and should not be condemned as it is, nor should it lead to a breakup. In her description, she explained that infidelity is more like a reset button to push your relationship or marriage in the right direction instead of maintaining the status quo. From my understanding of her talk, the infidel is not a perpetrator but a victim of a marriage that has not been able to fulfill his/her desires. She made it very clear from her talk that infidelity is here to stay and we must learn to embrace it just as it is.

Are you reading that and nodding your head? Stop. Now move your head to the left, then to the right, and the to the left again. Get the message? I hope so.

We have now reached a stage in society where we romanticize the idea of infidelity. We have made up ways to explain and justify cheating in marriages, just like some people are trying to use logic to explain God - simply impossible. 

For some couples, infidelity might be a reset button. The cheated partner might want to give the marriage another shot, forgive, and just move on by trying to address the root cause of the infidelity. The truth is many couples do this, they just don't air their dirty laundry for us to see. However, the fact that people can look past infidelity does not mean we should embrace it as a norm. It is by no means normal to cheat on your partner and not expect any repercussions. 

Infidelity is a deep betrayal of trust. It shatters everything that has been built over an extended period. It shatters all the promises made, vows taken, and really makes the marriage more of an illusion on the part of the cheated partner. Infidelity is not OK, not by any stretch of the imagination. Let's not romanticize it, and try to make it a norm, like we made Bruce Jenner transforming to Caitlyn Jenner a norm we should not only embrace, but praise. I believe the absence of empathy in relationships sometimes makes infidelity easy for some people. I always say "put yourself in your spouse's shoes, and check how what you are about to do makes you feel." What you cannot accept, you should not proffer to your spouse. You should not embrace infidelity and expect that your partner will stick around, embracing your excesses. 

Infidelity should not stay; we should kick it out! If you are still keen to play the field, don't get married. Don't take vows in the presence of God only to make a fool of Him and your partner later. Don't walk down the aisle, don't insult your partner's intelligence. Go for who you truly love, not who's convenient. Go for who truly makes you happy and who brings out the best in you. Infidelity is mostly caused by the fact that we settle for the partners we believe will fulfill the ideal marriage picture instead of going for the ones who make our hearts leap for joy. What are your thoughts on infidelity? Do share. XOXO

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