Friday, December 30, 2016

Leave These Habits In 2016!

As the year rolls to an end, as it custom for me, I take time to reflect on battles won, blessings received, friends made, and the impact I have had on those around me. Most importantly, I take time to go through the junk I may have accumulated during the course of the year – the conference programme I’m still holding on to five months later, the pair of shoes I know I won’t wear ever again because they just made my feet sore, the non-directional associations I may have built and the habits I developed against better judgement.

What I have come to realize is that during the course of every year, we accumulate things – the things we need, the things we want, and the things other people tell us we should have – habits included. Some people tell us to be more dramatic in our approach when we want to confront someone who has hurt us (like we need to pull one of those cheaters show confrontations to prove we are not stupid); some people tell us we need to be more mellow in how we talk about our dreams, and of course others deposit the seed of self-doubt in us by pointing out the things we are not so great at. Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that we accumulate a lot of stuff- the necessary and the unnecessary, and it is important to shed some of the weight if we intend to win in the New Year. To win in 2017, I advise that you leave these behind.

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You are more capable than you think
#1 Self-doubt: I can write you a book about self-doubt and how crippling it is, because I have experienced it. Many people seem to stand firm, but one negative word from a person they believe is better than they are sends them into the pit of doubt, and causes them to forget about the pursuit they were so passionate about. If that’s you, it is time to reawaken the zeal and come back with a bang. Whatever anyone has said is not the final say. You may not be as good as they are, but you surely would not get there by giving up. Get up, dust yourself off and ease back into the path of your dream. Faith it till you make it!

#2 The leaf-on-a-lake mentality: Have you ever seen a leaf on a flowing lake? It goes wherever the lake goes. It is pushed in the direction of the lake irrespective of what the destination of the lake is. This is what many people have become in 2016, and are planning to continue with in 2017 – swayed by the opinions of friends, frenemies, colleagues, and even strangers, simply because they want to be accepted. If you cannot be accepted as you are by those you spend time with, you need new company. Sure, they are positive tweaks that can be made to your personality based on constructive conversations with friends; but that should not lead to a mob mentality. Don’t accept something is right because everyone around you says to. Don’t give up simply because the popular opinion is that you are about to tread a difficult path. The popular opinion is not necessarily the right one or the wise one for that matter. Be woke for your own sake. Don’t let others tell you how your life should play out.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Single Parenting - Something to be Ashamed Of

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I hope this post encourages single mothers and gets people talking openly about the struggles single mothers face in society. 

There is something about being a single parent that makes people perceive you as ugly, irresponsible and a failure, especially if you are a woman. You are considered to be an easy catch and will very often receive indecent offers from men who believe you will give it all up at the blink of an eye, and if a baby comes out of that rendezvous, you will care for that child, because you know, you are simply built for this single parenting life. Of course men do not necessarily face this type of stigma - a single father is very often a celebrated hero; a single mother on the other hand is easy prey for malicious tongue-lashing.

This explains why many women are afraid of leaving unhappy relationships and abusive marriages when children are involved. This explains why so many women feel threatened by the words "you will end up a single mother", much more than they are by the words "I will kill you if you keep annoying me." Many women would rather be pummeled to death than leave and be single parents because single parenting for the average woman is something to be ashamed of. It highlights the inability to keep a man happy; it indicates irresponsible behavior that led to an unwanted pregnancy that you were too ashamed to terminate. It has the makings of a woman who was loose and will remain so. So may malicious stereotypes held against single mothers make it difficult for many women to walk away from life-threatening relationships. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Four Types of Good People You Should Not Marry

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Everyone wants to marry a good person; I strongly doubt people wake up in the morning and pray to God for an abusive partner who takes them for granted and makes their life hell. Surely, no one asks for that. People want a partner who's not shy with the loving or stingy with the cherishing. People want a partner who is God-fearing, sweet-natured, understanding, tolerant and mature. And if you find a person who embodies all these traits, you've hit the jackpot. However, do you know that you can meet a person who embodies all these traits, yet does not fit into your life?

This post is about the four types of good people you should not bother dating. 

#1 The people who are skilled at talking but not skilled at doing: There are many people out there who are amazing and have the core of sweetness embedded in them but they are the most frustrating partners you will ever have. They thrive on talking about what they want to do, and where they want to do. These are the people who dream and speak about those dreams more than they actually do anything about them. Provide them with the resources they actually need to get started and you'll see them pull away, citing a thousand and one excuses as to why they can't do it 'just yet'. Spouses like this make relationships unsustainable. They create a lot of hope but you will never see that hope materialize into anything substantial. Instead, you will be faced with a dull reality filled with ambition but zero action.

Monday, December 19, 2016

You Need The 'Wing-Man' Mentality

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If you are reading this, you have probably heard of the term 'wing man'. Many people use it to introduce their best buddies, their work partners, and really anyone else who holds a significant position their life. On Sunday morning while preparing for church, my thoughts drifted to Obama's administration (weird I know). I found myself admiring the fact that he led two scandal-free terms and took an economy that was in the gutter when he was sworn into power, and raised it back to better standards. Surely he did not do any of that of his own. Of course he had Michelle to support him and push him when necessary, but he also had a wing-man - Joe Biden. 

I imagined for a while what America would have been like if Joe Biden and Obama did not get along. In what state would the country be if they antagonized each other or saw each other as the enemy most of the time. What if they didn't have a common goal and simply were there to push their own personal agenda. Yes, Obama had Michelle, but she could not help him run the country. He needed Joe Biden on every level to be his wing-man, his support system and his decision partner. 

This got me thinking about relationships and marriages. Many people get married to fulfill their own personal agenda, i.e. being more respected in the community, having children, having someone to do the laundry and cook their dinners, or simply just having a different last name so that they do not feel left behind. In such marriages, there is often an imbalance of emotional, psychological, physical, intellectual and spiritual commitment. As a result, one party is viewed as 'highly disposable' - a feather that can easily be removed or replaced, because afterall, there are better people out there. In such relationships, there are no common goals, no common vision, no common direction, hence it is easy to take each other for granted. There is no 'wing-man' dynamics; in some  cases couples even compete to outshine each other. 

If you are married, you need to develop the 'wing-man' mentality. You need to see your spouse as your 'wing-man' (I am speaking to both men and women here). Your partner is not the enemy (that is if you are not being abused). Your partner is not someone to compete against. Your partner is not the opposition. If you have the wing-man mentality, your partner becomes your strategy partner, your winning partner, and when times are bad, your losing partner, but a supportive partner nonetheless. The wing-man mentality means your partner is part of every decision, in the know regarding every move, and is your go-to person when you are caught between the Egyptians and the red sea. A marriage where both partners have the wing-man mentality is more likely to thrive and is most often above petty issues. XOXO

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Good Guys' Guide to Getting the Girl

A while ago, I wrote a post about good girls getting the guy on my blog. This is a follow-up post aimed at the good guys who just can't seem to get the girl. 
There was a time I thought women were the problem; perhaps we truly prefer the bad boys who keep us on our toes emotionally and make us shed tears like we've been cast in the role of Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald in Passions. Perhaps, perhaps, the predictability and reliabilty of the good guy is just too boring and we need that extra drama to enjoy the relationship better. I couldn't have been farther from the truth. While there are indeed women who serach for unnecessary drama, I have come to realize that the current playbook (or should I call it the subconscious rule book) for good guys is the most insipid thing to ever exist on this earth. Go on a date with the average 'good guy' and a poor lady is subjected to conversations about skyscrapers, wind, forest animals and the temperature of the sun *cricket sounds* Guys it is no longer 1835! If you want to get that beautiful sparkly lady with a big personality, get with the new rules. 
#1 The way you dress actually matters: I don't know who came up with the idea that inner beauty is all you need but I can tell you now that the external look is what pulls a person towards you in the first place. I don't understand the men who still wear baggy pants, oversized blazers, checkered bright coloured pants or even safety shoes on a date. Don't show up in a red suit, a white suit or a lime green suit (Yes I've seen that before)! If that's you, you've most likely lost the girl from the moment she laid eyes on you. She might sit through the date just to be polite but that is the last time you will set eyes on her. If her tolerance for bullshit is zero, she will probably leave you sitting there.
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Tip: Dress based on the kind of date you have planned. For a casual date, slim fit jeans, a tshirt and a pair of Toms classic canvas shoes is perfect. Don't forget your cologne. How you smell also matters. Trim your beard, brush your hair. There is no crime in looking absolutely gorgeous.
#2 On the first date, she doesn't want to know why you gave your life to Christ and she doesn't want you to ask her why she did: I think many of guys attend lotsof relationship seminars where they are given a list of 'safe' topics to discuss just so they are sure the woman they are interested in is the  'right kind of woman'... like that question tells anyone anything. If this is you, please stop asking this question on the first date or any date at all. If she is polite, she will give you a vague answer but not before she visibly rolls her eyes. 
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If you want to know her better, ask about how she spends her leisure time, if she has done any recent traveling, movies or books. Don't ask about her ex! That is none of your business! Also don't ask about the number of guys she has dated
#3 Understand that you are speaking to an adult! I pasted this on my facebook wall and I will say it here again. There is nothing sensible or attractive about a grown man speaking to a grown woman like he is speaking to a child in Grade 5. Dry jokes and sentences you used to utter in nursery school with your nursery school friends do not fly. Grown women prefer direct conversations that make them laugh and make them comfortable around you. Anything else will most likely bore us to death. This is where we go to the bathroom and never return.
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#4 Let the flow be natural: Nothing is a bigger turn-off than a guy who does not let the emotions build up before he starts to make the big moves. Yes, you might be ready to tie the knot but the first date is not where you start to tell her about how you want to be married and how you have read the scripture, hence you feel ready. Dude do not attempt to schedule weekly or monthly dates so you can speed up the dating process and ensure the connection happens quickly enough. Someone recently asked me if we can pick a day every month where we meet... It was funny in the big bang theory; it is not funny in real life.
#5 Read the signs! Read the signs and body language and decipher if you are the type of person she would like to see again. She will most likely respond positively if you have made her laugh, been a little naughty and shown her your fun side (I mean actual fun, not house fellowship fun please). If however you have spent most of the date with long bouts of silence, lots of question and answer sessions and unncessarily serious conversation, she might not want to see you again. Don't become that itchy irritant in her butt who calls even after she has made it clear that she does not have time to hang out with you again! Let her go. Work on yourself and then try someone new. 
Post comments below. XOXO

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

You Cannot Prepare For Marriage

This is the simple truth. It may sound mean, might even sound negative. Perhaps you feel it is wrong to put it this way, but it is the truth. As a single person, you cannot work towards getting married. Sadly, this is what many people, especially young women do - work towards getting married.

Recently, I have discovered that many young single women avoid making major decisions or big moves for fear that it might steer them away from the goal of getting married. Some women don't want to leave their city they are in because they believe the eligible bachelors are more abundant there; others want to move to certain cities because the chances of finding a man there are higher. Some women don't want to study further, Others worry about buying their first house without changing their last name. In all, many people hold themselves back in a bid to push themselves  toward marriage.

Image result for single woman hoping for marriage

Sorry to burst your bubble but all of these decisions will in no way determine whether or not you get married. Unlike a promotion at work, you cannot work towards marriage. At your workplace, you can improve your work ethic; you can increase your daily targets and meet them, you can aim for a promotion and actually get it. It is not the same with marriage. Getting married is not based on a performance evaluation. You can be an amazing person and not get asked soon enough. You can be the Proverbs 31 woman and not find a 1 Peter 3:7 man or one who understands Ephesians 5:25-30. You can be all that a man needs and still not find a man who wants you just yet.... Is that enough reason to put your life on hold? Certainly not!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

13 Things I Learnt From Reading Toke Makinwa's On Becoming

One of my favourite people came by my house last weekend and asked if I had read Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming. Coincidentally, she was the fifth person asking that same question in the three days since the launch of the book and I must confess that with the unending conversations about the book on my various social media timelines, the decision to hold off reading it till later became harder to keep.

So, I jumped on the wagon and picked up a copy in a bid to get in with the ‘tea while it is still hot’

I didn’t expect for it to interest me the way it did because I had earlier thought it was just an extended version of the stories earlier circulated in the blogs concerning her marital issues but I was wrong.

With no use of pretentious metaphors, Toke bared herself in every line sharing her story of pain, love, hurt, misdeeds, betrayal and growth .

It was almost hard to believe that she went through all she wrote about which further drives home the saying that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Many of us do a great job of masking her pains with smiles.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Help! My Boyfriend Proposed But I am Not Ready

Being away from my blogs over the past couple of months did not shield me from the relationship dilemmas of those around me. I spent an afternoon lazing by my friend's pool with a couple of her other friends talking about nothing in particular, when one of the ladies said

"I think my boyfriend is about to propose."

As you can expect, we all beamed with excitement at the news. Which lady does not love the thought of a romantic proposal in the pipeline? However our excitement quickly turned to concern when we noticed that the future bride-to-be had a forlorn look on her face. She couldn't be any less enthused!
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"Well, what's the problem?"

"I am not ready".

My friend and I looked at each other and smiled. We had heard this before from our friends who are now happily married. You see, unlike what many people may think, the thought of marriage sometimes sends some people into panic mode, as they try to understand the fact that they will have to share their space, their time, their decisions and everything else that makes them who they are with someone else. And no, it does not matter if that person is the most amazing person on earth; the thought of being hitched is just scary, period. And yes, that fear is often presented in the form of the best excuse that requires little or no explanation "I am not ready".

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Getting Married To The One You Love Vs The One That Loves You

Choosing one’s life partner is a very serious step and is treated so most times. People are known to seek the counsel of their loved ones and those they respect hoping to get their approval and wise guidelines that can help them through the journey. Opinions sought and the ones not sought are always offered.

Everyone seems to have a word or two to say to people looking to embark on this life long journey.

One of the commonest things I hear is for people to marry someone that is crazy about them as opposed to getting married to someone that they are more in love with.

How does that even make sense? You may ask.

If we all take that advice, then we all would be a bunch of scheming unhappy pretenders with no integrity or hopeless cowards to say the least.

The people that say this are not without their reasons. They are of the opinion that a lot of things can change once couples get married. Attraction and passion are said to diminish and couples face situations that will test their love. Temptation will come in the guise of other available choices and one may find out that it takes someone who is truly loyal and deeply in love with one to stay by one through thick and thin.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

You Need To Take A Break From Relationships

This was the advice I gave a friend of mine a couple of months ago as she sat across the table from me at our favourite breakfast restaurant and recounted the tales of horror her last relationship put her through. I quietly listened; I mean that is a strength I have learned to develop. 

I nodded my head at certain things she said and stared in amazement at the other things. I smiled to myself often and really just let her let it all out. I'd heard all these before. As a matter of fact, just a couple of years ago, I was the one at the other end of the table recounting tales to anyone who would listen. She must have noticed after a while that I was listening and not saying a word, so she asked me "Demi am I overreacting here?"


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

7 Simple Things You Shouldn't Do When Resolving Conflicts (Part 2)

Do not give the silent treatment; giving your partner the cold shoulder every time you have a disagreement is never the way to go. Asides from it being a manipulative tool , it doesn’t exactly solve anything.

You may assume that your partner ought to know why you are angry when they truthfully don’t. It is always better to talk things in a bid to iron out your differences.

Do not make a mess of the trust invested in you; anger can bring out the worst in even the best people, making them to become vindictive. Lovers share a lot between themselves including secrets and flaws they don’t feel comfortable letting someone else know. Don’t break your partner’s trust by referring them to something they told you in secret just in a bid to break them or make them see reasons with you. This leads me to the next point.

7 Simple Things You Shouldn't Do When Resolving Conflicts (Part 1)
Romance novels formed a great part of my reading in my early teens, the predictability of the stories made that genre lose its charm for me as I grew in age. One could always tell how the characters relate and how the plot would unfold from just the summary. 

Did I mention the many assumptions contained in them were also a source of concern? The picture perfect imaginations painted had me spending the better part of those years daydreaming about a tall Adonis that had the missing parts to all my unsaid sentences. You know the kind that knew just how much air I could take in per minute and serenaded me to sleep every night.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Important Tips On Staying Married

Some things happen that make us question what we thought we knew. Good people derail and a seemingly great marriage ends. We are riddled with lots of questions we fight hard to understand. Could it be this or that, we wonder. Could it have been fixed? Is there hope for the new ones yet to tie the knot? How does one know what works and what doesn’t?

One thing is sure though, we all are not the same and the same solutions won’t work for us all, however there are areas where we are similar. 

Having chatted with a number of people, I have discovered that some cases of irreconcilable differences stem from an accumulation of little things that have built up over the course of time. We fail to address these supposed little things and they then become escalated jostling us out of our assumption that everything was right.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Did Your Spouse Cheat On You? Five Vital Things That Will Aid Your Recovery

Many times marriages show cracks that might have been as a result of foundational issues, and just like buildings they don’t necessarily have to collapse if proper attention and care is given to them. 

Marriages thrive on many things with trust being on the top of the list. Marriage entails that the parties involved bare everything to each other with the belief that they are a team, so when one of the parties derails from the vow, it can have dire consequences.

One major way a marriage may suffer a crack is through infidelity. The trust gets marred and it is always so hard to go back to where the relationship was. If the hurt is fuelled and the anger and distrust is not attended to, it may lead to the end of the marriage. Some people are of the opinion that infidelity is so unpardonable and should be the end while others preach forgiveness but even that is easier on paper than in action.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Can The Honeymoon Phase Be Sustained?
I love visiting family parks. The lovely carpeted grasses with big shady trees do a lot to my spirit therapeutically. It is one of the few places where I find the kind of balance I seek; a safe place for my children to play and a serene place to get lost in my thoughts. 

It provides a sharp contrast to the madness on the outside; cars honking and drivers hurling insults at one another. It is where I remember there are birds because their music fills the air as the leaves sway beautifully in the direction of the wind.

You didn’t think I was making a post advocating for the development of more parks, or were you? Well, I just got carried away for a moment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trust In Relationships - Will You Share Your Passwords With Your Spouse?

Many of us have become so dependent on our smart phones that we can’t seem to function outside it. With all sorts of apps being developed, the reliance on the phones to get us through each day is quite understandable. 

A nightmare can sometimes be in the guise of misplacing one’s phone seeing as it contains so much personal data ranging from bank passwords to social media pages, which explains why we take care of these devices, making sure they are secured with passwords and that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Interestingly, this development has also rubbed off on a lot of relationships, strengthening some with its power of securing communication no matter the distance, and breaking some as a result of the vices that can be perpetrated through it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are You Looking To Settle Down? Five Things You Must Consider
To make a pot of traditional Nigerian stew, you need your scotch bonnet, onions and tomatoes plus other condiments, without which the stew will be a total disaster. So also, to have a successful marriage, you need a great deal of love and attraction, among so many other things that make a union a great success. It is very important to note that while the pepper and tomatoes are major ingredients, the overall taste depends greatly on the combination of some other condiments. 

When we meet that special person, we are overtaken by emotions that cause us to believe that there is no mountain too tall to climb or an ocean too deep to swim in for the one we love, and I must confess that that is so empowering and beautiful. Not in a bid to be the bad talebearer but you will need to consider so much more in choosing a life partner. You need to work with your heart and your head so as not to end up in a courtroom citing irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce or being stuck in an unhappy marriage.

So what are these other considerations one has to make?

Monday, November 14, 2016

When You And Your Spouse Are Not On The Same Page

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TLC’s my 600 pound life life fascinates me in so many ways. It is hard to imagine that one can allow oneself get so morbidly obese that one could die, but it is the reality of the participants on the show seeking weight loss surgery as their last resort to surviving and living a healthy life. 

Most of them share how they lost control of their appetite for food and find themselves slipping down the path of self-destruction by over feeding on unhealthy food, and leading them to become so dependent on other people to get through their day to day activities. Some of them have to rely on their spouses or children and it is sad to know they are sometimes stuck in a room for years. This leads to a lot of depression resulting from missing out on important family functions and basic social gatherings. Above all these, is the reality that they might die if they didn’t seek help.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Three Important Things You Need To Teach Your Child(ren)

Bethany Thompson was a cancer survivor who had her brain tumour operated on twice. She was given a new lease of life with the success of those operations; her parents must have felt really grateful that their baby scaled that large obstacle and defiled death. Their joy was cut short however when Bethany committed suicide because the kids at her school kept making fun of her appearance which was as a result of the treatment she received.

I’ll allow you take that in and imagine how many people have been thrown into darkness by the insensitivity of the other children in Bethany’s school.

This story left a really bad taste in my mouth and it also stirred up a lot of emotions in me as a parent and a person that has survived bullying. 

I had some very low times too but I was lucky to get past that period of my life and realise that bullies act the way they do to cover up their own insecurities. Not everyone is as lucky as I am as it is evident in Bethany Thompson’s story. 

Bullying has claimed a lot of lives and put many more in mental prisons.

Three Things You Need To Know To Avoid A Situationship

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I watched a movie recently, it was centred on a lady who became desperate to be in a relationship because most of her friends were in happy relationships and she desired to have the same. This led her into thinking that she was in a relationship with a guy whom she had known for a while. 

Interestingly, the guy never asked her out but they spent a lot of time together causing her to believe that he was involved with her romantically. 

She dedicated herself towards serving the man, washing his clothes, cleaning up after him and all other things she convinced herself she had to do only to discover that he had a fiancée all along. She was heartbroken and insisted that the man deceived her.

While I understood her outrage over being exploited, I couldn’t ignore the fact that she set herself up for heartbreak. To be fair to her, she is one of the many that make the mistake of not defining their relationships. It is not all the time that a man that is interested in a woman tells the woman of his intention of starting a relationship, there are times the relationship blossoms from platonic to a more serious one. The line can also become blurry in several other instances. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

5 Wrong Reasons for Getting Married: Part 1

Marriage is probably the most misconstrued idea in the world. Many people go into it for all of the wrong reasons, forgetting that it's a divine institution and a life-long commitment. This results in many unhappy homes, dissatisfied people and failed marriages.
So if you're planning a wedding soon, it's best to get a reality check and ensure you are going into it for the right reasons. Here are a few common reasons people get married:

1. To escape the stress of home
Believe it or not, some people, especially women, get fed up of home as they get older, mostly because of chores, curfews, or rules laid down by their parents or guardians. In this state of dissatisfaction and complaints, the idea of marriage seems all the more welcoming, as it presents the opportunity to escape the stress of staying at home. The only problem with this is that people often find the very issue they are running from in their matrimonial homes, at an even higher level. They still have to clean, cook and take care of the family, and also become accountable to their husbands with several 'dos' and 'don'ts' which they try to keep up with to sustain the marriage. If there is no other substance or foundation on which the marriage is laid, then it will undoubtedly fail.

2. To conceal pregnancy
Sometimes marriage is seen as a cover for pregnancy out of wedlock and an escape route from the stigma that comes with it. It is understandable that sometimes a family with a high society or religious status might want to avoid the embarrassment and troubles of having a baby out of wedlock. It is true that it is good for a baby to have the security of a home as it comes into the world, as this is what God intended in the first place. However, marriage should not be entered into solely for this reason. If other salient issues such as compatibility, common faith and or values, love and understanding are ignored, there may crop up in the near future and destroy the marriage or drastically affect those involved.

5 Wrong Reasons for Getting Married: Part 2

We are exploring five common wrong reasons people get married. If you missed Reason 1-3, please click here.

Here are other reasons worth considering:

4. Because you are getting older

"You better settle down, because you are not getting any older", might be one of the most popular sayings among African families. The society cannot process a single woman above thirty pursuing her career. There must be something wrong with her, her standards must be too high, or probably she cannot submit to a man.

These are a few of the misconceptions prevalent in the society that lead people to make wrong decisions in marriage, simply to avoid hitting the age 30 mark. The mark is higher for men, but there is still that societal, family expectation and pressure to settle down perhaps by 40. The pressure may be worsened by the fact that all your close friends have gotten married and seem to have left you behind.

Although it's been said by some health professionals that it is easier for a woman to have children at an earlier age (the average woman's fertility peaks at early 20s) with less chances of complications, age should still not be the sole reason for getting married. What's the point of rushing into marriage with someone you hardly know or someone who you are not convinced is totally right for you, only to end up divorced, separated, unhappy or abused in the near future? The stigma of being an older single woman which you tried to avoid will even get worse, with additional labels of 'divorcee' or 'a woman that cannot keep a home' (Not that these stigmas are right, but that is a topic for another day). It is better to marry later than others to the right person for you, than to rush into a marriage you will later regret.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Can You Play Safe In Love?

Being in a world where it is easier to discover the existence of another planet than it is to know what goes on in another man’s mind means that love is one of the biggest gambles we’d ever take as humans. The mystery of it all and not knowing how fair or not love would be to us, reflects a lot on how we conduct ourselves and our affairs generally.
In fact, if we could build walls of steel around our hearts and secure it with bronze padlocks and gates bearing large captions for trespassers to KEEP OFF; perhaps, we’ll record greater luck in love. The stress of having to break the walls or the risk of being bitten by ferocious guard dogs may deter the players among us, who have no regard for emotions of fellow humans from perpetrating devilish heartbreaks.

Much as we might have wished for there to be some form of mathematics involved (and maybe there really may be ways people can be manipulated to behave in certain ways) but the truth remains that no one can ever truly tell if who he loves will love him back at all or if such person will love him back in the same measure. This uncertainty that comes with falling in love breeds one of the deepest issues in relationships. The inability to let ourselves go totally in love puts us on edge and starts to breed insecurity.

We start to wonder if we have let our guards off too much or for too long. We become so calculated in our actions. Love degenerates to a game.
‘He should be the one calling me now because I called two times already’
‘I can’t risk letting her know that I love her that much, less she starts to take me for a fool’
‘I can’t tell her that I love her before she tells me’
‘He is too smooth, I can’t trust him’
While some of our worries may be valid, many times they are not. We need to reprogram our minds and just take love for what it is; a pure and selfless emotion. If we are so focused on being loved back in certain ways, we unconsciously mar the beauty of it all.

 Hearts are broken and mended every day, so one or a few failures at love shouldn’t be the reason for one to hold back when with someone new. Don’t be afraid of letting yourself go or being taken for a fool. Who cares who calls who, long as you are both happy? There will be temptations to hold back and take stock of who has done what but your insecurity shouldn't be given room to grow. 

Whatever you decide, bear in mind that it is alright to be vulnerable in love, let your guard down sometimes. An African proverb says if you shut your eyes hoping to ignore bad people, the good ones will also pass you by . Playing it safe takes the beauty out of it. Bask in the beauty of the 'no holds barred' kind of love. There is always that special person that wouldn't throw your love in your face.

N.B: This does not apply to you if you are in an abusive relationship or with someone that doesn'tt care about you at  all.If you are in an abusive relationship, you need help. If your partnerdoesn't' care  at all, then you need to leave, Your love alone cannot sustain your relationship, there has to be two people on board for the relationship to work.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Working With Purpose Partners

Everyone has a purpose; it just takes us some time to figure out why we have been placed here on earth. However, not everyone succeeds at their purpose, and you wonder why. If you have been created to achieve a certain task, shouldn't things fall into place and wok out in one of those unbelievable testimony type of ways? Well, not really.

If you intend to discover and succeed at your purpose, you have to surround yourself with your purpose partner. Too often, many people fail to figure out their purpose much less excel at it because they have surrounded themselves with the wrong people. They have surrounded themselves with naysayers (i.e. people who see the problem with every idea and are always keen to point out why it won't work); they have surrounded themselves with people who don't want to hurt their feelings or critique their work (i.e. yes-men); they have surrounded themselves with the pity party hosts and hostesses; they have surrounded themselves with the association of life complainants. I could go on and on... but you get the gist.
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If you want to succeed at your purpose, you need to develop the habit of forming strategic relationships rather than aimless friendships. You need to locate the people around you who are for your purpose. It is important to understand right now that some of your friends may be on your side but not necessarily support your purpose. They may want you to succeed, to be happy, to reach a point in your life where you are satisfied with who you are, but they may not understand your purpose. You can share your dreams with them but they just won't get. They might say "Oh that's a great idea!" But they won't do anything to help you take it further.

There are other people in your life who are for your purpose and your purpose only. They understand your mission and they are there to ensure the mission is accomplished. They are not interested in what you do during your leisure hours with yourself, and they can't be bothered if you reach a point of satisfaction. They simply want to make sure the purpose is achieved! There are others in your life who are both friends and purpose partners, and that of course is the best of all. They help you take your purpose further, they pray with you, and they are concerned with you flourishing personally...but hey when you flourish in your purpose, your life will flourish too.

It's never too early to start working out who your purpose partners are, and it is never too late either. As long as your are breathing, you still have a shot at it. Stop spending all your time and energy on aimless friendships. Instead, start working with people who are in tune with God's will for your life. Every relationship you nurture is important. Make sure you're nurturing the right ones. XOXO

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Fear of the Will of God

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How many times have you been told to let God plan your life and immediately had a mini panic attack? How many times has someone said to you "May the will of God be done regarding your plans" and you struggled to say "Amen". How many times did you say "Amen" then went quickly to a quiet corner to prayerfully enforce and establish your plans? How often have you hesitated in saying the words "May your will be done in my life God"? If any of these questions apply to you, I am here to inform you that you have divine will phobia. 

It is natural for most people to worry at the thought of following God's perfect will. What if God decides to take you from a palace and make you lead some grumpy and ungrateful people through the wilderness? What if God decides you should be sold into slavery and even go to jail for a crime you did not commit just for his will to come to pass in your life? What if God's will has your thrown in a den of lions and instead of shutting the mouths of the lions, they jump at you immediately and tear you apart? So many what-ifs creep into our minds when we think about the will of God, that it immediately sends us into panic mode. We start to enforce Matthew 7:7 that says we should ask and we shall be given. And later on in the chapter, Jesus said no father will give his child a stone when he asks for bread, or give him a snake in place of a fish... so we believe that by establishing our desires in prayer, we are escaping the stones and snakes God might have in store for us. 

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

But you see what I've come to realize is that the fear of the will of God is a fear that has been planted in our hearts by the devil. It has been supported by his lies that our plans are much better, and a sense of self-assurance that says we know best and our plans must come to pass. That is because Satan knows that God has amazing plans for our lives, and the best way to destroy those plans is to make us feel we must be in control and things must play out the way we want. Satan feeds our ego when we proudly tell people that we are in charge of our lives. It feels good to say we are living our lives by our own design, not by the design of a God we call on but cannot trust because he might just send us to the dungeon in line with His will. 

As the time turned from December 31 2015 to January 1 2016, God laid a verse on my heart:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
This was the verse I received while I prayed against the confusion and battles I faced. God's plans for us are GOOD. They are designed to give us hope and A FUTURE. If it was only hope, one might say "yeah whatever. Hope deferred makes the heart sick". But we also have a future which highlights that our hopes in line with God's plans for us will be fulfilled. The plans of God are to PROSPER us, not to leave us in slavery or in a dungeon. He wants to prosper us and bless us! He wants us to be happy and fulfilled. But Satan wants us to believe God's will is not enough. He wants us to think if we are thrown in prison, God will never come to our rescue. He wants us to think if we are thrown in the lion's den, the lions will tear us apart. He wants us to think God will not show up. Afterall, the Israelites were in slavery for hundreds of years. Where was God? 

God did show up! And when he did, it was GLORIOUS. Trust God's will. Trust His power. God will show up! His plans are perfect and designed to bring peace and prosperity in all our ways. Let God's will be established in your life and watch how work becomes fun, and life even with its ups and downs feels like a good day at a theme park. God will never leave you void and He will never let you fall. Even when you fail, his grace will come like a wave. Even when you rebel, He will not abandon you in prison or slavery. He will not let the enemy rejoice over you. His will is to prosper you, give you hope and a future. Isn't it worth it to leave your life in His hands? Have a blessed week. XOXO

Of Queues,Pregnancies, Purpose And Life

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I detested queues. Queues used to make me get really uneasy. I used to pant and pace about like a dog that has lost trail of its owner whenever I had to stay on a queue, but lately I have had to think very deeply about respecting the order it brings. I am also at that place where I can acknowledge that it teaches patience, tolerance and respect for fellow humans. I am learning to respect the process that birth brilliant results seeing as everyone gets their turn in the long run.

This experience with queues is reflective of some aspects of our lives as humans; we can get quite impatient in our life’s journey. We feel like things are not going the way that we desire for them to go for us. I remember a friend once told me that she is sure what she was working on was what God intended for her but she just couldn’t understand why things were dragging and not particularly adding up. Instances such as that cause our faith to falter. The disappointments we encounter make us want to throw in the towel, making us wonder if there is something we are doing wrongly. Imagine how the Israelites felt in the wilderness, many of them rebelled and some even desired to go back to Egypt.

In my reflection, I have come to admire God’s way of planning ahead and making sure our experiences fortify us. The story of David comes to mind here. David after being anointed to be the king went through many tribulations and was almost killed by Saul. I am sure there were times he would have wondered if the unction upon him was a genuine one. He must have almost given up hope when he had to run away for his dear life, but he stuck it through and he was able to mount the throne and fulfil his purpose.

There are many jokes about how life catches up with us making us lose sight of our dreams and purpose, but that is not supposed to be.  When we are walking in line with God’s plan for our lives, disappointments are not necessarily disappointments. Most times, God builds our character through what we perceive as trials and tribulations. This isn’t to say we should be docile but this is to remind us that we must never forget to learn the intended lessons in our setbacks.

Visions, like pregnancy, go through stages from conception to the several stages of foetal development and then it is finally birthed. Like a pregnant woman, there will be period of uneasiness but you need to keep your mind set on the goal. Every stage is important and you need to be careful not to be in a rush to birth your vision so as not to end up with all the complications that may be connected to the time not being ripe. Moreso,so as not to end up stifling the life out of your vision.

Hold on tight to that dream, respect the process, and learn the intended lessons. Don’t force it when the time isn’t ripe. Trust me, it's all going to work together for your good.

Rock on soldier.
May God be with you.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Can One Love Another Deeply Without Spending Money?

Nollywood has a number of films with the common theme of love and materialism. The protagonist deliberately refrains from showering a girl he loves with gifts to test if she is materialistic or not. In some of those movies, the girl passes the test and in others, she dumps him for lack of ‘patience’ thereby losing an ‘ultimate chance to becoming the wife of a wealthy man’. There are also the ones where women discover that their husbands married them only for material gains.

Now, should this be reason enough not to want to spend on one’s intending lover? Could it be that a ‘stingy’ lover is just being careful or is just not in love enough to part with his/her money?

However way you look at it, these are valid questions and there are many more begging for answers. Does the giving or exchanging of gifts deepen the love a man or woman may feel? Can one love another deeply without parting with money or material?

Sincerely, I think we are so fixated on guarding our hearts sometimes that we fail to feel love for what it is. Love is a beautiful feeling and it finds expression in everything we do. Love can be found on the lips of a lover fondly calling his beloved in a way only he can. It could be long stares that tell stories of fondness and attraction. Some say it is the rumbling feeling one feels at the bottom of one’s stomach upon sighting that special person. I think it surpasses that. It is that feeling that makes one want to try new grounds and go to lengths never travelled. Love, we are told, isn’t self-seeking. It is gentle; it is very generous. It is as generous with affection as it is with material things.

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Number One Tip for Winning At Love

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There was a time I was inundated with questions about winning at love and finding happiness with someone else. I had to admit at that time, I had no idea what the formula for winning at love was. Was it based on preferences of the individuals involved? Did fate bring them together? Did cupid help out by aligning their paths? Were they textbook perfect for each other? Did they follow a manual? And if yes, what manual was it and where could one get it? For a very long time I pondered over the subject and almost gave up before realizing the answer had been before my very eyes all along. 

I have friends who are happily married - yes really, I mean HAPPILY married. Yes, they have the occasional arguments and the debates that cause them to sit on opposite sides of the fence, but somehow they always found a way to work it out and stick together stronger than before. How did they manage to build such a solid marriage? They started from when they were single. 

You see these days, many people are focused more on the desperation to find someone to be with than they are on themselves. Many people are so desperate to find partners to avoid being ostracized by society that they would accept anything from anyone just to seal the deal. And that right there is the reason people fail at this thing called love. If you are desperate, chances of winning are slim; if you are nonchalant, chances of winning are also slim. My number one tip is to find the perfect balance between loving yourself and genuinely expressing your emotions towards others. 

I learned from my happily married friends that the more you love yourself as a single person, the slimmer the chances of someone coming along to take you for granted or mistreat you. The more you love yourself as a single individual, the better your knowledge of yourself, the things that make you happy, and the kind of person you want to share your life with. But even that is not enough to help you win at love. If anything, overdoing it can make you conceited and selfish, defeating the purpose altogether. You need to be genuine in your expressions with other. Many unhappy people 'in love' bite their tongues more often than they should and hide their expressions more often than they can manage. They avoid topics that should be discussed and swallow their anger till they become a walking ball of fury. Why? They were not genuine from the start. They overlooked things that made them fume, and suppressed anger when it should have been expressed. With time, irrespective of how far the relationship progresses, the cracks begin to show and the negative emotions start to ooze out. 

If you truly want to win at love, first love yourself like you are the only person on earth who can make you happy. Secondly, be genuine in your expressions. Don't carry emotional baggage with you. Genuinely express how you feel to the person you're with, and give yourself a good shot at this love goal. XOXO

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Covenant Christian Centre presents a marriage seminar titled "To have and to hold" - 15th October

Covenant Christian Centre is presenting a marriage seminar titled, "To Have And To Hold". The seminar will take place simultaneously at two venues - Covenant Place, Iganmu and Covenant Chapel, Lekki

The topics to be discussed are:

1. Winning together at all times
2. The relevance of intimacy in Christian marriage

There will be a panel session to discuss general marriage topics

Time: - 12 noon
Date: 15 October 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Four Things Every Mother Has To Know

4.00am in the morning and I was back in the shower for the second time in five hours.  For someone that thinks morning baths are a huge bother, bathing twice in the middle of the night is a feat.

How did that happen? You’d ask.

Well, my daughter sometimes gets uncomfortable sleeping alone, so she has formed a habit of getting out of her crib to sleep beside me. We are trying to permanently stop her from using diapers and that automatically meant several bathroom runs before dawn most times. She however has been showing decent improvement in knowing she has to wake up to go to the toilet when pressed but she still makes mistakes and one of those mistakes was on my bed and body. Her younger brother who also sleeps beside me picked that same night to puke on me just as I was trying to make him burp.

It sounds like a lot right?

Well, let’s just say no one has the complete manual to this thing called motherhood. Every woman’s journey is unique in its own way and these days I feel the need to salute other women I come across juggling their day to day activities while still keeping it together at the home-front. I probably need to come up with a catchy phrase like ‘I see you comrade’.

Much as I believe that we all have unique journeys, there are some tips that spread across the mothersville and so, can come in handy for mums; new and old. They are as shared below:

Time isn't your friend: You probably have realized that things have changed from when it was just you alone. The things you needed an hour to prep for would take you more minutes because you have to look after those precious little humans that are yours too. There will be lots of unforeseen delays, so it will do you much good to realize that Time has grown fitter and faster legs. To stay productive, you need to be more conscious of time. To meet deadlines and to help with your punctuality, You can learn different hacks that may reduce your prep time . Also consider that they may be lots of uncertainties, so it may be in your interest to add additional minutes to your prep time. that way, you won't end up showing up for work in two different shoes or with badly prepared presentation.

Do not beat yourself up: It is alright not to know and it is also totally alright to get frustrated sometimes. Mistakes will be made, you will wonder if your child caught a cold because you felt too tired to shut down the window. Some aspects of your life may suffer but just breathe through it and give yourself some credit. There are some things that you just won’t have control over. Just learn to breathe through it. It is not always your fault.

Don't refuse good help: Many mothers feel like superhumans and with all we read and watch in the media, it is so easy to be paranoid about many things. Keep in mind however that there are good people that can still help with some things, thereby saving you some time and making you more productive. There are good agencies that have good background checks in place thereby making those you get through them less dangerous and mysterious. Families are also great helps if they stay around you. You can also have monitors installed around your house to keep you abreast of activities when you are not home. 

Pay attention to yourself: My dear, I know it sometimes seem like the society is asking too much of you. You will be judged for your children not looking neat enough, fed enough or smart enough. People will make comments not minding how much pressure you might have put upon yourself. In the middle of all these, you can fast forget about that hairdresser’s appointment or that you haven’t bad breakfast. Whatever you do, don’t forget to pay attention to yourself.  Consciously show up for yourself. There will be times that you will feel crazily overwhelmed. You may want to scream or just give up. Your dresses may be sizes up and you may be tempted to give up on your career dreams. Having and taking care of children isn’t easy but you need to remind yourself constantly that your happiness also matters. If being slimmer will make you happy, by all means squeeze some time to make this happen.  Above the ‘beautiful chaos’ that may be your life, listen to yourself and give yourself some well deserved love.

Like I said earlier, everyone's journey is unique but we all can learn from one another. Kindly share more tips that work for you below, let's get better together.

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