Monday, January 31

What Do You Want?

It is true that we are,  most definitely, responsible for the things that happen to us, either directly as a result of the choices we made, are making, or not made at all!

I got this great book for a gift sometimes ago, I read a few pages, got bored and put it back in my shelf. (strange, considering I looooveee to read!).

Fast forward to a year and half year later (yes o, one and a half whole years after!), I sat in on this amazing meeting with this group of amazing women, and they began to talk about this same book! The name of the author sounded vaguely familiar, but anyway, I went searching for it the very next day but couldn't find it. Can you believe that I ended up in a book store and hung around for an hour while they searched and searched for it? I told them I wasn't leaving without it. They never found it.

Well, I went back home, leaving my mobile number for them to call me as soon as they have the book. I went straight to my bookshelf, lo and behold Jack Canfield's How to Get From Where You are to Where You Want to be was sitting there, cooling looking at me! Hardcover edition no less, just the way I like my books.

Yorubas always say "wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sokoto" meaning that thing  you travel all the way to Sokoto to find, is right there on your person! You have it on you! Reminds of Gen 30:14 (I paraphrase): 'this commandment that I command not hidden from you, neither is it afar is not in is not beyond the sea...BUT the WORD is very near to you, in your mouth, in your heart....' (I rest my case.)
God, has given us everything we need. Every ingredient to succeed, to make it, to live in good health, gbo gbo e, we have it. Problem is, we do not realise it. I had gold in my bookshelf and I never knew it.

Anyway, to the histoire d'aujourd'hui (gist of today): there is this quote by Ben Stein, an American actor in Jack's Canfield's book that said: The indispensable first step to getting the thing you want out of life is this: decide what you want.'
It rang so true, it was so apt, I couldn't resist writing about it this morning.

I am sure that if majority were asked to ask one thing they wanted, right off the top of their heads, they couldn't.
I always thought to myself that if God were to show up wearing a red hat, ( it is likely I would miss Him if he came as anything but, am just saying!!) and asked me, Zainab, tell me one thing I should do for you, right off the top of your head'...Ha! I couldn't o, I would need a few minutes to reflect and sort through the myriad of issues that make up my life to decide just which one should be sorted right here and now, and if sorted, would have a ripple effect on the rest!
But I believe that if we were in sync with Him, if all we really wanted were the things that He wanted, it wouldn't be so difficult. but it is!! It sooo is! In this present age, it takes concerted effort to keep an eye up there and think only on the things that matter; feeding the poor, helping the needy, being kind, compassionate, thinking about others before ourselves, Rev Sam Adeyemi says that the essence for ministry 'is to change people's lives'. But hey! (pouting), I want to wear good clothes! I want all those shoes! I want to eat well! I wanna travel! I wanna live in that duplex, sorrounded by trees, with lots of grounds (green), a garden (cultivated with my own hands), curtains up so sunlight can  flow into the house, lots of scented candles and incense, have that cute patio where I could sit and have my tea...I want!!!!! Sigh. However, I came to the conclusion that if my purpose were in sync with His, if he wakes me up like Solomon to asks 'Zainab, tell me what I should do for you', (oh, blank cheque!) I will not miss it, I surely wouldn't miss it. (I am trying to remember the definition of Prayer that Pastor Sunday Adelaja gave, (see? Learn and forget), something about understanding/knowing (asking Him) what God wants, taking it back to Him in prayer and expecting Him to do awesome.
Solomon didn't miss receiving The Blank Cheque because he asked for that which preoccupied his mind, and which 'in syncally' was exactly what God wanted for him: leading the children of Israel right. See the 'jara' that followed that one single request?

People, W-H-A-T do you want?
Be free oh.

Saturday, January 29

In Shock...

I could not resist oh, I had to post this one.

You may think the title of this blog is a little too strong, or an 'overstatement'...but kai, when I was listening and hearing the thing yesterday morning, I tried to be objective, honest to God I did, I tried to understand that we all have problems, issues, troubles, and that it is easy to judge when the shoe is on the other foot, but kai! I felt like reaching out and strangling the woman, as well as Dan Foster himself for his....his...whats the word here??!!! his...according to him 'journalistic instincts!!' ok, ok, am calm down, I feel some palpitations coming. Here is the thing:
It was on FM 92.3, Dan Foster had been talking about 'keeping grudges' and to call people up if you haven't spoken to them in ages...I don't normally listen especially if I have missed the early morning 'Family Focus', besides, I like them Smooth or Classical....anyways, I stumbled in on this program yesterday, and oh this story takes the cake. I recap: her name is Princess, she is married and has 3 children, she has been seeing this other single guy for 11 months, her husband dotes on her, loves her very much, but she 'cant love him as much'...anyways, at some point, she and Mr. Single Guy decided to break it up (I think the break up wasn't exactly mutual, it was a case of Mrs. Married went to his house and met this other 'AS' (sicker) girl he was supposed to be seeing but isn't anymore, according to him, probably because she is AS (rolling and rolling my eyes!!!), and then in reaction, she tells him, I thought you weren't seeing her anymore, and he goes, well I miss you, I am lonely and I want to try to be strong.. but look this is over...ok ok it is over, and they both 'agreed' it is. However, Mrs Married continues to call but whenever she does, he refuses to take her calls, and so she has come on air to plead with Dan Foster to call Mr. Single Guy to please forgive her, take her calls, and they can still be friends. She misses him......omg. I am reining myself in, true, I am oh!! But what? She is married with 3 kids, she has broken it up but keeps calling and still wants to be friends?? How? How?  
Please, I need someone to talk to me because I honestly do not understand! While I was listening, 3 people called, two women, the first of them was so angry, so maaaaad you could hear it as she spoke, practically forbidding Dan not to call, trying to imagine a woman this blessed making such a ridiculous call on air!  Majority of the text that Dan got and read (men and women alike) said not to call, but to leave this matter alone and that the only advice Dan need give is to tell Mrs. Married to go work on her marriage. Only one person did say Dan should call, if only to find out what Mr. Single Guy was feeling...whew!
All I could think about as I strove not tear out my (lack of) hair was; how could she be so bold as to spend as many minutes on the phone with Dan? Not afraid that someone, least of all her husband, could actually pick out her voice. I really needed to get it. What do you think? Is this how easy it is to put your marriage aside and..and...(gosh am not judging, but everything she said about her husband was so positive), why? Why call up a presenter and do this on air? this boldness astound me o...I said 'be free'....but even freedom has its own boundaries
I need to leave this before I burst an artery.

Moments in Life

I got this on my daily devotional and could not resist sharing with you. I especially love all of them but number 4 strikes me more. Whats yours?

  1. There are moments in life when you miss someone
  so much that you just want to pick them from your
  dreams and hug them for real! So cherish them while
  they are with you.

  2. When the door of happiness closes, another opens;
  but often times we look so long at the closed door that
  we don't see the one, which has been opened for us.

  3. Don't go for looks; they can deceive.  Don't go
  for wealth; even that fades away.  Go for someone who
  makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make
  a dark day seem bright.  Find the one that makes your
  heart smile.

  4. Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to
  go; be what you want to be, because you have only one
  life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

  5. May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
  enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep
  you human and enough hope to make you happy.

  6. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
  best of everything; they just make the most of everything
  that comes along their way.

  7. The brightest future will always be based on a
  forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you
  let go of your past failures and heartaches.

  8. When you were born, you were crying and everyone
  around you was smiling. So live your life so at the end,
  you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you
  is crying.

  9. Don't count the years-count the memories.......Life
  is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but
  by the moments that take our breath away!     Amen.
God bless free.

Monday, January 24

No Longer in Pain, Joshua Sleeps

It was a bad weekend. there is no other way to start this blog; It was a bad weekend.

He was just 24. He had been sick for 3 years, continuously sick, all manner of illnesses. His equally young sister and family had done so much, how painful. (Sometimes these things are not real to us because we are not close to them: to the situation or to the family in the situation, so if you have never suffered loss or experience pain in any form, you cant get this).
I remember a short few years ago a cousin of mine was terribly ill, I didnt know when it was bad and ongoing, but when I was later told of what she suffered, all I could think was "omg, these are like the things I hear and see when I watch Grey's Anatomy!!!" It cannot be happening in real life, and especaily not to to my family! But oh, I have seen my own fair share of illnesses in family: high blood pressure, stroke, liver/kidney failure, tuberculosis, accident, strange illnesses (some of these having resulted in the death of mother, brother, aunties, some within the space of 6 months of each other!) But Joshua suffered even more than this.

In my pain, all I (me, just me, my own thoughts) could think was, he never had enough time to be naughty like boys usually are, to party, to chase girls, in short, he never 'lived', as far as I am concerned....and were prayers said for him! We prayed, when did we not pray? How did we not pray the prayer? What else could we have done but pray? And my argument was 'God please, get this boy off his back, he cannot be constantly on his back, this ill, PLEASE, just let him get up!!

The night before he passed, he had had a successful 8-hour sugery, we were still basking in the euphoria of answered prayers o, thanking God for His mercies! I had spoken to his sister, who was on her way to see him the following morning, and had told her to call me when she sees him....oh, the call came alright, little did we realize that the ticking of the clock brougth Joshua's sleep to a close...the next news was 'Joshua is dead'. Pain. Pain.
But I kept telling myself, he is free, he is no longer in pain, even as I questioned God in my heart, even as I hurt and was angry, I kept saying he is no longer in pain. Fresh tears would start when I see his handsome face...BUT, Joshua finally slept, no longer in 24.

The first time I came across Isaiah 57v1 was when my mum died; (I didnt go looking for the scripture, I just found it), then I knew that those of us alive are actually the ones with problems, she had been taken away from the 'evil to come'.  I was encouraged then.

But again, God hasn't changed! As I logged on to my emails this morning, what you see below was what I found waiting for me: It just goes to show that "He" knows our pain, He understands and cares about those of us who are left, hurting and sufering, so again, I am encouraged. I am fine. Tears would prick when I imagine his face or see his picture, but Joshua is free at last! I need to look inwards and work on myself, as should you. If death comes suddenly (dont say 'God forbid' because He doesnt forbid it, no one knows when that particular caller will come calling!), what would be my (and your) state of mind?

DNW, I hope this encourages you too:
                           ( PSALM 116:5 *NKJV )

   Dear Zainab,
      We all experience the death of one of our loved one's
   while we are here on Earth.  Therefore we may take comfort
   in knowing that they are now with God.  For it is written that

       So Zainab, take comfort in knowing you will see them
   again, for it isn't the end of them but only the beginning!
   The beginning of a much better life where; HE WILL WIPE
   AWAY.  ( REVELATION 21:4 )

       Now if you have just experienced the loss of a loved one,
   the following message is for you!  It has Ministered to many
   and I pray that it will help you as well.  Further, if you haven't
   experienced that loss, perhaps you know someone who has
   and would appreciate receiving it.   If so, please feel free to
   share it with them!   It is called:

                              SAFELY HOME
                     I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
                     Oh, so happy and so bright!
                     There is perfect joy and beauty
                     In this everlasting light.

                     All the pain and grief is over,
                     Every restless tossing passed;
                     I an now at peace forever,
                     Safely home in Heaven at last.

                     Did you wonder I so calmly
                     Trod the valley of the shade?
                     Oh! But Jesus' love illumined
                     Every dark and fearful glade.

                     And He came Himself to meet me
                     In that way so hard to tread;
                     And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
                     Could I have one doubt or dread?

                     Then you must not grieve so sorely,
                     For I love you dearly still:
                     Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
                     Pray to trust our Father's Will.

                     There is work still waiting for you,
                     So you must not idly stand;
                     Do it now, while life remaineth,
                     You shall rest in Jesus' land.

                     When that work is all completed,
                     He will gently call you Home;
                     Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
                     Oh, the joy to see you come!

Friday, January 21

That 'Lovely Shoe', on the Other Foot...

I was just driving myself home jeje 2 days ago, minding my business listening to ‘A LONELY ROAD’ by Dr. Okey Onuzo when this thought hit me oh! I stopped the message, and because I couldnt write immediately, I recorded it as a voice note (thats a tip for you: whenever you are constrained and cant write something as it occurs to you, pick up your phone and record it! Works well if you have your ear piece on when driving. Oya, how much una go pay for this tip??)
Eh hen! It is amazing how, when you ask single ladies what kind of man they want to marry what their responses are. Many may not say it but top of the list is usually: he has to be tall! (Why not? abeg o, ha!). And then: he must be born again (excuse me, that surely goes without saying, we add and then give a nervous LOL). He must be God-fearing, he must be kind, loving, compassionate, caring, good dresser, have a good job, articulate, have a good job etc etc etc.
But then the question came to me: do women themselves exhibit these things they want this man to have?
Then I asked myself; am I God-fearing? Am I?? Do I really fear God? Am I kind? Do I dress well? speak well, am I compassionate, am I giving?? Because in essence, this guy is also praying for these attributes in the woman he intends to marry!
So the problem is that if I do not have these attributes, good character, how can he find me? Opari o. You see how this is such a reveleation, after all this time? Na wa.
Ok, problems identified: what steps ought I to take to inculcate, imbibe, instill, (in short) put in and put up these things?? Get deeper with God? Read more books? Attend an etiquette class? Travel? What does it take? Better late than never, abi?
What thinkest yous??
In the meantime, be free oh.

Thursday, January 20

I wonder and I Ponder 1

Well, while still in my 'why' mood, I thought to import my wonder and Ponder series (abi o!!!) from Facebook....

Why are there multiple TVs in  public places but the audio is either from another CD player and/or one of the numerous TVs??

Why do we still marvel at The Traffic in Lagos?
Why do we marvel when we drive out and The Roads are Free??
Why are we still surprised and exclaim in dismay when electricity go off?
Why are we afraid when we have electricity for 'longer than we normally do have?? :-)
Why are people so anxious to get off the plane? The phones come on and begin to ring as soon as the 'craft touches the ground
Why cant people just natural fall into queues?
Why is it that motorists insist on creating more lanes, when it is obvious that it would only complicate matters?
Why are people so 'anti-instructions?'
Why do we think that we have to speak loudly to be heard?
Why cant airport announcers speak normally so people can actually hear the oh, so important announcements??
Why do cabin crew members think they have 'manufacture' an accent to read??
Why do these airlines (and indeed many service provider in my great country), not think, (let alone believe) that the customer should be treated right?
What is in the mind of the policeman who is toting that gun, when he directs it at the innocent?
Why do people think that because it is free, it must be over-used?
Why dont we understand when to speak and when not to?
Why dont we let go when we should?
Why do we complain so much and yet do nothing, DO NOTHING, the least of which is speak up or write up? Lol
Why are some adverts so unrealistic and contradictory? Contessa (I cant even bear to mention them!)
Why do people in 'uniform' appear in slippers, why cant they be properly dressed in, yes, full uniform??

There is so much that 'wonders and ponders' me, but I rest my case with this few...even as I ponder still!

Tuesday, January 18

Why (2)

I just got thinking about how boring it is to just keep doing the same thing, the same way, all the time.  Tradition, norm, status quo. I find they mean 'bound to do it this one way'.
And yet people say that the most constant thing is ‘change’, if that is true, then why doesn’t someone change tradition? I can hear some people say, oh no, here she comes again (na una sabi!). 
I look at all these ‘normal’ things and I cannot abide it. Why do the same thing over and over the same way in the name of tradition? What is tradition? Who ‘wrote’ tradition? Who is the author? How come ‘that is the way it is done?” Why not do it this other way? Why?? Didnt Jesus come to set us free?? Put off the old, put on the new?

Why must ‘iro’ go with ‘buba’ always?? Why not try the buba on jeans?? I mean, this is how style begins, isn’t it?? Some ‘famous’ person pairs that up, and it becomes trendy! Fashion experts would tell you that ‘style’ is being yourself, dressing in those things that make you comfortable, being yourself…why dole out such advise if we are going to quibble about tradition? I am comfortable being ‘bald’, why is that unacceptable?
Ok, that is for fashion, something I don’t know anything about…so let’s move on.

I marvel when I attend weddings and engagements. I do not mean to undermine these ceremonies o, noo oh, not at all so forgive me if this offends you, but then opinion vary, we are all entitled to ours, so this is mine, and it is my blog! Lol.

Why must it be a white dress? The purpose of ‘white’ in a wedding is grossly defeated anyway. Abi?
Why cant it be any coloured dress? Why cant it be a normal dress? Why is there a veil?
Why cant the groom take off his jacket and fold the sleeves of his shirt, Obama-style for the reception?
Why cant the bride change before the reception?
Why  must we have a bouquet??
Why ‘walk down the aisle? I don’t suggest running like someone asked, but yes, why ever not if you so desired??
Why that particular hymm, ‘here comes the bride?’
Why must there be a cake?
Why must someone discuss the cake??
Why that feeding part?
Why kneel to feed him/her when you do not intend to continue that ‘tradition’?
Why (this beeeaaaattttss me!) must there be witnesses to discuss the ‘competition’ of the cake cutting by the couple? (rolling eyes)
Why must the wedding be on a Saturday?
Why not get married on Monday morning? Tuesday evening?
Why must the reception immediately follow the wedding?
Why not get married in a garden? In your living room? In a School? Somewhere other than the regular places??
Why is there a strict program to follow?
Why is there a dance by the couple?
Why must the couple stick together throughout the wedding? Why can’t they walk around to greet their guests, independent of each other? 

Change is refreshing….refreshing. and the funny thing is people do think about change, but fear holds us rooted, however, the moment a bold person effects a change, followers abound!
Venturing into the Bible, Jesus was never ever held down by tradition, in fact, He brought about change….depart from the old, embrace the new…that meant freedom!
When those pseudo-holy people told Jesus, ‘you cannot heal on a Sabbath’, He literarily retorted ‘Why ever not?!'

The sick man who had lain by that pool of Bethesda for, check this, 38 years (that’s a lifetime to be bound by tradition o!!!) was asked by Jesus if he wanted to be healed…he went on and on about how tradition dictates that when an angel comes and stirs the water, the first person to get in…blah blah blah…I can imagine Jesus sigh in exasperation and said:, ‘bros, do you want to be healed??’

I have told the story of my  hair over and over; for years I had wanted to cut this hair; it was getting really difficult to manage, every weekend I went through the torture of what to do to it (mine was not the type that you could manipulate into different styles without necessarily going to the hairdresser's). But people will not 'allow' me get a hair cut. 'hein! cut your hair ke?? You dey craze? You wey no get body! You will look like a school girl o! You go resemble small pikin oh! Besides, its not good for women to cut their hair.' (says who sef??)
Anyway, when I saw that the 'shoe had 'pinched' me soo much  I could no longer endure the pain, I carried myself to the hairdresser and told her I wanted to cut my hair. True to form, she instantly exclaimed, 'no!' Ha, aunty, why now?' To cut her off, I simply took the scissors and cut a straight line through the middle of my hair and asked if she would finish the job or not.
The rest is history; everyone tells me how 'bold' I am, and how the hair is nice and looks good on me.

Has that shoe pinched you enough? Be free oh.


Yes, I successfully created another email address, as well as this blog.

I did promise that I would write the reasons why I needed to create a blog at all:

Everyone has something to say, at every point in time and in every situation! They may never speak, but there is alwys something brewing in every head. And me, being an 'anti-The Norm', (dont care ifthat is perfect English o) just suit moi (follow me) please. I muse, I think, I look around, and everyone seems to be doing what everyone else is doing, in exactly the same way! WHY?? Why cant things be done differently? Isn't 'different' sometimes characterized as 'adding spice?' You know, something....different?! Why is it they say 'that is how it is done' By whom? where is it written?? Ok, Zouzou, calm down, am getting carried away, and wondering away from the post at hand.

At the risk of repeating myself, I muse, I think, I want to do things different, if they say this is the way it is done, I would like to 'propose' we do it another way if only to see the outcome, but you know, the moment you do it the other way, you get followers! Lol!! But no one, absolutely no one, wants to be the first to wear that deep pink dress as a wedding gown! very passionate about this one, but that is a post for another day!

This blog site will be an interesting one. Why? I shall not pay attention to style of writing, while each post will be achieved with excellence in mind, I shall not be careful about diction, style, formatting etc. Nah, it will be written as the thoughts come; you will just be continually surprised! You may find posts in many different languages, you may find photos that speak for themselves!
Like the DNW (Diary of a Desperate Naija Woman) writer says, 'it is my book and I can write whatever I want'! So it shall be here.

So, welcome, to the place where your joy will be full, where you will find a word in season, because truly, I have been given the 'tongue of the learned'.
Kep your comments coming, but note, each person is entitled to their own opinion, and this is where mine is expressed!

alors bienvenu et allons nous....

Want to jump in??