Thursday, November 28

What I Want for Christmas

I had been thinking lately of what I wanted for Christmas; not a serious and all-consuming thought, but it flipped through my mind to expect to get something (either from myself or others). And while I planned to blog about it, the entire thoughts hadn't yet formed in my head.

However, as I drove to work this morning, I saw this woman with a baby strapped on her back sitting on a culvert by the gutter with a bag of possibly her entire worldly possession, sitting by her side. She was sleeping with her head on her laps and I thought, oh my goodness, she is homeless and spent the night right where she is!

I actually stopped and sat in my car for a few minutes just staring, and thinking she must not be comfortable (really?! duh) in that position, and that the baby is going to want to eat as soon as she wakes up. They both need food, a hot bath and proper sleep. Who would help this woman get out of this situation in order to have her life back on track?
Needless to say, sympathetic though I was, I drove off to work without meeting at least some of her needs. Now, I am thinking that compared to what I just saw, I am entirely fine and have no immediate needs!

While it is a tradition at Christmas, to exchange gifts, (usually) amongst ourselves, gorge ourselves with food, and make elaborate plans that revolve (yet again) around ourselves, there are so many of this woman out there who need so little just to get by.  Rather than be consumed by the thoughts of what I want for Christmas, how about being consumed with thoughts of exactly who to help instead? And while we are at it,  not to let ourselves be made to feel guilty that we are not giving gifts to those who usually expect them from us.

Honestly, it is okay to deprive yourself of things for the sake of others. I know there are people who would never get this; it is unimaginable to them to give anything away when they do not have ‘enough', but it is okay.

I know this is an obvious post around this ‘season’, but I want to believe this particular one is not; I am only asking that for once in your life; do something out of the ordinary…for someone other than yourself; for once.

Rather than ‘what do I want for Christmas,’ why not ‘what should I give away for Christmas?’

And in fact, why wait until Christmas?

Be free oh.

Monday, November 25

Have You Lost Your 'Voice?'

We all know that cold is a common illness. And much like anyone else, I have had it countless times over the years, and have lost my voice too once or twice in the past. But a few weeks ago, I had it bad; the voice left for almost a week!

I didn't know what had happened; I mean, it was just a cold, as usual. Bu the strange thing about it this time is that I didn't really have a running nose, my voice just disappeared for no reason. I did everything one would normally do with a cold, but nothing worked.

So in order not to strain the (lack) of voice further; I hid in my room when I was home, praying no one talks to me; when the phone rang, I texted back my predicament and the inability to speak, I mean, if emails were a voice; my signature would have included 'forgive the silence, voice gone!' But it was not a funny experience.

I learnt two things during the course of the cold; I understood (this time) what a really horrible thing it is not to have your voice; you got even more frustrated with your inability to speak, the only person who understood and avoided speaking with me was my boss! Everyone else still wanted me to explain what had happened! It got so bad that I seriously considered putting a sign on my forehead that said ‘DO NOT TALK TO ME PLEASE’ when I heard footsteps coming toward my desk; to no avail.

The second (good) thing I learnt was that it is okay to not be your usual self sometimes. I had an outing with my women group that I really didn't want to miss. We had a memorable 3 hours of fun without me voicing a word and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't feel out of place; but they were vocal enough about the many reasons why I could have lost my voice just to provoke me to yell but it didn't work! It felt great to listen and enjoy others talk, and to smile and laugh at their jokes, completely confident that because I lacked something for the moment does not make me any less of a person, or any less special.

So, it may be your voice, but then again, it may not..whatever it is, depending on how to you look at it, it is just for a 'moment' and does not necessarily have to define the real you.

Be free oh.

Monday, November 11

Those 'Down' Moments

Do you ever find yourself sometimes dwelling more on your weaknesses rather than your strengths? Dogged by your failings, or what you consider your failings? I do occasionally find myself in this situation.

It is true that people see us different from how we see ourselves, and when we are commended, we feel like frauds, probably because we do not really believe that much in ourselves or possibly because we have become experts at hiding our real selves from the world.
Our constant need to put ourselves down because we do not feel as smart, as intelligent, as beautiful, as good looking or as well-dressed as the other person should give us cause for concern! Tipping the scale in favour of our insecurities rather than our strength is not to be allowed!
We forget to be appreciative of our strength of character, our ability to rise above, our sense of judgement, our creativity, our ability to remain positive in the face of challenges, our zest for life and indeed everything else we have, and are by the grace of God. Clothes, education, marriage, children, career, relationships etc have become the parameters with which we measure our self worth; surely we are not failures or weaklings just because we lack any of these things?

I agree we need to take conscious steps to be better in the areas of our weaknesses rather than waste time feeling sorry for ourselves because we are threatened by other people's capabilities. And we must needs (to use Bible language) celebrate the areas of our strengths, and stop behaving like total failures. The truth is, we all have those moments when we allow ourselves to feel down because like that old school song rightly says, 'everybody wants to be somebody else!' 

Keep your head high and be celebratory; you are not worth-less, despite and in spite of your (considered) failings. 

Be free oh. 

Tuesday, November 5

Enjoy the Moment

We  moved into a new place a few  months ago and as it is with new houses (at least here in Nigeria), you spend more money fixing supposedly new things.

So, in this new place, in addition to many other things, we encountered bad shower drain; the bath water gathers on the floor after each shower, such that it was a serious mopping process after each use.

But it got fixed; it took almost the entire day because the plumber had to remove the entire tub, but, the problem was fixed.

However, for several weeks after that I couldn't bring myself to let go and enjoy a bath; I was always on tenterhooks, mop on standby because I expected the water to gather as usual...That went on for weeks until it occurred to me that I am so consumed with the problem that I cannot allow myself to enjoy the solution.

Even when God blesses us, we find it difficult to accept that a problem that big in our sight could have been solved that 'easily.'

Seeing that we already exist in a world that is so fast-pace it leaves us no opportunity to enjoy the little things and the experiences of life that we encounter daily, one would think we would be more determined to enjoy the moment, but no, the reverse is actually the case.

Well, I have learnt my lesson and have since removed my gaze from the floor of my bathroom, and concentrated on enjoying a well-deserved bath; secure in the knowledge that my problem have been solved and I have no reason to dwell on them!

It may be a bath, but then again, it may not be. Learn to enjoy the moment oh.

Be free oh!