Monthly Archives: June 2012

He says


“When you call me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” – GOD’s Decree. Jeremiah 29 : 12-14a (Message Bible)
THIS! When you GET SERIOUS about finding Him. Not the religious, half-hearted search. It’s like David said, “as the deer pants for living water, so my soul longs for you” (Psalms 42 ). As the woman searched for her lover in Songs of Solomon. A desperate search for the one who has your heart. Then, you’ll find Him. Until we get serious with our search…
I read this passage this morning. I’ve read it probably a million times before but it never struck me as it did today.

Advertisements

Shalom!


For a while, I’ve been wondering why man is always longing for more. I’m not talking about the usual material or physical things. Something we sometimes seek in companionship but never find. More like the soul longing for “home”. This morning, my brother sent this to me:
“To be human is to long for shalom. The universal peace, harmony, and wholeness of God’s original design of humankind and the whole earth are conveyed by the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ in the Bible (e.g., Isa. 32:14-20). Cornelius Plantinga describes shalom as “the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight…a rich state of affairs in which natural deeds are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights.” We have an inborn sense of shalom. It is home, and we long to return.

How can we restore peace in our lives? To answer this is to define Redemption. Jesus himself is our redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Redemption is not a series of steps we practice or rules we follow. It is not the forced motions of religious practices. No human effort can accomplish redemption for oneself or anyone else. We need a Redeemer. God’s story is about redemption. But more specifically it is about a Redeemer. Jesus is the main character of the story, and his life and work are the centre of the plot.”
This totally makes sense! It just gave me the explanation I needed. I read or heard somewhere years ago that the what Christ’s death accomplished for us, is a state of “completion – nothing missing, nothing broken”!
The Bible says in Colossians 2 : 10 “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority”. The only place of complete peace, where we would ever feel at “home”, is when we locate ourselves in the Savior. It is a Ministry of reconciliation. Reuniting us back to the Father and our place in Eden before the fall of man. Taking us back HOME!
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Phillipians 4 : 7. I love the way the Amplified Version describes God’s peace in this verse :
“And God’s peace, [that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t this beautiful? To be able to live a life without fear, and full of contentment, no matter what your earthly lot is. Amazingly, that’s exactly what Christ paid for!

One of those days


I cried today. No, I didn’t lose anyone and nothing bad happened (that I’m aware of) but I couldn’t stop crying for more than an hour and they weren’t happy tears.
I’d had a somewhat busy morning and was trying to take a nap. Woke up a few minutes later and noticed my pillow was slightly damp. The weather wasn’t hot so it couldn’t have been sweat. Touched my face and noticed more wetness. Got up and looked in the mirror, saw the dried up tears. Confused, I stood there wondering why I might have been crying in my sleep. That nap was less than thirty minutes. What could I have been dreaming about that would make me cry without my knowing it? The more I looked in my mirror, the more the sadness engulfed me and in no time the tears were streaming down my face and refusing to stop.
I tried to think happy thoughts, reminded myself of my favorite things (Maria would have been proud), tried counting my recent blessings, but nothing helped. My chest had tightened and I found it hard to breathe. Curled up back in bed and just allowed the tears flow. Over one hour, then I finally fell asleep.
Woke up a few hours later still feeling a bit melancholic. Picked up my phone and decided to go through a blog. It wasn’t a sad blog but I found myself crying some more. Connecting with the stories in ways I haven’t connected with anyone in recent times. I don’t even know the “blogger” personally but was so in tune with her it was scary, almost.
Got some good news later on. Two actually. One for me and the other for a friend. Grateful for both. Felt better for a bit.
It’s nighttime now and the dark clouds are beginning to gather. I tried to pray earlier, couldn’t find the words. This isn’t me seeking pity (no one reads this anyway), I’m just trying to make sense of it.
I’ll pray again. I don’t need words. He’ll understand my tears, I’m sure of it.

…Joy comes with the morning
Goodnight.

You’ll Just Know!


Olá!
Earlier today, I was in the kitchen when my mum asked me to check if the plantain she was boiling was properly cooked. I jokingly asked her how I’d know if it was cooked, and she said to pierce it with a fork. “Then what?” I asked again. She replied that it’s the same method with checking to see if boiled yam was properly cooked. Continuing to push her buttons, I asked again how I’d know if boiled yam was cooked. Frustrated, she screamed from the living room “You’ll just know!”. Seeing that I’d succeeded in yanking her chain, I burst out in laughter. What kind of an answer was that anyway? “You’ll just know?!”
Hours later, I’m sitting in my room pondering on that statement. Are there actually questions or situations in life where you just know what the answer is? Beliefs you cannot articulately express or explain? Or a feeling of “just knowing” that you’re right about something?
I remember when a close friend of mine was getting married a few years ago and we kept teasing her endlessly for all the stress she put the boy through during the wooing days. Then we asked her how she knew he was the one for her. She tried for a while to explain to us how he fit into the picture she had of “the one”, how their dreams aligned, how he made her weak in the knees… Finally running out of words, she said “somehow, I just knew he was right for me”. (A few years later, their marriage is one of those that inspire me).
Again, trying to explain the “Born-again” experience to a non-believer when they ask how you know there is a God or that you are right with Him, most times, after explaining the concept of faith and trying to use passages from the Bible, I end it by saying “You just know. There is a witness in your Spirit and YOU KNOW”.
While my mum’s tutorial on boiling yam and plantain may have been born out of an unwillingness to waste words, I do believe that there are some things and concepts in life we cannot explain. There are no words. We just know! Some may call it “intuition”, or the “voice of the inner witness”, or whatever, the concept is beyond language. It is more than physical, or emotional, or mental stimulation. It is not you “psyche-ing” yourself into believing. It is not a religious dogma or an evidence of your shallow vocabulary. It is something more – an impression I cannot explain.
So when next you are faced with the dilemma of explaining something you strongly believe in but can’t seem to find words quite right to explain the concept, don’t fret; your answer may not be satisfactory, but I believe it’s okay for you to “Just Know!”
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

Short Story Day Africa


Olá!
Today is Short Story Day Africa and in honor I wrote a story (at least I tried to.. Lol) in less than 120 words. Enjoy!

I still don’t understand it. I’ve been trying to, but I can’t make sense of it. Dre was right! I hate that once again he’s right. One look at the note by my pillow, I knew. I didn’t have to read it. I don’t want to. I’m not sure I can handle the words. In my head, they are not so harsh. Reading the actual content would just be pure cruelty. Dre knows. I believe him.
Terry the slimy bastard. He’ll pay. With my blood and his.
* * * * * * * *
One slit to the wrist, an innocent man is sent to the gallows. Dre was wrong. You should have read the note.

I guess this gives you freedom to interpret as you please.
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

“Book Keeping”


Earlier today, my mum and I decided to go through old books in the house and just clear up some space (actually, I decided and forced her to join me). I spent the better part of my day going through everything from old school notebooks, really old pictures, textbooks from the 19th century, old journals, calendars, half-torn dictionaries, my grandmother’s nursing materials, my brother’s write ups from his creative days in high school, my mum’s literature texts from her Primary school up to university level, my Dad’s encyclopedias and old disco records, my romance novels from my teenage years, and so much more junk.
The whole exercise got me wondering about books and the likes. Everyone I know, myself included, has made it a habit to buy books and build a Library. Where do we draw the line between saving good books and storing up junk?! I’m sure my mum thought she was saving good books for her kids to read when she was buying them but they’ve just ended up collecting dust over the decades and have now been thrown and out and some even burnt. In fairness to her, she does have some really interesting literature and some timeless classics but how many of them have we read? I buy books all the time and I have so many I haven’t read. My brother is even worse. Between the three of us (mum, brother and I), there’s always some new book to read. When are we ever going to settle down to read my mum’s or grand mum’s old stock? I admit that as kids, some of these books were helpful and blah, blah, blah.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this post anymore. I think my point is that we had waaaaaaaayyyyyy too many books in this house that were more of a nuisance than anything else and I’m beginning to rethink my decision to build a library for my future family. Keeping those academic books after they have served their purpose is just cruel to your kids who have to clear them later. I mean, my mum’s school books were outdated long before I was even born. *sigh*
Okay to be honest, it isn’t all bad to have a library in the house, I’m just peeved cause I had to do so much work and I think all the dust I inhaled might be affecting my thinking. So I’ll just give a break down of some of the books I think are necessary and those that should be flung out!
* Classic Literature – I’ve found these to be quite useful over the years. My brother would even agree more. Growing up, we read a lot because there was always some book lying around that we could flip through. My love for literature was as a result of my mum’s books we read as kids. From Charles Dickens to Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, and every classic literature imaginable, we read them all.
* Photo Albums – This one has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Let me just say you don’t need to save a photo of EVERYTHING, there should be other ways to preserve memories. Keep the pictures tidy and neatly placed in albums following some order so the kids know where to look when they want to see a photo of daddy when he was four or of mum when she was in college.
* Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and the Likes – With the internet and software these days, this may not be entirely necessary but they can come in handy.
* Journal – Now unless these journals contain information you are willing to share, you may want to throw them out once they serve their purpose.
* Magazines and the Likes – Keep this to a minimum though. You don’t need to save every issue of all the magazines you subscribe to.
* Academic Books – If any of your kids studies a course similar to what you did, it may be good to have old references but please as soon as any book becomes outdated, get rid of it (unless they are for research purpose, in which case you would do well to send them to a research institute).
There’s more to write about but I’m tired and sneezing, so I’d take a break here. The key is moderation. You don’t need to save everything. Give things out while they are still useful. Donate books to a local library if they won’t be needed anymore. Keep your library or study room orderly and properly organized. Don’t be one of those people your kids will resent for leaving so much JUNK. Know the purpose for keeping the library anyway and don’t over do it. Maintain and tidy up the library regularly, going through the books stored there and reviewing the purpose of each book on the shelf. Make sure books are kept in good condition.
As for me and my house, “Hello Kindle” 😀 (I still love the smell of new books though *sigh*)
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

P.S. We have been trying to locate a local library or book store where we can donate some of the books that may be useful to others (still haven’t found one yet). We have given out some of the academic books to school children around who need them.

31DayReset – Day 30&31


Olá!
Day 30 & 31
Day 30 : WRITE YOUR OWN EULOGY
This felt a bit morbid. So morbid that it took me quite sometime (about 4 days) so finally settle down and try to write it. Well, I did try and I still couldn’t find the words. I mean I have the idea in my head but the words won’t form on paper. I’ve torn out quite a number of pages from my journal because of the sketches I struggled with, still the words won’t come alive. I haven’t been satisfied with anything I’ve written.
Initially, I thought my writer’s block was as a result of the nature of the task but now that I think about it, that’s not it. I’ve come to terms that I’m going to die someday, hopefully at a ripe old age and I’d very much like a lovely eulogy to be read at my funeral but I just can’t find the words! It’s almost becoming frustrating. So I’ve decided to take a break. The words will come to me and when they do, I’d be ready with my pen and paper and maybe I’d share then. For now though I’d just focus on living my dreams and bringing alive my Life Narrative

Day 31 : CREATE A VISION BOARD
This is basically a powerful visualization tool that you can create as inspiration for your journey toward your ideal life. It’s more or less a collage of pictures and quotes that serve to remind you of your passion and purpose way beyond this program.
I’ve had a DREAM BOARD in my room for a while now but I haven’t updated it in a while. I’m working on getting some pictures up on it soon.
So yeah it’s the end of the program finally!!! I won’t lie, I was getting tired towards the end (x_x lol) but I’m glad I finished it. It served it’s purpose. Some things are clearer to me now. I’m praying I can seriously implement.
I’m grateful for my accountability partners and for all the love and support, for everything I’ve learned and still learning. Grateful for a new phase and my new job (yeah I got a new job *huge grin*). Grateful for life and for living. Grateful for you!
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

On To The Next


Olá a todos!
I know I owe some posts, but this week has been craaaaaaaazy busy! There’s some good news though, my service year is finally over!!! Goodbye NYSC! Goodbye boring Eastern State! It’s home sweet home for the young lassie. 😀 So yeah, yesterday I got my discharge certificate and was on the road heading back home today. I’m glad I’ve finally crossed that hurdle and it’s on to the next phase.
This is what the 31day reset has been preparing me for. The life that I’m now free to live. No excuses. All the planning and preparation, well now it’s welcome to the real world. It’s exciting and frightening, and confusing, and challenging and uber cool, all at once. Really looking forward to the next six months. I’m not even going to kid myself, I’m not expecting it to be a cruise but isn’t this what life should be about?
Won’t bore you for too long. Just really excited about this break and wanted to share.
I’d put up the final two challenges from the 31Days Reset tomorrow hopefully.
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

31DayReset – Day 29


Olá!
Day 29 : MAKE A BUCKET LIST.
I’ve had this list for a while. Some things have been accomplished and deleted, some I’m too embarrassed to share. So this is the edited version. Here goes;
1. Go completely natural (hair and body products)
2. Take up Fashion merchandising
3. Shop in Milan (no budget)
4. Live a short while in New York
5. Live in a pent-house apartment
6. Attend a Lifehouse concert
7. Attend a gold/tennis tournament for the heck of it
8. Learn to speak French and Italian
9. Attend a broadway play and at least one opera performance
10. Tour Europe and Asia
11. Quit my 9-5 and run my own business fulltime
12. Vacation (the Caribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti)
13. Watch one live football game at Old Trafford
14. Take a professional writing course
15. All things Apple!
16. Reach amd maintain my goal weight
17. Visit India
18. Mediterranean cruise
19. Own my own home (specifications…)
20. Take a French cooking class
21. Fund-raising for charity
22. Stay at the Burj Al Arab (Dubai)
And lots more…

Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!

31DayReset – Day 28


Olá!
Today’s Challenge: LET GO OF THE PAST

Today’s exercise was in three parts;
1. Acknowledgment: Make a list of all the things you’re still holding onto from the past. Failed relationships, regrets, hurts, bad experiences…
2. Affirmation: For each experience, find a way to receive closure even if it is a small amount of relief. Think of an affirmation or personal mantra you can apply to the past event that will remove the painful or negative aspect of it and allow you to move on.
3. Absolution: Then destroy your entire list. Tear the page(s) out of your notebook and burn it. Consider this a symbolic “reset ceremony” of starting off the year ahead fresh and unencumbered with your old pain and suffering.

I rarely ever let stuff get to me enough to actually hurt. I can let go of stuff easily but there are hurts that I just lock up somewhere and never really deal with. Those are the real pains I try to forget and pretend never happened, just plaster a smile on my face.
Anyway, for me this exercise was initially daunting. Bringing up stuff I didn’t want to deal with. But I guess if there will ever be a time to really let go, it had to be now. Honestly, there really wasn’t much to acknowledge cause only few things really hurt me that deep. I wrote them down and stared at the page for long while. Long story short, I wrote the list and started feeling all the emotions I didn’t want to feel.
The affirmation was the hardest part for me cause it felt like I was making excuses and I’ve been trying to avoid doing that for a while. Finally got down to it. If I’m completely honest with myself, over the years I’ve learned and I’ve grown. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve been reminded time and time again just how human I actually am. Nobody is perfect and I should stop being so hard on myself. Moving on is tough but it’s definitely worth it. If God in His infinite mercy can forgive the worst sins, who am I not to forgive myself and others. It’s a fresh start. Life is about learning and learn I shall.
I think by the time I got to the final stage, I’d already accomplished the purpose for this exercise. Took me a while, but I finally get it. It’s all in the past. Life is less about the things that happen to you and more about your response to them. Burning the list reminded me of how God forgives our sins and places them in the “ocean of forgetfulness”, never to be remembered. It’s all in the past. Yesterday’s gone, today’s here! Make the most of it.
This would be a good time to remind myself of my personal mantra “Let go of the fear and embrace God’s grace so you can enjoy peace that passes all understanding”. Peace of mind above all else!!!
Kisses,
FutureNewYorker!