BE GRATEFUL

This is going to be a long read. Oh we wish we could break this into parts but the beauty is reading the entire post as one. Grab a glass of Hollandia Yogurt (Strawberry flavored) or any of your favorite drink. This is a collaboration between three sisters. We are living out our purpose and answering the call to touch lives one at a time. Enough said, get settled in and read.

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I am alive.

I walk the surface of the earth.

I breathe in the clean moist air.

I have no need for an aid.

Many times I have heard the phrase, “Be thankful, and “Be grateful”

Grateful for what? I often wonder. Too many things on my mind, lots of things I would like to change,

For starters, I would love to have more – more money, more happiness, more fulfilment,

I’m not asking for too much, just to be taller with straighter legs,

I want long neat nails, not these short embarrassing ones,

Oh! I’d also love a little flesh here and there, and a body void of all these scars, I think…no, I know I will look prettier with longer; fuller hair.

More, More and More.

Me, Me and Me.

I, I and I.

Give me, I have to have this and Give me some more.

While we are looking at things I want to change on my body, let’s get rid of the glasses that obstruct my makeup and slaying moment, I want to see clearly without them.

The seemingly little things are in reality difficult for some to do.

The little things I so often take for granted matter a lot to others.

I could have everything and still it won’t be enough.

I would still want more.

That insatiable desire to acquire all I can.

 

Now that that’s out of the way, I would also want a car and driver at my beck and call….I just hate the stress of walking!

I wish my friends and family were more understanding… I don’t have time for relationships, my job is too demanding!

Speaking of jobs, I would like a less-demanding, more-rewarding job

And as we get this job of my dream, I wouldn’t mind waking up in a king-sized bed, being waited upon daily and a glass of wine and chocolates while I relax in my Jacuzzi,

Don’t roll your eyes! I’m allowed to want aren’t i?

Oh and I’ve always dreamt of being on TV, be to seen; admired and loved… to be like Oprah,

A line of one of my favorite songs when I was younger pops in “the world better prepare for when I’m a billionaire…”

And while I’m rich and famous, it’s only natural that I tour the world, fill my closet with clothes, shoes and perfumes.

Be Ambitious right.

Where is the line between Ambitions and greed?

When do I find time to stop and say Thanks for all I have been given.

 

I should have been born in a more civilized country, I would have had a better chance at life……………………………………………………………………………………….but I feel a tug…how selfish can I be? I have successfully listed all I want, but in all my wants are reasons I should feel otherwise….

More money? There are millions of people, many of whom I see in Lagos traffic…chasing just so they get by,

…to be taller, with straighter legs when all several wish for is just the ability to walk,

Long nails? Oh how vain…how could I forget the little boy on Instagram, who lost his arms and legs to sepsis at barely one.

A little flesh and no scars, easy to forget I lost lots of flesh and gained the scars on the theater table, easy to forget the night I cried after wetting myself cause the nurse couldn’t get to me on time, easy to forget how I couldn’t eat or drink for days and simple tasks like standing, sitting and even laughing came with great pain.

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I am not mine but yours alone,

This was what we would recite every night after devotion at home.

Mama said being grateful was a lifestyle,

She would say be grateful in all things.

When your life is in a mess and it seems like no cares, be grateful.

When you have worked and nothing shows, be grateful.

When you pray and your prayers remain unanswered, be grateful.

When your will has been wrecked and it seems you have no will at all, be grateful.

When you are clueless of where you are headed to and the road leads to an unknown destination, be grateful.

Sigh! I am here clamoring for longer hair when a woman somewhere is losing hers battling cancer

I still wouldn’t mind being rid of my glasses but I remember the beautiful blind lady on Ketu Bridge with her sonorous voice singing worship to her God, I remember my cripple friend on that same bridge who is always sweeping the bridge and cheering passersby’s

When I look in the mirror

And I don’t like what I see.

I am thankful for the fact that you love me the way I am.

Oh Yes, You love imperfect ME.

I am grateful you don’t let go.

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Oh the lessons I can learn on that bridge! Beggars and their children, sharing the little they have with all around them; laughing, singing and playing.

How quick I forget how I prayed hard for this job…for the tug I felt at the brilliant; well-articulated young keke driver on CMD road, who drove his keke like he was driving a lexus!

Oh and there are millions, who have never slept in a bed, who have never seen a running tap, who the only clothes they have is the one on their back and the only scent they wear is of blood and sweat!

Several for whom electricity is a luxury they can’t afford, those who owning a TV is an enormous dream! Those who are of the same age as me, who the only life they’ve known is that of coldblooded war.

Being grateful,

This is a lifestyle I know nothing of,

I have had to go through trials and sufferings,

I have wept and been wept for.

I have been hurt several times that I lost count,

I have been treated unfairly so have I been judged by man,

I have had to struggle many times,

Yet mama said to be grateful.

There are several things I want!

Things that have clouded my eyes to all that I have… I want more!!

What exactly am I being grateful for?

She said,

Those things that you are privileged to have,

Those things that you never asked for yet you have,

Things that some people hope and wish for,

Things that many at times you take for granted,

Things that you think are your right,

Those my dear are the things you should be grateful for.

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For His love is deep, deeper than my fears.

It’s His love that chases all my doubts

That gives me worth.

It is higher than my hopes.

It’s stronger than my pasts and pains.

Its all I would ever need.

 

In his love I have everything.

His love draws me in and holds me secure.

He is my life giving source

The well I can draw the waters of salvation from.

 

He is my all.

The very essence of my being

I am grateful for where I am.

At this moment that is where I should be.

I am thankful for how far he has brought me.

I am thankful for all the mistakes, errors of the past, everything that has shaped me to be this image of God.

 

I know not what the future holds.

I know not how tomorrow will turn out to be.

I have desires, wants and needs.

But for now I have everything I need.

My Lord, My Love, My Life.

Because I have Him and He is enough for me.

I am truly grateful.

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Even the wealthiest man wants more!

But if we have life, health, family, air, food and water…

Even if we don’t have all of these, in the little we have,

We owe it to ourselves and our creator to BE GRATEFUL

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Say No to Insurgency and Yes to a peaceful Nigeria. God bless you all immensely.

I AM ALLEN

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I am ALLEN.
I carry the weight of my shame.
It’s so heavy that I stumble when I walk.
It spills forth into the street for everyone to see.
I hear the sighs and taunts.
I hear the sniggers and whispers.
I see them laugh at me and I bow my head in shame.
But they made me what I am.
They led me down this road.
I open my thighs every night and I feel nothing.
Shame and guilt eats deep into me.
I have lost hope.
There is no redemption for me.
Where do I even begin from?
Who would love and accept me?
I carry my shame as a deformity.
They call me that ‘name’ that is only spoken in whispers.
You know that harry potter film; ‘he who must not be named’
That is the name they call me,a name too dirty that it cannot be mentioned in polite company.
They think I do not hear but I do and a searing pain rips through my heart.
I die every day, a part of me buried with every one of these men.
I have no dreams, no future.
This life is all I know, it’s what I was born into.
You sit there from your high throne and mock me.
You think yourself righteous.
You think you have a right to judge.

Who gave you that right?
No one.
You hear me, No one.

Do you know what it means not to have hope, to live in depression, not to know where your next meal would come from?
Have you felt fear, have you starved?
Have you felt the biting cold, the rain pelting down your back, the scorching sun and you knew there was no shelter to run into.
Have you woken up each morning and wished death could take you because life had no meaning, each day left a bitter taste in your mouth.

No, you do not know what it means to stand on that road day after day.
You do not know what it takes out of me.
If you knew, you would hide your face in shame.
When you know, when you have walked a mile in my shoes, then you can judge.
Until then keep quiet. Say nothing. Turn a blind eye. Do nothing.
Doing nothing is what got me here. So why should you do any less.

I want better you know, I watch the television and I want a charmed life too.
I close my eyes when he goes into me and I live my fairy tale, it makes the time move quickly.
I want love too and I imagine it was someone I love holding me in his embrace.
I want to have hope, I do not want to go to bed each night and soak the sheets with my tears.

I want this sham of an existence I live to end.
I want more out of life.

 

We are a people decadent and I do not say this lightly.
I use ‘We’ to show that I am included.
Moral decay has eaten into the fabrics of our existence.
You see I pass through ‘Allen’ Mondays to Saturdays and I am ashamed at what I see.

I used to laugh at the sight until Chioma Ngaikedi made me have a rethink. Thanks dear.
I am forced to acknowledge that it’s not often their choice of living, that at times that’s all they know.

Oh yes you can give examples of people who have been poor and yet not had to engage in such actions to survive.
Now I am not saying that what they do is right.

Prostitution in any sense is wrong but it is easier for you to condemn and say you won’t be involved but alas you have never felt what they feel.

It’s easier to stand at a distance and feel all self-righteous but you have never known what it means to have no hope. You still think you are any better right?
What of ‘bae’ that you sleep with, has he married you; he is boyfriend abi and you are the girlfriend right. What do they call it: ‘Bae and Boo’. What is the difference between the both of you, oh you are not standing on the road. I see clearly.

The ‘Boo’ in question, you think you are any less different from the lady standing on the road, No! you are not, when you are stocking ‘body count’ like a pile of inventory. ‘Bae’ you think you are any different from the guy who patronises them. My darling you are not any better. You stand accused just like them.

Along the road where they stand, there are two churches and a school and I wonder how two churches and a school can be located side by side a bar.

We pass through and the bus conductors call at them and the ladies hurl abuses at them and I laugh at their antics but it hides a shame. I am ashamed for them, I am ashamed that they live in a country that cannot support them. I am ashamed that for them that’s the only hope they have.

And you should hear the stories the passengers have to tell.
My colleague says you can’t have a husband who works on Allen and allow him leave the house angry.

I am disappointed that this is the level we have descended to.
Is that what we have turned to?
You see if there are no ‘men’ to patronise them, they won’t be on the road. Day in day out cars stop and our ‘men’ come out to ask for their ‘services’ and I am bewildered by the sight.

I am sorry that this is the life they know.  I am ashamed that this is what they have to do to survive. I feel guilty that I can’t do anything about it.

When next you see one, don’t be in a hurry to condemn.  You have not walked in their shoes, you do not know their circumstances.

Above all in their imperfections they carry the image of the perfect God.

 

He is who without sin let him be the first to cast a stone.
#donotcondemn
#Godstilllovesthem
#mercytriumphs
#graceupongrace

 

Say no to insurgency and Yes to a peaceful Nigeria.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYLVA

This is the first part of your birthday gift my dearest friend of life. We have been friends for 7 years and I bless God for sending you into my life.
Sylva Elendu, the one person who spoilt me with chocolates and books; the guy who gifted me with my first Chimamanda Adichie’s book ‘Americanah’ and by the way I have all her books and I have read them; she is one talented writer that I look up to. You are one person that knows how to give the best gifts that I can look at in years and always remember with a smile on my pretty face. Therefore, just in case you are wondering, books are the way to my heart and the best investment you can make.
At times, I wondered during our school years if He used to get angry because I know that I can be very annoying but believe me when I say I am a sweet mummy’s girl but he was very patient with me. You were and are always there for me; there to hold my hands when I was sick, listen when I wanted to rant; someone to encourage me when I needed it the most, someone to run my ideas past and who believed in me all the time even when I scarcely believed in myself. You gave me the courage to move ahead in life. Thanks for believing in me.
I cannot thank God enough for bringing you into my life. You have showered me with love and care beyond description and I know that you will always have my back and you know that I got your back every single time.
You are my ‘always and forever’ because ours is a friendship that will always last forever. Our friendship is like chocolate, I could not do without it (sorry for the analogy but you understand I love chocolate so much.) At times I wonder what I would have done without you in school and life generally {probably found someone else to take your place, just kidding.} You were the calm and I was the fire. You were always the voice of reason and you always knew how to get me to calm down.
I know you are one strong person and I know that you have been through a whole lot that I cannot even begin to wrap my head around but I know that the journey ahead would be tougher but I know that you are stronger than most (even though you do not look it) and you will survive and come out a victor.
My ‘always and forever’ has the voice of an angel. Most times, I just call so I can have a taste of what heaven must be like. He also writes so you can see why he is my dearest friend of life. You are one principled person I know but at times, I wish you can be assertive and not let me get away with a lot of things. Lest I forget my sweetheart is a bible scholar; he is the one person I always run to whenever I need to remember a verse in the bible.
In you, I have my sparring partner. I love sparring with you because it is not every time you get to meet someone who is on the same level as you are. My ‘always and forever’ is one of the simplest persons I know and he has a lot of dreams and aspirations and I pray that you achieve every one of them. If I loved reading before, you made develop a deeper love for reading. One of the most treasured gift anyone has given me was given by my dearest friend of life.

So as you mark your birthday today, I commend you into God’s hands.
Some trust in their war chariots and others in their horses but we trust in the power of the Lord our God. Such people will stumble and fall, but we will rise and stand firm.
Psalms 20: 7-8
Your work will provide for your needs, you will be happy and prosperous.
Psalms 128:2
Lord, I know you will never stop being merciful to me. Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe.
Psalms 40:11
Then we will shout for joy over your Victory and celebrate your triumph by praising our God. May the Lord answer all your requests.
Psalms 20:5
As high as the sky is above the earth, so great is his love for those who honor him.
Psalms 103:11

May the blessings of Psalms 20, 91, 121, and 128 be yours forever. You are a blessing to your generation never forget that. May you soar far above the eagles’ height and be all that God has destined you to be. You have everything that you need to succeed. God’s spirit is active inside you and you are a mobile carrier of God’s power.
Happy birthday dearest friend of life.
I love you but as we, all know God loves you the most.
We will have a party when we see.
God bless you abundantly.

Say no to insurgency and yes to a peaceful Nigeria.Happy_Birthday_03

FOR YOU MY HERO

Its been a long year without you my friend.

I have never written poetry before
I have never bothered to understand the rhyming sequences
But for you I would ascend the lyrical heights as never before
And make sense of those rhyming sequences.

My joy has been saddened
The eyes with which I saw the world has been blinded
My day has been darkened
With no hope of ever been brightened.

I searched and searched for you
And I had to accept that God has asked for you
He had asked the earth to return you
And said that life’s journey has come to an end for you.

The tears flowed ceaselessly
And I remembered all the memories made randomly
And I wished I had treasured them more closely
So that your passing would not hurt so badly.

You were the very BEST of the best
The reason why most were able to face life’s test
You gave your all to life with zest
Now you have gone to your final place of rest.

Adieu! Adieu! Adieu!
All the good you could ever give you gave
All the kindness you could ever show you showed
All the love you could ever bestow you lavished.

All of earth’s people lost a rare gem in you
We believe that God has kept a place in HIS bosom for you
Rest, sweet rest that is what we ask God to give you
Peace, perfect peace is what we believe God has given you.

This one is for you My Hero
The bravest of them all till the end
You were and are my super Hero
For you fought until the very end.

rest in peace Black chidi. You are always remembered.

HANDY

Handy Eze Romeo

It has been a long while since I did a ‘human being’ post scratch that, I meant a post about ‘someone’. Yes, this post is about this crazy, annoying, stubborn, and argumentative guy who means a whole lot to me.
Hmmmmm I remember when I first met him and maybe I did have a little crush on him but I am past that now, I feel my maternal instincts kick in whenever it has anything to do with him. We are no blood relations but he is my brother from another mother. You won’t believe that we cannot get married (oh I didn’t say, we are from the same town and quarter but village traditions say we cannot marry because one of our village is the younger brother to the other. I do not know which but in my opinion that is trash {do not tell my village elders that I said that} but then I cannot fight tradition, I am no super strong tough lady like I like to think.)
Just in case you did not know, what attracted me to him made me want to know him better was and is still his craziness. You know that bad boy swag, that confidence that looks so effortless, that smile that melts your heart and the charm that sweeps you off your feet. We good girls {I would surely win the award for miss prim and proper} like the bad guys, the unattainable, they usually add the spice that we lack in our sometimes boring life (not that I live a boring life, I am enjoying my life the way it is but it could do with a burst of energy.)
I am digressing a bit, so enough of me back to Handy. Remember when I first heard the name ’HANDY’; I thought what an unusual name. I am like did his parents actually give him the name (He has a wonderful native name but I am certain he would not want me to tell you guys) and when I ask him what’s the meaning of the name and he says it meant ‘useful’. It was at that moment that it occurred to me that I knew that word; it was part of my register. I decided to get a little help from the dictionary and it defines the word ‘Handy’ in three different ways. I am going to compare them a little to my wonderful ‘auta’ (just in case you were wondering what ‘auta’ means, it’s the Hausa word for ‘last born’ and that’s what I call my Handy, so in case I have murdered the spelling, please pardon me.)
So first, it means ‘useful’ and yea right, ‘my auta’ was right. Hmmmmm so comparing them now seems a bit harder than I first imagined but I am going to man up, yes I am equal to the task. So yes, Handy is very useful. He is one of the most hardworking people I have met, not one to shy away from responsibilities and that comes in very useful especially when you happen to be the last in a big household. He does stuffs and doesn’t really expect thanks in return.
Second, the word Handy means; “near and easy to reach.” Another hmmmmm, ‘my auta’ is so down to earth and easy to reach and talk to. He has a magnetic personality; you just want to get to know him. With him, there are no pretensions; he is just as he is. He is simple (did I just say simple, this ‘my auta’ is a complex biochemical algorithm, I do not even know the meaning of that, I just picked it up from a movie). At times, I do not understand him but then I do not understand myself either but in some ways he really is a simple person.
Thirdly, the word Handy means ‘good at using something’. Handy is good with his brain but I wish he could put it to more productive use than sparring (he is so going to have my head for this but darling you know I mean it in a good way). He is also good with his hands that is why he was able to read such a demanding course as industrial physics or just physics (sweet whichever one you like you can call it) and he gives exquisite massages (do not ask me how I know, I won’t reveal my source, just take my word for it.)
Also my Handy, ‘my auta’ is an accomplished dancer second only to the King of Pop himself (okay may be I am exaggerating it just a bit but you get the gist sha , he is in the same class as P-Square. I can say this because I have watched him dance countless times and there is a seamless harmony in the dance, it is as if the dance comes from his core and it has become infused with his own self. You feel the energy and the burst of life and happiness that comes from dancing from within.)
Hmmmmm, ‘my auta’ does not know the meaning of the word “patience”, it really isn’t his strong suit but somehow he needs to learn that if he will be well equipped to face life with all its challenges and trials. My Handy loves sparring with people (I wonder what he enjoys in arguing with others.) He is also an expert in laying a guilt trip on people and knows which buttons and strings to pluck and at the risk of having my head bitten off, my ‘auta’ can be a big baby at times. Baby I think you should ease up on the guilt tripping stuff (just saying).
My handy, my ‘auta’ is imperfect, flawed and he loves to be right and in control but he is learning that it’s all right to be wrong, it saves a lot of trouble to accept that you are wrong and apologize for your mistakes. He is learning to loosen the reins and know when to step back and lets others run the stage. He is learning to give others a chance in his life and to allow God to be at the helm of affairs. He is learning to drop some of his habits (not telling you which but my ‘auta’ knows what I am talking about.)
All in all, my ‘auta’ is one amazing and remarkable person who has been through a lot in his life (I should know because we are both sounding boards to each other) and with that has come compassion for others that is only born out of experience.
I hope and pray that you soar far above the eagles’ height; that you find joy, happiness, and laughter to make up for all the lost years. I hope you achieve all you ever wanted to achieve, leave legacies behind, write your name in the hallmark of fame, leave lasting footprints behind, touch lives, and above all be who God has destined you to be, His own Image.
As usual;
Be good!
Be safe!
Be careful!
I love you from here to the moon and back. I have got your back always and you know you can count on me but above all God loves you in more ways than you can ever imagine and His plans for you are for good.
Kisses!

Here is ‘my auta’ and I.