In Memory of 2015

It's that time of the year again! I am happy to be doing this, because this means I we survived. For the past two weeks, I have played the same song every morning while taking a shower; I have slept at the same time, and woken up at the same time. I have done the exact same thing each morning because I thrive on routine. I don't like spontaneity; I have to have planned everything ahead of time. I think that's what most of 2015 was for me: routine.  Usually, when starting this sort of reflective post, the pessimist in me (or perhaps, just human nature in general) wants to proceed with the negative. However, it took me a while to come up with those. Don't get me wrong, this year wasn't all rosy and/or filled with sunshine. There were patches of dark clouds and some rains. The best part however was that after every dark night, came morning.

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."

For many around the world, 2015 was a painful year: terrorist attacks surged, hate crimes and civil unrests persisted, and economies plummeted. To say that it was a tumultuous year worldwide, would be a very great understatement. But I found peace within me, for the most part. Even when I would first become anxious and/or nervous, it usually ended with a manner of peace I didn't understand.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The year generally started well, and I settled comfortably into my routine. To be honest, in retrospect, it seems like a pretty uneventful year for me. I feel like I didn't do anything groundbreaking or earth-shattering. I didn't live more intentionally, and I was very lackadaisical. In my defense, I did write an awful lot of exams, and was constantly getting burnt out from all the work I had to do.  Consequently, I wasn't as creative, and I got too comfortable.

2015 was the year I got my Master's, which I think is a pretty big deal. Although, getting that sort of degree makes you have to ponder more on the trajectory of your life. I am not too worried about that. I have learned over the years, but more so this year that having all the answers is overrated. Life will unfold anyway, and you would only have been overly anxious. Besides, as Dr. Zack Addy in the show Bones proves, relying on logic too much can be very destructive. So yes, have a plan, but be flexible. 2015 was also the manifestation or shall I say proof that I should learn to trust my intuition/guts more and less of what is right before me. Life really can change for anybody at any second; I saw this both directly and indirectly. 2015 was the year I had a deeper understanding of God surpassing even our imaginations.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Through everything that went down in 2015, and they were more mind battles than anything else, God did see me through them ALL. The best part is being alive, hale and hearty; and not just alone, but every single person I love and care about as well. That's a miracle I do not take likely. I took better care of my heath this year. By no means am I saying that's why I have perfect health. Far from it, that's all God. Perhaps, I took charge is a better phrase. I was really committed to being disciplined (in every facets of my life) this year, and projected that on exercising and trying to consume only things beneficial to me. This was no real big deal, just a conscious decision to be more active; I stopped taking elevators, walked more etc. l threw all that out of the window this holiday season though.

I still feel like I need a better understanding of God's love and I am incredibly happy to have spent the last days of 2015 studying in-depth God's love and how little we know of it. We tend to handle things on our own, and forget there's an eternal being with a selfless love for us. Ah, I am not sure how exactly 2016 will go. I am slightly anxious, which is contradictory since I just spent the last few sentences talking about an unfathomable love on my side. But I really am positive, confident even that 2016 will be amazing.

To those who found this year challenging; those who mourned; the people who failed woefully; those who tried so hard and struggled so hard, yet have nothing to show for it; those who demonstrated faith, unwavering faith, yet had their prayers unanswered; the people who felt like if there is a God, he probably hates them; those who don't even know who God is; The ones that spent every minute of 2015 in hospitals; those who cried themselves to bed every night; I hope you find joy, peace, and laughter in the coming year.

"When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed."

I don't agree with cynics who are peevish when they see others make resolutions or declare a new year a new slate or whatever other maxim rocks your boat. I don't have a resolution...yet(yes, a lot can change in hours) but I have goals.  Indeed, the year may be new, but if you do not change anything or renew your mind, it will be like years past. After all, you can't be doing the same thing and expect a change. I plan to continue minding my business, but be a little more caring and tolerant of others. Again, like I write every year, I want to be more intentional in living. Everyday this year (or most days) I woke really thanking God for the miracle of waking every morning. I think we tend to take such things for granted too much. I plan on seeing the absolute best in others even when they act otherwise.

With all that being said, BRING IT ON 2016, my faith remains unwavering!
My favorite selfie partner and I

"May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares."

Happy New Year people!


Merry Christmas

In my last post, I briefly described God's perfect love. Hopefully I'll get to elaborate in future posts just how magnificent and sometimes incomprehensible God's love for us is. I mean, we can't have such amazing love and be going around acting like nobodies, when our God is the king of heaven AND earth, right? Right.

Christmas is upon us. In the midst of merriment, and gift unwrapping, and all the gisting, and catching up with old friends, let's not forget the real reason we have a holiday: Christ's birth. A central message is love. Some other people have adopted cynicism, either as a defense mechanism, a way to deal, or just to seem unconventional. Look, Christmas IS a big deal. If Christ was not born, I wouldn't have salvation. So there is so much to celebrate. Yea, 'tis the season to be jolly! Be merry, laugh hard, eat, and forgive people who have hurt you. That is the point anyway. I hate to trivialize people's problems, but if unfortunately, there is a problem; I am sorry, but I also know it could be worse.

Anyway, the crux of this post is to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. May the joy, peace, and love of this season dwell permanently in your life. In the new year, may you always have a reason to smile, laugh, and be merry. May every waking day bring forth a new testimony.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and if you can, spread the love to people who need it the most in any way you can; those who can not afford to have an enjoyable Christmas.

Merry Christmas, people!



A Perfect Love

"And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." Ephesians 3 :18-19

I once heard Whoopie Goldberg say if anyone ever tells her she completes them, she will flee. You know, romantic style;

"You complete me."

I'd run too. If I complete you, what's left for me? I am a self-confessed selfish person. I'm not entirely sure love  comes as easily for me as I presume it does for others. So, I would definitely have second thoughts if a person told me I "complete" them. More so, because I have now realized that it is possible to give so much of yourself to someone else that you have nothing left for you.  The other time, I tweeted that vows with the sentence "I can't live without you" make no sense to me. Why can't you live without a person? "I CAN live without you, but I don't ever want to." That makes sense. Although the last few sentences may sound cold, heartless and a tad unromantic, they are absolute truths. No one is indispensable; everyone is replaceable. You and I. For the purpose of this post, I'm mostly talking about romantic (& sexual) love except of course when I mention God's love.

Do you recognize a common thread/pattern in the last paragraph? We* tend to look for love in all the wrong places. We tend to seek wholeness, completeness, and perfection in human beings who are just as fallible as we are. We then turn around to despise them when they fail or are unable to give what we sought, which they really were incapable of giving anyway. Don't get me wrong; I'm the chief advocate of setting high standards. However, while setting these standards, you need a jolt of reality to remind you that no matter how kind, loyal, faithful, sexy, intelligent, maybe even rich this person is, they would never EVER complete you. They are incapable of giving you a fullness of life. Sure, they can and probably will make you happy, but they can't make your life complete, or give you a fullness of life. I mean if a human being is capable of that, their own life must be pure perfection, which is certainly impossible.

There's a love enough to complete you though; a perfect love. God's love for us is indescribable, so I wouldn't bother using words to convey its depth or width. What I'll say though is that may we indeed be blessed with the ability to understand God's love. Understanding God's love to some extent will make you confident and rid you of insecurities that make you seem like a mad woman. Instead of driving yourself crazy about whether a guy loves you or not, or whether he's cheating, or why he's not giving you enough attention and the other shenanigans that go on in 21st century relationships, if you understand the reach of God's love, you wouldn't care about any of that. You wouldn't because you have all the love you need. You understand who you are in God. You understand that you are to die for, and then you begin to not care what some other person thinks, or how they act. After all, can you think of a better love than giving your only son that some folks may have eternal life? Understanding and receiving God's love is the ultimate guide to a better self esteem. Remembering that God loves you and thinks you are special will absolutely change your life.


*I'm mostly talking from the female point of view.

Friday Reflections

1.)  Done.

2.) Can I just say how absolutely amazing Being Mary Jane has been this season? Good stuff.

3.) M said I'm acting Like Cristina Yang. Now, Yang is my favorite character ever, but I don't EVER want to be compared with her. In a sense, it's a compliment (to me) but M meant it in relation to caring about career more than anything else. Er no.

4.) I certainly care about my career (means a lot to me), but I also want kids, husband, and those things.

5.) I like Marissa Mayer a lot, but she really turns me off these days. I have heard that her leadership style is questionable. Putting that aside, this thing where she takes two minutes off after giving birth and jumps right back to work rubs me off the wrong way.

6.) Jill Scott's Jahraymecofasola is a jam and a half!

7.) I'm in season 9 of Friends, and I can count on one hand the amount of Blacks that have appeared on all nine seasons. I mean it's a funny show, but not that much of a big deal it has been made out to be. Too predictable and quite a lot of lazy storytelling as far as I'm concerned.

8.) #StayMadAbby

9.) Dear Justice Scalia, excellence has nothing to do with the color of your skin.

P.S: This was already written by Friday but I just forgot to post it.

A Lesson in Love by the Zuckerbergs

You know how the other day here, I was mentioning the Zuckerbergs' generosity? Little did I know more was coming. Well, they welcomed their child earlier this week, and pledged 99% of their Facebook profits to "humanity". Now the technicalities of this gesture may be somewhat complex, but go through his feed here where he explains everything. It's so sad that people are now so cynic, that there have been rumors that he did the whole thing out of a "savior complex" or "selfishly". Some said he did it to avoid tax, others were just furious he made the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative an LLC and not a charity organization. Again, technicalities. However, he and his wife were incredibly smart to do that, because as an LLC, they now have a flexibility (a luxury charity organizations cannot afford) to invest in and donate wherever they wish. The author of this article described it BEST, when he said Zuckerberg is a genius and you would expect that he wouldn't just want to change the world in a trite way of giving money to some charities, but by actually changing the world, literally. Oh, and it will be TAXED. Mark has spent a lot of time explaining his intentions all week; time he could have spent with little Max. Tsk tsk. Can you imagine? We live in such a world where people dare to question what you do with your money or HOW you do what you do. The sheer hubris. Anyway, find below, a post by me originally posted on Bellanaija in which I talk about the Zuckerbergs' love and generosity.
Random picture of Mark Zuckerberg's dog.

When my brother first told me Mark Zuckerberg and his wife had not only welcomed a child, but also pledged 99% of their profit from Facebook to "humanity", I didn't fully grasp the magnitude of their action. Hours later however, and after reading the note to their child myself, I was filled with deep inspiration and immense awe of their sacrifice and commitment to making the world a better place. I tried but couldn't understand that type of generosity. More so because I am from a country where people are obsessed with accumulating wealth for themselves. In itself, wanting money and more money is not a terrible thing, somewhat selfish maybe, but not terrible. However, I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to our unborn generations to make the world a better place in whatever ways we can.

I remember months ago, a Nigerian celeb mentioned that anyone living in Lagos and has only one stream of income is "not serious". That statement was very unsettling for me, because the person assumed that everyone's ultimately goal is to have much more money than they know what to do with. It's not that desiring gazillions is bad too, it's that I am positive that world powers like Zuckerberg were/are not motivated by money. I don't think that a desire to be the richest person is what makes people that rich. I think that it's an absolute, unshaken passion for what they do and how they do it.

The more I pondered on this famous generosity, the more I fell into a deep retrospection and self-assessment. I thought, if I, an unashamed Christian were to ever be that rich or even as a regular Jane, with the amount of compassion I proclaim, could I EVER give out so selflessly to those in need? I think that theirs is a lesson in love, mercy, compassion, humility, and simplicity for the rest of us. If we want to practice the love we preach, we should do so committedly. Love is not completely ignoring those in dire need and amassing material (and extravagant) possessions we have no need for.  Remember that you can have all the faith in the world, thump the bible all you care, or even speak in tongues, you still are nothing without love.

Of course, everyone does not and would not have billions to give out. But that should not reduce your commitment to ridding the world of hate and making this world a better inhabitance. It starts with you and I. It starts with stopping the cowardly act of bullying people under the cloak of anonymity. It means genuinely caring for the poor and needy of our society. If you have WAY extra money than you know what to do with, okay then, invest in someone's education. Is there always a beggar on your way to work, how about you give them a little something for food? It really is in the little acts. These are just examples by the way, do what you can; however you wish too. Just don't occupy the world like it's just you in it. I don't know about you, but I want my unborn children, niece(s), nephew(s) to live in a much better world than this. We really can spread love if we ATTEMPT it. Oh, and for the love of God, we need to remember and understand that not everyone wants to be stupendously rich. Not everyone needs a "side hustle".