Friday Reflections

1.) An open letter to clergy who prayed with Trump.

2.) A girl and a woman 58 years apart talk about life.

3.)  So did a man and a boy 57 years apart. Quite interesting.

4.) People who are trying and working hard to change the world don't spend all their time talking and tweeting about it, they just do.

5.) My girl, Mindy  Kaling is pregnant with her first child!!!

6.) Can you imagine your close friend being pregnant and you don't know who the father of her child is though? I mean, that's basically not friendship haha

7.) Did you see this practical advice on what to do while you are waiting for that big thing?

8.) Ugh I'm so sorry about Chester Bennington. I really didn't know him that well, but lots of people were very bugged down by it.

9.) Depression is very complex and multifaceted. BUT it can be dealt with. I really hope and pray people struggling can find something, someone to life them from the pit-hole.

10.) Even I don't have an explanation, but I know an answer: Jesus, the calm in the storm.

On Practical Things To Do When The Waiting Period Seems To Last Forever

Hello people!

*Try to flip hair*

*Realize that hair is too kinky and crack neck in the process*

Re do.

Hello people!

*pats hair*

That's better.

Hahaha

Seriously now. I think I should have done this a little bit earlier. But actually, it's the right time. I suppose many graduates are home now; doing the waiting game. Waiting to hear back from places you applied to. Or maybe not graduates; maybe just regular people. Maybe things are not going as you planned, which is 99% of the time in life. Seriously, the earlier everyone accepts that life rarely goes as planned, the better for everyone. So yes, you had planned the perfect summer, you had planned the perfect year, indeed you had planned the perfect life, but it's not working. Or nothing is happening right now. What do you do while you wait? How do you maximize the time? Here are a couple of suggestions.



1.) Pray: when I say pray, I don't necessarily mean badger God for that exact plan/thing you envisaged. That's not exactly a bad thing. But the essence of prayer here is to learn to relinquish your plans for God's plans. A lot of times our fixation on perfection and our own plans prevents us from noticing progress or even enjoying the present. This is what praying and seeking God helps you do. Also it helps with peace of mind and an ability to trust God. So spend time with God, getting to know more about God, listening to preachers who share God's word, and learning to have a discerning spirit, which of course you would need further down the line.


2.) Shut down social media and build your mental strength: This varies. Social media is fun. But it also can be very, very toxic. All hail the mother devil, Instagram. While you are going through a tough time, it's not especially the ideal time to watch people pretend to be living their best lives on social media. So you might need time away to clear your head. You might also need time away to keep you from bouts of envy. I mean, imagine just breaking up with the love of your life only to see everyone getting engaged or those gorgeous but flamboyant pregnancy shoots. Yeah, no. Or imagine being jobless and then logging on to see your old schoolmates bag the job of YOUR dreams, and seeing them travel the world. It's never easy, even for the best of us. At that moment, we are never logical enough to think that everyone puts their best foot forward on social media, and the pictures you see are only snapshots and peeks into perhaps, otherwise turbulent lives. That being said, it's important to become mentally strong, because you will need it in life. So learn to stop comparing your life with others; learn to stop throwing a pity party for yourself; learn to understand that sometimes things are bad, other times they are good. Indeed people's lives may be as perfect as they portray and no matter how much you convince yourself its all a facade, it really isn't. So until you learn true contentment, just stay off social media. Or keep it, and build your mental strength.

3.) Journal: maybe it sounds mushy mushy, but it helps. It helps you to think. It helps you glean from God/holyspirit/introspectiveness on what is next and how you want to move forward. You would also be able to look back and see how far God has brought you. And best of all, it's therapeutic to describe exactly how you feel. Knowing how you feel also helps with dealing with it.

4.)Open your eyes to see what lessons God has for you: this is sort of a piggyback to the last point. But every season/situation/problem most likely has a lesson for you in it. Sometimes they are not very glaring, but there are lessons. Is it a test in patience? Or in preparation? Or in hard-work? Or to get you ready for a completely different phase of life?

5.) Learn/Explore/Do something different: we all have that one thing we have always wanted to do or learn. Do it now. I'm not going to give some silly, elitist advice like travel the world or work for free or go skydiving. No. If you can't afford it, don't bother your head. But there are things you can do: learn a language? read a book? learn to code? re-read a book? write a book? learn graphic design? Maybe that concept you were taught but never really grasped because were too busy? Well, there is time now. YouTube is filled with [free] resources. The internet is filled with tons of resources. Allow for fun too; yes binge watch your favorite shows or do whatever your definition of fun is.

6.) Create a new vision: Unfortunately, it would be a lie if I said everything always works out perfectly. It doesn't. Sometimes your biggest plans fail. Sometimes you will not get that job, sorry. But is that the end? No. Re group. Someone asked TD Jakes how to continue life/cope after her divorce, because she felt like her life was over. His response was profound:

"What makes you feel like you have lost your life is that you have lost what you had in mind for your life. Which means you need a  new vision for yourself; one that does not include someone that no longer chooses to be a part of your life."

I feel like you can apply this to almost anything. Create a new vision, a new dream, something completely different if the prior plan has failed. Things and plans and even people fail. That's okay too.

One last thing is to learn to live beyond your feelings. Please, this can't be overemphasized. We can't be consumed by our feelings all the time; it's so fleeting. Our feelings should have no control over us. I have to write an entire thing on this. The root of most problems is dwelling in our feelings AND letting it conquer us. Anyway, I digress.

This is way longer than I thought, but I hope it helps someone out there going through a waiting period that seems to be lasting forever. This, too shall pass. It usually always does.


Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.)This Hell Not Mine: On Moving from Nigeria to America.

2.) See this outstanding and profound essay on the place of dance in the midst of pain, depression, and powerlessness.

3.) I'm constantly learning and re-learning to be my own person.

4.) Contentment or complacency?

5.) On the power of prayer especially in tough seasons.

6.) Stop searching for your passion. "You don't follow your passion, your passion follows you."

7.) How is it that we (as human beings) can hammer on for years about a tragedy or misfortune, but are conspicuously quiet about triumphs? Quite interesting.

8.) This "sliding into DMs" business. Please slide out of my DMs and back to your lane.

9.) Nigerian [young] women are getting increasingly progressive, whereas the [young] men have refused to leave the 18th century.

10.) First responders are real-life, everyday heroes. I just watched Sully :)

11.) "The dating pool becomes much smaller when you refuse to compromise on misogyny & bigotry." This is a real tragedy. And what stinks is how prevalent misogyny is even among VERY well educated guys; I just don't get it.

12.) I can't believe it's 10 years since we finished from QC (my secondary/high school). For all of its problems, that school gave me the gift of lifelong friends and countless memories.



On Failure

This one is easy in the sense that most people have experienced it at one point or another. But how have you let it impact you? Has it paralyzed you? In that, has a fear of failure hindered you from making great strides? Or has failure given you a bold audacity to thrive? Because it has been both for me. Failure has paralyzed me and it also has inspired me. I think it's usually more of the latter these days, and I'm grateful to God for that.


The thing with failure is we all need it. It's humbling, but more than that it's eye opening if you maximize it well. There are also different kinds of failure. There is the failure that occurs because you didn't try. But then there is the failure that happens even after doing everything you can; everything within your capabilities; making all the best plans; praying with all your might; and then still fail. That's really the kind I'm addressing. Despite the pain and shock and feelings of inadequacy that might accompany failure, you must never let that conquer you.




So when I saw the above picture, I smiled. I smiled because it felt familiar. I am in NO WAY comparing myself to the great Michael Jordan. Ha, no. I'm saying I know what it means to fail, to be rejected (literally in every sense of this word), and to keep trying. There is a kind of freedom that comes with having no fear of failure. There is, to use the word above, an audacity it equips you with. I have failed so much that I don't think I am scared of failing anymore and that feels good. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying failure has no impact on me or that I still don't feel the sting that comes from every "NO" or every silence. Of course I do. Haha. I'm saying it can't stop me from trying again. When asked how she was able to build the multi million Naira brand that is EbonyLife TV and Films, Mo Abudu said it was from never relenting.

"It really is a game of numbers." I remember her saying. "Everyone can't say no to you. Eventually someone says yes."

Listen, if that ain't the truth.

To be clear, and I feel like I always have to give a caveat because I would hate to be misleading, and seriously I'm the most cynical person, which means I do not like sweeping, overly vague "encouragements" or cliches. So I must warn you to apply wisdom. This means, if something keeps failing, it's sometimes because you are doing something wrong and should attempt to approach it from another angle. Be flexible in your approach. Let's give the most rudimentary example of failure: an exam. So you took an exam and failed. Re-examine your study methods, evaluate your weak points in the subject and hone in on those. Indeed, ask yourself the importance of this exam in the first place. If it's time problems, take practice tests under time constraints....etc. Don't just keep writing the same exam and failing and think it's just a game of numbers. No please. So you get the drift? Use wisdom, try different approaches, sometimes you might need to abandon it altogether and try something else. But try you must; do not give up. And this can be anything. After all, we fail on many different things in life, don't we? Jobs, exams, businesses, projects, relationships, challenges...whatever, just don't because you already failed once decide to cower. Nope.

Most importantly, your failures don't define you. I personally TRY to do my best, but I also know it’s not a matter of life and death. I think the older I grow, the more I’m able to define my identity. The clearer I’m able to state what defines me. So like I always say, my failures don’t define me. Indeed my successes don’t either. They are parts of the whole me. It's important, I reckon, to know this. It’s probably why I don’t hammer on and on about things I have achieved*. I do what I want and keep it moving.  So I constantly pray that I we are not (or my entire existence is not) hinged on a crippling fear of what if I fail.  What if I can’t? Well, what if I CAN?


Love,

I

*P.S: please know I am not saying to not celebrate achievements and successes. Far from that, in fact celebrating your success helps you better deal with failure. Just don't dwell on them so much, even they begin to paralyze you :)



Friday Reflections

1.) The seduction of pessimism

2.) Oh gosh, I'm watching Confirmation and GOODNESS, I'm infuriated at the injustice Anita Hill went through. Not one Democrat stood up for her while her character was  being assassinated. Eventually Edward Kennedy said something, but only after she had been thoroughly humiliated.

3.) I'm now the person who does yoga when she has a headache instead of taking a painkiller. LOL

4.) Some kids just never stood a chance because of the misfortune of being born by certain parents.

5.) If our lives came with soundtracks, mine would be Morgan Harper Nichols' Storyteller.

6.) This poignant speech by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at his son's ninth grade graduation.

7.) Ninth-grade graduation is a thing?

8.) Politicians across the world (YES, even developed countries) spend more time politicking than actually governing. I can't explain how much that irritates me.

9.) How to stop being a doormat.

On Justice and the Kind of Life God Wants

I recently found this gem the other day and thought to share. While it's particularly important for Christians, I also think it's something everyone should consider. So it is from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. Basically, God told the prophet Isaiah to pass on a message to the Israelites. The Israelites always acted very pious, God said. They would go the Temple every day and even seem happy to learn about God. They carried themselves as though they would never abandon God and like they wanted to be near Him. And when there was silence from him, they would protest:

we have fasted!

we have been really hard on ourselves; denied ourselves of life's pleasures just to please you!

why are you NOT impressed, huh?!

why do you act like you don't notice?

Sounds familiar? I bet it does. You are fasting and praying. You serve in Church. You can quote the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. You can preach the devil back to hell. So what's up? Why does God not notice it?


Well that's because while you are fasting, you are exploiting and oppressing your workers. While you are fasting, you are fighting with the whole world, and keeping malice. So you do the rites, and fast for 150 of the 365 days in the year. But God is like, nah, that kind of fasting will get you nowhere. That kind of lifestyle really doesn't please him. What kind of fasting does he want, you ask.


"No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people. 
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." Isaiah 58: 6-7


If you go on in that passage, it continues to say "THEN..." meaning after you do the above will you experience true healing; will your godliness lead you forward; will the glory of God protect you. It is THEN that the Lord will quickly (it specifies) answer your call.  When you feed the hungry, and help those in trouble, your light will shine out.

In other words, less of you and more of others. We can see that justice, mercy, and compassion matter to God a lot. And again, we see that hypocrisy really irritates God. I'll give another instance; this time in the new testament. Jesus was dragging the Pharisees and calling them hypocrites and stuff. And then he mentioned how they do everything right, they were careful to tick all the boxes. They would even tithe the tiniest income they earned. BUT, they would ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. I'm not even kidding, Jesus called those the MORE IMPORTANT [THAN TITHE] aspects of the law. He then reiterated that while tithing was and would always be important, justice, mercy, and faith were more important.




Coincidentally, I was just joking with my dad and sister recently that while no one person can be angry about all injustices, it's important and dare I say, it's our responsibility to care about justice. There has to be something; one thing you care about. Pick that one thing and run with it, in whatever capacity you can. Is it giving the less privileged? Maybe this year instead of another useless birthday photo-shoot, you can instead ask your friends to give on your behalf? Someone on Twitter once suggested calling your local school(board) and asking to offset some lunch debt for kids. Maybe it's your time you can give: to your own family, your friends. Something...just remember God really cares about it.  Also remember you can't just consistently live for yourself and yourself alone.

Love,

I

The Patriotism in the Christian

This is the 290th post on this blog.



Woah.

So far so good. I think?

I like blogging.

I hate uncertainty but you probably already know that. Random facts.

Happy July 4th weekend!

Here's to freedom and to democracy.

So many things are unclear to so many people. Like, what is the essence of Christianity? How am I a good Christian? Who is a good Christian? What are so-called Christian values? How am I supposed to act? So, can I be nationalistic AND Christian?

I am a bit unclear about some of these things too, except the LAST one. You have to pick one. You either hate others/those different from you or you are a Christian. You can't be both. You can't use the pulpit of God IN a church to bully people. You can't use the celebration of July 4/Independence Day to preach a hatred for non-Americans and a disdain for the other. Actually you can, if you want to. You just can't do that AND be a Christian at the same time. You gotta pick one.

"The church is an embassy of heaven, not America. It’s an international family bought and paid for by a Middle Easterner’s blood." - Matt Smethurst.

I'm not saying don't be patriotic. I'm saying what is your patriotism about? A celebration of true freedom and democracy, or a practice of inherent superiority to those who aren't white males. Because it's becoming increasingly hard to differentiate between the two these days. Before you throw in the founding fathers, please just go elsewhere because I don't really care. Bless their souls, but founding fathers of America and any other country were human beings too. I cringe at this idolization of people who came before us as if they could do no wrong. I digress.

But yes, I  felt like sharing that today. Do what you want with it.

Love, and some freedom,

I




Friday Reflections

1.) This is what happens when you reply spam emails.

2.) I'm doing this thing where I watch ridiculously old movies, because...late bloomer. Forrest Gump was good...but it was no Shawshank Redemption, just saying.

3.) Million Dollar Baby was just depressingly fabulous. I cried my eyes out but it truly was a masterpiece.

4.) See this insanely touching photos of dads in the delivery room to bright up your day :)

5.) I think I've shared this before but it's worth repeating: my dilemma with blogging is that while I want to share my thoughts/writings/ramblings with the "world", I'm also always slightly nervous about sharing my [private] thoughts; it makes me feel so...vulnerable. It's why I pause with the whole blogging thing a lot and don't blog as much.

6.) Anon blog, perhaps? Nah. I'm too big on identity to be anon.

7.) A man that cheats on/mistreats his wife while she is having miscarriages and stillborns is not a man; or how do I put this delicately? Such a man is closer to an animal than to a real man; it doesn't matter how much billions he makes.

8.) If it takes you more than ten years and the birth of your baby to grow up, jeez you were never the real deal.

9.) Women, keep these dudes ACCOUNTABLE please.

10.) Just give it 7 seconds.

11.)  Old, but still necessary. Why Trump made (makes?) Aziz Ansari scared for his family.

12.) "Everything ISN'T found in men; EVERYTHING is found in God...Remind yourself that Jesus is the only one that can save you." - Jackie Hill Perry


On Trusting God and Not Depending on Mere Mortals

When I was younger, I used to expect a lot from people. Let me explain. Friends, acquaintances, family, just humans generally; I just expected folks to do better. I thought there was a fixed expectation as to how people should act. I thought human decency and courtesy should be reciprocated. It's just commonsensical, I thought. That was stupid of me. Now I know for certain that I have no control over how others act; I can mostly only control how I respond. And seeing this post by Eziaha reminded me how often people fall prey to this.



Let me tell you something, God is ultimately your SOURCE. You can't depend on human beings. More recently, God reminded me of this. Everything I was depending on one person or the other for, such that if they sailed through, I would have said "Without XYZ, I would not have got this or done that; everything failed, no one came through. No kidding. And in retrospect, most of my life has been that way. Ultimately, everything I am I owe to God's divine provision and grace. It's my plan to always depend on God. Because the other option is to rely on people. See, the thing is you and I are really fallible and very undependable. I've always said this: people are inherently selfish. Yes, you and I. Of course some more so than others. So chill with idolizing people so much that you forget they have their own responsibilities and problems. Also, learn boundaries. For your sake and others. There is no point being so hurt over your own personal problems that you blame it on others. No bueno.

Now that being said, I know there are a few people out there that are just generally awful. They are your "friends" but will never ever support you or your endeavors; they will never call/text to find out if you are even still alive; and when you text, they never respond; they never tell you what's going on in their lives; On your birthday, crickets; On your worst days, more crickets; they are just never there, point blank. Well, till they need you. Now that's toxic. Normally, I would say confront them and let them know how disappointed you are. But you know what, forget it. Seriously, just forget it.
I'm not saying to take on and keep accepting the excesses of others, or worse allow them walk over you. I'm saying most times, such people are not worth the stress. Don't expect anything else. So should you treat them the same way? YES. Lol. Okay, but as a Christian, I feel compelled to say "NO". Hear me out. There is forgiveness and there is ACCOUNTABILITY. Keep people accountable and GUARD YOUR HEART jealously. Yes be courteous to them, but accord them the level of respect they accord you. Or at most, STAY IN YOUR LANE.

Most importantly, remember to not put pressure on people anyway. I like to call myself a one woman army, not because I don't have good people around, but I know not to put too much pressure on people or set unrealistic expectations, especially considering how fleeting relationships are. I really am a one woman army at the end of the day, and don't bother my head too much over people's actions. I do what I can, when I can so I won't go around expecting people to be there for me the way I was for them. Nah. Once I realize you are not dependable, okay bye boo. Like Eziaha mentioned in that post, I used to really need other people to "gas me up" (Literally just learnt this phrase from Chance the Rapper while watching BET Awards). I would be offended when I wasn't getting the support I thought I needed or encouragement or pity. Again like Eziaha, God took me through a phase of so many disappointments, a wilderness if you will, to wean me off that nonsense lol. Now I gas myself up, all by myself. I have learnt to be my own cheerleader and army of one. I trust in God and find it easier to maintain friendship this way 'cos I have literally ZERO expectations from people.

So really, chill. Honestly, chill and you will be okay. Trust God, and really trust yourself a little bit more. Be there for you.

Love, and some chill,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) Black lives matter.

2.) Jumoke Adenowo is...unapologetic. She's full of wisdom and she's incredibly smart and is unapologetic about it

3.) "Life doesn't respond to breakthroughs and miracles, it responds to principles." - Jumoke Adenowo

4.) "That hair — as strong as the blackness that runs through our veins — refuses to stand down. It is not good hair. It’s our hair. And that is pretty damn beautiful." - Ijeoma Oluo in I Was Supposed to Have Good Hair.

5.) As I read through Lysa Terkeurst's story of her husband's continuous infidelity and betrayal, I'm thankful that Christians and the Church generally are rethinking this whole "God hates divorce" philosophy. I pray she finds healing and comfort in the coming days.

6.) Bill Cosby is NOT Cliff Huxtable

7.) I'm recovering (praise Jesus) from the worst case of what I think was lactose intolerance, and I'm really sad I might have to step away from Haagen dazs for a while. I don't even know anymore; I mean, what is this life? Ugh

8.) Haayyyy, June is practically almost over.

9.) Every time I watch an episode of King Women, I'm convinced it's the best one, and then I watch another. Seriously though, this one with Ayodeji Megbope is the best, cos there is no way anyone tops this; no way. Serious living case of "Kings will see your glory".

On Critics of the Hallelujah Challenge

GA SHI NAN!!!!!

Couldn't help it

Honestly, I didn’t really want to talk about this because talking about it validates it; gives it credence. But after thinking about it for about ten seconds, I decided to. Again, when you are quiet in the presence of bullies, you enable them.

I mentioned  here that Nathaniel Bassey started something called the Hallelujah Challenge on Instagram.

Err.. what’s that about? You ask.

At 12am everyday [Nigerian time] he hosts a live event of praise and prayer for an hour. It’s supposed to last for the entire month of June. And it has seen a rapid increase in participation: from about 13k people when they first started to now more than 60,000 people joining in everyday on Instagram alone, not counting the tens of thousands on Facebook live as well. Lives have been changed, testimonies have been recorded, and a sense of community has been formed. People are genuinely enjoying worshipping God.

That sounds pretty harmless and awesome Ife, so what’s the deal; what are you writing about?

Well, thank you. I thought it was pretty awesome too. I still do. However, some days ago I had a couple of minutes to spare and thought hmmm, what do I do with this free time? So I went on Twitter: first to ask a friend for a  favor and also to figure out what was pissing off millennials that point in time. Because I kid you not, something is always pissing people  off. On this particular day, it was the Hallelujah Challenge. Apparently, some people thought it was ridiculous and made no sense. Some said it was a "passive aggressive competition Christians came up with because of Ramadan". I'm not making this up guys. Yes, someone tweeted that. Some said it was performative and just...bothersome. Someone said it really was just "annoying them". Again, I did not make this up. Some lady even made an entire Facebook post criticizing Christians, calling [ALL] Christians hypocritical and irresponsible for participating in such crowd mentality activity rather than changing the world, and solving Nigeria's many problems.

Whew.

You know what I love about living in 2017? You know why I agree with my G and forever POTUS (Barack Obama) that there is no better time than now to be young and just, you know fly? Because it's a free freaking country. It's a free freaking world. Of the many groups to identify with, of the many identities that now abound in this world, only VERY few so willingly criticize each other as much as Christians criticize each other. What I mean is, seldom would you hear Yoruba people criticize and insult other Yorubas. Or Buddhists insulting other Buddhists. But us Christians, we own our faults. We know we are flawed and fallible and we are quick to call this out. Before you say we are hypocrites, honey we already say it. I know this because I myself have criticized the Church and Christians over and over and over again; for its lack of empathy sometimes; for constantly not living as Christ would. But you know what, screw that. Yes I said screw that...at least for now.

Lmao I gotta credit M for this one

If people participated in a Hallelujah Challenge while neglecting their responsibilities either at work or just as citizens, I would understand. But this is being done at 12AM, literally not disturbing the peace of anyone, completely voluntarily, yet they are being vilified. The question for the aforementioned critics is: what are you doing during that hour that Christians ought to be doing to make this world a better place? Go on, tell me.

How can you collectively assume that over a hundred thousand people are doing their OWN religion wrong? So not one of those thousands of people is doing it right? How can people working out their salvation the way they know how to bother you so much? I would be a liar if I said my philosophy in life was "live and let live". Nah, it's not. But no one believes in equality as much as I do (this blog could pass for an advocacy blog lol). I also don't believe in using one religion as an oppression of other people. I don't believe everyone has to abide by the doctrines of any one religion. But I carry my faith on my head. My most important identity is "Child of God" and I'm unapologetic about it. However I choose to work this out, let me be. Christians are fallible is why they/we need Jesus. If we were perfect, there would be no need for Him to die on the cross for us. If we knew how to make this world a perfect place; if we had it all figured out; pray tell, what do we need saving for then?

I was talking with M and we concluded that everyone is sorta free to be anything now, except you are a Christian or you believe in God. Well in that case, you are the village idiot for believing in something you can't see. LOL. Again, the best part of the world we live in now is the freedom to be what you can, when you can, and how you can as long as you don't hurt anyone or break any law. If I decide today that I no longer feel like the gender I was assigned at birth, you would take my word for it based on nothing other than what I tell you. Not only that, you would go a step further to encourage me to be comfortable in what I feel like. And yes, everyone should proudly wear their identities. In fact you would not dare question such a person because you would be scared of being politically incorrect. So I reckon you should let people worship God however they deem fit. Yeah indeed, you may have constructive criticism whatever, but truly, objectively speaking it's none of your business how I live out my faith. It really isn't.

Even when I shade so called evangelicals in America (ahem ahem) who would use Christianity for everything except help the poor and the oppressed and the marginalized, I know I really can only talk; I have no claim over them or their religion. When American politicians (who are public servants and rightly deserve scrutiny) would rather monitor wombs, give everybody guns than provide healthcare (America though, really?!!!),  at the end of the day I can only vote them out; I have no right to question their faith or indeed I can, but they have every right to be offended when I do.

So seriously, DO YOU. And let others BE. Sheesh.

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.)  "Incompetence dressed up as strategy is still incompetence." Preach, Chimamanda. Preach.

2.) This old article/profile on Marilyn Mosby, the prosecutor for the Freddie Gray case as a reminder that sometimes one can get into politics with the best intentions and still muddle everything up.
Indeed, not just politics; anything really. I'm just quite sorry she lost more than the case.

3.) Oh boy, the King Women series by Kemi Adetiba. I had heard quite a lot about it. However, if there is anything about the internet and my generation, it's the hype of everything. So I took it with a grain of salt. I did however watch the Remi Fagbohun episode. Pretty stellar. I will definitely watch the old ones as well.

4.) Comey hearing aka political Super Bowl. If you ask me, it was a little bit underwhelming. Not because Comey didn't have the tea, but because those folks representing us are a little bit spineless and will take no action no matter what he testified. Ahmean, what's up with Grandpa McCain?!

5.) Seriously, the same way there is an age requirement before you can run for these offices, there really should be age limits too. The law of diminishing returns starts to manifest for many people once they approach 80.

6.) Have you heard of #Olowogbogboro? So God is using Nathaniel Bassey to stir up a revival and passion for Him among young people on the internet. I had been seeing it all around and was curious. Till M and S told me about it: a one hour praise and prayer event live on Instagram. It was, as we say on Twitter, LIT.

7.) I’m not even sure which was more exciting: getting together to praise God or seeing so many young people be so passionate about praising God. Yes, Christ trended #Olowogbogboro

8.) It just occurred to me that we are about halfway through the year. God help us.

On Substituting Fear With Love

One of my biggest fears is becoming jaded. And in this maddening world, it has never been easier to be jaded. Five minutes of reading tweets from America's president is enough to make you roll your eyes so bad, you almost convulse. Anyway, so as we all know London suffered a disaster this weekend when terrorists attacked, and left some dead with several others injured. This came just weeks after the Manchester bombing. So of course, it's a lot. And this kind of news tends to overwhelm people and sadly, terrify people as well.



But this most recent attacks did the opposite. Instead of cowering or submitting to fear, most people responded with love and strength, and just the kind of unity the terrorists could not have expected. As I watched Colplay perform Viva La Vida during the Manchester concert for the victims of the Manchester terror attack, I was renewed with hope. A kind that really is hard to define. What is even more beautiful is everything Ariana Grande has done since the attack. The maturity she has displayed, goodness! And what's MOST beautiful is seeing families of victims, amidst their sorrow and personal loss, charge everyone to not bow down to terror; seeing them insist that no one drastically alter how they live just because of some morons; seeing these people denounce terrorism, not the entire religion of Islam. Ha. Amazing. As soon as the attack in London happened, people who lived nearby went on Twitter to offer their apartments to strangers who needed a place to stay; "a cup of tea" or just "a couch to calm down", some said. Truly, truly kind.



Of course, there are the few who still love to use such vicious attacks to incite vitriol and hatred. But they can not and will not win. Because people have proven again that not only are we resilient, we will not succumb to fear. American news media in their love for hysteria kept talking about how Londoners were reeling, and how streets were deserted yidi yada. Londoners were like nah bruh, it's Sunday, we havin' a lie in 😀.  In fact the hashtag #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling consists of things that actually leave the British people reeling, as opposed to the terror attacks. Can you imagine how defeated the perpetrators must feel? Ha that brings so much joy to my heart.


I know many people are still somewhat tempted to blame Islam. But let me remind you that the REAL Muslims are fasting and praying and condemning these attacks. Some of such real muslims were the first to call the police yesterday. So please ignore those select few who weaponize  religion. If we can find a way not to condemn all Catholics when a few priests destroy the lives of innocent boys; if we can find a way not to condemn all Christians for the actions of the Ku Klux Klan; surely we can find a way to not vilify all Muslims because of the actions of a few morons.

In these times, beyond the love emanating on social media and from people generally, I also remember a love most important to me: God's love. I remember his words in John 16:33(NLT):

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

And these words give me all the peace I need.  It's not that He will overcome or that he may, it's that He already HAS overcome. What more do I need?

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) Socially awkward.

2.) I just got on the Designated Survivor train. I'm not used to seeing Jack Bauer not running around hunting down a terrorist; otherwise so far so good.

3.) Although, why has no one told me about the awesomeness of Jake Gyllenhaal. Goodness, he can ACT! I watched two movies he starred in (Southpaw and Nightcrawler) and he was so different in both movies, only someone as good could have pulled off both character.

4.) Why doesn't he have an Oscar?

5.) I  have to sometimes remind myself that I’m not alone and God is with me on this journey.

6.) Cast your worries on to God for he cares.

7.) Still with her.

On Praying Boldly

Blogging is good for when you have something to share. I say this because I have something to share😀. My current plan on YouVersion is about prayer.  The plan is called "Teach Me to Pray: Devotions From Time of Grace".  Before I continue, I need to reiterate the awesomeness of YouVersion. You need that app for your spiritual journey mannnn. I mean. Ok let's continue. So praying. I like to keep emphasizing the importance of praying, because many Christians just don't get it.

Oh what needless pain we bear all because we don't take things to God in prayer.



Anyway, so this plan one day spoke on the importance of praying boldly. I didn't say with arrogance, I said with confidence; confidence that the God you are speaking with hears you. He doesn't just hear you, He is just as capable of helping you with whatever it is. I mean whatever. He looks forward to hearing you and welcomes your prayer. Sometimes people are convinced God doesn't care about their prayers or that as soon as they express their hearts' desire, that's when God decides to turn His back. That couldn't be less true. God doesn't just tolerate us, He loves us. So ask. Ask boldly even. Ask like you are before the King of kings. Don't ask like you're irritating God because you really are not. And there will probably be times you don't know how to or you just don't feel like asking. Well, God knows our thoughts even before we express them. Indeed, the holy spirit is able to interpret even our groans and sighs. God really, truly cares. Get on it girllll....or dudee! Haha.

"...You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord."- Psalm 139:3-4 (NLT)

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." Romans 8: 26-28 (MSG)



So when you ask, believe you have received. When you ask, believe that God has heard and trust in the process even if you immediately feel like nothing has changed. Of course, it's not as easy as it sounds. But know that God is sovereign. That's very true. And he is always moved with compassion for us. So honestly, you have to learn to live beyond your feelings. My pastor shared something about this past week and it was quite good. She talked about practical ways to live beyond your feelings, to not be so consumed with or act based on how we feel every single time. It was timely too. So I will probably blog about it some time.

Well that's it.

Pray. Even more, pray boldly. And when you absolutely can't, know the holy spirit has gotcha.

Love,

Friday Reflections

1.) Priscilla Chan took every single science class offered in high school, and when she ran out of classes to take, she created a cancer Biology class. Woah.

2.) See her husband's commencement speech at Harvard yesterday on helping others find their purpose.

3.) They are really inspiring. I love how they challenge each other and grow together. Fave.

4.) If panting could be felt easily through words, you'd hear my heart thumping against my chest right now and me breathing through my mouth. I just completed this workout.

5.) Whew

6.) I'm super thankful for life and for grace and for favor.

7.) Pray boldly.

8.) Match making is as awkward as you think it is. No, it's more awkward. It's not that in itself it's a terrible idea; no the problem is doing it without even bothering to figure out the "type" for the person(s) you are matchmaking.

9.) Anyway, it's memorial day weekend.

Have a great one!

On Hating the 4C Natural Hair Struggle

Today we are talking about the natural hair struggle. So you probably already know my hair story and if you don't well, here. I want to be frank about MY own hair struggles, which I assume is the same with other black girls or at least those with the same hair pattern as me. Mine is 4C according to the natural hair gurus. 4C is usually synonymous with coarse, annoyingly-tough, kinky, always matted and tangled hair. That's my hair. Some parts of my hair might look like 4B though. Or no, I'll put it this way: whenever I manage to tame the hair and make it look nice, people swear it's a 4B and not a 4C. So the lower you go, the fancier the "curls". That's all BS to me. But I'm no expert, which is why I am choosing to talk about MY hair.


My hair stresses me. To be fair, even when my hair was relaxed, it was hard to manage. I like my hair. I really do. But why do I have to pre-poo, wash, condition, deep condition, do oil treatments, mix gazillion oils together to get good hair? Why do I have to do so much to grow it, and then when it finally grows, I have to tuck the hair under protective styles to retain this length? What then is the point of the length if it's going to always be hidden in protective styles? In all honesty, I don't do as much as others, but I do a lot too. Except during really hectic weeks, I spend about three hours (or more) EVERY week deep conditioning, shampooing, pre-pooing yidi yada.

What's funny is I don't know how, when, and why I bought into the hype. If you read my hair story, you'd know that from childhood up till I finished secondary school (high school), I never permed my hair AND I was in boarding school. Being in boarding school meant there was barely time to shower, much less care for any stupid hair. I only washed it and conditioned whenever I was home, which was about once in three months or so. My mom used to buy me hair creams, shampoos, conditioners (which, by the way had minerals and sulphate and other chemicals millennials would never touch with a ten foot pole if their lives depended on it). Anyway, so I would never ever use these products she bought me, because I was the most lackadaisical, carefree teenager in this whole wide world. I just had no care in this world. So no I never moisturized my hair. But my hair was so freaking full and HUGE and long. The hair blossomed. I wish I had a picture from those days with my hair just in its afro state. But I don't. My hair was so much that my aunt always joked that I had too much hair so if hairdressers mistreated my hair (which they often did) I shouldn't bother. I never did bother anyway. So with no care, the hair still thrived. Lesson number one: GENES play a huge role in hair growth.

Now I'll be foolish to revert completely to my old ways as a teenager. Because what my body could tolerate then, it probably can't now. It's the same way we used to eat all kinds of rubbish as kids, and we'd be fine. But the older we become, the more noticeable that belly pooch is. Still, moderation is key. It doesn't help that these products are ridiculously expensive. I don't really mind that. It's the time that kills me. That, and water. I detest having water run from my head to my face so much, I was VERY close to chopping all of my hair off my last wash day. Now I know without a doubt that I prefer my hair without relaxers, I don't like it bone straight; I don't even blow it out. I like it coily. Not those weird "definition" YouTubers advise you to get by contorting your hair into many different pretzels. I mean, I like my hair as is. So relaxers are out of it. I wish it was more manageable and I wish it tangled  less. But I like it. So to not have to hate something I like so much, I have decided to ignore every stupid natural hair rule and just do me. It means not pouring water on my head every single week. It means just leaving my hair alone. It means doing protective styles I like.

If you feel the same frustration with your hair that I do, I understand. It doesn't help that societal definition and expectation of fine/pretty/beautiful hair is not necessarily ours, not even among the black community. Many people with our hair type genuinely think 4C hair is ugly and are disappointed about that. It's like, why would God make our own hair so...undesirable. If you type in Google: why is 4C hair so... the first word that pops out is ugly. That's why that Shea Moisture ad irritated me even more. If any group of women have hair struggles, it's definitely us black ones. But that's for another time. Anyway I think fussing too much over hair makes it more frustrating. Lesson number two: do you. Really, do you!

This may sound corny, but beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. It's your hair, love it as is. And if your preference is bone straight, get out and buy that relaxer now. Perm the hair, fix a weave...seriously, do your hair the way you prefer it, not as some other person defines it. At least that's my plan henceforth.

Love,

I

Invade My Privacy Tag

Tags are fun. Unfortunately, I don't have a Vlog so I tend to do mine here and not on YouTube

I found this on Berry Dakara's YouTube page today and thought, why not? Okay let's do this.



1. Did you wake up cranky?
Nope. I woke up very thankful actually.

2. Would you date an 18-year-old at your current age?
Lol. NO. God forbid.

3. Do you prefer to be friends with girls or boys?
Hmm I would say girls. Honestly, I don't think any sex is inherently better at being friends. I just said girls because a) I have more girl friends. b)I just happen to understand girls more, I think. I mean, I am a girl, after all.

4. Would you ever smile at a stranger?
Yea, why not?

5. Can you commit to one person?
Definitely. Beats committing to several people, in my opinion.

6. How do you look right now?
Lol. Not too good. I literally have a scarf on. It's a Sunday afternoon; don't judge me.

7. What exactly are you wearing right now?
Top, jeans, scarf, and socks.

8. How often do you listen to music?
Not too often. I'm not really a music person.

9. Do you wear jeans or sweats more?
Jeans

10. Do you think your life will change dramatically before 2017?
I don't think so. But I always allow for God to work in my life.

11. Are you a social or an antisocial person?
Antisocial

12. If the person you like say they like someone else, what would you say?
Nothing really. Okay? I guess.

13. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Lol yes

14. Can you drive a stick shift?
No :-(

15. Do you care if people talk badly about you?
I do to a certain point; at least depending on who the person is. After a while, I stop caring.

16. Are you going out of town soon?
If town is where you live, then I'm currently out of town.

17. When was the last time you cried?
I really can't remember.

18. Have you ever liked someone you didn't expect to?
YES hahaha.

19. If you could change your eyecolor? would you?
Eww eww eww. Never. Even If I have to wear contact lenses, it would not be colored.

20. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Lol I'm on vacation so: watch West Wing?

This was not as interesting as my other tags like this and this but hey, it was fun nonetheless.

Friday Reflections

1.) Scandal's finale...what a twist, huh?! It was a good season though.

2.) Grey's on the other hand was very underwhelming. I'd advise they take a bow while the ovation is still loud.

3.) When Grey's does end..I will be extremely sad.

4.) Uncertainty...again. Pretty much my kryptonite.

5.) Hey! If God is for me, what can be against me? The answer is nada. Nothing.

6.) Why do female celebrities always use their husbands as managers, while the male celebrities hardly ever employ their wives as managers? Are women generally terrible managers?

7.) My struggle with my hair is sometimes overwhelming. Like why can't I just wake up, tszuj it up and be out the door? Why must I spend almost 3 hours pre-pooing, detangling, shampooing, deep conditioning ughhhh.

8.) I genuinely need an answer. I love my hair but it drives me crazy sometimes. I will talk more about this.

9.) Life is quite mysterious; someone can be here one minute and gone the next. I was really sorry to hear about the Nollywood actress Moji Olaiya who passed away this week. So sad.

10.) Oh people are tacky. Can you imagine someone posted a picture of her corpse. T A C K Y. Disrespectful and just...girl, bye.


If I gave a Commencement Speech

It's sort of a coincidence and also not a coincidence at all that this post will bear some semblance with graduation speeches. I first got the inspiration for this before graduations began, and then pushed it/postponed it/forgot about it/life happened and I was like well, what better time than now?

It also might be a little bit contradictory to what you would hear a commencement speaker say. I actually love listening to commencement speeches. Think of some of the greatest ones: arguably the most famous one by Steve Jobs in 2005 at Stanford; the one by Barack Obama at Howard last year; J.K. Rowling at Harvard; John Legend at UPENN in 2014; Shonda Rhimes' return to her alma mater Dartmouth; Oprah at Harvard in 2013; Jim Carrey; and of course most recently, Will Ferrell at USC.
I have not only watched them, I have written about some of them. And some of these are my absolute favorite. They all charge you, albeit with different methods, to strive to become a better you. And that's absolutely amazing. But sometimes as with other aspects of life, they place too much burden on these young graduates to: follow their hearts, find themselves, change the world, find their passions, find what you love, not settle for anything less than the absolute best. All of which are great advice if they weren't so...vague. I like Adam Grant's analysis best, too much or too little of everything is never good. I am and have always been averse to such vague, pithy sayings that sometimes paralyze people into inaction instead of motivating them. See for instance, the myth of a dream job.

"People often say this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not what someone finds, it's something one creates." - Thomas Szasz

If I was ever to give a commencement speech it would go something like:



People are often bugged down with finding their passion, and waiting to hear from their heart as if beneath them lies the answer and secrets to all of earth. Yet nothing is more false. As I have often mentioned, there are some very few people born with an innate desire and longing for one particular thing. From the moment these ones entered this world, they KNEW without a doubt what they would become and have worked towards it since then. The rest of us are not so lucky. The majority of us have to pull ourselves by our bootstraps; work hard, grab opportunities when they come along, and trust God's grace. In other words, we really are just winging it.

So let's dissect some of these popular sayings, shall we?

Follow your heart.

Don't. I mean of course listen to your intuition. Trust your guts, whatever that means for you. But like my pastor recently mentioned, "just because feelings are real doesn't mean they are right." He further said, "God's definition of man's heart isn't very trustworthy".
"The heart of man is desperately WICKED."
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (NIV)
Yeah, you don't want that guiding you. We as human beings are so bloody fickle and we fluctuate so much, that it's not very reliable to just make life-altering decisions based on how you feel. Seriously this one works for career as much as it does romance. I would instead pray hard and trust God's will to be done. While doing that, I will remain practical and make decisions based on my circumstances and situation. You can't and probably shouldn't quit your job and travel if you can't afford it. Even God said to count your cost before building. That being said, faith is not rational, but there is a peace that surpasses human understanding. So while you shouldn't be unrealistically idealistic, you still need to trust that peace you feel. But don't sit around waiting for your heart to talk to you, please. In the words of my fictional shero, Cristina Yang, hearts are organs with a main job of pumping blood and supplying the body with oxygen; they don't talk.


Change the world.

Oh Honey! You can not. You are not God. Can you do your absolute best to contribute to a better world? Best believe that. But can you, lil ol' you singlehandedly change this crazy, crazy world? NO. It's simply impossible. Do your best, but refrain from inflating your ego so much that you begin to think your work is what would change this world for the best. No.

Find your passion.

This one has been turning heads since forever. We are typically a mesh of many several things. I for instance, love a good book, I love politics, I love enlightening debates, I love to write, I'm intrigued by people's minds, I love listening to personal stories, I also wonder a lot about how a child is formed in the womb, but I also like pretty dresses, but I also wonder how extremely difficult brain surgeries are, I'm one of the most curious persons I know, and of course I like social justice. And these are just SOME of the things I like.  I don't have a passion; I'm interested in so many things, it makes me dizzy just to think about them. Most people are. The God that made us is a helluva creative one. People (and I used to be this way too) get so worried if they don't find their passions, they would wither and die a slow death. Is it easier to do what you already enjoy? I think so. But you can also find something you are remotely interested in and work your ass off, so much it becomes a passion. If you look at some of my favorite things, you find I could have been a psychologist, news anchor, teacher, doctor, fashion designer, author etc. All of which I probably could excel in. That's how life is: God gives us an array of choices. Pick one and run with it.

Be yourself.

This one is tricky. Of course genuineness is always appreciated. But the truth is, sometime you sucks. You might have a terrible character, suffer a great deal from low self-esteem, be lazy, be hateful and vile, be incredibly selfish, know nothing. In these cases do NOT be yourself. Learn to be better. Do better. Be a better person; spouse; child; sibling; relative; friend; employee; boss; citizen. Be better.

So that's my advice: Be flexible. I don't care if Jesus himself told you what exactly to do in life, be flexible about achieving it. Be open to Option B always! If you look closely at Jobs' speech, there is a pattern: he tried different things, failed at several points; and kept DOING. And the best part of his speech, I think, is the emphasis on not being able to connect the dots looking forward, but only by looking backwards. It never ever makes sense looking forward. Now interpretations of this post will vary. You should put in mind though that I mostly wrote this as a person of faith; a person who keeps God center in her life. Not everyone is this way and I sorta understand. The fundamentals are the same however. There is a mystery to life, and you need this mystery; it's a part of life. You need not worry about figuring everything out; also a staple of life. It's a lie that everything works out for everyone; it doesn't. But if it doesn't, it's seldom because they didn't receive a blazing light from heaven displaying instructions on how to live. Life is just weird like that sometimes, in that you can do everything right and still get it wrong. I'm sorry about that. But as you will find out, human beings are wired to weather storms and come out strong. We have an extraordinary amount of resilience in us. Always remember that. Remember also, that to have a remarkable career is to work remarkably hard. Please, please, please do not let this detract you from dreaming big. No. Dream big, just remember to wake up and actually do.


Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) The last two episodes of Law and Order SVU pretty much ripped their plots from headlines, I mean with a good spin on them though. Only if life imitated art and *cough cough* and people suffered consequences for sexual harassment their actions.

2.) Queen of Katwe!! Wonderful performance by Lupita Nyongo'o and David Oyelowo.

3.) Sally Yates for all the  brilliant women who have had to stand before incompetent, misogynistic bullies, who think they can intimidate women. Hers is a lesson: be prepared and know your shit.

4.) Sometimes I'm working or sleeping or in a serious situation, then I remember ajeku iya loje and burst into raucous laughter. Then I pause and wonder who Nigeria offended to get the leadership we currently have.

5.) Nevertheless, she persisted.

6.) I honestly believe if someone's nudes are leaked and you actually view it, you are part of the problem :-)

7.) "Fear based repentance makes us hate ourselves, Jesus-based repentance makes us love ourselves." - Michael Giroux

On Resisting Gender-Based Violence

I honestly did not want to put out anything today. I've had such a long week and day, that I just want to curl up in a ball and re-watch episodes of West Wing on Netflix.

But I needed to talk about this, albeit briefly. And not to keep talking about gender as this isn't a gender based blog or anything, but this is now pandemic everywhere. It's domestic violence. Domestic violence has of course always been in existence. But current news suggest that for every step we take forward, we are taking another five backwards.

Mercy Aigbe's skull was bashed and she has been giving interviews explaining how her husband constantly pummeled her. There are also tons of pictures detailing the extreme physical abuse she went through, to in her words "keep her marriage".

Today, news broke that a South African babe was murdered and then set on fire by her boyfriend. Another was stabbed by her fiancé in Abuja. Yet another in the U.S embarked on a killing spree mission (although he thankfully was only able to take one life before taking his) in the name of his girlfriend.

Are these men mad?

Because I'm sick of telling women to leave, run, blah blah. First of all, statistics show that doesn't really help. Even after some women leave the abusive situation, the men still come after them to finish off what they started.

So I ask again: are these people mad?

Because it's high time we addressed the perpetrators of these heinous acts. If your partner is getting on your nerves, how about YOU leave? Instead of beating the poor woman eh? After all, these same raggedy men are able to control themselves when stopped by the police and are able to comport themselves when their bosses are irritating them. Or do you hear of men beating their bosses out of anger? How can you not extend the same self control to your wives/girlfriends?

I think the problem is mostly fundamental. Many men were raised with such entitlement that they can't bear the thought of  women not being subservient to them. While some people get high from excellence or a movie or whatever, some others need women to cower to get such high. So please start to teach your sons to use their words, not their fists, and to be kind and respectful.

Now we might be past all that for the grown men out there who are going about beating people. And the other grown ones who when they hear and see domestic abuse first think to ask the idiotic question: but what did she do? Or was she nagging him? Or of course he was angry

All of you in the category above need to get your behind hauled off to jails to deal with your match. As you can tell, I'm in no mood to sing kumbaya today. So we need the rule of law and good criminal justice systems to arrest violent domestic partners. No joke. People are out here committing murders and damaging skulls. At the very least, they should rot in jail for it.

Enough with the begging and pleading and "lobbying" for equality or against violence against women. It is actually being demanded now. No joke. Get in 2017 or be left behind.

Love, and solidarity,

I

P.S: Knowing myself, I will be back on this topic again when I have carefully formulated my thoughts. For now I just wanted to express my anger and disgust for the perpetrators; and my pity and love for the victims.

On Male Authorities and the Gender Inequality Problem

I remember having a conversation a while ago with a friend, who is back in Nigeria. I don't remember specifics of this conversation, and I'm not bothered enough to think about it. I'm pretty sure though that it hovered around U.S. politics. We were debating (or so I thought), and going back and forth on an issue. And before I could say Haagen Dazs, I was being accused of having "issues with male authority." Me? Moi? Èmi?

Pause.


If this was a sitcom, the narrator would say: It was at this moment Ife realized a fact of life. As a woman, no matter how smart you are, someday, some guy would definitely mansplain to you, without forgetting to patronize you in the process. To be honest, I don't necessarily care that a person has a dissenting opinion from mine. I like to think I can disagree with you/engage in a healthy debate, and not resort to absurd accusations, and also still remain friends. But to so carelessly dismiss my opinion and call me "sentimental" even after giving you objective facts is confusing. To not even for a second consider I could, you know be able to reason objectively, without my hormones interjecting. As if women don't know have brains to think; we are strictly controlled by our feelings. To be so condescending; so disrespectful; so dismissive of what I had to say.  Now that's just rude. Had I been a man, there is NO way this person would have called my argument "sentimental". I remember having to explain that I wasn't just spouting off things off the top of my head: in fact, I had to explain that I had worked with/studied some of these things. Nope, he conspicuously ignored all of that. So to say I have issues with male authority because I disagreed with you, thereby implying you are some sort of authority is just...nonsensical at best, and outright misogyny at worst. How does the ordinary virtue of being a man make you an authority over me or anyone else for that matter? HOW? How can you believe that you are inherently superior to/better than someone else, either because of your sex or race?

Woah. Misogyny. Ife, how did we get here? I will tell you.

I remember saying misogyny and sexual assault aren't trivial issues to be just swept aside. To which, this so called male authority responded that they were no issues to him in any way. It was at this point, I think, that I went crazy. I remember being so furious, I was probably hyperventilating. What?!



And because I find that when you are quiet in the presence of bullies; when you don't give them a rebuttal, you are enabling them. So school them instead. Of course this will come with the risk of being called angry or accused of having issues with male authority or whatever else rocks their boats. Do it anyway. Because for every such man who merely thinks women are lesser creatures than men, there is another who actually acts as though men are inherently better. So no I have no problem with male authority. I just have a problem with rape apologists, sexual assault, misogyny, and gender inequality.

Anyway, that was just a story I remembered and wanted to share. I find that people usually prefer silence; they'd want you to be subservient, to cower. Nah. With that said, I should probably head on to the main reason for this post. I found some tweets, which really demonstrate why everyone should be feminists.






Look and carefully read every one of those tweets and tell me there is no problem. Go ahead.

Love, and some equality,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) Check out this babe on fireeeeee. Lol. And I really love that she's Nigerian too.

2.) Perhaps I need to procrastinate in order for me to put out good work. Yes whatever makes me sleep at night.

3.) My awkwardness increases by about 100% around kids; I just don't know what to do with them. It doesn't help that I know nothing about cartoons/animated movies. The other day, I had to Google Dory.

4.) There is a brand new (not really though) couple; both of them are the latest Nigeria's sweethearts. Banky and Adesua...from a movie to reality. They almost literally broke the internet. It was HUGE. I gotta say, I'm like the most cynical human being, and even I was incredibly sentimental and excited for them when I heard.

5.) Well kept secret, plus it does seem genuine. I wish them well.

6.) "A stormy marriage and a svelte proposal in one week lol. Life is really a pot of beans." Someone made this comment this on a BellaNaija post on another celebrity's recently failed marriage. Life is truly usually an amalgamation of such contrasting realities. Well, I also wish Mercy Aigbe well.

7.) Ours is a culture of silence. Everything has to be hush hush, and the younger generation never learns anything except the silence that is passed onto us. So I'm glad she spoke out. If he (or SHE) is pummeling you; you have every right to fight for your life. Run. Leave. Survive.

8.) The more I find God, the more certain I am that I need Him.

9.)  [Almost] relieved. Certainly incredibly joyful to have crossed another hurdle. Progress is beautiful.

10.) UGH these men; I'm still irritated.

11.) Thankfully, we talk about the systemic oppression of black people in this country a lot. What is seldom talked about is the stereotyping of and blatant discrimination against Africans (or African immigrants) by African Americans.

On Praying and Resisting

When I woke up this morning, I decided to blog about prayer and praying. I was going to say praying has never been so important than it is now. And it really doesn't matter if it doesn't feel like nothing is happening afterward. You just have to trust God's timing. Sometimes He answers really quickly, sometimes with a pace that surprises us. Other times He takes longer than we expect. But:

"...the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people." - Revelation 5: 8

Do you know what an incense is? It's a substance that is burned for the sweet smell it produces. Our prayers literally produce sweet smells to God. Imagine that? It releases smoke to God, so it doesn't go unnoticed. It's amazing. So I was gonna encourage you to pray, pray, and keep praying.


And then I found out today was National Day of Prayer.

Okay...cool. Great coincidence, I thought.

And then I found that the old, white men in Congress (House) have repealed Obamacare. So yeah, on the national day of prayer (whatever the H E double hockey-sticks that means), they yanked healthcare from millions of people. And now with the new healthcare law they want, if it succeeds tons of people with pre-existing conditions would be denied healthcare. Think about babies who are born with health defects permanently denied insurance for something they had no control over. Think about rape victims who have to choose between reporting the rape and forfeiting insurance, and keeping quiet so they can continually get insurance. And of course, women, poor people, and black people will probably bear the brunt of this. I mean, a C-SECTION is a pre-existing condition.

Sigh.

I have seen horror stories on social media all day of people with cancer, HIV, and other health conditions basically horrified by how much debt they would have to incur if that bill passes in the Senate as well. And guess what, Congressmen are celebrating this "victory" in the white house now.

It's sorta, kinda monstrous.

So yeah, it was discouraging.

On the national day of prayer, many have to rethink their fates regarding healthcare.

What a great coincidence, I thought.

Ultimately, I will have to go back to my own advice in the first three paragraphs of this post: praying and trusting God. AND come 2018,  I will be VOTING THEM OUT! 😊

Yours in resistance,

I

Moved With Compassion

I remember thinking recently: "God is kindhearted." I actually first read that somewhere, I can't remember where anymore. But it was so deep to realize that God is actually kind. So when today in church, my pastor kept reiterating how compassionate God truly is, it meant two things to me. The first has to do with the aforementioned kindheartedness of God. The second has to do with me and maybe you.


He was moved with compassion

The Bible says, over and over again about Christ. When he saw crowds confused and helpless, he was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36). The MSG version says, His heart broke. When He saw the widow whose only son had just died, He was overflowed with compassion. When He saw the two blind men? You guessed right...He was full of compassion. The other time when crowds had been with him for days, without food, He felt compassion. When He sees us anxious, worried, heartbroken, He has compassion. Because He cares about us. Which is why He charged us to come to Him when heavy laden, so He can give us rest. That's who He is. I think that resting in assurance of this intrinsic characteristic of God is paramount to a journey with him or even just to get through life. To know that, when you mourn, lose, fail, he cares and understand, can get you through whatever it is/

But the focus was really on us today in church. How it's part of our mission to be more compassionate. Or in my pastor's terms, "compassionated". You know, like caffeinated lol. Such that compassion is our default mode. Not vengeance; not retribution; not piety. You know how you see someone or a situation and the first thing you think is, "well well...he did deserve it." Hahaha I'm super guilty of this. So yeah, no. We need to unlearn that and learn to be inherently compassionate. More so especially since that's who God is.  Capisce?

So yeah.

I can't believe it's May; well technically it's still April, albeit one more hour to May (on my end). Time does fly. But hey we already knew this. Also,  I don't want to be the person who talks about weather all the time, but this weekend was so HOT. Whew. Seasons come, and go indeed.

Have a blessed May. I know I will.

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) I have lots of goodies today. Shall we?

2.) Scandal was popping last night. It was easily the best episode in all six seasons

3.) This essay on how TEEN VOGUE editor-in-chief and her fiancé met: ALL THE FEELS. Also easily the most enjoyable love story I ever read.

4.) Okay this is a very close second. AND it was a tight race too. May we all find and be truly happy with our carrots.

5.) Her father got out of prison after 30 years; their reunion is a lesson on communication and love.

6.) Soooooooo Jesse Williams, huh? What are we going to do with him? Despite the fury on Twitter and everywhere else, I'm surprisingly indifferent.

 7.) I hope it's all a rumor and if it isn't, I really pray that men learn how to do better by black women. I'll be honest; if it's true, it's disappointing. Very.

8.) I heard another Nollywood actress's marriage bites the dust today. I also asked my brother today: do you think women are genuinely scared of leaving their physically [and emotionally] abusive husbands because well, we have all seen how quickly domestic violence escalates into murder when the woman dares leave? Or is it because they are genuinely embarrassed to have chosen so poorly and would do anything to save face?

9.) Number 8 was way too long for a FR post.

10.) I don't think I ever talked about how the show Bones ended (Yes! Series finale) on the blog, and I will. I already miss the show.

11.) Re my blog: I'm constantly torn between I want people to read my blog and I feel so exposed giving people front row seats to my thoughts via my blog. I constantly debate quitting blogging altogether. But it has the strings to my heart, so I find my way back. Mostly.


Love,

I

How To Live a Life of Integrity Or The Integrity Checklist

Many people strive to be morally upright and God himself commands us to have integrity. And a lot of times, Christians often wonder and complain about not knowing what to do or not hearing from God. Well sometimes, he couldn't be any clearer. This is one of those times. Psalm 15 gives 7 different things on a checklist of integrity. I don't know about you, but there is so much perversion and evil in today's world that it really has never been more important. Not only are these things necessarily for life, but the Psalm prefaces them by asking who may dwell in God's place. The MSG says: "who gets invited to dinner at God's place?" Woah. I know I want in on that guest list. So I'm sure you do to. Check them out below:


1.) Those who lead blameless lives.

2.) Those who speak the truth from sincere hearts.

3.) Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends

4.) Those who despise evil/wicked/despicable people

5.) Those who keep their promises

6.) Those who lend without interest

7.) Those who never accept bribes

Short and simple. Yes I can be precise sometimes too. Yes, I throw shade at myself.

Ha.

Thank God it's [almost] Friday.

Stay safe.

Love,

I