DO FRIENDSHIPS LAST FOREVER?

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I digress again from my regular motherhood articles…….

A Friendship Series

Can you still remember those pranks you played alongside your friend as kids?

Can you remember swinging, sliding and running around your school’s playground with your best friend?

You were inseperable and always shared in the truimphs and mischief together while growing up.

I can still remember my classroom located on the right wing axis of my primary school’s building. I barely even remember the faces of my classmates in primary 4, but one of those faces, I will never forget.

She was my best friend at that time. She was light-skinned, had big bright eyes and very long, thick and dark hair which I often admired. She was from a wealthy home and her presence had a way of revealing her background.

We both had dreams of becoming doctors and we actually put those dreams on paper. We would sit together and draw our hospital building, complete with all the units.

We would then talk about our drawings and hopes of seeing our dreams come to pass. Neither of us became doctors like we dreamt.

Years have passed and I do not even know where this childhood friend of mine is. The truth is that we both moved on from that phase in our lives. Many things have happened, changes have taken place and we will only always be a memory in our life’s journey.

You see, friends are like seasons. Some are summer, some are spring and some will show up in the winter season of your life.

There are some amongst us who have been lucky to have friends who stuck with them from their childhood till now. This I believe is a beautiful gift reserved for some and should be cherished.

My teenage years and adulthood gave me a new set of friends. Some of them I grew to love and some of them, I will never forget for different reasons. Continue reading

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DO YOU REALLY VALUE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR LIFE?

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A Friendship Series

If I called you my friend, there must be something about you that led me to accept you into my inner circle.

I am not one given to the art of making friends. I am a very private person and my husband remains my best friend. I do have a few friends though, and something about their character and values brought us together.

Someone stepped into my life about 15 years ago. She was smart, bubbly and very gifted. She loved life and she lived it with her whole heart. Funnily enough, she was from the eastern region of the country, but came and shattered the perceptions I had about people from that region, which came as a result of experiences I had with them.

She was different and a great encourager. We had our good times and not-so-good times. We also had moments of laughter and tears. She was a believer and always hoped for the best irrespective of the challenges that came her way.

There are many things about her that I will never forget, but some will always stand out. She believed in her dreams and she pursued those dreams with great tenacity. She always kept her word. If she said it, then she would do it. She was a selfless being who cared deeply about her friends. She was a passionate mother. You could literally feel her love and desire for her son.

I remember how she showed me around Umuahia, a day before her wedding. She said she would and she did. From taking me to her village stream and how easily she shared stories along the way.

And our journey to the war museum in Umuahia and how she shared in her people’s pain and triumphs. And finally to the peppersoup joint, where we laughed out loud at her fiance’s jokes, as we took spoonfuls of hot goat meat peppersoup, while cooling our burning throats with chilled malt drinks.

Some years after this incident, she visited me one last time, alongside her 7-month old son. I remember opening my gate to see her happy face. She always had a smile on even when she had many reasons not to smile. I will also never forget that about her.

She shared her pains and struggles with me that day. I listened and encouraged, but little did I know that it was the last time I would be seeing her on this earth. We had our laughs too and ate some rice and stew together. I got a painful call three months after that visit saying she had passed away.

As I walked behind her coffin at Atan cemetry, tears streamed down my eyes while another friend tried to console me. I taught about all the dreams she shared with me. I taught about her then barely 1-year old son and how he may never know how special and caring his mother was. I taught about how she always overcame her challenges and why death had to take her in her prime. I had no answers.

This was about 8 years ago and she was in her early 30’s. Her death changed my perception about life in some ways. I had about 7 years of deep friendship with her.

I can still hear her voice and words. Those words always give me a lot of hope and support.
It was a great relationship filled with deep lessons and pleasant memories. And this led me to this, something I hold close as I journey through life. Continue reading

How A Blind Woman Welcomed Her Child to The World

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“My eyes dey open. I dey see my pikin” ~Pidgin English

“I can see. Yes, I can see my child.”~ English

Imagine a woman whose eyes are shut to the beauty and awesomeness of God’s creation.

Imagine how much she wishes to see that ray of light that brings life to the whole world.

Imagine how much she wishes she could see how her body has changed with each trimester of carrying a life inside her.

Imagine how much she wonders what her child will look like when he arrives the world.

Imagine how her fingers will gently stroke his hair, as her other senses come alive to behold God’s grace and love in her child.

Imagine the words she will speak to her child, even though she may never get to see what he looks like.

Imagine the tears and joy that will come, when this blind woman finally becomes a mother.

You just imagine for a moment.

But then,

I have never met a blind pregnant woman. I have also never seen or held a baby born by a blind woman. But someone I know did and she shared this experience sometime ago.

She is popularly called Nurse Preggy (Emmanuella Inah), and she is a licensed nurse and midwife in Nigeria, who is lighting up the world in her own little way.

She shared once, about when a friend told her about the bad state of the Primary Health Care Center in her village, she went on and volunteered to work in that community for two months. And it was there that she met a blind preggy for the first time.

She described the blind preggy this way, – ‘Her aura was nothing like I had experienced recently and her words were selected. She trusted me.’

Nurse Preggy said, ‘And just when this blind pregnant woman was about 8cm dilated in labour, that intense moment when words may fail you at times, this blind pregnant woman, who is about to become a mother began to speak. Continue reading

WHAT MY IYA ALATA (PEPPER SELLER) TAUGHT ME

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And this I will never forget…….

Our relationship began about 7 years ago, a few years after I got married and relocated to another part of Lagos.

Our first encounter obviously led to our long buyer-seller relationship. Iya ……….. was friendly and treated her customers nicely. Even when she was overwhelmed by the influx of customers before her , she always maintained a calm and polite disposition.

I particularly loved the way she always sold my tomatoes, tatashe, shombo and pepper. She knew what I liked and always left me satisfied even when the cost of tomatoes was at its peak.

Each time I stare at my basket of onions at a corner in my balcony, she comes to mind and I remember her last noble gesture to me.

She persuaded me to buy my onions in bulk, knowing that the cost of onions would soon shoot up. She offered to buy it from the main market and she did.

But this I will never forget, the conversation I had with her few days to Christmas last year. I never knew that she will not be here celebrating this new month with us.

She always asked after my family and occasionally she would chat with me and we will laugh together. But on that day, she seemed to be in a sober/reflective mood and told me to thank God with her. She said that God worked miracles and that I must always pray for my children.

She encouraged me that day to pray daily and always for my children. She shared her testimony of how God supernaturally brought her straying child back home. She told me about how she always lay awake in the middle of the night, daily interceding for that child.

In her words, ‘ What if I die today, what will become of this child. No, I will not be alive and watch this child waste away. If prayer is all I that I will do, then I will keep praying.’

And God answered, but not knowing that few months later, she would be leaving this earth. I will never forget her words. If you have read my book ‘ Why you Mother’, she inspired the chapter ‘ Weapons, Battles and Destinies’. Continue reading

Discover The Real Reason Why God Made You a Mother

1562190863What happens when you discover the real reason why God made you a mother?

Did you know that these milestones in your motherhood journey are the memories that will light up your soul in the twilight season of your life?

Do you know that every day gives you great moments to teach and impact your children as a mother?

As the year came to an end in 2018, I had written articles to inspire mothers and my message was clear, to inspire you to find life and purpose in your motherhood journey.

But I still had this burden in my heart that some mothers were still clueless about their calling as mothers.

Then came January 2019, I was in the kitchen making dinner, while pondering about mothers and how much God has put in us, and the privilege we have been given to birth and nurture lives.

I was saying to myself, God made me a mother for a reason and I must make him proud in this area of my life. Then the idea dropped, ‘Why you MOTHER’ and the rest as they say is history. The words that came to my heart is what I penned down in this book.

So why did God make you a mother?

Why should you give your all to teach and nurture your children as a mother?

What happens when you discover the real reason why God made you a mother? Continue reading

What A Mother Taught Her Son About Women and Alcohol

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Do you know that your relationships, habits and character form the core of your existence?

When a mother sits before her grown son, looks him in the eye and speaks those words to him. What do you think would be going through this young man’s mind?

Follow me closely.

Perhaps he may sigh, roll his eyes and let out a deep breath. ‘Here comes another lecture’, he mutters between clenched teeth while keeping a straight face and letting his feet slide from its upright position. He is ready for another masterclass.

He was raised in the palace, surrounded by the glory and splendor of royalty. He was tutored by the best of the best. He had servants at his beck and call and there was nothing he desired, that he couldn’t have.

All of his life, he had been groomed for the throne. He was made for this moment of Kingship, and someone had walked this journey with him, preparing him endlessly for this season.

She was his mother and she always had wise words to speak and good counsel to give. This king was once again before his mother, but this time around, her words are deeper and her message takes a different tone, so much that he pens down the words for posterity.

His mother goes on to deliver a masterclass about life, women, alcohol and living without purpose. But then, she begins with a powerful statement that blows my mind away.

You may recall a few years ago, there was buzz all over the media about Ex-Ghanian football star, Nii Odartey Lamptey, after it was revealed that the 3 children he fathered in his 20 year marriage were not his. A DNA test conducted on the three children revealed this.

It was said that Lamptey upon suspecting his wife of infidelity asked for a DNA test to be performed on the three children and he received the shocking news of his life – none of the three children were his.

He was married to a promiscuous woman. Now you imagine how such a revelation can mess up a man forever.

Now back to the king and his mother.

She was seated with her son and was about to instruct him about life, and begins with this curious statement.

“Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.”Proverbs 31:2‭-‬3 The Message Bible

“Do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.”
Proverbs 31:3 NLT

“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.”
Proverbs 31:3 KJV

Why will a mother choose to speak these words to a grown man who was in a place of influence?

Why does she start to counsel her son who is in a place of leadership with this particular statement?

I believe the answer is in the statement itself.

His mother begins by painting an image of two kinds of women and the resultant effect of mingling with them.

Meanwhile, can I introduce you to a certain woman called Ms Folly. Continue reading

Let Your Child Be ( He/She Is Capable of More Than You Can Imagine)

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Ever heard of the acronym SLO?

Follow me closely.

I only learnt about it recently while reading a book ‘ PARENTING WITH LOVE AND LOGIC’ recommended by Chinyere Obinna in her Whats app group.

It has been an eye-opening experience for many of us in the group. We are unlearning, learning and relearning.

So what does SLO mean. It means SIGNIFICANT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. And with regards to children, it is about creating or using certain opportunities that show up daily to teach children life-lessons, build their character or simply drive home a message.

“Responsibility cannot be taught, it must be caught. To help our children gain responsibility, we must offer them opportunities to be responsible.”

This is one of many quotes from the book that will give you some deep thinking time about your journey as a parent.

A particular chapter I read in the book took me back to about 4 weeks ago. My 9-year old son was given a project work at school. His class teacher asked them to make a car using recyclable material (cartons).

As usual, my son came home excited and kept reminding me about his project. I was not particularly excited because I knew that bulk of the project work was on me. But I was wrong.

About a year ago, when he was in Basic 3, he was given something similar to do, but as at that time it was a house. So like the dutiful mom that I was, I set out to work. I shared the design I had in mind, cut the different parts of the house, glued them together and added my designs here and there, while he watched.

Our indomie- theme inspired house turned out well. His teacher picked it out as one of the best projects. We were excited that we pulled this one off, of course with my imagination and hands, not his. I was wrong again.

But this time around, while my son was whining about how he would not be able to make the car on his own, my husband who happened to hear him, told him immediately that there is nothing that he cannot do.

That was a teachable moment like Wendy Onyenezi-Ologe would say. My husband challenged our son, saying to him that he wanted him to create something using his imagination and experiences. He also told him that it was not about having the best project, but rather about learning to set a goal and achieving it.

I stepped aside at that moment and became a learner and observer in the series of events that followed.

My husband then told our son that he was going to make that car by himself. And that he will only be there to guide him. He also used that moment to teach him about the positive/negative sides of the internet.

He then handed him the phone, guided him on how to go on YouTube to search for the specific information he wanted.

My son chose a video that showed you how to make a car using cartons. He liked the car that was made in that video and over the next few hours that followed, he drew lines on his carton and mapped out different parts of his car.

My 9-year old was completely responsible for the design and implementation of his project work. Of course my husband had to step in to cut out parts of the car, that is because he did not want him handling a sharp/dangerous object all by himself.

The next day, after his dad helped him to cut out the various parts of the car, he sat down, and over the next few hours, glued and joined the pieces of his creation together.

I must say that it was amazing watching him build something from scratch to finish. The passion and dedication was something else. His dad challenged him and he realised that he was more than capable. Continue reading

One Great Motherhood Lesson From The Movie ‘Mummy Dearest’

imagesIf you are a Nigerian and grew up in the 90’s, you may have come across one Nigerian movie that kept a lot of families glued to their screens.

It was a movie with a lot of twists, turns and suspense. It also had us see one actress grace our screens at that time, delivering one of her best and unforgettable performances in a movie.

That movie was ‘ True Confession’ and that actress is Liz Benson. Recently, I was excited when I discovered a movie she did not too long ago, titled ‘Mummy Dearest’. I put it in my plans and eventually got to watch it about two months ago.

In this movie, I got to see a calmer and different side to Liz Benson. She gave us the caring side of a mother, with bits and pieces of the overly protective side of a mother.

I will give the movie a score of 5/10, because though it was interesting to watch, the storyline was not captivating enough to keep me glued. I only watched with a purpose in mind, which was to extract lessons from the movie and that was what kept me to the end.

The story is about a mother in the winter season of her life. All of her kids had left home and she was alone. She kept herself busy with cooking and church activities. Whether she was widowed or seperated, the movie did not tell specifically.

You are welcomed to the movie with a scene of the mother calling her children to ask how they are faring and also to pray for them. It was a routine she never missed. But one of her children, the son found her calls too persistent and started to ignore her calls. This got her worried.

A few months later, her son’s colleague at work lost his mother, and that event caused him to look inwards and decide never to ignore his mom’s call. Infact he decided to spend his next vacation with her away from the city he lived. His mother was elated. You may need to watch the movie to find out more.

For me, one great lesson I extracted from the movie is that, HABITS ARE POWERFUL. This mother had a daily habit of devotion time with God. It was a part of her existence and that her children had left home to find their path was not an excuse to miss her daily devotion with God. Continue reading

Hey Momma, I Think It Is Time For You To Declutter

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“Declutter : To remove clutter from, to tidy.”

I have and still have a habit of giving away things. My mother can testify from way back that some of all those things she kept hidden away, for no specific purpose risked being given away anytime I was around.

I obviously never got used to the act of keeping and keeping things that you know clearly in your heart you would not be using again. I simply loved that breathe of fresh air that came with decluttering.

Few years ago, I cleared out a lot of my first child’s clothes and belongings that I had kept in anticipation of birthing another child.

But days became months and months became years and there was no baby in sight. So I made a decision to declutter and give away most of those things.

You may have walked into a disorganised home at least once in your lifetime. You get to see piles and heaps of all manner of stuff stacked up in different parts of the house. It is always an uphill task when one of the occupants of that home loses something and needs to find it.

He/She gets confused at the state of disorderliness aka jumbled up stuff, and he/she does not even know where to start searching. But do you know that this is what the mind and heart of some mothers look like. Their minds are messed up and in an untidy state with so much junk within.

But how then does a mother with a messy state of mind get to inspire her children for greatness?

How then does a mother whose home is in a state of disorderliness teach her children about cleanliness and the benefits of being organised?

How then can a mother learn to love her home and breath when life seems to choke her, while her home is in a complete state of disarray?

You will agree with me that living in a spacious home gives you room to neatly stack away things that you may not be needing soon. But I believe that even when you have very little space, you can get creative and make your home a tidy haven where love, peace and joy lives.

So can I ask you this my dear mother, don’t you think it is time to declutter?

Maybe it is time to sit alone and rid your mind and soul of all the webs of deceit, circles of unbelief, chains of fearfulness and the fruitlessness of journeying with no specific goal or purpose in mind. Continue reading

What Kind of Mother Will They Remember?(Let Posterity be The Judge)

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Many years ago, I was left speechless as I listened to a young woman share with us (her friends) stories about her mother.

She broke down in tears as she recalled the injustice and untold hatred she had suffered at her mother’s hands. In her words, ‘ I wonder what I ever did to make her dislike me so much’. These memories of her mother were etched in her soul forever.

I have also listened to an elderly man share with me about his love and deep gratitude for his grandmother. He told me, ” When my own mother died, I felt no sense of pain, but when my grandmother died, I felt it deep in my heart and wept profusely.”

His grandmother was his anchor and support, when his parents left to seek greener pastures in a foreign land. Her memory lives in his heart always.

Someone here online once shared about how her mother prayed her and her siblings into good and peaceful marriages. Her mother took it as an assignment and specifically prayed for the kind of spouses she wanted her daughters to have.

In this woman’s words, ‘ Today, I and my sisters are happily married to loving men and our marriages, a reflection of God’s peace.’ Her mother’s action is one memory that will stay glued to her heart forever.

In my life’s journey, I have also watched my mother rise up from the ashes of difficulty. I have watched her stay calm in the midst of life’s storms. I have also seen through her that ‘In quietness, sometimes, therein lies your strength. ‘

I grew up seeing a heart that cares always. I also learnt about the beauty of understanding, wisdom and faith in a marriage.

But these two I will never forget, and it is that hope must never die, because light may just shine at the end of that dark tunnel. And that gratitude and contentment are great virtues to cultivate in your life’s journey. These lessons I will always hold close to my heart.

You may have heard or read about two women in the bible who had a profound impact in the life of a young man named Timothy.

These women, a grand mother and mother were able to plant seeds in the life and heart of a son, so much that the great Apostle Paul had to call them out for their godly and positive influence in the life of Timothy.

The great Martin Luther King Jr known for the famous, ‘I have a dream’ speech in an essay he wrote at Crozer Seminary, said this about his mother, Alberta King:

“She was behind the scenes setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missing link in life. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father.”

The life and story of America’s former President, Abraham Lincoln will be incomplete without mentioning the two women who shaped his life.

In an article titled, ‘ The Two Mothers Who Molded Lincoln‘ , the author shares about the mothers who led Lincoln on his journey to becoming one of America’s finest Presidents.

According to the author of the article, his biological mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln who died at a young age is credited for instilling virtues of honesty and compassion in her son, and also sowing seeds of his intellectual curiosity, while his step-mother, Sarah Bush Lincoln is given credit for improving on Lincoln’s mother’s work by cultivating his reading comprehension and intellect.

In Oppenheimer’s words, “Sarah filled the enormous void in Lincoln’s life after the loss of his biological mother. Although likely illiterate herself, Sarah quenched her stepson’s thirst for knowledge by providing him with books to read. Sarah had an appreciation for the value of an education. She recognized early on there was something special about this boy and defended his right to pursue his intellectual development.”

A well-known preacher and author of ‘Amazing Grace’, John Newton was unashamed to give credit to his mother for his education and foundation in the Christian faith.

Zimbabwean entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa once shared some lessons he learnt from his mother. In his words, “I have often said that some of the most important qualities for running a business, I learnt from my mother. She was a businesswoman in the diaspora.”

But this lesson on saving he shared caught my attention. In his words, ” Because we did not have access to banks, or investors, we saved everything we laid our hands on. My mother was like a little ‘squirrel’, always hiding away small amounts of money. If she made a little money, she made sure that she saved as much of it as possible, for a “rainy day”.

This capacity to save money, and live within one’s means, was always taken to the extreme in our household. When I got a scholarship to go to college. My mother told me to save some of it! She would always ask me, so how much did you save? “

I am sure if I were to ask you to share something inspiring about a mother, you will have a few stories to share too. But aside the stories, words and lessons, I will like to ask you about the steps you are willing to take today as a mother, step-mother, grandmother, aunt, caregiver and woman to truly make a difference in the lives of the children put in your care. Continue reading