Sunday inspiration: Footsteps in the sand

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One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

– by Mary Stevenson

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Hello Gang,

It’s a beautiful new week and the above poem is dedicated to you as you trudge on in 2016. I heard an analogy today in church which I would love to share with you, beautiful people.

Here we go:

A woman carrying an heavy load of (probably) basket filled with tubers of yam (assuming she was coming from the farm) stood by the road side waiting for a cab or lorry or truck to help her to town.

A kind driver came along and parked beside her, urging her to hop in with her load. So she entered and gingerly sat at the back, balancing the heavy basket of farm produce on her laps.

Driver: “hey, woman…you may put the basket beside you on the seat since you have the whole of the back seat to yourself”

Woman: “stuttering. ..no, thank you sir. But I don’t want to burden the car too much nd I’d rather let the basket be on my laps

Driver: “whether it’s on your laps or on the seat, you both are in the car already and it really makes no difference on the car. See?”

The journey to town from the farm side may be likened to our 2016 journey. ..We are the woman and God is the driver.

So, hop into the car with Him and don’t forget to take a deep breath, relax, recline, burrow into the soft fabric of the plush seat, inhale the calming fragrance of the car, drop your basket of produce, worries, et al in the car and simply enjoy the ride while remembering the following verse…1 Peter 5:7:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Blessings,

New Year…New Day…New Beginning

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This is going to be a very quick one as I am still in the process of thoughts-gathering.

I would ‘launch’ this long overdue new home of ours (yes, it belongs to you & I) by first wishing YOU a very happy 2016 even though we are already 13ish days into the year. Never too late, they say.

If we made it this far, we can only make it through and come out happier and better by His grace.

Can you please raise a loud amen? Thank you.

So I finally made the decision to leave the ‘old home’ for this new one. Just because.

I love new beginnings and this is certainly the era of one for this brand.

Things may not have worked out exactly how I envisaged they would, but I still am thankful for the mercies received. Improvement is all I see from here even if the ‘furnishings’ of the new home are not entirely shining bright / sparkling…’manage’ it with me for now, would you?

And so I welcome you to join me on this new phase of this beautiful journey.

Hugs & Blessings,

 

The Gloomy Sky that Spoke..

I’m writing this at my break time at work amidst my cluttered desk.

Sometimes, it appears as if a tornado just ravaged my work desk with the loads of unattended requests, transactions, quotes, Orders, Cards scattered all over, etc. I rather think it has less to do with having too much to do and more to do with organization, anyway.

I know. You know.


Maybe my luck is running high and you would even like to drop by one of these days so I can give you a ‘tour’ of the place I call home for now.

That tour would not take more than 5 seconds considering that the palatial edifice I am talking about is more like a ‘macro studio’ with its own fair share of space…

Humor me, will you?
Thank you. (*wink*)

You are however guaranteed to see more within those short 5 seconds than you would think or imagine such a ‘small’ space could hold.

Clothes on the pressing board, ‘truck-load’ of laundry inside the red laundry basket nestling in a corner at the far end of the passage, 3-day washed clothes waiting to be freed from the washing machine, hair brushes here and there, a shoe here and there, ‘that’ black belt waiting for the next tender-hearted human to pick it up, pencils, story books, note books, crayons, and even much more.

You’re not scared much, yet, are you?

Don’t worry, you won’t trip and you won’t get your dainty foot on any mushy, slimy stuff…we’ve got it perfectly under control as the ‘spirit’ has been leading. Yeeeesss.

Maybe that’s also your truth as much as it’s mine. If it is, then we may as well be kindred spirits and on the flip side…I’m owning my truth. I love it regardless.

Maybe I’ve got too much to handle (like you), today. Everyday.

But tell you what? The state of my desk and home absolutely matches the state of my heart. Very much so, lately.

Myriads of thoughts constantly running amock, littering the floor of the mind…what to make for breakfast tomorrow or dinner tonight, how to keep my lil men entertained, how to constantly ‘bend’ them into shape, D1’s weight or lack of, D2’s stuttering, the many outstanding tasks, phone call ‘debts’, the business, the career, the future, the looming recession and it’s unavoidable effects, skyrocketing bills, all those unlatched ‘containers’ on the rickety trucks always falling on innocent motorists, alarming robbery incidences, my friends needing and deserving ‘fruits of the womb’, little Ire, some doses of heaviness, cobwebs of dark stark grief…and the list goes on.

It’s crazy.

But I have a familiar escape…which is to (almost always) pick and go through my phone to indulge in a favorite pastime of mine…going through pictures taken by me and smiling to myself as I reminisce. In the gallery is the picture above taken somewhere at Grasmere during the last holiday.

It is an ‘ordinary’ picture of an ‘ordinary’ sky that could have been taken anywhere in the world but it spoke to me all the same.

My back on the heavy hammock, Tab poised to capture the sky at the Park.

I agree that this particular picture doesn’t cut it where good / quality pictures are being rated, it was and still is not the best of (my) pictures but I liked it all the same. Just because. It’s 100% mine.

It is a bit gloomy…dark clouds shielding the warm rays of the sun on a cold but (slightly) warm summer morning. Contradictory ba?

But it was only a matter of time before the sun escaped…bursting radiantly forth, bathing everyone it smiles upon with its warm glow.

The picture spoke to me loud and clear.

It reminded me of a very important fact I constantly overlook in all the hustling and bustling and thinking and doing that marks each day.

It told me that if I care to look up (again), I might just catch a glimpse of the sun striving to come forth from behind the clouds… of doubt, fear, sorrow, inadequacies, insecurities, instability, lack, etc.

It told me again that b’ekun pe di ale kan…ayo nbo ni owuro….(if weeping endures for a night, joy comes in the aftermath)

It spoke of hope…and of sunshine coming after the rain, sometimes.

It told me to let you know that whenever those ‘clouds’ you know so well loom large, the key is in looking up. To Him who is able to give the sun the strength required to break free from the dark clouds ensnaring it…He’ll allow the sun shine again and melt away all those thoughts and fears.

The sun will shine bright again. On me. On you. If we just look up and allow the sky to speak to us.

Have a very bright week.

No Longer a Slave to Fear

So I was at the annual Global Leadership Summit earlier and it was loaded as usual, would probably share (here) some of the lessons picked up at the Summit in the coming weeks.

I also got the opportunity to watch the performance of an amazing song by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser…

…and I became hooked from then so much that the song has been on replay on my system ever since.

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Verse 1

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

Chorus

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Verse 2

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

Bridge

You split the sea, so I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me, so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

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I talked about my personal fears at different times previously on here and this song just about puts everything into perspective for me. He split the sea before…and He’s still good at that and I’m just going to keep riding roughshod over dem fears -old and new just like ‘they’ marched across the sea in those days. Whatsmore? This is made possible seeing that ALL of my fears have been so drowned in His perfectly perfect love. EOD.

If you have ever being plagued by fear in whatever shape or form or you are currently laboring under some kind of fear -of failure, dying, living, bankruptcy, losing a loved one, stepping out of your comfort zone, unknown, flying, eating, driving etc then this song of reassurance and affirmation is for you.

Remain Steady..and Win

Can you tell this is another #thingskidssay post?

I am seriously beginning to think differently about this motherhood thing.  

I see myriads of rainbowy beauty already in the nurturing process. A lot more ahah moments are sneaking in on us as we trudge on, on this journey.

So we were gawking at the big screen, the whole 4-makes-a-family-all-of-us and flipping across the screen were the images of some big men chasing one small, round leather contraption, as usual.

Not that I had anything against full grown men chasing one teeny-tiny black/white leather ball, fighting for control but my boy sure had something to say which intrigued me.

D1: ”Mummy, why are they even fighting for the ball? Is it not better to be steady on the ball than fighting for it?” Dunno how you can be steady on a ball that is not within your control…do you?

”I even think they can win by becoming steady on the ball” What does this lil man know about being steady or about football at that?

Me: ”How can they win by being steady on the ball?”

D1: ”If they are steady on the ball, they will be able to see very well and send it into the net”

”Is it even a must that they win the trophy?” Really?

Me: ”Everybody loves winning, Daps, because it feels good” (I should know)

D1: ”I think it is not a must that they win. Because if they don’t win this match, they can win the next one!”

Gbam.

My half-tired senses shot up from their half-sleeping state. This under-age-light-weighted lil boy would not cease bringing the ‘open mouth’ factor to almost every near-conversation.

You bet the keyword in my new definition of motherhood has nothing to do with bringing forth, now; the whole thing has become a learning program (only difference is there are not going to be formal performance appraisals. So I dare not not pick the nuggets from the blissfully innocent words thrown at me from time to time.

I never for the life of me imagined there would be a reversal of roles at some point on this field of play, pun intended. Well, we learn daily and I sure am bracing up for the many more beautiful rainbows to come through these little ones.

But for now, I’m off to practice being steady on the many balls I juggle so I can win in the end. I don’t even want to analyze the words right now, the superficial would suffice for now but I’m leaving you to dissect and digest as you wish.

And I’m also going to leave you with his words which I hope blossoms into a rainbow of hope to color your heart -keep steady on the ball and don’t you worry if you do not win this one, tomorrow is another beautiful day to try again. And win.

Do you usually unexpectedly experience older-than-age wisdom from under-age kids? Care to share?

E is for Escalators

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Wondering what that escalator is doing up there? Will get to it in a second.

I thoroughly enjoyed the last Easter holiday so much that I really wish I could rewind and go over it again.

Been promising to take the boys to the Cinema for a while and we finally chose ‘Easter Monday’ of all days to visit the one at Ikeja City Mall.

You also want to ask what got into me, right?

You know I’m still a ‘learner’ nau.

All I know is I hopped in the car with the boys and drove straight down to the Mall hoping to see a good movie together and also pack in some fun at the Play Zone.

Didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me I don pass my boundary on jamming the long vehicular queue leading to the entrance of the Mall.

Even if we wanted to turn back, na to take one way and risk the wrath of any law enforcement agent around so we had to see the mission through and persevere till we ‘enter’ the Mall.

The crowd was more than crazy; it appeared the whole of Lagos chose the Mall as the only ‘authentic’ Galilee to meet Jesus, all at the same time.

‘Guys, sorry there is nothing we can do here because of the crowd, do you want to go to Fun Place?’
‘Yeeeesss’

Side-eyeing the escalator. 
I smell trouble.

”So let’s go.
‘Mummy, please we want to go on ‘it’
‘What?
‘No, we can’t.
‘Yes mummy, we can. (confidence or faith?)
‘Look at everybody going on ‘it’
‘We are not everybody…I know you won’t like it.
‘But we like it already. Mummy, pleaaaaaassse’
‘D2 will start screaming and crying like he always does’. (Ok…this should work)

‘No, mummy, I wont cry. I promise.
‘Yes, you will. I promise you, you won’t like it (Three can really play that game)
‘Mummy, we like it and we won’t cry…you will see. (This mummy here doesn’t want to ‘see’)

‘You know you can’t get off mid-way if you start crying on ‘it’
‘We know, mummy…let’s get on it first
‘You might injure yourselves on it.
‘No mummy, we won’t…you’ll see.


This could be me but I hate escalators!

‘But...’
Mummy finally ran out of excuses and rejection tactics.

We are seriously reversing roles here, people. Those little ones have got more confidence than some-hundreds-scared-silly mamas put together.

Yipee…the ecstatic feelings could not but shine forth. Thankfully, nobody is paying attention to us as the hustling and bustling went on around us. People milling all around us. Hopping on. Stepping off. Having ecstatic fun at the Mall.

Did I already let out my well guarded secret? Well, on the very off chance I didn’t…I HATE ESCALATORS.

Yeah, that’s for the records.

Who knew there’s even a fancy word for the fear of escalators?

Escalophobia

There. Thank me later.
Big fanciful name for a tiny fear of moving stairs.

Why would a grown up woman be terrified by escalators to the point of doing some mental Usain-Bolty sprints every time she sees one? Especially after several preparatory years of stairs-climbing + elevator-riding?

 I recall the last time I got on one. I had gone to see a prospect in my marketing hey days at one of the banking headquarters and although no personal ugly incidence…like falling over…marred that experience but my subconscious imagined all sorts (as I watched a lady almost falling flat) that I told myself I was never getting on one again.

Until Easter Monday, 2015, that is.

Always regarded the slinky moving stairs with a high degree of suspicion everytime thereafter that you would think they actually contributed to the start of the second world war.

Ok.
Take a deep breathe. Ready. Steady.

Don’t step on ‘it’ until I say so. When you hop on, hold on to mummy with one hand and the side rail with the other. 

Mummy needs the assurance that she is safe in your little hands

Ready?
Now…

We hopped on…legs trembling…heels dug in…heart beating wildly until it steadied as the moving stairs rolled along to the joyful laughter of the boys.

And we are at the top.

We did it. No panic attack, no screaming fit, no feet trapping, no ankle breaking, no falling over and none of those scenarios that had always held my subconscious back from hopping on the escalator.

Fake Evidence Appearing Real.
I conquered it, together with the boys.

We did it. And we deserve some standing ovation topped with a golden goblet.


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Some mental fist pumping and back -slapping is in order, donchu think?

Maybe you also fear escalators like me.
Or you desperately want to move out of your comfort zone but dread the unknown…
What is your escalator?
What holds you back from getting on it?

Maybe that business idea has become a larger than life escalator baring its fangs at you so much that you fear taking the first step.
You want to write or draw or sing but dread rejection or you fear you are not good or talented enough?

If we succumb to crippling fear and fail to take the first step towards getting on the escalator, what could happen?

Nothing.
Exactly.
We venture nothing, we gain nothing.

On the flip side, if we get on it, we might just be on our way to a whole new discovery…a new world of victorious independence…gems of wisdom…liberating success…breakthrough…exhilarating fulfillment…mountain-top view…or even the Play Zone that beckons at the top of the stairs. 

So. Go on. Take a deep breathe and Step on it.

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Kindred Spirits

Your smile cracks through like the morning dew
Yet through it all your heart cries shine forth
Try as you may to mask the pains
Yet they bubble through like fresh brew

We know God’s care is sacrosanct, but life is hardly fair
Often wearying her loyal inhabitants
As she relishes dishing out mixed croissants
But hunger for more, we dare

Friends are sent from above to hold our hearts and hands
Sweet companions on this journey fraught with joys and pains
Trying to assuage regardless of gains
But we need to navigate the bumps minding the bands

Tears and groaning will soon be gone
For we see the glimmers peeking from behind the cloud
Struggling to break free to embrace, and you to warmly daub
But with the struggles, one more time, we need be done

The heart yearns to make it better
Yet worse it might become
As we struggle to find answers alone on the dome
Which has since threatened to become a crater

Raise your head and look to Him, grit not your teeth
As you try to suppress the feelings and anguish
While hands and hearts we hold on the pitch
Like the kindred spirits we have become.

*To YOU and everyone going through any form of painful situation, distress or confusion…look solely up to HIM for solutions…lean ‘slightly’ on  friends…more on Him and remain STRONG…indeed, you are not alone.

© Biolaleye and Ramblings of A Nigerian Momaholic, 2015.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this site without express / written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Biolaleye and Ramblings of A Nigerian Momaholic with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.