Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Something else I wrote!

So I discovered the Eucharist Magazine recently. It is amazing. I encourage you to get a copy of the 2nd edition that just came out. I can assure you that you won't regret it. I love the fact that there are young people with such a vision to inspire others and make a change in the world around them, it makes me giddy with excitement! So I wrote a short article for them. Check it out here. Don't forget to leave comments on the website and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A little thank you note...

I know I haven’t written for a little while; it’s because funny enough, every time I’ve sat down to write something, I just haven’t felt in the mood. I don’t know if it’s what they call ‘writers’ block’, because I know exactly what I want to write about; I just haven’t been able to find the right words and the motivation to put it down. Anyway, so I have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head right now and I’ve also learnt some very interesting things recently, which I plan to share with you guys. But first of all, I want to share something amazing with you. Actually, I think this might be the reason I haven’t been able to write anything else; I knew I was going to be writing about this soon. I have to say now that this post is probably going to be a bit longer than usual, but I won’t apologise for that, because I hope you would not only enjoy it, but be blessed, encouraged and inspired by it. It is my testimony (as in, what God did for me).
I really am a very private person, and even with my writing I never wanted to reveal too much of the goings-on in my life but I find it’s actually quite difficult when you’re writing for little bits of your personal life not to come through. Having said that, the reason I’m sharing this is because I promised Him I would.
So, have you ever wondered why God allows not so nice stuff to happen in your life? Or why things can be going all honky-dory one minute and the next minute it’s like WHAM! Life is taking a very different turn to what you expected? That is what happened to me sometime last year. Everything was going fine, I’d just bagged my dream job in the UK, I was in a loving relationship, and all was well with the world.
A few weeks into starting my job, I realised that I had to go back to Nigeria, to apply for a new work permit, thanks to new government immigration rules in the UK. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the relationship I thought would last forever came to an end.
To say I was going through the worst time of my life would not be an exaggeration. Anyway, so I came home, back to living with the parents. As some of you might know, coming back home after living independently for years can be the most challenging thing in the world. Especially with somewhere like Nigeria where you have lots of extended family and people who won’t mind their business. But I thought, ‘oh well, a month, maybe two and I’ll be outta here’. But God had other plans. The whole visa process took almost a year to be resolved and thank God it is now over. I am now set to go back to my dream job. (Yes, they kept the job for me all this while. That is a miracle in itself!)
When people talk about miracles sometimes they talk about something spectacular, sometimes instantaneous. You know, like someone being healed from cancer or stuff like that. But someone said to me the other day that just being in good health all the time is a miracle in itself, and I must say I agree. I feel like what has happened to me in the past 10 months or so has been nothing short of miraculous. I’m a changed person, and it is a good thing.
I’ve learnt what it means to wait on God. And to understand that sometimes crying and kicking and screaming doesn’t move God. If He’s not ready to act, He won’t. Especially if He knows that what is happening is for a purpose and for your good, which it invariably will be.
I’ve learnt humility. I now know what it feels like to be a young lady in her twenties, husband-less and jobless at the same time in Nigeria. Not the greatest combination. It’s made me a much nicer person and for that, I’m grateful.
I’ve learnt that I have a purpose. The time I spent at home gave me ample opportunity to think and to seek God about so much in my life, and my future. I feel like we all need that time-out sometimes to reflect on our lives and learn about the reason we’re here on earth.
I’ve learnt that I am special. I mean I’ve always known this (I don’t mean to sound arrogant) but I’ve always sensed God’s hand upon my life, guiding me, orchestrating things. This can be frustrating at times (like in this case) but it is also very comforting to know that the Almighty God cares about me so much that He’d actually get involved in my daily life.
I’ve learnt that I am loved. Especially by my friends and family. I was so touched when I paid a visit to the UK- everyone wanted to see me and spend some time with me and they probably didn’t know this but that two-week visit was the most refreshing time I’d had in months! And my siblings, they’re the best. Really.
I’ve learnt a lot of other stuff but as I want you to read the whole post, I think I should stop.
So this is my testimony. Yes, God granted me what I wanted, but He did so much more than that. He gave me an opportunity to grow and develop as a human being. An opportunity that I would never have had if I had stayed working all this time.
He gave me the opportunity to see change happen in Nigeria, a country I’d almost given up on.
He gave me the opportunity to be there for a friend when she really needed me.
He gave me the opportunity to spend time with my parents after so many years apart.
He gave me the opportunity to get to know my baby sister who is now a full-grown woman.
All in all, He didn’t just give me my job back. He gave me a reason to live again. And for that, I am so grateful. For that, I say thank You!

*Picture taken from nadiacyrill-footprintsinthesand.blogspot.com

Friday, 13 May 2011

He's just not that into you!

Picture this, ladies. You meet a guy you like, he says hello, you have a nice conversation, you see each other for a few weeks and you start to think ‘hmmm...he might just be the one’. But then, for some reason, he stops calling. He doesn’t text. He doesn’t come to see you. You wonder why. What went wrong? When you finally hear from him, he tells you he’s been busy. Something came up at work. He forgot to charge his phone. Someone stole his phone. His mother died. He was ill. (Pick one; the list is endless).
I love this movie. Whilst I try not to take too many lessons from rom-coms, I actually think this one is quite good, and lots of ladies (and men, I guess) need to see it. I remember going to see the movie with a friend and as I was watching it I was thinking of another friend that was having man troubles. She was always like ‘why won’t he call me?’ ‘Doesn’t he miss me?’ and all of that stuff. I so desperately wanted to tell her in the nicest possible way, ‘he’s just not that into you.’
So the movie basically tries to help women understand that if a guy wants you, he’ll move Heaven and earth (metaphorically) to get you. For real. You don’t need to make excuses for him, and you certainly don’t need to call him. For those that are still not getting it, let me help you out a little...
A guy you like says he likes you, but you don’t hear from him. You want to call him, for one or more of the following reasons;
‘Maybe he’s just too busy at work; there’s no time to call/text/get in touch’ - Really? If he’s too busy to get in touch with the girl that he supposedly likes, then he’s too busy, full stop. And is that the kind of guy you want to spend the rest of your life with?
‘Maybe he’s ill/got run over by a bus/got attacked by robbers or a wild animal’ - If this is the case, you’ll find out soon enough, trust me. Save your credit/airtime/minutes.
‘Maybe he’s dead’ - Now, what good would calling him do?
It is worth pointing out that in all my years of dating (and all my friends’ too), none of these excuses has actually turned out to be reality.
I was chatting with an old friend the other day and she was telling me about a guy that she likes, that claims to like her too, but hardly calls her, and sometimes doesn’t even bother returning her calls/texts. I was like, ‘girl, you need to forget about this dude, he’s not serious.’ She agreed with me, but you know how it is with us women; where there are feelings involved, we find it difficult to think sanely sometimes. On the other hand, this same friend of mine also has another guy on her case, but this guy is the complete opposite of the guy she likes. He calls/texts/bbms/'whatever else people do these days' her all the time. In fact so much so that she thinks he’s borderline psycho. I know, you can never please us women! Anyway, when she told me all about this borderline psycho dude and the stuff he does for her, we both came to the conclusion that really, if a guy likes you, he’ll show you that he likes you. He’ll take time off work to see you if he needs to. He’ll spend all his airtime calling you. He’ll buy you gifts. He’ll do whatever it takes so that you’re not unsure of his intentions.
So ladies, stop making excuses for that man. If you really don’t know where you stand with him and he’s not making much of an effort, or seems to always have excuses at the ready, take the hint. He’s just not that into you.

*picture from 'lifebetweenthesheets'

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New blog!

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I want to go with my blog. When I first started blogging, I did it just for fun, and to while away spare time. But now, I feel like I need to be more focused with my writing. I dunno, maybe I’m just thinking about it too much. That’s one of my faults; I think too much. Well, all my thinking led to a dilemma. As much as I want to share many of my very significant and poignant life experiences with the whole world, I also want to be able to share the very random stuff that I remember and see and think about on a daily basis. The dilemma was that I didn’t think it would work to have all this stuff in one blog. It would kinda be like having lots of different spreads on a slice of toast- might taste yummy but sometimes you just want to be able to savour the taste of one or two spreads. Hope that makes sense.
Anyway, I came up with a solution (OK, a good friend gave me some advice actually)! I decided to start another blog. I’ll keep Free Truths for the more serious (but hopefully still enlightening and entertaining) stuff, you know, like stuff I’m learning on my journey as a young Christian woman, while the other blog will be more light-hearted and random. I can’t say what it’ll be about but I can guarantee you that it’ll be fun to read. That blog I've titled ‘Renny’s other blog’. I know, genius. Hope you like it, and please feel free to follow both blogs!
So, to start us off, I’ve written a post about Rabies. I told you, random!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Unleash your potential!

I'm rubbish with computers. In fact, I'm rubbish with technology in general. That's why I hardly upgrade my phone even when my contract ends and I still have the same camera I was given for my twenty-first birthday (OK, I lie on that one; the camera works fine so my reasoning is why change it?) Anyway, the thing is I've always relied on someone else to help me with my computer problems because I just don't have a clue. Or so I thought. Today I was trying to figure out why a particular video wasn't playing and I ended up sorting out a sound problem that I've had on my laptop since I bought it (over three years ago). The fact that I stumbled upon the solution whilst trying to fix something else is irrelevant. The important thing is that I did something I never in a million years thought I could do! I feel so proud. But this got me thinking; how much must we have the ability to do, but never attempt, sometimes out of fear of failure, and other times because there's someone else at hand to do it?

We have so much potential within us as human beings. If we knew how much, we'd be surprised. I never knew I could write (you may or may not agree with me on that one) until I sat down to. I never knew I could play the guitar, until I bought one and taught myself. I never knew I could lead a bunch of people in group study until I was asked to. I never knew I could drive on the motorway until I had no choice (I was scared stiff the whole time, mind!) My point is this; don't limit yourself. Never say 'I can't', because you might have to some day. Don't wait till your back is against the wall; start discovering your potential.

You know, you weren't made on a whim; thought and consideration actually went into creating you. I think the words actually used in the Bible are 'fearfully and wonderfully made'. Know what that means? It means it took precision, it took care, and it took meditation. You are a work of art. And this work of art has some amazing things deposited inside and they're not just for decoration! You have a purpose to fulfil (otherwise, what's the point?). Yes, you weren't just made to go shopping, or to eat (I wish!), or to party. Those aren't talents or gifts; anyone could do those. You were made for so much more. And you can do so much more. Don't limit yourself to that 9 – 5 job skill; you're not just a teacher, a doctor, or a pharmacist. You're so much more.

You see, if you never try, you'll never know. Those people whose talents and gifts you admire are mere mortals like you. They don't have two heads or two brains (as my dad used to say). Some of them don't even have half the education that you have! Some of them weren't born into the kind of wholesome background that you come from. And yet you look at them and think 'I wish...' You can do what they're doing. You might even be able to do a better job. I'm serious. Even if you can't do what they're doing, you can do something they could never do. Here's an example. A friend of mine isn't as book-clever as some people but she is one of the best chefs I know. And no, she didn't train to be a chef. We once cooked a certain dish together, using exactly the same ingredients; I made mine, she made hers. But her food tasted better. She just has this, what do they call it, 'je ne sais quoi' when it comes to food.

What am I trying to say? When you look at yourself, don't just see that one role you play majority of the time. Take time to search deep and you'll see that there's so much of you waiting to be discovered.

p.s. I got the title of this post from this blog. Check it out, it is fab!

Monday, 2 May 2011

A day in God's will!

This week, I'm soooo excited to be guest blogger at 'A day in God's will'! It's a fantastic website, run by a wonderful team of people who aim to encourage, uplift and inspire you to live life to the full as you continue to seek out God's will for your life. I think they're doing a fab job. Click here to have a look at the piece I wrote for them and please please let me know what you think!