5 days of Reflection: Day 1 Obedience

365 days have passed and it’s that time again.. my 5 days of reflection…Day 1..

Ahhh Obedience…is a word/ concept I struggle with! A born rebel! I have been rebellious for as long as I can remember. I’m not the typical social rebel, I’ll like to call myself a covert rebel. I bend rules slightly and if I don’t believe in the ideology then count me out. Hard headed stubborn Stacy is who I am, not even Jesus himself will get me to do something I don’t want to do. For example, my church holds a monthly bible study on the third Saturday of every month from 10am to 2pm and I have never been because Saturday’s are mine. Yes you read right MINE. Saturday’s are for me, Tolu and Isaiah. Church already takes the majority of my Sundays so why must they demand that they should have my Saturday’s too?

I spent the best part of this year really unhappy in church and my overall walk with God. I wanted something different, something unique, basically I was tired with ‘business as usual’. I remeber crying at an all female cell group I’m a part of ‘I want something different! I’m tired of business as usual’. Then God said ‘Mabinty it will only change when you change. Listen when I speak. Be Obedient’. As always I ignored this message. Then I went on a women’s retreat in October, the book we studied was Ruth. The message I heard again was Obedience- Ruth was obedient, she obeyed Naomi and God. She married Boaz and became a part of God’s ultimate plan…because she obeyed.

So November 5th came, in church and there was an altar call. I ignored it. Then the pastor called again about giving your life to God, I ignored it- I mean come on God, I did this back in 2010! Then He said, ‘Obedience you know what you have to do’. So I went up. The pastor prayed and I re-dedicated my life to God.

Now I know this journey is not going to be easy but…I want to be the change I want to see and it needs to start with being obedient. Listening and actively seeking God in everything. I’m going to start with attending LIFE Academy. My 2nd Saturdays of every month are dedicated to that. I will also attend the monthly prayer meetings amongst other meetings that will help me get closer to God.

So in 2017 I was a rebellious mess! Listening to all the white noise around me which as a result shifted my focus away from God.

In 2018, I’m obediently seeking HIM in everything I do. Cancelling out the white noise and making HIM the centre.

As Always,

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You.

Love Mabs xx

Dear Future Me….

It’s my birthday (well it was on Saturday)!! Yaayyy!! Finally 29! You wouldn’t believe that now I am finally turning 29 all my friends have either turned 30 or are about to turn 30! So you can only understand my excitement!

I love birthdays! I always have. I think I love the idea of having all the people I love together in one room, eating, drinking, dancing and just enjoying life. Thinking about it, I would like my funeral to be one big party, with lots of food, drink and dancing. I would love for everyone to come in the colour purple or gold or both or wear African cloth. Just a burst of colour! I wouldn’t want flowers I would just like for everyone to donate to my favourite charities like Shelter, Plan UK and Men4Mentoring!

Anywhoo I digress…back to my birthday… I love them. Every year I try and celebrate. It just so happens that my husband is two days older than me so this time of the year is always very special to me/us. Although I love to celebrate and live life to the fullest from the 24th day through to the 26th day of the eighth month, I also take time out to reflect on the past year of my life and try and make some positive changes to improve my spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Last year I was terribly depressed on my birthday, I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I think I got up about 3pm in the afternoon. I was in a mood. I was disappointed. I was angry. I was resentful. I was not myself. I remember crying most of the day. Why? Well it’s a long story one that requires another blogpost, when the wounds of my past have fully healed. So this year I was dreading my birthday. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. However this year I had to tell myself that I wasn’t going to let things or people affect my mood. I was not going to dwell on the things I could not control. The dark cloud called misery was not going to affect my life. Dwelling Dawn was leaving for good and Hopeful Holly was coming to stay. So after sieving through all my emotions and listening to ‘Dear Future Me’ by James Fortune and Fiya I sat down to pen a letter to my future self:

Dear Future Me,

Firstly well done for getting this far! At times I’m sure the road seemed rocky, at times I’m certain that you just wanted to give up! All I can say is well done for sticking through this complex, emotionally draining thing called life. You have made it to this day and you will make it to tomorrow and the next day by His Grace!

Now to the nitty gritty; Stop worrying about things that you cannot change. Your worrying will not make a positive impact to your situation instead it will only increase your anxiety and question your faith. Remember it will ALWAYS work out in the end. Trust in God and trust in you! You’ve made it up until this point haven’t you? Certain things will be out of your control….so simply let go and let God.

Focus on yourself, Isaiah, his brother and sister and Tolu. I guess I am trying to say in the most polite way ever is BE SELFISH! Always remember “I Before Others”! Stop going out of your way for people but instead go out of your way for yourself and your boys and little girl! What I have realised is that no matter how much you love people and make sacrifices for them, they will not always make the same sacrifices for you and that’s okay. Just remember do not break your back for people that cannot even bend backwards for you. Remember to say NO when you are not comfortable with something. Think about yourself first before you say yes. Saying ‘No’ does not mean you do not care! It just means that you cannot at that particular time.

I guess this leads me to my next point; do not dwell on the past or the past hurt that you have experienced in the hands of others. Life is too short. Think about it, did you ever imagine that you would be sat where you are currently reading a letter from a younger version of yourself? No. I didn’t think you did. So that illustrates that time moves forward. So should you. You have spent many years covering up the emotional scars of your past….embrace them and leave them where they should be…in the past. Don’t waste your precious short time on this Earth dwelling on things or people you cannot change.

Believe in yourself! You have so much potential, do not let the opinions of others (including family and friends) deter you from this mind-set. You have achieved so much in your life so far, think about how much more you could have achieved if you caught this revelation in your youth. Do not waste any more time! You can and you WILL! Whenever that procrastination spirit wants to get hold of you remember, “The secret to getting ahead is to get started”.

Live in every moment! I trust you will be able to do this because you love to have a good time. Life is about living. Go and see the world, Climb Mountains, run marathons! Live a life that’s worthy. Think of all the stories you’ll pass down to your grandchildren.

Finally always choose Joy. It’s the best armour against misery and the devil and your haters! Trust me it’s worked this far!

After writing my letter, I can now say I am E to the X CITED! To step into my last year of my twenties what has been the most emotional, most challenging, most revealing nine years of my life. However the nine years also gave me the greatest joys of all. They saw me from a Miss into a Mrs when I married Caramel Latte (yes I love a latte) man and obviously the nine years in which I achieved my biggest accomplishment of all…my big eyed, big smile, energetic, mini me! My Isaiah.

So yes… the storms have come but they’ve also gone…the sun is shining!! I cannot wait to shine into and in my 30s because I am on the path to being able to see clearly again.

Why don’t you give it a go! Write your own ‘Dear Future Me’ letter. What would like to tell an older version of yourself? What lessons have you learnt? Let’s start the #dearfuturemechallenge. Trust me it’ll be the most therapeutic thing you have ever done! I’ll leave you with a snippet of the song ‘Dear Future Me’.

As Always,

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be YOU!

Love Mabs xx

I’m Minding My Womb…..

Sometime last year I came across an article aptly titled ‘Mind Your own Womb’ by Nadirah Angail. In the article Nadirah describes the relationship between society and the woman who is of a child bearing age. She speaks of different scenarios where people make assumptions or ask questions about when a woman will decide to have children or why a woman hasn’t had children. She also delves into the criticisms that society bestow upon women who decide to have more than the national average of two children. In both cases Nadirah beautifully describes the feelings of these women, their emotions, their tears and their heartache behind the reasons why they’ve had children so late or why they’ve still not been able to biologically birth a child. The article is beautiful and extremely moving. 

The article got me thinking alot! It got me thinking about my cultural background and the insensitivity of some African mothers, aunties, grandmothers, sisters, cousins and dare I say it mother-in-laws. 

Personally, I didn’t leave it long enough to experience such insensitivity and abuse because I became pregnant five months after my husband and I got married. I can actually only remember one time that my mother-in-law mentioned having children  (besides the standard grandchildren prayers) she asked me to ‘go home and convince my husband’. Ironically I had done my 4th positive pregnancy test that morning so I was 100% up the duff by then. In actual fact our (my husband and I) plan was to wait two years before we had a baby, however Dr. Google convinced me that it’ll take six to nine months before the contraceptive I was using at the time left my system. So, not being sure how long and kind of hoping that it’ll take a year to conceive, I came off my contraceptive and fast forward exactly a month after my last period two blue lines appeared on that white stick. The tears flowed as I wasn’t mentally prepared for a baby. My husband on the hand was ecstatic and excited to become a father. So there I was pregnant with only five months of marriage under my belt! The comments that came after I kind of expected…I mean I surround myself with Africans I didn’t expect anything less from them. “Wait you’re pregnant? Didn’t you just get married yesterday?” No actually we got married five months, ten days and nineteen hours ago but anywhooo (my mental response). “Oh Congratulations, you guys didn’t waste anytime boi”. Errrrmmmm we’re married, married people have sex, it was going to happen eventually….congratulations on its own would have sufficed (I’m screwing my face at this point and rolling my eyes). I soon realised that people always had something to say regardless. Mind Your own Womb or you wife’s Womb! Leave mine alone! 

I’ve often heard stories of mother-in-laws or family members who insensitively pressure their daughters/daughter-in-laws to get pregnant immediately after getting married and for some odd reason will place the inability of conception as the woman’s fault and not the man’s. News Flash!! Men can also have fertility issues! 

For the Africans reading this post, we have all seen the Nollywood films where the man and woman have been married for years and yet they have no children. Conception seems to be difficult for them and hence the strain of such pressures can be seen in their marriage. Then along comes mama Ade who makes things worse by abusing her daughter-in-law by professing that she is barren and insists on calling her ‘Barren Woman’ instead of her first name. Mama Ade doesn’t stop there though..she takes it a step further and encourages her son to find another woman and impregnate her, which foolish Ade does. Ade then finds a young little miss and does exactly what his mama advised him to do (at this point I’ll like to encourage all single ladies NEVER marry a mummy’s boy! You’ll thank me later) and Little Miss is pregnant. The day Ade tells his wife about little Miss and her pregnancy…his wife tells him that she too is three months pregnant! Chineke! That’s some real life stuffs. 

Although I’ve made light of this issue the truth is many women go through this torrent of abuse daily, monthly, yearly. Their pain is so real, so raw, so deep. The feeling of being made to feel inadequate because of no fault of your own. Being made to feel less of a woman because you may have chosen not to have children. Being made to feel less of a wife because your body cannot physically cope with carrying a child. Even being made to feel like some sort of irresponsible sex addict because you chose to have more than two children. The thing is it’s your womb, your business! Not any one else’s. 

So to finish this post of I’d like to say…

To the women who are waiting to have children…take your time and have children when you’re ready. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman because you chose to have a child at 38 instead of 28. Remember you’re the one that has to do the nightly feeds and the nappy changes….no one else. 

To the women who have more than two children..there’s a reason why you have the amount of children you do. They all have a purpose in life. Remember that. God will give you the grace and the tools to raise the amount of children he blesses you with.

Finally to the women who are trying for a baby to no avail, or who have been told not to have children due to health issues or even that they can’t have children…DON’T LOSE HOPE! A very close friend of mine was told (when she was 15) that she couldn’t have any children. Fast forward twelve years later at twenty six years old and two months before her twenty seventh birthday..she defied doctors as she gave birth to her first born…a bouncing baby boy! Then there was another friend who was told that pregnancy would kill her, her local hospital refused to treat her because they had advised her against the pregnancy. Fast forward nine months…then along came that baby boy who doctors thought wouldn’t survive, healthy and very much alive! Oh and the mother who doctors thought would die during pregnancy is also very much alive and is probably changing nappies as you read this post. You don’t have to believe in God to believe in miracles because miracles really do happen to any one! Keep believing and one day you too will be holding your bouncing baby boy or your graceful gorgeous girl. 

I apologise because this may not be your conventional Mother’s Day blog post but I thought it was a message that needed to be passed on. Let’s be sensitive and loving this Mother’s Day because we never know what other women are going through when it comes to their womb.

Happy Mother’s day to every single woman out there! 

As Always….

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You 

Love Mabs xx