The Ides Of July

Disclaimer:

I have no intention of trying to define what Ides is… it is a lot of old English tied up in Latin and thing is “me ma I never understand am finish”. For the sake of this post, consider the topic as: The Days Of July 😉

So, hello. It’s been a while… like a long while… Dear reader, how have you been? It seems like it was just yesterday we were all saying “Hello 2019” and then here we are in July already… where did all the time go?🤷‍♂️

Anyways, I kinda struggled with the topic of today’s post… I had really wanted it to be Beginning Again but somehow, the words just would not come together… But the gist behind that would have been plenty… I will however cut it short…

About 2 months ago, my family took a very big and very bold step… we moved from the very familiar to the not so familiar… We migrated from Nigeria and on one of those early days post arrival, while talking about stuff we needed to get and what not I was like “this is like starting our lives all over”… B looks at me and says “It’s not like… it is starting all over”… For the past few weeks, my life I would say has been beautifully busy… This beginning is one that I really like and maybe as time goes on, I’ll get to share it with you…

For now, it’s July and it’s days are going to pass by swiftly as you please… There’s so much to be done but do take a pause in all the busyness now and again to bask in God’s goodness… to count your blessings – whether they are a truckload or a bucketful and when you’re done or while still at it whisper to your maker just how greatful you are…

May your July be everything beautiful and may the lines fall for you in amazing places.

ZaraObaa

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Ready, Set, … Wait

We’ve seen it happen one too many times… the deferment of hope. You had all your hopes up… you were full of excitement over the things that were set to happen to you and for you when all of a sudden, things fell apart and your hopes were all dashed…

Maybe it was that University admission you had been waiting for… Maybe it’s that relationship you had believed with all your heart was headed to the altar or that business contract… you had done all you were asked to do and your fingers were all crossed, set waiting for the call that never came. Maybe it’s the baby you prayed and waited for… 2, 3 years down the line, a missed period… a visit to the doctor and then you hear words you’ve longed to hear… but wait, 3 months later, a show of blood and… there goes your baby… I could go on… and on… but true to every circumstance described above, the wise one painted the words perfectly when he penned them down:

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick…”
Proverbs 13:20

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Time and again, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the feeling that deferred hope brings. I call it a privilege simply because that is what it has been. For in those moments of utter despair over failure concerning the things I was hoping for, my trust in God grew… my faith in Him deepened and dependence on Him and His word increased and this only means one thing – that I have grown a little more with every disappointment that has come my way.

So, if your’e wondering what to do after your hopes have been dashed or maybe broken to infinitely small impossible-to-gather fragments, I’ll tell you this: Cry a little, or alot… Yell at someone or something or into your pillow… Talk to someone about it, or don’t if you do not feel like it… and when you’re done, hold on… Hold on to the infallible word of God. Know in your heart and simply because His word says so that Jesus understands and is not happy over what you’re going through… And through it all, lift up your head, open your mouth wide and boldly declare:

“l have set my face like a flint, I know I will not be ashamed for the Lord will help me; Therefore I will not be disgraced. ”
Isaiah 50:7
You know why? Because He will… And that thing you hoped for will come. Maybe not today, tomorrow or even in the next 3 years but, IT WILL COME and you will remember that I did tell you so!

Do have a blessed weekend.
ZaraObaa

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The 30-Something Year Old’s Guide To Living In 2018

So sometime in December of 2017, I turned 30-Something???… In the midst of all the excitement about being a year older, I got really thoughtful… it hit me then, as always, that time is really passing as fast as it pleases and that in this new year of my life, I really would love it to be drama free… Like seriously,  I’m tired of all the drama that goes on around me and besides, who drama epp? So, I’ve made up my mind that this year is going to be a year that’s oh-so-good (Mmhmmm) and because I don’t want to enjoy it alone, I’d like to share with you some guidelines by which I’d be walking 2018…

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One: Love… inspite of… and just because…
Yeah… 2018 is my year to love – with reason, without reason, over and above reason (if this even makes sense). But I’m set to give all the love I’ve got on the inside of me and trust me, I’m never gonna run out of it because God is Love and He dwells right on the inside of me.

Two: Despise what is evil… Cling to that which is good…
This one right here ehn… it’s going to take a deliberateness (It’s not a word oh) out of me but I will give it my best. Like when I hear something bad happening to a bad person, I promise not to be so full of mirth at the thought.

Three: Being kindly affectionate (this one isn’t me… it’s King James)…
Being kind and affectionate is a goal to be achieved. People like me love to soak up kindness and affection like a sponge… I guess it wouldn’t be bad to give it all out…

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Four: Not lagging in Diligence, Fervent in Spirit,  Serving the Lord…
These three need no further speaking… 2018 is simply my year of being busy… and that, in a great way!

Five: Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,  continuing steadfastly in prayer…
This one here is for both good days and the not so good days… I’m ‘a pray my way through 2018. Care to join me?

Six: Not being wise in my own opinion…
You know how sometimes we sit in our own wisdom and feel real cool? Well, I’m doing none of that this year… I’m going to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. This is my year of learning!

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Seven: Live peaceably with all men…as much as depends on me…
Ehen, I will be at peace with all men… it’s not going to be easy but since I’m doing away with all drama, this one is a must… and as far as pettiness is concerned,  I’m done!

Eight: Acquire the right knowledge…
God says in Hosea, my people perish for lack of knowledge… Well, this is the year of acquiring knowledge… the right knowledge… shall we study our Bibles more?

Nine: Seeking to do the will of God…
And how do we do this if we are not rooted in the word and given to prayer… I guess it’s like I said,  it’s going to be one busy year.

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This guideline isn’t exhaustive but then, like I wrote earlier, time is passing fast… someday soon, if Jesus tarries, we’re going to wake up and realise that it’s December 31st, 2018… What then will you be descring the year as? It is my prayer that you do have an amazing year… Once again, Happy New Year!!!

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

I came across this statistics about worry recently and I will like to share it with you:
40% of all things we worry about never come to pass.
30% of all our worries involve past decisions that cannot be changed.
12% focus on criticism from others who spoke because they felt inferior.
10% are related to our health, which gets worse when we worry.
8% of our worries could be described as legitimate causes for concern.

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Interesting stats right? This only shows that we worry unnecessarily about too many things and that on a scale of 1-10 as far as our worries go, real concerns will be a 2. This means then, that to rid ourselves of worry, we can learn to view things differently abi? (Nigerian lingua for right?)

I remember being pregnant the very first time. To everyone around me, I was full of energy and excitement and I did glow (yeah, right?) but in my quiet times, I used to worry about my baby… will he be ok? will he have all his fingers complete? And his organs, hope they’ll all be ok?… I worked myself up about those details so much… In the day of delivery, a perfect healthy baby was birthed and when I shared those fears with my husband, he chuckled at how ridiculous my thoughts had been… So you see, all my worrying had done nothing but keep me bothered about what turned out to be NOTHING.

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Jesus shared his thoughts on worry and they are quite interesting:
27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

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Hmmmm. So, there it is, thoughts on worry by the Lord Jesus. Worry doesn’t add anything to you- oh, no,I take that back… worry does add fear and anxiety to you. And then it takes from you. It will take your joy and your peace if you let it. So today I’m saying to a reader: Do not sweat the small stuff for as we have seen, the things we worry about are usually small fry that rob us of our peace of mind. Do not sweat the small stuff… Do not worry about things that are not important.
Selah.

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When Words Are Not Enough

About 8 years ago,a friend told me that as between friends, the words please and thank you are not necessary. He had helped me out with something for which I was deeply greatful and while saying thank you, that was his reply. In my mind, I was like ‘hian, whoever thinks like this?’ A few years later, I understood what he meant. A friend of mine needed help with her child. Someone to watch over the child for some hours while she attended to some important stuff. She called to share her need. I said ‘bring her over’. Over the years, we’ve inconvenienced each other like that. Yes, when it comes to friendships, how much of a friend you are is seen in the actions that follow the words declaring your love and loyalty.

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I’m teaching the boys how to say a proper apology. Why? Because I have realised that most apologies these days do not come from a contrite heart. People say sorry just to appease the offended party. So, the boys are learning that an ‘I am sorry’ is way better than a flippant ‘sorry’. For to me, when it comes to making apologies, how sorry you are is seen in your actions not just your words.

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Some years ago, I went through a period of great pain and hurt from a great loss. Some of the most hurtful words I heard came from well meaning people. This taught me that words offered to a hurting person can cause more pain than do good. So, when I come across grieving people now, I say less. I give a hug where I can. Hold a hand or just sit and listen and say a prayer.

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My husband and I are raising 3 children. I’m learning that more than the words we speak, our actions carry more weight. The children are watching us keenly so we’re careful to live a do as I do lifestyle with them…

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The words actions speak louder than words are far weightier than we think. They tell us the weight of our words are measured by our actions. So, if you do mean it- whatever it is, then act it.
Do have a beautiful week.

Zara

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Much Ado About Expectations

Circa 2009. That’s me walking down the aisle

I remember walking down the aisle and I remember thinking: “I hope our cake is ready?” (? What were you thinking?)… Thing was, while preparing for our wedding, we had made an order for our cake and somehow, till the wedding morning, I did not hear from the baker, not from my lack of trying to reach her though. So, there I was, wondering what I’d do if the cake didn’t turn up while thinking up all sorts of things to say to the baker… The cake did come… I met it as I was dancing into the reception venue and I was not happy. Now, question is, why am I sharing this? It’s because I got thinking about life and the people in mine and it hit me how most times we have expectations from people or events or things and when they don’t work out the way we think they should or ought to, we are dissapointed. Now, is it wrong to expect things from people or events or things? My immediate answer is no. However, I add to that, it depends on what it is you’re expecting. I share another story…

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The year was Circa 2002. I was with a friend and I was upset with him. I had expected him to act in a certain way and when he didn’t, I got upset… He was talking with me and he asked why I was being so upset about the whole thing and I answered saying “because I expected so and so and so from you” and he goes “Elizabeth(that’s my other name), that’s the problem right there. Do not be so expectant of me because I can fail you.” That stopped me in my tracks but over the years, it has turned out to be wise counsel. We live our lives expecting so much – we expect people to think or act a certain way, to speak in a certain manner and when they don’t, the next thing that follows is anger. I’ve come to understand too that sometimes, our expectations become a burden on those we love and who love us and can even put a strain on our relationships. So, when dealing with people, one thing to always have in mind is we are human and yes, we can fail. I do not speak for the millions of people out there. I speak for me. I am human and yes, I can fail people – I have failed people. So bearing this in mind, I have learnt and I’m still learning to trust God where my relationship with people is concerned for I well know that people may fail me, things may fail me, but the Almighty God – ElRoi – The One who sees ALL things will never fail.

Selah,
ZaraObaa

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