Musings and Childhood Memories

Leaving_memories_by_bazsii8

Over the past few days, I have pondered on life. If you wake up each morning and you are excited to face the day by going to work or school or wherever, keep thanking God for that blessing. If there are still some dreams in your heart and there are some visions you want to bring into realization, keep pursuing. If in all you do you seek self-gratification and not the glory of God, reorder your priorities. Because pleasing God brings happiness. Live on purpose.

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Well, let me share a couple of my childhood memories.

Today, I remember my Primary 5 teacher, Mr. Hall. He was the first male teacher I had. He was funny and I just enjoyed that class with wonderful classmates. During that school year his wife was expecting a baby. He would come to class with a book of baby names. My friend (Hi Jae Hee!) and I would consistently ask him to bring a picture of his wife to class. We just enjoyed disturbing him. He eventually brought it one day and of course we commented on how pretty she was. And he eventually had a baby girl he named Irene. Irene means “Peace” or “One who brings Peace”. He also had a moustache and a beard. I remember the first time he shaved . I had entered the class staring at him, noticing something was different. After a while, in the middle of Maths period I exclaimed “Mr. Hall, you shaved!” There was an awkward silence and we erupted in giggles. “Thank you for noticing.” He replied or something along that line. Then he continued with the maths lesson.

I also remember our doctor when I was younger. He was quite an old man. I always had to go for check-ups before school resumed each year as mandated by the school. I always entered his office with a frightened look on my face because my eldest brother would have frightened me before leaving home. He would tell me the doctor would give me injections on my hand, leg, eyes, mouth, ears and nose. I never knew why I believed him every time. Of course, this never happened. The doctor would smile and encourage me to allow him check my heartbeat, my eyes, ears, my weight and the likes. When he was done, he would give me chocolate coins. This was always the climax of my visit. He had a drawer full of them. He would thank me for being a good girl and hand me chocolates. Of course, you can see why I have not forgotten him. I would keep rolling those coins in my hands till I got home. I would savour the chocolates later in the day while reading a book. I saw chocolate coins in a store some time ago and the sight brought a wide smile to my face.

I remember the thrill of growing up with brothers. On evenings when my parents went out, we would sit round the dinner table and play jackpot. “Suspecting” and watching each other closely with cards in our hands and laughing. I don’t think I actually cared who won. I just enjoyed it. Or we would just watch TV. My brothers taught me how to play scrabble and chess. They delighted winning the games but I was just so thrilled that little me was smart enough to play scrabble with teenagers. (I was less than 9 yrs.) I was basically living in the male world. My eldest brother, who scared me about doctor appointments, also played with me, teased me, and occasionally bought things for me. The second taught me computer games, and the third enjoyed tutoring me in maths during the holidays. I never enjoyed this because my holidays consisted of reading as many books as possible and writing as many stories and poems as possible. I guess their individual contributions helped me balance in my growing years.  I loved sitting in their midst while they talked and laughed about secondary school. I just enjoyed listening to them. One day my teacher asked me what school I wanted to go to after primary school. I replied, “I want to go to my brother’s school.” My teacher just looked at me and smiled. I didn’t even know the name of the school back then. But because my brothers went there, I wanted to go there. Wherever ‘there’ was. Obviously, I just love my brothers!

Memories are a beautiful thing. Well, good memories. Whatever you may be passing through, I hope the Lord helps you reflect on His goodness. Smile friends, God is in control. Well, these are some musings on a beautiful Monday morning. Cheers!

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY…

PurposeEquation

It’s no more news that a prominent minister has passed on. Dr. Myles Munroe was a renowned speaker and best-selling author. He has been used to change and influence a lot of lives world-wide. He said the best way to die is to die empty, using up all God has put in you. It’s a challenge to us to live life to the full. Pursue our passion and goals passionately. Death is a call everyone must answer.

So let’s take some time to reflect on our lives. Eternity is just a breath away. Are we prepared?  Are our live totally surrendered to the Lord? Have we lost ourselves in the daily rat-race for prosperity and fame? We can only be at peace when we are at the center of God’s will. And that starts by surrendering our all to Him.

What are we doing with that dream in our heart? Are we pursuing it? Are we living purposefully? Life is too short to live it just flowing with the crowd. We should not live like the crayfish that adapts to any situation. We should take a stand to be what we have been created to be. Reignite that fire and burn with purpose so that at the end when the flame goes out, you would have lighted up your generation and passed on the flame.

SELAH

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY…SELAH

world

The Earth’s surface is covered with 70% percent of water. Have you ever wondered how the water never flowed off the planet? I mean, the earth is hanging in the sky, rotating on its axis and the water still remains where it is. The earth rotates and we can’t feel it. At some point some people are actually hanging upside down on the earth in the course of its rotation. And everything is timed to perfection because if it wasn’t, there would be imbalance in nature, natural disasters and a lot of sudden deaths.

It’s all complicated for our little minds to fathom. Scientists have volumes of books that describe it as gravity and all the rest. It’s amazing because someone so great and so perfect holds this all in place. And He still knows us individually by name, provides our daily needs, takes care of all the animals, causes the sun to rise and set on time, heals the sick, takes care of the babies, knows the number of strands of hair on our individual heads, hears us we all individually speak to him, and the list of His responsibilities are endless. Wow! He has the busiest itinerary in the universe. We just worry about getting through the day, but He already has our whole life planned to detail, and He never fails. All thing still work for our good.

This is awesome. Let’s take some time to just thank God and praise Him for who He is.

SELAH

AMERICANAH – Overdue Book Review…

Americanah-Cover

Americanah is an interesting read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a vivid work describing three cultures. We see America and the United Kingdom from the point of view of a realistic Nigerian. Realistic because the main character tells us about these places without the lens of glory which others see it. She humorously tells us certain peculiarities of a Nigerian in these places. She also describes the way Africans are perceived by the Americans and Europeans. Her language is colourful. Issues bordering racism, the clamour for citizenship and even hair are discussed. She also touches the superiority one feels when you return back to your home country. Your taste changes, your accent changes. Also the pedestal on which you are suddenly placed on because you traveled overseas, as if it’s such a huge feat. I love the language. Adichie describes a car in the floody streets of Lagos as ‘a gasping boat’. She uses a lot of intelligent expressions which I can only say you should find out for yourself.

She also explores romance between childhood friends Obinze and Ifemelu, who both had a taste of life outside their own country after their teen years. I recommend this book to those who love language and who enjoy reading most of the time. It’s a book that different kinds of readers can relate to. Whether you have traveled abroad or not, you will be able to relate to her experiences.

I love her writing because she is very descriptive and most times when reading her book, you forget that you are reading fiction. I also enjoyed the originality in depicting Nigeria. You can easily relate to what she is talking about. The main character, Ifemelu is such an opinionated person. She may seem judgmental but sometimes her remarks are rib tickling.

I enjoyed the book to a certain extent. What I actually enjoyed was Adichie’s language and intelligent descriptions. The book, for me, was interesting but quite prolonged and at certain points I got bored. There was a lot of opinionated discussions in the book which were at times intelligent and at times caused a great ‘internal yawn’ (using the words of the author). The book would still have been interesting if it had been cut in half. The love story was quite brief.

Americanah is an intelligently written novel. I have my own opinions. If you have read it, let me hear yours. If you haven’t read it, it’s not a bad idea to get a copy or borrow from a friend.

Care over Currency…

Naira_notes

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Well, I did. I was in a vehicle the other day and some men in their forties were having a discussion that piqued my curiosity.

They talked about how life in Lagos was stressful and there was a lot of hustle just to make it. How a number of young men and women were already riding the latest cars and they were still in the hustle. One of them then commented on how he had just recently paid his children’s school fees and realized that his pocket was virtually empty. Not long after that he said his wife asked for money for something. He said he told her that he had just paid the kids school fees and that was all he could do for now. Besides when the children grow up, they’ll remember their mother more than the father. That statement struck me a bit because I pondered on why a child would actually take care of the mother more than the father.

My answer – Children value care over currency.

I’ve heard that first sons (or majority of the males) love their mom more that the dad and that daughters love their fathers than their mom. That is all relative. We all had different childhoods. But what memories do you have about your mom and dad that will make you choose who to take care of more?

My point is that a child will remember the mom (or dad) that was there to take him to the hospital, the parent that was there at the school end of the year party, the parent that was there at those seemingly insignificant moments. The child may not even understand that you are paying thousands to send him to school, or that the consistent meat and chicken was from your purse. I think it’s natural to everyone. We remember those who were there at those seemingly insignificant but special or crucial moments. Though taking care of a child doesn’t guarantee that the child will care for you when you’re old.

It’s an eye-opener to all prospective and present parents. Mom or dad, the child will value the time you spend to care for him, attend a PTA meeting, play or talk with him, or something more than paying the bills. (You don’t want to attend the PTA meeting but you want to be there when the child is the overall best student in the school. I don’t think it works that way.) You value paying the bills because you understand that it’s important. Of course the child will understand later in life that you provided, but he may see it as you performing your responsibility and not done out of care. So I believe there should be a balance between mom and dad. Some parent-child activities or duties shouldn’t be gender based. Father, pay the fees, mother take the child to school. No matter how busy our schedules may be, the child will value the fact that you took time out to do something he sees as important. May God grant us wisdom.

I stand to be corrected. I’m open to more insight. Still pondering on this issue. Just voicing my own opinion.

Have a fantastic week.