‘Rona’s lessons

The ‘Rona* has been in town (at least Nigeria) since February. While it has been advised that it is a good time to dig a well, kill a cow and have a small wedding, it has been a time of reflection and learning for me. These lessons are not deep or new, but they’ve just been relearned and I’ve had a fresh appreciation for them. Some of them are:

1. Family is important.

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-10 at 7.44.51 PM
These guys definitely stick closer than a brother. Be like them.

Whether ‘family’ for you is biological, or its friends that have become “closer than a brother”, your support system cannot be replaced. They continue to be a source of laughter, truth, joy and safety.

2. Write things down. I’m sure I have said this before and I tell my friends all the time. Write, write, write. Write how you feel, what you’re thinking, little successes, big ones,  write your ideas, goals, visions, dreams, everything. I know you have a great memory and you will remember, but I have found that mental notes cannot be compared to pen and paper or e-notes. I write down what God says to me, impressions I have, ideas, even really sweet words that are prayed over me on my birthdays. How journalling can boost your happiness - Top SanteI take screenshots and email them to myself. Words are gold and gold never gets old. I keep a journal as well, and I encourage you to try it too. Write down dates and the events that happen, especially when its something you really enjoyed- a first date, the day you got a bright idea, or figured out a knotty concept at work, the day you met an old friend, or went out with a mentor, a beautiful experience at church, or a movie that resonated with you. When you write, you are recording history and providing precedents that you can refer to in the future. How cool is that? You can start a blog to contain your thoughts, use the Penzu app, open a new email account solely for your words, write in a journal, etc.

3. Share. Nothing is too little or too big to share. Share information, share knowledge, share insights, share opportunities. The things that seem so basic to you could be so big to someone else. The things we take for granted because we are so accustomed to it may be a light bulb moment for someone else. I typically would join the Hallelujah Challenge when it starts, and sometimes post it on my Instagram or Whatsapp. I assumed everyone knew about it, but I’d still post it anyway. The most recent Challenge ended on May 23rd and someone sent me a message, thanking me for sharing, because that was how this person became aware of it. If you don’t know about the Hallelujah challenge, find out more here.

4. Give. I can almost hear someone say, Ife has come again, how much is my salary that I will give out of it? Hear me out 🙂 Money is one thing on the list of many things you can give. You can also give your time to listen to someone; your talent to help out with something that comes naturally to you; your skill to do something you would typically be paid for. If you want to give, you’ll find ways to do it. You can support your friends’ businesses too- post their products/services on your social media. Recommend them. That’s a way to give without money.

5. RestTake Time To Rest – From Sand to Gemstones. After all is said and done, your body needs to have a time of rest. Your diet, sleep and exercise should be carefully monitored to ensure you are taking the best care of yourself. Take days off when you can, or at least hours off. Maximize your weekends to rest and recoup. On the days your body is in overdrive and you cannot sleep, play a game, eat a fruit salad or garri/milk/sugar and groundnut (whatever works for you), soak in a warm bath, treat yourself to something nice. Your body deserves it!

Do you have any old tricks that have become new to you recently? What have you been up to? Any new lessons on doing old things? Please share in the comments.

Until my next post, stay safe and please wear a mask.

With clean hands,

MBW

 

*’Rona – Coronavirus 

Here’s to doing it afraid…

Have you ever been in awe of God? Have you ever known that something was beyond you, although it was carried out by you? Have you ever felt God work through you? I recently answered yes to these questions. Two weeks ago, I hosted my first ever webinar. It was on Self Confidence, which seemed funny to me, because I almost chickened out. Thank God for my friend who insisted on seeing this through.

It kept coming to mind to have a webinar. I believe that when things “cross my mind” like that, it’s the Holy Spirit impressing it upon my heart to do. With some encouragement and motivation, I prepared my slides and another friend helped me add colour to it. I did a test run of my presentation on Zoom and prayed that my words would be life to someone. 

Then the day came, I felt a lot of different things including the need to use the bathroom about an hour before the webinar was to start. Eventually, I got ready, set up my laptop and started. I had a few glitches but soon eased into talking through my slides and sharing with the attendees. The next thing I knew, I was on the last slide, and soon after, I took some questions.

As usual, I learnt a few things from this process. First of all, community is important. My friends were so instrumental in the success of this webinar. If not for them, there may have been no webinar, or maybe a couple of bland grey slides at most. They helped, cheered, advised, critiqued and encouraged me.

The second thing I learnt is the importance of prompt obedience. If I’m being honest, had my friends not put a gun to my head, I may have procrastinated. Thankfully, it took only four days from conception to execution. Prompt obedience is very important, especially with regards to instructions from above, because there is a reason you feel what you feel at the time you feel it.

Having the right people in your circle is also important, but honestly this is a gift from God. We think we know people, but most times, we really don’t. I pray we all receive the gift of the right people.

Finally, just do it. Afraid and all, but do it anyway.

Happy quarantining.

Stay safe and sanitized,

Ife

P.S: The slides and audio for the webinar are available. Please send an email to missbigwords@gmail.com, with your Whatsapp number, if you’re interested.

Peace To Your (Probably) Troubled Heart

Hiiiii you,

I trust you’re doing well and keeping safe. I’ve given some thought to this pandemic and wondered what to do with it? Or with myself while it lasts (which won’t be very long, in Jesus’ Name, Amen).

Some of the thoughts that I’ve considered are: focusing on Jesus and growing in intimacy with Him; executing recent or pending instructions; reaching out to loved ones; maximising time for the impossibles; and resting.  

There is no better time than now to fellowship with your Maker, for yourself, by yourself. I mean, you’re stuck at home with extra time on your hands, it would be so profitable to spend some with God. Praying for the nations, asking for direction, learning of Him, soaking in confessing His promises, all the good stuff! It’s a time to know God for yourself, to go back to the things you’ve heard in church and actually look them up and dig deeper. It’s a great time to grow in intimacy with God.

As you walk with God, He puts impressions on your heart, you may feel nudged to do something, start something, write something. He may have given you specific instructions which you haven’t done because you’ve been busy. No wahala. Now, you have time. Proper planning and scheduling your priorities, and before you know it, you’re publishing that book you’ve been stalling for 5 years. It’s up to you.

Some people are gifted with the ability to communicate, while others are… a work in progress. Now that you can’t tell your Mum that you’ve been travelling from Ikorodu to V.I. and that’s why you haven’t called her in 2 months, you should plan to call her, and your sister, and father-in-law (stop postponing it, Baba is not dying soon. Grow this relationship now). When the chips are down, we reach for members of our support system. Their speed of reaction is only as good as the investment you’ve made into the relationship. Invest in your support system. You have the time to actually listen to them and not just hear them speaking, it can make a huge difference in your relationship. You know what makes them smile, indulge them. 

Make time for the impossibles. The impossibles, to me, are the many things that are within your reach but you have not had the time to do in a while. It could be to read a novel, do a Bible study, or DIY project, wash your curtains, arrange your wardrobe, take an online course. It could be the easiest thing, but work plus busy weekends have made it seem insurmountable. I present to you a perfect time to do the “impossibles”.

Rest! Rest! Rest! You can actually have a siesta. A whole entrepreneur like you can afford to be in bed at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon! Yup. So enjoy it while it lasts, because this compulsory holiday period will not last forever. You can go to bed early or sleep in, whatever works for you. Keep in mind that this is a gift, of sorts, and its best to maximise while you have it. 

To be able to achieve more in this season, a plan is very important. A written idea of what you plan to do and when will be a helpful guide to achieving the things you want to do. I’m excited for the time, but I’m also optimistic that this will pass soon.

I’ll leave you with God’s Word :

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked”. (Psalm 91:5-8)

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit”. (Jude 1:20)

Love and clean hands,

MBW

 

 

It’s all Worship

Hiiiiiiiii,

New rev’* alert!💃🏽 I’m so excited to be sharing this.

I was speaking to a friend and we got talking about work, excellence and consistency. I saw an angle to things that I had not seen before and I’m here to dish it to you because it just might change your attitude to life!

Have you ever gotten mechanical with the routine of work? Attending meetings, preparing reports, hoping “this email meets you well”, etc. I know I have. That is why this conversation I had was life-changing for me. The crux of the conversation was that everything I do is worship. (Selah)

Worship is not only when your hands are lifted (or semi-lifted) as you sway to Bethel Music or Steffany Gretzinger. Worship is not fast or slow songs, or you crying while you sing. Everything you do is worship.

Romans 12:1 (NLT) says “And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

The Bible says that to present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God is the true way to worship Him. 

The Message Translation says, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

I love that this translation mentions ‘going to work’, because we spend a large chunk of our day at work. So, our work should be our worship. Sunday service is nowhere near enough time to fully worship, and really, our worship should never stop. It should be a continuous, never-ending state of our hearts that is reflected in our character and attitude. The Bible tells us to take our everyday life and place it before God as an offering. For us, that would mean our report writing, email-sending, customer-caring, social media management, content creation, photography, whatever it is you do, and present it as an offering to God.

The context of this conversation was in relation to paid employment which led my mind to wander around the subject. If God were my boss, and I only got to worship Him through my work, how would I work? Is it the way I am working now?

Would I ignore the stain on a letter I printed because it didn’t matter, “it’s not even one of our major clients”; would I pay more attention to the details of my work; would I give credit to my teammates who did 90% of the work?; would I speak negatively about my boss if I knew he could hear my every word?

Your work is worship to God! Your boss may be out of the country half the year, but God is always there- it’s worship. How are you handling assigned tasks? Is there a more excellent way? Can it be done better? Are you giving your best self to it? Are you using office equipment for your private practice? 

There are so many ways to look at this, and many of us have fallen short in our worship. We have gotten so used to the routine that we forget that we can only do what we do because God gives us the grace to do it. I’m so grateful for that conversation, because it has led to my encouraging you to switch things up. You can worship better, and it all depends on you. I pray God helps us and the Holy Spirit reminds us to worship in everything we do and in the ways that we do it.

Love, light and glowing skin,

Ife

*rev’- revelation; insight received from God’s Word

New Year, No Tension

Happy New Year!

We’re 20 days in already. I hope you’ve had a lovely time so far- making wise decisions or quickly recovering from unwise ones, smashing goals or still reviewing your progress from last year, having productive days or maybe totally unsure what you are doing with your life.

See, I get you. The entire universe expects you to have a plan, your goals all set and of course, your nicely designed vision board. The new year brings new strength and energy but it also brings a fresh dose of pressure. Please don’t let anyone tension you. Yes, work hard, and do your absolute best to be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday, but don’t run anyone else’s race. Don’t compare your progress to another’s- “it is a foolish thing to do” (2 Cor 10:12). You’re the only you there is, and you add colour and spice to this world as you are.

I encourage you to believe the best of yourself and push yourself to do more than you’ve done before. For instance, I did 19 posts on the blog last year- 19 posts in 2019. What are the odds? I’d like to do better this year, even if it means I do only 21. I actually struggled with whether I should even blog this year. I thought about taking a break, but I’m here so I guess you know how that decision ended.

I wish you a beautiful year. I pray it greatly surpasses your expectation. I pray you rise above every negative thought or undue pressure. I pray your country experiences a good year too, and that all things work out together for your good.

Have an amazing week!

Ife