Nyoxie got married!

About six weeks ago, my friend/ editor-in-chief got married to her long time man friend. I met her in University in 2015 and we’ve been friends since then. We also went to Law School together and were roommates. During our Court & Chambers attachment in Law School, I stayed with her family and became fondly known as their last born. I also got an Igbo name from her grandma- Ngozi.

I would say that this picture accurately describes my relationship with Nyoxie, as we fondly call her. Why? Nyoxie is amazing, but can sometimes worry/fret about stuff, for instance, our essays in uni. Nyoxie would say, “Ife, I know what to write, but I can’t get the words out on paper”. And then comes the waterworks, she would cry. Enter me and a host of our friends: “Nyoxie, you can do it, you’ll be fine. Try and start with the introduction and definitions”. Needless to say, this dear friend of mine eventually finished with a First Class.

Law School was yet another academic hurdle and I’ve shared a bit of that here. She had her crying days (as far as she’s concerned, I don’t have emotions) and thank God we pulled through that and are lawyers today. I guess one recurring thing from uni till now is Nyoxie worrying about something and me telling her that everything will be fine, and when everything does become fine, she’ll come say thank you and that gratitude might again leave her in tears. One night while we were studying for the Bar exams, I had a moment and burst out in tears; Nyoxie was confused to the uttermost, because this chic had never had to deal with a crying Ife. It ended up with me praying for a good job and spouse at the end of all this because it felt like too much stress to not eventually be productive in life. It lasted about five minutes and we both started laughing right after.

The traditional wedding was on Friday and the church wedding the next day, Saturday. It was a fun time as all her friends and family came together. I saw people whose names I had heard or pictures I had seen in the flesh. It was also really lovely to experience an Igbo traditional wedding for the first time.

During the traditional wedding, there’s a point where the bride goes around with a glass of wine looking for her husband, with her friends close behind her. I can tell you that we really looked for him. People at different tables would beckon on us, saying the groom was at their table, some of the groom’s friends stood together as if trying to hide him, but he wasn’t there. Eventually she found her man, somewhere in the crowd, and the ceremony continued. There was a lot of dancing, eating and drinking.

Image- @bighweddings

The white wedding was very beautiful. We had to be up early to get our makeup done and have our pictures taken before church, and the Anglicans don’t play with punctuality. They will marry you in absentia, if you don’t bring your about-to-be-wed self on time. Her dress was so beautiful. It was not an easy job arranging her train (I was her maid of honor); I ripped a sleeve of my dress in the process but I’d gladly do it again.

After the joining at church, the couple took pictures with different groups of family, friends and colleagues, and headed to the reception. The bridal train stayed back to take some pictures. Then we went to the reception where we danced and ate and had a blast the rest of the evening.

Image- @bighweddings

The marquee was decorated and looked like something out of a fairytale. There were flowers everywhere and the lights made the room look magical. The father- daughter dance was beautiful, and the couple’s first dance, ugh! A couple of tears were shed.

Image- @bighstudios

It was a really beautiful wedding, and the weather stayed put most of the day although it rained a bit. The after party was great- lots of music and stuff to eat and drink. It was fun. Small chops was in abundance and I was happy to partake in that. We, bridesmaids eventually left the venue about 11pm, when the vendors were clearing up, after the crowd had finally, and very grudgingly gone home.

I hate to disappoint you but there’s no particular lesson I had planned for this post. Maybe marry your friend, or go all out for your friend’s wedding? I really just wanted to share a bit of the goodness that I got up to this Summer. What fun stuff did you do over Summer, or more recently? Please share with me in the comments.

Officially a member of the married circle💍

Love, hugs and a good weekend,

MBW

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Give and Take

I have heard a lot about honour in the past six weeks and I’d like to share bit about it today. To honour a person is to regard them with great respect. It is recognizing that someone is ahead of you in some way and acknowledging it. You attract what you respect, so if you disregard it, then… Honour is not convenient. It is not applicable only to the man in a business seminar who might be the link to your next job. It is the more uncomfortable situations that truly test our ‘honorary character’.

As skilled and talented as we may be, we need men to rise to certain places. “My God will do it!” Yes, but He will work through a man. God cannot write you a job reference, give you cash or a room to spend the night, but He can turn the hearts of kings to favour you (Prov. 21:1) and cause your enemies to be at peace with you (Prov 16:7). Honour is important because where a person does not feel honoured, they cannot easily give of themselves. Even Jesus couldn’t do much because of dishonour (Mark 6:4-5).

If a man feels dishonoured, his hands would be closed towards you. It would be hard to receive anything from him. Just like gravity is a principle, honour is a principle as well. Gravity works, regardless of who understands the science behind it. The principle of honour works like this: you get what you give– it’s give and take.

Similar to how slay-dripping, moisturized, and oh-so-fine photos on the internet are captioned, “If I don’t give them, how will they take?”; let’s ask ourselves, if you don’t give honour, how will you take (get) it?

Image: Google

The Bible says to honour your father and your mother that your days will be long on the earth (Exo. 20:12). I believe this extends beyond biological parents. Some people were not raised by their parents or had other family members in charge of their upbringing. All those people would be included in the definition of ‘father and mother’. I feel like someone might be thinking I don’t know their parents and if I met them, I’d speak to God to give them a free pass on that Scripture. Well God knows your Mum and he knows how upset she gets sometimes and how your Dad yells for no reason, but He said what He said, and He’s not taking it back. The wisdom on how to honour a ‘difficult’ parent is to be sought in the place of prayer. Mother and father-in-laws, uncles, etc, they’re all included in parents. Let’s leave no stone unturned. It’s better to find out you overdid it, than that you shortchanged yourself.

In this day and generation, a lot of us are on the edge, we know our rights and want to enforce it. We don’t want anyone speaking down to us, and will not fail to give a piece of our minds if anyone tries to step to us, no matter who they are. This is all very good, but sometimes honour robs you of your pride and rights. It might upset you, make you feel cheated or upset, but it’s an exchange for something you desire to receive. Sometimes because of honour, you let things go, you hold your tongue although you have three possible clap backs prepared.

It starts from the little things like standing up in the bus for an older lady, because you too want to live long; not speaking negatively of someone in authority. I’m not saying you can’t hold leaders accountable, but you’re not to speak spitefully of them in the form of gossip. Most importantly, not to grieve the Holy Spirit in the ways that we behave (Eph.4:30).

I hope this is helpful. It’s really a collation of bits and bobs in my mind on the subject. One of the messages I heard recently was at a Women’s conference. You can find it on YouTube here –https://youtu.be/65YfymTj6mk

MBW

International Friendship Day

Today, July 30 is recognized and celebrated in most parts of the world as a Day of Friendship. The idea of a day to celebrate friendship was originated by Joyce Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards in 1930. It was originally intended to be celebrated on August 2, however, in 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as the official International Friendship Day. Regardless, some countries including India celebrate the day on the first Sunday in August and others like Oberlain, Ohio celebrate it on April 8. I guess it’s a case of to each his own.

Google defines friendship as “the relationship between friends”. It further defines a friend as “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines friend as “a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another person”. The Urban Dictionary online provides some definitions of a friend, which I think are very relatable. Some of the definitions are reproduced below:

  1. A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.
  2. A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn’t mind driving you on stupid errands, who will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you.
  3. A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you’re being stupid, but doesn’t make you feel stupid.

The honesty factor is so key in friendships. You must be able to receive the truth even when it hurts. Like in definition 3 from the Urban Dictionary above, your friend should be able to tell you stuff in a way that is not condescending. The intent may be good, but the approach must equally be good, if not the result will be counter-productive.

As human beings, we are prone to form opinions based on our experiences, because really it is the path you have walked on that you can give directions for. Some people say, for instance, that men are scum, because of the experiences they have had with some men. Unfortunately by generalizing, their judgment is clouded, their minds are convinced of the reality they have professed, and they are likely to miss out on the good men that are available.

Similarly, I think the way you view friendships determines what you get from them. Some people feel that friendship is overrated while others swear by their support systems. I think friendships are worth it, I think they are an important part of our lives. Your family may not tell you certain things because they fear they would hurt you or come across the wrong way (it depends on the family though), but your friend would most likely be open and honest with you on certain things. The truth is a bitter pill, but I would rather swallow it and be the better for it.

The Bible also has wisdom on the subject of friendship. They are a good yardstick to gauge friendships and the standard to live by as a friend. Proverbs 18:24 says “ There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother”.  Proverbs 27:17 says “Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other”. This verse speaks of friends challenging one another to greatness, spurring, refusing to let a friend give up or settle into mediocrity in any area of their life. Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Friendship is loyalty, sticking by a person through tough situations. (And I just subbed my own self…wow!)

I asked people to send me what friendship means to them and a memorable experience they have had with a friend. Arike said “Friendship to me is love. Two or three friends are more than enough. Friends are the ones that help to refresh the soul by always sharing words of wisdom and advice. Even when I’m in the wrong, they tell me with love. Friends are like a support system. I remember when I was really broke and had a driving speed fine to pay. If I didn’t pay on time, I would lose my license, and other legal consequences would follow. At the dying hour, a friend came through and rescued me.”

To Mayowa, “Friendship means safety, the ability to feel safe and secure in someone else’s company. It also means vulnerability, not literally, but it comes with the safety territory and aids openness of thought and self. Friendship means growth. It is how you know you’re meant to leave something behind and grow. Friends bring that to your attention.”

From these definitions, I gather that the quality of friends and not necessarily the quantity is very important. When you have the right quality of friendships, it will be easy to be vulnerable and safe in their company. Thank you both so much for sharing.

Finally, the golden rule is a go-to for me: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Regardless of what you have experienced, I think it is important to be the type of friend you want to have. You may not be getting gifts from your Anon* yet, but if that is what you would like, then do it for others. Do to people what you want people to do to you. There is no guarantee that it will come back to you from the same friend, so don’t keep looking back waiting. Sow your good seeds and move on. Celebrate your friendships, support your friends, but create a balance so you don’t wear yourself out. Be honest with your friends too, that is why they are your friends, re vulnerability as discussed above.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share some love and laughter with your friends today. Happy International Friendship Day!

*Anon- Short for Anonymous. Recently a popular trend on Twitter where someone you don’t know sends you a gift, usually through an online store or service provider. It generally feels good to be gifted by an Anon, as I have been told by Anon-receivers.

Accelerate

It was about 7.30 a.m. on a wet Tuesday morning. I had to be in Court so I was in a bit of a hurry. I was sitting in a keke on my way to work and thanks to the rain and potholes, the driver was being really careful which also meant he was not moving fast. A part of me wanted him to fly and the rest of me knew that I should have left the house earlier.

Up ahead, I saw a truck. A personal rule of driving according to me is to stay as far away from any vehicle that is bigger than mine. To me, they’re akin to bad energy. This is why I felt it was not the time for the keke to be slow. You need to get past this truck and not have us killed!

There was a free lane beside the truck, on the right side of the road and we got in there. The road was not smooth, so it seemed to take a while to get past the truck, but we eventually got past it. Breathe out. The driver swung to the left side of the road, in front of the truck, and back to a speed that felt like 20km/hr. “There’s no way this guy plans to crawl in front of a truck. It just can’t be”. And like he heard my thoughts, he picked up his speed and was soon way ahead of the truck. Whew! What a relief.

Speeding past a truck and getting as far away from it as possible is what most drivers tend to do. I think its because of the possible danger that a truck or any vehicle bigger than yours presents. If anything happened, your car would feel the effect more.

Somehow, this brought sin to my mind. Sin seems bigger than us, sometimes a bit overwhelming as we labor under its ‘power’. Thankfully we have the Word of God,  our fuel. As we stay filled up on God’s Word, it is easier to accelerate past sin and keep moving forward. We may experience some road bumps or potholes along the way, but we must continue in the fight of faith(1 Tim 6:12), never giving up, caving in or feeling condemned because…Romans 8:1.

Just like I did not expect the driver to slow down in front of the truck, it is not wise to slow down or be lax after overcoming a sin or temptation. It is necessary to continually build yourself in God’s Word, filling up with more of him and getting equipped for every good work. There is no need to flex a little spiritual muscle you’ve only started gaining. You need to flee every appearance of sin, you can show the muscles when you’re waaay past the sin. Moreso, muscles don’t hide, they are visible for everyone to see. In due time when those muscles are developed, people will comment and ask for your gym instructor. Your character and composure will be evident to all and you won’t even need to say a word to prove it.

I pray we receive strength to stay far away from every sin and to live righteous lives, pleasing unto God in this age. More than that, I pray that we are able to receive God’s forgiveness when we do sin and not beat ourselves up repeatedly after repenting.

Have a great weekend!

Missbigwords ⭐️

Good Things Will Come

It is common to hear people say “I want to blow” which translates to “I want to make it big in life” or “I want to be very rich and comfortable.” And who doesn’t? I think it’s just really important to remember that good things take time. There’s no overnight success. Time, effort and hard work have gone into anything of value that you see- from your favourite YouTube Channel to all the skills you celebrate in the Guinness World Records. Nothing good just happens!

Yesterday, the public transportation system in Lagos drove this point further into my mind.  A little back story first, for those who may not be familiar with public transportation. In Nigeria, one of the means of public transportation we have is mini vehicles with three wheels called keke napep or keke for short.

Ideally, it seats four passengers. At a bus stop, the kekes form a queue and pick up passengers as they come. Some keke drivers, probably because they are in a hurry to make a couple runs or cannot be bothered to get in the queue, ditch the line, find one or two passengers who also are not willing to wait for the keke to fill up and head off. They think they are smart but are they really?

The keke that stays in the queue may lose a few minutes waiting but he gets a full trip and therefore more money. He saves time on his journey because he is not looking for any extra passengers along the way. The other driver, however, has found two people and gotten a head start, but he slows down at every junction along the route to see if the person standing there would like a ride in the direction he is going. This inevitably makes the ride slower, he is not guaranteed of finding any other passengers and he might end up with just the two passengers he started the trip with.

A keke

This illustration is applicable to life and these are the things I learnt from it:
1)Almost anyone speeding through life, not having to ‘slow down’ has paid their ‘waiting dues’ at some point. They have worked for free, trained hard, spent time reading and researching, invested in themselves or honed their skills.

2)When a person is aware of their destination and the means to get there, it’s hard to slow down. There’s a forward-thinking, let’s-do-this mentality of a man on a mission. He knows where he is going to and only a really powerful force, or his very own self can stop him.

3)You can cheat the system, but it’s not worth it. There are processes, protocols and procedures to be followed, and they could be bypassed but you might end up with half-baked results, which are not desirable.

4)Waiting is necessary. No matter how quickly you want a baby, all things being equal, we’re looking at 9 months. Fixed deposit? In most financial houses, its at least 90 days. A driving license? 16-18 years. You follow my drift? People don’t become experienced professionals overnight. If they didn’t wait in that profession, they wouldn’t be at the stage of their career that they are now. Waiting might slightly upset you, but there’s so much to gain from it.

If you’re in a waiting season, be encouraged. It’s well worth it and it will pay off. Don’t be sucked in to the pressure to take a short cut. Time flies and you’ll soon tell tales of this part of your life.

Love and hugs,

MBW