ONE MAN’S BLESSINGS; ANOTHER’S SORROW

rain

I have often heard people talk about it. I have read about it severally but  I have never had the opportunity to witness nature and the magnitude of God’s awesomeness until one morning.

It started like a normal Saturday morning but offensively warm as the sun came out earlier than expected. Everyone busied with laundry not to waste away the usefulness of the sun. Minutes later, the sun disappeared giving way to a cloudy sky but it was still warm so we had no concern of rain.

Gradually, the scent of fresh water rain glided in through my window interrupting my morning devotion. I could not resist as I stood and went to the balcony to see if it was really going to rain. Since our staying in this new place the balcony had been my favorite viewing spot. The view is usually beautiful especially because our house is on a hill. It gives me the privilage of seeing an entire valley of houses and activities.

Right above the houses on the valley, I saw a whirlwind! So much dust spinning in the air! It was as though the valley had disappeared as it was covered with a smoke like air. It caught my interest as I fixed my gazed. Then it began to rain heavily in the vallay, yet not raining at where I stood! How possible? How could it rain at house 3 and nothing of such is happening at house 5. God! Then gradually, the rain came to where I was as though it heard me.

The sight was very lovely and gave me another opportunity to be drown again in the awesomeness of God. As it poured heavily, few houses away, a man ran into the rain rejoicing at the heavy downpour. He has a small farm in front of his house and has just planted vegetables. He walked in the heavy downpour inspecting the plants. Smiling happily. I guess appreciating God and enjoying the coolness of the morning rain.

Sadly, his neighbour, did not see this as a blessing as the family of four struggled with part of their roof which had just been blown away by the wind. Most of their properties were in threat of being destroyed by the rain. The wife was shouting, “Lord please have mercy on us”. In futitlity they left the roof. It was badly damaged and there was not much they could do in the rain.

As I watched these scenerios trying to figure out how God works, I turned my gaze away praying for this family even though I had silently rejoiced with the farmer. My concentration was distracted by a  a driver in a Deawoo car just in front of my house. He was struggling to cover his side of the window with a plastic bag, but the wind was too strong. The screen was obviously gone. He looked dressed for an occassion. He was soon drenched just by trying to shield himself in his car. I recognised the car as I have seen it in the area before. It looked nice, new and I would never guessed it could have a minor fault that would cost the owner his outing or delay him.

Life! One man’s blessing, yet another’s sorrow! The farmer’s prayer was answered as it rained. He probably have been expecting it for God knows how long. His business was in threat as he was not sure if the vegetable would turn out well if the rain delayed. Who knows, he may even have been up all night crying and calling upon God! By morning God answered.

This is not to say that God is partial to those who struggled in the rain. He usually answers our prayers in a way we mostly don’t expect. He could have provided a new or better accomodation for the family with a blown roof. He could be deliberately delaying the one in the car for maybe to avenge an unlikely situation. Anything God allows is for our own good.

Be patient! God is not through with you yet.

THE MAGIC OF WINDOW SHOPPING

window shop

Friday night, I was helping my hubby look for one of his study jotters. As I scurried the bookshelf, I stumbled on my old Life-Goal-Journal of 2004. It was my 2004 treasure. I had just graduated from the University and I had many lofty dreams, many things I wanted to do and become and that journal had all my thoughts in it. As all dreams and everything I wanted life to be for me. I flipped through its pages forgetting why I was there in the first place.

When everyone had gone to sleep, I stayed up studying the journal. I paused for a long time on a page I titled, MY CAREER GOALS FOR THE YEAR. A tear rolled down the corner of my eye and I let myself shed quick tears. Whatever happened to me! 10 long years after writing those goals I was yet to fulfil up to 70% of it. How did I lose track? I asked myself. What stopped me?

I had just started a career in writing that year and I was concluding my first book, a novel. I had other synopsis of various books I had either worked half way or concluding. I was sure that given another 2 years I would be near being an accomplished author and writer. Instead that novel and other books stayed in my computer for another 3 years before it saw the light of the day.

Then someone I trusted and looked up to told me it was a bad idea writing a novel and infact that I should not venture into writing as I was a bad writer. I felt bad and took his judgement seriously. I packed up my novel and all the script I had built over the years to pursuit another career but I was never happy or satisfied.

I flipped through more pages and I was disappointed at myself, I had not lived up to expectation. Not much had been achieved as I wanted, well except that I wrote I wanted to get married and have children and that happened! Lolll.

When I got up on Saturday morning it was with a heavy  heart of how to correct those years I had missed out. I decided to just take some time alone to draw inspiration from 10 years ago. I got dressed and took my children with me to this huge shopping mall. Its quite some distance from my home but I wanted to enjoy the drive. Once we were in the mall, my four-year son sped off into the toy shop. In his excitement he started pointing at everything almost at once.

“Hey! See a plane! I can fly a plane. Remember I told you I would become a pilot so I can fly you in my plane?” his eyes had seriousness!

“See this ship! I can be a captain too! Wowwww! Is this a toy doctor? I have never seen one. I am going to be a real doctor so I can take care of everyone.” He moved onto admiring other toys.

He reminded me of myself. I felt same way. I was convinced I could be anything I wanted just like my son. We moved into a bookstore.

“This is the biggest library in the world! Mummy you can write many books like this?” “Yes I can”. I was glad I came with him. He helped my rearrange my thoughts. As I moved on to a section of the bookshop, I got lost imagining if my books could have gained a space on the shelf of this renown bookshop if I had continued writing 10 years ago.

The more I looked through the bookshop, the more it appeared to me that there was still time to go back to 10years ago and pick up from where I stopped. After spending about an hour in the shop, I made a resolution not just a write everyday but to make sure that I share same with people. Amazing how it can be if we put our hearts to what we really want to do. Not only have I produced nothing less than four books this year but in a space of less than a month I gained a good number of followers reading my articles.

What’s your excuse? What dream have you given up on because you think you left it too long ago? It is time to pick up from where you left off. Yes, you can be all you want to be. Like me, you can try window shopping! It could be very motivating. What is it that you wish to become? Look around for somewhere it already exist and associate yourself. This can help you get started.

Keep window shopping until your dream come true!

ANOTHER MINI BOOK: What’s Wrong With Masturbation?

Newly Edited1During one of my sessions recently, I was talking about pornography then delved into masturbation, I talked about what could lead to masturbation and how people can avoid or handle addiction to it. Then, one of the students passed across to me a piece of paper, scribbled on it was, “I have been having loads of fun since I started masturbating. I enjoy it. Now you say it’s not right. What exactly is wrong with masturbation?” My first response was, “Is there anyone here who would love to walk into a prison to have fun? Do you think the prison is a fun place?…that’s what I think addiction to masturbation is. You think it’s fun when you are actually enslaved.”

It was not strange, I am used to teens putting up defensible questions and or responses when trying to justify themselves of a wrong doing. So I recommended that they get a copy of my book for my reasons why addiction to masturbation maybe harmful.

The mini book has used real life experiences to explain

  1. What masturbation really is
  2. Why masturbation is not good for you
  3. How to avoid being a victim of it and
  4. What to do if you are addicted

It’s 100naira a copy and over 1000 copies have been distributed to schools paid for by well meaning individuals so the students can get it for free. To get for your school, church or other groups call or text 234802-660-3057 or email emikebini@yahoo.com

Just like most of my mini books, I also included some tips on how parents/counselorscan know and help a child addicted to masturbation.

Sexually Abused? So What Are You Going To Do?

Newly EditedSo, I did my second mini book, one in a series of seven. I am really very excited about it and I will like to share with you some of my inspiration and experiences behind it.

Last month March, I had the privilege to speak to about 2000 young people (in secondary school) at three strategic meetings on masturbation, pornography but my emphasis really was on sexual abuse. I asked the students to write their questions and experiences and forward to me while I spoke. That period I gathered up to 1000 notes containing questions and experiences. Sadly, over half of the students indicated that they have been sexually abused at various instances by those they are familiar with. The boys were not left out of this count.

These and my personal experiences prompted me to release this book. Although the book has always been on my laptop, it needed to come out at the right time. That time is now.

My aim is for many young people to know that sexual abuse is on the rise and they could be victims but much more than that, I intend to encourage people to speak up if or when sexually abused. This is not just so that the abuser will be punished but to at least minimize the spread.

This book is written with young people in mind but will be of a great advantage to anyone who maybe struggling with the abuse and those who may be interested in helping others overcome it. Besides the book talks about;  1. What sexual abuse is, 2. How to avoid it and 3. How to overcome it. It contains real life experiences and questions one can use to ‘test’ how well they understand the issue of sexual abuse.

It’s 100naira a copy and over 1000 copies have been distributed to schools paid for by well meaning individuals so the students can get it for free. To get for your school, church or other groups call or text 234802-660-3057 or email emikebini@yahoo.com

 I also included some tips on how parents/counselorscan know and help a sexually abused child. They need our love let’s help as much and often as possible and as God helps us all.

Get Out Of That Bed!

I am very familiarsad_woman1 with disappointments and I know better now how to handle it. I have been disappointed many times in my life and some of these experiences are hard to forget; they left indelible memories and life-time lessons. Let me share two of such experiences with you.

While at the university I was engaged to a fine young man, Ben (not real name) and hopeful to be married before graduation. I was not only excited about him I was elated about being his wife! The relationship blossomed and we made plans; talked about our married life together and big dreams of raising a family.

Just when I thought everything was going smoothly, one day Ben visited me in school and wanted us to talk. The expression on his face showed that something was not right but I could not discern. We met at the school cafeteria and none of us was interested in eating anything.

“Emi, I am sorry this cannot work…I really care about you and would love you to be my wife but…”

“What are you talking about?” I interrupted

“My parents…they do not think I should…they want me to marry a girl from my town and it has been a big issue. I just didn’t know how to tell you. Mum has asked me to stop seeing you.” He could not look at me.

“You agreed to that? But you said you loved me! You couldn’t fight for what you love? How do you think this makes me feel? Do you know you are breaking my heart?” My voice was loud and shaky but I did not care. He just sat there looking at me as if he did not understand what I was saying or the pain he was causing me.

We argued. While I tried making him see how the relationship was meant to be, he argued on how he couldn’t disobey his parents to get married to me. He left promising to remain friends with me and would always keep in touch.

You can only imagine the hurt and disappointment. That night I laid in bed replaying in my head the moments we spent together and remembering the promises and the beautiful dreams that would never see reality. The next day, I felt too sick to go to class, I had never felt that way for anyone the way I felt for Ben. For two days I stayed indoors doing NOTHING. Well, except wishing I could turn back the hands of time and delete the moment .

 Ben called off the relationship.

When everyone had left for the day’s lecture I laid in bed thinking. I was no longer crying but I was obviously ‘mourning’. I kept replaying the memories and allowing his voice to resound in my head and hoping that he would just knock on the door and come back to me. The more I tossed on the bed missing and wanting Ben, the more I got sick.

“Get out of that bed! Go make your life meaningful! If he is gone, then let him go!”

“No I won’t. I loved him, I still love him and I want him back.”

“He says he doesn’t want you. He is not lying in bed and crying like you. You really can be better off without him if you will get out of that bed  now and get on with your life!”

“Really? Can I really be better off without him? Can I really love someone else the way I loved Ben?”

The conversations were all in my head. I stood to take a look a myself in the mirror. I was lean and unkempt. Get out and make your life meaningful!

Then recently also, I started pursuing a book contract and with the person who introduced me to the firm I was very confident I was going to be chosen for the project. A lot of money was involved. Proposals written, submitted and approved; discussions and agreement reached and a date was set for the signing of final document. I looked forward to when the money would be transferred into my account and even went on an imaginary shopping in Dubai! A week letter, the company called to say they were withdrawing because their board decided that the project should be handled from their branch in South Africa. Disappointed is a small word to describe how I felt.

Dashed hopes! Crashed dreams! Miscarried expectations! Confusion and fear of starting again! These at some point plaque our lives but disappointments are common to life and how we handle it is what really matters. When plans do not go as you intended what do you do? When the project does not succeed at your first attempt what do you do? Do you like me lock up yourself in the room crying and wearing yourself out and recounting all your mistakes? Or do you beat yourself and regret you had never taken the step? Yes, I wished I had not gone into that relationship at all but then how do you know which would work if you don’t dare?

What did I do? I decided to leave past the hurts and disappointment. Almost every minute I told myself I can never be bound by the feelings of a failed relationship. Most of all, I realize there could even be a better person out there waiting for me and these hurts could deprive me of seeing this new person let alone seeing the possibility of a relationship with him.

Crying maybe good because it can help relief tension but never let it blind your vision of a better life and opportunity.