Covid 19 scattered my life…

So except you’ve been living under a rock, on a remote abandoned island, with minimal access to technology and information, Y’all know that 2020 is not what we planned for 😅😅😅.

Now before the novel corona virus hit my ground zero, I was already tired of my routine.

I could not find joy in anything

I was struggling with my PhD, struggling with finding the strength to get up in the morning, get the girls ready for school, make breakfast, bake (which I absolutely love), even to read romantic novels (which always, always cheer me up)…

I was tired with my life as it was. I was slowing teetering towards being depressed to be honest. I just was not finding joy in anything, not even my sweet babies laughter. I was tired of following a routine, a schedule…

And Corona landed. I was so happy at not having to wake up every morning at 5 or 6. I was delighted that I didn’t have to start cooking and bustling about early in the morning. I was relieved at not hearing chatter from 6 am in the morning till 9pm at night (this one was short lived 😅). I was just relieved…

After a few weeks of this new found freedom, I began to tire. Little did I know that it was just the beginning of the upheaval of everything I had come to recognize as my life.

Church was out of the picture. And I wasn’t feeling the online services at allllllll 🙄. So naturally, I started to give it less attention. I’d mutter a few words of thanks morning and night and that was it. Boy ó boy, did my life change. I began to feel empty and without purpose. Something had to give!

Well something did. A friend reached out to me as asked how my Christian life was. I hesitated. I didn’t want to portray myself as backslidden or as unserious, but I was yearning, thirsting for more. So I opened up to her. Little did I know that she actually hesitated to ask me! She eventually asked because the Holy Spirit would not let her be! (thank you Uncle HS).

That’s how I joined the prayer group she and some other ladies were holding every morning /night depending on the time zone. The simple act of waking up early to pray, worship and thank God, then going to address the day changed me. I got to know more about the Holy Spirit, I began to pay attention when He was talking, I began to feel confident in my faith. And all this made my life better.

I stopped feeling despondent, tired of my life, useless and unable to do anything. I stopped feeling like I was failing, being a burden. I started to be grateful for what I have, started to let go of mindsets and walls and beliefs that were impacting my life and I didn’t realize. Almost like an invisible operating system that runs in the background.

Of course, my story is not over. It’s not even in the middle. I’m just starting and it’s gonna get better. The lessons I learned from this period are thus: 1. Having a routine is important. My system thrives on following steps and ticking off goals as they are done. Even the simple ones such as wake up, brush your teeth, bath the girls, cook some food. 2. Walking with God is non-negotiable. It’s like having insider knowledge about what’s going on around you. The Holy Spirit indeed guides and guards me. He helps me find items that I have misplaced (seriously, he does). 3. Situations are temporary. The only constant thing is change and when you realize that, you become more forgiving and less rigid. 4. You have to choose. I have become more intentional. In fact, yesterday, I decided to always choose joy and happiness. If my baby girl number 1 is talking 19 to the dozen, I choose to look at the humor in it and not the fact that she’s distracting me or is chewing my ear off. If number 2 decides that the sitting room chair is her toilet, I choose to laugh at the comical and innocent face she makes when she says she doesn’t know why she didn’t tell me she needs the potty. 5. I have decided to speak my mind, and not take nonsense. Anything that upsets me, gets addressed. No more sweeping it under the carpet. My mental health and well-being is very important to my happiness and consequently my family’s happiness. 6. I am more lenient with myself. I accept mistakes and shortcomings without beating myself up. Simply being alive means I get the chance to do better next time. Particularly my PhD. I am not done yet, even after 4 years, but I can be done and give thanks about it… I’d much rather look to the positives than the negatives.

So covid 19 scattered my life, but God put it back together, even better.

I hope I have been able to inspire you.

Much love,

Oluwatomiwa Phillips.

Happy Mother’s Day!

When I was growing up, my mum used to say one thing that made me roll my eyes endlessly almost into my skull 😂

All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient

Wohs all dis forguhssake?

Ahhhhgh! Especially when I wanted to do things my friends were doing.

I am now very grateful for that injunction. It has shaped the very core me now.

Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I should. Just because others are doing it, doesn’t mean I should.

Thank you mum. I love you.

Guys, say hi to my mama in love

I’m really blessed

Happy mother’s day.

To all mums and mini-mums. Don’t give up. Don’t quit, you’re doing well.

With love always,

Tomiwa.

Let it go so you can grow…

So, my new cosmetic formulation lab was just set up. I had been looking forward to having my own space where I can work undisturbed. My husband had been looking forward to me moving my business things out of the house (there’s quite a bit of it 🙄😁).

I was about to find out, just how much he had been looking forward to rearranging the house, as well as that I was holding on to some items unconsciously. I didn’t know I was attached….

I moved quite a bit from the kitchen. Including some shelves. And it started to look different already.

The moment my husband said, I’m going to rearrange this place, my heart dropped.

He has a skill for t̶h̶r̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶w̶a̶y̶ helping you let go of items, that is he will discard whatever he deems useless, never mind that it’s not his ó 😒.

He rearranged the merged kitchen dining area then had the temerity to target my wedding gifts, that were placed on top of one of the kitchen cupboards.

Never mind that I had not used them since we got married, they were collecting dust, I may never use them, at least till the babies are grown and won’t break the delicate glass, my old food processor that had received a junior brother….

He offered to take them to my parents place, where there was a lot more storage space and my heart did kikum kakum. I tried to dissuade him, Bhet his face and stance was like mount Everest. I no talk again.

My cousin came in during the process and commented that they were wedding gifts, and should be with me and what not, and that’s when the kikum kakum of my heart turned to needle pin picks. I could not hold my tears and fled to the bathroom. I stood under the shower and cried like a baby.

I was just imaging how I was going to pay back ó. How I will make sure that his toolbox and drills and wires would not spend one hour, talk less of a day, in our parlor. How I will pack all his neglected items and dispose of them…. My heart was full of sorrow (yeah, over unused items ó 🙄😒) and vengeance was my first course of action…

After wailing, I started to turn the whole thing over in my head and the soft voice said, Shey you’d forgive him? I paused, wondered what I was forgiving, and realized he was not intentionally hurting me, he was not targeting me, he was trying to improve the ventilation in that space. And it required letting go.

I said out loud, I forgive him. Then I started wondering why I was attached to those things. I gave never used them, I had used one till it needed a replacement, so why hold on? I sighed, shook my head at my own drama and decided to let it all go. I released pent up breath I didn’t know I was holding in and surrendered it all.

Spirit said, ‘that’s how you hold on to the old way of doing things, not fully letting go and thus unable to make room for new things and grow’. It’s time to lay aside every weight, everything holding you back…

Sometimes we are not aware that we are still attached to some things and these things prevent us from making the required progress. They impede our growth. Letting go may be painful, but it is needed for progress. Growth is not easy, but it is worth it in the end.

I chose to let go of the physical things, and I was released spiritually too. I’m only just realizing, and I’m sure I’d be seeing the effects as the days roll by.

Let it go..

Choose to let go of those unnecessary things today, the unhealthy games, not so clean books, associations that lead to sin, emotions that cause regret… You’d be lighter and happier too.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1 NIV

Ps: the space looks much better now, is more airy and I don’t miss those items… 🙄 Sha don’t tell my husband I said so 😅😁

Cobwebs…

This is what it feels like going through this page.

It’s been so long.

I read through my last post with nostalgia.

You see, my sister reminded me about this page tonight. Plus it came to mind on Monday. Now reading up on something i wrote that pinched my heart makes me feel like i need to get back to speaking from my heart, keeping up with this online diary of sorts.

How have you been?

I’m now a mum to two beautiful girls and my second is just as feisty as her big sister. I also run a skincare business and have done so for the last six years.

I’d try to do better here. Post more, record more, share some more.

I’ve missed you guys.

Happy new year!

She who thinks she stands…….

I thought to myself in growing horror….. I had become the very thing that I despised. How could this have happened? How did I suddenly become this person? What was I thinking or looking at?

You’re probably wondering what I am talking about. Let me explain. Le boo was reacting to my latest advisory statements. Here I was, all up in my corner feeling righteous, holy, sanctified, justified, persecuted and all that good stuff. Wondering what I did wrong, after all he didn’t explain and yada yada, bla bla.

He then said, “I need my girlfriend, not my mom”. My whole universe tilted and stopped rotating on its axis. It ground to a halt. A gong sounded in my ears and resonated through my brain. Chai!!! See insult. But a small niggling part of me said, ‘you know he’s right, right?’. Boo said, “I need my babe, not my mother”. Chineke, that sounded even worse.

Suddenly, things started to make sense. Lines began to fall into place. My silence gave him the chance to warm up to his explanation and analysis. I began to understand his silences and weird looks at me whenever I said some things, or wanted him to know I felt he had made a mistake. It seemed coincidental that i had muttered to myself, earlier in the day that I felt my words did not to build him up or help him be better. I had uttered a quick prayer for help to watch my words to him.

I realized then that, I didn’t know how to ‘babe’ lol. :D. I know how to ‘mum’ and I honestly suspect that I don’t do that very well sef. I can be harsh, focus on the aspects that I want to be changed and ignore the aspects well done. Gad, I felt so mortified and ashamed that though I intended to help, I was doing more damage than good, both to Le boo and lil angel. I was allowing my approach destroy, rather than build up. At that point, I just wished my lips could be sewn together till I had learned to speak words that edify and build up. Unfortunately, Bae would not let me be, (he probably thinks that when I’m quiet, something’s wrong with the world) lol.

Remember the Bible says “Let he who thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls” – 1 Cor 10:12. In all this time, I honestly thought I was in the right. I believed completely that I needed to always, emphasis on always, point out the wrong, explain and reexplain and make sure my opinion and point of view was heard. SMH, I was just setting myself and everyone else up for a world of pain. I however have had the lesson drummed in today. Though I can talk, and I notice things, I actually do not need to say anything. Should I choose to talk, I can also choose to make my words edifying, encouraging and not destructive. In fact, the tone of voice goes a loooong way (if you know what I mean ;)). I also am not perfect and I can choose to extend the same or even higher level of grace that I would appreciate to others, especially my loved ones.

I have had to go back to the author and perfecter of love, patience, forgiveness and supreme commander of the alien species, Baba God. To ask for forgiveness and grace to be a better me. To bridle my tongue and where I can’t say anything good, to just zip it. I will gist you as my walk progresses. Catch you later.

Tomiwa.

 

Staying Power

Hi guys. It’s been a while again. Pardon my busyness.

So I was talking my pastor’s wife a few days ago and she said something that stuck with me. She said that in anything that was successful, the individual(s) involved had to have made a commitment to whatever the issue was. Now, you may be wondering what is so spectacular about that.

It struck a chord in me. It simply means that for all those companies, businesses, conglomerates, you name it, that are well known today, that have become household names, that have a reputation…., the starters did not give up. They had staying power.

On the days when it seemed that two coins did not come into the account, or on the days that everything just seemed to go wrong, they kept at it. They did not give up, they did not turn back and say “this is not working like I expected, let me try something new”. All the people who seemed to become successes overnight, had invested in a lot of wok and actions, without giving up, without turning back.

There seems to be this mentality running around, that success is achieved with minimal work and effort. I dare stand to say – That’s a lie!!!. We need to learn the lesson of commitment. Giving our all in whatever we lay our hands on. The lesson of diligence. As youths, we need to give up the habit and mentality of doing a little work and expecting mega output. We seem to forget the simple principle of inputs determine outputs. As parents, we need to show the upcoming little ones that diligence and perseverance pays and is actually the only way to go.

Gotta go now. Hope it struck you like it did me. Do have wonderful days.

God loves you.

Tomiwa

Happy new year

Wow, it’s been a bit since i last had something posted up here. I beg your pardon. It all had something to do with completing my masters, moving back home, adjusting, Christmas, doing some research which turned around to bite my delightful tush, having all my folks (with the exception of the middle sister) around, my little princess’ birthday, funny internet and extreme exhaustion (too tired to put on my laptop or tab).

All in all it has been eventful and time and energy sapping for me. Once again, I beg your pardon.

Let me use this opportunity to say Happy New Year!!!

Happy new year 2015

I don’t think it’s too late jare. May this year be filled with the manifestations of God’s perfect will for us all.

A quick one, I was chatting with my dad this morning and he asked me if i was the smallest in the group i am currently in (I am petite in stature and people tend to think i’m still in the first stages of high school). My off hand response was that I had not noticed and it was none of my business. Why would i say that? Because it actually is none of my business what people think of me. I will actively try to live a life pleasing to God and edifying, but beyond that, i cannot go out of my way to try and convince people on the kind of thoughts, ideas or impressions they should have about me. Omo, if I’m pleasing God, then I’m good. This year, I am not going to be obligated to anyone. Being obligated, I have noticed, tends to get me into tight corners and spots I shake my head at or bite my tongue on.
Have a splendid week guys.
God loves you,
Tomiwa.

Late bloomers and keeping faith

So I was walking to school to see my supervisor, proudly rocking my side fro while wondering who sent me on an errand to take out my hair, when i was distracted by a bird on a nest.

Why is that strange, you might ask? After all, they live in nests right?

Well, these birds, Coots as they are called here in Holland, do not make floating nests except when they have little ones coming (well I’m not a bird watcher or ornithologist, this is based on my observations). At the tail end of summer and early fall, for me this strange. I was just telling myself a couple of days ago that all the baby birds had grown up and all the nests had disappeared.

Then it occurred to me that this mama, could be the Hannah of her flock! Everyone else had had their babies at the beginning or middle of summer, with the little ones all grown up and registered in coot college by now getting ready to take up the challenges of being mamas and papas themselves, come next season. 

And there she was,probably cooing and waddling with webbed feet head hung down, wondering why she did not have little ones to qualify for the carpool and games and whatever else little coots got into during summer. (Or she could be raising another set of young ones, which would then set my story as a moot point), I think I would stick with the Hannah story :D.

Her partner would have wrapped his neck round hers, to comfort her in the time tested silent way of the coots. Encouraging with no words and assuring that he was right there beside her all the way.

Then at the end of the season, when other coots had forgotten about the pains it took to push out two or three eggs, then watch the miracle of seeing those eggs hatch and little miniatures of themselves peep and stumble on untried and wobbly feet, her own eggs came. Finally.

Mama coot

I can only imagine the joy in her tiny bird heart at the thought of having little coots run around and get stuck in the middle of the pond in need of rescuing, or their first swim, or swimming to the bank only to be afraid of getting back in. I’m sure she is set in her heart to watch over the one or two or three little ones that are on their way, with everything she’s got.

It seemed the same for Hannah. In fact, she had to deal with a sneering co wife and step children, a husband who had to share his love and affection with the other wife and a man of God who initially thought her drunk. I can only imagine and even my imaginations can not compare to the reality she faced.

Hannah

 

However, she did not lose hope. She kept up her faith. Come to think of it, the other wife might have sneered or said hurtful things like “Are you sure you are pregnant, Can you ever get pregnant after all these years?”. God however, proved Himself strong and faithful. He opened her womb and blessed her with not just Samuel, but with other kids (1 Sam 1-2:21).

Keeping faith

So, you might be a late bloomer, like my coot friend or Hannah and even Sarah or Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist. One thing I know for sure, from personal experience is this – God hears, listens and answers prayers. He never fails. Never ever ever and He will never fail. In fact, the answer He will give will be far better than what you thought or imagined when you were making your request. Just keep the faith (James 1:6) and continue to live a life for His glory. He’s got your back’

Remember, God loves you.

Tomiwa.

Things my mum says that I now say

I remember when I was younger (I’m still young 🙂 ) and my mum would say some things, I would roll my eyes (sorry mum, Love you 😀 ) and say I would never say that. Well, I find myself saying the same things – either muttering them to myself or scolding my siblings. Talk about a feeling of deja vu. 

It is priceless when we come to the realization that mother’s wisdom is actually….wise, lol. The lesson for me is that, wisdom from older ones, usually is indeed wisdom and we should strive to learn from them as much as we could. Never look down on sage words.

Without further ado, here they are.

1. Always put things back where you found them or picked them from.

2. Let all your items have a home, ahan!

3. Always pick up after you, ahh.

4. Clean up after you in the kitchen. The plates will pile up o.

5. Your room looks like a pigsty (I became immune to this after a while and would grin unashamedly)

6. Use your 36 (i.e. common sense). Now that I think of it, how does that number tie in with mental capabilities or use ehn? And those questions seemed logical when asked, you know….

7. All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient. I used to feel like I was being deprived of stuff I wanted to do or have then (especially a second piercing, imagine? Now I can not be bothered, life is much bigger than that), now I realize just how right she was because though we are in this world, we are not of it.

And my current favorite, which is the truest of the true

8. God is the best friend you can ever have

All of these statements came with, or were followed with the look or something similar to it in the picture below, especially the wagging finger or pulled ear

Scolding mum

That’s all I can remember for now. Would update as they come back to me.
So what did your mom say or do that you now find yourself saying or doing?

Hope you guys are having a great week.

God loves you most.

Tomiwa

Serving God

It’s been a while. I have been so busy with writing and collecting data for my thesis. I have also worried about not putting anything up here for a while. I however have calmed down because I’d rather write down something that will have an impact and was a personal lesson for me that I can share, rather than some generic input.

Ok, to today’s post.

The Holy Spirit just impressed upon me that serving God is quite simply, loving Him.

Remember where Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts, souls and might? Yeah, that was Him telling us how to serve God.

When you think about it that way, it makes it quite easy to follow. When we are in love and love someone, we never want to do anything to hurt them. Why? Simply because we love that person.

When we love God, we would find it easy to follow His commands and please Him, because we can not imagine hurting Him, or disappointing Him or letting Him down.

This message hit me, because I had agonized over not being in right standing with God. I had been stressed out over a particular issue, which I would not have been stressed out over if I had simply obeyed Him in the first place. Why didn’t I obey, you might have asked? I simply was selfish. I loved myself more than I loved God. I was horrified at the different thoughts that were running through my mind and that I was lending an ear to. I could not seem to keep my faith up and I was in despair. My, the devil had a field time with me this past week.

How many times have we found ourselves in instances where we choose to love ourselves more than we love God. For me, countless. I have been so sad and broken. But despite my selfishness, God remained true to Himself. He is love and in His love, He showed me where and how I went wrong. I could not help but share, because I do not know who else needs to be reminded of this.

You want to serve God truly? Just love Him. That’s the beginning. Everything else will fall into place.

Remember, God loves you most.

Tomiwa