Friday, May 12, 2017

When God Met Eve.




Have you ever wondered the conversation God had with Eve in the garden of Eden soon after she was created?
There must have been a conversation from when she drew her first breath to when she was presented to Adam,before Adam named her Eve ..Then The Lord god made the woman from the rib of Adam, and brought her to Adam (Gen: 2:22).

Now let's imagine what happened in the Garden of Eden Circa 2000 BC.
Eve, just freshly made, opens her eyes, draws her fist breath,looks at her body and her immediate surroundings. It was dawn, the sun was just coming out and the first person she sees is God...wow!
God had been watching her,  appreciating His wonderful creation.

The conversation that ensued between God and Eve might be something like this:

Eve: Hello * looking surprised and in awe*
God:  Good morning. my name is God.
          I will take you to meet Adam.
Eve: Who is Adam, sir?
God: Adam is my creation made out of the dust of the earth.
          I put him in charge of my other creations.
          I did not cause rain to fall on earth until Adam was created.
Eve: Wow! Adam must be very important to you.
God: Yes, he is and so are you, Eve.
         You are going help Adam with his assignment.
         However, I have given you the ability to think and
         make decisions for yourself like Adam.
         You have the power to influence Adam's choices,
          But, chose to use this power wisely.
       
         I want you to know that you are beautiful. 
         I have endowed you with grace and poise.
       

If you are reading this article, those words in italics are for you. This is to celebrate our mothers, sisters, wives, friends and all womanhood.
Keep smiling, Keep shining, ladies.
xoxo

       
     

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Add These To Your Resume...Thank Me Later!


My first exposure to the work environment in the US as a newly arrived immigrant was in 2006. I volunteered my internship hours for 6 months at a small hospital in New Jersey. After that, I have had the opportunity to work full time and part-time in a variety of states, roles and settings for the past 10 years.

My family and I recently relocated (again!) and I began working in yet another role-This time an aspect of my discipline (pharmacy) that I have never worked in before.
New job, new setting, new colleagues....It feels like "deja vu" all over again, even though it is a little different from what I have been doing for the past 10 years.This time I intend to apply some of the lessons that I have learned from experience, discoveries and mistakes of the past.
Here are a few that I want to share with you: 
  • The work place is a learning environment :

As a new employee, you are expected to have to demonstrate most of (not all) the skills you claim on your resume. 
However, every new role offers the opportunity to learn new skills or to learn new ways of doing what one is already trained to do.

Every little thing such as leaning to use a new software program, or a new work-flow process or working with a new type of colleague offer opportunities to learn. In the past, I made the mistake of "playing it safe" by sticking with what I was familiar with-I shied away from getting involved in new unfamiliar projects because I did not want to make any mistakes and look bad. 

But now, I have learned to have an open mind to develop new skills by taking advantage of these opportunities, while working. Being pro-active and be willing to take on new responsibilities that are not within " your comfort zone" offers the best opportunities to learn.


  • Strive to be respected and not be liked 

When you resume a new position, first of all,
 establish the impression that you know what you are doing, 
your know your worth and have good work ethics. 
For instance, avoid coming to work late 
or on your personal cellphone all the time.

Admiration and being liked by supervisors/ colleagues 
will come after and not the other way around. 
After all, first impression, they say, lasts for ever.


  • Let your voice be heard :

Of course this is not about becoming obnoxious and annoying by being in everybody's face all the time. 

This is about selectively and strategically sharing useful information. 

Respectfully offering a differing view or suggestions about alternative ways to perform a task or work-flow based on experience could be beneficial to your organization.
This is one of the best ways to demonstrate buy-in (commitment) and team spirit. It is also a great way to earn the respect of your new colleagues.

 I grew up in a conservative environment where speaking to your superiors when not spoken to was not encouraged. However, the work place is evolving and employers are looking for feedback from their employers and clients. I was just reading an article about the Cheesecake Factory and how they encourage their front-line staff to offer suggestions about recipes. So giving detailed feedback either verbally or in writing is actually viewed positively, as long as it is done right.


  • Ask and Don't Assume :

If you want something or need clarification about something- ASK. The worst that could happen is get a "no" as an answer, and that is not the end of the world, my dear. 

Do not assume that your colleagues and supervisors know what you need to make your work more effective. If you are struggling with a project ASK for help. If your job description is seemly different from what you have been employed for, ASK for clarification, don't assume. 


  • Be part of the team : 

We are going to find ourselves in work environments with people with different work experience, religious backgrounds, ethnicity and even life experiences. 

You and your co-workers will not always agree but there will always be the common goal of achieving a positive outcome and productivityWith that in mind, avoid alienating yourself from co-workers based on real or perceived differences.
In a progressive work environment , being engaging is considered to be as crucial as getting the work done. 

During my internship, I made the mistake not getting involved in work related conversations or some meetings that I thought were not necessarily part of my training.
As a result, I missed out in some vital information and on opportunities to network. One of the feedback I got from my supervisor, when I completed my internship hours, was the " I was not engaging enough with the staff members" .
 That was a lesson learned.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

You Just Gotta Be, Hon!....




This is one my favorite '90s songs.The lyrics still have true and deep meaning, especially the chorus:
" You gotta be hard"- Be hard on yourself. In essence, stop giving yourself excuses.
" You gotta be tough"- Don't compromises on your core values, even in the face of struggles.
" You gotta be stronger"- Set goals and strive to achieve them.
   
We started a new year almost four weeks ago, the days and weeks are running by again. They seem to move faster as the years go by, or is it just me?
Honey, channel your energy into the needful, into the what makes you grow. Stay focused on your goals, you might not meet all of them, but put in your best and leave the rest to God. Whatever you have been putting off or postponing, try and get it done now, as the saying goes "time waits for no one".

I know you have it in you to succeed.
Let's claim all the blessings God has promised us in 2017.

Keep Shinning, Keep smiling ....xoxox

Thursday, November 10, 2016

After 9/11.

   





      Phew!
   The US elections have finally come and gone.The world watched America decide amongst on overwhelming "oohs and "ahhs". I found this particular round of elections very disturbing from the beginning. The prospective candidates were either "not qualified" or "overly qualified". Hillary and Donald were not the perfect fit either. There were too many politically incorrectness.

  The outcome of the elections have reinforced my perspectives on some things, for instance:


  1. Hard work and popularity do not get you what  you want:Hillary Clinton, who I rooted for, has been in the corridors of power since the '90s. She has worked hard to be where  she is now politically, but that did not get her what she wanted. Her gender did not even support her, even though she promised to advocate for women and their rights in the workplace.
  2. People will do what they want to do: Regardless of what you say or what the obvious outcome is , people will do what they think would work for them. People will be people regardless of their their educational or religious background. There were many allegations aired and made public against Donald that were enough to jeopardize his political ambition. Allegations that would make anyone blush, allegations that would tarnish anyone's image. But guess what, America still voted for him. I guess we will find out if the majority is right.
  3. Right and wrong does not matter anymore(This is like a continuation of #2):  There have been arguments about whether good moral character is one of the requirements to get into office- Well, I think, it is important for a public figure to be some sort of positive role model. 
  4. Don't believe everything in the media, because the media can be bought: There are a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that the media will never reveal. There are so many half truths and mind games in the media, especially in politics.
  5. Even if you don't qualify for the job, go ahead and apply : Donald Trump was the least qualified for the POTUS position , from the stand point of political experience and diplomatic skills, but he got the job.....Now, would he perform at the job? That's another question all together.
  6. There is no 'refuge' anywhere: Like most of us immigrants, refuge is sought in your host countries because you believe the "grass is greener" there , you believe you are safer and have more opportunities. However, the truth is, all the countries immigrants usually look up to- USA, Canada, UK, France, etc- for refuge are realizing that these countries are not as perfect as they thought.  This year alone we have seen the effects of Brexit and the fall in the price of crude oil. Countries are shutting their doors on refugees and immigrants because of limited resources.
 People, please make the best of wherever you are, improve yourself and your community. Make God your refuge and sanctuary.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hey!!!!!



Hello Beautiful Peoples!
Anybody home?!.....* Clearing virtual cobweb and dust*
It's been a while, I know....Apologies. * blowing kisses*.
The past few months have been very busy and challenging- Lost my mum, Traveled to Nigeria for the funeral, Moved to another city, Back to new schools for the children....whew! I'm just catching my breath, literally.

...But hey, I am grateful to God for everything-There is always something to be grateful for, you know. I see every opportunity as a learning curve, growth and blessing opportunities. These past few months have helped me see life, family, friends in a new and different/better light.


My life is but a weaving between my God and me
I do not choose the colors; He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper-, and I the under-side.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful in a skillful weaver’s hand
As the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern he has planned.- Grant Tuller

If today is the best day of your life, it might not last. Tonight might be an inch short of hopeless; it won’t last either. Whatever has brought you to this moment is only part of the story of your life and relationship. The rest is yet to come. Put all of it—dark thorns and shining threads—into God’s hands, and he will sustain you.
—Wayne Brouwer

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hair Food


It is that time of the year-spring/summer, when I have my hair "exposed' the most. What I mean by exposed is, being devoid of any kind of extensions, weaves, and the likes. This is mainly because I tend to get my hair made more often due to the humidity.
 Doubtless most of you are familiar with the current trend of natural beauty products-especially for the hair and skin, most of which claim to have natural ingredients like Shea-butter. 
The use of Shea-butter in cosmetics dates back to thousands of years ago and it has been found to possess some medicinal properties for joint pain, dry skin, eczema, sinus congestion and sunscreen, as well.

According to Wikipedia, Shea butter is an off- white or ivory-colored fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). The English word "shea" comes from s’í, the tree's name in the Bambara language of Mali. 

 Shea butter has been part of my hair treatment regimen since I started wearing my hair natural. I find it useful as a conditioner, because it locks moisture into the hair. 
To really experience the hair conditioning effect of Shea butter, one would need to condition the hair once a week or twice a month depending on your schedule, for about 3-6 months. What I love about conditioning with shea butter is that, it leaves my hair feeling healthy and not as brittle, thus easy to manage. My hair is curly and tightly coiled (I'm sure some of you can relate), which means it is "very thirsty" and dries out quickly, so would need to be styled while damp.

So, lemme share my "formula": I would like to experiment other "formulas" too. So,Please do share!
  • Melt a teaspoonful in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute and mix it with commercially bought conditioner (preferably the ones with natural oils, glycerin/glycerol, cetyl alcohol), 1oz avocado and add 2 egg yolks, beat together until smooth.
  • Then apply the mixture to hair from scalp to tip and wrap my hair for a few hours, then wash it off with conditioner and water (working the condition into a lather). I try not to use shampoo much because most shampoo products out there contains sodium lauryl sulfate that tends strip the hair of natural oils. You can also try conditioning overnight, if you don't mind a soiled pillow and oil dripping down your face.:)




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jump!!





Every year, around the turn of the year, as most do, I set aside time to reflect on the year that’s ending and to think about the year ahead. In preparing to cross over in to the New Year, I often take time to seek out wisdom from trusted sources, to glean some wisdom as I prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.  This year, I happened upon a cross-over sermon titled "Forward Ever". 
Among the many thoughts shared in that sermon was an exhortation to identify and rid ourselves of "dumb things" that may exist in our lives. 
In essence, these are things/persons/habit/pursuits that are not/no longer beneficial to us. These are not necessarily evil things in the traditional sense. They may even be morally good or neutral things. What qualifies a thing as being “dumb” in this sense lies in its impact upon our lives/goals/aspirations at this point in time. In other words, these are things that draw or hold us back and prevent us from pursuing our goals with full devotion or that drain us of energy or resolve. They are leeches and parasites upon our will and strength and resources.  
Everyone comes to the end of a year with some regrets. We can all look back and identify missed opportunities or missteps. We can relate to making poor decisions or getting involved with projects, ventures and even relationships that did us more harm than good. When we come to that realization, the logical thing to do is to re-evaluate and move-on.  Unfortunately, we may lack the will power to do so, or procrastinate doing so till it is too late. 

An old story that is illustrative of this truth runs thus:
 If one attempts to place a healthy frog in hot water, the frog will jump out/away. It senses the danger and reacts instantly to preserve its own safety.
However, if one places that same frog in a pot of cold water and gradually heats the water up, the frog may adjust its body temperature and continue to do so until it is too late.  At that point, it has lost muscle strength and will die in a situation that it could have escaped from, had action been taken earlier.
What killed the frog?
Was it the temperature of the water, or the frog’s own complacency, procrastination and inaction?

This is very similar to the adjustments that people make to situations, relationships and challenges that have become chronic. Outsiders looking in wonder how a person could remain in an abusive relationship, or continue the same habits, or remain in the dead-end job for years. The answer is that adjustments have been made over time and now the individual feels stuck and unable to escape/change, or worse, has become comfortable with the situation.

So, in addition to setting goals and adjusting our priorities as we seek to move ahead this New Year, it is smart to take a thorough inventory of our lives: our priorities, commitments and relationships. Of course, we will need to adjust to people & situations, but we also need to be clear about what we need to jettison and when we need to move on. We will need to accept that some situations/relationships are irretrievably lost and the only healthy thing to do is to cut our losses and move on. And that takes courage.  If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or mentally they will continue to do so.
Let's jump while we still have the strength!










Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking....


Welcome to the second half of this decade!
As we start this journey together, may our days be filled with laughter and peace . I pray for grace and wisdom for us all to climb the mountains, swim the oceans and have wings to soar high.
Be encouraged. Stand tall. You've got what it takes.
Happy 2016!!

My life is but a weaving between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors; He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper, and I the under-side.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful in a skillful weaver’s hand
As the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern he has planned.
Poem by Grant Tuller

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's Your Story?

....I am going to tell you about the months that I had anxiety over getting sick. On February 13, this year (yes, I remember the date). I got sick on a field trip. Later that day, I started to worry that I was going to be sick again, because I had gotten sick 3 times that day already. I had this same exact issue the previous year, but I think it was a different thing I was worrying about. 
Two months passed and I was still worrying the same thing! I remember that during the months that I was anxious, I wouldn't talk about anything else but this problem. I would cry almost everyday because I was so tired of worrying. I kept saying " I'm just so tired of this". But it didn't change anything. I would cry, complain, frown, and anything that was the opposite of happy.
But do you know what I didn't do? I didn't decide! I did not decide that I wan't going to worry anymore. it was like this would NEVER end. I tried everything my parents told me to do like : Deep breathing, distract my self with fun activities, writing down and repeating bible verses...everything!Nothing turned the worry off like a light switch.
I started listening to Joyce Meyer messages/sermons on YouTube , and that helped a little bit. I also  read one of her books ( Battlefield of the mind for kids). Sure enough, little by little the worry started to go away.
It took a HUGE a whole lot of bible verse confessions, deep breathing, walks AND deciding not to worry.
I am still learning that in EVERY circumstance I should trust God. I'm also learning that I have power over my thoughts and that I can chose my own thinking.
I am proud to say that after ALL those months, I have pretty much crossed over the finish line of worry and anxiety.

That, folks, is my 6th grader daughter's write-up for her God-story assignment a few weeks ago( A summary of a time in your life that God helped you). She gave me permission to share it here.:)
2015 has been a great year. It had it's ups and downs, no doubt, but we have our trophies and scars to show for making it this far.. And we are have what it takes to go into 2016.Amen!
I want you to think back from January of this year till now: What's your God-story?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cultivations Thoughts

The other day a friend of mine packed a piece of cake for me to-go in a Chipotle® restaurant brown bag. There was a story on the back of the bag that resonates well with me. The story titled Two-minute Alchemy by Paulo Coelho, is as shared on the brown bag:

A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using 2 large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders.
One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost.
For 2 years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work.
So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak with him.
" I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage to take home half the water you fill me with, and thus quench only half the thirst awaiting you in your house"
The man smiled and said: "When we go back, be sure to take a careful look at the path"
The pitcher did as the man asked and noticed many flowers and plants growing along one side of the path.
" Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road"? the man remarked. " I knew you had cracks, but I decided to take advantage of them. I sowed vegetables and flowers there, and you always watered them. I have picked dozens of roses to decorate my house, and my children have had lettuce, cabbage and onions to eat. If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. 
We all , at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage.

I hope this story encourages  someone out there who at some point don't feel relevant or feel inadequate....