In Another’s Moccasins(2)………

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Hollas amigos,

Phew! how quickly time flies. (“Time flies, but the memories collected along the way can never be replaced” – Ashley Tisdale). A week has gone by and this should have been posted before now but I’ve been kinda busy, dealing with the ups and downs of life and living with dystonia. There is absolutely nothing comparable to walking a journey with a loved one and you are more blessed when you are privileged to have more than one. The moccasins are pretty worn out now but there is this thing with breaking in new footwear that usually leaves one sentimentally attached to the old especially when they have walked through varying seasons of life.

It is a beautiful day indeed, the thrill of opening your eyes and beholding a new day can never be recaptured especially if you choose to appreciate the fine moments that God blesses us with each moment. Life is good, right? Choose to acquiesce and see how better your week turns out because we are in charge as delegated by the One who reigns, so choose to proclaim that life is good irrespective of what the circumstances may be saying because that is just what they are circumstances. I really wish that sometimes we could borrow a leaf from Professor Dumbledore and just pick out memories and place in that bowl so as to avoid gushing endlessly once we get started on a subject because life consists of inter-related memories.

One of my friends just had her Botox treatment session, botoxulin helps ameliorate the tremors so it is a phase of management procedures for people living with dystonia. Just wait for it………………her session consists of taking 30 injections, yes THIRTY. I have taken only four and I know how many macho men are still scared of needles, so imagine taking 30 at a go and regularly at that. Now do you agree that you have more than a reason to say thanks to God for health even if your moccasins are fraying or your cuffs are better folded than buttoned down. Take it from me, get out of that self-induced pity party and live life with eyes wide open. Breathe and exhilarate with each breath of fresh air, some cannot. Listen for the chirping of the birds and the insects, even the occasional rodent that is a nuisance with your trash and appreciate these little moments, many would die for just an opportunity to.

I have got this traction device that never ceases to amaze my brother whenever he sees me in it and I have to remind him that it is no toy, but that is the way of life, we kinda prefer those things that we certainly do not want. Walking in another’s moccasins is way different from admiring them and so I kindly ask that whilst you hustle and bustle in order to get those resources in, take a look around and spot that one person who would do better with an encouraging word. Just like Mma, the beautiful air hostess (I think she is still single and she was pretty well-mannered) who almost refused me boarding her tiny aircraft because I looked like a fragile version of robocop. Eventually, she turned out to be quite a wonderful companion all through the flight and she did promise to read up on dystonia and take time to be more accommodating. Mma, do well to drop me a line or two because if you are as true as you portrayed yourself then you would make a very good companion for a deserving fellow and I might know a few *winks*

Are you familiar with these words?

” We all face stormy times in our lives. Storms that can seem impossible to bear, however once the storm is over (cos they surely will), we wonder to ourselves how we got though then and managed to survive. One thing is for certain, those storms we go through will change our lives and occasionally, we will not be the same people who walked into them” – Anon E. Moss……italics added and mine.

It is however more despairing when we do the natural thing and look out with troubled souls to those who we feel will help prop us up only to get the inevitable result;  the arm of flesh will always fail and just as the tides and seasons are determined by God, so also is He waiting for us to look to Him for help during those inevitable storms. I did the unusual yesterday(after reading a very good book by John Bevere) and called up a couple of my old buddies who just happened to be very absent during the begin of this storm and I told them that I actually had resented them for their indifference but now I can look back at still be thankful that they were indifferent because it has made me more knowledgeable about adverse times and the privilege of being alone save for a few. Now I can truly understand and connect with people who are experiencing rough patches im their lives, because these storms can strengthen or break you, again it is yours to choose.

Without them  choosing to be indifferent, I would never have come across some very outstanding individuals in my sojourn with dystonia. These people have also made me realise that ‘truly there can and are prophets in Bethlehem’, all it takes is just for you to choose not to be overwhelmed by your circumstances and appreciate that you can still do the little things possible and open up your heart to experience the love in the hearts of the few that God brings along your way.  And whilst my moccasins may be wearing out, I am glad for the opportunity to walk in them and be sustained all through. For as fleeting as the days may be, the discomforts and the incessant pain a constant reminder of the frailty of my humanity, the constant sacrifices of loved ones and the joy of finding love in a hopeless place – no better truth can be said than this “I am ever thankful for this process because I am stronger and better and more knowledgeable, and the love I have discovered on this journey will never be exchanged for anything”.

Although it is now a year since the best teacher I have ever had passed on, I choose to live my life in a way that would do him proud because he bequeathed a legacy that will last as long as life and in his own words, I have learnt ‘don’t beat him up, he is a madman’. Adieu Hilary E. Nzenwa!

For those of you who are currently being  buffeted by the storms of life, take a breath and glance down and be thankful for those moccasins on your feet.

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” – Stephen R. Covey
Remember that there is a purpose to everything that happens in life and we were created to live for His pleasure and not just to exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

Nine Lives or what?

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I have got these feline furry and nocturnal friends who seem to have taken a fancy to my driveway for regular jousting bouts and it is always preceded by these eerie sounds (now I think I know why they are most probable companions for those in the dark arts) and it usually has me up and watching cos there is always a thing or two to learn from life and it is simply horrifying how many of us walk through life with our eyes firmly shut. Inevitably, the end is always the same; Ginger slinks away whilst Blacky enjoys the victory of a conquered territory…..but the next night they are at it again. I sincerely hope that there will never be anything like feliscatusophiles ever especially with flashbulbs always going off from my window in the wee hours of the morning…..lol! However at the current rate of decadence, am guessing it will just be a matter of time and some required publicity…..

An acquaintance of mine recently returned from a three-month stint in the London Chest Hospital, and no he is not a cardio-specialist/intern or tourist, he is recuperating from a double bypass (lovers of House, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs – can I hear an Amen!). Now considering his age and background, it is yet another astounding display of God’s love for us regardless of the millions out there who refuse to acknowledge this truth. We are simply because He is and will forever be. There is something about having a life transforming event in man’s life that brings him to careful speculation of what priorities really make up life. There is something about sorrow that causes wisdom to permeate all the carefully layered years of crap whether we want to or not, if you are still reading with a smirk on your face – try crossing the A140 at noon with a blindfold on and then continue reading.

In the words of the preacher, it is better to be in the house of mourning than in the arena of gaiety because the transitional realism of life is starkly uncovered and much wisdom can be learnt (even that is a matter of choice). For those who love practical sessions, try going to sleep with the knowledge that you may never wake up because that is really what major surgery is like. Now I have grown a wee fond of him although proximity usually evokes such affection especially when there is more of sanity than insanity manifested by both parties and it is always a good thing when I saunter along with my staff of authority announcing me and spend some time with him. I usually find such brief periods stimulating because of his longer sojourn here and yet another opportunity to learn something new or refresh the old even.

During one of such camaraderie moments, we got talking about two of his previous tenants who immediately reminded me of Ginger and Blacky. Their daily romps were an inevitability and it was only a matter of time before the Met guys would be called in because they would go at each other day after day despite the fact that they lived next to each other. Why? Firstly because they were ladies (no pun intended pretty damsels) and secondly because they were both ‘single’ (no pun intended, all the single ladies…..if he wants you, he had better put a ring on it). Now what was the aggravating issue, it was simply a case of morals. Ginger, although a mother, would leave her kids (yeah 2 kids) unattended to at night and go in search of male company and naturally Blacky would have no option but to keep an ear out for the lil ones. And like it is popularly acclaimed ‘this is London, you ought to get paid for doing anything.’

Fast forward eight years after, they were both evicted for being public nuisances, and 46-year-old Ginger is still at it. Selena is 8 years old, a budding song writer and Jordan is 11, an intelligent well-mannered south-paw. I have also come to love these kids because even in the face of such despicability, you can still glimpse the beauty of their innocence and forming character and it is a wonder that Ginger still believes that they are blissfully unaware of her line of work but my acquaintance says “well she must pay rent and pay the bills….”

This brings me to the question, why do we often choose to play russian roulette with our lives believing that maybe we are like Felis silvestris catus and have spares somewhere in the probable event that the gun goes off because come to think of it, there are six chambers and one-sixth is worse than a zero. Why do we spend so much time pursuing the wrong things only to spend later years musing about them after a life transforming event, mind you, not many survive these events so it is a case of being like flotsam on the waves. Getting it right early is better than waiting for that transforming event, you may make it to the shore or get lost at sea. If you do make it to the shore, you may make it dead, barely alive or worse still decomposing.

Taking a look at Lady Gaga’s song, I want to ask why settle for the edge of glory when you can bask in it and leave a life and legacy worthy of emulation? Why opt for a life of derision hiding behind the all time lie of ‘I have got no choice’? Why spend your life hoping that just maybe you are one of the extra special ones with nine lives and when you get to the last life, it’s all gonna fall in place? It sure does not need to take that event to bring us to serious contemplation of why we are here because in the words of Dr Seuss “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”.

I have to hustle because I am meeting an amazing Russian today but remember……….we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב ….

Choices……

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GLITZ, GLAMOUR OR GRACE

…….A Night With Beverly TrotmanIMG-20130127-00407

 

Nothing absolutely prepares you for the delightfully delectable and heavenly notes that emanate from the lips of the once ordinary everyday mother and middle school teacher. Every note, pitch perfect and voluptuous in its delivery and even in her simple all black ensemble singing alongside her eighteen year old daughter from a marriage spanning twenty years, nothing can be taken from her well deserved spot in the limelight. She was once the cynosure of all eyes on the globally acclaimed UK singing/talent show – the X factor and ironically this was right on the heels of a devastating year marked by both the passing on of her granny and a father she never really knew.

Assailed by the tidal waves of life that most often than not confronts every individual at one point or the other, she battled through it all despite not having the succour and warmth of the normal nuclear home – a teen mother she has no memories of (who passed on when she was only 5years old), who gave her away at 10days old to her grandparents where she became the 11th child in an already large, strict but loving Christian home. Striving through the tumultuous identity of being both a niece and a sibling, it was simply a journey that prepared her for the unique persona that she has become. A father who never was; alienated by choice and ravaged by the demons of alcohol and a life based on persistent wrong calls, but through it all she was equipped with something unique and life defining; a knowledge that there is One who administers over the affairs of man and whose love is incomparable but palpable and sure. A life manifesting the joys of salvation acknowledged at the same age of a generation before hers, despite the Christian upbringing – hers was a choice personal and with knowledge but complete surrender to God.

It is true that the choices we make definitely shape who we become and her choices irrespective of the hard knocks only served to bolster her faith and fuel her desires to be who God wanted her to be. As a parent and teacher, she eagerly gave what she had received – an incomprehensible peace, compassion for kids and a faith in He who is. Seeking first the Kingdom of the Sovereign King and its righteousness, she sought to impart the real meaning of life in Christ Jesus in her home and her school. One clear fact stands out in her story, and that is God prepares and processes you for a purpose but yet again it’s yours to choose, hence the clear voice of wisdom still shouting out in the streets “the reverent fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, seek her and in all thy getting, get understanding for the fear of the Lord is like a fountain of life that keeps us from the snares of death.

From the security of her family and the world of teaching, she was thrust into a world that is easily recognised by today’s society – a stage characterised by glitz and glamour, pressured by the demands of a decadent society that so eagerly clamours for the bizarre. She became a contestant on the X Factor and borne on the wings of grace and a garment of favour and an undeniable manifestation of God’ s excellence, she revealed to the world the potential God had deposited within her. The middle school teacher/ mother/ wife turned singing icon, week after week,  braved the world that so desperately and consistently battles to make you become someone else other than who you truly are and triumphed she did – becoming a finalist on the show. Her unflinching faith and knowledge of God was a critical key in keeping her from being besmirched by the world system.

Riding on the crest of global fame, being tossed to and fro is inevitable except you have an anchor but for her, there was a rock that is higher than high and a foundation that is firm and sure – Christ Jesus. She found succour in God’s grace, and sought to ratify God’s calling upon her life, turning down a pathway to ‘stardom’ and choosing to return back to her family and thus stands today not just as an X-factor finalist but as an accomplished mother, wife and minister of God. An instrument of praise and profound worship for the Lord and in the vocabulary of today’s youth, a ‘sick’ vocalist. Succinctly put, glitz and glamour undeniably ‘enhances’ an individual’s allure depending on the audience you choose but what distinguishes whilst definitely and certainly propping a man up is simply the inexhaustible and profound grace of an awesome God.