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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Embracing our Childlike Passion… ‘Show me how you do it!

girl dancingIt’s that time of the year again. Spring-approaching-Summer. Spring is the season of new beginnings. This is the time when fresh buds bloom and animals awaken and the earth seems to come to life again. Gardeners and farmers plant their seeds, temperatures slowly rise and finally, we get the chance to be youthful again! We get to walk barefoot on the beach! We chase after bubbles and ride bicycles till the sun sets on our sweaty backs.

So, have you ever passed by a group of people, they are laughing so hard at a particular joke that you just wished life could have been a little easy on you? Maybe you wished you were part of that witty group. You pass by a couple seriously in love with each other, who really don’t care who is watching or eavesdropping on them and all you can hear is the sweet whispers of their heartbeats pounding together, while literally you’re the one dealing with a mocked-heart attack. Phew!

Can you remember the last time someone actually sent you chuckling or laughing or giggling so hard that even the adult-ness in you couldn’t avoid the teardrop of excitement. Or when was the last time you observed a bunch of teenage girls admiring themselves in their pocket-size mirror, smiling and happy at what they see, while their fully wired-up dentition exhibits pure innocence! Or, a teenage boy who just discovered the sprout of a single strand of hair on his chin and a dot of pimple on his forehead; he is getting all worked up thinking of his juvenescence.

Aha! What about the graceful harmony, priceless joy and beauty of a happy-go-lucky set of freelance singers? You know the ones that are just naturally happy to be singing or dancing just for the fun of it! (‘Another reason why I just love NYC!) No patronizing, No expectation! No reservation! Just entertaining for the fun of being happy! That’s it!

Our childlike passion is that sense of emotion or innocence that radiates deep from inside of us.  It comes from desire, knowledge and deep joy. It is a display of how naïve we could get with the serious-ness of life! No matter how much age catches up on us. Our childlike passion does not have any preconceived notions as they are not yet tainted by experience. The buoyancy or beauty is still present! There’s elation and vibrancy that will always bring out the “kid” in us. No matter what life throws at us, Laughter is still contagious! Amusement is still an effective remedy to cure boredom!

Like in the movie, Patch Adams knows the inner side of healing. A good reminder that some of the most important factors in healing are not high-tech marvels but ordinary factors such as love, compassion, friendship, and hope. And like I usually tell my children, there’s a deep sense of living well when you are truly in love with your passion for life.

So, if you are reading this, ask yourself today. What’s my passion for life? What’s that childlike passion in me? Does it still exist? What’s replaced it? When fear and doubt grows like orange mold that’s infected with life-robbing spores, can my joy be transferred through laughter? I believe that God has given every one of us a great gift to be passionate about something! And it started from childhood. As adults, we might have ignored it in the hustle and bluster of 21st century maneuvering.

Our childlike passion forces and then allows us to go against the very fiber of our personality, regardless of how and where we are in life today. That childlike passion still lurks somewhere within us, waiting to be released, it should not stop us from living life to the fullest. I am hoping someone will be encouraged to embrace their childlike passion and be full of life again. Well, just like the little girl in the picture, that’s how I still do it!

Yours in HOPE as I share Montell Jordan (This is how we do it).

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to MAY. MY MONTH! My Season of Celebration.

birthday

There’s clattering of oriental dinner plates set up in a pile on the large mahogany dining table, cutleries stored away were now also making their way to the kitchen sink, I can hear my mother giving strict orders and directions “Ah! Watch it, don’t break any of those plates, and wash them nice and clean! At the same time, she’s giving anyone available a speech on how she had managed to inherit and save those antique sets from my paternal late grandma, Ma Da-Silva!

On the other side of the compound, I can hear our dogs, Jolie and Julie barking and running around the passage that leads to the main entrance of the house, ready to pounce on anyone at sight! Probably in excitement and anticipation of the party planning, having lived in this household for over 8 years, even the dogs knew the signs for merriment ahead. There’s “Kool & The Gang” blasting “celebration” on my dad’s turntable as he excitedly opens up the front windows of the front parlor (which he rarely does!) Letting in the blast of fresh air as the green and white ruffled curtain let loose in his grasp. I see white plastic chairs, tables and canopies that were dropped off the night before by “Easy-life rental-company”, the one at the corner of Tokunboh and Glover Streets are now being set up and arranged, colorful balloons in bunch floating to the rhythm of the music.

30th

2000

22 2nd

1994

The once happy-to-be-alive selected flock of chicken picked a day before from Sand-grouse market after several bargaining that I’d noticed hopping around the compound has now been carefully plucked, cooked, seasoned and soaked in a deep fried peppered gravy, sautéed with fried sliced tomatoes, onions, green pepper and garnished with crispy bay leaves; the once rolled away humongous cooking pots were now set on a make shift commercial stove at the back of the house, cooking mom’s special jollof rice (which always require 2 people to carry around or to mix the contents) the smell of blended ginger mixed with bay leaf sailing through the whole house, camping at the corners of Oil mill and Bamgbose streets, travelling to my neighbor’s nostrils as it announces itself; that was all the invitation needed for them to stop by and of course drop off a brown envelope for the birthday girl!

22

1994

So, my passion towards life is usually at its peak in the month of May. Not necessarily because it’s my birth month, but because it always resonates fresh and old memories. For the past 15,695 days of my life, every birthday has been so significantly emotional and celebrated with an adventure! From making my own crayon and paper invitation cards as a child, to inviting the whole primary school to my un-planned birthday party at home! Without even my parents being aware of a party at hand! To beautiful priceless memories of losing the best dancing competition to my two friends (Evelyn Musa and Paulina Ugokwe) at my 10th birthday party that turned me into an uncontrollable tantrum birthday girl! Well, come to think of it, why anyone would beat me to a dancing competition, Ah! At my own party!! It’s not done! Lool!

All the way to the secretly planned 19th birthday party at Maxi Class on Olu Obasanjo that shook Port Harcourt city and shut down a whole campus! And yes! The 21st that had my street blocked with bunch of excited girls dancing and throwing their hands in the air to the DJ’s “Hip Hop Hurray” ignoring the drizzle of rain drops on the party canopy late into the night! And to all the Delta Park parties (Hostel)! Big salute to my wonderful circle of college friends who always made it happen for me! (Tosin, Tinuke, Regina, Ruth & Arike). ‘Much love!

21st

1993

There’s a glaring passion of youthful pleasure, excitement and devotion that comes with each celebration! New places birth new friends. But with age, I’d come to appreciate each treasured friendship of those that’s carried me through all those years… looking back at all the old birthday pictures, I can’t but help appreciate the joy of having very dedicated friends, both still living and passed on…

30th 2

2000

Along the way, I have lost close childhood friends that have played a huge part in my life and ever present at every birthdays, come rain or shine, and I really still miss them all: Justin Duro-Emmanuel (my cousin and confidant) Roli O. (my emergency cake supplier) and Tutu Badmus (my emergency party planner). May your gentle souls rest in peace.

Today, I am even more grateful to God for every path that’s crossed my life! Whether good or bad, it’s all been for a reason! For every old friendship that’s carried me through those years, it wasn’t all about sharing in my birthday cake or dancing to outshine each other… ‘You gave me comfort to hope! For the new friends… you challenged me to be all I can! For being blessed with the most devoted parents, who can never be replaced! Mr. Gansy and MRS! My siblings! My husband, my children, my joy and hope for tomorrow! My “push” in life for getting up every day and just living for fulfilment! And as God wills…I shall live long to testify to His Glory, as I celebrate more years in His protection.

PS: For the lovely company of friends that celebrated ME today! Thank you, I love you all for real!

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka Lawrence.

 

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When Affection Fails… ‘Are we always in control of our RAGE?

love saves

When Michelle is only 12 years old, she is raped by Reggie, the boyfriend of her mother. When her mother does not believe her accusations, Michelle runs away and begins a downward spiral that includes drugs and prostitution, eventually landing in prison. There she hears of Bishop T.D. Jakes, a preacher who works with women like her. Jakes takes an interest in Michelle’s case and visits her… (Culled from the movie “Woman Thou art loosed).

I remembered the first time I watched “Woman thou art loosed”, I must have glared so hard at the screen, terrified, awed and frozen! Forgotten about my bowl of pop-corn. I couldn’t wait to see how this hardened jail bird would be broken by TD Jakes… but He did! At a moment, I felt myself transformed and imagining the pain and agony she’d encountered for years! And only for the healing words to be delivered through controlled prison walls? Hmmm.

Recently, there’s been an uproar of amazement and bewilderment; many minds are wondering, hurt, confused and still appalled; speculating and disheartened over how far our emotions can take us into brutal rage. How far would we go in professing our love or hatred? How far would we declare our anger in times of pulsating fury? When you remember that love-patch that never worked out for you, do you give a deep sigh, bless God and keep living? Or do you wallow in self-pity over what could have been? Do you regret missing out of a broken relationship? Do you destroy affection by your words? Or do you protect your words with your frenzy?

When your love life fails (marriage or relationship) the once-upon-a-time blissful shower is now a puddle of regret, who do you turn to? Friends who are more interested in your good juicy superficial tales? Family members who could be self-centered? Or just ordinary people who sincerely wants to hold your hands, allow the tears and words to flow and willingly wipe your tears, without being judgmental? Where’s your support system? Who’s your support system? After you’ve prayed and fasted and done all you can…’when you are so enraged and hurt and cheated on by life, what do you do? When Love itself stops loving you, do you walk away and hope you get it right next time? Or you just fix it based on your current state of mind?

Last week socked me with a one-two knockout punch. The news of the death of another victim in a stormy marriage! Death has punched hard. Shockwaves of grief are running through the veins of all who know and love them. It seems so wrong. So upside-down. Excruciating. Inconceivable. Unfair. Crooked.

My soul is restless with questions.

If life in Christ is promised to be abundant and full (John 10:10), then why are there times when it seems so empty and broken? Why does pain sting so violently? Why do good people die young? Why do we sometimes allow the devil’s workshop to occupy a space in our idle minds? Why do honorable Christ-followers face such compelling hardships?

So, for all of us still living and silently enduring a painful relationship, let’s cultivate a habit of SPEAKING OUT when we are hurting! even when the one-two punches come, we can trust God – not because we understand all the circumstances, or even like them – but because we know HIM. And because we know HIM, we can trust that He will provide all that we need to process pains, heal from wounds, and move forward in strength, grace, and peace.

When we are intimately familiar with God – when we don’t just know about Him, but when we KNOW Him – the most crooked roads we travel are made straight. Not because life is easy. Hardship stings and life is complicated. Not because all that we experience is just. Much of life is unfair. But because when we know God, we know:

His strength that is accessible in our weakness

His comfort that meets us as we mourn

His mercy that withholds the punishment our depravity readily deserves

His peace that defies our unrest

His joy that kisses the cheeks of our sorrow

His courage that emboldens our weary hearts and casts away fears

His redemption that reworks our brokenness into beauty

His love that binds us to eternity and delights over us with singing

 

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka Lawrence

Reference:

www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

 

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