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My 20-Year-Wedding-Anniversary Reflection.

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As crawling gives way to toddling and then striding, so does every relationship that would stand the test of time! It is like a child moving more steadily through the physical world, un-perturbed by the unknown rough pathway ahead, but determined to thrive.

Our relationship with others should always crave for improvements and ability to reject being the ultimate mentalist! Or self-appointed mind-readers we think we are. Only if we make room for acceptance.

How often have we erringly misjudged the mental states of others, such as their background upbringing, sexual orientation, feelings, thoughts, intentions, baggages and deceptions because we feel there just isn’t enough vacancy in our hearts, anymore?

Should we allow our minds to navigate deeper into the cross-currents of the broader social world while we struggle with our differences? Is there really a perfect mate? And for people who have given up on searching or loving, should there exist a fundamental difficulty in trusting again? ‘Fear of series of strong headwinds, uncertain tacks, and treacherous eddies?

So, here I am today, August 14th 2017, exactly 20 years ago my ever so-loving-Father walked me down the hallway of The Marriage registry at City Hall Lagos, into the arms of the one true love I would ever encounter! The same bespectacled-guy I met 3.5 years earlier who couldn’t keep his eyes off my one-nation orange halter-neck romper and wouldn’t get off the wall of the newly opened Club Towers night club to dance, who’d pledged the same night jokingly ‘He would marry me someday’ on the dance floor at The Whyte’s party on Glover road and then, Oh-my-word! ‘eventually showed up at my home church, Holy Cross Cathedral by making himself comfortable in my family pew, singing Agnus Dei, like he took Latin classes in college, showing off in his brand new well ironed patterned shirt, brown suede penny loafers while driving the smallest blue car ever driven in Lagos! … #Daewoo Tico

#WE DO…then in 1997, and 20 years later…#WE STILL DO

20 3Phew! It wasn’t easy…trust me, but was worth the fight to keep on keeping on!

From the misconception of what the romantic novels we read say about marriages, to the soap operas and knowledge based books or audio we tune to! From the no-experience marriage counselors or confused life coaches sprawled all over, to the perception social media breeds about what marriage should be…that’s just 1% of the back-slap advice compared to what your destiny has to offer you…’there is no manual or directory to the quick fix we all want to know.

After decades of seeking internal peace…I’d realize Oh my goodness! I don’t know it all, He doesn’t know it all either, we are actually both still learning, and our ultimate wisdom should come from God. Alone. Period.

Isn’t it like someone giving you a relationship advice and it just doesn’t work? Their wisdom, your wisdom and my own wisdom are limited. It’s subjective and faulty. And while the implementation of earthly wisdom can and often does bring some benefit, it will not always lead us to the safety and ease we long for deep inside. Some marriages must surely pass through the burning funnel for a couple to become certified companions, while others would fall along the way if their hopes of survival is based on other people’s manual and perceptions.

20 6Let’s face it. Relationships can be cruel, Life can be scary and marriages that have refused to hit the rock after series of extended-third-party-family-or-friends-interrupters-involvement-busy-bodies melodramatic episodes have finally shut-the-front-door after them…’what’s next?

If you are reading this and wondering, How-in-the-world-did-THEY-do-it? I know right? I usually ask myself too (lol). But, God’s wisdom is perfect. It leads my heart, mind, and soul to safety and rest in a world that is filled with scary realities and uncertainties. You just have to name the challenges… We have both walked through it together…24 years and counting.

I am hoping someone reading this, at any point of their relationship would also tune in to God’s wisdom – when we hear it, yield to it, apply it and obey it – we will live in peace. Not the world’s peace – God’s peace. We will be at ease with all imperfections. Not with perfect lives, but with lives that are led and not controlled by fear and anxiousness of what tomorrow would bring in their marriages, relationships, courtship or friendship. We can and will experience peace in spite of the chaos in our relationships. Be encouraged!

Yours in HOPE as I share our wedding dance/favorite song “FOR YOU” by Kenny Lattimore.

Yinka.

 

 

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What MY HEART needs to know…TWC’17.

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They say “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g! Would that be through food or tummy rub? Hmm. Just thinking-out-loud here!  #TimeToRefresh

I am yet to come across the proverb about the way to a woman’s heart, or is the way INTO her more important? flowers? empty promises? trust?  #TimeToRenew

But a woman’s heartfelt emotions never lie, even though she hides the bruises under her sleeves, her heart never stops beating, even when crushed by mere words. #TimeToRestore

In my Aunt’s house in Port Harcourt, where I spent my young adult life while in the University…’there is a huge kitchen, women around the kitchen table and topics that turns heads.

Young and vibrant as I was then, I couldn’t wait to fall in love and prove to them that their talk was cheap…or so I thought!

In that kitchen, there were always women who came to visit my Aunt from different walks of life for motherly advice: There were the single and high maintenance, married and moody, separated, divorced, recently rejected, frequently abused, hidden scar carrier from youth, runaway bride and complicated relationships.

Some came glamorously dressed in their flashy cars while some had to trek or take public transportation with a cranky crying baby strapped on their back. They were always inside the kitchen talking or standing by the sink wiping away tears.

And in the hearts of those women, there was always CONFUSION, HELPLESSNESS & FEAR.

Fear that this time around that mastered recipe of life won’t work for their current circumstances.

That the man who promises love and life would never propose! Or think they are not good enough!

That the single young adult girl will walk down the aisle only when she’s ready, and not when the society dictates or  calculates her biological clock!

That the man in their life will leave his meal unfinished and their marital bed untouched!

That the man they think they know will soon find pleasure in someone else’s arms or home!

That probably she has served him too much affection or not enough. That he is already too full of life, or hungry for something or someone else, and that it will be their fault.

That the womb that’s been praised so much would begin to alert restless in-laws to raise eyebrows and question the delay of childbirth or the loss of a baby?

That the wide beaded hips that swayed to the beats of the drum he so much-loved to hold would never carry the weight of his off springs?

That her place and destiny to propel would never be supported due to His insecurity or male chauvinism!

That the cold hands of death would ever separate them… so soon!

Matters of the heart of a woman may be hidden or tucked away behind the soft succulent tissues of her bosom; covered with fancy fabric woven with care, but also attacked by the  fingers that created the woolen fabric!

I don’t know about you, but for me, I want my heart to know it is okay to heal and beat again… ‘that just like any woman reading this right now to know that:  Hidden behind my skin so fair, soft and tender, that part which has been cracked once and still healing is finally ready to show the world… ‘I GOT THIS” by God’s grace!

So, as we begin to countdown to the upcoming TWC’17 on April 27th to April 29th 2017, permit me to indulge you in some surprises in store: IMG-20170330-WA0012

What should YOUR HEART expect at TWC’17 ?

  • That its time to put the past behind you and…’REFRESH, RENEW & RESTORE

  • Relax in a luxurious 2 night stay at a beautiful golf resort/conference center

  • Get served Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner…’just as you like it!

  • Participate in a One-on-One counselling to discuss those topics we keep locked up

  • Engage in Me-Healing sessions: Will I be heard? Who gets what I am going through?

  • Listen to inspiring ministration from speakers and worship team

  • Indulge in Girls night!! Shhhhhhhh. It’s a surprise! #WeGotGameNight

  • Comedy night.., ’maybe laughter and good jokes is really all a girl needs to warm up her heart! #GuessWho’sComingTonight #FemiObama

  • Workshops & Breakout sessions

  • Support group building and bonding for challenging workplace issues

  • Morning power-walk and Zumba session

  • Share your story and inspire others… #ShareYourStoryInPhilly

As you read this, ask yourself…  ‘What is a valued centerpiece in my heart? Is my heart an arbitrary harbor of commotion? A solitary confinement for hope…ONLY I bear the burden deep inside as I suffer and smile to portray a perfection that is nonexistent? Does anyone care?

Have you ever considered that perhaps God isn’t longing for you to come to Him with perfect, polished prayers, with fifty-cent words and flowery language? Have you thought about the pleasure God experiences when you simply approach him just as you are, fragments, bruises, warts and all, because He loves you? He delights in your attention. He takes pleasure when you come to Him simply because you are His.

Total Woman Movement has a spot waiting for you. Join the movement today! www.totalwomanmovement.com

Yours in HOPE

Yinka.

 

 

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Creating space for the time of your life: Introducing Total Woman Conference 2017

ret-4Is it almost time already? Another upcoming all-women-lets-talk-about-us-gathering? Oh-my-goodness! I am so pumped up with vigor and vitality, even I am amazed at the rate at which I have surpassed my exercise goals to date! #CurvyGoals

I am getting my body in shape and looking forward to more jubilation with the girls and at the same time cleansing my mind for all the goodies it will be receiving at the electrifying upcoming Total Woman Conference 2017!

Come Thursday, April 27th to Saturday 29th 2017, do you know that the beautiful two-toned pastel decorated hallways of Ace conference center at Lafayette Hills in Pennsylvania would again be hosting yet another rewarding and even more gratifying 3 days/2 nights women only conference? Organized by the acclaimed Total Woman Movement? #SoExcitedForTWC2017

So, if you are like me, who’s super-honey-crisp apple-high, excited and almost packing for the event; #Accept-My-TWM-High-five!

logo-twOr if you are still wondering or contemplating what’s up with this year’s conference that requires your precious time away from your preferred activities, your hard earned money or the invasion of personal space as you share a room… You-are-not-alone but in for the thrill of a lifetime with other ladies who are on fire for God and ready to help you spell the word “HELP” by just revealing the secrets of splendor in togetherness!

Do you know that as you read this, the founder and planning committee of TW Movement are busy working day and night to create a personalized “go-ahead-and-flourish baskets-workshop” just because you are fondly thought of? #Special.ret-6

They are so thrilled that you will be making time out of your busy schedules to mingle and network with other ladies who have journeyed through life’s experiences and are overflowing with available and tangible resources to help you move forward to the next level in life #Seasoned

Am talking about women who have been there, done that and are finally at peace, established and rooted in the comfort of their gifting, excelling in all profitable aspects of life and are ready and equipped to pass the baton over to you #Settled

This year’s conference promises…’nourishing, fulfilling tools we need as women and that extra burst to push past our finish line! It promises not to just scratch the surface but to delve deep into the roots of the emotional, financial, marital, career and entrepreneurial aspects of our lives. WE COME TO BE TRULY EMPOWERED TO MOVE, It promises closure to those open wounds we have been fanning for too long! It promises to build up our hopes in times of hopelessness as it gently leads us up and out of our fixation by guiding us into the new “all we can be us”.

ret-2This year’s conference promises to walk down with you to the root, deal with that, walk you up the fruit, deal with that, and walk you up to the mountain top and giving you what it takes to remain there. #ToolsToExcel

So many lessons and treasured memories I have received from the past TW conference, and so many more I am anticipating at the upcoming 2017 Total Woman Conference…the question is are you ready to create space for that time of your life with TW Movement?

It’s one thing to keep attending seminars and workshops religiously without getting the message and putting it to work thereafter! Finally saying ‘Oh, so this is it! Or “Oh yeah, I got this”, ‘Isn’t it time for us to walk out of a conference and confidently look our demons in the eyes and say OK now, I got this, you’ve got to go!! – Literally, isn’t that the reason why we come together in the first place? To help each other kick out the strongholds, nourish each other with tools needed to move forward and exit the seminar with a satisfied smile on our faces?

We come in with a burden, we walk out lighter with strategies to move to the next level!

Are you on a career path that seems to lead nowhere and wondering how to switch or re-direct your purpose? Is it a difficult relationship or a marriage about to hit the rocks? Or that incident from the past, that’s now a mental health issue but too embarrassing to discuss? Is it still brewing? Did you experience being raped, rejected or relinquished? Hmm, believe me Sisters, You are not alone!ret-7

Would you like to discuss how to achieve stability as a single mother or a widower? Are you looking for a path to recovery? Are you a care giver of a special needs child or family member, overwhelmed but fully obligated to keep on living? Intimacy discussions and how to set the mood right for a happier marriage? Are you seasoned and experienced? The younger ladies might learn a thing or two from you!

Ladies!! We are all either natural rule-followers or rebels, we try to live our lives righteously and then allow grace to come in when we don’t. We repent and thank God for His grace when we miss it knowing we have been redeemed by His mercy. Are we not so special and settled when we live freely from the bondage of falling short? So why are we still living in the past?

How many times have we had a voice saying to us ‘Just look at the mess you made?  See what you did? I told you not to do this, and you didn’t listen to me! Now look at you! ‘Instead, God reached down into our holes, lifted us up and out of it, and He dusted the dirt and shame off us! Even hugged us with the most loving and comforting embrace, with no sign of bitterness, disappointment, or anger. #Settledret-1

Is that not grace? God’s unconditional love and forgiveness in our life, especially when we don’t deserve it.

Today, if you are reading this! Do-your-victory-dance! Hooray!!’because…

You are being invited to a one of a kind Holistic Conference!

TWC 2017 is here!! To help you move out of your perceived comfort zone, to take charge of the task ahead of you, live life to the fullest by God’s grace! Which is that same freedom we are called to live in.  #BeSecuredSettledSatisfied

More to come…

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka.

*** For more information and signing up, visit: http://www.totalwomanmovement.com

 

 

 

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A Beautiful Inside Out Experience! Awe inspiring and edifying moments at the 2015 Total Woman Conference.

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Have you ever witnessed the power of God move so graciously within you during the impartation of a message? You are listening to a speaker for the very first time, but yet it feels like the message was specially designed for you! Hmmm.

Have you ever encountered the power of a group of women, all coming together to pray for each other, without reservations, boundaries or status! Just straight-up passionate about the emotional wellbeing of each and every woman represented, celebrating and elevating each other.

WORKSHOP: BEAUTY FOR ASHES

On Saturday, April 25th 2015 – there couldn’t have been any other place more appropriate for me to be than with over 120 women seeking the beauty and power of sisterhood in Christ!

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WORKSHOP: BEAUTY AND FINANCE

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WORKSHOP: HERE I AM, SEND ME!

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WORKSHOP: BEAUTIFUL WIFE/WOMAN, FULFILLED IN CHRIST.

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WORKSHOP: HELP! I CANNOT DO IT ALONE.

The speakers and workshops were specifically “Tailored to meet every woman’s needs! Intended to arouse their senses! Wake them up from any deep and un-productive slumber and choose life! Create hope in time of hopelessness! Re-define the sense of purpose! Call out and confirm it is okay to ask for Help when you need it, when you are overwhelmed with life itself!

Convinces you that you are a Beautiful Woman and not to think your beauty is average or wait on a man to compliment you or wait on external adornment, but from inside by loving yourself first!

Allows you to stand firm in your faith and still Be Bold and Beautiful no matter the challenges you have! Gives you a reason to believe you can serve more in God’s house by answering Here I am, Use me! Comforts you through biblical counselling and healing by helping you turn your abusive Ashes into Beauty!

Sets up a spreadsheet to help you balance your Beauty and Finance! Explains to you in clear everyday terms that “Sisterhood deeds should uplift and not upset our mindset! And finally that there’s a CAUSE for every undertaking we put before our destinies!

Wow! What an awesome weekend! One I shall always live to remember and pass on to the generation after me! Who knows? ‘Amidst all the planning and preparation, a single soul that wandered away has joyfully returned to God! Just because a bevy of beautiful souls were so determined to make a change in their generation!

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WORKSHOP: BE BOLD, BE BEAUTIFUL!

So, as I have been rewarded with the most amazing committee members under the leadership of my Pastor; As I have been so blessed by all the speakers; As I have been so impacted by the ministration; I pray that the divine visitation of the Holy Spirit that came upon every woman present (as they supernaturally pushed out their overdue agony, pain and grief) will continually strengthen and sustain us all.

The Countdown begins now for the 2016 TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE!! Be Expectant… 

Yours in HOPE,

Yinka Lawrence.

 

 

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Why every WOMAN needs a yearly Retreat Workshop! (In Marriage, Sexuality, Relationship, Family & Total Well Being) Part One.

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“Is he capable of loving me?”  It was a question I’d wondered many times, as I mulled over his countless reasons for being busy, his abusive tendencies, and this disease that makes him self-centered and manipulative. Maybe he’s loving me the best way he can, maybe I just need to wait for him to propose? But is it enough for me to keep waiting for him? And for how long? 

“He never hit me, never yelled, never called me hurtful names and yet the vacuum was there, hidden beneath my excuses and justifications for hanging in this marriage. Sometimes it takes an objective, outside perspective to shine a light on a truth I didn’t want to see. I wanted simple love-making! He wants just raw sex! How do I let him know without seeming desperate or sex-starved?  

“A few months after my beautiful son Sammy was born, I began to wonder why he hadn’t started laughing or cooing yet. My family and friends tried to calm my fears. They said nothing was wrong. But I knew there was a bigger reason. After series of developmental evaluation and assessment, the diagnosis came…Sammy is Autistic! ’And suddenly, my world began to crumble. How do I deal with this?

“I would really love to do more in God’s house…but I feel trapped in my mindset with negativity and all the drama and politics that comes with it and I get distracted and run away from my God-given purpose… I know God’s calling me to do more…but, what do I do?”

 “When you see me on the outside, I glow and dazzle like a beautiful-stained glass! But on the inside am totally not myself. I feel overwhelmed and empty, Am still waiting patiently on God for his beautiful promises! But sometimes too… I need HELP! I can’t do it alone. What do I do?

 ‘I’ve historically been most attracted to damaged, baggage-carrying men! My past is sour, yet juicy when am entangled with what the future has to offer. But how can I move forward in a relationship where there’s no heat, no fireworks?  Am still asking myself, why I’m attracted to certain men?

 So, if you are reading this and would like to add more significance or meaning to your life as a WOMAN! You are most definitely invited to this workshop! Hosted by www.rccglivingspring.org in Philadelphia, PA.

If you have navigated a major life transition? Battling a personal emotional dilemma? Needing to make an impact by touching someone? Needing a Christian support group that can help you open up and talk deep WOMEN’s talk! Ahhhhh! You REALLY! REALLY!! don’t want to miss this: WOMEN ONLY RETREAT/WORKSHOP/SUMMIT!

This women’s workshop is a delightful journey in self-exploration with an eye towards finding pragmatic steps to life changes.

The workshop includes: facilitated group-coaching sessions; exploration and heart-to-heart discussion to help build up your marriage, make you appreciate your current relationship, clarify priorities in dating, connect to a support group that addresses your special-needs child or family member, create dreams for a balanced life , and help set goals to develop personalized action plan; and best of all…

Be empowered with a Beautiful group of WOMEN who love God deeply and are willing to SINCERELY hold your hands, look into your eyes and tell you…”Sister! You are only a traveler on this life’s journey, your destination is guided and directed only by God! You Can Do It! Let it out! Let it go! Let God In! Because you are a woman…’You are truly Beautiful Inside Out!

SAVE THE DATE!!

April 22 – April 25, 2015. It promises to be an inspiring and empowering week with anointed speakers:

 *** Pastor Marcos Mercado, Praise Philadelphia 103.9 Radio host of Marriage Beyond the Vows.

***Ministering: Pastor (Dr.) Esther Obasi-Ike (RCCG Solution Center, Kenya, Africa),

***Rev. Sade Fasedemi (Waterfalls Ministries, South Africa).

 ***Registration can be completed at http://rccglivingspring.org/total-woman-conference/

 ***Early Bird Registration is $120, which ends March 27, 2015.

***Regular Registration is $150, from March 28 to April 21, 2015.

***Full Time Student Early Bird Registration is $50, which ends March 19, 2015.

 

Yours in HOPE…

Yinka Lawrence ( Workshop Moderator for Beautiful Wife/Woman )

To Be Continued…

 

 

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