Education – a dynamic experience

Today, I listened to my professor speak word for word. Lost in the planet of my thoughts, I remembered the days of listening to my teachers as a young girl. Some were so passionate that you could assess them by the volume of saliva  that was spat. The classroom abuzz with loud shouts of dictation and the nutty ones like me carefully documented the grammatical errors. It is interesting to see how far I have gone in the quest of education and how much much one can go. The dynamic quality of teaching, the varied personalities and most important, the vast divide and differences in student body is fascinating. I remember days when you could have two full notes for just one course. Now you can have just a book for an entire semester and yet learn so much. Technology has revamped how we learn and how we access information.

I look forward to the day Nigeria’s indigenous universities will have regional campuses and will host the best research, technology, policy makers and entrepreneurs for my beloved continent.

We are almost there!

Look back, you’re almost there!

There is this long swirl outdoor stair case I often use to shorten my commute to school. At times, the staircase is a drag, especially when it’s freezing cold and I have the much dreaded 8am class.

Most times, I recite a bible verse, praise God, think, pray to God for strength or just sing as I fight my weakness to the top. I could get used to every difficult experience but each climb is anew.

On this faithful day while climbing, i remember the words ”look ahead and see, you’re almost there”. Even though I had just a few steps ahead, I became eerily discouraged to finish. However, as I looked back and saw how far I had climbed and the effort it will take to return to the starting point compared to finishing fortified me.

Why I chose to write about this is straightforward. we all fall short and in search of strength to reach the finish line. Fundamentally, prayer and relentless effort is the key. I want to introduce the concept of looking back — looking at how far you have come, knowing where you truly are in life and letting it push you a step further and further and further, can help you.

~ Florence

Your Heart … My Ring

It has been 5 months since my engagement.
These 5 months have been challenging, exciting and more challenging. 
Challenging not by being in the relationship but as individuals, taking responsibilities, finances, emotionally, physically and planning. All these have been part of the excitement especially being able to grow as friends and talking about everything.

It is so easy to be desperate for a ring, but there is so much that goes into it that a lot of times we find ourselves unprepared for. We desire to have that significant other, forgetting to desire to be able to keep that significant other. It is one thing to have or be in possession of something, but it is imperative to think beyond “possession” to maintaining and nurturing that someone. Any one can have a thing but not everyone can keep that thing. It is like going to school, you get admitted and enroll but being awarded a degree is another level. The most hurdles come from finishing, from going beyond dating to courting to marriage, to death do “us” part.

Today, we see many elaborate weddings with two amazing planners, but lacking the ingredients for sustainability — the force to stay when the wind gets unbearable. The ideology of “I need to be married” and having someone to show off with is cute and will attract social likes (instagram/facebook), but it can also wreck your future. Instagram is a platform where you see what people want you to see. Stop being fooled. Some peoples lives are far more vibrant and exciting online than on real life.

We must find and ensure that in all our seeking for “love”, our motives are well aligned.

‘I want a ring, I want a ring’. Girl, buy yourself a ring and continue to develop yourself. Often times it is not because a man is broke or doesn’t know what he wants. It is just that he is considering so many things. Can he keep you? Can he maintain you? Can you build together. For them, it goes deeper than your sexy booty dance and contours and clout. I find men to be straight forward, calculated and careful. When a man needs to make a decision, he makes it with a goal in mind. On the other hand, women are more sentimental, we consider the thoughts of others; you’re in an unproductive relationship yet believing the man will change or you’re dating a married man and believing he might marry you., an abusive man who has not married you yet you are bothered about what people will say. A man, on the other hand, will sharply let go of an abusive lady or lazy woman. Did you think the “take home to mamma” was just a joke?

In this capitalist world, anyone can purchase a ring. So be careful! A man buying a ring and sliding through your fingers does not necessarily qualify him for a husband. The decision of who to marry is crucial and we must grow beyond the age of ‘love at 1st sight’. If you are not convicted about a future with someone, please don’t start a relationship, enjoy friendship. Entering a committed relationship with the promise of a ring to then discover the person, is evil. I understand a break up is better than a divorce, but those are extremes that can ameliorate if we choose to be responsible and act with self control. It is hurtful and shameful to engage and disengage for reasons you were aware of before the engagement, except you’re a police officer who is engaged on duty and then disengaged from duty. No one goes into marriage to be become single.

There is much more to having a ring and being engaged. I confess that at some or several point, I also wanted a ring despite the timeline me and then boyfy had mapped out. It became more pressing for me because other well suited men will make advances at me on the grounds that I was not married or had no ring. Distance made it even more difficult. It is more frustrating being on Instagram (you should know what I mean). Honestly, now I have my ring and I even forget what it looks like at times. (Well, that’s not true). The ring means so much to me but the commitment and friendship with my now finance is most desirable. Wearing it has not stopped some men from relating with you how they want to. The ring doesn’t necessarily change the melody of your relationship, in the sense that If you had anger issues or unforgiveness in your dating, the ring won’t put an end to that. The ring doesn’t stop him from looking outside neither does it stop her from living the lifestyle she chooses. For me, there is a peace that comes with it. When our misunderstandings seem like it will break us, I remember his sacrifice, his words, his promise, how much we have grown together and that nothing should be so heavy to break us. At that point, the clarity of the diamond or the proposal story is worthless. That my fiancé flew miles to come propose hardly even comes to mind, BUT i’ll forever appreciate his kindness and relentless effort doing so.

It will come. If it will not come, it will not come. However, we must shift our emphasis from the ring. The concept of ring as a measure of love is a burgeoning culture from hollywood which we often sell our heart to easily. Should you engage in a trade with someone who has purely commercial interests off your future? 

Girl, make a decision today on what you desire. If it was really the commitment, the type of ring should not be primary. After I got engaged and after researching all the luxurious and fanciful rings (I had ideas of what I liked, none of which I can afford. If I was to buy any, i’d sell every bit of investment and savings I have). I thought I would get just what I wanted; however, none of the rings I looked at was close to what I got. The people you surround yourself with is key. I started to get vibes about my ring not being good enough for me and such energy. Foolish me bought into it and it really affected a lot. I could have lost my relationship, while trading commitment for fancy or peoples approval. But thank God! 

I realize that metal or no metal, white or yellow diamond, emerald or princess, clarity or no clarity, all these are totally inconsequential to having a healthy and committed relationship with a friend. What is having the fanciest and world’s most expensive ring when you can not even maintain a relationship? What is having a ring for a year or two only to start jumping for a bouquet.

This won’t apply to everyone because not everyone is after the same thing in life and in relationships generally. Also circumstances are very different. Some relationships at whatever stage may need to called off when all internal and external effort has been tried. I want peace, love, romance, faithfulness and friendship much before many instagram likes, money and accolades. 

These things happen and we ought to learn and refocus our priorities.

I am no expert but I thought that sharing my experiences, mistakes and thoughts will help one person to enjoy his/her relationship.

Florence

My Charge

In this changing world, what is your unchanging promise?

I desire to be the change that made a change…. A light without dim. A salt well preserved..

Cheap from within

Jack of all trades is a master of none.

Chasing God and the world makes you have none. You can either choose God or choose the world. In your choice, make sure you understand both consequences.

Decisions and principles are crucial steps in a Christ-led journey. Oftentimes, we come out in our opulent appearances with sights to behold but, bitter truth is we are so cheap to the world.

Imagine a sex worker who is willing to trade it all – health, values, body, dignity – for some money to keep up with day to day bills. (This is not a condemnation of her, we all have different circumstances, which we often blame on the lifestyle we choose).

Truth is we may not be on different sheets and getting money per round but, we are not any different. We give everything, our time, energy, resources, heart to everything the world sells to us. From a brand new product or service to more infused substances that enhance pleasure, to lifestyles that enhance that give us better control of our lives. We too early forget the pleasure, glory, beauty and fulfilment that is ahead of us. But that is really what we should look forward to. Have you realised the more you try gain perfection the world’s way, the less satisfaction you get from life. The more we get trapped into achieving that on earth only distracts us from the real thing.

Our ancestors did so, we too can. Things may seem to change; more vanity, more technology, more everything, but always remember it’s the same world, it’s one God who has been, is and always will be, and it’s the same challenges.  You don’t have to do everything the world does. You can be on earth and not be of its customs and norm. You REALLY can. Earthly pleasures are temporal.

This is an excerpt from one of wisest and one of the richest kings. (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)

I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!

So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me.10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

The worth of our sweat

It is impossible to find meaning to life outside God. We must connect our lives to God to see and understand the meaning to life.

It is so easy, especially in our generation and that to come, to seek meaning to life from our humanistic and materialistic culture. We go to school, we find jobs or launch businesses, we acquire inheritances, we marry and have children and the cycle to meet our needs overwhelms us. To what end?

We try to matter in life and make a living, is that all there is to life though? While those are essential aspects of life, we must seek to connect every part of our lives to the right intent or purpose for which it was created. We are free, there’s a purpose to our freedom.

Every area of our lives ought to glorify the creator-God, serving and using it to the benefit of others, utilising our careers, talents e.t.c to its optimal potential. On this precept should we build our foundation, goals, objectives, dreams and vision for our lives or things we get into. Remember, power, fame, prestige, riches, healing are already possessions we have in Christ. Chasing after what you have only subjects us to becoming servants to them.

Thank you.

FowFlo

     LOVE LETTER TO MY SON

     LOVE LETTER TO MY SON.