The Testimony

How it always plays out in my mind…

We go through things and complain. We talk about hindsight like an ex we just can’t get over. When things are tough we go back to God demanding an explanation, almost implying that  He must have made a mistake. You feel stuck, in a dead end sitution that you feel could have been easily avoided so why would God allow it?? We quote the scripture; “He causes all things to work out for the good….” or “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord…” but yet we fret when we have to trust Him and let Him be God. We go back crying to him to see a sneak peak of the master plan because this can’t possibly be making sense anymore. We’ve tried to think about what lesson we’re meant to learn from this “season” of our lives. And then we remember the scripture, “Your thoughts are not my thoughts neither are your ways my way” and it brings us comfort in the moment but as soon as that passes we lose hope. Trust becomes difficult even when it is literally our only option.

I take actions every day and make decisions from time to time. In recent years I’ve come to praying  before making any decision. And that makes sense to me because I believe every decision I make has implications for the future and I know that I can’t see into the future but I know God can. Some other people believe that the universe orchestrates or ordains their future so they let things fall into place haphazardly sometimes… If it’s meant to be…. My “universe” is God and He is much more bigger than the universe so I ask and commit every decision to Him. And even for the times I don’t and end up making the wrong decision, He still moves things around and aligns my actions so that it all works out in the end. I know this like I know my name, but somehow I still catch myself consciously exchanging this assuredness for worry, restlessness, panic, dread. Other times I go as far as relying solely on my efforts (if you are not a Christian, I get how this seems logical, but it’s not to me). 

I made a decision almost a year ago that I thought was the right decision… then the wrong decision… then the right decision. And it went back and forth like this till it become irrelevant. Like I said earlier, I believe every decision has implications for your future but at some point I just couldn’t see the reason behind my decision. How could I have prayed about this decision and all it was giving me was grief around every corner. Day in day out I would go back to God and just complain and relive the day I made the wrong decision (according to me). What good could possibly come out of this, and how had I got it so wrong this time after praying about it? Fast forward to present day and I am reminded why I have faith, why I can never rely solely on my own efforts and how my limited my view is. That seemingly “bad” decision I made a year ago has been the very thing that God has used to bless and sustain me in my current situation. I went through a phase of asking God how I was going to pull this off, how would I survive and but God just kept silent because He had already gone way ahead of me to make provision for my future lack like by that one decision I made. I couldn’t see in it in my own right because all I can ever see is the Now but God sees the Then. Just because you go through some tough unpleasant times doesn’t mean it wasn’t ordained by God. Don’t let the devil discourage you from trusting God with a little hardship. That it becomes difficult does not mean it is wrong, pointless or bad. Keep the faith and believe that God is in control. 

I know this testimony is nondescript and a bit ambiguous but I left it this way to make it easy for you to insert yourself into the story. Fill in your situation, your hardship, your provision and your hope. Let this be your testimony too, because whatever stage of the story you fall into, I believe that God will still cause every thing to work out for your good if you believe.

I have stalled on writing this because I kept getting bogged down with the details of the testimony and believe the devil used that as stumbling block for me. But today U decided to leave out the details of the testimony and let you know the moral of the story – which is all that matters – whatever you are going through at the moment, whether you started off with God or not, trust that He is able turn every situation that you are in and make it all work out in the end. The end might not be today, next month, this year or even the next but it will all make sense in the end – whenever that might be for you.

You’re doing “baby friendly” abi??!!! (Exclusively Breastfeeding in an African Household)

So I was home (Nigeria) visiting my hubby and parents two months ago for about six weeks and this phrase plagued my entire trip. Btw, “baby friendly” means breastfeeding. Yes people, I have been teased for exclusively breastfeeding (EBF) my son. I don’t even know where to start this rant from, like honestly it blows my mind. What else should I be doing??? I’m not commended or admired for it, I’m teased and made fun of. Anyone that EBF  knows how much of a sacrifice this is and the toll it takes on you. It’s not a thing of convenience at all… your life is glued to a small baby for 6 months to a year or even longer depending on your commitment. You can’t just run out the house at a moment’s notice, for every where you plan on going you need to think about where you’d be able to nurse. You second guess every item of clothing you put on, the type of bra you have on, hours in between feeds so you don’t get engorged. There are so many cons to EBF, the list is endless. But the pros easily outweigh the cons for me – it’s the best thing you can give your child. Once I remind myself of this fact the cons list becomes so insignificant. 

Breastfeeding is hard!!! So many mums try and give up because they just can’t hack it or are physically unable to. My son’s latch was wrong for his first 6 weeks, the pain was excruciating! I remember how the hair on the back of my neck would stand every time he would start to stir from sleep because it was time for a feed or if anyone dared to wake him. I would do quick pants for the first 2 mins of his feed because of the pain. My nipples were constantly raw and sore. With all this I was still determined to breastfeed so I stuck with it and got help where I could and eventually my son just learnt to get it right himself. We both become pros together. In the first few weeks of his birth I felt like a failure for not being able to get it right but I stuck with it stubbornly because I wanted to give my son the best. So to have gone through that with no one motivating me but myself only to be ridiculed by family set me seething silently. Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to formula feeding either. I had initially planned on mix feeding – formula and BM – but when he wasn’t latching correctly I stopped bottle feeding to avoiding confusing him …. big mistake (rant for another day). My son also never took to formula so EBF was the only option for me. I would have been happy to do both breastfeeding and bottle feeding with expressed milk but it was not to be. If it isn’t boob then he ain’t interested.

Now if I was just being ridiculed and teased I wouldn’t mind too much, sticks and stones right? But it’s the ganging up and telling me that my son is not as healthy as other babies because he isn’t chubby that riles me up to no end! Back home (Nigeria), being chubby is the only way to show that a child is healthy, never mind the baby’s actual weight! If he isn’t a chunky baby then nothing else matters. My son’s weight is right on TRACK, I’ve measured him against his percentile and checked in with medical professionals but what do they know 😒. Just because I was chubby as a baby doesn’t mean my son has to be! Plus he isn’t 100% me, he’s half his father too who might not have been chubby as a kid! I’m was constantly being badgered to start him on solids at 4 months or sooner and give him water because he can’t possibly be getting all his needs from breast milk alone. And God forbid you tell them the advice you received from your midwife or seasoned pediatrician because apart from dedicating most of their lives to this field what do they know??? Like come on! Since when did waiting till 6 months to wean become a western thing? And I wasn’t even going to wait till 6 months to wean but the fact that I was being dictated to on when I needed to start my son on solids, regardless of what my plans were as the mother made me want to wait till 6 months just to be defiant😠! 

And even though I know I’m right, as a new mum the pressure gets to you and the temptation to give in can overwhelm you most times. But I stayed strong and did it my way. It’s hard when it’s family giving you advice; you don’t want to offend anyone but you also don’t want to be a pushover when it comes to your child. Plus, technically they do know more than you, but you are a mum now and no one will ever know your child better than you so stand your ground! Don’t get me wrong, I know their way does work- it was tried on me and I’m fairly normal 🙃 but there isn’t just the ONE right way to do things. Yes, I could take their approach and do things more traditionally, to be honest the convenience of it all is tempting, but it’s not what I want. It’s my decision and I’m well aware of the sacrifice required and happy to make it. 

Please, stop with the teasing, even if it’s done in love- it messes with our confidence as new mums. This stuff is hard enough on its own without people making fun of our efforts – we don’t exactly have it all figured out. And, there is no competition to prove that African babies are stronger because they start on solids earlier – even if there was one, I’m not interested! Let them call me bougie, or a Google mum, I don’t care and you shouldn’t either! Your family might think you rude and stubborn but none of that will matter because your child will be safe and healthy and you would know in your heart that you’ve done right by your baby. We also need to remind ourselves that this is our first child, it could take a while for family and friends to acknowledge and respect us in our new role as mums. 

If “baby friendly” is your jam right now then stick to it, and if it’s formula feeding or mix feeding then stand your ground. Wean when your baby when he/she is good and ready, if you want to wait till 6 months or start earlier like I did, it’s all gucci boo! We do the best we can in a role that is taught by life alone, and I think we are all doing a fantastic job! 
Rant over 😊.

3 things I miss about living in Poland

Yes, I know how much I complained when I actually lived there but hey, its human nature. You never fully get what you have till you’re removed from the situation and stand far enough to appreciate it. I was feeling rather positive and a lil adventurous today, I decided to trust the African salon down the street with my natural hair …. what an unholy mess that was. Please, please do not even let  me get into the rant, Lord don’t make me do it! I’ve been natural for 4 years and I know the number one rule for all naturals is to never compare your hair to anyone else’s, but my goodness have I fallen behind on my journey. Anyway, I will reluctantly move on to how I came about the title of this post. So after getting my hair totally messed up ( leaving out the obscenities) I decided to go through memory lane to see where I dropped the ball, the most pictures I took of my hair was while I was in Poland because I was blogging more actively then (which should really be the 4th thing I miss about Poland, the time and inspiration to blog). As I was going through all the hair pictures I stumbled across the amazing time I had in the Poland. I know this sounds awful and corny, but guys I actually think I found a lil of myself while I was there. Some days I was incredibly lonely and depressed but on other days I was a bit fearless and just open to everything. My mind worked in a better way, a more creative way! But these are the 3 things I miss the “mostest” 🙂

  1. I miss my time with God probably the most. I can not explain the hunger and thirst I had for God when I first got to Wroclaw. Plus I took part in the RCCG 100 days fast which truly changed my spiritual life. The peace I felt was second to none, even though I was in strange place with no one I knew, I felt so at home with God and made real progress with my spiritual life. It gave me a tiny glimpse of what I could really enjoy and gain from constantly being in God’s presence. It was awesome, it was one of the best moments of my life.
  2. I miss how amazing my hair and skin was then. Because I was actively blogging and documenting my hair journey I guess I just gave more of a  ish about my hair. I almost cried when I came across a picture of hair with full edges! I have taken so many things for granted this last year with my hair. I have taken liberties and seriously backtracked my journey. Now I have my wedding in 5 months and I’m not sure I can make any measurable progress before then. I will not lie guys, the creamy crack is at the top of my list, like right at the top of my list, followed closely by cutting it all off to start afresh! My skin… where do I start? My skin has been fairly ok till recently which can probably be attributed to me taking somewhat desperate measures to keep my facial issues under control. Again, I have 5 months to get my skin to the best it’s ever been. I’m not the most promising bride, am I? 😦
  3. I miss how opened minded living in a new place made me. I tried so many new things, found new things that I enjoyed, shared a different culture with new friends. Realised that once I opened up a bit I was actually quite likeable and learned how to be by myself and not get suicidal. Found new ways to keep myself occupied and entertained. It’s crazy how a small town in Poland could make me want so much more out of every aspect of my life. Spiritually, professionally, mentally, physically and even financially (surprisingly) I was in a sound place. But then human nature walks in and starts pointing out everything that is wrong with the situation and then you start dropping all the lessons you learned… then one day you get your hair massacred and realise that you had it good before.

God help me to be less human sometimes so I can really take what you give me as it is and appreciate it there and then.

Amen.

Goodnight.

One Lovely Blog Award

Hi Guys,

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by The Adventures of Naturally Sassy  Thank you so much for this nomination! This is a first for me 🙂

Here are the requirements and a few facts about me;

  • REQUIREMENTS:
    – Thank and link person(s) who nominated you.
    – List rules and display the award.
    – Share 7 facts about yourself.
    – Nominate 5 Bloggers & comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I had my tongue pierced when I was younger don’t have it anymore and I miss it – yes I do!
  2. I still can’t do long division – yes, exactly what you read
  3. I can’t say this word correctly so I always just say embarrassed instead – “Humiliation”
  4. I  feel privileged to be a Christian
  5. If I’m eating a savoury dish and I want something sweet to go with it I’ll automatically just add a banana ( don’t ask me about this, I don’t get myself either)
  6. Shoes make me happy 🙂
  7. I love animations – I make sure I watch at least 1 Disney classic every month.

My Nominations ( I made it 6):

  • Amma Mama because she is just so fly and loves statement neck pieces more than I do! 🙂
  • An Afrikan Butterfly because she has great product reviews and all the deets on the natural hair movement back home (Nigeria)
  • Jeanie Shepard because she always encourages me and has really insightful posts
  • Eleanor J’Adore because she has beautiful pictures and very good natural hair tips and product reviews
  • Ibi – Hey Natural Beauties because she inspires me, has a great natural blog with amazing natural remedies for your skin
  • A Casual Beauty because she does in depth make up reviews with amazing swatches

This is was so much fun!

xxx

Total Praise – Acapella Hymn Arrangement …. had to pick my jaw from the floor!

My brother sent this to me this morning and it has just mad my day so I thought to share it with you guys!

How talented is this guy though???!!??? God is good!

Taking On Śnieżka

I don’t know why I thought it would be fun but I did it and it was not FUN!

Left the house at 8am and made the hour and a half drive outside Wroclaw to Karpacz.

Parked the car there, got all the stuff we needed and started our 10km ascent up the mountain.

Walking…. not a problem, all day every day!

Walking uphill for about 3 hours… different story.

Probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever done and the BEST! 🙂

( All the pictures taken are from Robert’s camera 🙂 )

Stopped by the Vang Temple on our way up. We couldn't go inside because there was a service on but look how beautiful it is. It was dismantled in Vang Town Norway and brought to Karpacz to be reassembled again.
Stopped by the Vang Temple on our way up. We couldn’t go inside because there was a service on but look how beautiful it is. It was dismantled in Vang Town Norway and brought to Karpacz to be reassembled again.

 

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We’re about 20mins in here
Beautiful fresh water stream that flows all through the mountains
Beautiful fresh water stream that flows all through the mountains

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Just a huge wall of rock :)
Just a huge wall of rock 🙂

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Then we came by the lake in the valley, it was unbelievably beautiful ... God is awesome!
Then we came by the lake in the valley, it was unbelievably beautiful … God is awesome!
This is about an hour and a half in...
This is about an hour and a half in…

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Rob and I :)
Rob and I 🙂
Starting to feel the burn, it was getting to real at this point
Starting to feel the burn, it was getting too real at this point
Yea you see that massive thing in the background with the clouds touching it, yea, that's where we heading. It got so real here :(
Yea you see that massive thing in the background with the clouds touching it, yea, that’s where we heading. It got so real here 😦

 

Taking a wee break before the final ascent... I actually took a lot more breaks on my own! lol
Taking a wee break before the final ascent… I actually took a lot more breaks on my own! lol
Long trail...
Long trail…
Thought I was gonna quit here but I was too close...
Thought I was gonna quit here but I was too close…

 

I could see the top, so I kept going...
I could see the top, so I kept going…

 

and then I made it! :)
and then I made it! 🙂
Yay! We all had waffles and whipped cream to celebrate!  Plus we were on the boarder too, I've been to Czech Republic :)
Yay! We all had waffles and whipped cream to celebrate!
Plus we were on the border too, I’ve been to Czech Republic 🙂
Tom and I cutting corners because we can :)
Tom and I cutting corners on the descent because we can 🙂

 

And then the best part of the day... getting the ski lift!
And then the best part of the day… getting the ski lift!
Yay coming down!
Yay coming down!

 

And another ski lift to get us to the car park.
And another ski lift to get us to the car park.

So happy I did this, the view was breathtaking and so worth it! We headed back to Karpacz for lunch and then made the drive back home to Wroclaw. Great way to spend my Sunday!

I made a little video while on the first ski lift, sorry about the audio it was done on my phone.

🙂

Black Magic – Tyra Banks by Thom Kerr for Black Magazine

Tyra is giving it all in this shoot…. love love love how versatile she can be!

A Stairway To Fashion

www.astairwaytofashion.com Black Magic – Tyra Banks by Thom Kerr for Black Magazine

She is 41 and fabulous – Tyra Banks, one of the world’s most recognisable women stars on the cover of the Black Magazine. With a successful modelling career behind her she is the first African-American model that appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated  and GQ, and the founder of the Next Top Model franchise, making her a top reference for models worldwide, in 59 countries.

About her beginning in modelling : “To be honest, I wasn’t attracted to the fashion industry, the fashion industry found me. I was discovered on a school bench the first day of high school by a fellow student. I thought I was far too awkward and gawky to ever be associated with modeling but it was actually those qualities that launched my early career. Once I was in the…

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