Saturday, 31 March 2018

Hey guys,

Its been a while away from this space and I sure did miss blogging for a bit. Quite a lot has happened in the past few weeks and I must say, its been quite Overwhelming but thanks to the Holiday. I get to spend Easter for the first time in a long time, in a different city and all by my GRACED self. Quite an experience I tell you!.

As much as I love the feeling of not having to wake up early to work, making and having breakfast in bed, going to the beach, catching up with friends, family and all that I've missed in the first quarter of the year, I'd like to say I find myself struggling to keep my focus on the reality that the Holidays are also the Holy-days.

Worship Days
 I usually start off pretty well the Sunday before Easter, with the desire to be intentionally aware of the significance of the events we are celebrating this week. By Monday morning, my life quickly hijacks my reflective, worshipful posture. Instead, I am carried away by the tyranny of the urgent, overwhelmed by work and caring for loved ones, chasing success, setting goals and slogging through projects. Maybe you can relate. You are right there with me, against your best efforts, you have lost sight of the significance of this week and this day tomorrow (Easter), here are a few things I'm doing to combat the spiritual drift.

- Prepare Your Heart

Easter isn't just a religious holiday; it is the reflection of God's love and a celebration of his Resurrection. Understanding the depth of God's love requires a deep connection with him through my heart. Giving him my mind isn't enough, He wants my very essence, the secret part of me that makes me who I am. He wants my motivations, my emotions, my hopes and fears. And so, in the midst of my day's activities, I'd pause, take a few minutes to think about Christ and all he went through for me, Id think about the cross and how he stood in the Gap for me. Id also spend some time, reading about his crucifixion and Resurrection, that way, my heart stays set, ready to receive the risen Savior.

- Worship

I love love love to worship, its like medicine to my soul and it works like magic. Thing about worship is that it is very personal. No one can worship for you but you. So this Easter, I'd be getting really personal with Christ by spending quality time in his presence, worshiping and appreciating his love and sacrifices for me. I'd be doing this by listening to gospel songs, meditating on the words of God and attending worship concerts. Being a part of a group of believers is one really important way I can break myself out of the pattern of my life which keeps me self focused and inward looking. I find that gathering with other Christians to remember the death of Jesus changes my heart from being casual about the crucifixion and instead, become deeply moved by Christ's suffering.

- Share the Resurrection with someone 

Above all, Easter is about the new life that Jesus offers us. There is nothing more special than seeing someone experience that reality for the first time and by themselves. What better day to invite a friend to church than Easter Sunday? I'd be glad to invite a friend to church this Easter and I hope you can do the same too. Remember, there's always love in sharing, even better, sharing in God's love.

I hope you enjoy your Easter Celebration this year and until next time.

 Much love and Happy Easter!


Sunday, 28 January 2018

I'd like to start off by saying Happy new year guys. I know its late but hey! Better late than never.

Its been such a great start to the year with the days looking so bright and promising. The goals are set, resolutions on point, the blood vessels are steaming hot, spirits are renewed, the minds are fresh and stormed with ideas and innovation, the brains are activated, muscles are pumped and ready to hit the ground rolling.

Like everything else, its always great at the start isn't it?  Life, love, job, friendship, relationship, marriage, business, education, ministry, goals, adulting, parenting,..you name it! Its always great. Granted some dont always start out great but some how, you look forward to it in anticipation, and then you start to see the light; so bright and beautiful, warm and colourful, every thing smooth, everything nice, no issues, no complaints, no complications....and then Boom! Suddenly you're in a ditch or you have some thorns in your flesh and some hot coals beneath your feet and then OMG! This wasn't what I signed up for...I'm out!

We never really make it to the end do we?
If you find yourself wondering? Take a look at Ecclesiastics 7:8

"Better is the latter end of a thing than its beginning thereof " Better is the patient of spirit than the haughty of spirit" 

This means that only the patient in spirit makes it to the latter end.

How patient are we in life? How patient are we with our friends and spouses?  How patient are we on God? How patient are we on our jobs or in our work places? How patient are we in our ministries and areas of calling? How patient are we in our homes, marriages and businesses? How patient are we in hard times? How often do we keep our eyes set on the latter end? How often do we keep our eyes on the goal and the reward? How often do we believe and how often do we walk by faith? These are questions we need to ask ourselves. Its so easy to make excuses... Oh it was too stressful,  My boss was so difficult, I couldnt take it anymore, I had better options.. but we forget that we are going to start all over again and we are going to meet those same thorns, rocks and obstacles in different ways. We forget that alternatives always come up just at the point of breakthrough. We forget that the real success lies at the end. And so we loose out on the best, in hopes to find better, only to get worse.

The new year is here again. It's a new chapter in our lives and a time to put all those promises, words, commitments, works, actions and strength to test. It doesn't matter how you start, it doesn't matter how fast others are moving, it doesn't matter how many obstacles you face or how many times you fumble or fall this year. What matters is the end. You've got to keep your eyes on the goal and keep moving. You will definitely fumble;..not once or twice, but make sure to keep fumbling forward cuz your latter end is where your reward is.

Have a successful year ahead.


Sunday, 31 December 2017

Having that question in mind, along with some thoughts and major reflections on the last 364 days, pondering on all my plans, my hopes, my goals, my petitions, my works, my decisions, my actions, my inactions for 2017,....I reached out for my phone and saw a message from an ex colleague that said:-

In that moment, I realized that however the year 2017 may have been, good, bad, ugly, fair, unfair, rough, unarchieving, wasted, stunted, challenging, stagnant, hopeless, fruitless, reckless, toxic,....what really matters is this "You are still here and there is still hope"

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11

You may have had a tough year, it may have been just another wasted year, you may have failed in archiving your goals, you may have had your dreams come crushing down on you, you may have failed on every genuine effort, you may have lost a lot, you may have backslided or made bad decisions that cost you a fortune, you may have given up entirely but guess what? God is not done with you yet. How do I know this? Honey, proverbs 4:18 says:

"The path of the righteous is as a shinny light. It shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day"

This means that your past was designed to be a shade darker than your future. This also means that, according to God's mastery and jurisdiction, your past shall by no means be brighter than your future. For if your past is brightest, then what light you got left for your future?

It is easy to talk and think about the things that went wrong, it is easy to say it didn't work out, so I give up, it is easy to say well I tried and did my best, its easy to complain and look at the negatives but we forget that where we are isn't where we used to be. We forget that the very thing we reject today was our greatest desire yesterday, we forget that 2017 was once the year we looked forward to. And so we hang unto those negatives.. 2017 was a waste!!.

Sweety, What about your health? What about your life? What about the job that annoys you but puts food on the table? What about the family that scolds and naggs you but still has your back any day? what about the amazing man who cant clean up after himself, or help you out with your constant neediness and tantrumps but supports you, stands by you no matter what, prays for and with you, then comes home to you as wife? What about the beautiful hearted woman who constantly gets on your nerves with words or calls you out on your crap but shows you love by actions, stays loyal, supports your dreams and vision, encourages you, loves nd cares for you, manages and maintains your home and family? Did I mention Grace? Yeah! What about that too? What about the love of God? What about that night you was drunk driving but he kept you anyways? What about the test you failed to prep for but you passed anyways? How about the news darling? What about the fights, the accidents, the extortions, the killings, the kidnaps, the bomblasts that made it to your eyes and ears as "Stories that touch"? How about the battles that were fought while you closed your eyes to sleep? How about the numerous trips that were successful?And the days you had food enough to feed your dog? What about the cross? What about the mistakes we make that constantly nail him back to the cross but he shows us Mercy anyways? What about his promises? What about the lessons?

Love, before you conclude on your 2017, remember that there is so much to be thankful for and there's much more to look forward to in 2018 if only we can focus on God and trust him with the wheels.

I may not have had the best year but I know better years are ahead and just as my colleague said, 2018 is gonna be fun! I know this! But guess what? It will come with its challenges and obstacles too but that's why we walk by faith and not by sight. I'm excited for the new year..more so because, I've got God as my Hope....and so have you.

Happy new year guys!


Thursday, 21 December 2017

It’s Christmas; it’s Christmas! The day we’ve waited for all year is finally here! If you’re anything like me, you're most likely looking forward to the special item number 7.
My Excitement when Food just dropped by.
The holidays have completely snuck up on me this year. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were turning the clock back and now, here we are with just a few days to go.

There's a lot to do at this time of the year with just 3 days left. Here is how I plan to make the most of my Christmas.

This Christmas, I've decided I'm going to enjoy it. Sounds so obvious...or no? Okay, but like everything in life,- you get out what you put in. So this year, I'm putting in a relaxed, happy approach with the hope that at the end of Christmas day, thats exactly what I'd have got out of it- a lovely, relaxed happy day with family. A Christmas that we'll remember for all the right reasons.

Hmmmm...the right reasons!.. Could the right menu be part of the reasons? Oh YES! Ofcos. What's a Christmas without a Menu?.. The right Menu?

So this Christmas, I decided I'd be a little different and more involved with the planning and preparation process...in a very relaxed way though. Christmas is usually spent simply and quietly in my house with the usual regular Christmas meals. - Jollof rice, fried rice and salad, along with some protein and some juice.

Now I'm most definitely not the cook In my clan but somehow, some occasions like Christmas and "Chef Sophs moments", I get loose in the kitchen..quite scary I must say.
This year, I decided to spice up the menu a little bit..which is even more scary,..probably most scary, especially because, I'm also going to be using the opportunity to learn how to cook my first ever Chinese rice. Sounds risky right? Well, I'd be Sophrisky for the day and hope that I dont find myself and family in jail the hosipital post-christmas. So my Menu consists of Starters - Smoothies and some mash, Main Course- Chinese rice, salad and some roast chicken if possible, and Desert being cake and Ice cream. Yummy or nah? What do you think of My Menu?
So here's the plan. I wake up at 7am, do a bit of exercise, play some nice gospel music, have some God and family time, start with the cooking, which should be fun with my mama trying to tell me what quantity of salt and pepper to put in, dine with the FAM, watch a movie afterwards, and then probably take an evening walk. I definitely should have been stuffed from all the food by then but
I hope to share my experience in a good state afterwards. 

What are your Christmas day plans? 


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Philippians 1:3
There’s power in remembering what God has done in your life – there’s also gratitude too.

In a world where things seem negative and hopeless, staying positive and constantly remembering the things God has done, no matter how little, gives us life and hope. It is for this reason I am first of all, greatful for another year added unto my life, the people who have loved me through it all, the family that God has blessed me with, the loves that never gave up on me even in my darkest days, the good days, the bad days, the trials, the tribulations, the answered and unanswered prayers, the success, the failures, the laughter, the tears, the list could go on....

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to share a couple of things/memories that make me smile each time they come to mind 

The most recent would be 3 days ago being the first time we actually celebrated Thanksgiving with stuffed Turkey. I literally remember the look on my mama's face when we began carving it with utmost concentration and seriousness. The memory was Bliss and sweet especially because, we were sharing happily, talking, eating and spending time together.

The next would be my 14th Birthday. My Dad had been posted to a different city for a project but had promised to take me to dinner at the Hilton for my next birthday. That was going to be my first time at the Hilton and it was on my mind the whole year prior to the D-day. Few days before my birthday, my Dad got involved in a minor accident which left him no injuries but damages on the car. Being away from Abuja on an important assignment 2 days before my birthday was heart breaking, not to talk of the car that was damaged and required for a trip back if he had to keep his promise to me. I was sad upon hearing the news and had taken my mind off the treat until he showed up on the D-day with a blue gown for my dinner date with him and the family. This really touched me and left a lasting memory especially because that was love right there. Despite the set back and unexpected events, he still kept his promise by showing up however, which ever way. It was a beautiful evening indeed.

Another Thankful Memory was a childhood one when we had a full house of 5 cousins who came to spend the holiday with us. I remember the night we all sat outside in attempts to count the stars and there was a huge debate on the actual number of stars in the sky. Asides the fun that came with being around my cousin brothers as the only girl, it was a beautiful memory because though we were ignorant, we saw things differently.. We saw things with the eyes of a child. What adults saw as impossible, we saw as possible, we saw fun in everything we did and every situation we found ourselves in.

A quite recent one was at the hospital. It was again my birthday and I decided to visit the hospital. Having gone round and pleaded to get into the ICU, I saw these beautiful Tripplets incubated, and immediately, my heart went out to them. I enquired about their case and asked to meet their mum regarding some immediate important requirements which I opted to take care of. Upon seeing and conversing with the mum who was in a different ward undergoing recovery, I learned that she bore the same name as me. It was such a beautiful coincidence that the mother to the kids whom my heart went out to, was a namesake and a lady who at that particular day and point in time needed a gesture. That very day, she said a prayer for me and in my heart, I strongly believed that the meeting/encounter was a Divine coincidence. I was thankful to have met them.

I am thankful for the day February 7th 2016. On this day my closest friend and I got involved in an accident which when assessed with the human eye, should have been critical but God came through for us in the most miraculous and amazing way.

A cute memory was when I was warmly welcomed with a song by the kids at the orphanage home where I usually visited and taught bible stories and songs during my NYSC days. I vividly remember this 8 year old boy Promise, whom they teased a lot and called Pastor. After they had sang upon my arrival, Promise asked that I kneel down so he could pray for me. I really found that cute and touching and I took his prayers really seriously even though I struggled to pick out his words. What mattered to me was the heart of this child and the innocence and the good will he had for me. I believed God heard his heart and prayers for me.

Another cute memory was when I was ill a few years back. My mum took me to her bed (her normal tradition for when her kids are ill). On this faithful night, I had backed her facing the wall to sleep when I suddenly felt like stretching. As I stretched and turned around towards her, I saw a smile on her face whilst she was still asleep. This was really cute to see and I wished that day that I would always make her smile.

I remember the Family trip to Dubai on one of those vacations/ Holliday's. That was actually our first time travelling out of Nigeria and I remember my Dad who kept laughing at all the blunders of that trip. The one that stuck the most was the struggle to step on the escalators. This was really a hilarious experience but it was beautiful that we all learned how to finally use the escalators as a family.

The last but definitely not the least thankful memory was when I had finished my first degree in the university, returned to Nigeria and was hoping to go back for my masters. I remember praying to God that my wish to return back for a Masters be granted. I remember having faced unexpected life responsibilities and I really and desperately wanted to elope back to England, especially because, I wasn't ready for those responsibilities. Somehow, things didn't quite work out the way I wanted and I was left with no choice than to face them. Today, I am thankful for that wish that never came through, I am thankful for the unanswered prayer because if I hadn't faced what was up against me, I probably wouldn't be who I am today. A lot of people say to me "Soph, you are so strong" but I dont believe this would have been possible if I didn't face my fears to conquer. I have learned a lot over the years and I am still learning. I am still learning to be strong, I am still learning to trust God even when situations seem hopeless, I am learning to lean not on my  own assessment or understanding of things but to seek God's wisdom in all things. I am learning not to worry about the things I can't change, I am learning to embrace growth, change and the distress that come with them, I am learning that my relationship with God is the foundation for all other relationships, I am learning that true happiness begins with and in you, I am learning that there is more to life outside my comfort zone. Its all about growth for me this year and I am thankful for the years ahead and the lessons ahead.

What are your thankful memories?


Sunday, 22 October 2017

A number of people have said to me "Red looks so good on you" and I agree because I believe this doesn't just apply to my physical appearance but my mental and spiritual appearance.

A couple of months ago would have been what I would normally describe as "rock bottom" for me but this was a point in my life where I really understood what it meant to have your identity in Christ. These where moments I cherished and nourished, for in them were valuable lessons and pointers towards the RED direction.

Lately, it's been RED on my mind...and no I don't mean red dresses and lipsticks I mean Ruth, Esther and Deborah, my favourite heroines in the Bible.

As much as I love to rock red on the outside, I aspire to be a RED on the inside. I aspire to be like Ruth whom the Bible recorded to be a woman who impacted the genealogy of Christ. A woman who through transformation, became a woman of immense faith, strength and devotion to her family and her lord. She was a woman who feared the lord and walked in faith, she worked hard and took care of her family. She was resourceful, intentional and productive, knew the value of time when taking care of her family and didn't waste it, making sure her family doesn't suffer from her laziness. Indeed she was a virtuous woman and proverbs 31 was her game.

Esther was a woman of courage who found favour before God and before kings. She walked in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies. Though her beauty made way for her, her personility, character and humility kept her on track. She was described as the heroine who saved her nation from destruction. A woman of purpose with great vindictiveness, strength and charm.

Deborah who was described as Israel's holy lady, was one of the most talented women of the bible - A wife, mother, prophetess, poet, singer, judge and leader. Her life was a wonderful illustration of the power that womanhood has to influence the society for good.  Deborah was a woman who knew her identity in Christ. She was a woman of great faith, confronted wrongs, took actions to help others. She was a Godly woman whose leadership abilities restored Israel's security.

The stories of these three biblical women daily inspires me, and reminds me that God has called us to be the RED's of our time. So, I no longer worry about my struggles because I know God is preparing me for greatness. Through my trials I have learnt that greatness comes with distress and distress builds your capacity for greatness. Here is an illustration of God's preparation of greatness for me.

Dear God,
I have given it my all. I have given my life everything I have within my heart and soul. No matter how much effort I put forth, no matter how hard I work, I still fail. I am sick of this. I am miserable.  Why are you not present in my struggle?
Forever Yours,

My Child,
First and foremost, I love you. I don’t want you to ever forget who I am. I am present in every aspect of your life, I know you better than you know yourself. I have each hair on your head numbered, every thought cataloged, and your entire life is before me.
There is no doubt, what you are doing is difficult. What I have called you to is going to be a struggle. But child, I will tell you this; Those who are called to do extraordinary things have the toughest paths. Your struggle is not because I have abandoned you, it is because I am with you. You will do great things in your life, but right now, I am training you.
My girl, I have plans for you. You will lead a great multitude of people, you will show them love, and I will work through you to save souls. The truth is, child, you could not handle that position right now. For what I have called you to do, there is an immense amount of training that you must undergo in a very short period of time.
Right now, you are failing. Child, keep your chin up. Don’t quit. I am teaching you perseverance. Some day you will have a home, a husband and children to take care of. Your problems and stressors won’t simply go away, you will have to learn how to balance your work and family, and that is precisely what I am teaching you at this very moment.
In addition to perseverance, I am teaching you work ethic and time management. I am teaching you to work more efficiently and without distraction. When you become a wife and a mother, you will have a family and the duties that are associated with such a position. There will be times when all you have time to do is work and care for your family. There will be times when you wake up at 5 AM so you can accomplish everything that you need to do that day. And child, let me tell you what – You will love every second of it, because you will be walking with Me.
You have lofty goals, and I have lofty goals for you – bet let us not jest… if this path were easy, everybody would do it. In the meantime, find joy in your work, and remember that my plan is to prosper you, not to harm you. Work diligently in what you do, plan your time, and honor Me – you will find that your path becomes far more rewarding.

Your Loving Father

I hope this encourages you in your time of preparation.

Have a blessed week ahead.


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Being that I love to get in touch with my creative and artistic side sometimes, I find that my name is top on the list when it comes to sketching and carving.

A few months ago, I embarked on my factory secondment training program for my company where I had to produce furniture from scratch to finish. During the course of my program, I decided to express the child in me by experimenting with some fun looking machineries on chip board and guess what I carved out?

Feeling so cool and technical, I decided to repeat the process on different objects and in no time, I had my name written almost all over the place. It was no wonder my presence was indeed felt.

Looking back at the memories from my training program, I pondered on this question that got my wheels turning. "How many hearts have my name on them"?

Just like the boards, we all love to create good memories, ones that can always be looked back on with a smile, ones that we can share with friends and loved ones, ones that tell stories of our lives, where we've come from and where we hope to get to. We love to explore life to its fullest, love to be known and recognized for good. We focus on having our names known to the high and mighty, the dignitaries, power officials and influential authorities, that we go all out to please them for something in return. We focus on having our names make it to the headlines, the news, the magazines, billboards and the gram, that we forget the most important place; - the heart.

I have come to realise that the greatest gift one can give in life is a portion of thy self, and the greatest legacy is a good name. A good name is found in the hearts of the weak, the troubled, the needy, the helpless, the homeless, the orphans, the peasants, the widows, the disabled... A good name is the little act of kindness, the encouragement, the smile, the prayers, the friendship, the love we give even to those who don't love us in return. A good name is the only thing you take with you and leave with others when you are gone. It is priceless and should be our greatest priority in life.

Looking at what I have taken in from others and also what I have learned from my own experiences, has been a powerful exploration of who I am and what I hope to leave behind.

And if there's one thing I've also learnt, it's that a good name exudes love and only the strong in heart can show love just the same way God showed love, that even when we were yet sinners, he died for us. Its easier to do good to those who do good to us, but then what makes us different?

I want to remind and encourage people to be generous with love and kindness no matter how little, keep doing good and being good to everyone. You never know what heart may have your name imprinted for life.

Carve your name on hearts not boards or stones.

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