Month: January 2016
The outside world also known as the ‘real world’ is a phrase I grew up with. It connotes the place where the magic happens, where freedom from parents and school authorities reigned. I went to Christian private schools (both secondary school and University) and a lot of times they would say stuff like ‘…when you get to the outside world’. It was frustrating to hear that phrase in university where other people seemed to be finally enjoying the outside world while we lived somewhat caged in by rules and more rules. But then again, I loved my school (Shout out to all who finished from Covenant University).
My school could easily be compared to the Utopian society; everything we needed was provided; there was no traffic; the environment was serene and sane; you could easily connect with like minds and sustain such relationships. Most interestingly was the way our spiritual lives were molded; we went to church almost as much as we went for classes; you could see people around speaking in tongues without looking weird. If I’m being honest, it felt like a lot of ‘church’ then. But in retrospect, I gained more than I could imagine!
Now I’m finally in the outside world. The place we counted down to, days to our graduation. The place we always dreamed of! Where we would finally be free from the clutches of rules and regulations to do what we wanted, when we wanted. Where we would finally be seen and respected as adults! Oh the expectations were so high! The excitement peaked!
Almost three years down the road and I’ll give anything to go back to the serene and secure four walls of my Alma mater; to be cradled and nurtured in the midst of other people who spoke faith and walked in style without feeling ‘overdressed’ (my school was pretty fashion oriented I must say). But I can’t go back! Even if I did, it won’t be the same. All my friends are in different places now, there’s no going back 😦
What ticked me off about the outside world? You may ask. Well, to be honest, the little things. The harsh realities of the world outside; the fact that some people are extremely cold and mean. Survival of the fittest is as literal as it sounds! Everyone thinks of how to survive, how to make more money and buy more stuffs even if it costs them their relationships with others and with God. Don’t even get me started on how it’s ‘lame’ not to have some bad history to brag about. You’ll probably hear folks say ‘you haven’t lived yet’ just because you haven’t done crazy stuffs! Painfully, you may just be coming from one pumped up spiritual service to get into a bus with ungodly music booming and gently sifting into your system. A world where evil prevails and good is slowly going extinct. A world where it pays to join the worldly trend than stay on the spiritual bend. A world where I am an oddity. To be honest, the crazy out here is overwhelming!
In the midst of all this, I’m reminded of this;
Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matt 5:13-16 (MSG)
You can’t easily identify a light in the midst of other lights. The impact is minimal. To shine as light, you have to be in the darkness. And the way I see it, the outside world is pretty dark! To be the salt of the earth, you’ve gotta step out of the salt shaker (as comfortable as it is in there) and seek to add flavour to a rotten world.
I understand how tempting it is to dim your light in the darkness so they don’t hate you. If they hated Jesus, what makes you invincible? Oh, dear one! They will hate you for beaming your light in areas where they would rather hide in the dark. But that shouldn’t discourage you! Someday, they would come to the light. The bitterness will someday give way to your salt. You can never deny the power of light and salt! My pastor said ‘salt does not have to be as much as food to make an impact’. And that’s so true! You may feel you’re so small and insignificant in this large world. But you’re not! You can always affect the little corner where you find yourself.
So shine bright! Add flavour to the earth! Be kind even when everyone is mean. Don’t allow the outside world harden your hearts. Don’t let the gloom overcome the joy of the Lord in you! Smile some more! Give some more! Love some more! Don’t be afraid of the outside world, for He is with you. 🙂
Happy New Month!
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
****Song for the day: Outsiders by Lecrae ***
Living in the shadows,
Afraid to stand in the spotlight,
Losing myself every day,
A part of me is long gone
Who have I become?
Please tell me
I can’t feel; or do I just feel so?
My mind is wrapping itself around me
I’m held captive
By my thoughts and imaginations,
Please get me out of here!
Who do you want me to be?
I trust you have so many labels you would like to tag on me,
I’m afraid to disappoint you,
But I may just do
Find me if you know me,
Call me- maybe
Bring me back from my grave thoughts,
Turn the lights on,
Can’t hide no more,
Gloom gives way to light,
From shadows to the stage.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.
He loves you too much to let you go!
Okay, I’ve heard it over and over again of how much God loves us. But there are times when I’m like; ‘God, I’m way too messy for you. Just be you, up there and let me be me, down here- a mere human’. There are also times when I put my hands in the air after stumbling a couple times and I’m like, ‘you know what, I’m done trying!’
But then you see one little quote or a Bible verse while scrolling down your Instagram timeline, a little sentence that says; ‘God loves you’. Of course you shake your head in disbelief and continue the day’s work.
Just before you shut your eyelids for the night, you think about it again; ‘if He hates me, He could kill me at any time; maybe this night. Oh wait! I can’t sleep with the lights turned off’. Then insomnia sets in, along with anxiety and depression. Soon enough you move farther away from God and find solace in your ‘drug’, whatever it may be.
It sets you on a temporary high, takes your fears away for a moment, and gives you an illusion of love. But it doesn’t last so long. It drops you so low; you could swear you fell off a cliff! So, we take it more often till we can’t do without it; call it an addiction. Then the struggles to get lose from its claws begin. The shame; the guilt; who do you tell? Who would understand?
In the midst of this, through the mist I see, His hand reaching out. His love is still present. ‘No, how can this be? I’m way too far gone; you really don’t want to have anything to do with me, God’. But how long will we keep running? What’s there to lose? Really, I’ve got nothing more to lose!
Still afraid, I lift my hands in surrender, too weak to run. I raise the white flag. And there He is, with arms open wide. I quickly turn around, unsure it’s for me. But it is. He pulls me into a deep embrace and I’m crying hysterically. I just don’t get it! What kind of love is this? I mess up. I fall. I struggle. I falter. Yet, He still loves me! I’ll never be able to fully grasp the depth of His love. It’s just crazy! But it’s crazy amazing!
Soon enough, you begin to love Him back. Longing to be with Him- to make Him smile. He’s already given us everything! How can we repay Him? Just love Him some more! Obey Him. Love the creatures He has made; even though they may be irksome sometimes. But it gets a little easier. Because He helps you do it by living inside you, making His thoughts your thoughts, His words your words! Such a beautiful possession!
How long do you think you’re gonna keep running? Forever? Believe me, it’s exhausting! There’s a whole lot more to gain, than there is to lose. I think that’s a beautiful exchange! My imperfection for His perfection; my sins for His righteousness; my mess for His mercy; my shame for His glory; my hurts for His healing; my bondage for His freedom. Oh my! This is by far the best deal ever! Call it the Sicilian offer, one that can’t be refused.
Are you ready to take the offer?
© Mfon Etuk, 2016
So, I wasn’t expected to publish a post till Sunday (tomorrow) but I couldn’t wait to publish this post! Yay! I got nominated for the Liebster award by the incredible Emily from FearfullyWonderfullyMe. You just have to check out her blog. It’s super cool with lots of beautiful posts that would keep you fixated for hours. Thanks Emily for the nomination! God bless you. ❤
The Liebster Award is a great way of encouraging bloggers and It’s also a nice platform to make new friends 🙂
So here are the rules for the Liebster Awards:
- Post the award to your blog
- Answer the nominating blogger’s ten question interview
- Nominate 3-10 other bloggers with fewer than 3,000 followers whom you want to encourage
- Create ten questions for the new nominees.
On to Emily’s questions!
1.Why did you start blogging?
Well, I started blogging because I love writing and this is a brilliant place to express my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. For more on why I blog, click here
2. What other forms of writing do you like to practice (if any)?
Poetry. I love writing poems because they capture all my emotions perfectly. Oh yeah, I also write short stories. Currently working on two but I need a little more inspiration to complete them 🙂
3. Coffee or tea?
Tea. But I love the aroma of coffee.
4. Do you have any other artistic interests/hobbies?
Yeah, crafts! I like creating new stuffs or remodeling already made stuffs
5. What is your biggest New Year’s resolution?
To be closer to God. This is the biggest for me because everything else revolves around my relationship with Him. I’ve set a couple of steps on getting this done and I trust God to help me achieve this.
6. Do you keep a journal or diary?
Loads of them!!! I love keeping journals. I’ve been keeping diaries and journals for as long as I can remember! I think I’m a little obsessed with journals (especially colorful ones) 😀
7. What is your favorite blog post that you have written so far?
Wow, this is a tough one! Lots of options to pick from. But I think the favorite for me would be Can You Hear Me It was birthed from a very low place.
8. Star Wars or Star Trek?
9. What is the name and artist of the last song you listened to?
Scarlet by Brooke Fraser
10. What is the best dream you ever had?
Hmmm, getting married to Prince Charming and living happily ever after! Hahaha, I’m such a romantic, I can’t help it!
Well, this was fun! 😀
Now the nominees;
- A higher calling
- Oyide from Blessingshares
- Annie from Tall Girls Are Awesome
- Koko from His Little Elephant
- Courtney from 1 Timothy412Girl
- Ishanpepe from Fire Shut Up In My Bones
Here are the questions:
- What was your first blog post? (insert the link)
- Describe your happy place
- What challenges have you faced being a blogger?
- What’s your favourite food?
- Who supports your writing the most?
- What is your favourite Bible verse?
- Who is your favourite musician?
- Describe your blog in one word.
- Apart from writing, what other skills do you have?
- Movies or novels?
Hope you have as much fun answering these as I did!
Lots of love ❤
This is one of those posts that have my male readers feeling lost. Sorry guys! I don’t really know much about any male haircuts but I’ll research on that 🙂 Feel free to share this link with your female friends though, they may find it helpful.
Ever found it hard to pick a hairstyle for the month? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore! My weird obsession for planning and making lists is paying off! After thinking, calculating, identifying seasons and occasions and scribbling in my notebook (yeah, it takes that much effort to come up with plans) I’ve been able to map out 12 hairstyles for the 12 months of the year. 🙂
January- Bob braids
I find this style really unique because it’s not the usual long braids, but a whole lot easier to maintain and yet so versatile! It’s one of those good old hairstyles that have made a huge comeback. Make it fun by mixing colors 🙂 You can check out Kink and I for more tips on this style.
February- Side fringe/ Full fringe with Straight, Long Hair
What better style for the month of love than really long, silky hair you can easily pull your fingers through? Or watch as the wind blows through your hair! I’ve probably seen too many movies! 🙂 Anywho, the side fringe is a fabulous look especially if you’ve got your brows done! The long length of the hair gives a slimming look for chubby faces and the side fringe works wonders for pronounced foreheads (like mine) LOL.
A full fringe hairdo with this straight, long hair equally looks fab and edgy! I find it hard to pull off the full fringe hairstyle that’s why I’ve stuck with my safe zone, the side fringe. But if you’re confident you can pull off the full fringe, by all means, go for it! 😀
March- Centre part
The centre parted hairstyle is a bit tricky to pull off because it doesn’t suit all faces. Consult with your hairstylist to know if this style fits your face before you end up wearing a sad hairdo. This hairstyle is elegant and it works well with both straight and wavy hair.
These days I’m really into the whole full hair look and the bohemian curls are just perfect! You can either part it to the side or the centre as it best works for your face. Most bohemian weaves do not require brushing or combing; you just have to wet it a bit and pull your hands through to smooth out tangles and trim when the need arises. Pretty easy to maintain!
May- Marley /kinky twists
This is a versatile look to carry for the long month of May (sometimes I think May has more than 31 days-LOL). You can easily maintain the look as well as the roots of your natural hair. It’s a fabulous hair to get creative with and style as you love!
June- Short hair
Rihanna is known for her famous short hairstyles and you’ve gotta agree this look is super chic! It oozes confidence and class. Easy to maintain and ready to go. However, you don’t just go to any hairdresser to get this done; identify those with the special skill-set to get this cut neat and precise. You would totally love it! The short hair is a good deviation from the long hairstyles in the previous months. 🙂
July- Short curly hairstyle
As the months get hotter, short hairstyles are the way forward! This look can be achieved by perming your natural hair and using rollers to keep it in place or by simply fixing short, curly weaves which bounce lightly on the nape of your neck. You may have to constantly curl it to keep the hair bouncy and in place. Make any parting of your choice for this hairstyle and work it gurl! 😉
It’s summer time for others while it’s just another hot month for us in this part of the world. You’ve got to have your hair well relaxed to get the sleek look (especially for my African readers). You wouldn’t want to comb through tough roots while carrying the ponytail 😛 This hairstyle can be let down and also pulled up in a bun or doughnut. It brings out the face and it’s really good for the hot season. Remember to accessorize while carrying this hairstyle so you don’t look like a plain bagel. It’s a big NO to bushy eyebrows!
*** you could actually opt for side bangs with the ponytail if you’re not comfortable exposing your forehead.
September – Long box braids
It’s back to school for some, while for others, it’s just another working month. Long box braids are beautiful and easy to maintain. I love this hairstyle because you can easily style it any way you want; up-dos or let downs, just get creative! I’m lazy about tiny braids so I always opt for the big box braids and yeah, mixed colours make it fun! (as long as you don’t look like a rainbow) The longer the braids, the merrier! 😉
October- Full/ Side Fringe Bob
The bob is a good follow-up after the long braids. The full fringe bob gives the gorgeous Cleopatra look. The full fringe is rather daring because it doesn’t fit everyone . If you’re like me who isn’t as daring to pull it off, no worries! The side fringe is pretty gorgeous as well. ❤
November- Crochet braids (With Marley Hair)
Crochet braids are pretty easy to install, you can even DIY! This is another style with exciting variations! Get creative with your hair! It’s a perfect hairstyle that allows you maintain the roots of your natural hair while carrying it. Have fun with this look!
December- Wavy layered hair
This doesn’t necessarily have to be as long as the straight hair in February, but it should be at least shoulder length so it doesn’t look like you’re repeating the hairstyle from July. The style is best done with hair left out to give it a more natural look. For readers with already long hair, you can achieve this look by curling your hair and trimming it in layers. You can part it any way you want! This hairstyle is very girly and super chic! (especially with the right hair) #Christmashair 😛
I actually had a lot of fun compiling this list and I hope you have more fun while making the hairstyles! I should quickly add that you need to constantly treat your natural hair before and after making any of the hairstyles so you don’t experience any form of hair loss. Do keep some space between the hairstyles for your hair to rest a bit.
You don’t have to strictly follow the order, feel free to mix the hairstyles as you like. You can decide to switch February and April for instance.
As lovely as these hairstyles are, it would be a shame to wear them with an ugly inside! So as you groom your hair and outside appearance, do not forget to also work on having a more beautiful inside! I pray for the grace to be beautiful inside out. ❤
© Mfon Etuk, 2016
***What’s your favourite hairstyle? And what style would you like to have added to this list? Comment in the section below 🙂
Happy New Year amazing people!!! Thank God we all made it to see the first post for the year! 😀
I saw this funny picture as someone’s display picture. Albeit, a little rudely said, there’s a bit of truth to draw out of it.
We’ve all heard the ‘new year, new me’ line. Some of us have even used it. But here is the truth; the New Year doesn’t in any way transform you into a new person. It’s not a cocoon where we change from caterpillars to butterflies. The earlier we realize this truth, the better it is for us.
We often set for ourselves unattainable goals, probably because we get so pumped up after the Crossover Service on the 31st night. But there’s only so far we can go with the New Year charade. Before long, we go back to the same old us. I would know, because I’ve been there countless times. I know how disappointing it is to set really high goals just before the year starts and find yourself derailing from the plan before January ends. For someone like me who loves making plans, plans and more plans, I get super frustrated when they fall apart!
So do we linger and sip our drinks as the year starts with no goals whatsoever? Do we watch from the sidelines with folded hands just because we never follow through on our New Year resolutions? Do we stop making plans for the year? No!
Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’ -Luke 14:28 (MSG)
Don’t be afraid to make plans. By all means, make SMART goals for the year; goals that are both specific and achievable. But you must realize that your plans can only come alive when you commit them to God’s hands.
Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.
Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. -Proverbs 16: 1, 3, 9 (MSG)
The New Year doesn’t change you, God does. The New Year doesn’t have the power on it’s own to make you get rid of the addictions, lose the extra weight, get out of that bad relationship, or change your current sad situation… but God does! The New Year is not an automatic fresh start, but every moment of repentance towards God, is a fresh start for us. It’s only a ‘New You’ when you turn back to God.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17 (KJV)
Friends, let’s get it right this year. No more avoidable mistakes! Remember life isn’t just about you or your plans for yourself. Life is about God and His bigger picture. Allow Him to work in you and through you this year.
I pray that you walk in God’s divinely orchestrated plan for your life this year.
Have a fantabulous year ahead! 😀
Lots of love,
©Mfon Etuk, 2016.