A-Z Blogging Challenge 2016

Reflections; I’m a Survivor!

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Yes! We made it!

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

April was one heck of a month! And I say that in a good way. The A-Z Blogging Challenge was definitely the highlight for me.  I’m elated to have participated in the 2016 A-Z Challenge with over a thousand other bloggers in participation.

I first read about the challenge on Deb’s blog and quickly signed up. At first I was scared about not completing the challenge and being removed from the sign up list and all. It’s one thing to embark on a personal challenge but it’s a whole new ball game to have over a thousand blogs doing same. Of course I hate failing and I had to saddle up for the ride. Thank God for the victory!

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,  but the victory belongs to the Lord. –Prov 21:31 (ESV)

It was crazy though! If someone had told me I could write every day and still have about fifty very loyal readers check on it daily, I’d probably laugh out loud. But God saw me through. Every single day with a fresh new post. 😀

As you know my posts are inspiration based. There are days when I could write a 600-worded post in less than an hour and other days when I would struggle with a 300- worded post for an entire week!

My favourite verse when it comes to writing is:

But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. –Job 32:8 

I can confidently say I’m a survivor today by the grace of God. 😀 survivor-atoz 2016 v2 - sm_zpsx3dtq1n6

Benefits

As I said earlier, I didn’t think I could write every day on the different letters of the alphabet. But this challenge expanded my capacity. It stretched me. I was able to write every morning. The bus ride to work took on a new turn as I typed away on my phone, smiling through it.

The stats were off the roof! I mean it takes real loyalty to keep reading some blog every single day. And I don’t take that lightly. I really appreciate everyone who took the time off their busy schedule to check it out.

Need I say I gained new followers! And I’ve finally hit my milestone of 500 followers and almost 10, 000 views! Of course this is a cumulative stats report but it goes without saying, you guys are the best!  500

Regrets

I have some regrets though. I got so absorbed coming up with contents that I barely had time to go acquaint myself with other blogs on the sign up list- which was actually my goal from the beginning. I love making new friends and meeting new bloggers is the icing on the cake. Well, not to beat myself about it, I still made a few friends and I followed the tag to encourage some bloggers on the challenge.

In all, I say it was a wonderful experience and I’m already looking forward to the 2017 A-Z Challenge! 😃  Please click here for the overview of the challenge

I thank God for the inspiration to write daily and publish on the blog.

I thank the A-Z challenge team for such an exciting platform for bloggers to expand capacity and make new friends in the process.

I thank my faithful readers and friends who made this totally worth it. I even got exciting blog topics from some of you. I love you so much!  ❤

I know some of you have been disappointed these last two weeks with no Sunday post. I’ve had to recoup- either that, or I’m just plain lazy. It’s got to be the former though. By His grace, I’ll hit the ground running.  *watch this space*

And now I do a dramatic exit ✌

dramatic
Photo Credit: ifunny.co

Lots of love,

daintym

 

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Zoologist

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I met a zoologist today 

This time last May 

He didn’t have a word to say 

But with him I felt at bay 

 

His laugh reminded me of hyenas that play 

And when he played he looked like a dolphin at bay 

He carried his kid along as a kangaroo- but that’s okay 

And like a hawk, he watched over her along the way 

 

I met a zoologist today 

And his name was Ray 

On his blade like shoulders I lay 

Secure in his strong arms is where I want to stay 

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Z

And it’s a wrap on the A-Z blogging challenge! Woo hoo! Thanks for sticking with me to the end. God bless you! 🙂

Yuck and Yum

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yuck and yum

Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.

I can’t remember where I first heard that quote but it has stuck for a while now. Imagine you were eating your favourite meal and one of your friends saw it, looked utterly disgusted and screamed ‘yucky!’ Or ewww! and went on to express how they detest the food.

food
Photo Credit: imgflip.com

This very act is rather disrespectful and it makes the person the least comfortable when it comes to completing the meal.

I do like food, especially colourful ones. And whenever I’m inspired, I do a little cooking of my own and try out new recipes. You can understand why I can’t complete the challenge without a post on food, LOL. 

That said, I’ve been guilty of yucking what others consider yummy and over time I’ve realized how uncomfortable it makes people feel. They wouldn’t want to eat such around me and that’s just sad! I’ve also had my own fair share of having my food mix-ups called yucky. Saying a food is yucky when the person eating it, or who cooked it considers it yummy is just wrong!

If you’ve got such a strong opinion about someone else’s food, keep it to yourself.

But it’s not just food. It goes on to different tastes in music, fashion, ideologies, beliefs, cultures and general lifestyle. Some of us have yucked other people’s yum because we don’t just get how they would like that type of food, music or that type of hairstyle! Like really, who still carries jheri curls in the 21st century? Of course, some people do. But I don’t like the hairstyle and I wouldn’t wear it. Still, that doesn’t give me the right to express my detestation to someone who clearly has that as a favourite hairstyle.

jerry.jpg
Photo Credit: weknowmemes.com

 

So what if you like hip hop songs and I prefer pop? I shouldn’t go about telling you how yucky your songs are and neither should you. And if you like fur coats but I prefer leather- I shouldn’t go about yucking your taste and reminding you of all the animals that had to die to make your coat. Same goes to beliefs, cultural differences and so on.

As our faces are different so are our desires. We wouldn’t always have the same favourites. I’m sure you know by now that bread and tea is my favourite meal of all time, but I’ve still met people who consider it yucky. Like how could you? *hands on my waist, standing akimbo * 

mad
Photo Credit: yamu.lk

Now where was I before I digressed into bread and tea? Aha! We are all different with different tastes. The true beauty of life lies in accepting the differences and loving each other all the same. You don’t necessarily have to make the other person’s food or lifestyle your favourite, but you can let them know theirs is in no way inferior to yours.

As a matter of fact, some of such foods I once yucked have slowly crept into my list of yummy food when I tried them. That music you really dislike may actually be really lovely if you listen to it with an open mind. That hairstyle may not be so bad after all. That lifestyle that disgusts you may just be the best way the person expresses themselves. So try not to yuck another person’s yum.

It’s always my desire that you live victoriously! ❤

One more day to go on the A-Z blogging challenge! Thank God! 😀 Y

Lots of love,

daintym

Xenophobia

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It’s day 24 of the A-Z Challenge! Only 2 days to go! Thank you Lord! 😀

XThanks for the topic choice by Chile. It looked a little tough for me as I hate to delve into political issues or racism and the like. But then I saw the Greek translation of the word which is a ‘fear of strangers or foreigners’. Webster’s dictionary also defines xenophobia as the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners. If I were to look at this politically, I would probably examine countries which are hostile to foreigners partly because they feel the foreigners are there to take what rightfully belongs to the indigenous people. Now that’s a whole web I rather not dive into. 

So what do you think of strangers generally? Imagine you’re walking on a deserted street and some random dude starts walking towards you. Do you wait and indulge in a conversation or do you pick your steps and scurry along? I don’t know if it’s just me, but I would scurry along. All I would be hearing in my head is ‘stranger danger!’

strangr
Photo Credit: memegenerator.net

I fear strangers. Come on! I’ve seen too many movies of people being kidnapped in white vans to get past that possibility. I would not likely stop at the call of a stranger while walking down the road.

But let’s get back to context. What’s it about foreigners even in our individual none ‘xenophobic’ countries? Why do we give them ‘the look’?

Yeah, I know you’ve given that look before when you see some foreigner. Like dude, why is your skin so white? Or why are you so short? Or why are you so black?  Why is your hair so coarse?

Do you consider yourself as one who would make friends first with the new exchange student in class? Or would you rather guard your territory and stick to the faces you’re used to?

strangeerr
Photo Credit: mememaker.net

It’s almost safe to say we would react differently when it comes to strangers. We may not be hostile as in the case of xenophobic countries but a part of us will feel slightly cheated if that foreigner begins to take the first position or maybe gain a political office meant only for the indigenes.

So what’s the remedy?

Love.

Love conquers all and perfect love casts out fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18

The fear of strangers is definitely not of God and we sure need love to get past it! So the next time you’re privileged to be in the same class with an exchange student or work alongside someone of a different nationality, instead of being overcome by xenophobia, overcome the fear with love.

Love your neighbours as yourself; Remember that dude in the Bible who asked Jesus who his neighbour was? Yeah, so Jesus told him a story of someone who was robbed and left wounded on the road and some pious men passed but looked away. And this foreigner came along and helped him.  (Luke 10:25-37)

You never know when you’ll be in need of help and they may just be the only ones who can help you at that point. Accept the foreigners around you and treat them well. Be kind to them.

I know my thoughts are slightly all over the place but I just want you to take this with you; perfect love casts out fear. And perfect love casts out xenophobia. Love a stranger/foreigner and be kind towards them.

God bless you for reading!

Lots of love,

daintym

When Living is Dying

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water2
Photo Credit: nabilahanisa.blogspot.com

What is living when living is dying? 

I’m dying everyday 

I’m dying with every wake 

I’m dying with every breath 

I’m a dead man walking 

My body moves but my soul shuts down 

It dies within me 

My body moves  

Controlled by external forces 

Forces that move me  

To the right or left 

Without caring about 

How I feel 

What is living? 

When living is dying? 

Please put me out of my misery. 

  

They say as long as there’s life 

There’s hope 

But when hope is lost 

Can one be termed dead? 

  

I want to stop time 

Just so I don’t go through the same routine 

I wish the brakes of the bus 

Will push pause on my life 

Bringing it to a stop 

  

I want to live 

I want to smile 

I want to be happy I’m alive 

I want to live and not die 

But what is living 

When living is dying? 

©Mfon Etuk, 2016 

 W

Victorious Living

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It’s day 22 of the A-Z Challenge! Woo-hoo! Just 4 more to go! 😀

For the letter V, I decided to do a form of redefinition to ensure my vision for the blog is clear and concise. V

Victorious living has been the ultimate goal for this blog. You can read the intro on this page.

The dictionary defines victory as an act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition.

Victory often comes from overcoming battles and wars. When you say you’re living victoriously, you’re saying ‘hey, the devil came at me with all the forces he could harness but I stood with the full armour of God and the backing of the most high’.

Victorious living isn’t handed on a platter of gold. It’s a constant battle. A battle against fear, against depression, against addictions, against the sin that so easily pull us down, against persecutions and temptations- against the devil and his stealth agents. A battle we must fight. A war we must win. 

armor
Photo Credit: princesswarriorsreignreal.blogspot.com

Those who live victoriously have scars to show, wounds to heal, and tougher battles to face. It’s like a game where you start with the easy level one and with each conquest, you go higher to face tougher enemies. When you’ve won the easy level, don’t fold your hands because the devil is always quick to recoup. He will come at you fiercer than before.

So you just won the battle over addictions, wonderful! The devil would come at you with the real deal. The temptress who would subtly snare onlookers into a deadly trap. If you’re yet basking in the euphoria of overcoming addictions, you might just miss the traps set for you. Flop! You’re back to level one. Now that’s just an example but I hope you get the drift.

This blog, victorious through its contents, seeks to show readers of the constant battles I also face and how God causes me to triumph in all things. I’ve never liked the battles, but I’m fully aware the only way I get to the next level is to overcome the devil I see manifested in the works of flesh and so on. I’ve been stuck in some levels for a long time. Feels like I’m just not gonna destroy the enemy in that regard. Almost seems the enemy is die hard- can I get a witness? But no worries, for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We will overcome as long as we don’t surrender.

As I said previously, one can never really arrive and say ‘hey, I’m done with all the battles’ (well, except in death). The whole earth is a war-zone and your mind is the battleground. Stay alert! Remember for every next level, there is a next devil, more vicious than the last.

But thank God for victory! For we do not fight on our own. Take a look at David’s life. Do you think he won all those battles alone? Definitely not! He fought and won because God fought on his behalf. Stick with God and live victoriously. Once again I say, stick with God and live victoriously.

If you aint got God, you aint got nothing.

God bless you for reading.

Lots of love,

daintym

 

Undying Love

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tree
I saw this tree on the wall yesterday on my way to church and I found it fascinating! Couldn’t help taking a picture. It’s creepy in a cute way 🙂 

I love you till death do us part 

We part for a moment as I watch over your apartment  

Up in Heaven 

Waiting for you 

Praying for you 

Nothing can come between us 

This bond we have 

Is definitely not James Bond 

Even though he is our favourite character – 

The bond we have is God 

He sees my heart 

He knows my thoughts 

He’s teaching me to love you more 

Despite my past hurts and bruises 

I will love you with everything I’ve got 

Death isn’t enough to separate us 

Even in the grave, we’ll lay side by side 

And in paradise

I’ll long to see your face 

As we sing hallelujah praise 

My undying love I give 

For that’s all I have to live 

Accept it my beloved 

Concentrated, undiluted 

Love, till it kills you  

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

U

PS: This was written for the man of my dreams. I hope he reads this wherever he is *dreamy eyes*