Diary of a Blueblood Series 2

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Trust
The word in itself is a very powerful one. It takes away the whole “dependent” from “I” meaning one no longer becomes that “independent” man or woman we crave to be, but rather we “depend” on others and “trust” them to either protect us, defend us, care for us, love us or even die for us.
No one is saying we shouldn’t trust. But rather trust the right person. Notice how there’s a “u” in the word ‘trUst’ rather than a “me”? That simply means that we are not meant to handle it all by ourselves. We are meant to let go and allow someone more reliable than we are to do the difficult tasks.
Trust goes beyond just saying you trust someone, it means believing and having faith in someone enough to leave your entire burden at their feet and letting them make things straight.

It’s the same way when it comes to our relationship with God. God is supreme. His love for us amounts to the number of billion stars we have in the sky and even more. Ever stopped to think about how He sent His only son to come and die for us?
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John. 3:16, MSG).

In present times, and not just in Africa alone, so many parents (fathers to be precise), whine a lot about how much they want male children. Do you think if they finally have a male child then they would ever let him go? I think absolutely not! But here’s God with a thousand angels to choose from to accomplish His goal but He picked His only Son to come on earth and die for the sins of you and I.

Looking at it, if someone I knew did something that big for me just so I can know that he loves me that much and that he has also forgiven me for all the wrong I have done, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t just give him my all and everything I have to be loyal to him in commitment and even in the most difficult of life issues!
God is my being. He formed me and therefore He knows me inside out more than anyone can, even much more than I do myself! The breath that I breathe is His and the life that I live was given to me by Him.

“And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7, ASV)

In other words, He alone knows the challenges of this life and how to handle them more than even our parents who were born in the 60’s or even earlier. I don’t need to worry about what to wear tomorrow or how I’m going to get to the place I’m going to or even what I should eat tomorrow because He said;
“Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”(Matt. 6:31, ASV)

Rather, all I need to do is just ask Him and ‘Trust’ that He will most definitely provide those things for me.

Yes, we are humans and we might not know it yet, but we actually do like to worry even to the point of “what color of underwear do I put on? I am not saying we shouldn’t be a little bothered (especially if it may seem somewhat impossible), but why not leave it to the ‘All Wise’ and ‘All Knowing God’? After all, that’s the favorite word that makes Him show Himself- “Impossible.” He would want us to say “this thing is impossible for me, but Nothing is impossible for God.” I’d like to think that those who came up with the phrase “nothing is impossible” actually coined it from that Bible passage: “with God ALL things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), therefore “nothing is impossible.”

Notice how the passage says ALL? Yes, ALL! Not some or a few or little things but ALL! My my, I would definitely want and love to have that one as a keeper. So why not try something different or do something you might have been scared of doing before. Provoke God. Tell Him that you’re extremely tired of carrying a truckload of over flowing problems and you’re ready to just drop all of them at His feet and let Him handle them Himself. Tell Him you’re ready to TRUST Him enough for Him to pick something beautiful for you to wear tomorrow. You TRUST Him enough for Him to give you a sumptuous and delicious meal and also you TRUST Him enough for Him to give you a most suitable, comfortable, safe and free ride to your destination.

The actual truth of the matter is that God has never failed before and not just for our sake but also for His name’s sake, He won’t start failing now. I’ll leave you with an assignment to do, take a week. Dedicate it to God and place all those numerous worries on Him. Don’t worry, He doesn’t mind, He actually really LOVES it when we do so. In fact, He has been waiting patiently for us to ask Him(in His mind He’ll be like ‘I thought you’d never ask’ with a huge smile on His face).
The only thing we would have to be concerned about is giving Him what I call ‘TPW’ which stands for; Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship. Can you imagine that? Having only to just give God TPW in exchange for solving those numerous X and Y questions we bother about. It’s completely mind blowing!

Trust Him. Even more than you would trust that boyfriend or girlfriend you’re dating, or you would trust the very woman who gave birth to you or the man who has taken care of you. If at the end of the week nothing works out or nothing good comes out of it, then, well He isn’t God. But if everything comes to you faster and much better and more beautiful than it would have had you done it on your own, then I think it’s time to start serving God with no doubt in your heart!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Written by Omle Uche (www.diaryofablueblood.wordpress.com)

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From Boredom to Creativity

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Hello!

So, I’ve been really bored lately. As most people would say ‘I’m in between jobs’ (Lol). Anyways there is this familiar saying that ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’ and I’m like ‘hell no! I can’t be the devil’s toolbox not to think of being his workshop! I began to think of what to do, creative things that wouldn’t leave me bored. I had earlier started the DIY (Do It Yourself) cut out tees and I discovered I was running out of t-shirts to turn into tank tops. So I came up with hairstyling.

CUT OUT TEES
Hairstyling is something I really love but can’t do so well-at least not yet (most of my friends are scared of allowing me make their hairs!) oh well, I may not be good at fixing weaves on or braiding perfectly, but I’m good at styling! I use my imaginations to draw up the style I want with the use of hair pins and clips. I get a specific style and let the hairdresser know exactly what I want.
This hot afternoon after reading the word, doing my chores, I got bored and decided to quickly find something to do. So I styled my natural hair into very common hairstyles that most people know and do but hardly with their natural hair (don’t ask me why 😀  ). These are the styles I came up with! The Mohawk and Beiber look were not my finest though! Hahaha.
HAIRSTYLES
Day two of not having anywhere to go, or anything to do. I thought of another thing I like and that’s accessorizing. My favorite accessories are the neck pieces! I could spend a whole lot of money of neck pieces and I’m trying to put a check on that. Well, I went through my collection and found some old neck pieces that I hadn’t used in a long while. My brain quickly started figuring out what to do with them. I got my tools ready and started working. I first made a bracelet and a single chain piece. Then I remembered I had a longer chain piece that was meant to be a bag handle (that I don’t use anymore as well). I picked it and turned it into a two-layer neck piece. Hmmm, I was already in the zone! I went on to add chains to a cloth pendant which had been discarded earlier and on and on I went. These are the ones I made.
MY REFORMED NECK PIECES
It may sound really lame or stupid to be doing all of these but as I frequently tell my friends ‘boredom gives birth to innovation’. However, boredom also gives birth to crackheads, sluts, drunkards as well as depression, addictions, and the like. So if you aren’t doing something, better start doing it now! It may look childish and dumb at first but keep at it till you reach perfection. It is my desire that you live a fabulous life!
Photos by me.
© Mfon Etuk, 2014
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Diary of a Blueblood Series

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         GOD’S LOVE

I have often pondered on the concept of love and what it really means. I’ve pondered on how people can so freely and easily profess love for a person without knowing so much about them. But while pondering on it tonight, I’d like to think the Holy Spirit gave me more insights and understanding about it.
        For those people who are able to feel love, say ‘I Love You’, profess love, know love, for those people who are able to open themselves to an understanding of what love is…a huge amount of respect should be given to them. Because it is a sign that God lives in them (after all God is Love)!
“So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for   us. God is love; and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1John 4:16)
I say this because it is not easy to love…to open your heart to the possibility that you actually love someone. Oh yes, we might feel that way for so many people, I know I have! Or maybe we hear it every single minute, so much so that it becomes a cliche, but that doesn’t mean the person saying it does not actually love you or your loving all of them back does not make it real. Oh no.
The fact that we love so much is something to be celebrated because it shows that God is in our hearts. Love is God and God is Love.      

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is Love.” (1John 4:8)

Image by Hillary Grantham: Creationswap.com
So the next time you’re beating yourself up about how a person did not reciprocate your love advances or how maybe you think you love more than one person, be thankful to God that He has even given you the opportunity to love someone and most importantly a heart of love…large enough to accommodate the love for so many people.
Imagine all those people who don’t have the opportunity to hear someone tell them ‘I Love You’ or even have the chance to say ‘I Love You’ back. But majority of us hear it every day from so many people that we take it for granted.
Do you know how many times God tells us He loves us in the Bible? (So many times!) Yet, almost 95% of the world’s population is clueless of this truth. That’s why it is our duty, as people with God’s Love flowing through our veins to spread the truth about God’s Love to everyone. 

“God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love – like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, ROBUST IN LOVE.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Image by Samluce.com
Don’t just limit love to the girl whose smile makes your heart beat or to the boy whose eyes light up when he looks at you. No one’s saying all those aren’t important, but let’s allow our hearts to skip a thousand beats for the child who is crying because she has no home. Let’s allow butterflies to dance in the stomach of that little boy just because you gave him a glass of water and if that family with hardly any clothes to put on asks you why you love them so, tell them it is because God first loved them.
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
God’s Love should not be taken for granted. He did not send His only Son to die that we should forget what love is. No. We recognize how important it is and that’s the reason we are able to love so much and love so many. God is Great, and as such Love is Great! When we have the heart of Love, we have the heart of God, and by loving others, we love God. 

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet, strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, WEAR LOVE. IT’S YOUR BASIC, ALL -PURPOSE GARMENT. NEVER BE WITHOUT IT.” (Colossians 3:12-14, MSG)

Written by: Omle Uche(my very good friend)

 Image by Scottchan: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Wilderness Experience

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About a year ago, I anxiously went back to school to get my call up letter. I didn’t know what was going to come out of it. Deep within I had prayed for the Federal Capital Territory and I was full of expectancy. The call up letter came out with the initials ‘SO’ written boldly so there was no mistaking. It felt like the complete word was ‘SORRY’. There was only one state in Nigeria that began with an ‘S’ and that being synonymous to ‘Sahara Desert’ ‘Sunshine’ and ofcourse, ‘Sheep’ (‘cos there are a lot of them in that State).ֲ
Tears began to trickle down my face as the sorry letters kept glaring at me. I had never been in that State, not even by mistake. Family and friends kept trying to encourage me that it would all work out for my good. All the words I really didn’t want to hear. Then there was my lover, God whom I felt had let me down. It felt as though he had ‘slyed’ me. I was so pissed off. Iֲ won’t keep explaining how sad that moment was for me, but you have a picture.ֲ
Moving on, I discovered the State had an airport and that was a huge relieve from having to travel from Western Nigeria to the extreme North West. The State even shares borders with Niger Republic! Not only was I going to be far from home, but far from my friends…my mind was tabula rasa. I just couldn’t take it.

The Camp Experience
I had heard stories about soldiers forcing corps members to carry their luggage on their heads on arrival in the camp. Well, I was treated like a Princess because little boys carried my luggage for me with a small tip. The mattresses were nothing to write home about. Nothing! They were about 2-3 inches above the ground. After a night or two, I thought my S curved spinal cord would become straight. It wasn’t funny at all! Not to talk of the absence of good toilet facilities! I think the plan was to ensure that we nourish the bushes with sufficient fertilizers. Ewww! Right?
Three weeks went by with rigorous exercises and boring lectures. Met new people, made friends, contested for Miss Ebony (there was no way I could have won though), got involved in the parade (to think I hated marching back in school) and there were other folks from school who kept me company. Oh yeah, I had a minor crush on some good looking bloke ( it didn’t work out with him though).
I was more relieved than glad when the camp experience came to an end. There was the option of redeploying while on camp based on marriage or ill health both of which I wasn’t qualified for so I didn’t bother applying. Lots of people forged documents to defend whichever options they chose, the desperation of man! Well, not to be a Judge Judy, I wanted to redeploy but I stood no chance if I had to use lies so I let it go.
The posting to our Place of Primary Assignment came out. Disappointment laced my facial features as I got the letter and noticed I was not posted to the State capital as I expected. I was posted to some Local Government that sounded so strange to me.

The Place of Primary Assignmentֲ

Immediately after camp, we were taken to our various PPAs. Mine was about 20 minutes from the capital. But that first day felt like an hour! My tummy kept turning in anticipation. So I finally got to my PPA in some deep village that was another 30 minutes away from the Local Government town. The lodge assigned to us stood on its own in the desert with no neighbours around. I quickly thought of how one could die there without being heard, yes! that was my paranoid mind at work. From the door, you could stare right into the horizon because there were no buildings or trees to block your line of vision. At that point, I felt like God was taking me to the desert for testing as was the case with Jesus. Or maybe He was sending me like John the Baptist into the lonely wilderness without other people. I felt sick in my stomach. I couldn’t live in that place. It was already enough that I was in a desert land, being deep in the wilderness was more of torture to me.
Okay, this story is getting longer than I had planned. Moving on, I had to tell the employer to reject me because I couldn’t survive there. And yes, there was no place of worship there, which was a major discouragement. I tried getting back to the State capital but I didn’t know the right people to meet and deep within I knew God wouldn’t help me in going against His divine plan. I later got reposted to a school still in the LG but a lot closer to the Secretariat. Got an accommodation which was pretty much self contained, I could already imagine the room when I was done setting it up. The hitch in my new place was that the transformer had been bad for some months so there was no hope of light. No light? Can I live or function without light? I knew immediately that I had to put a generator in my budget. There were no taps in the apartment, hence we had to go fetch water a few blocks away. I literally pushed a wheelbarrow with five containers of water, each 25 litres! I was already praying not to have muscles at the end of the service year..(I think I turned out just fine, whew!)
Travelled home for the Christmas break and got back refreshed and ready for the long year ahead.ֲ

The Weather and Geography
As I had earlier mentioned, the State is a desert. You hardly see big trees except for a few that thrive in the desert without much water. The weather is always extreme. It’s either too cold when the Harmattan comes or it’s way too hot when it’s dry season. I passed through both and I would always pick cold over heat. With cold, a good covering would do. But with heat, only a good air conditioning can be of satisfactory help. Thank God I didn’t die even as I passed through both conditions. Then there is the strong wind that howls constantly. And there were hardly any windbreakers! Plus the sand and dust! OH MY GOSH! You’d come home and see your room covered in dust after you had just cleaned it up a few hours earlier.ֲTwasn’t funny at all!

Culture and Tradition
The culture and traditions of the people were a bit strange to me. In cabs, the ladies couldn’t sit in between men, they sat separately at the end of the seat. Then the dressing was in tune with the Hausa culture mixed with Islamic style where the women used Hijab and other noticeable Arab styles. I grew up in the north which gave me an edge especially in speaking the language. But their Hausa was slightly different though I could still understand and reply. The State is popularly known as the Seat of the Caliphate, indicating some rich royal culture in existence. But as with other States around this geographical area, there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor, the few literate and many illiterates, the few civilised (in terms of Western civilisation) and the many more uncivilised.

The Teaching Experience
I was teaching Government in the Senior Secondary School. Lots of my students couldn’t understand English even though it is the lingua Franca here in Nigeria. So I had to interpret my lessons in Hausa so they could grasp some knowledge. I however still tried to make them speak English while constantly learning definitions. It was a fun process but frustrating at other times. Then there was the marking of test and examination scripts where lots of scripts looked alien to me! It felt like I was reading Greek. I discovered they were those who couldn’t even write in English! They didn’t know the alphabets! I was flabbergasted. I had to be a little patient with them. Especially when I discovered lots of these students don’t even attend Primary schools. If the foundation is faulty, what can be done?

My Spiritual Life
My Spiritual life grew as I spent more time with God (yes, I had to let go of my anger against my lover because no matter what I do or don’t do, He remains God). I spent nights seeking His face, praying in the Spirit, singing to Him. It was amazing!
Of course there were trying times in my walk with God. But He helped me through it all. In the course of he service year, I was made the Bible Studies secretary and later the Zonal Coordinator for my Fellowship, I thank God for the grace to carry out the duties.
Indeed the wilderness was a place for my making. There is a reason why Jesus and John the Baptist had to be away in the desert at the preparatory stage of their Ministry…and I found that reason in my wilderness experience.

My Little Cottage
My little cottage was decorated to sooth my taste on the inside but the outside still looked like some old building (which it was). During the rainy season, the grasses in front of the house grew so fast and the front yard was water logged…so disgusting! Then there was fear that tormented me for a while. My lodge was a bit distanced from other corps members and I had an old woman for a neighbour. There were lots of sheep, cattle, goats and even lizards that constantly patrolled the area. These animals brought some amount of fear to me especially at night. To make matters worse, the Convenience was built outside…who does that?! So, most nights I couldn’t go out and ease myself because I didn’t know what animals would be outside. The first time I came out to ease myself, I shone my flashlight into the shiny eyes of some sheep. Their eyes were so bright with the light cast on them, it freaked me out.
The stormy nights were also really scary as I stayed alone in the room using my headphones to block out the sounds. It was always so scary especially as it was always dark. Heard there were scorpions and snakes as well as idiots ( as in the animal called idiot, lol) in the land. But God saw me through all those creepy, crawling animals. Never had an encounter with one.

My friends
I had formed strong bonds with my mates from school so we constantly kept in touch and exchanged weekend visits. It was hard to dress as I was used to in school without looking over dressed in this place. However, being with other school mates and friends always brought back the feeling of home. I particularly enjoyed the company of Mikey, Mimiboo, Daniel, Esosa, my CU family and other people that positively impacted my life. They all made my service year great. I and Mimiboo explored our cooking potentials as well as our creative skills (we made cute cut out t-shirts). It was really cool to have that brother and sister by my side(Mike and Mimi). They made ‘SO’ more like ‘SO COOL’. I appreciate every other friend I made, I learnt a lot from each one of them. Having my CU family was a huge turn up for me! I want to extend my gratitude to Aijay, Kaycee, Faith, Mikey and Mimiboo. Y’all made my stay awesome!

Failures
I was not able to really read all the books I desired to soak myself in.
I didn’t expand my friendship horizon.
I was always indoors and didn’t get any exposure.
Didn’t do much exercise as I had planned on.

Achievements
I became more matured.
I became more independent.
I served God.
I became closer to God.
Gained new knowledge from books and messages.
Learnt how to cook better (smiley face).

Conclusion
God has been faithful. I’m a lot fatter than I came, fresher than I looked, stronger than I was, more skilled to face life’s challenges, ready to serve in whatever diplomatic missions I’m assigned to. I had my highs and lows, valleys and mountains…in all, God kept me. Congratulations to the other corps members who also came, stayed and conquered in the Seat of the Caliphate!

© Mfon Etuk, 2014

The Deep Cut

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Sharper than a two-edged sword,

Your love, through my heart was sawed,
Rosiness of a first time wine,
Made me give my all without collecting a dime,
Oh! I heard love is blind,
But my eyes were wide opened,
Still I couldn’t read between the lines
The lines you wrote,
Expressing silent despair but with love you coat,
Still with my eyes wide opened,
I had seen farther than my hands could reach,
Only if someone had fore told that its you, my first love lessons to teach,
I sometimes smile even in this ditch,
As your promising words now sound like verses the false prophets preach
Preaching and preaching,
That, my conscience did without feeling,
What will be, will be
But the cut has gone deep in me,
And I need the balm for a quick recovery,
I roll to and fro in my sleep,
Consoling images of your roots I see,
Over and again, my tears visit my cheeks,
My love indeed, the cut is deep
Deep enough to make me learn,
Deep enough to make me yearn,
Deep enough to make me firm,
Deep enough to make me hear,
That the next time the echoes of love come resounding,
I’ll be alert, standing and smiling,
Saying to my heart which was created for blood pumping…
“This love aint taking me over”
Cause I once was there, I saw and I conquered.
SO HELP ME GOD
Written by Made of Red

Photo credit: Monikabharti

This is so ANOMALY!!!

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Lecrae Moore, born on Oct 9, 1979 is my all time favourite gospel rapper. He’s popularly known as ‘Lecrae’ and he’s simply amazing! He brings the funk into gospel music. His lyrics are mind blowing!
He is a leading Christian hip hop artist and an inspiration to a lot of gospel artists.

Lecrae has won some awards and has been nominated for a lot more including the BET hip hop awards. He won the Grammy Awards in 2013 with his album ‘Gravity’. Lecrae has also released so many awesome albums including Gravity, Church Clothes, Rebel amongst others.

His latest album ANOMALY was released early Sept, 2014 and you really haven’t heard Christian hip hop if you haven’t listened to this dope album! Sources say he’s going on tour for the new album, ANOMALY. My favourite songs in this new album are ‘Nuthin’, ‘Say I won’t (ft Andy Mineo), and ‘Fear’…I hope he includes them on tour!

I really like Christian hip hop and Lecrae is my go to guy for some hot gospel hip hop. I’d be blasting his songs in my room, dancing to the beats with careless abandon! *big grin*

God has really been using him and I pray a lot of gospel artists with original inspirational lyrics emerge especially in my country. All they need is support and prayers. So folks, let’s keep cheering them on! Lecrae you rock! I’m a huge fan! God bless you!

~M.

Sources; Wikipedia, http://www.lecrae.com
Photo Credit; theChristianpost

Innocence to the Dark Side of Love

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Innocent to the dark side of love ,she was prepared,she was not!

The woman on the screen, made it look easy, Schooled her about d perks of love,
Failed to illuminate her on the workings of the soul in the matter .
Head first she dived into it,
Carrying all the care poured into her by her African mother,
That made her a full African woman…
One that gave herself selflessly,
One that starved to let others have their fill,
One that left the warmth of her bed at first light of dawn to see that others lacked nothing till dusk,
One that hushed her pain,
To comfort her wailing neighbour…
All that she carried and gave to a man she called Love,
Not caring if love gave back or not.
But love ignored,
It didn’t just ignore,
It turned dark,
Became the dagger that pierced her heart and made it loose rhythm of its beat…
Dragging life out of her slowly,
Caged her soul without ministering sweet music that would calm her raging spirit,
It gave silence as dead as the grave,
Making the voices in her louder with each passing day.
Love numbed her heart and carved out jagged lines that become scars,
That numbness only awakened by pain,
Pain that went deep and unending like falling in a black hole in one of her nightmares,
It just wouldn’t stop!
Pain so strong it knocked down those firm brown shoulders that once stood up so high and proud as the peacock in its parade,
Pain so devoid of words,
Thought had no meaning in her mind,
It took out pieces of her soul one by one,
Till the very foundations of it was nothing but rubble.
This kind of pain made her walk mindlessly in the dead of the night,
With no moon to shine and give little light as a sign of hope,
Wandering about in circles,
Lost, she had no strength left in her to fight and defend her pride.
Slowly those long dark strong legs like beautifully carved out pillers of bronze,sank down,
Arms of no other but hers wrapped around her,
Not for fear that should be running down her spine because of the dark ,
But for the ice cold feeling emanating from her depths,
Her soul seemed to be in hell already,
Being tortured by non other but hunted memories of what she once thought was love.
Slowly her head followed the movement of her caving shoulders,
And it began!!!
Her eyes poured it all out,
Eyes poured out hurt,
Disappointment, shame, pain, disgust,
In form of salty water.
She cried an ocean and let herself soak in it,
Even though she didn’t know how to swim out,
She didn’t drown…
What would have been the death of her became her liberation,
She knew that was all she needed and like the drum that sounds its loudest before it tears,
She rises,
Like a lioness hunting in the dark,
Her eyes adjust to the darkness and she begins to prowl,
Making her way home,
Deaf to the millions of crickets singing songs to draw her attention,
She goes back to her beginnings,
She feels strong,
She begins to regain her grounds as she once did,
She keeps walking,
Walking till she finds love that would give back.
Love that would nurture,
Love that would care,
Love so mad, Romeo and Juliet would envy it, Love so precious and graceful seconded only by that of her Creator,
Love so pure only to be compared to the spring of Kerang,
Love that builds a soul to supernatural maturity on a solid rock,
Love that would deserve her sacrifice,
Love that would be proud and brave enough to shout and sing her praises from the peaks of Kilimanjaro!!!
But until then,
She would heal and then wait,
For hope and faith are the only sure things she holds on to.
Written by Miss Yelnen

Photo credit: fierceforblackwomen.com

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