I’m super thankful that God made it possible for me to get my hair done this Christmas period.
In Nigeria, the price of EVERYTHING skyrockets during the festive season, and it turns out that the money my sister and I were given to braid our hair wasn’t enough.😲 So I had to let my sis do her hair first and risk not doing my isi Christmas (Christmas hair).
But I thank God that my dad understood, and God provided the extra money I needed to get my hair done. 👧🏾
I’m really thankful that God has helped rekindle the friendship between us and my neighbours.
I’m thankful that God has helped me realise the mistakes I made this year, and is helping me retrace my steps. 🤗
I’m thankful that God has helped me find myself in Him; He’s helped me become active in my spirituality again! 🙏🏾
I’m thankful that, because I’ve begun to move step-by-step with God, I have a hope that the future, although it seems uncertain from my viewpoint, will be bright – if I play my part well.
I’m thankful I got my dress ironed! 💃🏾I really needed to iron the dress I’d wear to church for Christmas, but there hadn’t been power in our area for, like, a week! But at the last moment – on Christmas eve – God willed it, and we were supplied power!
You see? I may not have gotten some huge breakthrough this Christmas, but these little things that God has done for me must be acknowledged. God has reasons for everything that happens in our lives. Many a time, He just wants to teach us endurance and give us wisdom from experiences.
So, dear reader, count your blessing this Christmas day,‘cause the Saviour of the World is born, and there’s no way He’s come without leaving you a gift – no matter how naughty you’ve been. 👺
So wriggle out of your worries and make sure you have a very merry Christmas!
Ndi enyi m, ana m asikwa unu ekeresmesi oma! (Merry Christmas, my friends!)😘🎄😚✨
So, I came across this UH-mazing post by Zainab of Zainab Chats today, and I believe it’s really worth sharing. 💕 It’s an interview with Nadine Jolie Courtney, author of All American Muslim Girl.
In the post, Nadine talked on, not only her book and the activist mindset that drove her to write it, but also on other issues such as Muslim representation in the world and people’s prejudices of the religion.
I think I should stop here, but I must say that All American Muslim Girl has definitely been added to my Christmas Wishlist! 🤩🤩🤩
Hey everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back! I’m super excited for today’s post, as it’s my final interview of the year. Today, I’ll be interviewing Nadine Jolie Courtney – best known for writing All American Muslim Girl. We’ll be chatting representation, writing and more, let’s jump into it!
Thank you so much for coming to chat with me for my blog, Nadine! To start off can you give a brief introduction of yourself?
Sure, I’m Nadine Jolie Courtney; I’m a novelist, a TV & Feature writer and also a freelance writer. I live in Santa Monaca.
My father is a Muslim – he’s Jordanian, Circassian, my mother is American. She was Catholic and then when she married my father, she converted to Islam. So, I grew up without very much religion because my father was very much focused on being American and trying to fit in, so I grew…
I just had to name this post with the first thing that popped into my head. In IB’s Christmas Blog Tag Post, day 2,she answered questions relating to Christmas: what she loves about it, her favorite Christmas-themed movies and things like that. And in that post, I commented that I’ll do ‘something Christmasey’ on my blog too. So here it is…
My Christmasey blog post:
What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
I think my favorite Christmas movie should be: Good Luck, Charlie, It’s Christmas! I saw the movie back when I was much, much younger, but I have to make it my best Christmas movie.
… I know I wasn’t asked, but next to that is Kung Fu Panda Holiday – which is also an old movie.
Have you ever had a white Christmas?
No. I live in Nigeria, and in Nigeria it NEVER snows. ☃ But we do have our own variation of the snowy weather, though. It’s called Harmattan. During Harmattan, everywhere gets cold and dry; it’s freezing cold in the morning and at night, and blazing hot in the afternoon with a dry wind.
Where do you usually spend your holiday?
I usually spend my holiday in my village (either my maternal or paternal village). In Nigeria, it’s a norm that every Christmas, relatives from all over the country (and even the world) come to the village for Christmas. It’s always very fun when all my cousins, aunties and uncles come back and we all stay together under one roof; I get a lot of money in these periods, 😁😁😁 which I save for the new year; I also get a lot of gifts and go for a good number of outings.
But in recent years, that norm is fading. The cost of traveling from state to state is rising, and only a few relatives come back each year. 😥
What is your favorite Christmas song?
I’m not sure I can pick just one! But since I am to pick, it would have to be the Catholic Hymn We Three Kings of Orient. I’ve loved this hymn for as long as I can remember, and it’s still my best today.🎶🎵🎶
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
No. Sadly, I cannot. Although, I can name Rudolph. I hear his name often in Christmas movies.
What Christmas traditions are you looking forward to this year?
To be honest, in Nigeria this year, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas. By this time of the year (December 3rd – the day this post was written), Harmattan must have fully set in and you just feel that festive vibe in everybody. But things are so different this year, I wonder if Christmas will even feel like Christmas this year.
Okay, so the tradition I’m looking forward to this year is staying up on 31st night. It’s most fun in my paternal village, where all of my cousins and I stay up till 1st January. And when 1st January does come, my grandma rings a small bell and shouts “Happy new year!” amidst prayers for the new year. From there, she lets us all stay outside in the dark till we start feeling sleepy (which we never do till much, much later ‘cause we’ll be too busy playing with fire crackers (or banger as we prefer in Nigeria) 🧨🧨🧨 and talking).
What is the best Christmas present you ever received?
The best Christmas present I ever received was the joy of Christmas. I got this gift from God Himself in the Christmas period of 2019. That was the year I began to really follow God, and He blessed me with the joy of actively expecting His Son’s coming into the world. My family didn’t even celebrate Christmas that year with much, but the Christmas hymns, decorations and the all-round festive spirit made me more than joyful each Christmas day of that year. 😇😃😊
Most memorable Christmas memory?
It would have to be Christmas, 2015, when I received my first Holy Communion. I got a real surprise that day, because my aunties came all the way from Ibadan and Cameroon down to Lagos to be there with me. I can remember how we were all dressed on white that chilly night holding candles. A girl’s wig caught fire from the candle she was holding. (TMI? 🤨)
But the part of this memory I love the most is the time after we just received Holy Communion, after the short prayer you say when you get to your seat, my friend sitting beside me looked around and, smiling, told me, “It’s Christmas eve!” I can never forget that.
After the mass, we all went outside to receive the congratulations of our families and friends. Fireworks were lighting up the sky, and little nine-year-old me could do nothing but smile and love every minute of it all.
What made you realise the truth about Santa?
I read about it in a church brochure article or so. I wasn’t surprised, though. Before then, I only ever saw Santa as a symbol Christmas-time, and not as a person who really exists.
What makes holidays special for you?
Um, let’s see.
Food. Lots and lots of food.
Being with family and friends under the same roof.
Going to church, spending time with God and singing Christmas hymns.
Going for outings with family and friends.
Staying up late on 31st night.
Writing out my scriptural pillars for the new year.
That Christmas-Harmattan smell in the air, and the general festive vibe.
Watching people shoot banger (‘cause I’m too scared to do so myself… maybe this year will be different).
What don’t you like about Christmas?
There’s not much to dislike about this time of the year. The only thing I can say here is that I don’t like the hot-dry weather and the cracked, dry lips I get from the Harmattan season.
So, that’s a wrap, peeps! I hope this post was enlightening as it was interesting, and I hope people in other countries have learnt a little more about Christmas on my side of the world.
I’d love to hear about your thoughts on my answers to these questions in the comments section below. 👇🏾 If you’re a blogger who’s just finding out about the Christmas Blog Tag and wish to make a post on it, don’t forget to link my post in yours (like I did in this one).
I hope to do another Something Christmasey post next year… by God’s grace.😇
Wow. December’s moving fast, we’re already in the second week. So that’s… a week and six days till Christmas!
*hysterical laughter* 🤣🤪😂
Okay, okay. Enough laughter and hysterics. Let’s move over to today’s post:
This is season where we wait for the coming of Christ into the world. If we’re to rewind to about two thousand years ago, we’d see the people of Israel waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
According to the Catholic doctrine, this period is called ‘Advent’, and advent simply means ‘waiting’. So, we are in a time of waiting.
But what are waiting for?
Yeah, sure. We know we’re waiting for the coming of Christ, but on a personal note, what are you waiting for?
A priest in my church, in his homily last week Sunday, said that 2021 was the worst year he had ever seen in his life. When he said that, I began to ask myself if it was actually true. In my case, I can’t say it’s the worst year so far. All I can say is that I went through a lot this year.
And it was because I went through a lot this year that I had not yet realised what this period of waiting is all about. My head was still full of thoughts about all the problems I’d faced – and am still facing – this year. I didn’t have the hope that some of them could be solved completely, all I wanted to do was to get through them.
That was actually my thing this year: get through it. “When something bad happens, don’t cry; push it behind you, put your game face back on and get through it,” was my unconscious watchword.
Awesome motto, right?
It was because I always had to get through it that I forgot that God promised that we wouldn’t go through our problems alone.
I forgot that I had ‘ahope’ in God.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you haven’t yet realised that we have an anticipation when we’re with God. Hebrews 13:5 says:
So that means that we always have something to look forward to, in every part of our lives.
But although God helped me solve all my problems this year, one problem lingered, and it’s been lingering for years. Whenever it seems like it’s going away, it comes back worse than ever.
And that was the problem that was keeping me from seeing the hope I had in God.
All I want to say today is that, in this time of waiting, no matter the kind of craziness that’s going on in your life, YOU HAVE AN EXPECTATION IN GOD.
The birth of Christ signifies the fulfillment of an age-long promise, the insertion of joy into the world after centuries of sadness, captivity and grief. God is telling you today that although that problem might not be solved today, next week, or even this year, He wants you to have joy.
Be joyful because you have a God that can do ANYTHING. He knows you’re going through that problem, but He’s permitting it maybe because He wants you to learn something from it. Maybe He wants to teach you endurance. I’ve learned that God never gives us more than we can handle, because He doesn’t want our problems to overwhelm and kill us.
I’m not writing this because my problem has been solved. My problem is yet to be solved, yo! But I won’t despair, I won’t fall back into my get through it mindset. I’ll tell God everything, ask Him to help me carry the burden, and just be happy that I have a Friend that’ll walk me through it.
And what better way to source out joy than to count your blessings? Count your blessings, dear reader, name them one by one. Amidst all the ups and downs this year brought, there’s NO WAY God didn’t do anything good for you.
In my case,
I’m thankful that I wasn’t a victim of the unknown gunmen crisis in my country, even on days when they shot at places near my house.
I’m thankful that my loved one survived and recovered from a car accident.
I’m thankful that although times were VERY HARD in Nigeria this year, God always provided. No matter how small, He always provided.
I’m thankful that God saw me through IT ALL. *happy tear*
And if I can say this much, you can too.
So, dear reader, in this time of waiting, forget all that’s happened. If there is any difficulty that lingers, tell God all about it, and pray for Him to help you get through it. He will. I promise you He will.
Also, pray to God to forgive you of all your failings, for all the times you gave in to temptation, because don’t you think it would be better if you receive the joy of Christmas with a clean and clear heart? I think that would be better. So, go to God, tell Him all your wrongs, and ask Him to wash you clean of them.
We might not get it right the first time, but God will see our effort. He’ll see how much we’re trying to let go of our problems so we can be joyful in Him. And He will surely bless us with the joy of Christmas. Amen.
I know this post is kinda long, but I also know that it didn’t just beat around the bush. It touched a part of you… just as I prayed it would.
I once came across a blog post by Grace Marie Cox of The Worthy Beloved tittled: Dear Sister, Wait, Don’t Settle. I really loved that post, because it really spoke to me. And although I read the post some months ago, I had to go back and read it again. And now I’ve come up with my own post in the same line of thought.
But if you’ll notice, I changed up the heading a bit, so it wouldn’t appear plagiarized. 😊
In Grace’s post, I learned the importance of setting standards for the kind of person you wish to call your boyfriend and the kind of relationship you wish to have in sometime from now. By standards, I don’t mean physical standards, like: ‘tall’, ‘handsome’, ‘fair’, etc. I mean personal qualities. Don’t fret or worry that it might narrow down your options, or that a guy like the one you visualize doesn’t exist. He does exist; if you can realistically picture him, then he does.
Setting standards gives you a sense of worth and pride, especially as a girl. It gives you the consciousness that you are a catch, and only a truly deserving guy can even come close to winning your heart.
So, in case you’re convinced, but don’t know where to start, setting your standards for a relationship should be structured around these points:
If you’re not dating to get married, you’re simply dating to break up.
I got this statement from Grace’s post.
First of all, the first thing to pen down is the fact that if you both are dating and cannot see a future together, you’re just wasting time. You might be like: “How old am I? Why should I be dating someone and already have my mind fixed on marriage?”
Yes, you should.
If you’re in a relationship where you both can see yourselves remain together in the long run, there are things you both can and cannot do. You’ll respect each other. And in times when your feelings want to cross the line, it’s easy to calm them down, because you can both console yourselves with the fact that something that’s already yours is worth waiting for.
So, before you start dating anyone, first talk about the fact that you want what you guys are to have to work in the long run; ask him if he’s up for that too. Now, I know defining this doesn’t guarantee that the relationship will stand the test of time, but it will give your relationship the clarity of purpose… if it will be, it will be.
But the thing is…
Not many guys you talk to about being together in the long run will take you serious or see any sense in the topic you’re presenting. That’s why you should wait till you and the guys around you are mature, because only a pinch of guys at secondary school age have their minds placed on responsibility and commitment.
He should be principled.
He should have things he can and cannot do, no matter the case. He should have values: principles he stands by without compromise, no matter the pressure.
Support each other.
This point is two-sided. It just means that you, as well as your boyfriend, should be supportive of each other, because everyone isn’t the same. You both might not have the same personality, career choices, and/or interests, but there is something that bonds you guys together. Let that ‘something’ be the thing that makes you guys be there for each other in any way you both can.
Let me clear things up here:
I’m a bookworm (most of the time) and a fervent writer. My boyfriend often teases me, saying, “This girl, eh, you like writing!” But still, he gives me my space whenever I need to study or write. He, on his own part, is interested in social media and Internet fame, a world I’m nowhere to be found in. But I give my opinions and chip in where I can. We may not both be crazy about the same things, but we understand and try to support each other. And that’s all that matters.
Don’t push God aside.
Know that it’s only God that can make a relationship work, no matter how much effort you both put into it. All I advise here is to constantly pray about and for both your boyfriend and your relationship.
I just want to make a small digression: In Grace’s post, she said that if the person you intend to date isn’t a Christian and isn’t ready to be one, you should let the person go. She spoke based on what is obtainable in her society, but bringing it down to the Nigerian society, the case is different.
In Nigerian – apart from the Muslim population – although 95% of people grow up in active Christian families and even go to missionary schools, they are yet to become active Christians themselves… especially boys.
I guess in America the Christian population is low, and that’s why she made such a statement.
So, back to what I was saying. This guy you meet may not be a firm Christian, but if you both talk about God, going to church, praying and reading the Bible, and he agrees to be better, you both can work on growing in Christ.
He should be understanding enough to listen to you and admit when he’s wrong.
There’s a difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’. ‘Hearing’ is when you finish talking, and he says, “Okay,” but still does the same thing you both just talked about. ‘Listening’ is paying attention to your every word and replying – it mustn’t always be positively – to the things you say. And then understanding comes in when he comes to see your point of view and accepts what you say, or does whatever the situation requires. Long story short, be with someone you know you can communicate with about anything, someone who will listen.
Another part of understanding is the part where you need to understand that no one is perfect. He might have every quality on your list, but he’ll still have his own quirks. Understand this, tolerate, and help him be better as you both grow.
Lastly, don’t want a Boaz if you won’t first be Ruth. This just means: don’t lay down a multitude of qualities you search for if YOU don’t even meet up to those standards. As you make your list, be realistic. As you pen down every quality, as yourself if you can or are working to be that principled young lady for somebody’s son somewhere.
The only way you can do this is to pray to God to help you grow in Him. Pray to Him to help you FIRST realise who you are before you start looking for the other part of yourself.
Remember, take one step at a time.
I hope and pray you don’t settle for less, but wait for the guy who’s worth your love, as you build yourself as a young woman.
It’s the beginning of the last month of 2021, and the festive cheer has already begun setting in. Everyone’s getting ready for Christmas.
This post is supposed to have come about some days earlier, but I couldn’t write it then because of our exams. So, sorry for posting this late.
All the same, I hope you enjoy my first ever monthly wrap-up!
I officially re-launched my blog, Olaedo, on WordPress. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 I’ve been active in the blogging fam this month: commenting on blogs, finding new ones, following some and all that. I want to do things right on WordPress, so consistency, quality and activeness are key.
Here are the posts I made this month (the first seven are re-posts from my old blog):
I’ve kinda been up and down this month in my spirituality. I was going through this self-doubt syndrome, and sometimes it made me doubt whether or not God was actually telling me the things I thought He was telling me. I found it hard to concentrate and pray each morning, and didn’t pray before I went to bed on most nights. It was terrible.
But whenever I go to church, God shows me that He is bigger than all my doubts. I always leave the church with answers – and if not answers, consolation. And at the time of writing this, I believe that personal issue has been resolved, and my mind has been made up. ‘Cause I don’t want to walk that road again.
I’m sorry I’m being so vague and nebulous about this point. I believe I’ll be making a post on it soon.
My Personal Life.
I usually separate ‘my personal life’ from ‘my spiritual life’, even though they are intertwined and interchangeable, because even as I pray to God for help, I need to put in my own ‘personal’ effort for the prayers to really be worth it.
This month I suffered a serious lack of motivation. Lack of motivation to study, lack of motivation to be myself, lack of motivation to go on with my life (not in a suicidal way o). And I suffered this lack of motivation because of the personal crisis I was going through. The height of it was when a teacher of mine called me and told me that the confidence she knows me for is no longer there. I felt like a mess that day.
But as I said earlier, the crisis has been resolved. I have already begun planning how I’ll work on myself this holiday: reading motivational books, praying more than ever, reading my Bible every day, watching motivational movies, listening to inspirational songs. I want to take on the new year with fresh energy, and be new, better person as well. So help me God. Amen 🙏🏾
We finished our exams today and will be at home for a week till we come back to collect our results. Exams this term were brain-racking. Our teachers played with our heads a lot. We’re in our final year of secondary school, and so we’re meant to take our ‘mock WAEC’ exams (a mini-WAEC exam) by February next year. And because of that, we only read the things we learned this term. It was only at the last minute that they began to tell us to read from, at least, SS1! And what’s worse, in a subject like Biology, the questions set were nowhere in our scheme of work, going back till JSS3!
I failed my Economics exam because I didn’t read far back enough, got 2nd and 3rd highest in a handful of subjects, and got highest in Civic Education, alongside another of my classmates.
The last day of the exams was jolly enough, but I know that some of my classmates won’t come back to the school next term, because they want to write their senior school exams elsewhere. We said our goodbyes today playfully, but knowing we might not see each other again in a long while. 😥😭😢
I miss those of my classmates I hold dear to my heart.❤ We’ll be in touch through social media, but y’know it aint gonna be the same.
And that’s a wrap-up of my November. But I forgot to add that my little sister celebrated her 7th birthday 🎈🎉✨👧 this month with a delicious cake. 🎂 She took pictures at school with her classmates and was very happy that the birthday she had been anticipating all year played out as she planned.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post, so please drop me a comment down below.