Sunday, 8 October 2017
I promised I'd share some of the feedback we got from #Rising🌻 Guests, Speakers and Volunteers and that's what I'm about to do now.
Hope you enjoy reading them!
Thank you so much. It was a wonderful experience. No holds barred. God bless u
......I went home with my grief crushed and my purpose rising to its full potential. PapaGod and Sholly are truly proud of you.
We cry. We groan. We smile. We cry & we groan again......and thus we grow through our pain. 9 years after my dad passed on, it is still so very raw. And very many times I still can't deal with it. My life is shattered in so many ways because of that traumatic death... and of other associated things. I just take it 1 day at a time.
Today, I caught a refreshed word. ALL things work for my good. God knew all about it. He knew it was coming. He allowed it to happen. And He stands with me in my purpose even now, 9 years later. And there lies some comfort for me. That is all I have to hold on to. It keeps me going.....
(From an Online guest. She watched the whole thing online!)
E ku ise Oluwa. It was a beautiful event, peaceful, fun and memorable in so many ways. Over 4hrs of my Saturday very well spent.
I know you will have a good night rest, because our Father is surely smiling down on you ... well done faithful daughter 🤗🤗🤗 and your sis must be soo proud.
(This was from one of the guys! His notes were more comprehensive than mine! )
Find attached my 'unedited' notes from yesterday's session.
I must confess that I came out a sense of duty to you and your cause, but left 'rising' to a higher call of duty to God Almighty.....
I should say thank you for putting together such a beautiful programme. I was really blessed.
It was an amazing experience, eye opening and the honesty in the room amongst everyone was challenging, thank you , thank you , thank you!
....It was an opportunity for me to let go of a lot of baggage. I dont know what you must have passed through in life......Just Arise and Walk...and He who sees you will surely perfect that whch concerns.....
Thank you Sis for that wonderful programme. Keep on being true to your purpose and being real.
I do not regret every minute spent and it truly resonated with me.
Speakers were truly real and sincere. Coaches wonderful and very sincere.
Indeed Sholly lives on and is still touching lives....
Twas an awesome experience im nt in a hurry to forget. The glory of God filled the hall when the Coaches and Speakers made their speeches. A healing balm it was also to a lot of pple. Thank you for putting together this Forum. U are indeed Salt, a vessel unto God....
(From our Rising Speakers)
Thanks Sis. I'm still reeling from your awesome programme.
Thank you so much Salt for creating the platform for us all to heal!!!
Saturday will remain indelible in my heart!!!
It was truly great to meet you, and sitting with the kingdom giants at the table left us wondering how on earth God could have picked us for such an assignment.
We can still feel all of heaven hugging us tight.
(Our Rising Volunteers)
I truly died to my old self and rose up to my new life in Him at Rising and was incredibly blessed by every Speakers story and experience.
....I went home with my grief crushed and my purpose rising to its full potential.
There you have it Aburo mi. It's such a great feeling to know that we touched lives for good in your name. I just give God my highest praise for giving me a meaningful way to dull the pain in my heart.
As the Lord lives, the Shola Adefolalu Gaska aka the Sholly Smile Factory will continue to create positive news around you and your name. Yes, the light of the smiles you create will trump their darkness. In Jesus name. Amen.
P.S If you attended and would like to add your voice to this post just DM or email your thoughts to me. I'll be super grateful to hear from you. To all those whose thoughts are reflected up there? Thank you. We love you🌻❤️.
Sunday, 1 October 2017
Yesterday was amazing.
Like I promised you, it wasn't some stiff, follow the rules, everything must be perfect session. It was fun, it was quirky, cozy-ish, the microphone 'fell my hand' and we ran over time. Oh! But Sholly! It was a great day spent honoring you and God kept his promises too.
First of all, he filled the room. He brought the guests. He spoke through the Speakers and He dropped life changing pearls of wisdom through the Coaches.
He made sure we heard the Word. He made sure we expressed His Love. He hugged us when we teared up. In short, God kept his promise to make 'Rising' 'good' like when he created the world 'good'.
I miss you so much but I thank you. Thank you for making a way for my life to become even more purposeful. Thank you for jolting me out of being almost at ease in Zion. God has much more for me to do Sholly and because of you, I'm paying more attention. Like Coach Olusola said, 'being born again is not enough!'.
And Sholly, that brings me to my next thing. I can't capture every little morsel of goodness that God served us yesterday through the Speakers and Coaches. I'll make a video from all the FB live clips to do that. For now, let me just share my nuggets from each one. Then, I'll share photos!
God bless Fotolighthouse for me. The Rising pictures are all manner of gorgeousness. But first my key takeaways:
I was thoroughly amazed by this my sister because I know how nervous she was. But God doesn't care about that. Whom he sends, he equips. Sola is a true #RisingChampion🌻.
- I cried many tears asking God why he couldn't have made it such that I was with you when you died. Listening to Sola, our first speaker, I'm not sure anymore. Watching a loved one die seems much harder than just hearing about it. Bottom line? There is no better way. They both suck.
- Live your life now! Focus on your purpose.
- Even in your pain, you must find a way to please God
Dr. Bode Abass
Shola! Did you hear this man's story? My heart broke because I understood his guilt and how it can ravage your insides! Yet, daily he #RisesUp🌻
- God trumps medicine! When a doctor says this, you must pay attention.
- Always try to see God in everything you go through.
- Take your eyes off yourself when guilt hits and instead focus on God.
Dr. Toyin Abass
Sholly, did you see how lovely she is? But you can't miss the inner steel that runs through her spine. Spiritually speaking.
- Quit the anger. Admit your pain to God. Never let your pain make you think God has left you.
- God is super able to work in you to sort you out. Be real with him.
- God uses us through our places of pain.
- Be practical about supporting grieving people. Talk less, act more. Cook, help with laundry, baby sitting, etc.
The Igbotic Soup Mama! She cracked the room up so much even as she brought us to tears. When she talked about profit from loss, I looked at all the people in the room because of you and knew she was right. They were "my profit from the pain of losing you". God bless each one of them.
- No matter how deep you sink or how dark it is, God is there with you.
- Your pain has the power to drive you to your purpose.
- There is 'profit' in our loss because God is able to make all things work together for our good.
Aburo! We had the best Coaches! Together, they ignited in me this desire to go 'be' better and therefore 'do' better.
Coach Lanre Olusola
- Let yourself grieve. Cry. Express your pain. Then accept the death.
- Plan for your own death. Make a will. How I wish you and I had talked about this Sholly😢.
- Make your life count for God. Being born again is not enough! It's the first step in the journey of being who God has called you to be and doing what he's created you to do.
- Accept that what you have right now is what you need. Embrace your own lane. He reminded us in his own way to quit looking over into your neighbors yard. The grass might be greener but so is the water bill.
- My best bit was when he used Job's story. The conversation with God to underscore how 'in charge' God is. There is nothing that happens without his permission. Sholly, that hit me. Nobody could have hurt you or done you wrong 'behind his back'. I must accept that it's part of his 'good' for me and for you and for our family. Your work was done. I just must. To not do so is to deny God is who he says he is.
I had so many high points but one of the highest was when Coach said that in all his years of coaching and counseling, he had never been to an Programme like your Rising! Sholly! He said I was "not OK"😊 at all. Best compliment ever!
Coach Laila St. Matthew-Daniel
Was the icing on the cake. In spite of not feeling well, she still came out for us.
- You will be angry but you must deal with it. Or it will eat you up.
- Challenges will come but you must not turn your back on them, you must confront them. "Whatever you are going through, please do not back it, face it".
- You must understand who you are!!! She spoke encouraging words into us and then made us sing Sinach's Believer's anthem! One of the guests told me she's going to look herself in the mirror every morning and sing that song to herself. That's how powerful Mrs. D's talk was. She made someone connect in a new way with an old song.
Joint Q and A
As both Coaches responded to questions, here's what I gleaned:
- Your purpose is in your pain
- The problem is the way you see your problem. (As in 'wow').
- Don't shun getting professional help if you've prayed and gone through all the steps on your own and depression is not going. See a Counselor. It doesn't mean you are 'kolo'.
- For your body, you have doctors; for your spirit, you have your pastor and for your mind/soul, you have the Therapists. Seek the help you need!
- Don't let what has happened to you steal your days on earth and rob you of fulfilling God's plan for your life.
- This one is specially for my sisters/couples seeking children. Children are gifts from God. Gifts can come through various channels. The gift of a child doesn't always have to come through you being pregnant yourself and giving birth. You can adopt. There are many of God's gifts currently 'unclaimed' in orphanages right now. Pray on it and see perhaps that's how God wants to give you 'your gift'.
Uncle Henry shared updates on the case and gave the Vote of Thanks and then we wrapped up. And that, in summary, are some of my key takeaways from your Rising🌻 my love. It was glorious.
Next blog, I'll share some testimonies with you.
I love you Sholly and again, thank you for giving my life new meaning. I'm just praying there are more like me out there who may be sinking with grief but will read this and choose to #RiseUp🌻 with purpose. Daily.
Talk to you again soon.
Click this link to check out photos highlights from the day,
Friday, 22 September 2017
Before I begin my 'Pleases', let me first of all, thank you for registering! You are each a source of encouragement to me and I have been praying for you. My prayer is simple: The reason for which God is bringing you should be made crystal clear to you and you must get your 'word'. So please be expectant.
So now to my 'Pleases'.
Please come on time. Start time is 10am for real. Even if I am the only one there at the venue with the volunteers, we shall start. But I am trusting God that you will all be on time.
Please do not come with little children. I am sorry. I know but I am not sure it is the sort of function to bring small children. I wanted to have a small creche close by but it did not work out and that is why I am happy it is just four hours from 10am to 2pm. So I can give you back most of your Saturday.
Please if you cannot make it any more, let us know. We are putting people on a wait list from today as we don't have any more seats so let us know if you cannot make it. Thank you. You will be there next year by God's grace. Yes, we aim to do this every year. Every September.
Please come with money *laughing*. Well, if you love books because there will be a 'Rising' Book Stand.
Were you one of the first 20 to register? If you were, before the day, you would have gotten a mail from me confirming it. PLEASE be sure to let them know when you register. They will have a list also to double check. Once confirmed, you will get your special gift.
Please come and once you sit down in the venue, just chill and open yourself up to receive what you need for YOU. I am hoping we have a cozy-crowd kinda time together. God moves in mysterious ways and I have asked him to do just that at Rising.
See you there by the grace of God
For now, stay lifted and hold fast to your Saltiness!
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Is your child about to go off to college in the West? Then please click this link to read my post on Pulse.Ng.
It is me sharing my experiences as a Christian parent of children who studied/are studying in America. I love to visit that country but people of God, it is not a place to send your child without prayer! Where is actually but you get my point, right?
Anyway, the bottom line is I don't want you to 'wing it' like I had to.
I want you to prepare your children well before they go.
Hope you click to read!
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
“PapaGod, is it that you don’t want me to know what happened? Or perhaps you are testing my patience, to see if I can trust you totally on this matter? I just need to know. Sometimes, the not knowing almost hurts more than the pain of my loss. Sometimes I feel like I am sinking under waves of pain”.
“Salt, please get over yourself. Go out there and help others going through the same thing and leave the rest to me. To stop sinking save someone else from drowning”
At first, I thought that response was rather harsh but then I got it. God loves me and if I am in the centre of His will, all that transpires is from a place of Agape love. Even when I don’t get it; especially when I don’t get it. Trusting God’s unquestionable love is the key to my peace.
So I wiped my tears, blew my nose and got up from my place of weeping and began to write. This poster you see below is the outcome of that meeting with my PapaGod at the 2017 ROTH.
I would like to specially invite you to this programme. I am so happy with the interest shown so far. Not only have registrations coming in, I have young ladies volunteering to help (to each of you I am sending love and light).
It is true, when you are running an errand for God, he moves for you. On that day at ROTH, he told me precisely who two of the speakers would be and who to invite as Coaches. I was anxious because I was not sure if they would all agree but that was foolish of me. If God said to invite them, I should have known they would graciously agree. And they all did. God will bless them all for me. I cannot wait to sit and listen to them all share on how to rise up from pain into purpose! And God will bless you too as you prepare to attend (to register, simply send your full name to firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or share this blog or the poster within your network.
Can I just say something? While this is not meant to be a cry-fest, some of us might cry. And that would be fine. I believe we, especially we Christians need to learn to honour our grief better. I personally felt rushed as if being sad or crying was somehow a negation of my faith. The Bible says mourn...but not like one that has no hope. It does not say 'mourn quickly and move on' nor does it say 'don't mourn'. It just says when you mourn, hold fast to your hope that God's got you. Regardless, At least,this is my take on it. Come, and let's hear the takes of our three Speakers and Coaches. When I look at this poster, I just smile and bless God! So much experience and godly wisdom in one place!
So, see you on the 30th of September 2017. It will be the first Saturday after Sholly’s birthday on September 25th. She would have been 37. I hope you come join me in celebrating my AburoChild in a very meaningful way. Yes, join me as I seek to bring God-directed purpose out of my pain and I pray that, regardless of why you come, you will hear a 'word' from God just for you.
Till then, stay lifted and hold fast to your Saltiness!
And yes, Happy New Month!
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Your Turn will come. When it's Your Time
I had never been to Paris. Considering I studied French in school and have first and second degrees in it, that's pretty odd, right? But it's true. Prior to this divinely orchestrated trip, the closest I had come to a French-speaking country was Lome.
I spent one summer there in form 3 when I was at Queen's College and another six months during my third year at University of Uyo. That's it. But I love the language so add my academic knowledge to working in a French bank for a French boss who refused to speak to me in English (God bless you M. Riboux!), I had enough to make me pretty fluent.
All my life I'd wanted to visit Paris. I dreamed of going there for my honeymoon. No. I planned to go there for my 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th anniversaries. No. And now, one month after my 24th one......
I finally have! And as I sat on "Le BatoBus" that crazy hot but beautifully sunny day taking in the iconic sights, I was a little stunned at how 'just like that' I was here. In Paris! On a boat! With my MGM! Taking photos of The Eiffel Tower! How could this be?
Elevator usfie een zee elevator of our 'otel😀
La Tour Eiffel! Magnifique!
Double back 365 days, it wasn't even a thought. The only reason I was there was because my trip back from an official training in the Netherland had been routed through Paris. I didn't ask for that. Why would the Travel team do that? Why? Because, clearly Sholly and God were up to something. My turn to visit Paris had come! More than 30 years had passed since I wished it and MY time had finally come. And People of God, I have to say, the timing made perfect sense. I had to be this age, dealing with my stuff to fully appreciate my Paris.
Can't remember where this is but it's in Paris!
So it's gorgeous!
Lesson Learned: Embrace your lane. Trust God. Don't look over into the other person's yard. The 'grass may look greener' but as Maya Angelou once said, 'but their water bill is higher too!" Stop comparing your journey to another's. God's map for your life's trek is as unique as your DNA. Everything good will come for you too when it's your turn. And your time.
Madame La Liberte!
Just Step Up And You'll Do It
Confession time! I love training courses but I hate training exercises. You know, group or break out sessions? But they are inevitable. So even though I loved the content of the course I was on, I was not looking forward to the final team role play.
But over the years I have learned to embrace my discomfort zones. And just do it. And thanks to Sholly I am becoming a guru at not sweating the SSAMS. The 'Small Stuff Appearing Mega in my Mind'.
Time doing that is time squandered. I'm living for two now, so every second counts. So, I exhaled my fears and inhaled grace from above and decided I was going to nail it. And I did. Thoroughly enjoying myself in the process. This was one of my most fun role plays. You would have thought Birgit and I were joined at the hip! We did good and got great feedback!
How come? Well, first of all, I had a great partner and we prepared well. Plus, I prayed. As. In. Speaking in Tongues Prayed! And we nailed it😇
Sur la route de Champs Elysees! Golden Smiles.
Like Sholly's 🌻
Lesson: Pray. Prepare. Practice. Feel the Fear. Pray some more for peace. And then? Just do it. You'll be fine. And always ask yourself one question: What's the worse thing that can happen? You bungle. So what? Will the world end? Really? Trust me, it will not.
But I'm confident you won't fail. Why? Because the King lives in you. He never fails so neither can you.
You will always come out laughing.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
Choose, because, Baby, Only You Can
I was anxious about going back to The Hague. As suspected, I broke down as soon as I walked into the reception area of my hotel. It was at this same reception that I had met my Sholly back then in March 2016 when she had come to visit me. It was also where we had hugged as we got ready to say our goodbyes as, 4 nights and 5 days later, I headed off to catch my flight back to Nigeria and she, her bus back to Poland.
That was the last time I was to see my sister alive and while it still breaks my heart. I am so grateful to God for granting us that time. It took me some time to 'centre' myself by deliberately choosing to 'enjoy' re-living every moment I spent with her. I went to every shop we visited together. I went to every spot in C23 we stood on together and breathed. And smiled. And knew I'd be OK during my course.
As long as I kept making the right choices. And I did.
I chose to enjoy learning. I chose to participate fully. To be present. Afterwards, I chose to meet up with friends when normally I'd just curl up in a ball in my hotel room eating and watching TV. And talk about eating I chose to experience the new! Many things I'd have shunned before, I ate. Mussels! Sushi! Ceviche! I tried them all! Because you only live once! And I want to live my 'once' loudly.
To live loud, the first person you must treat good is you. Because you can't give out of an empty bucket. So, I chose to forget about everything and everyone that sought to steal my peace and focused on treating 'me' good. For me and equally important, in honour of Sholly.
Lesson 1: Daily, we face situations or memories that seek to steal our joie de vivre. We face people that seek to keep us in our past. Beholden to our old selves. No. We must choose to not let them. And making this choice is something that you must do yourself. No one can choose life for you. It's your call. And you don't have to wait for anybody's permission.
To Choose Your 'Now', Letting Go is By Force
I left Nigeria deeply troubled. For reasons separate from Sholly and the dilemma of going or not going to Poland.
I just felt broken-hearted as the scenes of my recent reality played over and over in my head. Being a wife and a mom to young adults can be so crushing sometimes. I cried part of the way; then watched 'Hidden Figures' and 'The Fence' till I got to my destination. Already shared how I got through the first day but do you know what I did to make sure I was not distracted in class?
I chose me. Yep. I packed all the issues, put them in a box, tied a pretty bow over it and tucked it away. You know, like men do. The only time I brought that box out was during any of the Hallelujah Challenges I was able to join. I handed my loved ones over to my PapaGod. You know why? Because I can't come and go and kill myself away!
Lesson 2: I am a mom. True, I have some super powers but still, I'm not God. I am a wife and while it's true that the neck turns the head. Turning the head is sometimes not enough. The head needs a reset. The kind that comes from God. So, I have learned to take deep breathes and leave people to God. Let them make their own relationship beds. Pray over them as they struggle over the sheets and fluff their own pillows. Then step back. Bottom line? Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can do for a loved one is entrust them to God.
To be continued❤️
P.S I love these photos and dedicate this blog to these three ladies and all my course co-participants❤️. Thank you all for helping me create new memories.
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