Date Archives January 2018

Boarding House Reflections (3)

Hello people. Thanks for sticking by. Here is the last post for this series. I’m hopeful for more blog series in the future. This was my remark at it’s start:
” This brief series of posts that will be coming up, is aimed at reflecting on the human thought process given a few years interval. Graduating from secondary school often brings a different perspective and fresh enlightenment to many students. 
Same will probably apply in a few years from now. A change in thought process based on growth, it is wonderful to track it.

My letter:


Dearest Sparkles,
You would never have believed I, of all people, would forget the name “Sparkles“. But I did love, not until much later when I must have either discovered an old book or an old friend called me by that name. The name used to be my cuteness signature.

I would take a friend’s notebook in their absence, open randomly to the middle, scribble “sparkles” boldly, then write below in a small font “when you see this, remember I love you and smile” or something similar to those words. They always did smile. On a very random day, they’d get to that part of their notebook, see it and later come to hug me saying they saw what I wrote. And then we would both smile big goofy smiles. How easy, right?

A smile. In the years that follow, you would smile some more. Smile not so much because any friend did anything wonderful, but because you’ve learnt to find home in yourself. You do remember that at some point, mum and Dorcas told you you derived too much pleasure from friends. You thought it was true even then. How couldn’t it be, with a heart as warm as yours? You’ve had your share of losses; friends being one, and you’ve learnt to smile and find joy in your being. In God in you, and not necessarily from friends.

Friends. Many of them. Boarding school drew you into personalities, both in junior years and senior years. You fought with friends and stood strong by them, loyal. You read each other’s diary entries. You also had gists that lasted long into the night by joining those in room 5. Room 5 was for SS3 students you in SS2, knowing fully well you had boarding school routine and classes the next day while they were free, still you gisted. You covered each other’s secrets because young as you were, you had secrets, however silly.

Secrets. It was no secret who your special friend was. Occasionally, I now laugh, amused, when I recall how those silly juniors would chorus the refrain to the song call that was “senior Deborah,…” with “senior George is calling you!”. And Tosin, my roommate, wouldn’t stop teasing me.

But you care to know what I would appreciate later on? The launch into a fountain of life which I still drink. I recall my gists with Patience, nights in which she would fill me in on every detail about the two guys who liked her. I contrast them with mornings with Tabernacle, Tabernacle who had a beautifully strange name. It’s etched somewhere in my mind, her saying “the day I was going to resume here, even though I knew the meaning of my name, I had to ask my dad again because I knew you guys would ask me“. Meeting Tabernacle, was my first encounter with a young person who really loved God. Tabernacle would dash my belief that I was faithful in my morning devotions (after all, I observed it about three or four times out of seven days compared to some other people). Hers was a daily fellowship. We were roommates not by accident. I remember the times I cried because I wasn’t very serious with God. I remember the times we spoke and the wisdom she demonstrated (which was obviously beyond her years). I remember when she introduced room devotions on Saturday mornings (other than our cooperate hostel devotion as a Christian school) – an innovation which in retrospect, was a divine inspiration. I’ll like my daughter to blaze trails like Tabernacle. People came from the other apartment to join our room devotion. People came from other rooms just to observe. Tabernacle didn’t always know that. Some days, she only knew of her troubles that were inexplicable and she shared a lot. Blessed heart.
This is why I’d tell my younger version that the world is much larger than it seems and things aren’t always as bad as they appear. Tomorrow would be a lot better than the confusion of your teenage years.

It’s great you share a lot, you’ll find that relevant in the years to come.
Honesty and simplicity leave you precious in this dark and cruel times.
The gists you had about God were an investment into the jewel you now are, and it doesn’t fade. The gists you had about boys haven’t necessarily made the male folk easier to decipher. So why bother?

Debby, as you call yourself now, I love that you were daring and adventurous. It makes me happy to know you lived out your secondary school days. Days of horrific dancing, days of food exchange, borrowed items and young love.
I love you always, continue to learn with arms spread wide and the wind in your face. Your evening stroll routine helps mental health. Like I always advice my younger sister now, don’t miss watching the sunsets. In the few years that would succeed your graduation from secondary school, you wouldn’t have so much opportunity to watch the Sun set, so don’t miss it today.

Importantly, Sparkle!, because there aren’t two of you in this world. There never would be.
Love,
Big Debby.

N.B: The names used in this post are fictional substitutes.



Hope January 2018 has been good.
As Always, I’ll love to hear your thoughts. Comment and share.
Love and Peace,
Debby.

Boarding House Reflections (2)

Hello good people. Thanks for all the love you’ve been showing on the blog. It does matter. Bloggers always appreciate comments, on and offline. Though you should always feel free to comment on the blog. It springs up conversation and makes it a lively page. Merci beau coup.
Today, someone else is sharing her school reflections with us on here.
Sharon is one girl with whom I used to gist for hours back in the days. She had this celebrity bunk bed while in ss3. She used to daydream there. Since she had no bunkmate, she removed the matress and wooden planks on top and would gaze up at the decking, mapping out her future husband and children. I was always welcome to lie on the bed with her and go to lala land.
I can relate to some of her experiences on here and I was just laughing while reading it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. Thank you Sharon for agreeing to write. 
She is a spoken word artist.
***********************************
MY SECONDARY SCHOOL DAYS! THE CONS AND PROS OF BEING AN EXECUTIVE OF THE FELLOWSHIP AT CHAPEL SECONDARY SCHOOL. 
In case you don’t get it, the name of the school had to be included in the title because Chapel secondary school located in Kwara state is arguably one of the most ‘spiritual’ (religious) schools in Nigeria, when you exclude convents and seminaries😁
Therefore, when you apply for admission into this School,  it is expected of you to know and understand that you have invariably agreed to surrendering your life to Jesus. So being an executive in the Fellowship of this school should mean that you are sitted with Christ in the heavenly places😁 No more, No less! 
So what were the Pros and Cons of being a religious head as a young Secondary girl? Join me!
Let me take you one year before I became an executive, my junior secondary School years, JSS3 to be precise. I was a lively girl; not the prettiest nor brightest in class (maths was and still is a problem) but I was friends with almost all. I never knew what if felt like to have a crush until then. This boy who was a very good friend of mine gave me two cards for Christmas.
My first gift from a guy! you have no idea what that meant. Someone, a human being, thought of me and then carried his legs and went to buy cards for me, you can laugh now,  but it wasn’t so much a joke for 10 year old me. I held them to my chest, I would read the words every night and think about them. By the way, the words on the card were about the birth of Jesus 😂 I don’t know how they were making me feel mushy mushy (emotional)😂
I tell you,  when you are in love, you’re just stupid (full stop) 
Now, I can say this was my first real attempt at heart matters; feelings, crushes and all and it didn’t last; Why?
If I remember well,  people were saying stuff. You know how Secondary School people are. A friend will come and say
“I heard he told one of his friends that you are cheap”,
 you will hear another girl say that another girl said that
“Sharon that does not have sense, she thinks he likes her”
Oh Girls! They can ruin marriages. 😂😂😂 
I remember telling a friend back then that if there could be so much drama when we weren’t even in a relationship, what will happen if we were more.
So, I started keeping my distance and moving farther away from him. It really wasn’t any big deal, even he had moved on and then I moved into the boarding house, in my Senior Secondary School year 1 and this is where the story begins. 
Just as I got into the senior class,  I became reserved. Was it because I moved into the hostel? I don’t think so because I remember on the first day of school that year, people were asking me, 
what’s wrong with you?’
‘why are you quiet’
 and I remember I kept answering in all sincerity that there was absolutely nothing wrong. Some of my teachers even thought I had a terminal sickness like cancer or something. My walk became slow, I became less chatty but I can’t trace it to the fact that I moved to the hostel because whenever I was in the hostel, I was more lively, at least a little more. I will chat and make jest with friends and juniors, about boys and other stuff
Now I was to be considered for the post of being an executive in the School’s fellowship, this was the second term of the school year. This was going to change my life forever. How:
Firstly,  because you would almost become socially dead😁 
As an executive, not only do people automatically assume an air over your life,  you also naturally get to have some changes in your life. Many people will say this change is called ‘being fake’ but perhaps not for everyone.
For example, I was made the Assistant prayer Coordinator, this meant that Fridays which every school Student used to look forward to as the fun day since it was the end of the week and you will walk to the  road with your pals or that guy you liked; it wasn’t the same for me.
As an executive, one will sometimes have to skip classes in the morning so as to arrange the hall for the School fellowship which held every afternoon. I remember my mathematics teacher always complained about me being unserious because it happened to be that his classes fell into the morning period. Also, after fellowship, you’ll clean up the hall and then as the Prayer unit head which I was, we would have our weekly prayer meeting, which could run for about two hours or more (more actually), into the evening. We actually did love it! We were like this clique, we will gist, make jest, and though our lives were not to the admiration of others but we really were fine. By evening time, my mates in the hostel are already done strolling round the school hand in hand with their crushes or chilling out, catching up with the guy they liked but I wasn’t even given that luxury. Not because I didn’t have a crush.
Oh I did,  let’s talk about him!
Dark, well built, Big boy gait, he was a year my senior. You see, even as an executive, I had my eyes fixed on the Lord and the corner of my eyes fixed on the boy😂😂😂 Hallelujah.
Now,  he wasn’t an executive. He  was one of those guys people will call a ‘bad boy’. You know,  back then in school, as long as you really weren’t an executive,  you had the tendencies to be called a bad boy or a bad girl,  For no reason! 😂 or simply because you were being a youth of your age, liking a guy or being in a relationship. 
Now, this guy never looked at me twice, he couldn’t have! I didn’t even used to dress cute and nice, I didn’t used to walk like a girl, I still don’t. People say I bounce, it’s so embarrassing and I’ve tried but you see if it’s not in you, it’s not in you. 
You know, there were girls who used to dress well and girly, nice hair do, little make up (cos my School will slaughter you if you had much make up). I was on a freaking low cut! I would hardly use powder, not because I had a problem with it but because I just didn’t think about it, not even because I was caught up in my responsibilities as an executive. There were executives who were better and more pleasing to the eye😂.
 Even if all things were being equal and this guy noticed me, there was no way any thing could have happened because as I have written earlier, there is a natural assumption made over you once you are an executive. Some would even say it’s hard to believe you like anyone,  like you are without emotions and feelings and also,
HOW CAN YOU, AN EXECUTIVE IN CHAPEL SECONDARY SCHOOL THINK OF GOING INTO A RELATIONSHIP! When you are not mad. 
A friend of mine who was an executive almost went into a relationship,
oh my! 
The higher authorities went ablaze! By the higher authorities, I refer to those above us; the teachers and Patrons. In fact, it got even me into trouble. I remember one of the teachers called me and with a serious tone asked
What were you looking at till she got to this point where she wants to go into a relationship with him, and of all people, him!”
The problem again was that the guy she liked was one they considered to be ‘not Christian enough’
These were the cons. Your life was being monitored, sometimes excessively. Now, this is what could lead into being fake.
I remember the day I applied gloss to my lips (lip gloss)😂, normal ordinary lip gloss o, all those types most of us used back then in SSS3; brown with tiny shimmers so that it looked mildly like lip stick, I used it, innocent me, and one of the teachers called and gave me a sound lecture on how I was not to be doing ‘such’ because I was an executive. 
Another time, when were to fill in information for our year book, I wrote my nick name to be ‘Sha-baby’ because that was what many called me, a teacher called me and said ‘as a Christian, do you think it is right to write such a thing as your nick name’
Guys, I was weak.
I was so confused.
So you see, being an executive could deny you some of the Senior Secondary school thrills, but can we out rightly say it was all bad. No, my quest for the knowledge of God started, I learnt to be by myself.
Now, Yes, many who were not executives also had a relationship with God. Did I hear someone say that’s a win-win (Lol) while some were executives and lived fake, some were executives and lived true.
 I hope at this point,  you see my point *chuckles* did you notice what I just did now,  point-point, Some will say it’s nothing,😎 Forget it! 
Anyways,  my point is that at every point in time (Oh God! I did it again! I know right, I’m such a genius😂) Well, at every point of our lives, God is teaching us stuff, even for those who had not surrendered their lives to Christ back then,  God was writing a beautiful story of their lives, of everyone of us.
And even now, in a few years time, you will look back at this present moment you’re in,  and smile then shake your head and say… “But babe, you could have done things better” and that’s because you have a better understanding and have become a better person and you’ll be grateful you went through every twist, turn, normalcy and mistake, because it all has been wrought into a beautiful script and that script is you!
Ciao
************************************

Hello, my name is sharonpaula. I am currently running my National Youth Service Corp Scheme in Delta State. 
Oh, I love writing spoken word pieces, making spoken word videos and editing them.
I am a very silly and sincere girl and I can be fun to be with.
You can check out my spoken word pieces on Instagram @iamsharonpaula or reach out to me on my mail sharonpaulaspeaks@gmail.com
***********************************
*clears throat* Are there some other people in the house, for whom math(s) was and still is a problem? Do testify.
As an exco though, we truly were seated In heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Prayer band helped me at that time. It was always a long stretch of hours which, funny enough, was our delight. We became a mini-family! Like Sharon, I can say that was when my dedicated quest for God started (with lots of up and down though!). 
What do you make of Sharon’s story? Interested in sharing your boarding house (secondary school) story with us? Did the ‘higher-authorities’ influence you in school? Did you (or others) think you were being fake? We’ll love to hear your thoughts.

Boarding House Reflections (1)

This write-up came to me saved as “For Sisi”. Gbemibori Is a good friend and has a poetic tongue. With some training, I say she would make a good spoken word artist!
This brief series of posts that will be coming up, is aimed at reflecting on the human thought process given a few years interval. Graduating from secondary school often brings a different perspective and fresh enlightenment. 
Same will probably apply in a few years from now. A change in thought process based on growth.
I’m sure you will enjoy this trip to her boarding house years with her.
***********************************
​Dear Bori,
I remember my first few weeks in the boarding school. I cried till my eyes refused to be anything but red. During dinner, I’d sit on the slab attached to the Js1 preparatory class and literally weep inconsolably. I remember that people would pass by from the dining hall and wonder at the peculiar girl holding a festival of tears. I missed my home so much that I decided that by crying for so long every day I could force the hands of my unseeing parents excited at thrusting me into the hands of Independence.
Lesson 1. Never let the fear of uncharted waters keep you from walking on its surface.
The story of Peter in Mat 14 reminds me of all we do, yet criticise in life. He launched out into the deep on the thrill of the situation but couldn’t find sustenance because he lost his grip on the provider of that excitement. As he grew in his walk with Christ, he later shared about how the sincere milk of God’s word takes us beyond the beginning point of our relationship with Him. My happiness at being allowed to go to a boarding school was something I couldn’t’explain. Being the last child, I saw it as an opportunity to make decisions on my own without the influence of my nuclear and sometimes extended family. So, I went to the market in Lagos with my sister and shopped with much excitement but suddenly, out of the blues, I experienced a choking feeling of loss the day I was taken to school and that marked the beginning of my tear tales; something I would never forget quickly.
Lesson 2. While on water, expect  the waves
I had many interesting moments, like telling my parents that I needed to change classes because I was topping a class with 60% only to drop dramatically in the next term. Particularly, I remember my bunkmate in senior class. She’d sing loud songs and almost be without clothes in the large hostel area. She’d bring friends to the room who I’d meet after school hours on my bed, refusing me the opportunity of resting from the tiring classes. One thing I remember was our opposing beliefs; She, a Muslim, Me, a new Christian. 
So, I tried to force rules down her throat and she in turn ridiculed me before her friends. When she agreed to pray with me at the beginning of one term, I felt victorious. But the victory didn’t last because of the compromises I made. I let her pray the Muslim way in a bid to foster togetherness and she led me headlong into the things I screamed evil over.
I look back and I see that the missing link was my communion with a God I had recently accepted. Instead of craving for growth in Christ that would birth transformational yet unforced changes in people, I slowly slinked back into the life I had renounced.
Lesson 3.  True Love waits 
Solomon’s bride accurately captures the mind that oozes youthful exuberance; the need to awaken love before its time.  I struggled with this without even realising it. I’d let the onset of puberty almost take me beyond the borders of propriety and just before I could throw caution to the winds, it’d wrap itself around me and refuse to let me go.  The attractions of broken fences hidden behind a thicket of bushes, the lure of flattery from lips like honey were tools for my destruction.
Now, I smile when I realise that the things I ran after now chase after me. The little girl is blossoming into a woman and the love that I felt I desperately needed was patiently waiting in the arms of Abba.
I long to re-write history but one thing stands out in my heart from the words of John – That which we have seen, which we have heard, which our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life. This embodies the importance of various experiences that lead to a closer walk with God.
Walk unhindered in his steps, Bori.
Walk, Run, Fly.
************************************

I’m Oluwagbemibori, an Engineering student with a single focus: God’s Kingdom. 
I love impactful words and beautiful worship. I also dance with David’s passion😀
Let’s share about God’s grace that fuels our interests on Facebook – Olaoye Gbemibori or via email – ogbemibori@yahoo.com
************************************
He launched out into the deep on the thrill of the situation but couldn’t find sustenance because he lost his grip on the provider of that excitement.” I especially love this part.
What are your thoughts on this post? Would you have been friends with Gbemibori from what you can tell of her at that time? Were you a boarding house student or a day student? Has your value system changed radically? Or significiantly remained the same?
Another on the same subject will be put up next week Saturday. Have  great day.
As Always,
Debby.

BOOK REVIEW– Bridge To Haven

Title: Bridge to Haven
Author: Francine Rivers
Publisher/Publication date: Tyndale House Publishers Inc./2014
Edition: 1st ed. 
Paper back copy. 459 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-6818-4

What does Haven signify? Literally, it is a place of rest or safety.
In this book, Haven is the name of a town. The book title signifies a place of grace and mercy for each person. Literally, to enter the town of Haven, you must pass through a particular bridge. Abra Matthews found it hard to come to that bridge once again.
Metaphorically, she also found it hard to pass through that redemption bridge which only Jesus provides.
The Story.
Abra doesn’t feel like ‘somebody’. She feels neglected and unloved. She believes she was adopted at age 5, out of a sense of Christian duty, from the couple who had earlier rescued her when she was found abandoned as a day old baby.
With Mitzi though, she feels differently. Old Mitzi shares her taste for music, is fashionable and doesn’t hesitate to give a piece of her mind.
Pastor Zeke has this to think of Mitzi:





Zeke knew Mitzi as a woman of wits and wisdom… Life experiences didn’t always bring wisdom but in Mitzi’s case it brought a great deal more. She said she’s been passionate in sin, but she was even more so in repentance. She had the gift of compassion for outcasts to prove it.


At age17, this growing red-haired beauty gets lured away from the ones who love her to a place of fame- Hollywood.
She think she’s found love but she is in for a rude awakening. She thinks she’s finally become accepted and respected but finds out fame comes at a terrible price.
Review:
I’m afraid of giving spoilers but I find the plot to be predictable in any case. Inspite of this, it’s a very loaded book, with lots of suspense.
I find the root of Abra’s problem to be the thought that she is unloved. Several references were made as to her thoughts of being a castaway even though she was hugely loved.
We get to contrast love and lust. For one, love is patient.
Francine is good with evoking emotions and well, emotions matter greatly.
It’s a lovely and warm read. I think lots of lessons can be gleaned from the book ranging from patience as an attribute of love, to parenting, and life choices. The Story also had to do with the war between North and South Korea and America’s involvement owing to the United Nations.
Francine Rivers brings it as true and as hot as it gets again. I respect the writing process of this book. Francine always appears diligent with her research and I respect that. Fine details of the Hollywood life and fine attention to every character.
The main characters are Abra, Joshua, Pastor Zeke, Penny, Ryan and Franklin Moss. My favourite character is Joshua.
I think this is a good read. I’ll buy this book for every young and ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. I’ll also recommend it to everyone for its central theme which I deduce to be “Love is patient”.
I recommend it very greatly to teenagers and to everyone at large. I rate it 4.0/5 stars.
On the war:










Every soldier who goes looking for comfort, comes back with VD…I have my pocket Gideon bible on me at all times and read it every chance I get. It calms me, gives me hope. Men call me “preacher”, and not in the mocking way they did in boot camp. When death hunts men, they look for God…”

“Being with Gil made Joshua remember the things he’d been taught. “I forgot the rules” he’d addmited to Gil once during one of their early conversations.
What rules?” Gil had asked.

Rule no one: young men die. Rule number two: you can’t change rule number one. I heard it in training, but forgot it in battle
.”

Sometimes God has to destroy in order to save. He has to wound in order to heal”

 As always,
Debby.
Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading this? Do you have another recommendation for share? Pray tell…