Archive for January, 2010

January 31, 2010

Ties That Bind – NaBloPoMo


February at NaBloPoMo.com is the month of ties. No, not those uncomfortable contraptions men slap around their necks… at least I don’t think it’s those. More like the ties that surround us as people: ties to other people, ties to places, ties to the supernatural… that kind of thing. Of course if anyone decides to blog about the neck ties, I don’t think it would be disallowed.

TIES. This theme is really apt for me because I have had to cut some old ties, make new ones and stretch others still. Yet one of the most important ties I have made has been with my husband. So it is quite appropriate in February, the ‘month of love’  to be blogging about ties.

1st Monday Every Month at ChrysalisIn the same vein, tomorrow is Marriage Monday. I have always wanted to participate in this meme but it’s for married folks. Well guess what? I’m one of ’em now…lol. This month, it’s going to have the romance factor (naturally). As e-mom writes:

This month, your challenge is to share how you and your husband make each and every day of your marriage special. What are your daily relationship rituals? How do you nurture the “us” factor? Tell us the big or little things that make your marriage sing like a fine-tuned violin. A few examples:

      • Casual chats
      • Kissing
      • Private jokes
      • Rehearsed phrases
      • Body language
      • Shared activities
      • Favorite foods
      • Division of chores
      • Intimacy signals

Your entry doesn’t need to be fancy, clever, or very long. Just speak from your heart.

So that’s it! When you are done, go back to e-mom‘s and leave a link to your post so the rest of us may come visit.

January 29, 2010

Marital Bliss #1 – Compromise


Mid 2009, I put up a couple of posts about what I termed ‘marital bliss’. These were issues which confronted me as I got ready for marriage. Now that I have been married some months, I went back to the posts to read some of them and discovered that they are still very relevant, not least because of the comments which accompanied the posts. Therefore I am going to re-post them here with the comments. I think I’ll post them monthly and when I exhaust the already published posts, I’ll ask new questions. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.


How far backwards do I have to bend over to make my relationship work?

I’m asking this question because I am beginning to see that my views on marriage are very different from those of the people around me. I still do not think that there is anything wrong with the way I see a marriage (as a partnership), but then, as I am getting so close to that state myself, I have decided to open my mind and learn.

I had a run-in with my dad a few days ago. See, I love to look nice. I love make up and french manicures. Sure they are expensive but I really do not see anything wrong with them. My dad however, comes from the old school of Christianity; the puritans in fact. No, he is not a puritan but his views might as well be. He does not believe in make up, manicures (french or otherwise), fashion or anything that calls attention to a person. All well and good for him, I have no problem with that and even respect him for that. But hey, I’m almost 30 years old and I cannot continue to tailor my likes, dislikes, beliefs etc by my father’s preferences. Or so I thought.

He noticed I had a french manicure on and was really distressed. While he did not claim it was sin, he felt that a true Christian was modest in all things and should be as au neturel as possible. While I feel that he only has that view because the early missionaries to Nigeria were mostly puritan and imported AND imposed their views on their converts. If the missionaries had been Jews, would we not all be dressed in the way the early Jews did?

Anyway, I discovered from that conversation that when he met my mum, she used makeup and manicured her nails. She dropped all that for love of him. According to him, she knew what he did not like and did not do it. That got me thinking.

I’ve had confrontations with my fiance over this. I could not understand why he wanted me to tailor my lifestyle to his likes and dislikes;

I didn’t ask him to change anything about him. If he truly loved me, would he not accept me the way I was and maybe, even love me for me? Should the change he  was seeking be demanded or should it be something that flowed naturally out of love?

I really am confused. I don’t think I have to change for any man. Yes, if I love him I most likely would change to please him. But true love should not ask that of the loved one. Yet when I try to share this view, most people look at me like I’m crazy – men and women alike. I was still confident in my belief until I had that conversation with my dad.

What worries me is that if I keep changing to please a man (especially one whose tastes and expectations will change because he is human), will I not lose myself? What happens to the essential me? When do I put a stop to this? Do I take a stand and risk strife or do I keep changing until I change out of all recognition?

That was why I asked:

How far backwards do I have to bend over to make my relationship work?

Comments:

I’ll post just one comment. If you want to read more, check here.

Ok. So I really want to comment on this for you. I think the answer is that you DO honor what your man prefers. But I dont think u do it because he requires it. I think it becomes a natural desire you have to dress (or not dress) in ways that he doesn’t find becoming.

Follow me for a minute and I’ll see if I can clarify a little bit. I live where it is hot. Almost always. And so. I do not like a lot of clothing, nor a lot of make-up. I’m pretty modest by most standards, but i’m also pretty low-key. Make-up is very occasional for me, but my nails? They are always done. Feet too. And hair. Clothes, I dress in jeans, t-shirts, tanks, the occassional skirt or dress and flip-flops. Well. As me and H are getting closer to marriage, I’m finding that my style is changing. My idea of modesty is evolving. And I find also that the things I didn’t desire to do before, regarding being a bit more pulled together, I want to do more now. Not because he wants it, per se, but just because I like how it feels to know he looks at me and sees what he finds appealing in his woman. For me that has meant a couple of things: I don’t wear tank tops often anymore, unless I know I’ll be with him – because he likes them, but wants them for himself. Nothing he’s said, just something I’ve come to realize. Nor do I wear a lot of make-up or large pieces of jewelry – because for him it’s all makeup and he doesn’t like the idea of me wearing it if he’s not with me. Sounds silly, but he’s said it. And I took it to heart. Because it isn’t about losing myself; it really is about his desire that I treat my beauty as a special gift FOR HIM. I DO wear clothes that are more fitted these days, so that I am more feminine in my appearance, which in general is pleasing to H.

Specifically to hair and nails, he expects hands and feet to be be done. He doesn’t complain if they don’t look unkept, but he likes them manicured at least. My hair: it’s natural. He doesn’t like it. He also doesn’t force his desire. The compromise is that I OFFER to wear it the way he likes to see it. And that means pressing. And because I give that much consideration, when I ask if he minds braids, usually he says ‘that’s cool’ and it works for us both. He likes the different look and I like not having to be bothered w/high maintenance styling, etc.

Mind you, he hasn’t really ASKED for any of this. I’ve done it out of the desire God has given me to be pleasing to H.

Which leads to my next thought. All of htis can very easily be see as losing yourself or being controlled or any number of other negative things… BUT it isn’t, and doesn’t even have to feel that way. You aren’t losing yourself, as much as you are discovering another facet of yourself that was hidden until the right time…

There is real truth in that what is modest for a single woman is not modest for a married (or almost married) woman. The standard shifts a bit because your position changes. Letting go of some of the freedoms of singleness opens the door to enjoy the richness of a oneness in marriage.

Slowly but surely, and little by little, you and your husband will find that balance that works for you both. Don’t be afraid of it.Be willin to embrace it. I was where you are now, and I felt the same way at first, but as I have gotten past my fear and allowed myself to embrace the beginnings of a new role, I’m finding that we are richer for it. He’s evolving too. And it’s a good thing that’s happening between us.

As to the Daddy thing: one of the hardest things in the world for a father is to let go of his daughter and to recognize that she is giving another man first place. The idea that his likes & dislikes take a backseat to her man’s is a hard pill to swallow. My dad has had a hard time w/that. It’s ok. Because it’s love. And fathers love fiercly. Give him some grace. Just let him make it, and know that you are honoring him by learning how to honor the man God has called to be your husband.

One other thought: the nature of your relationship should be a catalyst for you both to grow and become better – because you want to give your best to eachother – whatever that better may look like.

Relationships should not be an ‘if you do this, then I will accept you’ sort of thing. They mirror God’s heart for us. He doesn’t force. He loves. The change comes from His loving pursuit of us, not from Him INSISTING on something different. The more we grow in love, the more we DESIRE to please Him. Marriage should have that same sort of ebb & flow…

~ Posted by Rosheeda

January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday – Communication


Wow! It’s been ages since my last TT post and I am so grateful to be doing this again. Today, on this fine Thursday afternoon, I am thankful especially for communication in all it’s various forms.

  • I am thankful for my phone – without it I would not get to hear dh’s voice. Each time I pick up the phone and he is at the other end, I wonder how I would have survived in the post-telephone era.
  • I am thankful for the internet for a number of reasons. One is being part of a community of women who love God. Another is the Daily Audio Bible; I cannot thank God enough for this. I have a theory that the Bible was meant to be read aloud to a congregation. . .  I don’t know but we read about Jesus reading the word in the synagogue and I cannot remember any instance in the Bible where he went away by himself to read the Scriptures. Oh well, this is just me and it does not mean I will give up reading my Bible, I still do that. But if you like being read to, the Daily Audio Bible is definitely the way to go!
  • Facebook! How can I not be grateful for this site? It allows me to keep in touch with my friends back in Nigeria. Of course it is no substitute for having the friends with you but still. . .

Thankful Thursday is a meme which allows you to take a day out to stop and think and remember what you have to be thankful for. Things may not be going as you want them to; in fact, you might be in a really bad place right now. But if you stop and think about it, there is always (and I mean always) something to be thankful for.

If you are willing to express your thanks, join us here.

January 26, 2010

So Many Questions. . .


Reading and listening to the Bible, so many questions cross my mind. Not deep, theological quandaries I’m afraid, just everyday questions and though they do not add or detract from me one way or another, they keep boggling my mind.

I got a Nokia 56-something for my birthday from my husband. That phone opened a Daily Audio Biblenew world for me – the world of podcasts. I discovered the Daily Audio Bible and since December, 2009 it has been my daily companion. We started the Bible in January and right now we are at the story of Joseph.

Back to my question… I kept wondering; just imagine Joseph entering the royal palace after he was made second-in-command of all Egypt, and all the officials and courtiers are there bowing as he enters. Probably, Portiphar and his Missus were there. How did that woman feel when she had to bow down to the slave boy she had set up years ago? Like I said, it is not a deeply spiritual question but my imagination has been running riot.

If Joseph was a sexy young man at 17… imagine him at 30. . . And she was probably getting washed up, maybe age was catching up with her. Would she have tried to get to him once again or was she too ashamed to even try?

I don’t know and I can’t imagine. Sometimes I wish the Bible went to some more detail (as if it’s not detailed enough!). It’s crazy how we do things without realising that there are ALWAYS consequences. The way we treat people matters alot. Nigerians have a favourite saying no condition is permanent and isn’t that true! We need to be conscious of ‘tomorrow’.

hiding behind the maskOn another note, I have decided to blog anonymously. I will still maintain this blog because I really love it. But for my more personal stuff, I’ll go anonymous. Too many folks getting up in my business (that’s what blogging is for isn’t it?). If you find me out there in blogosphere, be sure to let me know. I will not acknowledge you on the blog though, but maybe an email?

January 20, 2010

Waiting for God


As we drove around the residential area of a part of Kuala Lumpur, I could not help thinking that God brought me here for a purpose. There was a sense of belonging, of being in the right place that pervaded my whole being, which is funny because I am not sure Kuala Lumpur was anywhere in my 10 year life plan a few years ago.

The truth… one truth I am coming to accept is that when God does not allow a thing to come through, it is  because he is planning something even better for me. It is a truth that has taken me ages to grasp and to be honest, I still struggle with it from time to time. I really want to attain that level of trust and dependency on God.

In my daily study of the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, this is what I found:

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
(Proverbs 16:9, New King James Version)

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January 16, 2010

Preparing for the New Year – 10 Questions to ask


I got this questions from a fellow blogger and I just knew I had to answer them…for one, they make me think andreflect. If you like the questions, feel free to copy them and use on your blog, I don’t think she’ll mind. So, here goes!

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

Listen.

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

dexterity as I tackle studies, work, family all without any stress.

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

Pay a lot of attention to my husband.

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

Fasting and Fellowship (Church attendance)

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

Reading novels – restrict myself to a certain number a month.

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

Pray for the leadership and be available to serve.

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

Francis

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

Be consistent in my Christian life

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

Make a Prayer list for each day (I used to do this in my teens, don’t know what happened).

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Be a good mum and build relationships