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That seat is taken

That seat is taken
Have you gone to sit down on a chair and suddenly you hear these words ‘ sorry that seat is taken’ clearly there was no one sitting on it otherwise you wouldn’t have made the attempt at all. Sometimes on the trains you actually sit down, either because you didn’t see the reserve sign or you were hoping the person wasn’t coming at all.  Suddenly before you realise there is somebody standing there with some sort of grin/ smile just looking at you with the words ‘ that seat is taken’.
It might just be me but i have come across that many times in life.

That job that you thought was definitely yours, that promotion that you have been preparing for, sometimes it feels like you were just warming the seat for someone to come and occupy. You are not quite sure what happened, did you miss the reserved sign or were you just keeping watch until the right person appeared? I have some very well meaning people in my life and recently when a seat suddenly wasn’t available anymore, there were all sorts of reaction and advice, someone even said you have to kick off. That sounded very tempting, I wanted to throw a big tantrum but upon reflection chose not to go that way. Firstly because it will not be a pretty sight and secondly because I believe there is a seat somewhere with my name on it reserved just for me.

You see where I come from, I have seen people carry their chairs from home to the school just so they can have an education. I have also seen the ones that have made a seat of the concrete floor, a piece of wood,  a brick, anything that has supported their tired legs in order to better themselves.
Do not worry when some opportunities elude you through no fault of yours. Keep trying, keep asking and if for a short time you have to make do with some uncomfortable tools as a chair, then do it with style. What you mustn’t do though is to become so used to the temporary position of insufficiency that you make it your destination. Don’t choose to sit on the floor when there is a chair available  with your name on it , reserved  just for you, don’t get use to being so disappointed that you stop expecting growth / better opportunities.
I am beginning to learn that we are stronger than we think and it is only in these circumstance that we catch a a glimpse of what is on the inside of us. If all opportunities are removed then me may have to create our own. After all, there are people are sitting in comfy chair but still have a bad back.
If that relationship hasn’t worked, cry, laugh scream , throw , do whatever you need to do to express your disappointment but let it be temporary, in a little bit dry your tears, square your shoulders, lift your head high and ask ‘ is this seat taken?’
For your consideration
Simplygyaps

Featured

A warm welcome 

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to my blog.

Iam  a  wife, mum of 3 kids, an employee, a fan of Christ inside out kinda girl.

Iam on a journey to explore what Iam made of, hopeful all the work that is happening on the inside will start showing on the outside.

My journey at the moment is like a building that has scaffolding all around it, outsiders really don’t know how it looks like untill all the scaffolding is removed.

Building sites are by nature messy and chaotic but all being equal the results is worth the process.

Come with me if you are on a journey yourself.

simplygyaps

post

Gratitude


“gratitude turns what we have into enough” anonymous
This week my colleague and I had the privilege of going on a residential with 8 of our young women. This blog is to honour the girls and the lessons we learnt from each other.


The sheer expression on their faces when we reached our hotel was an indication of how grateful they were, the follow on vocal expression confirmed this but also indicated to us they didn’t feel girls from their background should have this opportunity. As I reflected on this I imagined a better world where enjoying a little bit of the finer things will not be dependant on the social economic class of a person and that if one is willing to work hard at the stage they are on their journey they could break free from societal stigma.
The gratitude continued when they saw their rooms and the facilities they could enjoy as part of their stay, as they jumped with joy from room to room and put on their “posh” accents the gleam in their eyes was a sight to behold.


We had gone away with the goal of exposing them to a different kind of life which is normal to certain people but should be available to us all if we can only stretch our imagination. The idea was for these girls to raise their aspiration and start to work on believing in their capabilities, to appreciate their own kind of beauty and try break away from some of the negative labels placed on them.

The 2 nights we stayed there was adventurous to say the least, so many deep revelations from some of them, we saw so much creativity and of course pure fast rhythm that can only be found with the young.

The constant in everything we took part in was the volume of gratefulness that surrounded us. This overflowed into the girls writing cards of kindness for each other and for us. With tears flowing down pretty faces and make up streaming down their tearful eyes, we hugged each other and concluded that we are stronger together.

Our 3 days 2 nights residential has ended but these girls have formed a bond that will hopefully continue, the generosity of individuals created this opportunity for these girls to also be generous with their hearts and words.


I am always grateful and very privileged to be part of their stories and share these intimate moments with them, I was touched by their generosity and their kindness to each other even when it wasn’t always the easiest choice.

For your consideration
Simplygyaps

The waiting room

What is our posture in waiting?
Waiting with an expectation

The waiting room
The picture above is of my cousin at my mum’s birthday party, she was waiting happily and excitedly for whatever came next that day, this kind of waiting with family and friends is usually nice and preferred.


However there is another kind of waiting in life and although this is usually challenging and often unpleasant we all have to sit in one of these waiting rooms at some point in life.

When I was pregnant with my fourth child, I was under the care of a consultant and found myself often in one of these waiting rooms. The first time I sat in there, I had no idea what to expect, I soon realised that I was going to be there for a while and had not prepared for it. I started to look round the room and noticed different postures that people had adopted in the room.

There was the avid reader who seemed oblivious to her surroundings, there was the pro who had brought a friend and were in deep conversations. There was the tired worker who used the long wait to catch up on sleep, then there was the pacer: going up and down and not sure what to do with themselves. I realised that we were all there for different reasons but had the common attitude of just passing through.

As I reflect on different times of waiting for a dream, a promise, a promotion, healing or to go to the next step in my journey, I realise how I wait is very crucial to how the time passes. I have discovered that waiting with an expectation makes all the difference for me. I have had to remind myself that waiting rooms/times are temporary and no matter how long it took, I eventually always got called to see someone.

Sometimes in life it may seem that we will be in this position forever and if we don’t take care we settle in our minds and lose our expectation.

In all those times I sat in a waiting room, I never once made my home there , I learnt to pass the time more bearably, I learnt not to fret too much but never settled permanently in that temporary room.

Somehow in life I find myself almost tempted to settle and make my home in my waiting temporary situation, thank God that this usually passes and I go back to the posture of waiting with the view to move on.

Waiting rooms can be crowded but still very lonely, each with their own thoughts, the nature of it designed with us being on the move but really not going anywhere.
As long as we stick around we are bound to find ourselves in one of these rooms or should I say seasons, that will cause us to pause and wait. How we choose to do this will make all the difference.

For your consideration
Simplygyaps

Locked doors: locked hearts??

Are we making our world smaller?

Recently a thief broke into our shed and stole from us, this act of invasion shook us up as it was a break of our trust, we wondered and worried over it for a bit and then we responded. We updated our locks, increased the number of lights, sensors and made sure we sent out the message that we are alert and no longer prepared to be vulnerable.

As I reflected on how simply and trusting we had lived until this incident, I was reminded of how as human beings we take these same steps in our relationships when our trust is broken.

Oh yes we started out wearing our hearts on our sleeves, we were full of passion and not shy about it, we showed our weaknesses and welcomed help. Then someone abused our vulnerability and we upped our defences and promised ourselves not to be that person again. We hold back a little of our passion and toughen up, keeping our challenges to ourselves, we try to lower our expectation of our fellow humans.

Ah yes we add locks after locks to keep the intruder out, we make sure we tell our friends and our neighbours to be on the alert too. With every break of our trust we love less and withdraw further, we start surrounding ourselves with people who look, sound and act like us. The familiar is safe and the unfamiliar dangerous, our circles become smaller and our influence reduced.

Oh yes we have taken steps to protect our hearts: we are no longer naive and trusting, we show no weakness and no one can hurt us if we control the narrative. As our fear of the unknown grows and our comfort zone becomes warmer, our worldview becomes narrow and I wonder if in trying so hard to protect ourselves we have locked in our potential as well?

Oh yes we have done well to spot the intruder, to keep outsiders out and insiders in, I just wonder if there is another way??
For your consideration
Simplygyaps

The flow is in the pouring

Sometimes the oil in the bottle may seem so small and I wonder if it is wise just to hold on to it, but somehow I come across another whose is completely empty.  As We engage in conversation in whatever simple terms and as I begin to pour my little oil the flow seems to increase.

There is always another who has it worse than you and yes there are others who have it better than you but if only we can keep pouring whatever we can, the oil will keep flowing. It doesn’t make sense in the natural but it just must be kingdom economics, after all a little match light goes far in a room full of darkness.

Sometimes I become inward looking and find so many needs but as I begin to look out I realise just how much I can give. Don’t ever assume the one giving you a smile of hope is completely sorted, they may just have decided to pour that little oil of theirs.

In this season of goodwill May we give someone a hug, a smile, prayer, present and best of all our attention. The oil will stay as it is if not in use, after all the flow can only be in the pouring.
For your consideration
Simplygyaps

dear child

Always Remember
Dear child listen to my words and keep them, as you travel through life there are many things which may come your way to challenge you. Always remember these challenges cannot break you because you are made of tougher stuff, always remember to make your dreams bigger than your reality. People may come your way who may have different plans, different outlook than yours, just remember the path you are on is unique to you. Never forget that our differences can make us stronger rather than weaker, never try so hard to fit in so that you lose yourself.

Always remember to give your best in everything, even when others seem to get away with giving so little, try to forgive often even when you feel justified to hold on to grudges. Choose to remember the lessons you learn from challenges but not the pain, always remember to laugh as often as possible.
Don’t forget to keep on dreaming even when society makes it difficult. Remember not to shrink your dreams to accommodate narrow minded people, rather affect and influence your surrounding with your sparkle.
When you experience unfairness, remember people operate from their point of reference, therefore give them a new view of humanity. Always carry a spare tank of kindness so you can share with unkind people who knows what may be in their own tank?

Don’t forget to create moments and opportunities of thankfulness, find ways to be grateful always. Write down your dreams and read them often so you do not forget, remember reality can be the enemy of dreams.

Never forget you are made for more and no one can take that away without your permission, don’t let the way you look, speak or dress limit how far you can go.
Always remember dear child how very much you are loved.

For your consideration
Simplygyaps

family

In the photo above, I have my kids, nephews and my nephew’s friend and they all are in my family.
Family: Whatever the word means will be different to different people, but for me growing up this was a big deal. Mine was big and varied, my grandma was in charge and ruled her clan, in fact she still does at 90 yrs plus. I grew up to realise some of my cousins/uncles/aunties had nothing to do with blood line, they were friends who had simply joined the family somewhere along their journey. I mean some of them lived with us others came so regularly for their meals it felt they lived with us.
Well this tradition has carried on in my family with my mum and now my sisters too, this summer when we went back home we met one such family member called Boshe.
This little boy whose name simply translates Promise, is small for his age but has a big presence he is a neighbours son who has made friends with my nephew and now part of the family. My sisters made me laugh when they told me a story of when my nephew realised his friend has become family, so apparently they were all getting ready for church and of course his little friend comes in ready for church, my nephew who by this time has done every activity every meal with his little friend turned round and asked with a puzzled look whether his friend is sharing his church as well😃

Summer just gone we all travelled to Ghana and as we were all staying with my big sister in another part of town, my nephew packed and had moved in with his cousins by the time we got there. In my family this is not only right but expected too, well for the 1 month or so that we were in Ghana I will wake up to see little Boshe there too, I will often hear my nephew ask for his lunch and for his friend too. We planned a family trip and when I got out little Boshe was waiting to get in the car. In all this period I only met his mum once, never knew her name but referred to her as Boshe’s mum. My kids were telling me how very nice and receptive she was when they went to say hello, because of course she has become family through the link of her son. When I needed a few essentials to come back to England , she went and got them for me without even speaking to each other.
Well yesterday my sisters rung me only to break the sad news of her passing on suddenly, a strong emotion of sadness rose within me and I couldn’t stop but think of the impact on little Boshe, I have only ever seen him with her and no one else. I was amazed that although I knew little of her and her life, her death has affected me so much because without realising it this woman has become my family.
I called my sister and I was not surprised that my nephew and his little friend are together in such a difficult moment and that it will be up to my sister to try to explain to him why his mum is not coming back😩

Family: sometimes it is a given but mostly it is who you allow in and how you treat others, when people sense growth in an environment it is only natural that they gravitate towards that place or people. who are you helping to grow or who is helping you on your a journey of discovery?
For your consideration
Simply gyaps

lean in

Lean in

This year my sister had to undergo a major surgery and as this was her third, we were all praying but also on edge as you do😐. When we all got together this summer we spoke about that fateful day and how we felt individually and collectively, one thing was clear we were very grateful for each other as we all needed carrying at one point. The truth that gives me much joy is that this kind of support doesn’t always come from blood sisters, I have so many sistren and brethren too who are geographically closer to me than my blood family.

This week we have heard many stories, many opinions and many writings on mental health/suicide/people suffering in silence. As we read about the poor and the rich, the famous and the unknown, the adult and the child, those who had faith and those who didn’t, we all ask ourselves why?

My fear is that, this week will pass and we will go about our business and forget about the stories until next year when it is suicide awareness week. We forget how very real and how very close these sad stories are in our communities.

Earlier on in the week, I was upset about something that was said in a conversation, the more I thought about specific words in the said conversation, the more upset I got. It got to the point where my chest was beating faster and I had to lie down for bit, I called my friend/sister and she listened, gave me a few stories of her own from a similar conversation and we eventually laughed about it. What if I had carried on dwelling on it day after day, how bad would it have gotten? What if I had no one to talk to? What if I had chosen  not to talk to anyone about this seemingly trivial incident? Chances are I would have probably moved on sooner than later but this may not be the case for the next person, there  are things we have no control of but they are plenty we can do around us.

Even as you read this I pray you decide to look out for someone around you, that you listen to someone and I mean actually listen to hear, not listening to respond.  May we treat each other better, watch what we say in anger and be intentional about building each other up. May  we lean in when we are struggling and may we allow ourselves to be leaned on when we are in a good place. There are no absolutes just what we can humanly do, after all when I lean in and you provide me a shoulder to lean on we create a balance.

For your consideration
Simplygyaps