Sunday, August 21, 2011

Responsible Parenthood?!

RESPONSIBLE Parenthood?!

I think there is redundancy in that phrase. I believe that you can not be called a parent if you are not responsible. However, in this generation, I have witnessed painted pains because some people just enjoyed the baby-making part and didn't want to have anything to do with child-rearing.

Lately, I conducted a workshop on Storytelling to Compassion teachers and volunteers. I've always been passionate about Storytelling and I make it my mission to spread the secrets of the craft, tell unforgettable stories and make other people yearn to be storytellers themselves. That's my answer to the call in Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing...". This way we can saturate this world with the wonderful story of salvation. That is my main goal.

In addition to that, I see that by storytelling we train our kids to be responsible. See, storytelling (with minimal or no props)  gets their minds working; they imagine, analyze, decide. That is how we want our kids to be when they grow up - men and women who will be creative enough to find solutions, to analyze situations and then decide and take ownership of the decision. When we raise them that way, that's responsible parenthood.

I am not a parent but I desire to be one someday. I don't have kids but i have worked with kids for many years. I discovered that parenthood, though it is a lot of work, is actually just mastering the simple stuff that make up the bigger stuff. Like, if I want my kids to grow up organized, I just need to let them be comfortable with following systems and procedures.

When coming in from school, (1) take off your shoes (2) put them on the rack (3) put soiled socks in the bin. A three-step system is not complicated but once they mastered it, you can build on it the 'big' chunks of your daily work that usually stresses you. That is why again, I have considered storytelling as essential. It is a fun, no stress activity, yet the benefits are long term. That's IF, you take your storytelling session seriously.

Our parents :)
Maybe I'm idealistic. Or maybe, I have just been around people who sunk at parenthood. Or maybe, I just appreciated very much the way our parents raised us (3 girls). No, we didnt always have a clean living room, or bedroom. Yes, we did pressure our parents to 'save' us because we needed to submit a dollhouse project the NEXT DAY!!! But, NO, we never tiptoed around the house, we never mixed fresh school uniforms with sweaty PE shirts and we never heard our parents sigh when we asked them questions. Yes, my mother is a worrier and complains a lot but in all her complaining, not one bit did we hint that it was about raising us, THREE Girls. No, not even a hint of worry that we'd come home pregnant! (By God's grace no one has and will remain that way!)

And here's what I think are the essentials to parenthood:

1. A deep commitment to Christ - No order is possible without Him at the center
2. A deep commitment to each other - No one should bail out
3. A deep commitment to joy - No one should say it is missing

Those three things are core to parenthood. The rest just stems from them. Being a parent is a gift. I don't think we cannot refuse that gift when given to us. So, "Let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

*Note: I recently am on the 30-Day Blogging Challenge with my other blog A November Miracle. Ha!!! this is my second day and I was to write about something I feel strongly about. Here's the first thing that came to mind. I thought I'd share it with the readers of this blog.

Friday, August 12, 2011

When We Wait

Thank you for waiting. Finally, a post! *big smile*

Waiting is a theme that is hard to write about. Scratch that. It is easy to write about but hard to live through. It’s an active – passive activity that requires a lot of patience. In fact, to make waiting legitimate, PATIENCE is the only requirement. If your fuse burns, you stop. Then, waiting is terminated.

If you wait, however, you get the reward for waiting. What’s the reward? The exact thing you’ve stood in the line waiting for!!!

The coffee needs a few minutes to brew. Instant coffee never, never tastes like the freshest brew.
The caterpillar needs to cocoon before it becomes a butterfly. Butterflies look better than cocoons.
A mother waits for 9 months to birth a baby. Nothing is more beautiful than a new born baby.

Recently, I had an experience of waiting for two and a half hours outside of YakiMix, a restaurant, to be seated. Why, it served the best Japanese Eat-All-You-Can in the country!!! There were of course some restaurants nearby, but my companions and I waited. I tell you, I had the most unforgettable sushi experience that night! Imagine if we walked away after seeing that we were 32nd on the list of reservations?

A photo I took of them last week :)
Last week, I had a great time with my cousin, Sherl and her fiancĂ©. They were beautiful to watch.  Sherl is a happy woman. A few years back, she started cross stitching a design on a cloth, which to us meant that she was happily resolved to being single. (You know, that "sewing-on-a-rocking-chair-with-a cat-by-her-foot" scenario!) And then HE came! She told me, she has no reservations about splurging for her honeymoon because she waited…THEY waited. In November, everyone in the family is coming home to witness their union. Imagine if she whined when she was single, or ran off with the first guy who was ready to prey on her singleness?

I only have one hobby I am having a hard time controlling – rummaging through second-hand book stores! I failed again yesterday. Well, almost! I’d like to believe buying THAT book was the right thing to do. You see, ten years ago, there was one book I visited very often at the bookstore and never had the chance nor the money to get it. It costed more than a student could afford. At least, the student that I was. It was DC Talk’s Jesus Freaks. I was also then, very much of a DC Talk fan, thus, the desire for the book.  Yesterday, it laid on the corner of the bookstore, about 90% cheaper than its original price!!! Second thinking was not my option. I bought it, with a very wide grin at the cashier! Same words, same power, same stories…just at the right time! Imagine, if I insisted on getting it at that particular time ten years ago?
Jesus Freaks!!! Ayomide Akinkugbe will hate me for posting this! haha!

Waiting outside Yakimix with an angry stomach and the lure of the Indian Resto beside was not enjoyable. For Sherl, cross stitching and waiting on God to send her man was slow paced. The "rocking chair" kept her moving but got her nowhere. Well, waiting for the book was not that of a big deal…I never even thought I’d come across it again!

But, if we walked away from YakiMix, if Sherl pitied herself, if I got the book despite my finances, then this post would not be here. ( God knew I’d be writing this…I see Him laughing in amusement now! )

When we wait for the things we can hardly wait for, we build the appreciation for their worth and the capacity to have them for a very long time.

Yeah, I ate Maki for what felt like 2 hours!
The YakiMix Smiles. That's Mark, Eirene and I :)

I suggest Francesca Battistelli's "Hundred More Years". Kinda like what I am saying. Enjoying at at the moment :)

p.s. Thanks for the encouragement Sir LDP!!! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A BLESSed Affair

This is long due post but I'm posting the pictures anyway! God worked miraculously in the lives of the 9 children we had at our center for 6 months. They are now enrolled in public elementary schools. May God continue to make them shine.

Our graduation was last May 14, 2011. I know, this is a very very late post. But hey, God's goodness should be retold. God's goodness is always good never become late news. Enjoy the photos. Thank you for your support, prayers. I continue to be encouraged!

Wonderful Smiles, arent they? The blue shirts are from my friend, Jumoke :)

Add caption

Zoren gave them a reading :)

Above: With Ma'am Arlene  and Gladys, my Assistant; Below, with Church Elders

Above: With their happy parents; Below, with the volunteers and Church Elders

Praise God for His work and for the JOY it brought to everyone who took part in the ministry. We are starting a new batch in November. Praying again for God's hand on it. 
Soli Deo Gloria!!!!