Notes from Wait is Not a Four Letter Word

Notes from Wait is Not a Four Letter Word, By Rotimi Iyun

 

I was also up to reading this Rotimi Iyun’s o so hilariously put together, yet, deeply spirited book dedicated to single women. It was such a good read, with a lot of notes taken by me, from which I’m sharing a few. Many blessings to her for pouring out so seamlessly, and to Chioma for making us, at the singles women club, to read it.

I’d share some notes according to the book chapters.

 

  1. Wait- whose fault is it anyway?

“this fundamental difference (between the way we see time & the way God does) creates significant tension as we count out days and hours while God is looking at the overall purpose He has planned for us.”

  1. Wait- I already had my chance

“God has promised beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for morning- take him up on his offer”

  1. Wait- you mean forever?

“living your dreams will not preclude your husband from coming, it will quickly showcase the ones who are not going in the direction God is leading you.”

  1. Wait- I’m burning here

“settle it in your mind and heart that you want to stay free from fornication and sexual sin”

“respect yourself enough to place the same value on you that God does”

“you need to put checks in place to help you keep pure because your will cannot always be relied upon to keep you out of trouble”

“we need to ensure we are building ourselves up and not setting ourselves up for sin”

“you need to fight impure thoughts with God’s word”

“make up your mind that you will live sexually pure before God, and don’t be afraid to let other people know your struggles”

  1. Wait- about that biological clock?
  2. Wait- it’s a life skill!

“understanding the why (marriage is important to you) will not only help you gain clarity on your motives, it will help you identify disparities in potential spouses motives… (and) brings to light the things you need to address”

“understanding what you are expecting from marriage will help determine what you need to give to get what you want”

  1. Wait- who am I waiting for?

“everything may not look the way we want it to. We may not get everything we ask God for, but when we trust God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, to see beyond our earthly limitations to a future that only He can see; He will surprise us with the best of what we need as only God can do”

  1. Wait- it’s an action word!

“waiting becomes easier when we understand what we need to be consumed with during that period”

  1. Wait- now what!

“… are you able to set aside your feelings and longings… to rejoice with the person who has the good news now?”

“God, not time, will heal all wounds and restore your heart to a place of health and joy as you stay open to him”

“Give your fears to God and trust that he has your best interest at heart”

“… stop the cycle of hurt with healing only God provides”

  1. Wait- you’re not helping!

“there will be multiple times when some single lady around you will grow tired, and her hands will hang down. Be sensitive to the need around you and lift up those weary hands. It’s not always in words; it’s never an act of pity- it’s a sign of solidarity, a token to say we are in this time together and I am here when you need me”

  1. Wait- we’re not done yet!

“what makes living a worthwhile alternative is faith”

“we need faith. We will only be able to live by faith”

“… faith speaks the word of God to circumstances around it. Faith believes the promises God has spoken. Faith acts on the instructions God has given. Faith hopes even in the face of the impossible.”

“waiting is letting go of a compromising alternative because you trust there is something greater ahead of you”

“don’t forget that God has been faithful in the past. Remind yourself of what God has done for you, your friends and your enemies, then wait for His plan for you to unfold.”

“don’t move ahead of God and compromise your standards”

“the time of waiting… is a time of expectation that concentrates on the joy set before you and prepares you to enjoy the fulfilment of the promise”

 

I hoped you enjoyed reading along.

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Notes from Solid…

Notes from Solid, Building the Marriage of Your Dreams, by Godman Akinlabi, (A 40-day adventure)

 

I actually read this as part of my daily devotionals across many days (missing some days and doubling/tripling up on some other days). I found it quite inspiring and took a lot of notes, of which I’m here to share a few. But I will first like to appreciate the pastor of our singles ministry at church, who shared this book with some of us as a gift. Many blessings.

So, notes are shared according to their modules. The units without any notes are however left vacant, but yet mentioned so we can get to know what completing the module feels like. Modules are emboldened, and units are bulleted.

 

Modules

Communication

  • No more secrets
  • No more constant criticism
  • No more unacountability
  • No more stone walling
  • No more contempt

 

Growing together

  • Your spouse, your friend

“call your spouse your best friend. Just say it! Sometimes when you really mean it, your hearts and actions will catch up to your words. So if it’s really your desires to be best friends with your spouse, start by daring to open your mouth to vocalize it. As you make new affirmations, you will find yourself acting in a manner that is consistent with your words”

  • In loving submission

“sometimes you will need to submit to your partner simply to show that you care”

  • Reinforce your foundation
  • The saving grace of an apology
  • Have you really thought about me?

“you are a product of what occupies your mind…”

 

Love and Sex

  • The gift of the drive
  • Pleasure or pain
  • Crucial conversations about sex I
  • Crucial conversations about sex II

“whatever it is, speak up. Confide in your spouse. Be sincere, direct and vulnerable with your spouse. If it is something you are unable to resolve together, see a trusted expert or counsellor to help you over that hump. Suffering in silence is not the answer. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.”

  • Reignite the fire

 

Emotional Intelligence

  • Controlling anger I
  • Controlling anger II

“if you feel you are about to lose it, remove yourself from that situation”

“if your spouse struggles with expressing anger, don’t provoke him or her unduly. Give them space and help them to find a healthy way to express grievances.”

  • Growing up emotionally
  • Getting out of red: maintaining a fat emotional account
  • Selective amnesia

 

Different Strokes

  • Trading places
  • Accept your differences

“Embracing your spouse’s background and upbringing gives you a chance to learn something new and you might just grow to love that thing that is so different.”

  • Reconcile irreconcilable differences
  • How to handle cultural differences
  • Love your spouse the way he or she understands

 

Facing hard times

  • When storms come
  • Till death do us part
  • Dealing with the slump
  • Keeping love alive in a recession

“the absence of plenty doesn’t equal the absence of God. Seasons of dryness gives opportunity for us to encounter God.”

“the recession can bring out a side of you your loved one didn’t know you had. Ensure it brings out the best not the worst in you! Then your love will deepen instead of fade.”

“communicate your support to your spouse. If you are both doing well, give yourselves some well deserved praise. If times are currently tough, give each other some much needed support. Speak affirming words into your situation and act on some of the ideas you have evolved.”

  • To chill or to thrill

“you must start again to water each other’s emotions with sincere compliments, regular validation, frequent encouragement, consideration, affection and so on.”

 

Faithfulness

  • Dealing with exes
  • Drink from your own well
  • Picket fences and brick walls

“for the most part, your friends and family do not need to be shut out; they just neeed to be shown what lines they are not permitted to cross”

  • To flirt or not to flirt

“don’t treat third parties with more honour and respect than you do your spouse.”

“remember that even if you don’t follow through to the bedroom, flirting with your wife keeps things fun and exciting”

  • Fight fair

“if you cannot forgive, you will fall out of love”

“healthy couples fight for resolution; unhealthy couples fight for their personal victory”

“wisdom, tact and good timing are key for reaching resolutions”

 

A solid home: Dealing with the incidence of third party contributors

  • The place of authority figures
  • Loving the in-laws
  • Money matters

“your family and relationships are irreplaceable. Money is everywhere.”

  • Baggage

“the problem with baggage is that… we transfer and affect people… even when we don’t want to”

  • Foolish friends

“cut (foolish friends) off. You don’t want (foolishness) falling on you by accident”

“… you should not throw pearls to swine”

“Do a relationship audit. Do you need certain kinds of people to enrich your lives? How can you befriend such people? Evolve a line of action.”

 

Hope you learnt something worthy or reinforced something you already knew.

A listening ear might be all you need

So yesterday night, I felt really tired!

I had flunked a test or so, browsing network had disappeared and I was just tired of work shifts! I felt lost at the point! I felt too frustrated for words! Nothing seemed to be happening right and I felt too lost to think of any missing link. I just felt like quitting!

I was praying and panicking at the same time! And I sincerely could not see God, even though I was calling on him.

I felt clueless…

Thankfully, my sister-friend was right within reach, and by some courage, I told her what I was going through… (except the part that I flunked a test. Even me, I have not accepted that yet).

She was amazingly there! Listened. Shared her own stress-moments and encouraged me.

In less than an hour of our gist, I felt better.

Not that the problems suddenly disappeared, but they just stopped to matter. I was able to focus again on joy and happiness.

I owe her a hug.

Many blessings to friends who come through!

Lagos Structures in real life

I witnessed a house being built. In a very short while, it was completed. The house felt so weak in my sight. I could see walls cracking while under construction. I remember telling my friend that I wouldn’t let anyone I know to live there. However, the house was overly decorated when the time came. More was spent on the decoration than was spent on the solidification and construction. I was very sad about this. But then, I began to realize, as I saw people swoon over the house, that people were more interested in the beauty/cover of the house than in the beauty/essence of the house; and to this the house developers  may have played along. Now, this house has been sold at a very expensive rate, and its high bargainer was the beautification of the cover alone.  It made me wonder a bit about life, preferences and business. Sometimes, people set out to provide good value, but because people hardly care about the good values that are provided, they step down into producing what people actually value/care about, which is mostly nothing of essence. Beautification sells more in Lagos, and because these developers understood the fact, they banked on it and succeeded.

Then, I saw another house; not painted yet solid and attractive. I didn’t see this house built. I however desired that I could be allowed to take a closer look at the house. It felt to me as one of those houses built with good purpose. Like one of those houses designed to the dictates of an owner who cared more about essence than beautification. But since I do not live in it nor know in details about it, I will never know.

The other ever strong official constructions (along Ikoyi/V.I) also catch my attention for good. I love the details usually adhered to during construction, and sometimes, I stop to just take in the intelligence and input of quality and value. Of course, these constructions are made in high standards to the taste of the fully understanding (of quality and value) clients willing to pay for the cost of value. These edifices are equally appropriately decorated afterwards, and the complete packaging (of exterior and interior balance) thus, sweeps me off my feet. And if there is any goal that should be derived from this, it is to be good without as I am within!

In view of the above, I used to think that a not so attractive/adequately decorated structure was usually wonderful inside (in essence). Fortunately, I got to view a house, and discovered that it was “as good within as it was without” [that it was indeed ugly]- I was disappointed. It made me realize that ugly without is sometimes ugly within, so, it always helps to look a little bit closer before drawing conclusions.

So, structures in Lagos are as live experiencing as several other life-stuff. I have learnt that people will do “your” bidding, so, what are you bidding them to do? I have also learnt that you can get the best so long as you are willing to pay for it, and that you can get the worst if you are not very careful. What have you learnt? Let me hear you in the comments.

Establishing boundaries

What should our boundaries be; from relationships to career, to finances, to social life, and every other aspect of life? How much should we exert into things, how should we apportion these, and how much should we let be exerted from us? What should be off limits at different times, what should be accommodated? For instance, as a student, it is usually said that the focus and primary call should be/is working towards excelling in studies; thus, every other thing becomes secondary. In a similar light, what should be primary and secondary in our lives?

It is right for us to start with working on our time usage. Important is the need to imbibe the consciousness that we all have the same 24 hours a day and to only take what we can appropriately ‘chew’ within this time. It may seem weird and a bit off that time is first called to mind when talking about boundaries, but time still remains our most valuable resource, and time-consciousness and value will ever influence our choice of activities. It is within this choice of activities that the call for setting boundaries comes to play. What then follows?

Next is to know what matters. What is important? What is urgent? What is priority? Necessary questions to ask are, “in this season of my life, what am I set to achieve?” “why am I in this stage of life?” “who should I become from this season?” Asking these questions (and more) will draw our minds towards the need for priority and will help us choose the appropriate activities that consequently bring to pass our expectations and desired results. In re-discovering priorities, we then start to know what should be primary and then, secondary. When we know what is primary, and secondary then we work towards putting off limits what should be, and keying into beneficial activities.

So, for a Christian single girl for instance, who has all the ‘unmarried’ time to be totally sold out to God, and to become the best version of herself [without the total responsibility of/for family], her goals should be channeled towards these directions, and based on these, she’d work out what should be accommodated and what should be off limits. She’d set her priorities right and learn to set boundaries around, and protect, and consequently achieve her goals.

Every one of us should therefore continuously work towards setting boundaries to protect and to help us achieve the goals of the different stages of our lives.

Choosing to pray instead…

For a single godly girl, I think it is better to stay praying and believing that God will bring the right person at the right time, than to engage in engineering hook-ups for ourselves. Usually, our patience will be tried but the hope is that it will be worth it in the end. A question I like to ask in relation to this is if we really/fully know in our own selves (the import of) what we have to be coupled for: that is, in hooking up ourselves in our own way, how sure are we that we are doing the right thing(s)? If for instance, we hinge on crushes, how effective can that be?

I’ve had my fair share of crushes that I clamoured for so dearly, and at different points, swore that it was either them or no one. Eventually however, I realized that I had based my desires on fleeting pleasures and exaggerations, and they all ended in the same fleeting light, and not in a marriage. In addition, I regretted having wasted my time and emotions on something that fleeting.

I’ve also fallen in love: prodding, stressing, desiring, earnestly wanting, hoping and striving, all the while enjoying the feeling. Although this was (or felt) worthier than a crush, it didn’t however end up in a marriage, and left me hurt and almost drained (at least emotionally). It also led to a nearly dented friendship (but for God).

So, is the goal of staying prayed up just to marry? No. It is to stay expectant and in readiness for the blessings God brings our way, which usually includes marriage. If we’re bent on striving in our own strength [think crushing and falling-in-love all over the place], we will be too distracted to see/focus on what God has in stock for us, which is usually not in the way we want it to appear, considering that God delivers beyond our imaginations. If we stay praying however, we’d be aligned with God’s patterns and readily identify what he brings, when he does.

So, what to do with crushes and in-loves? Get responsible and self controlled. Look them in the face for the time wasting and emotional distractions that they are and tackle them. Tell yourself the truth, and tell him(s) if you have to, but do not let something as fleeting waste your time. Time is essential and moves on even when we are not ready to. Therefore, as hard as it is, let us learn to move on and to control our emotions: a man without control over his emotions is like a city broken down without walls.

Let God match us up [marry-us to the right persons], and that way, we’ll definitely be at peace, and in progress, with every other thing.

Selah!

did you notice that you may not have realized that crushing and ‘in-loving’ are ways of self-engineering marital unions? I’m glad I could share this with you.

 

To love and to let go

She didn’t see it coming. Nothing prepared her for it. They were just friends in her book. She couldn’t even remember the inception of their friendship, but somehow, they became best of friends. No strings were supposed to be attached. He was not particularly her spec; but although she wished he were a bit different in some ways, she never loved him any less. They shared the God kind- agape kind- of love, mixed with a lot of pleasantness and some dotes of fondness. They were able to talk freely about anything… until she had to travel out of the state.

Before her travel, he had said he would miss her. The weight was in the way he said it- the emotions… but she was naïve and didn’t understand. She was only quite confused, because they had planned the trip together, and he was almost the instigator of the trip; so why would he claim to miss her that much? She would later consider this moment in retrospect, and understand why he would miss her that much, and wish for it to return, but it would be late.

They became long-distant friends due to her travel, and tried to maintain the friendship. They still considered themselves to be favorite buddies, and talked as much as they could. They were just great friends as long as she knew, until he traveled.

His travel was quite different. It was out of the country, and just as she would ever accuse him, out of sight gradually became out of mind from his angle. She accused him of not thinking much about her. She became angry, and wouldn’t be nice. She wouldn’t even consider that he may have been trying to re-adjust to his new life overseas. He responded, and begged her to understand and to be kind… she couldn’t… she hadn’t figured out the source and reason for her feigned bitterness. By the time she had it figured out: that she was missing him sorely, it was late… he would rather they were silent than having to fight all the time. And she agreed to the silence, as she’d rather sulk than reveal… she was afraid: was she supposed to miss him that badly? She was proud: he wasn’t her spec after all. She tried to chide herself out of it, but the more she did try, the more she realized that she had become emotionally attached to him.

Her friends told her she was in love, but she denied and defended: more to herself than to them. For the most part of her youth, she had carefully prevented and avoided running into such mess with her male friends, so it was hard for her to embrace her new reality.

Since they had become silent-communicating friends, they only way he would know about her new feelings for him was either by a vision or by her own mouth. She waited for the vision to help her out, but none of it was happening. She tried to joke about it and to send green lights, which all failed her. She decided and braced up and let him know. It was very bad; he had not just moved on, he had a girl.

She was left to struggle with herself, her God and her life. She accused life for being unfair, asked God why he watched and did nothing as she plunged into such mess, and chided herself for not being careful enough. But since the beginning of their friendship was vague and unclear to her, the end of it may have decided to be clearer.