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Articles Food Life Relationships Tuesday Thoughts

I’m In Love With A Cook!


You see, I usually don’t get hungry or eat before 11am and any day I do that, then something unusual had happened. I’ll leave the reasons for another day. Before, you begin your sermon on “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, can I be excused briefly from this Master class? Thank you.

To make matters worse, I don’t love bread (just like my dad 😌) except it is toasted and has some messages inside that I have to decode, then you’ve got me! By the way, those ‘coded messages’ should not make my bread soggy or else, I won’t eat it.

Imagine my shock and much to my delight this morning when I asked Oba to help me with eggs and sausage and the helping took a while as I dressed up, only to see toasted bread in my food pack 😳. I lifted the bread to be sure the eggs were there…after all that’s the request.
Eggs? ✅
Sausage? ✅
And I dropped back the bread with a mild protest of “I may likely not eat this because it will get soggy!”
Oba responds, “It’s toasted bread, baby!”
I can see that, but it’s still hot and by the time I get to the office, it will be. I protested.

Fast forward to office scenario:
The bread started calling my name just before work began, I still had time on my hands, I simply ignored it. After all, I don’t get hungry before 11am. Next thing, I knew, I brought the pack out to keep it close so I can delve into it when it’s time but alas, the sounds grew stronger and stronger and with each cry to be redeemed, my defenses fell apart. I hate to admit.

I began thinking about giving you this gist with half a piece gone, but by the time I got to typing the title, the whole slice had disappeared.
Boy! That was delicious!
After adding some messages inside, he pan-toasted the bread. So I didn’t get a hard-crust toasted bread, but a succulent, soft and now decoded bread with my eggs and sausage till awaiting demolition at a later hour.

So you see why I’m in love with the cook, because he knew my button and he pressed it well, till I broke my own law!

It’s #ThankfulTuesday and I have someone to thank God for and he is all mine!

PS: When I told Oba “I’m in love with a cook”, he asked me which one? And I asked him how many he knew. He listed Udy of @foodtopiaud and Idong of @idy_lacremecakes, but left himself out.
This is just you babes! And it’s a double!

#UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 051021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Letters Relationships

When Lovers Fight… 😟😉😳🏃‍♀️


Dear Heart,

I have a question for you.

*“Go ahead, I’m listening”

Why do you hurt so much when I’m offended and upset at him? (Let me add a second)
Why does he go about smiling and grinning as if what happened didn’t do a number on him or pluck a nerve in him!
Is it that I never meant anything to him? 😟😳
If you feel sad in me about what has happened and want to reconcile, how come your twin in him, is cocky and won’t bow to please you and make me feel better?

Iman?”

Yes, Heart? 😔 and don’t give me the he’s-a-man card, you’ve played that card for too long!

“Yes, he has a heart like you have me, but he is wired differently. By this I mean, some of them don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves like you do! And just so you know, when you are hurt, he hurts too, because you are connected by love (Soulmates), woven in emotions, bonded in spirit. He may not show it, he may even call your bluff, but trust me on this, the pain is real for him as well. When you ‘fight’, he acts out in different ways that says, I-don’t-care-you-didn’t-affect-me-that-much.”

“Let me ask you Iman, would you rather do battle or do love?!”

But you know I love Love and there’s no beating about the bush on that. So does that give him the right to hurt me by acting tough rather than say sorry?, not like the sorry would really matter, but I’m a babe and the sorry would mean, “I acknowledge I was wrong here and I miss our companionship”, I miss our time together, let’s make up, my world has been not-it without you and so much more, if you get what I mean.

“O yeah sure I get your point… but let’s try something out. Since you know you love Love, why not talk about what he did that you don’t like in a loving and friendly manner and see if he will come to you. If that doesn’t work….”

I give him the silent treatment, right?! 💃

” 😂😂😂😂😂 Iman???
Why do you love pulling the silent treatment card always? But you claim to love love; love keeps no records of wrongs, but seeks to breed peace at all times”

“If you search within you, you will realise you know how to reach him more smoothly… like you say in Nigeria, you hold his **mumu-button, simply activate it with a smile,…trust me he will come panting after you.”

Go no further, Heart. You’ve just hit the nail on the head. But please have a word with your twin in him and tell him to soften up his master, we can’t keep activating the mumu-button over ‘fights’, it’s for special times, if you get what I mean.

“But Iman, you know you don’t have to be religious with your “Special Moments”, besides you need that button the most in times of conflicts. You know Iman, it’s wearisome trying to reach the one you love when both of you are being driven apart by your ego.”

Hello Heart, For the life of me, I’m wondering, when did we join the opponent’s team, we ought to be on the same team for Christ’s sake. I am not the enemy! and there’s no trophy to win in fighting each other, can’t you see!?

“I understand you clearly Iman, but you see, when we talk about loving and giving, respect is also a gift as compassion is a gift. “A gentle answer turns away wrath” as the Bible says.”

…but some people have interpreted it to mean a gentle answer by a woman, turns away the wrath of a man… isn’t it?

“It is both ways o! So let’s be intentional in loving, You and I, together we can do better. Let’s be mindful of our lines and ways of communication when we are angry with him, because there are some words you’d say in that moment of rage that when the battle is over and we feel right about pushing the mumu-button, we may push for so long and run the battery out, because of hanging memories of the things said in anger.”

“Wash your mouth…oops, I meant to say WATCH your mouth. You don’t want to live your life in regrets because you wouldn’t let go of your title on the EGO belt.”

Hmmmmmm Heart?? 🙈🙈🙈 you are so right you know?

“O sure Iman, that is why I am your partner in this love relationship. You know you can’t always rely on your head, but on me; I help you make the best decisions girl”

Thanks Heart. I truly appreciate your honesty with me, I’ll keep these words really close to you, and follow through on them. Once again, thank you for being a sweetheart for real.

Heart??

“Yes Iman?”

You know? He actually said sorry, and that he wasn’t okay when I wasn’t; and I’m glad it’s all sorted now. But don’t forget to talk to his heart too ok?

One more thing Heart, “I don’t know his mumu-button, because I am his mumu-button!💃😘😘😘

Yours in love,
#UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 060821 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

*Words in bold and italics are my heart’s responses

**mumu-button simply means the different methods you can easily reach a loved one and get them to ease up or succumb to you.

Categories
Project Laughter Relationships

She left Jesus behind… 😌


Oh she did!
Simply ran out and left Jesus! He was meant to go with her, ‘kill’ her fear, be the Light in the darkness she was walking into, hold her hand through the journey, but when they got to her destination, she left Him and RAN!

My baby girl, Arielle came visiting and during her stay, PHCN (our power distribution company) did their thing. Actually, they have been behaving these days, they ration it and we have decoded their timetable and are okay with it. Meaning, at a certain time in the night we will have power till morning. I’m cool with that because they have been consistent…but if it moves to another level of power throughout, as long as you have paid, then God be praised! 💃

So Arielle came visiting and the house was dark. I didn’t want to bother with the generator as I knew power would come at a certain time and besides, I was ok. But she felt, she needed to fan me. Even when there’s power, she loves playing with the hand-fan and I let her enjoy her moments. Minutes before, we had been in the children’s room with my cousin and she grabbed the hand-fan from the dark sitting room, ran back to the bedroom and began fanning me. As we migrated to the sitting room, she forgot the hand-fan there.

Did I mention that Arielle is a very busy 4-year old, the can’t-be-held-down-by-anything-very-bright-and-active one? Oh yes, she is!
On realizing that she left the hand-fan in the room and she needed to be busy, she went to my cousin, “Aunty Queen, please can I have your phone, I need the light.”
“No, Arielle, I’m using my phone.”
“Aunty a-baby (that’s me by the way), please can I have your phone?”
“Why?”
“I want to bring the fan from the room and fan you.”
I pretended to ponder upon her request and then said, “you’ll have to get the fan without my phone”
“But it’s dark!”
“You can see with the light from my iPad or better still, don’t worry about the fan, I’m ok.”
“But I want to fan you!”
“Then, you’ll have to go with Jesus!” having said that I continued watching my series on Netflix, whilst watching her from the corners to see what she’d do. Knowing that Arielle won’t give up till she’s gotten the hand-fan.

She snuck into the room, felt the bed and grab the fan from where she left it, ran out and screamed triumphantly, “I got the fan (showing it to me with pride and an accomplished smile)!”
“Good job, Arielle, I’m proud of you! And where is Jesus?” I queried.
“I left Jesus in the room!”
“You what?!” Trying to suppress my laughter and act surprised.
“I left Jesus in the room,” she repeated. At this point, Queen burst out laughing.
Maintaining my seriousness, I continued, “Arielle, how could you leave Someone I asked to lead you into the room and run out, please go back and bring Jesus.”

She walked to the doorpost, put her head into the semi-dark room and shouted, “Jesus, come out o!” and ran back to the sitting room. We couldn’t stop that laugh in a hurry.

On a serious note, many of us have gone into stuff with Jesus as our Driver, but when it comes to negotiating, strategizing, we think to ourselves, Jesus doesn’t understand the times we are in, after all He’s not a Millennial or computer literate, He doesn’t have a twitter account. But let me stop here to acknowledge the One that hasn’t stop trending, the One without whom there is no net! You are the partner, drawing on Him for inspiration, so don’t you ever forget that!

Little Arielle left Jesus in the room, because she knew He could take care of Himself and her and the rest of us in the house. But just to be her caring self, she beckoned on Him to join us in the living room.

Where have you left Him?
I heard you, “He is in me.”
When last did you allow Him have a say in anything you did?
“I think He’s been part of it all along.”
*Arielle, at least knew where and when she left Him. She even recognized that she left Him…. Some of us behave like Samson and ‘wist not that the LORD has departed’ and we continue flexing

I’m done with the questions, I’ll let you ponder on the answers and if you’d like to share, I’d be listening. For now, I’m off to check on Arielle and her adventures.

@imanikel 260721 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

*Thank you for the addition, CN 😊

Categories
Articles Change Life Relationships

#MotivationalMonday – Missed calls


So, what’s the phenomenon behind “missed calls”?

Will something happen to me if I have a missed call, whether genuinely missed or intentionally ignored?

A businessman would calculate the value of that call, and so would the operator at the Lighthouse or Control Tower who warns of the danger of missing a call etc.; I’m sure you get the picture now.

One of my friends, (name withheld, but with a sound of ‘war’ in it), used to give me the heat for not picking her call, few minutes after we last spoke. Being about two minutes away from picking me up, I would deliberately ignore her call. Upon querying her as to why this was important, she responded; “what if something happened soon after we got off the phone and I needed to alert you on it”? So, I learnt not to ignore calls, even when I think I know what will be discussed.

So, yours truly is back from work, very tired and have to make food to eat (usually something unusual), with the satisfied look of finally-life-has-new-meaning-to-me and then Oba comes calling! I don’t have a problem with his calling, just so you know, but there are times that though you miss someone, you’d rather just fall into the bed and be watched by a movie (my usual), than pick a call, pretending to be listening and sometimes sleep off on the person as he or she is talking.

Thinking over on this now, there are some voices so soothing, they’d easily send you to sleep.

When you find a missed call on your phone, what do you do? Call back, or thank God you missed it, or blame it on the network.

Well, you did miss a call or two today.

How did I know?

What did you do with that prompting to pray for someone; Check up on someone and or leaving a message (which sometimes may sound silly, but by the time you get a response from that person, you recognize that you had just responded to a call that was divinely dialed), or simply having a conversation with God your Father?

What else did you do after the worship alarm went off, snoozed and continued sleeping till the bath alarm sounded?

It would be mischievous of me to put you on the spot, making you feel funny and sad about your missed calls…

So this is what we will do, return those calls; that’s one of the ways you get to build a stronger bond with Him, don’t you know He loves hearing your voice, be it in prayer, praise or worship or even gisting. I even write Him notes! That’s been a while, but I’m repenting and resuming my duties. I need to fill up His post bin.

How are you going to make up?

It’s a dicey situation, but whatever you decide that makes you happy, may the call you miss not be the one you had been waiting for for a while, to propel you into the next best and big thing!

@imanikel 260421 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Relationships

Into Me See aka #Intimacy


For some reason, all the songs I’ve listened to today, is a call to be intimate and be satisfied – knowing Who you seek and desire. Lately, Oba has been on my matter, on another level I must say, and before your mind starts racing round the globe, he’s not with me right now, but within the Community…LOL. 😌 He’s working on our communication (non-verbal), gist (verbal) and we laugh about the silliest of things. It’s like being rediscovered newly. 🙈

I reckon, there’s an outcry for depth in relationships (whatever type of relationship you are involved in) and really see everything about the person (warts and all) and staying there regardless of the sides you discover. Speaking of sides, the other day, my sister (from another mother) posted something about having three sides and I told her (and the other of my sister) that I know four or more of their sides and we are still laughing about the matter, because there’s so much to discover if only we look deeper.

I’m taking a new path down the intimacy lane and it involves Communication, Observation and Intentionality to Discover or Rediscover what is underneath the one(s) you are crazy about! It’s been deliberate and sometimes annoying, like “didn’t I just talk with you?!” 😳and he goes, “Did you see me?!” meaning let’s do a video-call. To which I respond, “my battery is low”, of course he didn’t hear that part because by the next second, my phone is ringing, and guess what, I’m in the dark, because PHCN has done their rationing thingy and I can’t find someone to help with the generator. But Oba is satisfied seeing my silhouette even with the slowly dying-out torch I have in the living room, whilst waiting for power to return or the gen-helper to show up.

Intimacy is a call to drop your guard, let go of the mask and just BE! That’s risky you say and I have to agree with you. What’s life without risk and spice? What’s life that is regimented to a T! I don’t mind the mix at all, the colours make the world a better place, so why should anyone seek to remain on the surface?

A call to discover has gone out, and it is seeking takers to come into depth with the Father in the place of worship. Calling on others to go beyond the seen and love like never before. It is a call for MORE.

Into me see the things I’d rather hide
Discover stuff that take away pride
Peel away layers upon layers
And bring to fore my deep desires
Into me see the tears behind my eyes
And the pain that pierces my sides
Search through piles and piles
Of truths I keep away in unmarked files
Into me see the me that is bare
Bold and sometimes without a care
Pulling away brick after brick
Till I’m like one without a grip
Into me see I’m done with the tales
Cos in You, falsehood pales…
When glory unveils the veiled
This intimacy has me revealed

You know your varying areas of need, get intimate with it, discover the other angles to your life, family, business, ministry and whatever makes your heart glad. I’ll be here smiling as I anticipate the next move in my #Intimacy journey.

@imanikel 290321 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Poems Relationships

The Gift called Silence


Rushing to my lips were a variety of ‘amazing’ responses,
Suited for the cacophony of ‘shades’ shot at my defenses.
Begging to be released, so they wash the other
As if by this singular act, restore order.
Yet, the barricade upon my lips held it grounds,
Causing my insides to bear these painful rounds.
Taking pride and finding love in sweet words;
These, sliced deep and hurt like battle-field swords.
Silence ruled and reigned in my world of many voices,
As different options in my mind held its vices.

Toying with the script I plan to play, with no one for audience,
I created scenes and crops for that day of rewarding offence.
Silently, I weighed, analyzed and found guilty each word
Silently, the Word taunted me to give up my right to God
Silently, with pain gnawing at my core
I pushed past each unmemorable bore
Suggestions of peace came a knocking
Revenge said, “you gat to be joking!”
I had my chances to let it all out and think later
I said no, because a peace trophy is always better.

Silence is a precious gift…
I’m glad I used for this rift.

@imanikel 100221 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Change Life Nigeria Relationships

The Running Thief


Our world has reached a place where everyone wants to be on their own, enjoy their space (so they say)!
Why am I saying this?
I spoke with one of my babies yesterday, trying to tell her about the usefulness of forming and having relationships, not just by name, but by truly having one. She tells me, “I love having my space!” Shocked I was, being a person that loves family, but I tried to see this through her eyes and it wasn’t the having a “me-time” thingy, it was an “everyone-leave-me-alone, I’ll-reach-you-if-I-need-you” and it felt like usury and I’m not sure I want to be reached or checked up on only when someone needs my help. I think it would be sweet to just wake up and see a message for no reason other than, “you crossed my mind”, “I miss you”, OR for “no reason at all!”

With this in mind, on my way to work daily, I don’t do phones, doing phones is another way of saying “leave me to my world and mind-your-own-business.” I watch and take in different scenarios, and trust me, Lagos has plenty drama. The sad part is when you are involved in it directly or indirectly, so let’s say it’s one of the days I was a spectator, not a participant. As the vehicle maneuvered its way through the body of cars, (meaning, we were in a traffic-jam, a norm on any given morning and night), I saw a water-supply truck – not the ones that supply water to tanks, but the ones that delivery bags of sachet water, also trying to maneuver its way through. To move on, the driver had to slow down and allow another vehicle pass to avoid a collision. But that was an ‘error’… in a split second, I noticed a young man weave his way through the jam, grab a bag of water and started running. Hmmm…

Funnily enough, the two young men, (probably his age mates trying to make ends meet by doing the delivery work) were oblivious of what had happened, but will realize the shortage at the point of delivery. I’m thinking, so I woke up on the 1st of February (it happened yesterday) and the first thing on my To-Do list is, “steal a bag of water from a moving truck”. Now, I’m wondering what the second item is on the list, grab bread from the bread-seller or what?!

Who do we blame for this?
Society?
Our lack of values or failure to apply values taught?
Government? (our go-to whenever we need someone to blame)
Our parents? (for not being as wealthy as Mr. Jones next door)
The church? (for not sharing the offerings on the street, despite all the CSR programmes and free vocational training given to point us in the right direction)
Our location? (If only I wasn’t born in Nigeria…rolling my eyes at you for this thought)
Our blaming game is one long list…except ourselves.

Well, the running thief escaped today, will he tomorrow? when he sits in a place of authority tomorrow and has no scruples about putting his hands in the treasury bag, remember the sachet bag he took with ease in public view and the praise he received from other occupants of the vehicle I was in “Sharp guy!” So don’t tell me about how they failed to keep their mandates, because truth be told, they never really had one or a good value antecedent to follow.

Just stating my view on this matter, let’s hear yours.

I remain IMAN – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature #UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 02022021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Relationships

#FreedomFridays – The voice in the Voice


A messed up day it was, till I heard your voice…did you leave a voice note in the midst of my crazy day? No! My mind by default recalled the pleasures I have when I hear the sound of your voice and it drew upon that reminder. My thought searched through my files and remembered the Word of Him who loves me beyond limits, and when these two sounds synergized, my world, my atmosphere experienced a shift.

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

It may look and sound like an ordinary day to others,
But when the rhythms play out in my soul like no other,
I dance to blues unknown
Gaining pleasures untold
Dropping by to say, “I love you my Oba” and “thank You my King for this gift”
That gives not just my heart the throb, or my being the bob, but also my face a lift!

It sometimes rings like silence crafted to plague my day
Yet with You, the created, the intangible have their say
On the surface, the ‘mask’ shields the anxiety and questions
Yet Your Voice becomes a fortress in the center of tensions
Thank You for the Voice within the voice
The same that comforts and surrounds us!

In the songs I hear, the reminders so clear
“You are more to me than these My dear”
I rejoice in knowing Your love for me never fades
But gets cooler in all awesomeness and shades
I remain Yours now and forever more
And You, the One Iman adores!

I Am Iman – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature #UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 29012021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Relationships Tuesday Thoughts

Meditation helps


Oba is away for a while to address work and settle family matters. This means we get to relate mostly via phone. The question begs, when someone you relate with everyday, like almost every other hour is not in proximity with and to you, how do you keep the fire burning, their touch close or their voices within ear shot?

You think about them!
Yes, have your mind full of their thoughts, voices and everything that reminds you of them. To the point that, if you had a question you would have asked them for their opinions, you can easily tell what their responses would be because you have your mind full of them. Therefore, you will hear a voice say “this is the way, walk in it!”

Little wonder, the Bible enjoins us “to mediate on it day and night and observe to do according to all that is written”, to “think on these things”, and to be “as the man thinks in his heart”

The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study, and to practice. It is the act of remaining in a silent and calm state for a period of time, as part of a religious training, or so that you are more able to deal with the problems of everyday life. It is also the act of thinking about something very carefully and deeply for a long time.

I’m not dealing with the yoga-kind of meditation here, just a simple clearing or better put decluttering your mind of unnecessary thoughts that are not progressive to your health, well-being, relationships with their spouses or others, work, family, dreams/aspirations and focusing on those thoughts that are!

The fact that people most and generally do not give time to “thinking” (meditating) on each aspect of their lives as they ought to. Thinking on (investing thoughts) these parts of our lives actually means fuelling life into them, and breathing on them to live.

If we can commit to thinking deeply (meditate), on everything we hope to see life happen on another level just as we want it to, I’m sure they will come alive just the way we see them in the place of meditation.

Meditation implies investing thoughts, it is a SEED planted, you can plant, then nurture daily by thinking a step deeper and deeper, until the desired end is achieved.

I love this aspect, it does not have to happen immediately, but being consistent in adding a thought on the positives side, and deepening every passing day, births the positive giant we wish to see

Let’s do right by peace, joy and love today, create that atmosphere around you, carry it wherever you are! Let your meditation be on that which is lovely, true, honest, has virtue and is of a good report. Who agrees to this mind change? Let’s see it in your action!😘

@imanikel 27102020 Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Poems Relationships

Wrap Me


Wrap me round you when the cold brews
Wrap me round you if you want hues
Wrap me round you if you seek clues
Wrap me round you i’ll pay your warmth dues!

Unwrap me from memories, let’s share stories
unwrap me from a time of heated glories
Unwrap me in your mind from memory stand
Unwrap me with a song, and dance to the band

Seek me out from piles of coloured tiles
Seek me out from your drawer of files
Seek me out to study my body
Seek me out we are more than buddies.

Search through the grains before it rains
Search through each lane, don’t let it drain
Search with intensity and find
Search, defy, don’t leave me behind!

@imanikel 18092020 Frances Kelvin Otung