Categories
Thankful Thursday

What’s In Your Tank?


That’s the question, have you check it out today?

What’s your answer?

@imanikel 141021 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
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 Freedom Fridays Life

#FreedomFriday – Flight Fright


I read my cousin’s first flight experience, a beautifully written article that got me in stitches, but also in fright as I was catapulted back into that airplane to relive my first one. Boy! There’s no shame in telling the truth. I never did understand why something that heavy will be in the air and not drop, before you go preaching about Newton’s Law of Gravity and four forces of flight, spare a first-timer the speech! 😋

The first time I consciously remember going on a flight was just after marriage and we needed to be in Lagos as a matter of urgency. Being my first time, I was walking forward with steps backward, Oba was practically pulling me towards the departure lounge. Many crazy thought flew past me and none of them I could cling onto except the arms of the ‘crazy fellow’ I had gotten married to who was doubly excited about this particular flight for reasons best known to him. He has always been a daring one and seeing him like this was no surprise to me but that even with my voiced concerns, he didn’t say, “because I love you and don’t want you to jump off the plane because of your phobia, let’s go back!”

No o!

The ‘Uncle’ joyfully nudged me on all the while saying “there’s nothing to worry about baby, it will be a smooth ride.”

Okay o!

We got to the lounge and the voice says, we are delaying *** Flight because of … (can’t remember what she said) and I turned to him as if to say in my silence, ‘shebi, you see that even the planes don’t want to be flown’, he noticed and responded, “baby, they are working on it.”

Why was I afraid, apart from my original fear of flights?
You see, hubby had just returned from Abuja and that plane he used, carried others who never made it to their destination.

So, I watched this plane land from Abuja and about to go to Lagos from Calabar, but needed to be repaired. See fear o! Hmmm.

After the repairs, the flight was called, NOBODY moved, there was a crowd of protesters at the airport, calling for the necks of that particular airline, for keeping them waiting and then proceeding to load them into a plane that was repaired in front of them?! No way, I no dey enter this plane.

The airline boss (an expatriate) came and spoke with us and decided to do the flight with us, so as to assure us, still nobody moved. The next thing I knew, Oba was pulling me up with wide brimmed smiles as he bounced towards the plane. All the while, assuring me that it will be okay.

I learnt to unstop my ears when it filled up with sound and hold on to him whilst praying in the Spirit under my breath as I climbed those steps. Wondering why my first flight had to be so frightful.

Do you know from take off, the flight to landing, that was my best flight ever! The crew were extra nice and we even did a standing ovation for the Boss and his team when we landed. As for those that refused to join the repaired aircraft, those who arrived late at the airport simply took their place and you can’t blame them, they didn’t know what had happened before their arrival.

It may sound funny to you, but I still engage myself in 30 minutes or an hour plus of prayers whenever I’m flying so that I don’t start wondering why something so heavy is in the air. Another thing I do, is programme my mind that in so so and so time, I’ll be at this destination and if I look at my watch I’m still in the air, panic attempts to set in, but I try (I dey manage) to overcome it.

On one of those flights, I was with my senior sister and the turbulence was crazy and no matter how I reminded myself that these were liken to road bumps, the Holy Spirit heard our groanings which were not uttered. 😊

Pray tell, how was your first flight experience?

@imanikel 180621 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles Life Thankful Thursday

#ThankfulThursdays – Just because I Am!


Dear God,

It’s so easy to complain about the traffic I have to endure every morning and every evening on my way to and from work. The many hours I get to wait before I get a vehicle. But someone, has been praying to get a job, and no response yet; “If only, they’ll take me, I’m tired of sitting at home!” they pray daily.

It’s easy to complain about the rising cost of foodstuff, yet someone threw away food yesterday, because it had stayed too long in the fridge to the point that it got bad because of PHCN and their magic called light.

How about the complaints of having to repeat dresses, shirts, trousers? By the way, the mad man on the street is still wearing the same barely-covering-anywhere clothes for months now and he keeps trudging the streets, having serious conversations with all the unseen and I’m not sure where he sleeps.

The list in endless…but these paint the picture.

Did I remember to greet You and ask how You are doing with the affairs of keeping us in line? I don’t think so, You are God and it’s so easy for You to coordinate that. I guess! 🙈

Well, I just popped in to say thank You for all those really beautiful miracles this week from total strangers. Just when I was feeling like, why do You let me go through all this, You send someone to tap me out of the thoughts and offer me help. Twice, this week. I know it’s You, because it’s got Your prints all over it.

Thank You especially for beautiful songs that spring up too and make me dance without realizing where I am. It makes me lost in the amazement of Your deep love for me. Indeed, nothing and no one can separate me from Your love and like You used Gochii to point out again, this JOY You’ve given to me, if I keep connecting to it, nothing or no one can STILL it.

Just a note to say, I love it that You love me more…*wink*

Iman – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature #UnapologeticallyMe

@imanikel 200521 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Life Poems

The Meeting


One quiet Saturday evening a meeting convened
In attendance were my Future and Present being
The Past wouldn’t be put aside, came along
Thinking with other two, is where I belong!
Not wanting to be delayed, Future asked…
“Where will you be years from now in certain tasks?”
With patterns and paths I follow,
with strategies and plans so shallow…
“Not far, I fear”, I reckoned
“Come, let’s talk”, she beckoned.

It’s not about another’s pace
Everyone runs their own race
Neither is it about undirected haste
You’d go far if in His sufficient grace.
Past listened and nodded with concerned gaze.
“There’s no part for me to play in this place,
off I go to remain quiet in history
Till the day comes for her to tell our story”.
I had a meeting with Future…
I rose, ready for adventure!

@imanikel 13082020 Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Freedom Fridays Life

#FreedomFridays – I have a question🤔


Dear God,

I’m not sure who exactly to channel this question to, since You are available, know all things, are the Creator of the heavens and the earth. I guess, it makes sense asking You and no other.

Why is it that the day I want to do laundry is when it rains? 🤔

Or the night the air is so still, that PHCN takes power and for some reason the generator chooses that period to go on ‘strike’?😡

Why do people who have never (literally) offered you anything before decide to buy you lunch that must be eaten as soon as it is brought, the day you are fasting? 🤐

Why do friends and family call just when you started sleeping? When you had been tossing and turning hours earlier and nobody called🙄😯

Why do people begin a movie, sleep through it and wake up at the end to start all over again and sleep again🙈 (don’t look at me, how should I know?)

Why do I yawn if someone besides me yawns? I noticed the cycle continues and then stops as suddenly as it began.

Why do people who were really ill, begin to get better and just when everyone is excited they are okay, they pass on😔

Why do people know the right thing to do and the truth, but choose to do wrong and to lie?! 😒

What’s the thought on the minds of mosquitoes and others, just before they are sprayed or squashed to their demise?

Since, you wanted to know what my question is, I’d like to know yours too!

It’s just one of those days I’m wondering why some things happen. Here’s to my thoughts going in many directions.

Dear God, You know what my real question is, please send me a reply, privately. Thanks😍

I Am IMAN – I Manifest Adonai’s Nature.

@imanikel 31072020 Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Poems

In and Out!


Listening to the rhythms and beats
And I realized that there are times I don’t hear!
Those times I’m merely there, but hardly about life care!

Same way the heart trumps and beats,
Yet the meaning to life, I’ve lost and can’t understand!
Why so much sound, colors, movements, yet my world still it stands!

It is not light that beckons thus,
But an unseen force which slowly sucks out desire.
Threatening to engulf beauty with its’ dark and quench fires!

It is almost silent, but it flickers.
A strand to hold, a jot of light, a grain of hope.
A seeker’s find, a treasure mine, a WORD, a hug and I cope!

@imanikel 26072020 Frances Kelvin Otung

Categories
Articles

ROOFTOP, HERE I COME!


Have you ever been in a situation you just wanted some peace, calm and quiet away from the crazy world outside?

View yourself in a mixed crowd of people with half of them going nowhere specific, all they do each morning is wake up without so much as a splash of water on the face, or toothpaste to the teeth, set out to the corner of the street, with a sachet of alcohol in one hand and a Pepsi plastic bottle tucked into a pocket behind, walking the length of the junction or street corner, looking for who to brush past or harass and move on to the next victim.

I have to swim through these groups every other morning to get to the point I can catch a ride to work. Thankfully, I don’t make up their jurisdiction. Pheww. Imagine surviving that, getting into a bus of ‘seemingly’ sane people, only to meet a young man with beards that need a barber’s touch be nasty! Actually the beards have been shaven but it seemed with a blunt instrument. Well, I had no hand in that, so why was he nasty to me?!

He got into the bus before me (you know those 8-seater buses), I call them “Ilesha buses” because that’s where I saw them first. My Ilesha peeps, have mercy o! Mbok. On getting into the bus, I was trying to sit beside him and the driver moved, so I sort of slumped into the chair and ‘Unku’ moved himself to assert ownership of the zone and I said, “Please, take it easy.” He goes, “Do you want me to go out through the window?”

I’m only asking you to take it easy. Should I leave this seat, would it make you feel better?

What’s my own?  Am I paying for the seat?

Probably, you want to, so you feel more comfortable.

And he goes on and on about how he didn’t even touch me and I’m wondering whose elbow was nudging me immediately I sat. When all I needed was to sit first before he started moving and claiming territories. I could see he was upset about something and this was purely “transferred things”. So I say to him, “I’m not the reason you are upset and I can see you are a nasty fellow.” Yes, I said it. And he responded back to me. Told him, he was a man (meaning he should have stopped talking by now), but he went on and on. I did the next best thing, I left him to the seat behind which was comfortable and free of the nagging man.

The good book says “It is better to stay on the rooftop than to live with a quarrelsome man”. I took the advice o! Did I tell you he had the last say? At this point, I’m sober and wondering who has gotten this young man to this point. What do I know? At least, I achieved that initial peace I was looking for, away for ‘Unku’.

Picture source: mintyfreshmangos, DeviantArt.

@imanikel 250919 Frances Kelvin Otung