Valuable Life Lessons – What Acquiring a Driver’s License taught me

I want to get very personal. This post is motivated by a promise I made to God before I passed my driving test for a license earlier this year. The issue of acquiring a driver’s license may seem quite trivial but to me, it is a testimony of God’s goodness because this is after several attempts.

I started taking driving lessons way back in 2015. I did acquire the skill somehow but when I took the test, I missed the pass mark by two points. I was sad. I promised myself I was going to re-sit for the test but I never did. I packed driving to the side and went about my business. A lot happened and I gave up driving entirely.

This year, with the pressure that I faced (mostly from my husband) I took up the challenge to acquire a driver’s license. My husband attempted to remind me of how to move the car, but we always ended up arguing and stopping the lessons. The idea of going to a driving school again appealed to both of us and that was how I found myself taking all of the lessons once again.

The good news in all of these was that I started to feel more confident sitting behind the wheels. The fear I initially had when I began driving four years ago had dissipated but the new challenge was acquiring the license. The time came for me to take the theoretical test and when I did, I missed the pass mark by a point. Once again, I failed.

Of course I was disappointed in myself. I questioned God. I questioned myself. I questioned the whole process of acquiring a driver’s license in Ghana. I heard several stories too. Very negative ones of people who had attempted the tests on numerous occasions but always failed. I was encouraged or rather discouraged by someone in the license acquisition space to forget the test and bring some money for the process to be expedited.

“Most people who fail this test the first time do not pass. Just give up,” she said.

I told her I was going to give her suggestion a second thought and that if I failed the second (or third time) I would get the said amount of money and forget about acquiring the licence ‘legally.’

That was how I found myself re-sitting for the drivers’ license exam for the third time in my life. I changed strategies. I read but not as I did with the previous two. I prayed and relaxed, and this time, I got the exact pass mark. It was one of the best days of my life because it had taken me four long years (that could have gotten me a degree 😂😂). I had also proven the naysayers wrong and did not have to bribe my way through the process. I was legitimately acquiring a license.

What is the import of this post? This is to fulfill my part of the bargain and the promise I made to God of sharing my long and difficult experience of acquiring a license with readers of the blog. To me, it’s a testimony and I am not exaggerating. Secondly, this is to motivate anyone who has been trying hard to do things that people do quite easily. Logically, it may be challenging but note that all things are possible with God. The task may seem arduous. You may feel like giving up but don’t listen to yourself and don’t allow people to discourage you. You can do it too!

PS: I have failed in my attempts at so many things – in examinations, in job searches and other applications, etc. I think I have mastered the act of getting up strong after failures. If you are seeking someone who understands your situation, I believe you should be speaking to me. My email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com Let’s get talking!

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On Keeping One’s Virginity for the Wedding Night

Facebook groups are becoming popular and an easy way of wasting ones time killing boredom. Different topics are discussed by individuals from all walks of life and people seem very comfortable sharing their opinions quite freely. A question I pounced on in one of the groups read:

The comments underneath the post varied and you’ll be shocked (or not shocked) at the reactions. Majority simply downplayed the importance of keeping one’s virginity. A guy remarked,

“Why should I waste my honeymoon breaking the virginity of my wife. I want to enjoy and not be hearing moans of pain,” 🤷🏾‍♀️

A lot of women also commented they would like to see, know and ‘taste’ their husbands to ensure they loved the size and its ‘power’ before saying ‘I do.’ 👀

It looks like the subject of keeping one’s virginity is archaic, has expired and simply lost its significance, judging from the remarks of the commentators.

It is very disheartening to know that this is the point we’ve gotten to – a place where sex is being dished out like mere handshakes and abstinence means NOTHING at all.

Yes, I agree that marrying as a virgin does not guarantee a successful marriage but even if you use logic to analyze, keeping your virginity saves you so much stress.

If you are woman, for instance:

1. You may not need a menses/ovulation calculating app when you’re not sexually active.

2. When your menses delay for a couple of days, you’re not that frightened because you know you’ve done ‘nothing.’

3. Abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and birth controls are subjects that won’t even matter to you.

4. You can dump that guy because you haven’t done ‘anything’ with them. This helps you to choose the right partner.

5. Your conscience is always clear.

For the men (yes, yes, you must keep your virginity too):

1. You’ll not connive with any woman to go commit abortion because you aren’t ready to have that child, thus, not living with the guilt.

2. In case she keeps the pregnancy, you’ll not be forced to marry her.

3. Your judgments are also not clouded when it comes to selecting a life partner. You can drop her if she does not meet your criteria.

4. Sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods are not your worries. You’re indeed a ‘free’ man till you get married.

Don’t allow the world to make you believe that keeping your virginity/abstinence means nothing. What is more beautiful than keeping yourselves for each other till after the marriage ceremony.

The Bible even admonishes us that we shouldn’t deceive ourselves because we’ll definitely reap whatever we sow. Freely dishing out sex to everyone will definitely come with its consequences.

If we (both men and women) would stick to what the Bible has instructed, most of the issues we face in our marriages concerning our sexuality, including, making comparisons with our husband and a previous sexual partner will not even come up. Both of you will enjoy your ‘naivety’ and learn what works best.

If you are at a crossroad, trying to decide whether you should keep your virginity of not, take this from someone who abstained, GUARD IT. It’s worth the wait and will save you a lot of trouble. For those who have lost it for whatever reason, don’t be sad and bitter, you can still protect what you have. If you think it’s a challenge keeping it, the Holy Spirit is always there to help you. Let Him know what your difficulties are. He’ll direct you.

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2019: To Make Plans or not to Make Plans

It’s another new year and the debate on whether to make plans or resolutions has started (as usual 🤷). I have been on both sides before. There have been years where I had nothing on paper because I believed God had the ultimate plan for my life. I was ‘comfortably living out’ Jeremiah 29:11 😊

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Of course, God was the master planner and so what was my role? Nothing much. Just acting out His plan and in those years, I really had nothing to show on 31st December. There were other years that I wrote my new resolutions on sheets of papers that I never bothered to look for. Those years were equally ordinary but last year, I did something very different that worked and in 2019, I am building on it and that is what I am going to share with you.

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote down what would define a successful year for me on a whiteboard which was strategically placed close to my bed. That board also served as a planner for this blog and the delight that came with checking out those milestones was amazing. I always had a broad smile whenever I crossed out my ‘little’ successes.

I had my overall goals for the year written at the top and at the bottom were monthly plans as well as objectives for this blog. For instance, after I read a book and conducted a review for the blog, I crossed that out. When I planned to interview people for the blog and I successfully executed it, I crossed that out. Those moments felt like big achievements for me and I never failed to thank God and also pat myself at the back. They weren’t easy to do and they came with a lot of sacrifices but the joy of crossing and updating them monthly made it fun.

This year, my plans are even more elaborate. They have been grouped under several headings including personal, career, Christian life, blogger among others because I am living out Habakkuk 2:2,

Then the LORD told me: “I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. 

I am going to lean on God’s grace and also put in my effort because I know His plans will reign supreme, therefore, I will keep communicating with Him to ensure we are on the same page. Note, Proverbs 19:21 says:

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

My little advice: Don’t leave this year to chance. If huge organisations are setting S-M-A-R-T goals and targets and achieving them, how much more your personal life? God would love to see you succeed. When Elisha in 2 Kings 4 went to the widow’s house, he asked her what she had in her house and she responded:

“Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”

The jar of oil served as a channel for the widow’s blessings. Talk to God regularly and let Him know what you have in your ‘house’ and heart in 2019. Create that plan. Place it somewhere visible and work on achieving them and that could be the conduit for your blessing. I recently read a post on Facebook about a man who created a 10-year educational plan when he only had a Diploma. He did not have the funds readily available but worked on the plan nonetheless and currently has a PhD. Isn’t that amazing?

Remember to engage with God constantly to ensure you are on the right path and 2019 will not be an ordinary year like previous ones.

P.S: Happy and Blessed New Year from us to you. Those following our other social media platforms have seen this appreciation note and here is yours:

Thank you 😘

It promises to be an exciting year for the blog and if I were you, I will keep telling others about it.

Happy New Year. May this year bring all that you’ve been praying for in Jesus’name! 😘😘😘

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Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary and the 3 Lessons We’ve Learnt

19th December marked our wedding anniversary. Last year, I wrote a letter to my husband to mark our second anniversary but this year, we (my husband and I) would like to share three lessons we have discovered in the three years of being married. Please find my (Delali’s) lessons first: ☟

Lesson 1: Different Prayer Dynamics Needed for Marriage’s Success

I have never underestimated the importance of prayer to the success of every marriage but I discovered sometime last year that I had relegated personal prayer time to the background and was depending solely on my husband’s and family’s prayer times. This can happen to any family, particularly, if the head of the household is a strong Christian and you have regular family praying times. It, however, occurred to me that I needed to pray in order to become a better wife, a better mum and I needed to pray to commit my own ambitions into God’s hands. Yes, it is very important to pray as a family unit but it is also necessary to have your own prayer and quiet times. God may have words for you as you go on your knees to pray for you and your family.

Secondly, I knew where I wanted to be for instance, in my career, before I met my husband. He also had his own ambitions and dreams and marriage became that intercession for both of us. Even though we work hard to accommodate each other’s goals, sometimes it becomes challenging. In such instances, instead of praying selfish prayers of binding and losing when it is time to make sacrifices or accept my husband’s dreams (the very difficult ones) I rather pray for the ability to accept those changes and for God’s will to be done for the family.

Lesson 2: It is Possible to Do Everything and be Successful at it as a Mother and a Wife

Uh-huh! It is very much possible to achieve everything. 😊 Let me use me as an example, I am a mother of a two-year-old without any help, I do an 8 am – 4 pm and before that I went back to school (while pregnant). I manage the Social Media platforms for my church and currently leading a team to gather content for its magazine which will come out next year. I have this blog and its social media platforms to manage which I feed with original content and I am a WIFE😊. How do I combine these? I sacrifice a lot of sleep and I have a supportive husband. I also plan ahead of time and sleep a lot when I realise my body needs it. Do I get overwhelmed at times? Yes, I do and when that happens, I turn off my data and throw my phone away. I am strongly convicted that the world doesn’t wait for anyone because they are a wife or a mother. It is even tougher for us but no one should make excuses. We can be successful in every area of our lives. All things are possible – Matthew 19:26

Lesson 3: Sex in Movies are a Scam

Raise your hands if you believed having sex could as spontaneous and effortless as how we saw in movies or read from books while growing up. Don’t be deceived. Sex in marriage and, particularly, if you have a toddler involves a lot of strategies and tactics (blog post for another day). And if you have to combine that with the various roles you need to play, then it becomes very challenging and requires more effort than what is seen in movies.

Those are the three lessons I (Delali) have picked up so far. Below is my husband's (Emmanuel) perspective on the three years of our marriage:

Our 3rd wedding anniversary: What I have learnt so far – Emmanuel

  1. To have success in marriage, for me, has always been about following the principles outlined in the Bible. I’d often impress on her (Delali) that our wedding vows meant so much to me than her because the day it loses its value, she also loses value (take a second look at your wedding vow). The years spent together have been awesome during which I have mostly been occupied with giving my life for her because I love her (Don’t get it twisted; read Ephesians 5:25). Nothing short of seeing her smile and beam with joy. I gave, I am giving and would give. If you don’t give as a husband, “Wetin you gain”. Cheers to many more years of giving. (Editor’s Remarks: I can attest. Indeed, this man is a giver🤣).
  2. Delali epitomizes submission. (Editor’s Remarks:😑) For a woman like her, I would move heaven to make her happy ( I think I’m doing well so far). She never calls me ‘me wura’ (My Lord) but makes me feel like one. No man would exchange this for anything in this world (at least I won’t). I remember saying jokingly (after watching a Nigerian movie) that I won’t eat stale food in my house. ‘Like joke like joke’ (let me sound like a Ghanaian small) she cooks fresh food every day. Hardly do we eat stored food. How she does it I don’t know.
  3. Then we welcomed Lady Charis. The adorable young lady who turned two recently. Her introduction was met with mixed emotions (at least for me). Routines changed, sleep patterns were altered amongst others. Man know thyself, as intimated by the Bible (Psalm 31:7) just hit me (a story for another day). Our lives changed, however, we have been able to manage it well, steering our affairs in the right direction and maintaining the original purpose of marriage.
So there you have it. Here are some lessons we have learned in our three years of marriage. Are you married? What are some of the lessons you have picked up? Do you intend to get married soon? What are your expectations? Share with us in the comment box.

You are a ‘FRENEMY’ if you Show any of these 15 Traits…

You may be a frenemy without knowing it. Read this post to confirm if you are one or not… 

True friendship is that relationship you have with an individual who isn’t your relative, neither are you bonded by any vows to be true to them, yet, you truly love, cherish and care about them and, will do anything in your power to ensure they are comfortable. The Bible even testifies that two heads are better that one (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and Proverbs 27:9 also says:

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” 

If true friendship is this beautiful and everyone wishes to have a friend that they can lean on, then why are there so many complaints of mistrusts and betrayal among ‘friends’ recently? This phenomenon is so bad that the radio station that I listen to at dawn has dedicated the entire week to praying against bad friends (can you imagine?) 😯. This implies bad friendships are gradually creeping into our churches and among Christians.🙄

There must be a thin line between being a genuine friend and gradually taking on the status of an enemy. I don’t want to believe anyone sets out to want to be a bad friend and cause heartaches to another person (I may be wrong, though) but the process of becoming a ‘frenemy’ may start in the mind, in the form of tiny droplets of envy and could later degenerate into actions which may be detrimental to a relationship. That is why the Bible encourages us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) because all of a sudden, the friendship that people cherished so much could detonate into a rivalry, transforming two people into ‘frenemies’ and the results are not pleasant.

All is not lost, we can still be good friends with each other but first, we need to do some introspection. These 15 signs listed below should help you determine if you are ‘frenemies’ towards certain people.

You are/may be a ‘frenemy’ when…

  1. You do not genuinely pray for the progress of your friends.
  2. You can’t stand to see the progress of your friends. You either want to be on the same or a higher level than they are and would, therefore, do everything in your capacity to ensure that.
  3. You thrive on unhealthy competition and, therefore, would want to be ahead of everyone, including your friends.
  4. You stop checking up on friends when you notice they have advanced in certain areas of their lives. For instance, they have new jobs, gotten married, travelled, etc.
  5. You only check up on your friends to see what’s new so you can silently ‘pray’ evil prayers for them.
  6. You only check up on your friends when you need their help.
  7. You do not want to offer a helping hand to your friends even though you are ‘up there.’
  8. Your heart skips a beat (out of envy) when you see their social media updates and that makes you want to probe further into their lives to see what’s new.
  9. You provoke your friends to bare their hearts to you only for you to blackmail them with that information or use that as fuel for your gossip.
  10. You always want to take from them but not give out.
  11. You start hating because your friend (in your opinion) has not experienced enough challenges like what you have, hence, does not deserve their blessing.
  12. You feel better after discovering the flaws of your friends. That amuses you.
  13. You can’t give genuine compliments to your friends.
  14. You are relieved when you are not in their presence because you pretend when you are with them.
  15. You are always looking for ways to outdo each other (rivalry).

Do you display any of these sentiments towards a friend or group of friends? You should probably stop referring to them as friends and start calling them your ‘frenemies.’😀 That is the first step to the healing process. You need to admit you are keeping a toxic relationship if you display any of these traits and find ways of cleaning it up or running away from it.

© picasion.com_9CWp

3 Life Lessons to Take from Anas’ Number #12 Documentary

Whether you are a Ghanaian football fanatic or not, in the past weeks, there have been two names in the trends of both mainstream and social media – Anas and Kwesi Nyantekyi. The former is an investigative journalist while the latter tripled as the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council Member of FIFA.

For the purposes of those who do not know these two, Anas conducted an investigation into football administration in Ghana and came out with evidence that indeed there are corrupt officials who were ‘spoiling’ the beautiful game including the latter. After the documentary was aired, one of the questions people kept asking was why the former GFA President, in particular, allowed himself to be caught in such a compromising situation. Before you try and pass any judgements, please read three key lessons we have compiled from the above expose:

Lesson #1 If You do not stand for something, you will fall for anything

During an Ethics class back in school, our lecturer kept hammering on the importance of culling personal statements. In short sentences, these statements should include everything we stood for as individuals and should have the ability to govern every area of our lives, especially, when we are caught up in difficult situations. If you are Christian in any institution, perhaps, what should guide your personal statements are some of the prescriptions in the Bible. For instance, the Bible says we should obey those in authority so you can go with that. The Bible also says we should love our neighbours as ourselves, therefore, the last thing you’d ever do is to consciously hurt anyone. Practically, even when you are caught up in a queue at the bank, you wouldn’t cross the line while ignoring all those who have been in the hall. Before you take a bribe to influence a football match decision, as an official, you’d probably think of all the people seated in the stadium who are passionately supporting their teams. There are several biblical principles which we can adapt to guide our lives. Even if you not a fan of the Bible, adopt some good life philosophies (normative ethics) and let them shape your decisions. Yes, some institutions have Code of Ethics designed to define what constitutes right and wrong, but as an individual, allow some personal principles to guide the decisions you take.

Lesson #2 Whoever loves money never has enough – Ecclesiastes 4:10

We are living in a society where people are abandoning their purpose/passions and chasing after money and power because that is the new definition of success. We say ‘people are making it big’ when they are driving the latest cars and living in big houses. We give people respect when they are able to give fat tips or are dressed in the most fashionable clothes. No wonder we hardly get satisfied with what God provides for us and will go to all levels to enrich ourselves. After the documentary was aired, most people were shocked at the former GFA President in his pursuit to become rich despite all his credentials. Perhaps, if society shifts its focus off money and physical possessions as being the measure of success, individuals will be more patient, more content with the little they have and spend more time seeking and proudly running with their purpose, and that will ultimately eschew corruption in all its forms.

Lesson #3 Do not judge, or you too will be judged – Matthew 7:1

Put yourself to the test, before you cast a stone at Kwesi Nyantekyi or any of the officials who were caught on tape in compromising situations, ask yourself if you are an angel. Conceivably, you are seeing yourself as ‘holy’ because you haven’t been tested at that level. Personally, when I cast my mind back, there were positions I have held where I had to compromise a little bit to make the people around me ‘comfortable.’ It was a difficult decision and my conscience was severely pricked but I did that. Probably, you have not been presented with a huge ‘deal’ that when you pocket a small amount, nobody would notice. That pending contract which has the potential of changing your fortunes forever has not presented to you so we are unsure if you’d pass the test. Thus, let us be more circumspect in the words we use on the people who have been caught on camera while we pray we aren’t presented with such a test.

Have you seen the documentary? Are there any lessons you picked? What are your general views on corruption? You’d definitely love to hear from you. 

© picasion.com_9CWp

Motherhood – My Story

When I was ‘diagnosed’ of pregnancy in 2016:

  1. I was surprised.😯  I didn’t realise getting pregnant could come that easy for me. I could count the number of times I had had sex since I got married in December 2015 and I was certain it was not up to 50 times, so how did I get pregnant so quickly?
  2. I was disappointed. 😞I had planned out my year and that included going back to school and combining that with my job. Secondly, I had assured my friends I wasn’t going to get pregnant in my first year of marriage so how come?
  3. I was scared.😩 Who am I to be a mother? What are the theories of motherhood? What were the characteristics of good mothers? I had a lot of questions but no answers, initially. I was unprepared.

“Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain—your life will never be the same.” – Catherine Jones

My husband was at his supportive best, answered most of the questions I had medically, and referred me to one of the best (in opinion) gynaecologists. During our first meeting, the gynaecologist encouraged me to be happy because I had no idea of what other women had to endure just to have babies. That statement got me reflecting, I felt I had been ungrateful for something as beautiful as the opportunity to bring life into the world. I started seeing my pregnancy in a new light and considered the best ways to make the most out of the situation.

I began reading and researching and of course, Pinterest (my favourite social media platform) and Baby Centre (app) were very resourceful and they cleared most of the misconceptions I had about childbearing. I spoke to other young mothers and there was a similar theme running through their conversations – Yes, delivering the baby was painful but an experience every woman needs to go through. Probably, the nine-month gestation period was designed by God for us to accept our new state and make preparations for the new addition. I made some adjustments to my career in order to combine schooling with motherhood (blog post for another day) and God has been faithful.

By God’s grace, my pregnancy experience was problem-free. No weight gain, no sicknesses, small tummy size and I could walk very well. Fast-forward to the delivery day, I had read so much about the process and I was certain I was going to sail through. I knew labour was painful but breathing through it gave you relief and that was going to be my strategy. When the labour started, my strategy was working perfectly until the process was augmented. That was when the pains switched from first to fifth gear. It was P-A-I-N-F-U-L and U-N-B-E-A-R-A-B-L-E. 😂 That level of pain is simply out of this world and for 12 hours, my body had to go through that to bring a 3KG baby girl into the world. There is a popular notion that when you see your baby, you forget about the pain. Well, my body didn’t forget about the pain. I felt traumatised and abused after going through that experience and I could barely sit up to touch my little girl. Before my delivery day, I had planned to dress my baby in a white dress, swaddle her nicely and take selfies when she was handed to me but, after what my body went through, I could hardly remember any of those plans. I’m not even certain who went into the suitcase to give the stuff for the baby to the midwives. When I saw my baby, she was already dressed in orange ‘welcome’ clothes (probably selected by her father)😁. Thank God for her father who was present throughout the delivery process and offered all the help.

When women get pregnant, we probably believe we’ll be free after the delivery process but, that is one of the biggest misconceptions ever. The delivery process is actually the baptism into the ‘new’ life. There is absolutely no rest even if you have help, you still have to breastfeed and adjust your sleep pattern to accommodate the little ones who want nothing but comfort (blog post for another day).

Before I became a mum myself, I thought Mothers Day was overhyped but after I experienced what I experienced and I’m still experiencing, I feel mothers are not even celebrated enough. In fact, every day should be mothers’ day because the job is tough and the sleepless nights, numerous. The job description includes being a cleaner, a nutritionist, an entertainer, a clown, a cook, teacher and any other role prescribed by the baby.

 “Birth is a mystery. Words are not enough.” – Marie O’Connor

Let me take this opportunity to celebrate all mothers because the role is a challenging one. To women who do not have biological children but sacrifice to make others comfortable, we say Ayekoo. And to mothers who have children with special needs, you are also doing brilliant jobs and we celebrate you today.

As a society, is it possible to ask us to stop questioning married couples on when they intend to have children? Childbearing is a choice, therefore, please stop putting people in uncomfortable situations when they have to keep explaining themselves to you. You have no idea of what their plans entail nor are you aware of what they are going through. The pressure you give may push them to do stuff in their power just to have babies and that could be deadly.

Motherhood is an amazing journey which never ends and to all the women giving lives and hope to people, we say a big thank you.