Last words

See the source imageFear not, I am not dying, as interesting (read that as tough) as the year has been, we’ve still got air in our lungs, the mind box is still functional, (at least I think so, we will soon establish  that theory at the end of this post). And no this is not a new year resolution post, rather it’s a post to get off my chest something it has been brewing for a while now.

Through the course of the year I have been fortunate/unfortunate to read a lot of social media posts on marriage, relationships and the general emotional upheave that seems bent on denting the ideology that men and women can coexist peacefully under a contractual agreement. I have often been tempted to write an article, or comment in response to these posts. Something along the lines of ‘…..a good man would never treat ….., a good woman would always …..’, and every single time my mind reminds me of how subjective that thought or idea was. 

Reading  peoples comments often helps me see clearly, other times it enrages me, especially when they make references to bible passages, taking them out of context or simply imposing their thoughts on the scripture. A very good example is the Proverb 31 woman, who from people’s comment I deduce is a docile wife, but formidable business woman. A woman with a firm lid on her emotions in her husbands presence, (no anger, no disappointment, no tiredness, basically no negative emotions when he’s around). People assume her husbands delight in her stems from her ability to walk/work as his clone, someone who avails him of the opportunity to be in two different places at once, without being a UFO. 

Others refer to scriptures on the husband that point out his headship, but ignore other blatant truths in the same scripture. An example is the instruction for every leader to serve his followers, placing leaders at the bottom of the ladder. Another one places a demand on husbands, urging them to love their wifes’ in a deeply sacrificial way. However, this post is not about the husband or wife, it is about being a consistently good human. 

Every human should aim to be kind, good, peaceful, gentle, joyful, peaceful, tolerant,See the source image forbearance, loyal, and above self-controlled. This human can be a husband, wife, business owner, ruler, son, daughter, mother, father, neighbour. A human who places this standards as the minimal bases for human interaction, will be a good ….. (affix your own label). They will exhibit these traits at the very core of their interaction, every other behaviour will be subjective to the prevailing circumstances. And, because they are human, they will fall short sometimes, but they will right themselves again.

What makes you a good husband or wife is not in how expertly you respect (but secretly scorn) your partner, it’s not in how expertly you love (but secretly degrade) your partner. What makes you a good husband or wife, lies is how good you are as a person. How far you would go chasing perfection (refer to the above subjective interpretation of proverbs 31 and the husbands roles) at the expense of the real person wearing that ring you slipped on their fingers. How far would you go chasing your dreams at the expense of the other person who signed up to be your team mate, (meaning no ones dream gets abandoned intentionally or without acknowledgement at the starting whistle) and not just a cheerleader. An ambassador (both spouses should be representatives of the family but still individuals in their own rights) not just a clone.

In 2019 be a good person, be consistent.

 

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The boss, her business and essence.

Welcome to Flavoured Friday Fodder where I get to share my thoughts on random issues. For the month of November and December I hope to throw in interviews with men and women from different works of life on different issues. Today’s interview focuses on marriage and business and  our guest is a business woman who lives in Nigeria. Please find the interview below, I hope one or two things resonate with you:


The boss, her business and essence:
BrushstrokesNG CEO
The boss

Please introduce yourself: I’m Tejumade Nwafor Mrs. Loving wife, blessed mother of 3 amazing children and a student of life.

We would love to hear your business pitch and present capacity in that business:  Brushstrokes makeovers is a beauty hub, a revolving platform where beauty is redefined daily. I presently serve as the dean of our make-up academy and the team leader of our creative department.

Her business BrushstrokesNG. Feather lite reusable false eyelashes is a brand under BrushstrokesNG.

What shaped your choice of business venture? My love for rediscovering one’s self led me here and the sheer joy evident on a satisfied client face kept me here for all these years. Also the ability to recreate the same passion in willing trainees drives me to keep going.

You started your business at a relatively young age, was that an advantage? Yes it was, I HAD AMPLE TIME TO MAKE MISTAKES AND LEARN FROM THEM. Experiential knowledge has been one of my greatest sources of courage and platform for improvement.

Any work experience prior to this business, did you gain anything from it? As an undergraduate I studied mass communication, majoring in public relations and advertising whilst studying I worked as a voice-over artist for a few years (that was my first ever paying job, it helped take care of my needs whilst schooling). And as a youth corps member (a mandatory one year service to the Nigeria) I worked at champion newspapers a print media house in Lagos, that was my last desk job.These experiences till date influence my business and people management skills.

What worries you the most about your present business? the one path that gives me a bit of concern is continuity: taking measures to duplicate my expertise and skills in others is slowly putting that fear to rest.

What fear (if any) proved difficult to surmount: In the past I had trouble mingling with other women in my industry as I hate negative competition with a passion and it’s well known that women have a tendency to be that way, but now with God’s help and time I’ve discovered that there are” diamonds in the rough” as they say.

Where do you find courage to continue: First, from my husband whose support is unending and unconditional. Then good friends and accountability partners in my industry: there are a few out there, men and women who share a similar dream to mine but aren’t threatened by my growth or accomplishments. We help each other along the path of success

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Is marriage for everyone? No marriage isn’t for everyone

How should single people view marriage? Marriage was not created to make a sad person happy or an unfulfilled person feel fulfilled. A successful single person brings their success into marriage to built a successful team of husband, wife and perhaps children.

Do you think society’s attitude to marriage is affecting people’s choices? Yes, sadly society and especially public media has distorted what God intended marriage to be. People get married for self serving purposes, what they can get from the other partner and not what they can give. Living with one foot posed to run at the first sign of trials. Marriage is a serious partnership.

Some say marriage impedes business and personal growth, is that true in all cases? I can only speak on what I have seen and that’s not true in all cases. In my opinion, it occurs when couples are not rightly counselled before marriage, thus they have misconceptions and wrong expectations of their spouses. Marriage should be a fulfilment of the scripture that says one shall chase a thousand and two shall chase ten thousand, spouses multiplying each others capacities. Being fulfilled in marriage requires a knowing of your true self, your strengths and investing that into helping your partner and vice versa.

Did marriage bring anything to your business? YES, I GAINED A FORMIDABLE BUSINESS PARTNER AND COUNSELLOR IN MY HUSBAND. When my business clocked 10 years he encouraged me to start a legacy, to invest in something that would carry on long after I drop my brushes and thus the Brushstrokes featherlite eyelash line was born.

Raising a family is quite tasking, how does that affect your business? I started working in my chosen field before I started a family, it never posed a problem as I had a good network to help with whatever was too much for me to handle per time. I’m blessed with the support of my mother on the domestic front and staff that keep things going when I’m indisposed. In the early days however, It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to make it work.

How do you keep the family and business fronts happy? Balance: balance is necessary in everything you do as a woman. work is good in and of itself but starving any aspect of life can cause that part to die “literally”. Learn when to work and when to stop, there is certainly a time for everything.

What lessons have you taken out of marriage into business and vice versa? Building capacity, especially in relationships. Good relationships are a strong leverage when it comes to both marriage and business. Take good care of those who care for you and they will reciprocate.

In your own words please complete the sentence an achievement is …. doing what God has called me to do well.

Is marriage an achievement or not? marriage is an achievement; a means to an even greater end which is fulfilling destiny. A mutually consenting partnership with both partners building each other up to become the best possible versions of themselves.

When can we bury our dreams: bury your dreams when you are six feet under. On second thought, Never! Even post-humus, a well written out dream can be executed by the next generation.. e.g. Walt Disney.

Finally in two quotes, define your life motto:  Never stop learning, knowledge liberates.  Change is the only constant factor in life so seek change at all costs.

Click on this link to visit her website and here for her facebook page.

Did you hear … ?

There are two things that definitely set the atmosphere buzzing in Nigeria, prayers and celebrations especially weddings. Don’t get me wrong politics and some other stuff often engages the general public, but amongst women for some unknown reason prayers and weddings come first, they also tend to have a longer impact than other issues. Most times the two are inseparable; thus, it is not unusual to hear someone ask a bride or a married woman ‘did you hear from God before deciding to marry him?‘  As a Christian, I can relate quite well with this question.

As Christians we are supposed to be guided by God in our daily life and when it comes to choosing a spouse we should equally depend on his leading and direction. But that whole ‘did you hear from God question’ in my opinion has become a little trivialized, if not overrated and misappropriated. What does it really mean? With loads of people running from pillar to post, prayer houses to mountain tops it’s no surprise that the hearing process has become more of a validation exercise from some spiritual leader or another.

What does it really mean to you out there? When people pose that question at you what would your answer be? For loads of people it might mean an affirmation from a Man of God over them as a couple, a positive thumps up. One question though, if the said man of God visits you three years down the line and says to you “know what I really had no clue what I was talking about when you visited me; I didn’t hear anything from God, just got a vibe from the both of you, you complimented each other very well. What would be the tone of your marriage from there on ….? Would it change anything? Would you want to go back in time? And, this is not the case of a bad marriage I mean your marriage is fine, but would discovering a piece of your foundation wasn’t as ingrained as you thought it was, affect your thinking? Would it raise doubt? It’s not wrong to have that affirmation, but nothing beats personal conviction, the witness should bear testimony to what you know within.

What did you hear? What are you hearing now?


Listening to the speaker in church last week as he discussed the outlook of Jesus to divorce, I couldn’t help thinking maybe divorces happen because we are seeking affirmation rather than listening. Affirmation gets you the wedding, listening by both parties keeps you in the marriage as it undergoes several turns and cycles. In Matthew 19:8 Jesus said “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so”. A hard heart is a sign of shutting God out of our lives and once it sets in on either side; it’s downhill from there. 

Slide2
Sat. Nav: Continue for a 100 yards then turn left. You: Left? I don’t think that’s the right route, I’ll go straight on.

Hearing from God at the beginning and then going off on your own is much like starting a journey with a satellite navigator and then choosing to ignore it’s directives. You let your emotions, struggles, insecurities and fear crowd its voice or create doubt in your mind about its ability to guide you to your destination. Thankfully like the SAT. NAV. God keeps redirecting us back to the right track, but we must listen to avoid running into a collision.

I write this mostly as a reminder to never forget that I chose to marry my spouse; I opened my heart with all its flaws to him with a confidence in Gods word that his spirit will guide me through days of misunderstandings and mountain climbs (Job 32: 28). The day I start to shut my heart is the day I start to lose the plot.

Trust me it isn’t biscuit business, I am no marriage expert and honestly I haven’t got a clue about much, just wanted to share what I learnt.