MY ABBA IS AT IT AGAIN

So my Abba has this thing that He does where He puts me in one kin situation like this and then proceeds to chortle at my extreme discomfort as He works on yet another part of me.

He’s at it again. This time, it’s voice-overs. Lemme explain.

At my office, a couple of people have recently called me to do voiceovers for one program or the other (Coming soon!) This wouldn’t be a big deal except for one thing; I am not the most expressive of people. As a matter of fact, sometimes it takes me hours to realise that I am happy/sad/angry.

Now I have deep emotional reserves, I feel a range of emotions, but I don’t express them. From happiness to sadness to anger, my voice stays at the same pitch, perfectly modulated, deeply soothing (I’ve been told), almost impersonal. Now when I lose my temper, I start shouting like I’ve suddenly been possessed like a town crier, but apart from those times…nada.

Infact let me tell you guys a story. When I was in the Talk Academy for the Debaters, one of our coaches one day decided that he wanted to work with some of us on infusing emotion into our voices. He would play someone’s debate, have the class grade it out of 10, give the person a scene to act out and then have the class grade him/her again. My turn came; when my debate ended, my classmates graded, people were shouting “1!!!”, “2!!!”  One kind soul gave me 3. Out of 10! I then started acting out the scene – guys, I acted, I poured my soul into it, I was on the verge of tears sef with the power of my emotion. My new score? 3 – 4, with probably the same kind soul giving me 5.

I think I’ve proven my point.

The fact that I yell when I’m angry as well as the fact that I’m a strong singing soprano tell me that my vocal behaviour is more mental/emotional than about the physical state of my vocal cords.

And now I have to do voiceovers. Where you have to eject emotion into your voice. You see wahala ba?

The first one was easy; something within my normal voice range. Then they said “Show excitement”. How does one do this biko? I tried to explain that I don’t do excitement, but no one listened. They would just demonstrate, and then wait patiently for me to do what they wanted. So Arit is now learning to show excitement.

My Father, who knows the plans He has for me, has put in place a training program that is forcing me out of yet another comfort zone. I am learning to express, to raise pitch, to add inflection and emotion.

Sometime this week sha, I realised that I want to get good at this. I want to giggle, chortle, pitch, emote, project and express my way to excellence. I want people to listen and feel the exact emotions each word is supposed to. Just like I make pictures with my words, I want to make them with my voice. And I want to do a darn good job of it.

Another story

In 2004, I went to Zamfara for my service; the day after registration, I was fast asleep when they started calling us to come for the morning parade. I staggered up, threw on my clothes and appeared on the parade ground with my white shorts and tees, a hairnet and bathroom slippers. By the time they started marching practice, I was a goner. Couldn’t keep time, couldn’t lift my feet, couldn’t focus, couldn’t wait to be done. 3 weeks later, I was the Ensign to the colours in the Colour party (the group of people who hold the flag and the drums). I quick marched, slow marched and did all those side marching tins where you start out somewhere and end up somewhere else totally. I did them perfectly.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…and my Papa is an excellent teacher. Whenever I am tempted to get discouraged about doing something new, I pull up that time-lapse video of me in Zamfara and I remember the flush of pride as I stood there in my khakis in the hot Zamfara sun with my eyes straight and my spine straighter, only 3 weeks after probably being the most hopeless marcher that the soldiers had ever seen.

I’m going to rock at this; just wait and see.

No be me o! I can’t do diddly by myself, but my Father operates with excellence. He looked at everything He had done and declared them very good. That’s just the way my Father is. Arit was made in His image, I do as He does. That’s the way He is, so that’s the way I am.

Shikena

 

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WALKING ON WATER

Ermm…this is the part 2 of the Part 1 that I posted last week. It has been a hectic couple of days – I’m working all through this week and it seems that there are 5 million things to do and 5 million people to see before I finally leave for Cally…but I thank God for the grace to go through all this with a smile on my face…all na Him.

So, last week, after I had put up my post, I got hit again by the utter certainty that I was making a mistake. All I could think of was all the plans I had made – I mean, I had a 25 year career plan. I started biting my nails and wringing my hands and then God whispers to my spirit – “This is an attack”  As that thought entered, I began to remind myself of God’s assurances ad faithfulness, and the storm ebbed. But guess what, that wasn’t the end of it, later that night, 3am, Abba kept me up and so I was playing music, singing absent-mindedly to Him and just chilling, then – God by Donald Lawrence and the Tricity Singers came on. They sang this line “Whatever You do with me, it’s alright, You have my total trust” and guys, I realised that I was still holding on to MY plans, MY dreams, as if He did not give them to me. That was the door that the devil kept using to slip fear and unbelief into my spirit. And so I released them to Him, asked Him to take them back, I re-surrendered to His will for me and that was it…everything zapped. for good…I almost literally felt fear and doubt leave my body.

I’m grateful for a Father that instructs and teaches, one who guides me so lovingly with His all-seeing eye. One who searches my spirit, who digs deep and finds the roots of every issue…

Now, what are some other things I learned from this – Well, sometimes people will see something in you before you do. Almost everyone I have told about this job has said to me, “That would suit you so well. It’s so totally you” which always comes as a surprise, because I didn’t see it coming. I’m grateful for people who see more in me than I see in myself – God uses them as a mirror to help me see myself as He sees me. It’s awesome.

I also had to deal with the other side. Someone looking at me and doubting that the job would last, people who went quiet and changed the subject, people who acted like it was no big deal and nothing to celebrate…I heard and saw all. I won’t deny that it smarted, but it opened my eyes to some people in my life and the level of access I have allowed them.

Finally sha, I am grateful to God for everything that this month has brought my way, all things are truly working out for my good and I am blessed and highly favoured, anointed for great things, ready to take over this new territory.  I’ve put one application for testimony before God, asking Him for something that can only be from Him…I look forward to sharing that too.

In the meanwhile, I wish you all a great rest of the week and God’s abundant blessings

 

CLUTCHING THE SIDE OF THIS BOAT

I’m suspecting that my theme for this month might well be transition, because so many things are popping up in this month that I just need to share. This month – this transition is opening my eyes to so many new things; let me share some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:

1. Not every transition is easy. Yes sometimes it’s clearcut – you know with clarity and certainty that your time in this place/with this person is over and it is time to move on. But sometimes it’s not so easy – I had a job I loved; I enjoyed working with kids, carrying out my teacher mentoring sessions, working with my incredible team of admin girls. Management position, oversight functions over almost 100 staff;  it was hard. I had to think long and hard about whether I really wanted to leave all that to a totally new field and effectively start from scratch.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that every decision that you need to make must be easy. Sometimes these things break your heart; it doesn’t mean that it is the wrong decision.

I argued with myself, struggled, analyzed and rationalized. And you know God now, all the while I was agonizing, He was organizing things in such a way that it was virtually impossible for me to drag my feet on making the decisions I needed to make. When I was little (kai I’m ashamed to admit this) I hated to eat. So my granny would call one of the young men who worked for her and pretend to beat him; for some reason, this amused me tremendously. Everytime I laughed out loud (evil pikin tins), a piece of food would be popped into my mouth (I told you it was shameful) . I swear God did the same thing to me. Everytime I came up with an argument or something, He would quietly just make a move. It assures me though, it tells me how absolutely He is in control, that  even when we are tempted to sabotage our own growth, He works things in such a way that we have to option but to move to the place that He has planned for us. Awesome ba?

Let me share this Scripture – Proverbs 20:24 says, “A man’s steps are of the LORD; how then can a man understand his own way?” Don’t let anything make you feel bad for not always knowing the answers; not every answer is ours to know, sometimes, we actually need to take a leap in the dark..I think its called faith.

I remember tweeting one day that “There are things you cannot be indifferent or undecided about, if you want to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat”. I was there feeling like a bawse and I’m sure God fell off His chair laughing at my confidence as I wrote that tweet. Because when the time came, guess who was clutching the side of the boat, staring at the waves and thinking “Darn that water looks deep!”

I’m grateful though, I’m grateful for a Father who understands His children as thoroughly as Abba does us. He knows us – inside out. He doesn’t condemn your weaknesses, He uses them to effect the things that need to happen in your life. That’s how awesome He is!

And in the same vein Sometimes enough is the enemy of more.

Do you remember that time when you never had enough? How you walked everywhere so that you could save your transport money for food? Do you remember the times when your pockets and cupboards were always empty? And you woke up midnight to pray and bind and cast  poverty? You declared abundance by fire and commanded your breakthrough to come. Then things started trickling in and suddenly you could afford some things. Things weren’t great but at least you could buy eba with a piece of meat and take a keke to where you needed to go.

And you gradually forget that this wasn’t what you prayed for.

And when the opportunity finally comes to take a step to what you’ve always dreamed of, instead of excitement, there is fear. Fear because what if this falls through and I lose this small eba I have started eating? What if this is a mistake? Maybe I should just be content, practical, realistic. Because surely wanting more than this is greed. So you resolutely close the door on the opportunity to actualize your dreams and face the “just enough” of your daily life.

If this isn’t your story, it is mine. Life was gradually becoming comfortable, predictable…and I was in danger of forgetting the future because of the security of the now. I am thankful for the hunger He had started to stir in me though, the restlessness, the desire for something I couldn’t completely grasp.

I pray that God keeps me hungry guys, because my dreams are big. Much bigger than I am. Everytime I become comfortable, start to adjust, God shakes things up within me and creates an itch in my spirit, and suddenly I want more. And the day the opportunity comes, I am looking for it because He has made my seat uncomfortable enough to where I can no longer chill in peace.

I learned to listen to the truth behind my what ifs. You know now, you’re trying to decide and all sorts of things fill your mind and suddenly you’re thinking of every possible thing that can happen…your what ifs are a window to what the root issue really is. Fear of making a mistake, fear of loss, fear of rejection…when you diagnose your what ifs, you often find out that there is more to this issue than the decision you need to make. You might find something you have carried along for so long that it has become a part of your decision making process.

I hate that phrase – “the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know”. Really? How did we figure this out? So you stick with that drama filled partner who makes you more miserable than happy and you are scared to end it because what if this is the best you can get? You are scared to leave that job where the boss takes perverse pleasure in treating you like crap because you don’t think you have what it takes to get a better one? You stick with those friends whose compliments always sound like insults because if you stop talking to them you don’t know if anyone will talk to you…

Naw, I’ll take my chances with the angel. Thanks but no thanks.

Ok let me stop here…I just realised how long this post is…I’ll do my best to post the 2nd part of it later today or tomorrow, thank you so much as always for reading guys

Last but most definitely not least, Eid Mubarak to my Muslim readers, may God accept your prayers and overwhelm you with blessings.