Are you Clingy?

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Hi guys!

How’s it going? Hope the month has been going well for you so far. I pray that God’s hands of protection will continually be upon you and yours in Jesus’ name. No evil shall befall anyone of us. Amen.

So I woke up this morning to the news of a married man who attempted to marry another woman and then his legal wife came to disrupt the wedding armed with her dad, news crew and journalists. Like really?!!! The way we humans behave sometimes has me reeling! And you sat down there calmly, about to be joined with a woman with full knowledge of the fact that you are still joined to another. Oma ga oooo! Iriri aye. Nkan be  (I’ve run out out expressions).

marriage

So many questions come to mind: Had they already gone to the Marriage Registry as most couples do before going to church? If they had, then a crime might have been committed depending on the state (although I hear Bigamy is no longer a crime in Lagos).

Piece of Legal Info (hehehe): A good number of churches do not have the legal right to join people in holy matrimony and most solemnization ceremonies we attend are not what actually joins parties at law. They would have already been married and already be free to do the do (:P) before the Priest says, ‘You may kiss the bride’.

This is what the process is like:

Peter and Alice fall in love and decide to marry. They go to a Marriage Registry and pick up a Form A which is a Notice Form. They are required to fill in all their personal details including Name, Age, Address, Occupation, Status (Single, Married, Divorced or Widow), Consent (minor under 21 years), Signature etc. The point of these is that if either one puts a fake name, the marriage in void ab initio, not voidable o but void. In the eye of the law, it never happened. So no fakery allowed.

They would also need to have 2 coloured passport photographs. The form is posted on the noticeboard at the Registry for 21 days. The notice is also entered in a book called the Marriage Notice Book which may be inspected by interested parties during office hours without fee. The idea is to put the world on notice so whoever has any reason why they should not marry can enter a caveat or something along those lines.

After these are satisfied and the prescribed time has elapsed, the Registrar would issue a Form C after the following criteria has been met and satisfied:

i)    that one of the parties has been resident within the district in which the marriage is intended to be celebrated; and
ii)    that each of the parties to the intended marriage (not being a widower or widow) is twenty-one years old, and if under that age, the consent hereinafter made requisite has been obtained in writing and is annexed to such affidavit; and
iii)    that there is not any impediment of kindred ie consaguinity or affinity, or any other lawful hindrance to the marriage; eg married already under the Act; and
iv)    that neither of the parties to the intended marriage is married by customary law to any person other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed to be contracted.

Points to note: If you have been married under the Act, you cannot marry under the Act again without first obtaining a decree absolute. Interpretation: if a marriage wasn’t based on just cowry shells and ‘orogbo‘ and Seaman Schnapps which makes it a customary marriage, you cannot subsequently, marry another person without first going through divorce proceedings. In fact, the law recognises customary marriages and if you have undergone customary marriage, you can only marry under the Act if your ‘bride under the Act’ is still the same customary bride ie repeating your marriage by making it have a stronger legal backing-renewal of vows etc under the principle in Jadesinmi v Okotie-Eboh. So that man who sat there was merely wasting everyone’s time and at best was entering into a customary marriage. Sadly, you can  enter into a customary marriage after one under the Act but you cannot enter into one under the Act after a customary marriage unless parties remain the same.

So the married lady could have just as easily sat back sipping on caramel latte as she knows what is going on is nothing but a mere party. But I bet it must hurt sha. I do feel bad for the ladies. I feel bad for the ‘new bride’ if she didn’t know he was previously married. People oooooo!!! Hear hear!!! Before you marry someone you have not dated for too long, please, jo, biko do your due diligence and carry out all necessary investigations- go the Marriage Registry of states he has lived etc, you might also like to do some CRB check on him before you marry a paedophilic sodomite who was granted pardon by his President, yes one was recently pardoned by our merciful President. I guess that is what this world has turned into now!!! Sigh.

Sources: My wonderful lecturer at Nigerian Law School Lagos (NT), Marriage Act, Matrimonial Causes Act, namywedding website 🙂

***

Today, I want to discuss something I find very interesting. I consider it to be one of the deep secrets of life. It is a secret because it belies its true nature and consequence and people hardly see it for what it really is. For example, think of the art of giving. Based on commonsense, the more you give out, the less you have. But in reality, in life, based on God’s principles and even based on the principles of nature- the more you give, the more you receive. This can be likened to today’s topic- being clingy, insecure and overly self sacrificial in a relationship.

clingy

Based on commonsense, the more you call to check up on your partner, the more you drop any and every thing to attend to their needs, the more you love them, baby them or mummy/daddy them, the more you show them how emotionally dependent on them you are, the more they should love you back. But it never works that way. Ok, let me say it almost never works that way. Statistics have shown that clinginess, neediness in a relationship stifles its natural growth, chokes it and will eventually kill it. From the point of view of a lady, a clingy, needy man is a total no-no. It reeks of lack of self worth and when you spend your entire day calling, checking up, “holla-ing”, it makes one wonder, ‘aren’t you busy? Do you not have things to accomplish in your day? Have you nothing to spend your time doing?’

I’m going to don the dual hat of tutor and student today as I dare not judge 😀

Are you clingy in your relationship?

clingy 2

  1. Do you depend on your partner for your daily dose of joy and happiness or do they simply add some flavour to an already beautiful and fulfilled life?
  2. Are you upset when they update their BBM status and have not sent you a good morning message?
  3. Do you feel bad when they have made plans without you in it such as hanging out with friends, holidaying alone or with family, being engaged at work for long hours?
  4. Do you investigate every DP update wondering when he or she went out with the people in the picture, wanting to know each and everyone of them and his female friends’ marital/relationship status to be certain they pose no threat?
  5. Are you ever ready to drop all you are doing to accommodate them?
  6. Do you cancel plans with friends and family simply because he/she is free now and you can’t afford to miss a chance to be with them?
  7. Are you so afraid to lose your partner that you would do almost anything to make it work including running out of an important meeting to answer their rare call?
  8. Are you so careful around your partner, quick to apologise, tip toeing so as not to make them reconsider dating you?
  9. Do you constantly want to shield them from being exposed to, attracted to or seduced by another that you monopolise their time, even causing tantrums and constantly seeking attention, approval and validation?
  10. Do you know who you are and what you want in and from a relationship and request for it or are you simply happy to be in it and are scared to appear demanding and never want to ruffle feathers-your motto being let sleeping dogs lie?
  11. Are you sad if you don’t hear from them then suddenly have the surge of joy once they get in touch? In other words, do they have a hold of the controls of your moods and emotions?

All these are clear signs of clinginess and emotional reliance and emotional dependence in a relationship-all detrimental to it.

clingy

But I love him! What is wrong with showing him just how much? (From the lady’s perspective)

 

  1. At the beginning of a new, fledgling relationship, it’s all lovey dovey, gooey, I-can’t-breath-without-you but it’s very important to draw a line between showing interest and being clingy. You can love him without making yourself look like you have nothing else going on for you in your life and he is the be all and end all of your existence. Truth is, as flattering as it may appear initially, no one wants to be saddled with such a responsibility or should I say, chore.
  2. It is so easy for him to take advantage of you and take you for granted without even meaning to or having evil intents. He loses respect and value for you and your time gradually and before long, your attractiveness meter reads 0. However physically attractive a woman is, without a measure of self, self worth, self-achievement, goals, dreams, standards, she stops looking like such a catch with time. Everyone wants a catch!
  3. If you are always available, you appear like someone with no life, a lay about, a loafer and an aimless person who is always free. Even if you are like Olawamiri in a previous MCLA post who was job hunting and are not so busy, be busy job hunting not just always free and ‘there’.
  4. When your life is scheduled around your partner, a vicious cycle is created. Do you hate saying what your day, week, weekend is going to look like and prefer him saying what his plans are first so you can fit yours around his and avoid him not being available? Then there is a problem.
  5. Never make a human being your Number 1 priority. That position is reserved for God. Allow another take the reins and mount the seat and they will mess it up badly leaving smithereens of your broken heart in their wake.

alone

Ok, so it’s confirmed- I am clingy. What do I do?

Now that you have realized that you are indeed clingy, you have accomplished step 1 which is self-diagnosis. I always tell people that if you understand the first principles behind a concept, it will be easy to tackle it even if it comes in different variants. So above all things, seek deep understanding of rationales.

So what is wrong with being clingy? What does it really about you as a person? It says you are insecure. It says you are not sure you are worth that much and you must have hit the jackpot to find yourself in the relationship and the minute it ends, your life returns to Ground Zero and heaven forbid you finding yourself in the league of the Single Ladies again.

It says you know you are not worthy of that relationship and you should consider yourself lucky to be one half of such a duo that you had better tread carefully before you lose it all. It says you know and are fully aware of the fact that you do not bring much to the relationship table. It says you are gold digger not a helpmeet.

It says you know there are so many other girls finer, better, hotter, nicer, wiser than you and most scarily, more suited for and deserving of your man so you had better shield him from them before one of them uses either ‘tiro’ or just her natural charms (which you are in short supply of) to snatch him away. It says without him in your life, your existence is dull. You have no engagements to attend to and at the end of each day, you have no ‘gist’ of how interesting your day was because, guess what, it was all about him and you had already given him a blow by blow, minute by minute update of how it went anyway!

1. Now that you know how low you appear by being clingy, ask God for grace to discover yourself in Him and to begin to appreciate how much you really are worth. Only God can reveal your worth to you. No amount of man’s praises or whispers of sweet nothings should define you to you. People’s accolades on you should simply be a confirmation of what you are well aware of. (But remember humility sha :p)

2. Rekindle lost friendships. Begin to get in touch with your dumpees by asking them what they’re up to, paying them a visit, calling them and going for drinks in a group just to ‘catch up’. If you are lucky and have nice friends, they will let go of your temporary insanity and welcome you right back into the fold. If they’re a tad mean, they might put you through hoops and make sure you earn the friendship back, hehe.

frrr

Rekindling friendships has many benefits: you realize you have such gold in your friends; you realize what they are up to and get inspired by them. For instance, some might have started a business by the side, started applying for Masters, practising for the GMat, GRE or LSAT, some might be applying for huge positions in big firms and be on Stage 5 of 8 and have tips to share on the process, some might be in long distance relationships that are (surprise-surprise) working just fine, another’s boyfriend might have just gotten on the exchange program to work in a Magic Circle firm in the UK for 3 months and to your surprise, shock, befuddlement, she is very happy and excited for him and not in the least bit scared of losing him, some might have started weekend culinary classes to learn or improve on their cooking, some might have joined a charity that feeds people on the streets every month or teaches English to students in poor schools, some might be going through serious challenges of life that humbles you. From such meetings, you begin to realize that there is so much more to life than your boyfriend represents.

3. People who are overly clingy in their relationships hardly have time for family either. Spend a whole Saturday gisting with your mom (not about potential wedding colours o) but just about life, your studies, your work etc. Cook for your father. Take your niece to the cinema on Saturday to see a Ben 10 or whatever kids love these days. Plan to spend a weekend visiting a relative or a friend who lives in a different state. Remember that a healthy relationship should make your other relationships better and stronger. People should see you growing and glowing and not begin to wonder what went wrong with you and then attribute it to your relationship. You should never lose true friends because you started dating neither should your partner drive a wedge between yourself and your family.

4. Trust God enough to give him space. Yep, I said it! If you trust that the plans He has for you are of good and not of evil to give an expected end, you will not live in constant fear of losing your partner. Fear has torment and is not of God. Remember, instead of the spirit of fear, God has given you the spirit of love, of power and of a sound mind. If he is truly the one for you, you would not need to hustle to keep him or be keeping tabs on him or plan to do everything and go everywhere together. You would be free to let him go out and be happy he is having a great time with other people whilst you are carrying on with your day. When after all the events, hanging out etc he still loves you and wants only you, then you know for a fact that you have a good thing going because he can say ‘you are the best of the rest. Many women have done well, but you excel them all. Many women are skinnier, curvier, have longer hair, have better jobs, cook better BUT I choose you to the exclusion of all others’. It does a whole lot for one’s self esteem.

heart

Just remember, clinginess ruins your relationship slowly but surely. You lose your sense of self and you lose your appeal. I hope we all learn to be secure and less clingy in our relationships. Selah. I pray we all find that beautiful reciprocal love where you show love and he shows it right back…requited love, it’s called.

Back to the matter-Recovery of Possession of Premises…

Have a lovely day!

Temiville.xoxo

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MCLA Reader Writes-A Love Rekindled

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Written by Abasiama Obi-Chinedu

Dara couldn’t wait to get to the airport. She had looked forward to this trip for so long and now, the day had finally arrived. The Lagos traffic wasn’t helping her case at all, but she had set out four hours early so there would be no sad tales to tell. Kiishi and Zuwairah had been pinging her all day. They had checked in already. “Oga you go take another road oh, make I no miss my flight”. This cabbie was story for another day. All she could do was sit it out. And curse the demon that normally brought on the kind of traffic nobody prayed to encounter when they had a flight to catch.

friends 4

“O’baby!” That was her cue to start screaming as well. One of their classmates had taken to calling her O’baby right from her jambite days because she was always so well dressed and looked nothing like the other freshers, and the name just stuck to her like white on rice. Her friends were waiting for her at the entrance of the arrival lounge. Relief washed over her…seeing familiar faces when one is that frazzled is always such a blessing.  She had missed her friends and was so happy they were finally going to spend time alone eight months after she last saw them at her wedding. They’d all met at the university and had remained close friends even after school. “Pastor Mrs!! Thou art glowing. Marriage becometh thee”. Zuwy couldn’t get over her marrying a pastor and never missed an opportunity to tease her.  And as usual, Dara never missed her own opportunity to go King James on her friend. “Member Mrs! Behold the handmaiden of The Lord”. They had all looked forward to being together again. “This girl, you have started doing the sweet thing abi, see how you are glowing. Pastor must come and pay more dowry oh,  haba! Meanwhile this your bag, I have been trying to afford it, i claim it in Jesus name”.  Kiishi was just a catalyst, she stoked the fire for a living. All Dara could see was the long check-in queue. ” Abeg let me check in first before socials. Thank God I have just my hand luggage. As for this bag, you will buy yours at Michael Kors shop, OLE”.

Checking in had been a breeze, thanks to some divine intervention. There was so much to catch up on and so much had already been shared on the boarding queue. Their laughter was infectious and other passengers couldn’t help but notice them. Few bold ones dared to talk to them.. “Oh, pay us no mind, we’re just happy to be reuniting after eight months”. Few of the other ladies couldn’t help but look at them funny, not that that they cared anyways. When these three got together, hardly anyone or anything else mattered. This was going to be a very long six hours and they intended to use it well. Five days in Dubai would not be enough to play catch up so maximize six hours in-flight, they would.

friendss

Kiishi had no filters. No subject was off-limit. “Oya, start talking..how is married life?” The silly look on her face was an obvious pointer to the fact that all she really wanted to know was how good sex was for her newly married friend. “I will answer when you ask me exactly what you want to know. Amebo” Zuwy could never get over Kiishi’s brazenness, this girl was constantly on a roll. It shocked her the things Kiishi said most times, and just when she thought she had gotten used to this zany female, she always managed to shock her some more. ” IteOluwakiishi Otegbola, kai! You are wasting your father’s money studying Law, you should be a gossip columnist. That’s how you were harassing me when I got married too. Do and marry oh so that you will give us a blow by blow account of your doings. Wallahi, you need Jesus in large doses!”. There was no stopping her though, she would get the information one way or the other.  Not that Dara  minded anyways, she enjoyed talking about her husband. Chimdi was the love of her life. He made her feel all warm and mushy inside. She never believed she would come to love him this much or even marry him, but she thanked God everyday that she had. Everyday before he started getting on her nerves, that is. She had needed someone to talk to for so long and she was glad she had her friends here and she could finally let it all out.

The tiredness kicked in slowly and finally, they all began to slip into their private worlds one after the other. Dara was happy to be left alone with her thoughts for a while. Chimdi…she missed him so much already but she was still so mad at him. The first day she invited her friends to church, he was outside talking to some people while they waited for the first service to end so they could attend the second. He was the kind of man you would never fail to notice. She never stopped wondering how a man so tall,  not-so-dark, and drop-dead-handsome could be a pastor. He was neat, always very well put together, friendly for the most part, and just starring at him would give any female life. “Who’s that fine specimen of protoplasm? Some people can be fine oh”. Kiishi was the first to say anything about him. Dara went on to tell them he was the pastor in charge of the Singles Fellowship, could sing and preach up a storm at the drop of a hat, most of the ladies in church were falling over themselves to get his attention but up until then, he was still very single and if Kiishi was interested she could pick a number and join the queue. She herself had had a crush on him the first moment she set her eyes on him, but the crush lasted for all of twenty seconds. Dara was like that, she didn’t dwell on such things for long. Besides, there was a long line of church workers and other “spiritual sisters” she was sure would make the cut, so that had been that about that. “But this pastor makes sense oh, God created this type on the eighth day, I could just stare at him for days”. Dara couldn’t believe Zuwy too would notice him, she was usually reserved and unaffected by “fine boys”. “Oya oh, you too pick a number and join the queue”.

Chimdi just happened to be at the bank on the same day Dara had gone there to transact. He noticed her first and walked up to her. When she looked up to see who had tapped her shoulder, the only thought that crossed her mind was “Fine boy pastor”. He had noticed her at church a couple of times, and was wondering if she was new in town. He was so pleasant and easy on the eye..the kind of man Dara liked. He was going to wait for her to cash her cheque and would drop her off wherever she was going. They became fast friends. He was more like a big brother, always making sure she was okay and had no issues in school or at her off-campus residence. If she needed a ride back from church, he volunteered to give her one. When he couldn’t drop her off, he always got someone to do that. He would show up in her school for the flimsiest of reasons. “I just came to drop your lunch”, “I just came to take you home”, “it was raining and I thought it would be nice to come take you to school”. They had agreed they just wanted to be friends so Dara never understood why her friends kept telling her that Pastor Fine Boy was loving up on her. “Gosh, you girls amaze me, WE ARE JUST FRIENDS!”. She said that so often, she actually started to believe it.

Of course, some people in church had taken notice as well. Who was this mere mortal that suddenly had this man’s attention? She wasn’t even a worker or one you would consider “spiritual”. Some of his co-pastors would openly make statements to that effect and one day, when Dara had had enough of it, she had to vent. “I am so tired of getting nasty stares or openly rude remarks whenever I am around you. You need to cut me some slack going forward. I will take a cab to and from church, and you don’t need to come to my school either. We are just friends but obviously, your fellow pastors and some workers have an issue with that so please, leave me alone. Even the few people that I talk to in church have suddenly started acting nasty towards me because of you, as though i am snatching their boyfriend. I want to be left alone”. Chimdi could not believe his ears. He had constantly brushed the comments off, hoping that Dee would not notice. He really liked her, cared for her in a special way, enjoyed her company and her Calabar recipes, and was happy to finally have a friend that wasn’t just raving about his looks, but truly cared to relate with the person he was. They spent quite a lot of time together and few of his single friends who liked Dee would always ask him to hook them up with her. They would laugh about it and he told her he would introduce one when a serious one showed up. Life was just easier and sweeter with Dee in it. He missed her sorely whenever her school vacated and she had to go be with her family in Lagos. And of course he always found a reason to be in Lagos during the holidays. Now she wanted to be left alone. Nothing he said could persuade her to just let it go. He decided he would give her some space and time if that was what she needed. He wasn’t going to let his friend go just because some people didn’t think she was “ministry material”.

Zuwy and Kiishi had lots of comforting to do because Dara was inconsolable. And angry. Inconsolable because she missed Chimdi more than words could express, and angry because human beings had a way of minding other people’s business. Church folk…they were the worst kind. Why did she have to be like everyone else to be considered spiritual? She loved the Lord,  she lived for him, valued her growing relationship with him, she thought that was nearly enough. She hadn’t joined the Work Force because she had too many commitments in school and didn’t think it was right to always give excuses as to why she couldn’t always be available. She loved her dresses and her jeans, it was hard having to live by a colour code every Sunday. She wore a toe ring because she loved her beautiful toes and thought the ring made them prettier. Chimdi told her he was in love with her bow legs and full ankles so he bought her an anklet and begged her to wear it. He’d noticed she and stopped wearing one few weeks after she joined the church. She later explained that she had worn one all her adult life but she didn’t like the looks church folk gave her so she stopped. He said there was nothing wrong with wearing one, as long as the Holy Spirit did not convict her otherwise. He had plans to buy his wife a belly chain and that to Dara, was then definition of a deviant pastor. Everything was going well till church folk started talking. Now she missed Chimdi sorely and staying away from church was supposed to help her get him out of her life, but it only fueled the loneliness she felt. “This girl is in luuuuuurve! I thought you guys were just friends oh, according to you”. Kiishi got “The Look ” from Zuwy and that was enough to silence her for the rest of the day.

The separation did not last long. Chimdi was tired of missing her and off to her house he went. She was not there. So he waited. She never took his calls or replied his text messages anymore. She even took him off her BlackBerry. He wanted to slap himself for not having any of her friends’ phone numbers but that wouldn’t solve this, would it? He’d waited for a bit when thankfully,  his Dee walked through the gates. He knew she was going to try and act all cool and unaffected by his presence and he was just going to hug her and tell her how much he missed her, and that he didn’t care what anyone thought, he just wanted to be with her, if she would let him. He went home that night wishing they would quarrel more often just so that they would make up and it would be this sweet all over again. He was going to do all he could to protect her from side talks, he was a full grown man and had made his choice, he would marry his Dee and they would be happy forever. Dee was the kind of woman he wanted; smart, focused, neat, warm hearted, family oriented, friendly, God-loving and all. It didn’t hurt that she was quite the looker too and most importantly, she didn’t drool over his looks,  as a matter of fact, he had laughed his head off the day she told him she preferred to date and marry a guy people would refer to as ugly because she didn’t have time for “fine  boys and their unending drama”. She was just easy to be with, easy to love, she was every woman in one. He was taken aback by the fact that she was attending a Bible School when he met her, she didn’t look the type. She “just wanted to know more about God so she joined the Bible School”.  And those church folk, they would never know that about her, would they? She just wasn’t spiritual enough in their eyes.

married

Two years flew past and they got married in the most intimate ceremony ever. The joy was palpable, one could actually breathe it in. Their love was beautiful, the type most people only dreamt about. They had their ups and downs but that made it more beautiful. Dara had no doubts she would have a happy marriage,  but she also knew there would be down times and she was glad she had a God who would walk her through those times, and she was confident they would come out of every down time better than they had gone in. Married life was blissful. Chimdi was a man and a half. She felt like God’s last child, nothing could be sweeter. Out of the blue, Chimdi  was told he had to go start a new branch if the church in Asaba. He didn’t know how to take that piece of news. He had just gotten married, he was trying to settle in, his wife was about to start a new job and they had to leave all of that behind and just up and leave Abuja  for Asaba! Dee..she was speechless for days. “How on earth do you expect me to leave everything and move to Asaba? Was this our plan? What about my career, my business, everything..we just got married, Chimdi, and why Asaba of all places. I don’t even know where that is on the map. I am not going!” He knew better than to make an issue out of it, if the Lord was sending him there, He would make Dee come around. It was important to him that she supported the move, much as he wasn’t too pleased about moving from Abuja to a seemingly obscure corner of the earth. He knew she wanted to pursue her career as a diplomat and her chances were slim in Asaba, still he trusted God enough to know that He had better plans than he or Dee could ever have for their lives.

She was tired of agonizing over the impending move. She had learnt to trust God even when she didn’t understand where He was taking her through. If God wanted them in Asaba, He would make all things work together for their good.
Chimdi had assured her everything would fall into place. She believed him, just as she believed every other thing he had told her and things always panned out the way he had said they would. She hadn’t seen her friends after the wedding as Zuwy lived in Calabar with her medical doctor husband while Kiishi was away in the UK for her Masters. Her parents had come to say their goodbyes and assured her everything would go well in Asaba.

Asaba turned out to be a sedate town, unlike Abuja in many ways. She was glad Chimdi was  Igbo , so that barrier had been broken to an extent. “Maybe I will finally get to learn Igbo now that I’m in Asaba” , but she knew it would take a miracle. English, French and German were work enough, adding Igbo to it would be an overkill, still she would try, for Chimdi’s sake. Planting a church was no picnic. She found renewed respect for church overseers who were able to plant several branches of their ministries around the country. She would do her best to support Chimdi and she prayed everyday that the city would accept him and his ministry. Some days she was on a high, on other days, all she wanted to do was run away to Abuja, where she had some friends,  knew familiar faces, could start her career, had a church of at least familiar faces….

Weeks turned into months and things began to look up. She was happy. She even started to laugh whenever people referred to her as “Mama”, something she really hated and found absolutely unnecessary. Chimdi told her they would go on their honeymoon as soon as church was settled and she looked forward to that. She had taught it would be as automatic as building a structure on which the church would run, having people in place who would fill in the gaps when they were away and all would be dandy. Chimdi always told her that spiritual things could not always be calculated the same way physical things, but she was sure things would go her way. She hoped they would, for both their sakes.

Everyday brought on new challenges. It was difficult making new friends in church because most of the ladies were older than her and she imagined they wouldn’t take it kindly that such a young girl was the pastor’s wife. Few people had an issue with the fact that she was a fashionista. They would never know that Dara always wanted to study Fashion Designing until her father said “not in this house”, after which she decided to pursue her plan B: a diplomatic career.  Her mother was quite a fashionista too; this apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. When few people began to seek her advise on things she considered were not her business to know, she became scared. “Chimdi…what am I to say to these people? What do I know about a cheating spouse or a twisted sexuality? How do I counsel someone struggling with their sexuality? This is way beyond me, I just want to run away. Why did you bring me here?”. Chimdi let her cry her heart out and he just held her close and let her know it was going to be alright, she would have to rely on the Holy Spirit to help her and she would have to learn to pace herself. If she really wanted to work, he would help her look for a job and she didn’t have to kill herself if she couldn’t get a job, she could start her fashion business which she had always dreamt of having. That sounded comforting a bit but she couldn’t help saying to him: “One day you will just wake up and discover that I have run away to Abuja and you will be in this town all by yourself doing ministry”. He couldn’t help but smile very widely, he knew his Dee was going nowhere, she loved him enough to stay by his side through all of this, and that was one of the few things that made sense to him at that point in his life.

If Chimdi had learnt anything in these few months of planting a church, it was that working with people with all kinds of mindset was one of the hardest hurdles to get through. He was constantly dealing with one issue after the other and Dee always told him he could only do his best and to always remember that this was the Church of Jesus Christ and He would take care of it. That was a hard pill to swallow, but he would try. Trying wasn’t good enough, for he began to get so engrossed in the work of the ministry and he and Dee began to drift apart. All he wanted to talk about was church: the choir, workers’ meeting, auditions, out reaches, church and some more church. He spent more and more time studying and doing the work of ministry, he didn’t even notice his Dee begin to slip away. He would always think “my baby is still angry we are in Asaba…she’ll get over it”. Things began to pick up in the ministry, he was a happy man, he just didn’t notice that Dee had stopped being excited about the growth and all the wonderful things that were beginning to happen. If her marriage was the price she had to pay for the growth and influence the ministry was currently experiencing, then God was a wicked God, period!

He was excited the date for her trip with her friends was fast approaching. Surely, some fresh air, sun and the girls would do her good. Oh, and shopping. Dee loved to shop. The fashionista in her was evident in everything she did and he was always so proud whenever they went places and heads turned to look at his wife. She was stylish beyond her years. The very thought of that made him not mind the hole this trip would bore in his pocket. He just wanted her to have a break. He was tired of hearing her whine about the fact that their honeymoon was nowhere in sight and he needed a break before the stress of ministry rendered her a widow before her time. “Baby, you really need to take a break oh, don’t render me husbandless before my time. Anyway, na you go lose because one sharp man will come and marry me”. He loved to hear her pidgin, it reminded him of how she always said she was his “Sofisticat” outside and his “Mgbeke” indoors. “Babe, leave that thing abeg, Jesus boy no dey die. Who go fit marry this my calabar princess”. That brought a smile to his lips. He loved his Mgbeke so much…much more than words could ever express.

“If you girls don’t wake up now I promise you I will eat your food”. That was vintage Kiishi. Everyone was jealous of how she seemed to eat just about anything she wanted to and miraculously remained skinny. She loved to eat, but hated to cook. “Foodie of life, no try yourself oh, I am wide awake”. She hadn’t slept a wink. She’d been to lost on memory lane and didn’t even notice she had started crying. She was sure that by then, Chimdi would have seen the stinker she left him on his pillow. She had been so upset that he was insisting she stayed in Dubai for twelve days when she and the girls had planned to stay for just five days. Clearly he needed her out of his way so he could do more ministry work and counsel all those girls with their never-ending issues that they refused to talk to her about, but had no issues talking to her Chimdi about. HER CHIMDI..she wasn’t going to share him with all those church girls, those sharp Igbo and Delta  babes that thought she was a “Calabar girl” in name only.

The first few days in Dubai passed quickly. The girls couldn’t help but notice just how distant and uninterested she was in all the activities they had pre-planned. Zuwy knew they had to stage an intervention but knowing Dara, she would become defensive and the goal would be defeated. Left to Kiishi, she would have just asked Dara point blank what the problem was but Zuwy was having none of that. “Marriage is not this one you are always doing fire brand oh, you will approach the matter carefully and with a lot of wisdom”. To this Kiishi rolled her eyes and silently thanked God that she was not yet married and didn’t have to deal with all these married women issues. They had to leave for the Gold Souk any moment though, so Dara had to be woken up. This was their last day together and they had to make the most of it.

Dara was spent. She had cried so much her head hurt. When Kiishi jumped on her bed in her usual wake up call, the reaction she got made her do a double take. “What the hell is wrong with you? Jumping on my bed like an insane person. Are you out of your mind? Get the hell off my bed before I do something very nasty to you”. Zuwy could only stare in shock. They knew she was dealing with stuff but this outburst was just off the chain. “I want to be left alone, please, just go away”. The girls weren’t having any of that . “Lai lai! You have been on your own since we arrived here. You were the one looking forward to this trip, you took the effort to plan it and now we are here, all you have done is shut us out as though we are the enemy. Whatever it is, we will resolve it now. You will not go back to Naija a sober mess. Oya, start talking. You don’t have to tell us the details but at least tell us what the problem is”. Kiishi had had enough of the long faces and stated in clear terms that this was the moment where they would have to talk and cry together before things got out of hand. Dara felt powerless to fight two caring women, she knew the time had come to let it all out. She just pulled the duvet over her head and cried forever. Her friends got on her bed and held her and just let her cry till she was spent and she slept off.

When she woke up, her girls were still there. “What time is it?”, she asked no one in particular. “Time to rise and shine. Go shower, you stink! And your boo has been calling you all day”. Chimdi! She hadn’t even called him since she arrived. Her phone had been on silent mode and that was on purpose. She couldn’t get over the fact that her friends had been so busy pinging all day, everyday, since they arrived. “Lucky them…Chimdi  probably doesn’t even care that I haven’t called him”. Oh well, she would just go shower and go out with the girls. She had seven more days to stay here alone so she would not pressure herself to shop today. The shower did her good, she felt brand new and was quite surprised that none of the girls had started shouting for her to come out already. “Let me have mercy on them and come out now oh”. She toweled her body leisurely and for once, she actually started to look forward to going to the Gold Souk. She was going to buy a new belly chain today “that’s if Chimdi will even notice”.

As she made her way back into the room, she was already teasing her friends “shoppers, no vex oh, I really needed that bath”. Her friends were nowhere in sight. In place of two girls, she saw that fine, six feet three inch specimen of protoplasm, the one that made her heart skip several beats once upon a time. “Baby…I’ve been calling you for days. I’ve missed you so much”. He wasn’t sure how she would react to his presence and reading the stinker she left him had scared the living daylights out of him. She had said she wanted to go back to Abuja when she arrived, she wanted a divorce and he could marry the church, since that was all he had come to care about. What she didn’t know was that he wanted her to stay an extra week in Dubai so he could surprise her by coming over and whisking her away to their honey moon suite. She was weak from all the crying, too weak to be angry, but not too weak for the tears to come rushing down all over again. He didn’t need to be told that she needed him to hold her and tell her everything would be alright from here on. In one single step, they were on each others’ arms and the tears flowed freely…

“So you want to leave me abi? Who do you want to marry your own husband? You want me to die an unhappy man…I though we said we’d be together forever no matter the weather, what changed?” Asaba. That’s what happened. He didn’t need a prophet to tell him that much. “Babes, I’ve told you, you need to stop obsessing, just pace yourself and flow. I’m not pressuring you to be a Pastor’s wife. Can you just take the labels and tags off and just be Chimdi’s wife? Stop obsessing about the pastor’s wife mould that people have created. Be you. I married you for you, I didn’t marry a pastor’s wife. If you hate Asaba so much, maybe we should relocate cos I can’t be doing ministry when my marriage is not working. And I know I’ve been too engrossed in all of that and that’s why I asked you to stay here so I could surprise you with our honeymoon but you have been so angry with me, you didn’t even read my text messages.” Whenever she got that angry, he always had a way of taking her back into a good mood. She felt so small…his love had a way of making her see how irrational she could be. ” I’m sorry” she could barely talk as the tears choked her. “No, I am the one who’s sorry, I should have paid more attention. Forgive me babes”.

He couldn’t stand her crying so much but he knew he had to let her get it all out. He was even more scared she had thought about divorce, especially as he was of the opinion they both agreed their marriage was a house without doors for exit, only windows for ventilation. “Baby..would you really ever just walk out on us  if things got really bad? Divorce…that’s such a strong word, how do you just bandy such a word that easily though?” She knew he would not fail to bring that up. “I’m sorry, I was just trying to get your attention. I really am that overwhelmed by all this ministry thing going on all at once, and those girls always wanting to see you with their tall tales they can tell only you and never me. Especially that Amaka..I swear that girl has got the hots for you”. He couldn’t believe his ears and couldn’t help but laugh his head off. “Daramfon Archibong Chimdi-Uma, shame on you! Amaka of all people? Abeg now, gimme some credit here. Amaka? By how? Kai this woman you are a riot!”. Now she felt really foolish. But you know, with these men, you never know. This  she quickly amended to “this is My Chimdi, not these men”.  She would have to just try and get past this but his riotous laughter wasn’t helping her in any way. “Let me get dressed so we go look for the girls, yeah? What’s the plan…what are we doing today? I’m hungry” The girls were the last thing on Pastor Fine Boy’s mind.  “Err..the girls…i paid them off to go shopping for the next three hours…we’ll all do the dinner cruise tonight so I can hear all the things you told them about me, tomorrow we leave for our honeymoon suite and we’ll take it from there. I know buying you a belly chain is in the works somewhere, but for now, no need to get dressed, you look yummy in your skin and i’m hungry too”. She knew that tone, something delicious was about to go down. “This boy! You’re such a baaaad boy!” His deepest baritone crept up on him, “You know this, babes, you know this..come here…”

happy-black-couple

Written by Abasiama Obi-Chinedu

Abasiama is a graduate of Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Port Harcourt. She’s a bilingual translator/interpreter by profession and runs a fashion retail and merchandising business. She’s married and co-pastors a thriving church with her husband.

He made a Way

74 Comments

My name is Olawamiri Ayo. Everyone calls me Ola except my mom and dad who insist on saying it as it is. I’m the first of 4. I was the only child for the first 8 years of my life after which my parents proceeded to have 3 more children (all boys) in quick succession. I will be 29 in November this year (2013). Olamide is 20, Oladele is 19 and Olaitan is 17. All three are in a Private University studying Economics.

My tale is one of encouragement…

***

I finished secondary school (FGGC Shagamu) in 2000 and after 3 years of JAMB drama, I finally got admission into OSU to study Business Administration. I just wasn’t able to get into Unilag, IFE or UI- my original choices. I served at a big communications firm in 2008 and since then, it has been one search for a job to the next. As you might have figured, I wasn’t retained. I was terribly disappointed. I gave that job my 100% devotion.

Then, my family lived in Idimu and the firm was in Ikoyi-two opposite ends of Lagos. I would wake up at 4am each morning and be at the bus stop by 5:10. When I was lucky, a family friend who works on the Island would pick me up and when I was not, I would take a bus to Obalende and then find my way to the office, usually on foot. I would get to work really early, all tired and sweaty and freshen up in the bathroom, grab a 15-minute nap before anyone else got to work. By 7:30, I’d be on my computer, responding to emails and generally getting work done. I never left the office before 8pm. Most times, I’d stay till 9/10 in order to follow the family friend home. Whilst I waited to be picked up, I would not just sit idle, I’d get busy and stay busy till he called me that he was entering the street.

Most people did not know I was a corper. I attended meetings alone sometimes and I was almost certain that I would be retained. About a month before passing out, a new girl joined the firm and she was asked to ‘shadow’ me. I was feeling like a boss lady who was now showing someone else the ropes. I was elated. Thinking back now, I seemed to be the only one who was happy. I guess like they say, you are always the last to know you are being ‘stabbed’. It turns out I was showing my replacement the ropes. She was a graduate of UI and had just returned from the US armed with a Masters Degree. I was told I would not be retained but I should feel free to check their website for openings and not hesitate to apply. Like they forgot that I knew the drill. Only about 2 percent of the work force got employed through that website.

Unlike my fellow corpers who were never given any hope of being retained where they served, I had not been applying as I was certain of my place at my posting so I was literally at home for about 6 months after service. I applied anywhere and everywhere. I would wake up in the morning, do my chores and then head for the cyber cafe near the house searching for jobs frantically. It got so bad that the guy there had struck a weekly deal with me instead of paying hourly. I just wanted somewhere to go to every morning wearing a skirt and blouse. My parents, bless them, had turned me into a live-in house maid and it was not unusual for my mom to call me with a list of things to do before she gets back. I was totally and completely frustrated.

sad and frustrated

I hated going for events where I would meet old mates because the first question friends will ask is, ‘so what are you up to these days?’ and after 6 months of having finished NYSC, it was no longer cute to say, ‘I just finished serving’.

After 2 years of doing nothing, I started accepting ushering jobs. We would usher people at events and I would see my classmates from Shagamu and OSU walk into the event looking like they owned the world. A few would say ‘hi’ while most just kept walking. I guess they didn’t want to have to explain to people how they know the usher.

I did the ushering job for about 5 months until the day I saw my ex walk in with his pregnant wife/girlfriend/fiancé. I quit on the spot before they saw me, went through the back door, jumped on the first okada I saw without even telling him where I was going. The okada ended up taking me all the way from Sheraton Ikeja to Idimu- that is normally a 2-3 hour drive. I cried on the okada till I got home. I just didn’t understand how I would search for a job for almost 3 years. I just did not get it. Thankfully, no one was at home when I got there. I went into my dad’s room, took a bottle of red wine, locked myself in my room and finished the entire bottle. I slept till about 10 am the next morning.

That was how I started drinking. I was a secret drinker. I could not continue taking dad’s bottles of wine because he would notice and I certainly could not afford them so I turned to Don Simon. I hated the taste so I would buy Tasty Time and mix it. Sometimes, I’d finish a whole pack before 9 am. I would bounce out of my room in a very chirpy mood, hug my dad and shout the loudest ‘Amen’ during morning devotion and my mom would admire my good nature and how I was taking the whole lack of job issue very well. Little did she know that it was all thanks to alcohol. I heard weed helped one escape reality. If there was somewhere I could get it from without being found out, I’m sure I would have dabbled into that too.

I was very dependent on the alcohol and would take it before facing the world each morning. No one ever found me out. I was the master of deception. Thank God that was the only vice I had and thank God I preferred solo drinking because I’m sure I would have been led into worse things had I not been a lone drunkard.

One random day during my Don Simon/Tasty Time breakfast, I got a message from a group I had joined and someone there shared the story of how they were able to give up alcohol. I was one of those who sent back responses. I said ‘Wow, God is great. What a great testimony!’ I wrote as I sipped on my concoction.

I was at my lowest one day when suddenly, I thought about my life and by myself, went to God in tears and pain and I told Him how angry I was that I had no job even after slaving away in school to get a 2.1 and slaving away during my service year. I ranted in tears for almost an hour, inebriated yet sober. I asked for His help and mercy and I promised to stop with my pattern of drinking.

The miracle did not happen right away but it eventually came. About 2 months after I had that moment with God, I got a call from a multinational I had applied to exactly 7 months before. A polite lady asked to speak with me and then asked if I am still available and interested in the programme. I did not have to write a test. I was interviewed 3 days after on the 31st of March and I was given a letter of employment to begin on the 1st of April-the next day! It was unbelievable! I mean, as I walked out of the meeting with some of the big bosses, I was immediately ushered into HR and handed my already typed up and signed letter which means the ‘interview’ was just formality.

The day before the interview, I had spent about 6 hours in the cyber café near my house researching the company, finding out about all their core areas, recent developments, etc. Lo and behold, I did not have to say one thing from my research at the interview. They simply asked about my experience and what I can bring to the company and voila! I got the position. It might interest you to know that of all 5 of us on the programme from Nigeria, I am the only one without a Masters degree and also the only one without a degree from a foreign university, the oldest (I think I even have passed the cut-off age) and also the only one with a Business-esque (non-professional) degree. The other 4 are: lawyer, economist, accountant-with ICAN and accountant-on level 2 of CFA.

working

Now, I have a job! I will first be a Graduate Trainee for 2 years then confirmed thereafter. I’m in Nairobi for 6 months, Addis Ababa for another 6, Johannesburg for another 6 and the final 6 in London. I look at my official email address, my office laptop and iPad, my official blackberry, my ID card and just smile. Now, I have a tea lady assigned to my desk area when I am in Nigeria who keeps asking, ‘aunty, tea or coffee?’ and I remember when I used to do the asking. God, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever!

Now, I’m happy to set up a LinkedIn account and to re-activate my Facebook. I’m paid a very decent salary (equivalent of 3 times what I would have been earning presently had I been retained at the firm I served) and I get to go for conferences and events like every month. Each time I pass by an usher, I smile and greet them. Usually, they look at me stunned, not understanding why a delegate is taking so much effort to greet them. I have stopped drinking totally. I don’t even take energy drinks. I renewed my relationship with God. I also met the best man ever. He has not proposed or anything but I see where we are headed and it looks like a good place. I have learned to trust in God for the littlest of things. Every experience one faces is like a slap of paint on a canvass. It might not make sense now. It might even look like a mess is being made. But when the Almighty is through with His work, when the Potter is done with the clay, you will be turned into the best-finished product you can ever imagine.

***

I was going through intense depression and alcohol was my method of escape. For others, it is drugs, sex, anger, violence or even total silence and denial. The truth is every successful person has one story or the other to tell of not so rosy times past. We need to learn to remember to trust God and wait for his perfect timing. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.

We also need to be more aware of those around us-our siblings, parents, children and friends. Learn to check on them and see how they are really doing. The strong ones might actually be those who complain to you everyday. The ones you should really pay attention to are the silent ones who smile and act like all is well. They might be dying inside or worst still, high, like I used to be.

All in all, I thank God for my life and my friends. A word of advice: Even as you prayerfully wait on God, don’t just sit and fold your arms. For those who are serving, in Med school, Law school etc, start applying now! Even if you are sure of being retained where you are or are sure of one job dad’s friend promised you, still just start applying when you are not desperate and there is no pressure on you. Most application processes these days in good companies span between 3 months to 6 months so you better get on it! Learn a craft or a trade. Do something!

Don’t be tempted into escapism when things are looking down. When you get back on earth, your issues and problems will be there, waiting patiently for you with legs crossed. Instead, speak to someone you can trust and who is sure to give you sound advice and lead you to God in prayer.

Finally, enjoy each phase of your life. A friend once told the story of how he had to latch on to the back of a moving bus in order to get home each day. Now, he drives around town in his brand new car. You think you have it bad? People have worse tales to share. So keep the faith and know that all is gonna be just fine!

***

Omo Ondo ni mi :D

19 Comments

Hi people!!!

So I’m on a weeklong Easter break from Law School and during this break, I plan to study and also blog so I’m just here sitting at my desk remembering all the stories I planned to share once I get out of my self-imposed hiatus.

Ondo Capital

I went to Ondo last weekend and it was quite the trip. We were in the car for hours but I thoroughly enjoyed it. That made it the second time I would be in Ondo state and I actually think I want to go more often. I saw a resort-esque place there. Not a bad getaway from all the busyness of Lagos at least a weekend a year or a weekend in 2 years. Lovely experience!

17

Yes, I’m from Ondo and as you can tell, I don’t come from a family where going home every holiday is mandated or even encouraged. But I felt this feeling of peace when I entered the place. I was like ‘so this is where daddy grew up. This is the state he went to primary and secondary school and would walk for miles on his bare feet etc’ (oh sorry, that was Jonathan not my dad, lol) I really enjoyed it. I guess as you get older you begin to appreciate all these little things more. Do you guys go to your hometown often? I don’t mean those of you from Ibadan or Abeokuta o :p. That one is not village. I mean far distances. Or you are discouraged from taking long trips ‘before something bad happens’?

I think it’s good to experience it once in a while. I’m actually from Ile-Oluji. I intend to visit one of these days and see how it is there.

Meanwhile enjoy these pictures of my beautiful state of origin…

Governor Mimiko

Governor Mimiko

Dancers

Dancers

front

Avril

22 Comments

Helloooooo!!!

Where exactly do I start? I don’t know. But all I can say is that I have thoroughly missed blogging. I miss getting inspiration as I pray, sip on my coffee or just live and breathe and observe goings on around me.

Nigerian-law-school

God has been very good to me and mine. Law School is as hectic as they say but I find that taking it in in daily doses does help a whole lot. A little every day instead of weekly wholesale reading or God forbid, one month before exams crash reading!!! A friend did it last year and came out with a 2.1 but even she will not recommend her strategy.

So much has happened while I have been away. Sometime last month, a course mate just slumped and died- just like that. It was quite the shocker, despite the fact that I never met him. It makes you realize how fortunate you are to be alive and well. You also know to be grateful for your family and friends whose phone calls you receive each day to gist or even fight but not to share tales of woe. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness!

lipton-green-tea-100bags-new

My diet plan is coming up well. Lost a bit of weight and now trying to be healthier instead of dieting. I’m also a fan of Green Tea now. Instead of those Chinese ones, I think I’m going to switch to Lipton or any other straight brand. I hear it does wonders for one’s system if taken every night. Those who have followed this blog know of my age long addiction to Coke. I’ve been on and off Coke all through this year. One week, I’m like ‘never again will I drink Coke’, the next, I’m on a bottle a day p. It’s not been easy at all. I guess I know how the druggie feels. I have not had Coke in 3 days but that is not an achievement as I know I am not entirely off it. I can’t wait to be like one of those who say ‘this is my 6th month of not tasting Coke or any fizzy drink’. Wow! I shall dance in glee and give a testimony!

***

You all know I love to ask JAMB questions on MCLA as I ask you to muse with me. But today’s own is a very serious matter. I have watched loads of Naija movies with all these ‘omoge campus’ doing Aristo and all and we are all like what manner of iranu is this? The one I came across recently is of a different variant. I read the story of a girl who explained how she and this man met and fell head over heels in love, then like an exclusion clause in fine print, she mentions he has a wife. Like I was already so in love with her love tale. It was so beautiful. He was attentive to her, he would pray with her, he was there for her etc. But he is married.

the other woman

Now, my friends have declared me to be too black and white in my approach and that I should learn to understand where people are coming from. So I said, ‘toh, lemme not judge this sister’. But really, is there any justification in this world for liking then loving a married man up to the point he promises to leave his wife for you and you get upset every time you call him and he is with his family and you cry and update your BB status that ‘I can’t share anymore!’? I’m not prone to violence but I do understand why some girls get beaten blue and black by some wives and their friends. Call me anything but I can never understand how you fall in love with another person’s property. It reeks of lack of self worth and only God can seat me down to make me sympathise with any lady who is in possession of any woman’s man. As TD Jakes will say, ‘lose him and let him go’! Lol. It also reminds me of Olivia Pope’s trifling ways on Scandal. I love her professionally but when I think of her and the President, I get hardened. To think the President cannot even stand his own wife anymore because he spends his moments fantasising about Olivia Pope! We need Christ!

But seriously, ladies, get praying o. Like serious praying and fasting as often as you can that God protects you from the heartbreak of another woman chasing you from your own home or even from the pain of your husband cheating or liking another woman. Inasmuch as many have argued with me, yes it is possible to have an infidelity-free home through the Grace of God so it is that grace we need because gehs are not smiling. I mean the person in question went as far as researching on all the things the wife wasn’t doing and turned those areas to her core competence! Lord help your children o!

Anyways, lemme go back my Election Petition notes. I will not claim to plan to blog each day henceforth but at least, I will come here more often and let you all know how things are going and give you more of my musings as they come, hehe!

Thank God for everything and I sincerely do miss you all. Thank you to all those who have given me gentle nudges to write something and to those who literally have jabbed me and threatened to dump my website if I do not update, thank you too. Hehe!!!

I wish you all a lovely month of April.

God bless you!

Temiville.xoxo

***

Avril is French for April 😀