July 2018: Death & Gospel Concerts
July 2018 was quite a rollercoaster of emotions and events, and I’m definitely glad to have a medium to recap it, because lord knows my journal has been lying unloved for a long time. I missed the recap of June and I don’t even remember most of it anymore, but I will definitely keep recapping.
July became challenging towards the end as I basically had a breakdown in school. I felt so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself, my current performance and my lack of ability to stay on top of things. I kept coming late for classes, doing assignments last minute. I felt like resigning from certain positions in my school, but my classmate encouraged me with some very inspiring words, which I’d like to share with you.
My dear, there is something they call the burden of leadership. Leadership, in itself, is a burden. That is why you SERVE when you lead. So, people will call your name anytime. Ask you questions on information you just provided. People will prey on you and expect you to be available 24-7… like a sense of entitlement. It is leadership! With leadership also comes pains and hurt. (Ask Jesus.) There’d be those who won’t understand you, those who won’t appreciate you, and those who won’t recognize you. They’d abnormally-use (abuse) you, and expect you to thank them. In fact, some of those you are serving will disparage you and make you feel insufficient.
She said a whole lot more, but in the end, she said this:
….In all, PRAY! Pray about anything and everything. Ask God to reach and help you. Tell Him to make you understand this phase and how He’d want you to go through it. NOTHING happens to us without God’s knowledge of it. He’s that mindful of us.
I attended a branding class by Dako Alice Temitope, held on Whatsapp. That class taught a lot, but made me a bit conflicted. This conflict led to me unable to really do anything with my blog for a few days – I couldn’t even open it. To top it off, I bought a theme which I thought would be nice, but ended up making me nauseous. That’s N3700 down the drain, but I’ve learnt my lesson.
If you recall from my She Leads Africa Recap, I said I wanted to hold a class at the next event or some other event. Thus, I’m putting strategies in place to build my authority – pushed by Alice! Everyone needs an Alice in their field of work.
I named this recap of the month death and gospel concerts, because those were two major things that happened in the month of July. We started off the month by fasting as part of the RCCG spiritual exercise conducted annually. It was quite a grueling experience, but I’m glad I was able to challenge myself.
I went 10 days without eating anything. I drank just water (which was a huge struggle because basically I hate water except I’m eating something), and fresh juice. This led to the discovery of a Nigerian juice brand with fresh juices made in Nigeria – it lacked all the chemicals you’d see written on other juice bottles, and tasted oh so real. I tried their orange, pineapple and mango juice. I loved the mango because it had more texture to it – downed 1 litre in a day or so. They also have guava flavor but I didn’t want to risk buying something I didn’t like. The best thing? The prices! 500ml is N180, while 1 Litre is N360 – a highly reasonable price.
I tried to start of the second half of the year the right way, though I feel like I’ve already failed and all my efforts amount to nothing, because of my own actions. Still, the grace of God abounds. I’m still alive, and so there’s still hope for me.
The Day Ann Died
During the fasting period, one of my church members died. It was a woman who was married, and a mother of two. I felt so shocked when I heard the news, it got me thinking all sorts of things. This happened on the day of the Blogger’s Advocate Picnic. She had just given birth 6 weeks before to a little girl who was basically a miracle child. Her first child was born 10 years ago. She was 36.
Her death really shook me and affected me so deeply although I didn’t know her. I’d only interacted with her a few times – going once or twice to house fellowship, and one time I wanted to join her car to attend an RCCG program. I felt myself conflicted, shouting within and whispering out why? I marveled at the thought that events happen in life that change the course of people’s lives forever.
The thing about death is, when it comes, it comes. This event made me think of where I want to go when I die. I’ve always said I won’t be scared of death once I’m sure I’m going to heaven. I don’t want to spend the rest of my existence in fire, burning and screaming. And so, I try to be more intentional with my living. We all need to be more intentional with our living – this world is not our home.
I wrote an emotional piece which I shared on my Instagram, you can read it here.
The Bloggers Advocate Picnic
It’s weird to transition from such emotion up there to this, but it after all is a recap. On the same day Ann died, I was attending the picnic. I was meant to takeover the Instagram story of @thebloggersadvocate but things went wrong and my network started frustrating me. I was also meant to be there earlier than everyone but I ended up coming 1.5 hours late. Still, I was able to have a good time. I got to see the Dako Alice Temitope (@thedakoalice) in flesh and blood, as well as other blogger faces I’d never met before – Girl Eccentric, Goodies Corner, The Black Writer, amongst others! I talked about the event in this post, as well as shared a playful vlog on my YouTube channel – click here to watch!
Alice also helped me bring my new beautiful journal I bought from Just Journal, a Nigerian stationery brand that makes aesthetically pleasing (ahem, Pinterest approved) journals for everyday use! I plan on getting the other variations in the near future, but for now, this yellow number stole my heart. It was N2000.
Timi Godfrey & Travis Greene Live
House on the Rock church held a free concert – and the headliners were two absolutely amazing gospel artists! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the billboard advertising the concert. I knew I just had to go. It was a great experience though there were so many people I didn’t make it inside the actual church – we had to settle for watching from a screen outside, but it was awesome none the less.
The crowd was excited. I’ll never be late for a gospel concert again, and I want to attend more! My dream is to see Donnie McClurkin live, and I wouldn’t mind a bit of Nathaniel Bassey. I love praise and gospel songs, they make me so happy. If not for them, I wouldn’t even know any bible verses, if we’re being honest here.
In August, I’m Looking Forward To…
I received a prayer journal from Papertown NG, an Abuja-based stationery brand who just launched. This is their first product and it’s pretty interesting – a journal dedicated to prayer and ultimately helping you improve on your prayer life. I’m yet to use it because I want to take as many pretty photos as possible, but I hope that when I do start, it helps me. lord knows I need something to improve my prayer life.
I’m looking forward to getting over my upcoming exams, ushering in the holidays and taking on various product photography projects. In the mean time, follow Studio Amaka and stay tuned for the hot tips I’ll be dropping once I’m done with exams. At this point, I think I need to take a break from social media and blogging, to focus on these exams. I need to save my grades. Still, blogging is still my love!
I’m also looking forward to:
Watching: More movies and crime documentaries/series! There’s something so sinisterly entertaining about murder and realising how sick people can be.
Reading: I need to complete Born on a Tuesday by El-Nathan John, as well as some other books. Hopefully I can improve my bible reading!
Doing: More product photography projects, getting my props sorted as well as doing some important recording. I also want to hold a class on product photography – so stay tuned for that! I want to go out more these holidays, sort my life and wardrobe out, and save more!
I hope we all have a blissful August!