Friday, 30 October 2015

Rowing or Sailing?


Sail: /seɪl/
noun

"a piece of material extended on a mast to catch the wind and propel a boat or ship or other vessel."

Row: /rəʊ/
verb
"propel (a boat) with oars."
So often we find ourselves sick and tired of being sick and tired. We find new ways to do things but not long after, we get tired and weak and weary. After we've exhausted all our options and used all our tools from our toolbox THEN we run to God. Isn't He such a good God that even while we use our strength acting like we know it all, and place Him as a last call He still sits high and looks low on us waiting for us to just give Him a chance, just an opportunity to work His magic? There are those who have turned their backs on God simply because after they hit rock bottom, in the hope that all their cares will immediately be lifted once they "tried God," their problems didn't disappear. In fact, they started experiencing new tests. They can't believe that this GOD will let their "perfect and innocent" selves suffer. A popular misconception people have is that the bible says "God won't give you more than you can handle." This is in fact NOT biblical. God never promised to make our lives rainbows and roses once we follow Him. Instead, He promised in Isaiah 43:2 
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you."
Who told us we are the end-all-be-all of our lives? Where did we get the idea that we need to believe in ourselves and have the right strings to pull and all will be well with us? If God made us that way, there would not be one person that will follow Him because we would boast in our strength and abilities. Our heads would get so big that God will no longer have room to reign and rule. So, He created us to function best when we decrease and put our trust in Him. We have adopted the habit of comparing lives of seemingly "godly" people to measure the might of God. The moment something goes on with them, we immediately start to doubt and question the Omnipotency (all-powerful/might) of God. If Pastor X is going through this, how then can God be God? We turn our gaze from God and look at mere mortals as if they don't have blood running through their veins. We forget that these people also are at the mercy of God's grace, and like everyone else they constantly need to rest in God.
Have you ever rowed a boat? Even if you haven't I'm sure we've all seen water sports where the competitors work their arms as they row the boat to the finish line. You can see the exhaustion and fatigue on their faces as they row because it demands SO much from the body. In the same vein, have you been in a boat or at least seen boats that are sailing? Nobody rowing, just the wind pushing the boat to the desired destination. It can be related to life. There are so many people that have tried to row the boats of their life. They have used all their connections and intellect and "know-hows" to pull a few strings here and there, and they always fall short. Then, there are some others who have identified that sailing is a much more appealing option. Now, they are aware that rowing can potentially be quicker, but sail boats have the capacity to carry heavier weight, and are less demanding as no physical strength is required. Sailing also gives the advantage of experiencing the beauty of the water and beautiful scenery we often would ignore when we are "too busy" rowing.
If only we would dare to float on the ocean of God's grace, and create beautiful memories as we take in the beauty of the nature all around and trust that His purpose will be the wind that propels us to where He created us to be, life would be a breeze. If only we learn to be grateful for each step higher He brings us up to. If only we would throw in the towel and fall at our Maker's feet in the hopes of Him using His power and might in a way that only He can. If only we dare to be human, and allow God be God. I don't know if anyone has had enough of life and doing things their own ways, and are looking for what next to try? Try God. Psalm 32:8 says:
"The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."
Jeremiah 33:3 promises:
 "Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come."
You were created for God, and by God and as long as you continue trying to figure out life on your own, you will ALWAYS fail. Rest in Him and let Him stretch in you. God's got you.

God loves you senselessly. And so do I. Mean it. Remain beauty-FULL! 
Favor O.
xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

iVow's First Picnic!!! (+ Photos)


After all the planning, contemplations, doubts, prayers, sweat and excitement, the picnic finally happened!!! This was a day that brought on so many nerves for various reasons, checking in with people every now and then to make sure it was still a good plan, and general concerns here and there. I knew it was something I needed to do as it was a goal for 2015. It got me thinking about the heart and purpose of iVow. Why did I even start this blog? What prompted me to start blogging for ladies? And the more I thought about my "why," the more I was energised to carry on the plans God had laid in my heart.

The day started with prayer. I needed to check in with God one more time to make sure it was His will. As I got the release, I went into last minute run arounds. Picking up orders, setting up the venue and general behind-the-scenes. Alas, clouds started to gather and it was threatening to rain. RAIN?! God, where was rain in the plans you had for the day? Will the first meet up be an epic fail? Was I not listening to you after all? What if no one shows up? I had so many questions, and so many reasons for my heart to be let down, but I maintained focus and kept going. I was determined to enjoy every last second of my day even if only one person showed up. After set up, one person came, then another, then two others, and so on. They trickled in bit by bit! Isn't it so amazing how God honors us when we choose to honor Him? This day wasn't about me, so God had to show up and show out. 

We had SO MUCH FOOD!!! Everyone came with something to share. We gathered together and said a brief prayer to kick off the day. Then we had ice breakers to get to know each other and loosen up, and we ATE! (LOL everyone loves this part you know!) There's just something about food that makes people excited and ready to mingle. There must be a spirit behind it! haha. People started chatting and mingling with each other. (I was secretly nervous about everyone really getting comfortable and relating with each other....because, girls! But that was thrown out the window pretty quickly). Once everyone was done eating, we played some games to keep the fun going then came my favorite part of the day. We played a game of "Spin the bottle," with a twist. If the bottle stopped at you, you had to share your "come to Jesus" story or an experience life has taught you or a weakness you have not yet confronted. What was amazing was the ease at which everyone felt as they shared vulnerable moments. The Bible verse "Where there is no guidance a people suffer, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14) came to mind. It was a very powerful time as everyone huddled together in a judgment free atmosphere and spoke life into the person and encouraged the speaker with tips on how to live free in this world that makes living right tough. Nothing like friends that push you towards Christ in love.

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor." Romans 12:10

There was so much love around, you could feel its strong presence. There were skipping ropes and hula hoops and balls to play with but everyone seemed content with conversation. My heart could explode! God truly showed out. 

At the end, all 21 ladies took away packs of food as there was a lot of leftovers as well as souvenir mugs that had the iVow logo and a promise on the side (iVow to love/iVow to trust/iVow to purity) and everyone loved them. It made an already perfect day a bit more exciting, so I give God ALLLLLL the glory for having my back and walking with me through every step of the way. If you want to be a part of our groups that will be meeting frequently, send me an e-mail at ivow4real@gmail.com and I'll let you know how easy it is to join us.




(We were supposed to write commitments we planned to make after our discussion on the banner above, but time was far spent before we remembered to. Smh! There's always next time though)

The pictures don't even do the day justice. it was one of those days when you lay down in bed and felt like you could go to sleep feeling fulfilled, content and satisfied. Thank You Lord God Almighty for every second of the 24th of October 2015. You sure know how to blow my mind!!! May my life be a vessel you can use. I am willing Lord. Send me.

Have an awesome week Ladies and remain beauty-FULL! I love you. Mean it.

Favor O.
xx

Monday, 12 October 2015

Announcement: iVow's First Picnic!



It's iVow's first meet up/launch event and I can't be possibly happier than I am to finally bring this dream to life. I have been comfortable just sitting behind my keyboard to type blog posts in the hope of striking a chord here and there in the hearts of the readers. However, a time must come when you must move out of your comfort zone to achieve more and hopefully impact more.

So, the picnic will be on the 24th of October. Barely two weeks away!!! Eeek! It is open to all ladies, so if you're in Abuja, each one bring one please. It will just be a time to talk about the vision of iVow and spend time together playing games, girl-talk, food (please bring something to share), and just learning to really love each other. Short story: I attended a birthday dinner of a friend some time back, and I met someone I hadn't seen in a long time. She smelt really nice and I couldn't keep it in, so I complimented her and she gave me the strangest look. I was confused and started to wonder what I said wrong, or maybe did she hear wrong? She saw my confusion and went on to tell me she just was not used to girls complimenting her. Strange, but it's the world we live in. You know it is often believed girls are antagonistic to each other. It shouldn't be. Let's change that. Shall we? Come out in your numbers lets have some fun.

There is a catch:  The first 20 people get in free, but subsequent guests will be required to pay N1000 at the gate (it goes to the garden and not my pocket, so keep calm! lol).

I can't wait to see you all! Also, please keep the picnic in your prayers. Let's not take anything for granted. Have any ideas for the picnic to make it better? Please email me at ivow4real@gmail.com Suggestions are always welcome. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you all there.

Have an amazing week. Remain beauty-full. I love you. Mean it!
Favor O.
xx