Inspirational Picture Chronicles

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Every Child Matters…

 

Luke 18:15-21 – International Children’s Bible Version
“Some people brought their small children to Jesus so that he could touch them. When the followers saw this, they told the people not to do this. But Jesus called the little children to him and said to his followers, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these little children. I tell you the truth. You must accept God’s kingdom like a little child, or you will never enter it!”

So, on one of my walks this summer, I spotted the rock in the above picture on a neighbor’s lawn. But of course! You got it!  Your girl had to take a picture!😁

According to the United Nations, today, November 20 is “World Children’s Day.” So, first of all, let me use this opportunity to say Happy World Children’s Day to children of all races across the globe!

Children have always been very close to my heart. I have had the opportunity to be around them over the years.  From babysitting my family and friends’ children to working with children in various settings.

My observation through the years is that every child is unique! From the way they play – to the way they eat – to the way they speak and what they say – to the way they behave when they see their parents, friends, or caregiver, etc…

Through those years, I realized how important it is for children to grow up in a healthy and loving environment. Children learn and can easily pick up (good or bad) traits by observing their environment. And so, as adults, it is our responsibility to protect them – even the ones who are not ours…

There is a saying that “it takes a community to raise a child…”

Growing up, I remember having to attend after-school lessons. I made sure that I went straight to my lesson and back home. I knew that if I branched off anywhere else, that my mother would somehow still find out!

Now, you may be wondering how that was possible – especially on the days she was still at work?

Well, not only were there “neighborhood watch associations” – or as we called them in Nigerian pidgin English – “Amebos! 😁” But there was also the fact that she (my mother) knew exactly how long it would take for me to attend my lesson, and be back home.

There were  also “women private investigators associations😊” at every corner of the street leading to my destination.  This was not just for me, but for my friends who I would meet on my way to our after-school program.

Some were “market women” who would greet and wave at us as we passed by their shops. My friends’ moms who also had a shop close to her would offer us roasted or boiled corn and coconut or groundnut (peanuts).  All these were part of their investigative routines. So, essentially, the day we did not go through their shops, they assumed something was wrong.

At the time, it seemed like our parents and neighbors were watching our every move.  However, we never complained as it was all normal to us – or should I say, we didn’t have any choice!😊  Sometimes, we even had to explain why Ms. so and so saw us just hanging at some gate corner, or why we came home late.

Over time, I understood why these “neighborhood watch associations” and our mothers were attentive to our every move. You see, they saw us as being innocent and helpless.  And though we were old enough to do certain things by ourselves; they still felt that they were responsible for our well-being, and were obligated to protect us.  This to me is a reminder of how our Heaven Father constantly watches over us…

Going back to Luke 18:15-21 – when the disciples rebuked the children. Jesus reminded them that the kingdom of God belonged to “people who are like the little children.”

I believe Christ message to the disciples back then and to us today, was to be like the children.  Children are innocent, helpless, and trust easily.  And so, He wants us (adults) to have the same mindset when it comes to trusting God with our lives.  He wants us to come to Him with an open mind and be ready to receive.  He wants us to know that He has our best interest at heart…

Be well…

The best is yet to come…

I Dance and…

The lyrics from Lee Ann Womack’s “I hope you dance” is another reminder for us to #TrustTheProcess…

Some reasons why I dance:

I dance to praise and worship my Creator…

I dance because my Creator has delivered and continues to deliver me…

I dance because I could have been dead, but my Creator gave me another chance…

I dance because my Creator has instructed me to continue dancing…

I dance not because everything is “#rosy” but because My Creator (God’s) grace sustains me…

I dance because I know nothing can separate me from the love of God…

I dance because My Creator healed me…

I dance because I am grateful beyond words…

I dance because at my lowest point, my Creator whispered – “Do not give up. I am the Alpha and Omega, and I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I dance to let you know that you too SHOULD NOT give up because you have a Creator who loves you beyond your imagination –  #stayfocused #nomatterwhathappens

So this little book was a gift from a friend many years ago.  She knew I loved to dance🤓…

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off [a]my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my [b]glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” — psalm 30:11-12

Be well…

The best is yet to come…

Get back on track! AND Stay on track…

Psalm 37:23-24 (New King James Version)
“The steps of a good man are [a]ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

I took the above picture some years ago in Lagos, Nigeria – at a place called “Railway Compound.”  For me, this picture is a reminder to get back on track.

Although I can’t remember if the train in the picture was sitting on another track; nonetheless, it was not on the actual train track that we see in the picture.

As usual, this got me thinking of how to get back on track after encountering a setback.  Once again, I was reminded not to be distracted; and to stay focused even when things look bleak.

Understanding Train Tracks…

I read somewhere that trains have assigned tracks, which, if not controlled properly, can cause a train to derail.  Therefore, staying on its track is critical for a train to get to its destination safely.  Having this knowledge should be a reminder to us as we navigate through some of the trying times.

When our plans derail…. 

If we know that God is the owner of our lives, then we also know that momentary setbacks are not our final destination.

Life is difficult (John 16:33) and can sometimes lead us into finding ourselves at crossroads.  We begin to contemplate whether to continue the journey after a setback; or whether to accept defeat.  When this happens, I hope we will choose to get back on track and continue the journey.

For some people, this can be an immediate thing.  While for others, it may take some time.  However, how long it takes should not be the main focus, as our victory is derived from not giving up.

Getting back and staying on track should be the beginning of our journey after a setback.

Where does one even start, and how does one continue to stay on track?

These questions are normal, especially after having gone through a traumatic event.

I realize that getting back on track may be difficult for anyone dealing with mental illness or severe addiction.  In this case, it is recommended that you seek professional help if you are unable to move forward.

Some of us have been able to stay on track because we believe that God is in control.  Again, it is not always easy.  But just like a moving train cannot simply switch its track on its own without something or someone controlling it, so it is that we also have a helper who is in control of our lives.

Keeping our focus on the One who orders our steps (Psalm 37:23-24) gives us the confidence to stay on track…

Be well…

The best is yet to come…

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