Re Gathering

The world seems to have “ RE OPENED ”!

Regardless of whether you’re in the camp of believing the pandemic is over or not. It doesn’t seem to matter these days as Life goes on .

I have spoken to many people who are marveled at how full their social calendars are becoming PACKED again. Some are thrilled with excitement, while others had still a healthy dose of apprehension at all the upcoming reunions. In some ways, we have all lost some of our social muscles” from lack of use… we may even feel awkward at reconnecting, do we hug , shake or just nod in acknowledgment of the other? Hmm 🤔

Well, just like just like they say in show business – the show must go on! Ready or Not.

And so it did for us this past weekend!

You see , our oldest daughter was receiving her Confirmation into our Catholic Faith, a major milestone in the life of a Catholic . She was choosing to say YES to her faith-in her own way, as a young Catholic adult.

I must admit getting ready to host our first major gathering since the pandemic brought up interesting emotions. I had to prepare and talk about menus with caterers, get home ready, maybe finally make out time to plant my Lillie’s in the yard?.. after all it’s Spring for heavens sake lol.

Oh, and I didn’t forget to pick up the cake. Yes the one I didn’t order ahead of time but hit the jackpot in the refrigerator display of La bon bouche, with the perfectly decorated “Catholic” cake complete with even a rosary on top!!

To say the least, I was excited to have our home even more FULL with family and friends warming the rooms with their laughter and chatter.

Time does what it does best, it flies and by the time I knew it , It was Friday evening and I was on my way to picking up my parents from the airport. Unlike some people, we had been blessed to see our parents during the pandemic. We are very grateful and don’t take this for granted.

Ada’s confirmation was beautifully orchestrated by the hand of God! Details that only God could manage himself fell right into place … her sponsor ( my cousin by marriage n love) drove almost 7 hrs to arrive just in time – thanks to a surprise time zone change, she was actually EARLY!

She got prettied up after her drive and graciously offered to take our celebrant to church while we gathered the rest of the crew.

Church was PACKED! Parking was crazy but the cathedral basilica never fails to draw my AWE with its majestic bizantine architecture. You automatically feel closer to God in all the history so delicately narrated on its ceilings.

She was the most beautiful celebrant, and yes I am a biased momma.

As a mother, I have many prayers for my first earth Angel and today what I say to God is a big THANK YOU for the blessing of this child – turning young lady, and for the blessing and JOY of RE-gathering for my lovely family and friends!

How do you feel about life re opening these days? Have you gathered and for what reasons?

Here are a few pearls that may help make your next gathering more enjoyable and perhaps less daunting .

1) Consider yourself blessed to have the opportunity at life and having occasion to gather – gratitude is key!

2) Build up your excitement about whatever your occasion is.

3) Do your research- do you still need to wear masks or not, what’s the dress code?who are scheduled to be there ?

4) Show up, don’t take yourself too seriously and HAVE fun!!!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and accompanying emotions about our reopening world , if you dare..lol

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Easter Triduum

“The three 24-hour periods of the triduum include the major feasts for all four days at the heart of the Easter celebration: the evening feast of Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday” (Google search)

I am a Catholic Christian. Part of my faith practice is to attempt to participate in the triduum which occurs during the Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter /Resurrection Sunday.

I used the word “attempt” because this year , it was mostly hoping to wrap up a late clinic in time to make it over with DH and the kids, to church to participate.

Holy Thursday is most likely my FAVORITE celebration of the liturgical year! If you ever have a chance to experience this ( Incase you haven’t ) , I would highly recommend this.

Growing up in West Africa, Holy Thursday Aka Maundy Thursday was one of the highlights of the liturgical year.

This is the day the church celebrates the last supper , while our Jewish brothers celebrate Passover.

The evening is solemn and beautiful . There is a real sense of Christ as one of us, sharing a meal with his disciples, then practically begging them to stay up and keep watch with him, for his hour of death was near. The sleepy eyed disciples likely startled at the ambush by the soldiers.

So much action playing out .. Judas doing his “ thing” with the betrayal kiss, Peter with his hot temper cutting off a Roman soldier’s ear in defense of Jesus, and getting admonished in real time by Jesus. I mean LOTS of action happening that night indeed ! The drama continues into the next day when finally Jesus takes his last breath on the cross .. IT IS FINISHED!

Jesus conquered death in order that you and I may live eternally with God. What an incredible expression for LOVE!

Fast forward to 2022. I am a mother of four. I rush to get my clinic notes completed and head to mass at 7 pm with my family. We gather.. we made it just in time to occupy the last pew on the side of the church.

I finally catch my rushed breath to center myself on what I am experiencing. It truly is a beautiful night. The scent of the incense fill the air . There are many priest and deacons preceding over this very special mass, much like I recalled in my mind’s eye as a child in Nigeria. The Altar always seemed so full of priest and seminarians back then , all dressed in their white habit . They look so Holy.

Then come the part where we , the church congregation are invited to wash each other’s feet , just like Jesus did to his disciples. A sign of love and service.

Traditionally, DH and I would wash each four children’s feet when they were younger . However this year, we decided to try something different.. our twin boys took turns washing each other and our two daughters washed one another’s feet.

The idea is you go up to the altar where the wash basin is set up , take turns showing LOVE and SERVICE to one another as you pour warm water on their bare feet and then dry their feet afterwards. You may choose to say a prayer of thanks for them or forgive them a hurt , whichever the case may be.

Watching our children gift each other in service was tear jerking. Of course, I must admit there was that mother hen part of me , that had to refrain from worrying about whether they were doing it right. Honestly there is No right or wrong , it was just ALL in the doing 💕

Twins washing each other’s feet❤️
Twins washing each other’s feet❤️

Personally, I love getting to wash DH’s feet because I get to literally SERVE him, which is something he is most deserving of , for more reasons than I care to blog about right now. You see , because I think one of his LOVE LANGUAGE is acts of service , therefore, we his family, are great benefactors of his service on a daily basis!

When it came time for him to wash my feet, DH seems to forget we are still at the Altar of God o lol. He’s gently caressing my feet while he whispers loving words to me. My soul is melting in this love that I’m receiving and giving!

The washing of the feet command is one of the few acts that Jesus asks us to repeat in memory of him… what a LOVE jackpot!

How do you celebrate leading up to and on Easter? Please feel free to share your traditions so others may learn.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

A Mother’s Heart

Photo Credits: Give Lively

A Mother’s heart is more than the blood vessels , valves and muscle that make up its’ physical form.

It is a holding place for so much .

A Mother’s heart ensues , at that first acceptance of the life within her and grows exponentially at each love at first sight look, after childbirths, adoptions or any chosen connections.

It is a glorious place for love , acceptance while holding us to our best human standards.

A Mother’s heart is calculating, always finding ways to provide for those that she loves, even when that means less is left for her to have.

It is a collection of memories of yesterday’s tiny foot imprints , today’s growing pains and the longing of a beautiful bright future for her loved ones.

A Mother’s heart is JOYOUS at the growth, security and happiness of those she loves.

It is a place of immense connection but also of loneliness, for she alone can feel like she does.

A Mother’s heart is heavy with the sorrows that life can throw curve balls ,which threaten those she loves and wants to fiercely protect from danger.

It is a place of resolution and resilience.

A Mother’s heart can handle today’s disappointments as she quickly wipes away her tears and shows up dressed in her strong , beautiful, supportive smile for tomorrow.

It is a place for immense comfort and knowledge.

A Mother’s heart can also be laden with guilt for any perceived imperfections in herself or those whom she loves . However she is gifted with grace to persevere, discerning when to give her advice or to hold her tongue and pray her children through challenges instead.

A Mother’s heart is the most beautiful thing that the creator made, as it propels the source of ALL life.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Mountains or Oceans.. which holds your Awe?

Observing the tides crash onto the shores, while the ocean breeze powerfully claim its presence blowing and tossing hair and the likes apart.

The sun glistens on top of the blue gray sea, as its’ warmth provides a much needed balance from the chill of the ocean breeze.

There is wonder at the depth of the ocean, and the marvel of all the creatures that inhabit those deep dark waters. To think we have only discovered a very small fraction of the sea world!

I marvel at the creator of all this wonder!

Starring at the distance across the ocean while sitting on the sea shores watching kids at play , making sand castles and proud of the young at heart brave DH*, who agrees with their plan to be covered in beach sand! Lol

Observing children at play enriches the soul indeed.

I marvel at the idle time spent , with people just being!

The sea pelicans’ quick dive into the seas to grab a poor unsuspecting fish for snack, while sea gulls try their luck in finding food around the beach goers .

I marvel at nature’s carefreeness !

In some ways , it’s easier to observe the marvel atop the snow covered mountains.

The majestic presence of the mountains with peaks daring to reach the heavens.

The quiet stillness of the tall birch trees with those eyes that play peekaboo with skiers and snowboarders on their path.

I marvel at the daunting mountain slopes!

It’s incredible that skiing and snowboarding can provide such warmth even as one is surrounded by white powdered cold snow.

I marvel at the irony that one could be warmer on a snow capped mountain, than on a breezy sea at springtime!

Ultimately, I marvel at the giver of all these wonder, the creator of our universe .

The creator holds my Awe in all the infinite dimensions between the mountains and the oceans!

As always, thank you for reading my blog and the privilege of your time . Ofcourse I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

*DH ( Darling husband)

Sisterhood Is Everything!💕

Est 1990

Those were the words I exchanged in a text with a long time friend who informed me that my younger sister had just called to check on her. She said that they had literally stayed on the phone with eachother for almost 4 hrs, the whole time while my sister drove from Dallas to Houston. Ofcourse hands free, …uh..thank you fancy car Bluetooth phones!😚

Some of you know that I attended an international boarding school in Eastern Nigeria, West Africa from age 11 yrs to 16yrs. Our pioneer class comprised of about 120 other, same aged coed peers literally released into the jungles of Uturu to fend for and find our selves in life through education and social growth. Life brought us all together when we were “ green”. For most of us , this was our first time sleeping away from the security of our family homes.

I still recall my first night at the international boarding school, the memories so vivid in my mind’s eye. The school had officially started March 1st , but I didn’t get back from our family vacation in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia , till about two weeks after the school had commenced. So technically I was a “ pioneer “ in quotations..shh!

My father and our driver De Peter dropped me off close to the dusk on that day , settled me as quickly as they could , and bid me farewell to make their almost 2 hrs car ride back home to the town of Aba, through many bad roads.

I was surrounding by lots of same aged girls in my Dormitory C, but I was already starting to feel lonely. Perhaps something about night time already approaching and me having to set up my bed tent before it was “lights out “ felt daunting to me.

As I made my bed in this open concept dorm hall, friendly eyes met mine. Some initiated small talks, some asked if I needed help, one girl even had such a high emotional IQ to inquire whether I was homesick..wow! ( hopefully she became a physician too)

Quickly we all took to each other , you see with our shared experiences it was easy to bond in this jungle away from the comforts of our homes.

My first night in boarding school, there was raucous sizzling in another nearby girls dorm . A girl was being bullied for expressing she had a crush on a handsome mixed race boy, which clearly was a NO, NO because you see, that boy was already “ claimed” by another girl. A girl much bigger than most of us. I suppose that automatically gave her first dips on Guy Crushes 🤷🏽‍♀️.

They eventually settled the qualms and folks settled on their crushes (mostly nicely) without stepping on too many toes , and life continued…

I spent five intriguing years in the jungles of Uturu , with boys and girls who have become the best of my friends through the years. We grew from our simple young selves to become sophisticated adults , enduring numerous adversities including managing ourselves without electricity and running water . One of our most endearing hardships was having to hike miles to bath and fetch buckets of water from Lake Chinyere.

Our bonding occurred across genders, there were even marriages that came from these friendships. Some of these girls have became like my own sister for life!

Personally, I was blessed with only one birth sister, and she IS truly my best friend, a sister worth a million sisters! ❤️

Therefore, I have a very high taste in sisterhood lol, which means that the women in my life whom I consider as sisters are truly SPECIAL beings. I have also appreciated the value of having sisters across races and spanning many ages, as I get to be nurtured by others’ wisdom , and in turn give back to my younger “ sisters” too.

As adults we now gather as Mothers, Doctors, Lawyers, Financial experts,Social workers, Nurses, Actresses etc. We mostly gather as sisters , supporting , loving and celebrating each other through life’s struggles and triumphs.

“Sisterhood “

My community of sisterhood is a pivotal support in my life. Since my boarding school years, I have added numerous valuable gems as sister -friends in my life. My heart is so grateFUL❤️

Life is best lived in community! Find YOUR community and allow yourself to truly belong to it , giving yourself permission to be vulnerable and authentic.

Thankful for all those sisters in my life. You know who you are!😘

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕