Happy Veteran’s Day to me!

Oh yeah, it’s my birthday – not really! Tomorrow is Veterans day and I have the day off! It’s one of those holidays that’s not observed by everyone; even my kids have school because they have to make up some hurricane days from August. But I, because I’m special (OK, maybe not) get the whole day off. My office will be closed in the afternoon in honor of Veterans day and since Tuesday is the one day of the week when I only work in the afternoon, I get the whole day off – booyah!

Joseph is flying out of town tomorrow for a few days, the kids will be at school and I’ll be left to my own devices. I’m all agog with what I’m going to do with my day! First I thought “I’ll get caught up on laundry”, then almost immediately, I thought – nah! Then I thought “I’ll get caught up on all the movies I’ve missed” – nah again! Finally I thought “maybe I’ll dust off my mountain bike and engage in some self-flagellation to make up for all the dietary naughtiness that I’ve been guilty of, of late. The answer to that is one I heard from my daughter Bimi just yesterday: nah-stinkin’-uh!

I do have a couple of errands to run, but as soon as they are out of the way, I think I’ll spend the day in the best way possible – hanging out with the King of my heart in quality, uninterrupted worship. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Seriously, though, I’m thankful for the Vets and their sacrifice. There is, however, one Sacrifice that I’m even more thankful for…

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It’s a new day

Wow. Whodda thunk it?  No matter which candidate you voted for last Tuesday, one thing is for sure – this is one for the history books! Change is not coming, it’s here! Like my daughter Temi said when she got home from school, one day when her children learn, in their American History class, about the first black President of the United States, she will be able to say she saw it happen.

It’s time to step up our prayers for our nation and our President-elect. Like it or not, he’s here and God can use him. Pray for his protection because there are some people in our country who will only accept a black President over their dead body, or his. We don’t need any more blood shed for a cause. We need God – and His will be done, through President-elect Barack Obama.

God bless the USA – I LOVE this country!

Who’re you voting for?

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Election day is finally here! Regardless of which candidate wins, God’s will will be done in this country because of the prayers of His people. The Bible says “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” (Proverbs 21:1). Do you see it? The future and direction of our country does not depend on the king (President), but on the KING of kings! So tomorrow, when the results are tallied and the winner is announced, let’s put away the boxing gloves, delete the verbose emails and start a new day together, with a new leader who will need our prayers more than ever before.

So I say bring on the new day! By the way, why is it not work-free?

I did it!

Tired but stoked - I voted!

Tired but stoked - I voted!

So…today I exercised my civic responsibility and voted! It was my first time voting, as I only became a naturalized american citizen a couple of years ago. The funny thing is that as I stood in line – for 30 minutes – I realized that I was dressed the same way as the day I got sworn in as an american citizen. Same yellow turtle-neck even. Maybe it’s symbolic. Or maybe I need a new wardrobe!

At one point, I heard a shout and applause from the voting room and when I asked, I was told they were celebrating a first-time voter. I told the lady behind me in line that I was also a first-time voter because I only recently turned 18. She said “really?” and as I started to say “yes, really”, my mouth instead articulated “nah, just kidding.” [Sigh] I really had her too. Yeah right. Maybe from the back I could pass for 18… After all, the real age test on Facebook puts me at 19 and you know Facebook is always right…

Anyway, I voted – yay!

He said what now?

The other day, I actually watched the second round of the presidential debates. I admit I didn’t watch it to the end, though. I’d heard enough up until the point I got up to do something more productive, i.e. brush my teeth. Or maybe I got tired of the little digs at each other that the candidates couldn’t seem to resist while attempting to answer the questions they were asked. Again, can we all just get along?

The next day, however, after listening to reports via the media about what McCain called Obama and how he made a condescending remark to a black guy who asked a question, I was glad I’d watched as much (or as little) as I did because I certainly heard no feedback about the real issues. I mean, how impressive could the debate have been when all that the press was focusing on was name calling and alleged racial undertones? 

That got me thinking (aaargh, it hurts!)…how interesting that we can put whatever spin we want on what we see or hear, depending on our motives and the filter through which we pass that information. Sort of like the same way we can “make” Scripture say what we want it to say by quoting it out of context or passing it through our filters of rejection, bias, bitterness, etc. I heard those remarks made by McCain first hand and I honestly did not perceive any racial undertones, but maybe that’s just me. Maybe I see the world in pink! (la la laaa…)

Thank God that He judges our hearts because He knows that sometimes words can slip past the “security checks” of our minds and misrepresent what we truly believe. And thank God that there are only 26 more days till election day. But who’s counting?

We’re in the same vote – I mean, boat!

I’m excited about the upcoming Presidential elections. You see, it will be the first time that I will be able to vote, having naturalized as an American citizen in the last couple of years. What a privilege to have a say in the direction of this great nation! I don’t take that lightly at all.

What I’m not excited about is the process leading up to it. Can somebody say “ugh”? All the banter back and forth, the bickering among followers of the different parties. I made up my mind during the first elections I witnessed after coming to this country that I would not participate in political arguments. I have never seen one where someone wins! I know people who believe that a christian democrat is an oxymoron (or an ox and a moron – ha ha!) and others who are convinced that a christian republican belongs in a museum with narrow halls (to accommodate their narrow minds). Can we all just get along? I have a dear friend who jokes that “politics is of the devil” because it divides and polarizes us, even (especially?) in the body of Christ.

So…next month, I will vote, because it’s my duty and because I can. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to make this possible and I will not disregard their effort. I will vote prayerfully, not for a party or for my personal agenda, but for the man I believe is more able to lead us into the next season of our history (Ross Perot’s running, right? 🙂 ), whether he ends up winning or not.

And I’m not telling you who I’m voting for!

Happy Birthday, Nigeria!

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Today is the 48th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. Yes, I get to celebrate two independence days every year. Nigeria is my country by birth and the U.S. is my country by choice. I love both my countries! Born and raised in Lagos, I lived there until I was 21 when, barely had the words “I do” left my mouth, my husband whisked me off to a land far, far, away. OK, so England was only a 6-hour plane flight from Lagos. After a three-year sojourn in the UK, we came to the U.S. The rest, as they say, is history.

Last week, I volunteered at my daughter’s school and met a lady (100% caucasian) with a Nigerian middle name. She had been born in Lagos the year of Nigeria’s independence, to expatriate parents who lived there for 4 years. As we sat and talked about Nigeria, I took a trip down memory lane with a perfect stranger. By the time we returned to the present time, we were buddies.

With all of my family still there, Nigeria will always be home to me. Yet, when I’m there and ready to return to the U.S., I look forward to going back “home.” I am truly blessed to have two homes. My values, my heritage, my culture, my nose and my cheekbones originate from the southwestern shores of the “Lion of Africa.” So does my spunk (yes, I’ll admit I’ve got a smidgen of that too!).

So today, with a little more nostalgia than usual, I’ve got Nigeria on my mind. God bless you, Lion of Africa!

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