When I thought of the things that I’m thankful for this month, I realized that it’s a shame that I don’t keep a pen-and-paper recording of prayer requests because: wouldn’t it be awesome to go over all you’ve prayed for and see how God has answered your prayers? (If you do this, tell me how worthwhile it is!) I bet the list of things I’m thankful for each month would triple if I started keeping track on a daily basis.
- On the list of answered prayers that I’m thankful for, I can’t believe (but I can; human nature) how quickly I forgot that this time last year my mom had had two eye surgeries. I remember how I was feeling and how motivated I was to pray during this time. I thank God that she got through it and she has been doing alright since. I give God the glory for the medical experts that my mom has in her life and the work they do to support her.
In the same vein, this month I also thought about November 2013, when I drove my mom and sister (who was several months pregnant with my nephew) to the US for some Black Friday shopping. The weather conditions were terrible and although I was nervous, I tried hard not to show it. “Jesus take the wheel” had a very literal meaning for me during that trip and I’ll always be thankful for our safe travels during that time.
- I’m thankful that my nephew is feeling better after a health scare a couple of weeks ago.
- God is so good: my mom celebrated another year of life this month and I thank God for this super-loving role model. It was an honour to celebrate her. I tell her all the time that I feel sorry for my future husband because they don’t make women like her anymore. One of the things I admire about my mother is her decisiveness: all my overthinking makes no sense to her because she has the ability to weigh a few options and come to a decision. She doesn’t get bogged down by what-ifs and maybes; if needed, she just makes another decision. And she also doesn’t spend much time living in the land of regret. And she’s fearless—well, she feels the fear and does it anyway. Can you see why I’d want to be more like her?
- Sayo’s mom celebrated her birthday this month too and I thank God for her life and for protecting her through all her “up and down things” as they say. She never stops! She’s a really warm person and she made me feel so welcome while I was in Nigeria. Her caring ways and her humility are qualities that Sayo shares with her.
- I’m thankful for the progress I’ve made this month in speaking my mind without being afraid of what people will think. (Confession: I care a disgusting amount what people think about me and it bothers me that I care so much!) It has held me back and it’ll continue to unless I conquer it.
In some cases, I’ve seen that I’m not serving my family, friends, fellow masterminders, people on social media, or myself by keeping them from reality (or from the real me). Sometimes what I want to do or say will only affect me, in which case I really shouldn’t care what people think. Sometimes, however, the word I have is for a friend or family member and this is when I have to balance being sensitive to what they’re going through with being truthful and helpful. For example, I told a friend last week what I thought about some decisions she had made lately when compared to what she actually wants for her life. I didn’t berate her for the decisions I thought were incongruent but in the past, I would have commiserated without calling her attention to how she may have contributed to the situation.
Sometimes a conversation isn’t possible or won’t be helpful, so removing or reducing your access to someone, despite what they might think of the action, can be the best thing to do—I’ve done it so I know it’s true.
I was telling friends last night about how when I see something, I often have an initial response that’s completely unfiltered and usually not very nice, and then as I think through things, a gentler response comes out and this is the one I send or say. Not caring what people think means that when there’s no gentler response I may sometimes have to risk upsetting someone instead of saying nothing.
- I thank God for the boatload of clarity I received with regard to Good Naija Blogs (GNB)! After I reported to my mastermind buddies about GNB this month, I felt like the way I had articulated things to them was God giving me the words that I needed to say. I felt connected with everything I shared and with my plans for the future. We record these meetings so when I listened to what I had said I was freshly motivated.
Also, I’m thankful for an editing client I had this month! The process of editing my friend’s document reminded me of how much I love the work and (gasp) how good I am at it. Yes: I’m a good editor! The confidence boost plus her advice that I revisit my prices led me to increase my rates and (gasp) not feel bad about it! Now I just need more clients.
- Finally, I’m thankful for how supportive my family has been as things move forward with Sayo. I’m telling you, “blood is thicker than water” rings true for me more and more each day.