My parents are celebrating 40 years of marriage today! Please help me thank God for keeping them for one another for all this time. I’m so proud of who they are as individuals and as parents, and I love the strong example they have left me regarding what marriage really looks like. When wedding vows mention “in sickness and in health” those are not empty words. As my parents begin their next 40 years of marriage, I pray that Almighty God will keep them healthy, in love, and give them many wonderful things to look forward to.
I’m back from Nigeria: my mom and I were away for exactly four weeks and I’m thankful for journey mercies. Not to be morbid but whenever I’m going on a trip that involves flying, I try to tie up loose ends, just in case. So because of that, I’m always extra thankful when I return. This was the first time that I didn’t dwell too much on what might go wrong in the air, and I know the peace I had was from God. As I mentioned in my last thankful post, the trip from Lagos to Ondo state (and vice versa) was terrifying: the way our very competent driver was going off the paved road to avoid potholes, overtaking cars, bringing our truck face to face with huge transport trucks, I felt like a car accident was imminent many times. I know I was the biggest liability at some point because I kept gasping, causing the driver to ask me what was wrong. I relaxed a tiny bit on the way back, but not by much.
One day I want to host a meetup so I can meet kind readers of this blog face-to-face. I thought I’d have internet access soon after arriving at my grandma’s place and have plenty of time to contact people for an informal meetup but that wasn’t the case. I managed to reach out to a few people and I’m so thankful that I got to meet three people that I hadn’t met before who read my blog! It’s always a bit surreal to me to meet someone in the flesh that you’ve talked to online for ages. I was touched by the efforts those I met made; one friend came from five hours away, and the others made time in their schedules to come and find me where I was staying, or convey me to where they were. I liked having one-on-one time with people so maybe a meetup isn’t the best plan after all.
On a related note, one thing that I really wanted to eat while I was in Nigeria was boli (roasted plantain). I was always on the lookout for it when I was out, and I’d ask my mom, grandma, aunts, and uncles to bring boli back for me when they would go out. But alas, it wasn’t the season, or at least that’s what I was told. Anyway, when I went to visit Tolu, she insisted on feeding me and when I refused she asked if I wanted plantain and I said sure, thinking it would be dodo (fried plantain); instead she served boli, not knowing I had been craving it for the whole trip (and even longer!). And while the boli was delish, she served it with fish, and I loooove fish! So the day before I left Nigeria I got to have boli—I love that God answers even our tiny prayers!
I also got my hair braided in the tiniest braids I’ve ever had. They were so well done and I feel pretty in them. The braids almost didn’t happen—the person who was supposed to braid my hair didn’t show up, and because I’m a last minute person it looked like I’d be returning to Canada with my hair wrapped in a scarf. But a friend found and lured his neighbour away from her shop to my grandma’s house, saving the day. And then another kind friend paid for my hairdo! It was so unexpected that I’m still so grateful for the gesture.
My dad celebrated another year of life earlier this month—thank God! We had a nice family celebration for him at home—my dad never wants to do something big (he leaves that for my mom!) and his impromptu celebrations always end up being such a good bonding time for the family. I want to honour my dad for not letting health challenges sway his faith in God’s healing power and I know God won’t let him down. Seeing what my dad pushes through while still finding the time to care so much about what I’m doing helps me to keep going, and to be a little less selfish.
At least one member of my family travelled to Nigeria in 1994, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2016 and would you believe that until this last trip, we had never had to deal with lost luggage? That’s a thankful point! However, one of my mom’s luggage did get lost somewhere between Toronto and Ottawa, which was the very last leg of our trip. We had gone through customs and were asked to place our bags on the conveyor belt that would take our bags to the airplane for our final, less-than-one-hour flight. When we arrived in Ottawa the bag was not with us—to say we were crushed would be an understatement! At first, we thought we’d get the bag back the same day, then the next day, but it took nearly a week before the luggage was located and it really affected our emotions, despite praying over it. I’m thankful that the luggage was located because there were some irreplaceable items in it.
My sister also celebrated her birthday, just last week: I’m thankful for who she is. What I love most about my sister is her loyalty and her thoughtful gestures. For example, she, her husband, and my nephew came to meet us at the airport when we came back, taking the bus to get there. They definitely caught us by surprise in the loveliest of ways! I feel like our relationship gets better as the years go by—we’ve always had a sort of sister intuition going but now we relate to each other as adults who have unique personalities despite our shared upbringing. And since she has been married for a few years now and is a mom, even though she’s my younger sister she has had some experiences that I haven’t, and I can learn from her.
What are you thankful for this month?