Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My 2010 Lesson

My apologies for being away for a while. I have been preoccupied with the kids. I do hope you all have had a restful Xmas.

Along with all the eating that goes on, this period for me is all about family, rest and reflection.

Reflection has been even more important for me because I had a bad experience on Christams eve and I now wish to share the lessons I learnt from this experience with you. I hope it will touch someone.

The Experience:
At about 12.05am on Christmas eve morning, I was upstairs getting the kids' Xmas presents sorted out and my husband was downstairs, tidying up. Suddenly, we heard loud banging on the front door. As it was soo late, I wondered who it could be. So, I looked through the upstairs window to see who was knocking. Before I could even make out the features of the person, I realised that my car - which was packed right in front of my house - was on fire. Yes, on FIRE!!!

Apparently, my neighbour had seen it and come over to tell us!

Panic mode set in as I rushed outside to see the damage. My hubby got on the phone to call the Fire Service. My neighbour then informed me that they had already called the Fire Service.

Well, to cut a long story short; within the 5 minutes it took for the Fire Service to come, the fire had spread to the engine and half of the windscreen was gone. We were then faced with the challenge of keeping an eye on this raging fire; keeping an eye on the house and also deciding whether to wake the kids - to drag them out of their beds! To say we were in shock was an understatement.

After the Fire service had put the fire out, the Police came to assess the damage and take witness statements. They concluded that the location of the fire suggested that it was delibreately set by someone! Yes, deliberately!

That bit of information made me feel sick as I thought of all the what ifs - What if my neighbour hadn't seen the fire on time? What if the fire had spread to my house? What if the fuel tank had exploded? What if the person who did this lived beside me? What if the person was coming back to cause more harm?

Even more questions......What had we done to deserve this? What kind of person would do this ......especially on Christmas Eve?

Luckily for us the kids slept right through the commotion so we took the decision not to tell them what happened because (a) we didn't want to spoil their Christmas and (b) we didn't want them worrying that someone somewhere was out to hurt their family!

That night, sleep eluded us as we lay in bed, staring at the ceiling and clinging to each other. Funny thing is I couldn't even cry. Not one tear...even till today...........................!

Lesson Learnt:
The following day, we went into protective mode - of our children - and arranged with our insurers to remove the burnt car from the front of the house. Luckily, they did this before the kids even got to see the burnt car. We then explained to them that our car had a fault and had gone for repairs. They were fine with their main concern was that they got their Christmas presents! LOLLL

I cannot lie to you and say that I was not shaken by this experience but the truth is I have experienced a lot in this life - relocating to a new country, several miscarriages, a near fatal car accident and two emergency medical operations - that I feel that I am a living testimony to the fact that God still works miracles ......every single day.

The first thoughts I had after the police told me that the fire was intentional, were - Is this a racisct attack? Who did it? Who have I offended? Hubby and I even discussed whether it could be any of the neighbours??????

Well, we made a conscious decision to hand over EVERYTHING to God.

It is sooo easy to hate and become paranoid and we refuse to be. It is so easy to go out and think that every Caucasian is a racist but I refuse to go down this path. If this is really a racist incident, I refuse to be a victim because for this one terrible incident I can count ten Caucasians that have been a blessing to us. And I will....

1. The specialist who helped me through my difficult pregnancies
2. The lecturer who took me under his wing and gave me sooo much confidence - academically
3. The nursery owner who took care of my 3 boys - even willing to defer payments when we were broke
4. The old lady in church - who I had never spoken to before - who bought chocolates for my kids when I was ill
5. The lesson teacher who took my first son - Prof1 - under her wing
6. The primary school teacher who made my second son - Cool2 - her 'personal project' (She liked him so much but he was a reluctant learner. She was so determined to encourage him that she called him her 'personal project'. She even took my mobile number so she could speak to me out-of-hours)
7. The teacher who gave Prof1 confidence - making him realise that being a nerd can be cool *smile*
8. The lady who was instrumental to my first professional break through
9. The colleague who taught me soo much...and overlooked my initial mistakes
10. The other colleague who always checks if I'm okay
11. The nursery teacher who my last son - Blanket3 - wants to 'marry' because she was toooo nice....she really is!
12. The old neighbour who always looks out for us and comes round with gifts for my kids

I know I said ten, but I really could go on.....


I choose to be a victor, not a victim. A conqueror, not the conquered! My favourite motivational passage in the Bible is Ephesians 6: 13-17.....
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This passage potrays an empowered Christian as a Roman soldier - as illustrated in the diagram above -  prepared for spiritual warfare and well equipped to combat evil. To be a believer is to have faith - through good times and bad ones.

No one knows what 2011 will bring, but if hindsight is anything to go by; every year brings its own ups and downs. So, I have armed myself with faith and hope. I thank God that my family was spared any physical harm. Whatever was lost can easily be replaced. If this was a hate crime, I pray for the perpetrators because to live with hate is to be a living corpse!

I absolutely REFUSE to let hatred from a few cloud the beauty of  love I have received from soooo many!!!!

I wish you all a happy New Year.

Do let me know ONE key life lesson that you will take away from 2010........xoxoxoxox


  1. wow what a testimony...its important to count how many ppl of a certain ethnicity have been a blessing b/c its so easy to put everyone of that certain ethnicity in a box.
    May 2011 bring even more blessings!

  2. Thanks Chizzy.
    Absolutely agree re: Not putting people in a box!
    I pray 2011 brings you peace and progress. Amen!
    Thanks for dropping by.

  3. OMG, it takes a matured person to type what you just did after what happened. I agree with the police o. It looks like someone was determined to ruin yalls christmas, but they FAILED. I hope you guys stay safe, coz it's scary to think what else this person could potentially do...
    Thanks for the Christmas wishes...
    Happy New Year to you and the family :D

  4. Thanks Prism.
    Totally agree that 'they FAILED.'
    As I said, I refuse to even contemplate what else might happen because what has already happened is enough to deal with.
    We have had a fab Xmas despite all this. My Xmas day was all about cooking, entertaining and gorging LOL
    I'm looking forward to the New Year - especially as I have even more to Thank God for!
    Stay blessed!

  5. Wow, I truly thank God for sparing you and your family's life! And I'll like to commend you and hubby for handling the situation well.

    The key lesson that I learned this year is that: Everyone and everything has a time and a season, so I no longer worry about anything, instead I trust God with my all.

    I wish you the very best in 2011 xoxo

  6. waoh! what a horrible thing to happen, especially on christmas eve...God is watching over you and yours.

    Thanks for pointing out those lessons learned and reasons to be thankful also...

  7. God's faithfulness is ever sure no matter the number of times we fall out of line.

    Its indeed a testimony that your family didnt get hurt in the process. Hold on tight to your faith...

    As this year runs to an end, I have learnt that when the worries and problems reach the greatest heights is when one's faith must not quiver, cos after the storm comes a calm.

    Have a wonderful year end and a more fulfilling new year.

  8. thats the way to live life, i think i faced alot of difficult times in 2010 but i have learnt that some things come with the territory. New Blessings new challenges.....It's that simple.
    We should trust the God that blessed us to give us the grace to live through the challenges that come with those blessings.
    You are a very mature and wonderful woman. Weldone For not being paranoid. God bless you and your family in 2011.

  9. @Blessing@
    Thanks so much re: 'I'll like to commend you and hubby for handling the situation well.'
    Totall agree re: your 2010 lesson.
    I try not to wory but temptation comes along....
    I'm earning to trust more and worry less like you.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Yup re: '....God is watching over you and yours'
    I wish you a peaceful and wonderful 2011.
    Thanks for stopping by

  10. @P.E.T:
    Amen re: 'God's faithfulness is ever sure no matter the number of times we fall out of line.'
    That's the beauty of his love.
    I'm definitely holding on tight to my faith.
    Oh thank you sooo much for this line....:'one's faith must not quiver, cos after the storm comes a calm.' Beautiful!
    Thanks so much for your wonderful comments.
    Wishing you a blessed 2011

    I empathise re: 'i faced alot of difficult times in 2010 but I have learnt that some things come with the territory.'
    Re: 'Not being paranoid'....This is a deliberate but difficult decision because I do believe positivity breeds positivity.
    May 2011 bring you good things, laughter and peace. Amen.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience. It takes a bold personality to do that and I'm glad you and your family are safe.

    For 2010, I have learnt to do things in timeand never procastinate. Again, thanks for the posting this nice message.

  12. *e-hug* short of words.....i give GOD the GLORY & THANKS for always being there for your's really easy to hate....becox a finger stained with oil can soil the whole hand!..but one can quickly wash it away before it does abi?...that is what you have done & am proud of you becox it takes confidence in GOD to do such.


  13. @MIKE:
    Thanks sooo 'It takes a bold personality to do that'....I guess I am emboldened by my confidence in the Lord!!!
    Also, thanks for sharing your 2010 lesson. Not procrastinating is definitely a good one because as they say ...'WHO DARES WINS!!!'
    May 2011 bring blessings and peace to you. Amen

    Welcome back!!!!
    I feel like a loved one has returned from a holiday. Welcome back to blogsville
    Totally agree re: 'becox a finger stained with oil can soil the whole hand'
    Many, many thanks for your words of encouragement. May this coming year bring lessings to you and yours. AMEN and AMEN!!!

  14. Sorry to hear about this. It must have been scary to experience that. Like you said, attitude is what determines the impact of experiences. It's important to acknowledge the impact and also take something positive from it. May the new year bring you joy.

  15. @Naijalines:
    Thanks so much for your profound statement:'attitude is what determines the impact of experiences'......I couldnt express it better!
    Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a wonderful comment.
    I wish you a blessed 2011. Amen and Amen

  16. Just had to head over here and what do I see? I thank God for protecting your family and for giving you the spirit of love and not of fear. I pray this New Year brings you even more joys and success. No one will be an obstacle in your life, Amen!

  17. @Myne:
    Amen and amen. Thanks for the lovely prayer.
    I wish you even greater success this year.
    Amen and Amen!

  18. 1Jn 4:18 - "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love."

    Naijamum, I thank God for you and your family! (It's a pity I just saw this post, though I'd visited your blog a number of times before then for any new posts). I must say that I'm really happy about how you handled the situation and I'm PROUD of you! :)

    A major lesson I picked from 2010 was "never to let disappointments dampen my spirit, but to seek practical ways to turn them into greater blessings for myself (instead of a pity party)". By applying that lesson, I got my current internship and things have only gotten better!

    More of God's wisdom and protection for you and yours this Year! AMEN!!!

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  20. @Gbenga:
    This is a powerful quotation from the Bible. Too, too wise. Thank you sooo much. I shared this passage with hubby as soon as I saw it. Thank you again.
    This is one of the best things about blogging - getting that pearl of wisdom that makes so much sense of all the madness around us.
    Re: your internship. I am wishing you the best of luck.
    From past experience, I can tell you that the reason some people excel professionally is not their talent alone. It is often that special 'GLOW' they possess that makes others compelled to assist them OR others seek to be around them OR others strive to be part of whatever they are part of.
    May God let your 'GLOW' shine through and raise you to heights beyound your wildest dreams. Amen


  22. @Omoba
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I'm glad the message touched you.
    I'm now following your blog

  23. Oh my! I decided to come back to your blog and read through some of your posts. Clicked on the "Faith" tab 'cos I just felt I needed to read something along that line.

    Well, thank God I did. It's belated but so sorry to hear about the fire incident. Thank God for His mercies. The parts of the post I needed to hear NOW are those of choosing not be a victim and arming myself with faith and hope.

    Honestly, I feel this post is God-sent. With all that I've gone through in the last few weeks, I was almost ready to get into the cage of resenting all Caucasians and a group of self-hating Africans from a particular region who are so used to being led by Caucasians that they find it incomprehensible that an African could actually have the credentials to be in authority over them. Long story but I'm even getting my Union involved and I'm prepared to take it to the point of litigation. The subterranean issues involved are so messed up that I almost feel like quitting.

    But just like you, when I look back over the years and think of how many Caucasians have been nothing but kind to me, and to how many of the Africans that I've had some form of authority over have truly appreciated my efforts, I will look to the future with hope and faith. I will not go through life being bitter.

  24. @OS
    First off, I would like to thank you for coming back again. I am honoured that my testimony has impacted upon you in such a positive way.

    Regarding your present challenge, I cannot pretend to understand what you are going through but I do understand the challenge of dealing with fellow Africans at work. In one of my past roles, I managed a shop. Surprisingly, fellow Nigerians always tried to mess about whenever I was in charge (i.e. come in late, take unauthorised breaks etc). Not good at all!

    Please do try to rise above the situation. Follow set procedures and processes and keep all interaction/ verbal exchanges as professional as possible. In all you do, think before you act.

    A proverb - 'You can never hide bright light, no matter how much one tries!'
    Your star will never be dimmed!



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