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Dear Friends,

Want to find out what happened to Chloe’s first crush? … ‘She smiled’, the book, will be out soon. Till then… let’s check out another adventure with Chloe. Do your remember Mr Williams from the blog ‘dancing floor?’ Check it out and connect to the story below… Oh, Chloe! Chloe!! Chloe!!!

One day, Papa Joe called Chloe into his room for a discussion.

“So, Chloe what are we going to do about your failures and this Saviour you claim you serve? Couldn’t He help you pass?”

Chloe was not moved by his disposition towards her. With a straight face she replied, “Papa I will yet serve Him because my faith in him is not dependent on my grades. Furious with her candid reply, Papa Joe rose from the side of his bed, opened the door in anger and said, ” Get out of my room. I do not want to have anything to do with you and your saviour forever.”

Chloe resolved to pledge allegiance to the Cross even though her father had finally disowned her because of her faith. She was determined to make something out of her life – the first step was to start work. She was only seventeen and still studying for her university entrance examination. Nevertheless, she started working as a dispensary attendant for her neighbour who fell ill and needed to keep the shop open.

It was the first day of work. She was dressed in her patterned ankara skirt and her light blue blouse with her permed hair styled into a bob. She was crossing the road hastily in the hot sun when a Mercedes X class with black tinted glass pulled up beside her. A voice beckoned to her from the window to approach the car. Politely she walked over, thinking someone needed some directions.

Sloughed in the backseat was Mr Williams, an unpleasant memory from her dance floor experience when she was 10 years old. She greeted in shock. “Good morning, sir! Papa Joe is doing great. Have you been to his office or seen him today?” Chloe did not wait for him to answer when she continued, “Sir, I have to hurry to work. Today is my first day. I am running late.” Mr Williams was not a welcome guest in her mind. The sooner she was rid of him the better.

She turned around to walk on, but Mr Williams reached out his hand and held hers. He said, “Chloe! Chloe, my wife; come and join me in the car and let’s talk.” Chloe thinking “What! okay, Mr Williams is my father’s friend, he could have something important to say. But why should he call me ‘my wife?’ Blood of Jesus!” 

Chloe reached for her phone, called her boss to inform him of a little delay on her way to work. She walked over to the passenger door stepped into the back seat. Even though she was uncomfortable sitting with Mr Williams, she thought “I need to hear what all this is about.”

Mr Williams stretched out his old wrinkled hands to hold her. “You are a full-grown woman now! You know I have always had my eyes on you since you were a little damsel.” Chloe resisted his advances, but he continued. “See, see, my love, I will follow all the right steps with Papa Joe. I won’t do wrong by you. You are too special. I want to marry you.

You will take the position of my third… no! My fourth wife.” Chloe was shocked at the old man’s foolish words. He was not bothered by the shock visibly displayed on her face. Instead, he intensified his efforts to woo her “Don’t worry. You will never struggle again. I understand you have been having issues with your father. Marrying me will put you back into his good books.”

Hmm, friends… What do you think? Have you every been abandoned by a loved one? How do you think Chloe reacted to Wifely advances? Let me know… Just a thought… How often do we talk to our kids about their feelings and relationships? Remember they are never too young to understand. I Pray we learn from each other on the journey of parenthood…

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First Crush

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Dear Readers, I know its been a while… However, Chloe’s story is back on track… influenced by others, she is beginning to exercise her free will by developing a “crush” on someone… let’s enjoy Chloe’s new emotional directions

A month after the dinner in Nath’s house, she was ready to resume school and was glad she was able to interact with Nath without any reference to the ‘rainy day’. Nathaniel seem to have gotten her message. Usually if Nath said “Hi”, Chloe would reply with “Hi.” Things were awkward and she didn’t know how to deal with him.

Sometimes she wished she had allowed him to speak; it is possible that what he intended to say had nothing to do with his emotional attraction to her. Chloe decided not to tell Mama Joe about him, she had already teased about the boys’ effect. Chloe was able to cover up her feelings for Ryan and Nath’s distractions as she returned to school after the holidays.

Each time she had a call or visit from home, she was quick to find out how her neighbours were doing. Her sister provided all the information about them, but she was not courageous enough to let out the secret thoughts in her heart. Often during evening study periods, the senior students and her mates’ gist about their adventures with their boyfriends or the famous prohibited night parties.

Chloe would allow her thoughts to drift away from schoolwork to Nath and Ryan, and eventually, she would write poems to express her feelings and ease the pressure of the conflict in her mind.

I can’t fathom it

With a thought of you in my heart

When I close my eyes

I think of you first, like the rising of the sun

When I open my eyes

Smiles rush to my lips, like streams of waters

Just at the thought of you

Thinking of you

Makes me want to have every minute of you

I longed for the day I cannot

Do without you

Just thinking of you

Chloe knew it was out of place to focus her mind on the thoughts flooding her mind, which was partly influenced by those around her. She often felt out of place in the company of others, so she sought the purity of her thoughts as her greatest desire. The Saviour was never too far from her, putting a check of her thoughts as He directed her to focus on the needs of others through her pastoral care, and the previous thought patterns faded away slowly.  

Few weeks into the new session, there was an inter-school debate between Chloe’s and Ryan’ schools that was held at Chloe’s school. It was a good opportunity for her to see her ‘first-time crush’ after a couple of weeks from home. The girls let out a noise as the Westley College bus drove. The debate team hopped off the bus, confident as expected.

She saw Ryan. He looked handsome in his checked shirt, dark blue fitted uniform and sunglasses to hide his eyes from the reflections of the sun. The moment Chloe saw him smiling with his friend, her heart started to skip in beats like a horse galloping over the hills. The Head girl tapped her shoulder jolting her out of her dreamy world.

“Chloe your presence is required in the hall to get the girls settled. Why are you looking like you saw a ghost?”

“Nothing!” Chloe replied pretending nothing happened.

The full school hall was now that loud “boys” were around. The girls were more interested in boys than the debate competition itself. Chloe knew her school’s debate team were good but was not sure whether they would  be able to win against Ryan’s school. She walked to the stage with the Assembly and Pastoral Care Prefect, she was the assistant Assembly prefect. Their roles were to maintain order at any school gathering.

The loud hall went quiet as they stood in front of the assembly with their brown and white pinafore uniform and the half knee socks, representing the standard of the uniform required for the whole school. Chloe and Ryan made eye contact immediately because he was sitting in one of the designated seats at the front of the hall. She raised her fingers slightly to say hi to him.

Ryan smiled back with the same finger gesture. She was delighted to receive sweet acknowledgement of her presence for the first time. “How I wish he does the same at home,” she thought, trying to concentrate on the task ahead…

Thank you for sharing Chloe’s journey with me today. I hope to be back soon we will find out what happened after she was back from her dream world. If you enjoy reading my blog kindly like, share and send in your comments…love to hear from you!!!

Love

Hifefe

What if…being a Christian…This is it!

Dear Friends,

I have been considering the ongoing events relating to those that identify with Jesus around the world. With a burdened heart I pick up my pen and put down my thoughts expressed in this poem. Although I have shared my notes to one or two friends, I felt the need to share with my readers. My heavy heart on these contemporary issues in our days trusts in the Saviour’s wings at this end times. I pray you to take time and ponder on each sentence.

  
What if being a Christian means not buying into the popular religious culture and legalism
What if being a Christian means not necessarily persecuted like our brethren in all around the world
What if being a Christian does not only lead to execution
What if being a Christian means my voice is meant to be silent
What if being a Christian means I can’t express my belief in Jesus openly anymore
What if it means I cannot express my views on social media?
What if it means I am targeted, excluded, excommunicated, ostracized, and condemned by the world?
What if at the slightest words of my Saviour someone feels insulted and I must take the public shame
What if I might have to lose my job, my source of income, or might never get a job because I identified with the Saviour
What if I lose my friends, family and my celebrity status?
What if being a Christian is a thing of the past in the new world order
What if I am the only odd one out. His name a curse word to the nations?
What will I do if being a Christian means I will lose out completely?
Will I denied I knew him, walked with him, talked with him and worship him or
Will I stop, think, before I speak because of the consequences
Will I post of social media my stances on controversial issues?
Will I hide my faith to keep my job?
Will, I denied Jesus to keep the trend and end up in church on Sunday?
Behold the Saviour watches from above looking at the hearts and motives of men
He will declare: if you denied me before them, I will deny you before my Father
He says, the Father will destroy both the body and the souls that sins
What will men do?
Destroy the body alone and you fear men!
Is it worth I denied my belief to fit the popular demand and excesses of the fallen man?
God hates sins and loves mankind He created
He declares his hatred of sins through the fallen man
Will I be willing to declare my stance to love mankind?
While holding on to God’s desire for the hated of sins
Just the way it is without no shades of grey
What will be my choice?
What will be your choice?
We’ve been called to declare his words
What might happen to us is already foretold as it happened to our brothers like Paul, Peter and His followers
Most suffered like our Saviour did on the cross
They did not sugar coat the gospel
They did not find the middle ground by losing the truth through picking facts
Were they diplomatic with the truth?
They did not deceive their followers with half-baked teachings
They did try to fit the culture or their changing world
They did not deny Him, who lived, died, rose and hated man's sins
And His redemptive heart for man
They died for what they believed in...
Are you ready to die for what you believe?
Hard questions? Hard times?
For me and my household, my mind is made up
Not only in the old song “I have decided to follow Jesus…”
But is your mind made up
Humm, quick check…
When last did you declare your belief of social media rather than your beautiful pictures?

Thank you for walking with me and my thoughts…I am hoping to get back to Chloe’s story in my next blog. Kindly subscribe, like, comment and share.

Love

Hefife

Teenager! I have emotions 3

I’m back continuing Chloe’s journey on her teenage emotional awareness “Teenager! I have emotions 2.” As a teenager putting a check on her emotions was a new priority, too much to deal with.  I hope you enjoy reading as I did writing.

Chloe could not sleep that night, she tossed and turned, wondering whether she was heading for the trouble she wouldn’t be able to handle. “All I wanted is a friend, why did Nath hold my hands that way; did I imagine the way he fixed his eyes on me? Is he trying to communicate something else? Is that the way a boy looks into a girl’s eyes when he begins to fall in love? I seriously think I shouldn’t give Nath any funny ideas any more. What will I do with Ryan? Even though I really what him to like me the same way as Nath seems to swoop on me this evening, why does he not even look my way?

As these thoughts play over and over in her mind long into the night, Chloe remembered the Saviour’s words “Do not awake your emotions when it is not ripe for it.” Her Saviour and Mama Joe were right again. She talked with Him for a while and finally drifted off to sleep.

Chloe avoided Nath’s company over the next few days, she found reasons to be busy indoors while the rest of the neighbours spent time together outside.

A week later, there was a knock on the door, Nath stood there looking helpless, “I missed fishing, can we spend time together?” he said looking miserable. As she opened her mouth to say “No”, she heard Mama Joe speak from behind her.

“I think you children don’t have much to do around here, I am waiting to eat roasted fish tonight. Head out”. That was the most boring time she spent with Nath; she could not pretend that the last time never happened. Several times, Nath tried to break the ice, to get through to her, but Chloe was too scared to say anything.

Getting home, Mama Joe had already made a fire for the fish; because of the unexplainable silence between them, Nathaniel made his excuses, hurrying home to make dinner, avoiding any further company with Chloe. Chloe didn’t want him to go home but was at a loss as to how to tell him about how she felt.

“I am so lame at handling a friendship!” Chloe thought as she walked over to the fence and watched Nathaniel climb the stairs, he was talking to his sister and didn’t look back. Nathaniel’s mother poked her head out of the front door and invited Chloe for dinner. Chloe saw her opportunity to get closer to Ryan.

“Yes, thank you” she called back, adding she would be bringing some fish along. All Chloe noticed though was Ryan’s unwelcoming face staring at her and she wondered if she was making another big mistake.

In the end, the evening went by uneventfully, leaving Chloe wondering what to do about “Ryan” and her “feelings for him” as she walked home in the dark.

A month after the dinner in Nathaniel’s house, she was ready to resume school and was glad that there had been no reference to their “rainy day” experience.

She was able to interact with Nathaniel with even though it was awkward, usually if Nathaniel said “Hi”, Chloe would reply “Hi”, she didn’t know how to deal with him.

Sometimes she wished she allowed him to speak; it could be possible that what he intended to say had nothing to do with his emotional attraction to her. Chloe decided not to tell Mama Joe about him, she had already teased about the “boys’ effect.”

Let’s say Chloe survived this episode without anybody finding out her inner struggles. Although she was able to escape this time, will she be able to do so for all the other “boys’ effect” that might likely come her way? Do you agree she should express her struggles with someone…let’s say, Mama Joe?

Thank you for reading, see you in my next post. Kindly like, comment and share this post

Love

Hefife

You did it! – My reflection on Easter

Dear readers,

I wrote this poem in 2003 and acted it in church during the Easter service. Similarly, I was worshipping in the service today with the song “O praise the name of the Lord our God…” As we sang the fourth verse, it struck me the reason for my worship was the price he paid. With tears rolling from my eyes I look forward to worshipping Him in eternity with my loved ones, I share my poem with you.

I remember today is a Friday, over 2000 years ago

You did it for me.

Yes! I clearly do, but wait…

Was I one of the soldiers that flogged you,

Nailed you,

Gambled for your clothes,

And threw dices for each piece?

I even went to the extent of mocking you and offering you sour wine to my satisfaction

I made myself happy at the expense of your sorrow

Over my sins?

Or better still…

Maybe I was one of the crowds

That cried “Crucify him! Crucify him”

And yet at the cross

I stood watching

I was neither happy nor sad

I even went home with my deep-seated sorrow

For the weight of the sins

You had to pay for me

Come to think of it…

I think I would be better still

The Jewish leaders that wanted Him to die at all cost

I wasted a precious soul

To achieve my aim?

I falsely accused Him of the sins he knew not

I made the crowd that liked him so much

To turn against him to shout “Crucify him! Crucify him”

I went as far as turning Pilate and King Herod Judgment to please my terms

At the cross, I laughed and scoffed Him

And I called Him names

But at His death

When I saw the veil of the temple tear apart

I remembered what the scripture says

And I was torn apart myself

Oh! what a wretched sinner am I?

How could I ever be saved?

From all the guilts of my sins

And even of killing an innocent man

Where would I ever find peace?

Who will deliver me?

I searched and searched

I looked and looked

I cried and cried

Until on a Sunday morning

When I had to go back to the cross

And the way was shown to me

To the resurrected Lord at last

I met him

I pleaded with him

But all he did was to use his Blood to cleanse me

And he wiped all my tears away

And he said “I did it all” “I did it all for you, just for you”

Jesus came and did it all for you

Immediately I saw a light

And the guilts were taken away

I am so glad that Jesus loves me

My dear friends at times like this, during the Easter celebration season, do we reflect on the roles we played before the death of Jesus? Or we simply feel the soldiers, the crowds or the Jewish leaders are the ones responsible for the cross and death.

You and I are the ones responsible for the price He had to pay…This evening my daughter asked me; “How far is Golgotha from Jerusalem?” After I told her it was about 11/2 km, she exclaimed, “Is that how far Jesus had to carry the heavy cross for me?”

Bless her heart, she made pull out this old poem to read to them before bed.

Lord, teach us to love you the same way you loved us. So, we are ready to carry the cross and die for you anytime. Darrell Evans expressed my heart beautifully through his song “Beautiful Saviour” Listen and be blessed!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbfPMcpwMjA

Thank you for reading and enjoying my blog about Easter, hopefully in my next blog we will be back to Chloe teenager emotional expressions.

Love

Hefife!

Teenager! I have emotions 2

Dear Readers,

After a break, I am continuing Chloe’s journey on her teenage emotional awareness “Teenager! I have emotions.” I must admit, just as I have arranged these creative words together, I hope you enjoy reading as I did writing.

Apart from cooking, Chloe’s other hobbies were gardening and fishing. She also kept a small snail farm. Nathaniel enjoyed spending time with her at the river fishing and roasting them afterwards. On the other hand, he disliked the idea of snails and the slime residue it leaves behind. Chloe enjoyed every opportunity to ‘pull his leg’ and scare Nathaniel with her snails.

Nathaniel, who was competitive, loved to compete on who would catch the first fish – the loser of the contest will usually have to go wet and start the fire for roasting the fish. Although others wouldn’t join them for the hard work, they enjoyed eating the fish with roasted cassava flakes (garri) whilst cracking jokes.

Ryan, Nathaniel’s older brother, on the other hand, was academically focused and seemed to be his mother’s first choice. From Chloe’s viewpoint, he was treated differently from Nathaniel. Usually in the evenings’ friends from the neighbourhood would gather to discuss, play and crack jokes about school. She avoided discussions with Ryan because she felt he was high-minded.

However, Chloe’s liking for Ryan was different from Nathaniel’s. At the same time, Ryan seemed not to notice her. She wondered why she attracted to a the boy who was according to her assessment ‘everything she did not want in a fine young man’. Chloe learnt daily to ignore the pressing temptations to give her feeling away whenever she was around Ryan. 

One Saturday evening Nathaniel and Chloe went on their usual fishing expedition. Nathaniel was usually overly dressed in his white polo shirt and black jean. Chloe simply wore one of her old dresses, suitable for fishing and surprises.  They enjoyed each other’s company as they were fishing and suddenly the clouds gathered. Faster than imagined, it started raining before Chloe and Nathaniel could pack up. Nathaniel, not experienced in fishing in bad weather, panicked by the edge the water and fell into the river. The sudden splash in the river and the noise made Chloe turn around sharply to see Nathaniel panicking in the water.

“Chloe help! Help!” Nathaniel screamed.

She had never seen him so afraid. Although in panic herself, Chloe jumped into the river as Nathaniel yelled for help. She caught him by the hand and said “I got you, hold on to my arms” as she dragged him to the edge of the water with all the strength she had. Nathaniel, who was glad to be out of the water sitting at the banks of the river, held on tightly to Chloe whispering

“Thank you! Thank you!”. Both were totally soaked as the raining fell gracefully on them.

Apart from her family, this was the first time anyone would thank her for her kindness in such an affectionate way. Chloe responded non-affectionately as she gently let go. She briskly walked over to the bag and packed up to leave forming a sand depth on her legs on the banks. Chloe avoided any facial contact with him. Nathaniel walked over behind her saying in a melancholy tone,

“Chloe did I do something or say something wrong?”. His voice was like a little child seeking from approval from his mother.  

Nathaniel reached out to hold her hands in the rain. Chloe replied awkwardly to hide the breeze of affection they both experienced a moment ago. Chloe “No, not at all, we need to head home; cos your mummy would be worried sick that her baby boy is not around.” Chloe said this because she thought if something had happened to Nathaniel, she will be blamed for it. “Even though I am glad he thanked me, I can’t bear it if anything had happened,” she thought. “Wouldn’t want to put us into more trouble than we are already in”. Nathaniel, interrupted Chloe’s thoughts as he continued “can we talk about your sudden change in mood?”

In defense, Chloe feeling embarrassed in her wet clothes pretended and replied, “Mood change? Not at all, Nathaniel don’t we talk? We talk every day about everything, we talk; what else do you possibly want to talk about?”.

She avoided eye contact, turning her gaze away from him. Chloe knew that Nathaniel was getting attracted to her, and it was not the same with her. Instead, she was getting attracted to his brother, Ryan. Chloe shaken by the sudden reality of his attraction was not sure how to handle it, but only to defend herself by the sudden outburst.

‘Poor Nathaniel, how I wish I could be more honest with you, Lord forgive me’ she thought to herself. Nathaniel was surprised by her reply and said “It’s okay when you feel comfortable to talk about it, I am always here. They walked back home in the rain in a world of silence. Is this the beginning of the end of an innocent friendship? Chloe pondered as they walked along.

Aww, where do you think Chloe is heading? I promise to continue in my next blog, I hope you enjoyed reading? If you did, kindly like, comment and share my blog. Remember to follow me

Love

Hefife

I wish you trusted me!

Dear Readers,

I have had a difficult few weeks. I have struggled with editing my novel, due to the loss of a very beloved one but on a positive note, recorded one of my songs in a studio (will share in my next blog). I was getting ready to go out today with my girls when this Chloe’s story plot dropped in my mind … I hope you enjoy reading with me… I have enjoyed adding it to Chloe’s story.

An evening during prep, Chloe felt a sharp pain around her abdomen. She rushed to the toilet and experienced pains while urinating. To compound her sudden nightmares, she started experiencing a burning sensation in her vaginal and her discharge, the smell was awful. Chloe’s flashed back to the history files in her memory,

“Could this have anything with what I did with John when I was barely six-year-old?”.

She was so afraid of expressing the pains with any of her friends. It wasn’t long before questions were asked by her dorm mates as to the reasons for her constant discomfort. Three days after her initial observation Chloe already looking pale and tried was called by the matron to her quarters. Entering the room to her astonishment, Chloe saw Papa Joe sitting across her with a very downcast face, his usually ‘You are in trouble’ face.

Clearing her throat with a chewing stick in between her teeth, the matron said

“Come in, I got a report that you have been reacting funny and the girls are not comfortable. I took the initiative to call your father. He will be taking you home, once the concerns are resolved you can return.”

Chloe frightened and embarrassed to find out the matron knew, she suspected that one of her dorm mates would have reported her. Papa Joe rose up from the seat, thanked the matron and walked out without saying a word.

“Ma,” Chloe replied the matron,

“Can I take some of my belongings home?…”

“No!” said matron interrupting her, replied with a slightly angry tone, “your father is waiting for you outside, go, go… go… join your father! I always thought you were one of the few good one, I must say I am disappointed!”

Chloe joined Papa Joe and the driver in the car. She was about to join Papa Joe at the back seat when he spoke abruptly for the first time

“Ehnnn … sit in front with the driver, stupid girl!” He turned to the driver and instructed him, “Take me to the University Hospital.”

Chloe had never been this confused in her life, “I am fifteen, I love the saviour, I have never been close to the opposite sex, even though I see my mates in the hostel sneaking out at night to have fun. Saviour, I know you forgave me for my past sins, do I have to still pay for it?” Still, in pain, Chloe cried with teardrops flooding her alluring eyes. “Saviour, please, I plead with you take this pain away, and healing please…”

Chloe was distracted from her thoughts with the soft touch of the driver. “Small madam, you will be fine,” the driver said, with his lovely reassuring smile.

The nurses exchanged greetings with Papa Joe and led them to the waiting room. A few minutes later the Chief gynecologist walked into the room. After exchanging pleasantry, Chloe eavesdropping heard Papa Joe saying the doctor “I was called to her school to discuss her symptoms and the matron is suspending teenage pregnancy.

The doctor replied, “I will deal with Chloe as soon as possible, but I would not suspect pregnancy immediately. I would be running all possible tests. I have a patient in the office, one of the nurses will take care of her.” Papa Joe gladly replied, “Try and make it as discreet as possible, I will leave Chloe in your care. My driver will be back to pick her. I will call later to discuss the results.”

Chloe was strictly disappointed in her father, “How could he believe I will get pregnant? Does he not trust me? Is that why he called me stupid and refused to say a word to me? I thought Mama Joe trained me well? I am not surprised as a Papa Joe thinketh, so he is.” After Papa Joe left, the nurse took Chloe for the pregnancy test, which was obviously negative.

On his return, the gynecologist gave Chloe a physical examination of the sore areas and after several tests, he concluded it was ‘vaginitis’ a toilet infection. “Just a toilet infection,” Chloe thought, although she was happy, tears of sorrow streamed down her cheeks. She could not help being hurt by Papa Joe’s distrust of her. At home, Mama Joe was equally upset at the discovery of the day’s event. She asked the driver to take Chloe back to school, encouraging her to forgive Papa Joe.

Thank you for reading. Have someone you loved, mistrusted or misunderstood you? How did it make you feel? Were you able to forgive? Share your story, like and comments with me, as I develop the story of Chloe and her adventures with her relationships.