Bright Sun-Shiny Day

Bright Sun-Shiny Day

Today on my way back from work, I noticed the traffic coming into town was unusually light compared to those driving out of town. On a normal day, inbound traffic is heavy but steady especially around the five o’clock rush hour time. Today it was different. It made the ride home feel a little bit relaxing. I turned on the radio as I cruise-controlled my thirty minutes drive home from the “big” city.

I had barely slipped into my “thinking” mood when I saw a metallic grey Honda Civic zig-zag its way from the right lane to the fast lane. I rolled my eyes as I thought how insensitive some motorists can be when switching lanes. Barely 2 minutes passed, I noticed another car, this time, a white BMW with a sporty look drive past me moving as fast as the speed of the light. I switched lanes to the middle lane just to pace myself. Soon, I’ll slip back into my thinking mood.

I casually observed as other drivers drove past me; some more hurriedly than others. I also observed as others took an exit to their final destination or unto a different route.  My thoughts slowly dissipated as one of my favorite songs come on the radio: “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…I can see all obstacles in my way.. Gone are the dark clouds that had me’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day.

I snapped back into reality as the car in front of me abruptly slammed on the breaks. I sat up and stretched out my neck in an effort to see what was happening in front. Everyone began to slow done. Cars in the left lane started going unusually slow.  I looked up again and saw a flashing blue and red light pulled on the side of the road behind a white BMW. Aha! I slowly rested back into my seat seeing what has caused the startle. I looked at the clock…it’s starting to get dark. Five more miles until my exit. I started to speed up a little so I can get home before it gets dark. No matter how hard I stepped on the gas, it felt like I was going at the same pace. I was tired. I just wanted to get home. I wasn’t worried about the possibility of getting pulled over. I just wanted to get home.

This might sound a little abstract but I like to think of life as driving on the highway. So many things happen along the way. We get kicked out of our lane. We get pulled over. We get honked at or we simply have a smooth drive. Sometimes we exit because we have reached our destination or because of unexpected circumstances. One thing to understand is, your journey is different from everyone else. Some people will make it in life by riding on the fast lane and for some of us, we have to move over to the “slow” lane to pace ourselves. And that’s OK! Speeding doesn’t always mean you’ll get to your destination faster, likewise, steering slow does not mean you will never get to your destination – it may cause some delays but it will get you to your destination safer. I have come to understand how important it is to always keep my eyes on the road while occasionally looking in the side and rear view mirrors to prevent dangerous blind spots and keep my car out of the path of reckless driving. Our journey is the most important and should by all means take up all of our focus. We may even need to sometimes drive defensively against all distractions that will pull us further and further away from reaching our destinations.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places – Ephesians 6:12

Not everyone’s success story is a true success. Some are there to distract you from reaching your true potentials. Others are there to make you feel worthless. Believe in yourself and trust God to get you to your destination safely.

Comparison is a thief of Joy.

Pray without ceasing.

No such thing as “The One”

No such thing as “The One”

How did you and your significant other meet? How did you know he or she was “the one?” Or you are still figuring it out? How did you fall in love? Was it love at first sight?


For me, it was far from love at first sight. I met my husband, CK, in high school. He enrolled in my school in my sophomore year…something about his dad pulled him out of his old high school because he wasn’t performing well. Thankfully, he was able to transfer his credits and start as a second year student. He was quiet and hardly spoke to any girl on campus except to me of course. Me, on the other hand, although shy, had a lot of male friends and admirers. By the end of my senior year, eleven guys would ask me out and my answer would be “no” every single time. Unlike most girls, the last thing on my mind in high school was finding a boyfriend. I was determined to get out of high school with good grades and gain admission to a reputable college to pursue my dreams and aspirations.

I knew nothing about CK except for the fact that he had a great voice and good looks. Although sometimes his lack of style and poor choice of clothes at that time was a real turn off for me.

The high school we attended was faith-based institution. Towards the end of every semester, school administration organize a grand praise and worship gathering. This event was an opportunity for the entire school to come together and worship God in songs and praises. About a week to the event, I asked CK to sing a Solo with me. No, I wasn’t in love with him. And yes, he agreed. To this date, I still don’t know what propelled me to ask him. Probably my outgoing personality at that time? We will never know. Months turned into weeks and weeks into days and soon came time for graduation. As we were moving out of our various campuses to go back home, we discovered that his house was about 30 minutes walking distance from mine. We became very close friends after graduation and the rest is history…..

There is no cinderella story here. No “romantic” beginning here. I met a guy, we became friends and we both fell in love. I remember thanking God for him and in the same breath I asked God to remove him from my life if he’s not the man he has prepared for me.

There is no such thing as the one. Many people go into relationships with expectations: “If I start dating, then I’ll be happy; He/She will solve all my problems and make me happy; everything is going to be perfect once I get married.” Marriage is a good thing. In fact, marriage is a fulfillment of God’s Word in Ephesians 5: 31-32. However, going into marriage, or any relationship for that matter, with a mindset to gain fulfillment from your partner, will leave you disappointed. I get it. I understand. Relationships are painted colorful on the outside, thus making people assume it’s rose-colored glasses, all easy and perfect when you enter into one. Fact is, relationships are hard. They take lots of effort and commitment. In order to find the right person, you equally have to be ready to become the right person. Even the “right person” if treated wrong or not loved right can sure become the wrong person for you.

So here’s my definition of The One: A person created in the image of God, whose loyalty is first of all to God, who sees faults and love regardless, who understands marriage is all or really ALL. A person who does not expect much of you and is willing to see the worst part of you. A person who equally understands and admit that he/she is flawed as well. That you both are a work in progress and together you will build each other up and be there for each other for better AND for worse.

Love is humble. Love is kind. Love is beautiful. Love embraces flaws. Love is patient. Love sees the beauty inside.

Missing The Point

Missing The Point

I am far from perfect. Growing up, I didn’t always have the best life. I recall seeing all the kids in the neighborhood in fine clothes and with the basic “necessities” of childhood. I had an overarching urge to have nice things – nice house, nice clothes, shoes, etcetera. I saw my desires and dreams far beyond my reach. I wanted a nice life and I wanted it now. I wanted the life that my friends had. But, I was missing the point.

As the last child of my parents, I spent part of my childhood with my four siblings in a tiny house. Some of my cousins will occasionally visit, which made the house even more tinnier. I liked the outdoors. I loved to play in the sun and sand. Although anything that crawled on the ground scared the crap out of me.

Father was an accountant with a big cocoa firm industry until he lost his job then he started a corn farm. I helped him with his corn farm. I pulled weeds that were growing and competing for sunlight around the roots of the corn with my tiny hands. On harvest days, after gathering bags for the market, we gathered round a coal pot fire and enjoy a hot meal of cooked or roasted corn.

Mama on the other hand, although, she comes from a royal family, loved to work. She had a produce business. She was always up as early as four in the morning to wash and scrub her carrots and other vegetables. Oh how I loved to snack on those carrots! Her vegetables were always green and fresh. I loved how she was particular with arranging her veggies on the tray for sale in the market – she always put the carrots and cucumbers in a circle near the edges of her slightly curved tray and the cabbage, green and red bell peppers and the other veggies in the middle. I remember thinking those were the most fresh looking colorful vegetables I’ve ever seen!

Mornings were my least favorite time of the day as my first chore was to sweep the 400 sqft. backyard. The only thing that motivated me was that I got to display my “artistic” nature. The zig-zag pattern I painted on the floor with the tip of the broom awakened my imaginary creative skills. No one dares walk on my beautifully orchestrated art. By noon, the leaves of the gigantic neem tree that sits in the middle of the yard would fill the entire backyard and render my art pointless. Yeah… Very few things seemed pointless to me at that time. Having nice shoes wasn’t one of them. But I had the gift of life. I had a family. I was surrounded by the people who loved me most. Yet I was missing the point.

Very often we are caught up in wanting more that we miss the point. I was that person. To say the least, I missed out on father letting go his mansion and his properties due to family dispute, so I can be safe. I missed out on mother waking up very early in the morning so my snack a.k.a carrots will be ready to take to school. I missed out on enjoying the moment because I was busy focusing on the things that were insignificant at the time. We all at some point in our lives want something more than we have. Most people get a sense of satisfaction from doing better than others. We want that friend’s clothes, or that neighbor’s car or the brother’s life and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the moment we start focusing on that desire instead of what we have, we miss out on a great deal of what we can achieve with the “little” we have.

Everyone’s journey in life is different. No two persons look or think exactly alike – not even twins. Thus, no one will have a life just like your’s. Believe in your uniqueness and inner abilities. Believe that you are wonderfully and perfectly made in God’s image. 

I found my path and I’m glad I started looking more at my strengths rather than my weakness. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me – II Corithians 12:9

Letter To My Husband

Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

It took weeks to write this. Not because I can not think of a million wonderful things to say about you, but because writing it all out seem unfathomable. Just yesterday, you cleaned up after I finished preparing dinner. The other day you cleaned the bathroom, mobbed the floors, ran errands on your day off. You stayed up all night weeks ago while I was sick and vulnerable to attend to my every need and request.

You bring lunch to my work during my busiest days because you know how I am with work – I hardly stop to eat. And oh how you make me feel EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You constantly remind me of how beautiful I am even when I feel miserable.

See, I told you! It is hard to put to words how much of a wonderful person you’re! For 2 years, you have diligently and joyfully done all these things and much more without any complaint -none at all.

Yeah, I know we’ve only been in this for 2 years. As many concur, that’s probably not enough years to brag about. In fact I stumbled on an article just the other day that predicted that most marriages chances of failing in the first 2 years is high and even highest at 5 years.

Contrary to popular beliefs and studies, I believe the strength of our marriage is not based on the number of years we spend together but most importantly on God’s GRACE, our mutual love and respect for each other. You see, God’s grace is a breath of fresh air. An undeserved favor given to us freely by a merciful God. After over a decade of being together, we’re indeed a living proof that HIS Grace wins every time! I have no doubt we will thrive because of the perfect example you set every day and even more so, now, as the head of our home. For we know whom we have believed and we are convinced that he is able to guard what we have entrusted in Him until that day. – 2 Timothy 1:12. With God’s help, we have broken barriers, we beat distance and we have conquered mountains that others said could not be climbed. Let me just say this, when you put God first in all you do, things end well. But also, your positive outlook on everything, BLOWS my mind completely! ——Everything looks great to you. Everything sounds great to you. Everyday is a great day for you. And you feel great everyday!

I cannot find reasons why you give so much; why you love so much; why you keep such great and positive attitude. I hope in the years to come, I feel half as great as you feel every morning. I may not share much about our relationship on social media (which we have actually come to know, less is more 😉) but know that I hold a part of you in my heart everywhere I am. Thank you for loving me. ALL OF ME!

So on our anniversary, this is my prayer for you as we get ready to work through year 3 together:

May the Lord guide and keep you

May His favor never leave you

May the good Lord lift you beyond measures

May you be an example to our sons & daughters

May your positive energy never go unnoticed

Be blessed, my love.

Faithfully Yours,

Mrs. Ottopah