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Are you in the habit of rushing to work and equally rushing home because there is so much to do both at home and at work? Ever went to bed tired ignoring so many things in the bedroom and kitchen needing your attention, only to be interrupted a few hours later by the sound from your alarm clock? Do you always leave the house with more chores needing your attention that you carry part of your makeup/shoes and scarves to the office to dress appropriately later? Do you sometimes wish you could be in two or three places all at once? Are you a mother that works? Because if you are, then you'll appreciate and understand why there is a need to talk about how hard each day is for this superwoman called the "working mom".
Working Moms Nigeria is an endeavors to help women strike a healthy balance between earning a living and maintaining a good home.

Dedicated to all the women who are juggling work and family. You too can be a part of this mind boggling experience by joining millions of ‘superheroes out there in sharing in their trails and travails. Welcome!!!



18 June 2011

BUSY MOMS AND SPIRITUAL NURTURING


......Role of Parents in Spiritual Nurturing.

As busy parents we try to achieve in almost every part of our lives. But it does appear that most of us have placed the spiritual nurturing of our children in the back burner or even in the coolers. Sometimes when I look at the society we live in and the manner of values we have adopted, I wonder if we parents are really doing enough to lead our young ones aright. We should look inwards more and try as much as possible to nurture our kids, so they can grow to be good citizens of our dear country. The rate at which we are going, it will soon be difficult to differentiate our homely girls from the ones in the street because by dressing, they all look similar. Our boys pants are no longer on their waist but below and sometimes look as if they are falling off their waist. They call it sagging.(scheeew). Be you a Muslim, Christain, or Pagan Parent, there are good guides and teachings in our various religions towards child's nurturing. Let's bring back the values and teach them well, so they will not depart from the good teachings.

Out of many passages that refer to the spiritual nurturing of our children, the following two scriptures always particularly come to my mind:

Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
And
Deuteronomy 11:16 - 19, “Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them……Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; …Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Spiritual nurturing is living a transparent life of faith before our children. It includes allowing the children to participate as we practice our faith. The old adage that “actions speak louder than words” certainly pertains to parents as they nurture their children. Spiritual nurturing is intentionally modeling our faith with our children from the time they are born. There are minimally five major areas of participatory modeling that are very important.

First and foremost is worship. Worship is a privilege that we should enjoy personally as well as with our children. The enthusiasm that parents show toward worship is contagious! Preparing the children for worship is extremely important. A few suggestions would be: singing the hymns and praise music, playing worship music cds at home or in the car during the week; reading the scripture together before and after the service; discussing the sermon as a family; sharing with the children what the scripture and sermon mean to you personally and to how it will affect your life in the coming week. Children will catch the joy that their parents feel as they go to church, worship, and apply scriptural truths to their lives.
Secondly is prayer. As children hear and see their parents loving to pray, then they will also desire to pray. Some of the most beautiful prayers I have heard have come from the mouths of two year olds! Fortunate are the children whose parents pray consistently with them at home and give their children the opportunity to pray themselves. Valuable to their spiritual growth are prayers from the heart – talking intimately to God as their Father with praise and thanksgiving as well as expressing their supplications.
Thirdly is daily Bible/Quoran reading and devotions. From infancy, children should hear the scriptures read to them as well as Bible stories. All of the Great Commissions Publications Sunday School material has “take home” papers for the children two years and older. These papers are an excellent spring board for daily devotions. Devotions do not need to be long. A minute per year of age is a good rule of thumb. Also a good book to use for daily devotions is Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade.
A fourth very important way of sharing your faith with your children is to share the sorrows and joys of your every day walk with the Lord with them. As the children see you giving thanks and trusting Christ in all areas of your life, they will learn to see Christ working in their lives. When children see their parents depending on Christ in every area of their life, they will learn to do that as their parents help them to apply biblical truths to the events in their lives.
The choices you make are a fifth modeling opportunity. For instance, choices of going to the lake instead of church or choosing to ignore the times of fellowship with your church family in favor of watching television. (Please understand that you do not have to be at church every time the doors open, but being a part of the body does bring with it responsibility to serve and support the church family.) Another choice is to always be truthful instead of the “little white lie” that we use for convenience.

I like the quote from C.H. Spurgeon’s Spiritual Parenting, “Children must be fed. They must be well-fed, or instructed, because they are in danger of having their cravings perversely satisfied with error. The only way to keep chaff out of the child’s cup is to fill it brimful with good wheat. The more the young are taught, the better; it will keep them from being misled.”
We all need help as we spiritually nurture our children. Consider asking someone to come along side of you as a prayer partner as a support for you. Great blessings come from being obedient to God’s Word both for ourselves and the next generation.

So moms, over to you. Let's get it right by asking God to keep empowering and giving us the wisdom to nurture our children. As we do this together we will all be grateful for a better society.

17 June 2011

WEEKEND JOLLY: WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND?

My phone rings just about an hour to close of work and expectedly it was my friend La'vive another working mom.  She calls to find out if we could go out for a drink. She goes "Ou 'est, what's your plan for this evening, let's hang out". "Mba oh,  Viveman I'm not in the mood, Nne, I get plenty work for hand which I hope to tidy up this weekend".  Ou'est sef you too do. Why are you so hard on yourself ?... My dear I get project for hand! Mary it is Friday,  biko make we comot go catch fun jare. "Ok, Vive where are we rolling to? (phone goes off) .........She calls back... "Sorry the line went off, this MTN eh! na so so thief dem be (she hissed).  So Vive where we dey go?" Em! make we go 'The Place' or Ree Danielle, I enjoy the music from the live bands in both places.  (all of a sudden); abeg make we talk later, my husband is calling. She hung up.  See me, see trouble, If oga come get plans nko? Wetin woman pikin go come do? Now I'm back home from work and thought I should blog about 'today' a Friday and 'Weekend' too.  I know that I am not the only one having this challenge, there are other moms in my kind of shoes. 
Vivian and Myself  at the Auto lounge

Seriously I 'Thank God is Friday', the last day of the long business days, the beginning of weekend. I know that a whole lot of moms out there must have waited for the weekend honk, to alert them that they have yet another opportunity and time to themselves, and that we can actually have fun and live life to the fullest even though it’s all about drama and the fuss in playing our roles in the drama called life.  The weekend starter; Friday, reassures us of a moment of elated bliss and continuous leap of excitement born out of the thought and feeling that one is free at least from work and the hassles tied with it. But to a considerable whole like me, they don’t buy the idea or get the weekend honk either. In fact, most of us moms don’t have the ears to listen to honking TGIF. Perhaps, circumstances have twisted your programmes to run through normal business days and unto weekends like mine.  We are still saddled with the need to meet family needs,  a work load to tidy up and some businesses to catch up with or some unfinished stuff to take care of. Consequently, for these ones, there are NO weekend plans or timeout plans to relax and stay rejuvenated from their heavy 5-days job.     
WM Ask? 
What are Working Moms planning for the weekend and how do you MOMS intend to spend the weekend so as to ease off the stress and depression of the week and equally pave way for freshness, good health and happiness. 

How do you make it worth your while? 


WM Suggests:
Working moms irrespective of their work, career pursuits or the enormous family load and ‘troubles’, are expected to take a time out at times like this to relax and calm their nerves and also unwind to keep body and soul intact in order to reduce wrinkled faces, sadness, depression and worries and in turn have an assured good health and satisfaction.  It is often a good idea to engage in extra-curricular activities and stress-free activities in other to maintain good body and health fitness as this increases how we they are being appreciated and most importantly the span of life. Relaxation also helps the brain to cool off and this is medically important because major stress problems associated with the brain often times results to High Blood Pressure, which is common and some other brain-related issues which can be very disturbing and challenging. After the long hours of joggling work and family, it is advisable and medically true and rewarding to make out time from our busy schedules especially during weekends to ease ourselves off the stress that have accumulated during the long business days. 


Relaxing or unwinding takes different meanings with different moms. To many moms, weekend relaxation may include hanging out with friends in the cinemas or movies, partying, visiting friends in their homes, meeting up with relatives, and loved ones and so on but not really having a time for yourself to indulge. And to another, it could be taking a workout lesson in a gym or exercising at home to keep fit. Relaxation here varies among moms and to them once they engage in any of these activities, there is an unusual renewal and retouch made to them. Whichever way you choose to unwind, the thing is, whatever you do, that enhances your mood and instills happiness or joy, and also assures your health, makes a good relaxation or unwinding ingredient. Activities like taking a walk around your neighborhood, playing a game of tennis or volleyball or any other exercise. Funny at times simple things like having a gist session with friends that can amuse you, having a good laugh when someone says something funny, giving yourself a chance to explore on things that tickle your fancy, reading a fashion or celebrity magazine and criticizing them, and so on really helps. The reason for this is not far-fetched. It gives inner satisfaction and upgrades your intellect unconsciously because now you are giving yourself a chance to see life differently - You catch fun, exercise, meet and make new friends, spend more time with the kids and family, share ideas, explore topics and subjects different from your work-related issues, and also increase the strength of your relationship. 

Moms need to take note that the upcoming week will take a long work stride of about 4 days plus. Hence, they need to plan out the present week modules very carefully and well, so that they would not have any regrets or cases of ‘remnants of happiness’. From TGIF to OMG is Monday already!. Moms can draw up a weekend plan, mapping out and listing activities in order of preference and priority. This will help us to know how to go about our weekend, how the weekend ought to take its shape and how things should be done, what is up and what is being omitted and how to cover lapses and get anticipated satisfaction. 

WM strongly advice that moms should have a time totally separate from their very many tight schedules to give meticulous attention to themselves as well as engage in things that will make them massage the popular nursery quote, “All Work and No play makes jack a dull boy”. 

13 June 2011

ALL HAIL OUR MOTHERS


A TRIBUTE TO OUR SOCIETY’S JEWELS


Quite a number of times, in my counseling sessions, I have proffered the following advice to married men experiencing stress in their marital relationship and trying to unload a plethora of complaints against their wives. “If you ever wish to forgive your wife virtually every perceived wrong done to you, then step into the labour room with her the next time she goes to have your baby. If you watch her go through the rigours and survive the dealth throes to bring your bundle of joy into the world, and you still cannot forgive her even her future sins, then you surely would be needing deliverance”.
You see, every time a woman steps into the labour room to have a baby, she is putting her very life on the line. Childbirth is not just the ultimate labour of love, but also the ultimate sacrifice. Childbirth actually comes as close to Calvary as any human blood ritual can get.
Because anything can happen in a Labour Room, woman who comes out of it alive is not only a champion athlete, but also a living miracle who must be celebrated, to the glory of the Almighty God.
Motherhood from day one is a tasking, energy-sapping, full time undertaking. Mothers of all categories, whether married or single, deserved appreciation, accolades and tributes from family, the immediate community and society at large. Traditional African society have recognized this truism for ages, which is why they celebrate childbirth with so much funfare.
The working mother-or more correctly, the extra-working mother, since motherhood per se is work – therefore deserve more than a double portion of whatever laurels are due to moms. The working mom is a precious metal. Precious, for all the obvious reason; and “metals” because  they are really strong and resilient. As metals working mothers are also vulnerable to the endemic corrosion and rustiness caused by the neglect, abuse, and overuse of a culpably ungrateful society. 
By Rev. G. O. D. Niger (Rev. Niger passed on September 2010 but he still lives in our mind) I miss him. A great man of God.





07 June 2011

Macualey's Gay Church Is Reborn Amid A Climate Of Fear


House of Rainbow church offers underground prayer and preaching to Christians ostracised by rampant homophobia

    Wonders they say, shall never end! Who would have thought that the gay activists will start making religious demands so soon in our society. Nigerian nation frown seriously at the sound of that word gay or lesbianism. We do know that they exist amongst us but they are never proud to open up to people who are not in their category. What will make a man crave for a fellow man leaves  some of us puzzled. Wetin dey happen my people? Abeg, anyone that knows this Macauley should ask him to remain in the UK and never come back to 9ja. In fact make  him understand that "A home is where you have security, love, warmth, and all the basic needs provided for you" by this definition of home, I believe that UK is more home right now for him until Nigeria's ongoing transformation is in it's finished stage. He doesn't need to come back here at all! I came across this headline in guardian UK and feel it will be nice to share it. At least moms should take heed to monitor what and who our children associate themselves with. 
Christian church in Lagos
In Nigeria, religion is central to everyday life but many Christian churches exclude gay members. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
When Ade's aunt learned he was gay, the then 16-year-old Nigerian was made to go through an exorcism to expel "the demon of homosexuality".
"The priest came to the house with candles, holy water and anointing oils. I had to kneel down, holding candles in my hands," recalls Ade, now 25, as he sits in a cafe in Lagos. He does not wish to reveal his full name. "He kept shouting 'Come out! Come out! Come out!' in a fevered voice … I was allowed to go back to church after that but I had to pretend to be straight."
In a country where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, it is no surprise that many of Ade's friends – those who, like him, are both gay and religious – stay away from church altogether for fear of being outed.
However, an alternative could soon be at hand. Ade is helping to resurrect a religious refuge for himself and his friends. He is part of the team restarting House of Rainbow, the country's only gay church, which was forced to close in 2008 after a witch-hunt stirred by expos├ęs in local newspapers.
The Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, the gay minister who founded the church, is leading the comeback even though he remains in self-imposed exile in London.
"Religion is a backbone to life in Nigeria, so we all want to go to church," he says. "But we don't want to lie to God about who we are."
Macaulay first set up House of Rainbow in 2006, when he openly held Sunday services in a Lagos hotel hall decked out with rainbow flags. A public backlash culminated in members being beaten as they left church. Macaulay fled to the UK after death threats.
This year, he has recruited a small team that includes Ade as his local leader in Lagos. In his voluntary role, Ade started holding prayer sessions and Bible study groups at his house at the end of last month. A full church might be set up again if it is considered safe.
The project could even spread beyond the borders of Africa's most populous country. Macaulay has recently recruited a local leader in Accra, the capital of nearby Ghana. He is considering applications from Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Religious groups are central to Nigeria's culture of homophobia. Pentecostalism, an evangelical school of Christianity thought to have started in America just over a century ago, has blossomed in southern Nigeria and across Africa in recent decades. The "megachurches" in and around Lagos can attract tens of thousands of worshippers to a single service.
Pentecostal pastors often see gay desire as the work of demons. "You might start casually but, once you get into it, you will be possessed by the spirit," says Emmanuel Owoyemi, a pastor in Lagos.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria's mostly Muslim north, 12 states have adopted sharia law over the last decade. Gay sex carries the death penalty under sharia, although no executions have yet taken place. A national anti-gay marriage bill, which pushes for jail sentences for anyone who even assists gay marriage, has been before Nigeria's parliament since 2009.
Being gay is regarded as an offence across much of Africa. Uganda's parliament continues to debate a proposed law that would introduce the death penalty in some cases. Malawi's president only pardoned a gay couple last year sentenced to 14 years in jail after an international outcry.
Apart from being on the wrong side of the law, many homosexual Nigerians say exclusion from church is one of the hardest parts of being gay.
"We are brought up to believe that you should belong to a religion. We feel that, if we don't go to church, God will not answer our prayers," says a young gay man in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. "When I recently told a friend I was having financial difficulties, he said, 'When did you last go to church?'"
In oil-rich Nigeria, where corruption robs many of even basic services, religious groups provide more than spiritual assistance. Muslim movements such as Izala have built schools in the north, while southern pentecostal groups such as the Redeemed Christian Church of God run universities. "[We] lose out on all these services," says the young man.
Some argue that African homophobia is slowly waning. Marc Epprecht, an expert on sexuality in Africa at Queen's University in Canada, says the continent's growing number of gay rights groups are challenging negative stereotypes.
He adds that despite the bad press it attracts, African homophobia is not markedly stronger than that of poor or patriarchal parts of the Middle East and South America.
Macaulay, however, is not taking any chances this time. Prayer sessions are being held in secret locations. No unknown newcomers are being admitted. He continues to preach via YouTube from London – he thinks it would be unwise to return home. "We have learnt our lesson," he says. "It is a hostile situation."

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