Life isn’t perfect but…

Life isn’t perfect.

Never has been, never will be.

Whatever good life gives you, there’s always going to be a twist of imperfection in it.

You’re happy you got a new job, but there’s a horrible boss waiting. You’re happy you finally got the money, but the house you wanted to buy just got off the market. You’re happy you’re married, but there’s a terrible in-law. You’re happy you got a new friend, but you just discovered he has got haunting skeletons.

And so on…

Life isn’t perfect. God is.

And if you let Him, He will breathe in you hope and strength to go on. He will help you make glory out of imperfection. And joy will be your mantra.

Let Him. Everyday.

#muse

In-between… and other things

The In-between

Life is not all moments of honor. Most times, there are no spotlights, no paparazzi or yelling crowds. No, you’re not necessarily working on something big. Sometimes, that big project you anticipated to be successful will not come through. So it’s just you, and your active imagination. What do you do at these times? How to you keep from being frustrated?

“The journey is as important as the destination.”

It’s easy to think that the quality of an excellent life is measured by the number of big things you accomplish and it’s easy to join a wagon of people who are trying to accomplish something while missing life in the process. There are moments I call the in-between, where there is no noise, but just you, doing your thing. If you find yourself breezing through life like lightning bolt, waiting for the next big thing, you might just be missing the whole point of a life of purpose.

img_0109

The in-between is the bridge between the last big thing and the next. You don’t wait out the time, you invest in the future you want to see. But many people, who’d rather bask constantly in the spotlight, would almost throw a fit or pass most days frustrated because nothing big is happening.

The journey

“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.”
-Louis L’Amour

Honestly, the journey is the purpose. Do not travel too fast or you will miss the real thing you are traveling for. The in-between period is time to calm your heart, and live daily life in full. Peel off your sheets every morning excited to look for the divine in the mundane. Enjoy solitude, hone your craft, then get out and form meaningful relationships that may not immediately yield financial rewards. Its okay to fill your creative bank account, engage in side projects and community service. Go to work, study your books and explore the beauty of God’s creation in nature.

Often times, the in-between phases consist days of humility. You will be required to remember that when your peers seem to bag achievements in their life endeavors while you feel like you are stuck in a rut, your life is not a competition with anyone else’s but a race to achieve purpose as your maker intended for you.

And, heads up – after humility comes honor!

“Before his downfall a person’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
– Proverbs 18:12

This passage above has bugged me. So much that I wrote it down, and thought hard and long about what it meant to me. I’m still thinking about it and trusting the father to help me remain prone before him through the in-between times and the spotlight moments. Since my last post about the practice of diligence and consistency, I took my own advice and revived some long over due projects and began to take consistent and daily practice of my craft very seriously.

The painting

I painted the quote from the scripture as a reminder to always remain humble. it has received quite an attention on Instagram and also a request for the design to be printed on a shirt. I’m thinking about it and will let you know where that goes.

It’s not been easy, with the demands of graduate school, social commitments and general life but I am motivated to continue this streak. I have a huge community I am accountable to and do not want to fail them.

Current Projects

The #inktober creative inking challenge inspired me to make consistent illustrative projects I will be sharing on my instagram. I do not always follow the designated prompts  but I try to draw what inspires me every day. Check it out @studio1352 to share my progress.
Donut
: I’m working on an expanded edition of my first published book, Donut. More details as I draw out a plan and works towards release probably very early in 2019.
Joyride: A graphic novel project I’m working on with a friend in development.
GrandHeights Initiative: Wait for it.

Very soon, I will be sharing exciting details on projects I am working on. For now, I will let you go ruminate on what you just read. Shoot me a comment if you’d like to share.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

Baring the Writer’s Soul

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” VirginaWoolf

If you close your soul to your readers – if you leave out your personal stories from your compositions, your excellent literary prowess and mastery of the craft will at best produce grandiose but impersonal works that will maybe, garner you some royalty, but will not touch any life in lasting ways. I know that is what you really desire – that your words reach out to touch your readers in transformative ways.

So, expect you’re an academic essayist with a limited theme and constrained concept bank, bare your soul before your readers.

Yes. Your Muse’s incubation of the crests and troughs in your soul is the crucible of true creativity and transformation. And if you are like me, that blessed soul of yours is the ground of all skirmishes, human and divine, past and present, and the center stage for all the dark and bright interactions of the seen and unseen forces dictating your path in life.

Your deepest fears, your goriest experiences, your loftiest desires, your biggest triumphs, and your greatest personal discoveries in life banks up in your soul, and anticipates every moment you put pen to paper and bleed. Let your readers see that drop of blood that is known to redeem – from your wholesome compositions. You will not be the first to bleed for many, and certainly not the last. And you may well find that you are enlightened and healed in the process.

“If your soul isn’t ready to he bared, then your words aren’t ready to be shared.”

Writers, I know you are scared – how can you do this? Maybe you can start by baring your soul to your Muse.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

YEAST

Hello,

Thank God for home (mom’s baking) and school (biology, I think!) If you have a mom who bakes or makes pastries, and attended a good elementary school like mine, you will relate perfectly to my post today.

If not, oh well – go collect some change.

I’m kidding, alright?

It’s the baker’s yeast I want to talk about.

We all know (you should know!) that the baker’s yeast is the common name for the strains of yeast (a single-celled organism) commonly used as a leavening agent in baking bread and bakery products, where it converts the fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Summarily, yeast works it’s way through a chunk of dough and makes it rise.

So yesterday, when I read the part where Jesus was talking about the kingdom and likening it to yeast (13th chapter of doctor Luke’s first book), it made perfect sense in my imaginative mind.

God’s kingdom is like that single-celled living organism that starts remotely and works its way through the whole world. Jesus, the leader of the kingdom came as one humble manger-born child, wedged himself at the center of history and changed its course forever. A crop of discouraged blue-collar followers grew into apostles that turned the world upside down. In recent history, we see one or two missionaries tucked away among cannibal tribes come forth after a few months to years with a whole tribe of believers. Or we see a new employee turn around for better a whole department at his or her workplace (or the whole region) in a matter of months!

The kingdom is a living and breathing organism (permit me to paint that picture) that grows and works its way around the medium it finds itself. Regardless of the hostility or comfort, it is programmed to breathe and influence.

You may find that you feel tucked away in some form of obscurity or stuffed inside some hostile environment at some times in your life.

yeast

Well, let me break this –

If you are part of the kingdom, you are INTENTIONALLY tucked into that place (that job, church, school, community, posting, exam, country, that disaster, career, situation, break up etc) so that you can live and breath and work your way through, to give the fragrance of Christ. This is your sphere of influence.

You are yeast – go leaven the dough!

Cheers!
P.S. Delve into the scriptures: Luke 13, Matthew 5. Thinking of Yeast, that might be a nice title for a sci-fi novel! LOL! Donut is still available here

What I want

I will go straight to the point.

Jesus lived his whole life in God’s will, which included living exclusively in Israel, but his message travelled round and into the whole world. He wasn’t a noisemaker, but when he spoke, it was with the authority of a life well-lived.

As a creative person, or a person of purpose, you may or may not be able to travel around the world, but if you live your daily life within the confines of God’s will, your creation/message/ influence of your purpose will make it to places you cannot go!

IMG_5474 copy

When God laid the burden of Donut on my heart, I wanted nothing than to write and bless lives with my words. While it took many years to publish my first book, seeing that I first picked up the pen to write in Elementary school, I can clearly see that my life is closely wrapped into my work.

I essentially bleed, else, my work would not be relevant. Even short pieces I post on social media or the longer pieces on my blog receive different reactions. While I check the stats, I pay close attention to which stats receive deeper responses from readers, and more often than not, those particular works have been dear to my heart in experience. They are usually what God has thought me in life, an offshoot lesson from a personal challenge, mistake or triumph.

Okay, straight to the point.

What do I want?

That my work will be more traveled than I. Actually, I pray that I have to struggle to catch up with its life-transforming tracks.

And the way to go about it is this: I have signed up for unrushed publication. I will pay attention to the quality of my life; explore the richness of faith, work, community, and relationships. I will simply submit to be a part of that big dream God has for mankind. I will learn wisdom in the daily details and find genuine fulfillment every step of the way – so that when it’s time to publish the next best thing, my words may carry much weight and authority like was said of Jesus’ words.

This is my calling.

– Joshua

Baring your Soul

musewriter

Hello,

This has been churning my mind for a while and I finally got to express it in words, for you to peruse and reflect. If you are writing for the soul, your soul will resonate with my thoughts.

 

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” Virginia Woolf

If you close your soul to your readers – if you leave out your personal stories from your compositions, your excellent literary prowess and mastery of the craft will at best produce grandiose but impersonal works that will maybe, garner you some royalty, but will not touch any life in lasting ways. I know that is what you really desire – that your words reach out to touch your readers in transformative ways.

So, expect you’re an academic essayist with a limited theme and constrained concept bank, bare your soul before your readers.

Yes. Your Muse’s incubation of the crests and troughs in your soul is the crucible of true creativity and transformation. And if you are like me, that blessed soul of yours is the ground of all skirmishes, human and divine, past and present, and the center stage for all the dark and bright interactions of the seen and unseen forces dictating your path in life.

Your deepest fears, your goriest experiences, your loftiest desires, your biggest triumphs, and your greatest personal discoveries in life banks up in your soul, and anticipates every moment you put pen to paper and bleed. Let your readers see that drop of blood that is known to redeem – from your wholesome compositions. You will not be the first to bleed for many, and certainly not the last. And you may well find that you are enlightened and healed in the process.

If your soul isn’t ready to he bared, then your words aren’t ready to be shared.

Writers, I know you are scared – how can you do this? Maybe you can start by baring your soul to your Muse…

Reflect, and shoot me some feedback.

Toluwanimi

I wish life had a “pre-living” licence test

New-Girl-Cartoon

Relief.

That’s what I felt when I passed my driving test and was approved for a license.

To get a license in Texas, you need to go through a driver education course (ages 18-24), a written and road test. The “drivers Ed” and the written was easy – I aced it. But the road test was the real thing: Your performance behind the wheel (beside the examiner) determines if you have learnt.

I was initially intimidated by the highly organized road network and didn’t quickly get used to the many signals and road signs – that told on my confidence behind the wheel

I failed the first time.

Next trial: I failed. Because I drove on the center lane at a back street. The road marks were faded though, and I couldn’t see them well, but that wasn’t enough excuse.

Though I added this to my prayer list, I re-reviewed the driver’s handbook to see my errors, and had one more month to drive before the next road test.

I passed on my third trial.

And I resisted the urge to pose with my license in a selfie!

LOL! I am too old for that, right?

Okay, I know it took me a little too long but don’t laugh at me.

“I know how to drive” you might argue. But everyone who has passed through this process know what I’m talking about.

Of course, anyone can pick a car and rev it!

But you know, most accidents are as a result of crude driving. Fine details like checking your blind spot for cars hidden from your field of vision, parallel parking, proper signaling and observation might be the thin line between an accident and joyful ride.

It’s really not a piece of cake.

I thought I knew how to drive too. I’ve been driving in Nigeria since 2011. I was “professional” and careful. But the process of license testing showed that I hadn’t mastered some of the skills of defensive driving – driving safely as well as driving safely away from drunk drivers and poorly trained drivers.

I remember my post on pilots and drivers. (you can read it here)

Unlike most drivers, Pilots are thoroughly trained, frequently retested and are dedicated to the flying business without distractions. Most drivers are inadequately trained, never retested and are heavily distracted (phones, grooming, food, etc.) Every single day, I pass by accident scenes to and from work.

The tests primed me for the road. I learnt observation, positioning and signaling – three things important to prevent an accident, causing yourself or others bodily injury.

And I decided that, regardless of what others did after securing a license, I will drive safely.

This experience taught me a few things about life.

Life is pretty much like a journey through uncharted terrain and every one I’ve ever met wants to have a wonderful ride. With fewest tickets and accidents.

I do too.

But you know, unlike driving, life doesn’t have a pre-living license testing.

I wish it did.

But No, you just have to live. No one bosses you around. You have to apply yourself to the lessons of life.

Pity. If you haven’t learnt how to live.

We all need a guide. And someone has offered – Jesus. And freely.

Jesus said,

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Connect to Him today.

Let him thoroughly teach and guide you as you live. Spend time in His word, and time talking to Him. And as you live, he teaches you, you learn, grow and shine…

And this amazing cycle continues…

With Him, there will be drunk drivers and accidents around you but you’ll never crash. Guaranteed! You will rather be the one to help them to safety.

Moral of the story: Life has no pre-living license test. It has a little margin for fatal errors. Live it right the first time. Live it with Jesus.

Any thoughts? Throw me some comments below.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

Just thinking

leadership.jpg

Hello. I’m just thinking:

If Job lived in the 21st century, his life might be like this:

He would lose his job. All his kids would die in a car crash on his first son’s thirtieth birthday. And while still grieving, he would discover he had cancer. Then his wife would file for divorce.

But he would keep his faith in God. Peaceful within, hopeful without. And of course, he would not stop attending church – he would keep teaching Sunday school and counselling young people.

Nah! Not me.

I readily stab my daily devotion on exam week. A little headache keeps me away from church on Sunday. A bad day at work makes me cranky the rest of the day.

Yet, I claim to have the same (and I’ve dared to say greater!) faith in God as those of old.

Seriously! Who am I kidding?

Maybe I have something, but it’s surely not faith.

But you know – I’m just thinking,

Toluwamini

Life…

Life isn’t perfect.
Never has been, never will be.

Whatever good life gives you, there’s always going to be a twist of imperfection in it.

You’re happy you got a new job, but there’s a horrible boss waiting. You’re happy you finally got the money, but the house you wanted to buy just got off the market. You’re happy you’re married, but there’s a terrible in-law. You’re happy you got a new friend, but you just discovered he has got haunting skeletons.

And so on…

Life isn’t perfect. God is.
But make sure whatever God gives you, don’t let life screw it up.

‪#‎muse‬

Cheers,

Toluwanimi