mom

Take Heart.

It takes a strong person to have a true heart of forgiveness and patience, even more so if you’re a mother. It might sound strange given the fact that we assume this is how they are meant to be because they are our mothers. Yes, God instilled it in them but it’s solely their choice to exhibit such traits.
I think the assumption we place on mothers along with other “burdens” makes it hard on them but at the same time it makes me more grateful for who they are and the choices they take on.

One person that has really shown me the true strength of a human being and a mother is my aunt (This is not to say my own mothers have not been strong but I just want to step away from the obvious and give credit where credit is due).
Being around her and growing under her guidance these last 7 months has been something else to say the least. She’s kind, patient, forgiving, understanding, basically everything that 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 says we ought to be. I initially made the mistake of seeing such a great display of affection as weakness - partly due to the fact that I had built up so many walls in my life. However as God would have it, my opinion was proved wrong.
Having these traits was no weakness at all but strength. It takes little to no strength to turn from someone who has done you wrong but it takes such a power to go back and continue to love and forgive- and I mean TRULY forgive.
I’m not talking about I’m gonna let it go but next time I won’t trust you type of forgiveness, no. Her type is the one that catches you red-handed in the midst of your fault and only opens her mouth to lovingly advise you not to do it. The type that although you let her down she still expects nothing but the best out of you next time. When you finish the food that she planned on eating and she still asks you if there is anything else you want without sarcasm.

If you still think that’s a weakness, try doing the same next time something similar happens to you - see how “easy” it is to do just that.

Anyway, I’m not here to judge or compare anyone to anyone but do think about it. This is the type of love God is calling us to exude. He’s calling us to be better than the circumstances presented to us and not to continue the cycle just because we feel like that “pay back” will make us feel better or teach someone a lesson - that job is not up to us. No matter what happens to us, big or small, our duty is to forgive and love as Christ still loved those who persecuted Him.

It’s hard but it’s a choice we must make every single day. However, let me warn you now, somedays will be harder than others. Somedays your heart can be open to even the most unknown stranger but there will indeed be times when your friend, child, spouse, daughter, nephew, boss, professor, employee, what have you does something to jump on your last nerve but you know what? You are called to love. And if during those days you feel like that is the last thing you want to do just run to Him and lean on Him for a strength and understanding that goes beyond what we thought possible.

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Dear Mom, Ma, and Dad,

           The other day I came across the verses Psalm 44:1-3. They go as follows:

"We have heard it with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm and the light of your face, for you loved them."

With that I just wanted to take the time out to say thank you. I take a look at my life now and marvel at the length and depth of it all. I rejoice in the years spent on this earth. Some of them were tough to get through but nonetheless, I am stil here. With God’s grace and everlasting, all-consuming, unfathomable love I am here. Which brings me back to you three. The reason I have been blessed with knowing such a love is because I was raised with it and in it. You also raised me with a truth that was attached to this love. You showed it to me from such a young age that it became a part of me. I knew nothing from it.

       So as I left the nest and ventured off on my own I had nothing to fear. Yes, I admit to being nervous and a bit apprehensive but it was the examples of Christ in your lives and and the stories told to me through you all that allowed me to forge on on my unpaved path - the one I still walk today. I walk boldly in the face of my future because I know that a set of parents that believe in me whole-heartedly also stand behind me. And behind them is a God who would die for me and did; a God who would fight for me and has. I know He stands rooted behind me and you - all of us.

"I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory… in God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever." - Psalm 44: 6-8

As a child, albeit a 21-year-old child I think that is one of the greatest gifts, lessons, advice, you could have ever passed down. You didn’t have to but you did.

So with that I say, ese ati mo dupe fun parents bi ti yin.

Always + forever

Mamma T. Teeni. Teniola Taiwo.

see the world.

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I don’t think I’ll ever tire of traveling. I may take a break from it every once in a while just to get re-rooted again but I’ll never get tired of it. My love for traveling was instilled in me ever since I was a kid. I can remember my mom packing my siblings and me up just to get out of town. So whether it was a trip to the next state for a weekend or a week, I always enjoyed the adventure. Not to mention, I’ve lived in 3 different countries ( Nigeria, Australia, and America) over the span of my 21 years.

However, now that I have grown up a bit I’ve recently come to fall in love with traveling alone. It’s an extremely peaceful experience. While there are many opportunities for me to meet new and interesting people, I also love the chance I get to sit back and observe all the various things that take place around me.

On most my recent flight (from Oregon to Sydney) I was blessed to have a day layover in Honolulu, Hawaii - I wasn’t able to make it to any beaches but I still had a great time. I walked about the town, did a little shopping, ate at a place called Fatboy’s, and then retired to my room.

Although all hotels basically look the same, just knowing I was in a new environment made me awe at the realization that there are things out there we have yet to see, hear, and feel - we have so much to discover.

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These are some pictures inside the The Pagoda hotel.

Spoiler Alert!

Spoiler Alert. My deepest condolences go out to those who hate a revealed ending but I just got word today that this thing called life, it actually turns out okay.

It has not been a full week since I finished my last class of college and already the fears of my post-grad mind find themselves making a comfortable nook in the forefront of my thoughts. There are a multitude of things that I need to do and want to do, especially in the next few months but time seems to be evading me everyday. It’s as though for every item crossed off, three more attach themselves to the list. Since being productive seems to be getting me nowhere there was only one thing left to do: complain and whine about it to mom. (She always seems to have the most genuine and heartfelt advice. My dad on the other hand, his words to me were, “Why haven’t you gotten a job yet? What do you plan on doing these next few months?”) Good thing my mom was quick to remind me that EVERYONE who has ever finished college has gone through what I’m are going through. It comes with the territory of transitioning into something new. She reminded me that I cannot control what follows because that’s God’s job. The best thing for me to do is to give everything up to Him and then take it one day at a time.

So, with that said, to anyone who is has finished and will finish any big step in life - not just college - chill, trust, and go. It all turns out pretty rad in the end.