Happy Mother’s Day

This Sunday, May 14, 2017- we have yet another opportunity to celebrate mothers, as a young mum, I am excited at the thought of how important I am to have a day, set apart just to celebrate me.

mother

This maiden mother’s day edition for youngmumsreverie, I saw it fit to celebrate women and the balancing act we do as working Christian mothers. This maiden edition I have the pleasure of presenting to you, my interview with Pastor Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun. I must add that she is a very warm person, very busy and very real. It was such joy to have her respond to me, despite her busy schedule. Without further ado, please read the excerpts of my interview with Pastor Toluwani Odukoya-Ijogun and I pray you will be blessed, you will learn and you will receive more grace to be a better wife and mother in Jesus name (amen):

 

Youngmumsreverie: Hello Pastor Tolu, Happy Mother’s day! Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

Pastor Tolu: My name is Caroline Toluwani Odukoya-Ijogun most people call me Tolu

YMR:As a pastor, mum and wife and fulfilling your purpose. How do you bring it all together?

PT: Honestly it is all the grace of God; sometimes I wonder how it’s all possible but when you rely on Gods strength you break barriers of impossibilities

YMR: There are a lot of things competing for our attention as mums, working in a full/part time job, being a mum and a loving wife. How do you strike a balance?

 PT: I have always believed that there is a 20% that brings about the 80% result but what most of us do is that we focus on the 80% that brings about the 20% result. I know that I am (as Tolu Odukoya-Ijogun) very inadequate when it comes to all these things so I always focus on Gods strength to be the best steward I can in the lives of my husband and children because I realise every day that they are truly Gifts from God and since he gave me these gifts he know exactly what I need to do. In my place of work or business, I am the example of my father Jesus Christ so I ask him to help me represent him well, with the help of the Holy Spirit influence lives around me and do the best I can. and as a Pastor to reach as many souls as possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. To finish the assignment and purpose I was created for and to set as many lives on fire for our lord Jesus Christ.

YMR: What choices did you make that you found really helpful in striking this balance 

PT: I pray and I speak to God all the time, I fill myself up with Gods word and I have my mentors around to always ask for guidance on what next to do; but the most important thing is working with the HolySpirit , I am understanding more that He already know my future, He has the blueprint of my life in fact He lives in my past present and future all at the same time, so He knows exactly what I need to do and when I need to do it. So I rely on Him 100%. My prayer is to Hear him better and know his voice when He talks so I can align accordingly

YMR: What were the challenges you had to deal/are dealing with combining the role of being a mother and fulfilling your purpose and how did you overcome them.

PT: In all Honesty is being the best Christian parent I can be, how to get my girls to understand from now who God is . Isabella Olamide is 3 1/2 and Michaela Abiola is 1 1/2 and I pray every day that not only my words but my actions will show them, Jesus. That I can mirror the true love of Christ to them. Also with my husband, that God show give me the true revelation of Agape love… that I love my husband the way God has called wives to be. Another major challenge is my hunger for God, in my case, he is definitely using the foolish to confirm the wise because I am not where I want to be in my Christian walk with God, there’s a level of intimacy I am yet to get to and it’s a daily hunger.

YMR: In a recent interview, you mentioned that “…My parents knew we were children before being pastor’s children…”, how has that helped you become a better mum?

PT: Like I said earlier it’s made me want to truly love my Children when a child grows up in an atmosphere where they feel they can be themselves they thrive more. I dance with my girls, I sing with them, we role play we have fun… I do everything in my power to be my children’s friends, not just their mother because when they can be themselves with you, they are more open to learning from you. This is what my Dad does and my Mum did.

YMR: Growing up, we had a fairly moral society, however, the world is generally toxic for raising Godly children, what tips can you share with youngmums in raising Godly children despite what is obtainable in today’s world

PT: Prayer and making your children comfortable with you. The Holy Spirit knows the formula for each child because every child is different, please never go with a blanket approach. I realise every day that my children are very different, my first needs more affirmation and hugs my second needs her space and freedom to express herself. In understanding your children you then understand how to start talking with them about morals. They are never too young to start. The devil doesn’t see age he just sees channels to use. So start talking to them about morals and sex in ways they would understand. Let them know what is right and what is wrong and also let them know you are open to explaining things they don’t understand. Make your children comfortable to speak with you about anything… and like I said Prayer Prayer Prayer can never be over emphasised.

YMR: You have two women related platforms, “rtwomen only” and “talk relationships”, what inspired you to start this network.

PT: I love helping relationships and so I started the talk relationship platform to impact of men and women in a godly way and what they do in their relationship. Real Talk Women was originally designed as a platform to speak candidly with women on relationships but the HolySpirit turned it to a Digital revival where we pray with and for one another and it has been truly awesome

YMR: What word do you have for youngmums this Mother’s Day

PT:One thing I want every woman to know not just mothers is that you have the capacity to produce and multiply it’s in your physical DNA and also in your spiritual DNA.  Ask God to help you and bring to birth your purpose over your life and family and please please please tell someone about Jesus every time you have the opportunity to do so.

YMR: Thank you so much for your time pastor Tolu

Remember you can do it, you are born to multiply, ask for the help of the HolySpirit, He is God’s gift to us.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mums- aspiring mums, experienced mums and everything in-between. Please feel free to share.

Advertisements

Soul Food

images

Before, the kids came, my quiet time was a religious activity ( and the bad thing about religion is about following rules/laws and not a change of heart). So I only scratched the surface, and never dug deep…thereby not getting the maximum benefits (i kept complaining to God, I wasn’t a spirit-filled enough…I’m sure God must have been rolling his eyes).
Now with the 2kids…I look forward to it like my sanity depends on it. It’s a time where I hang up my wife/mummy cape to crawl into God’s presence like a toddler and just bask in God’s presence. It’s a time when I switch to a psalmist…telling God how I sincerely feel about stuff without “faking” (he can see my heart.so why deceive myself).
It’s a time when the spirit of God in his word convict me of my unknown faults; we have conversations like “Ope, you exaggerated when you were talking with your friend the other day or “you should apologise to Segun; it doesn’t matter if you ‘felt’ your anger was justified”. It’s a place where my focus is redirected back to the things above when I am distracted. It’s a place where I get a heavenly hug telling me everything will be alright. It’s a place where all my negative thoughts are brought into captivity. It’s a place where the BATTLE OF MY MIND is won. It’s also a place where I fight and win the enemy within so that I can fight the enemy without.
My quiet time does what my americano does to my brain (spiritual alertness-i get cranky when I don’t do it). It’s one of the reasons I thank God for my kids because I now get to dig deeper into God’s word which has resulted to a better me( I’m still a work in progress though). It’s a time where I get refreshed and energized to get back to wife/mummy duties. It’s a time I get answers to what google can’t give me and even what experience can’t teach me.
It’s my happy place and my soul food. How has your quiet time helped you?

The Home Maker Extraordinaire

susAN

It’s March already! Wow! Just like yesterday when we #-tagging 2017. The month is a special for women – international women’s day and mums (mother’s day). So this month I will be writing about women who have influenced my parenting skills. I would also like to give a mother’s day giveaway to a special mum.

Susanna Wesley was also known as the mother of Methodist. She raised ten children, two, John and Charles Wesley – they won over a million souls for Christ and started the Methodist movement.  Their mother had a profound influence on them. I admire her devotion to raising her kids in a godly way.

 Susanna was married to a Church of England minister whose frequent absence left her to manage the home alone.

Susanna Wesley wrote:

As I am a woman, so I am also a mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you; yet, in your absence, I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my care, as a talent committed to me under a trust, by the great Lord of all the families both of heaven and earth. And if I am unfaithful to him or you in neglecting to improve these talents, how shall I answer unto him, when he shall command me to render an account of my stewardship?

She made it a rule for her to spend an hour a day with each child over the period of a week

Wow! What devotion. Her 16 house rules for her kids are methods I think are efficacious in raising godly children.

She ensured once her children start to speak, they start to spell the words in the bible. She believed the will of a child should be subdued before they grow older.

She made sure she taught her kids well. At that time, women were not interested in learning how to read as they were mostly thought how to sew and other domestic stuff. But she didn’t allow society to define her daughter’s education. She taught them how to read as well sew.

Susanna had 10 kids; she struggled to find a place to commune with God. So she advised her kids that when they saw with her apron over her head, it meant she was praying and couldn’t be disturbed. Being a mum of two babies, I learned from this- I can always connect with God even in my toilet or kitchen.

No matter how busy she was (she gardened the house, milked the cow, homeschooled the children), she gave God two hours a day in prayer. One of her daughters got married outside wedlock, but she still kept praying for her

She was a stay-at- home; she made an impact in her environment; from assembling her kids on Sunday afternoon for family services to attracting 200 people to her Sunday teachings. Her accessible writings are still used till today. So you being a stay at home mum shouldn’t limit you from making an impact on the world.

This woman went through a series of tragedy (lost five children, experienced two fire outbreak-destroying everything she and her husband worked for, her husband deserted her twice, lost her sister). Through it all, she remained a committed Christian who lived her life knowing full well that she will stand before God and give an account of how she spent her life

As a woman, particularly, young mums, we need to live in the consciousness that we are accountable for the lives placed in our care. Let us live a life of deliberateness, making an impact in wherever we find ourselves.

Remember my dear young mums- You are the light of the world. A City set on a hill cannot be hidden- Matthew 5:14.

What other lessons can you draw from Susanna? Feel free to share.

 

Love & How we interpret it

Before I got married, hubby and I went through a premarital counselling course in our church. In one of those sessions, we learnt the five love languages by Gary Chapman. These love languages, I believe, helps improve your relationship by communicating effectively with your spouse; the 5 love languages are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Receiving gifts
  3. Quality time
  4. Acts of service and
  5. Physical touch.

In the counselling class, we were given an assignment, more like a questionnaire to discover our dominant love language and start using them to communicate with each other. So we discovered our love language and I must say it has helped hubs and I communicate well with each other and deepen our intimacy in our marriage.

love-language

The love language has also kind of worked for my toddler (we are still figuring out on how to communicate better with her). Like most toddlers, she loves words of affirmation (she likes when I say “good girl” “Tomi is a “fine girl”) and the physical touch of hugging and giving her cute kisses on her cheeks. I have seen this love language shift her tantrum trigger moments to a smooth play session, eat her food (she could be a fussy eater at times) and help me attend to her baby sister without her displaying sibling rivalry.

Where am I going with all this? God, our loving father, has His love language too. Our relationship with God should be an intimate one, so He should have a love language that will make it facile for us to communicate with him. So what is God’s love language? It can be found in John 14:23, which says “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me”. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” In a nutshell, when we obey his commandments, he will reveal himself to us (like really, what more can we ask for). Furthermore, the bible says if we ask anything in his name, He will do it! That’s a blank check for us as well. Our main purpose is to serve God, to have a relationship with him and be a vessel unto honour for him, anything else like material things is just icing on the cake to make it easy for us to serve him.

So please let us do all we can to have a wonderful budding relationship with God by obeying his commandments. Definitely, we are not perfect, infact I’m still asking God to help expose my secret faults to me and give me a broken and contrite heart. One thing I know is that we genuinely ask God to help us in those areas we are struggling, he will help us. I have personally noticed some changes in my weaknesses even hubs and my mum can testify.

P.S: I am not a pastor, bible study teacher, motivational speaker or a Mrs know-it-all. I’m just a mum who loves to share her faith and reflections with other women, encouraging them to find their purpose in God.

…because HE first loved Us

“We love because he first loved us” – 1 John 4:19

firstlove

So last week Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. Well, this valentine was a bit different for me. I planned to thank God for his unfailing love for me. As I woke up that morning reflecting on his love, then it dawned on me how a mother’s love can be a little comparison to God’s love (God loves us way more that our mum’s though)

Taking a walk back memory lane to when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby; I was so excited and so in love with my baby right, she loved me before she knew I was going to be her mum. The bible says He loved us first (1John 4:20) and loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). My child never did anything to deserve my love for her infact, I had terrible morning sickness up to halfway through my pregnancy; same goes with us, we didn’t do anything for God to love us (our righteousness are as filthy rags)- yet He did and still does.

 My two children have different personalities, even their pregnancies and birth story are different, but guess what? It is in their uniqueness that I get to love them. I can’t measure my love for each child. Each one rouses my love for them in a different way, the same way God’s love for us is unique. We are over 2billion people on planet earth yet He loves us uniquely with our flaws and imperfections. (Romans 8:37-39).

Mothers lay down life for life to bring forth life (And yes we do, in the sacrifice we make). Sorting your children out before sorting yourself. Our kids are literally on top of our priority list- yes, just before us. Most of the time we work on our weaknesses so as to be good examples for our kids. God gave up His only son Jesus (as a mother that is not an easy thing to do). Jesus was beaten, mocked and spat on…yet he didn’t do anything because that had to be done for you and me to be redeemed.

My kids can’t do anything to make my husband and I love them more than we already do, neither can they do anything to make us love them less than we love them. What they can do is control the “pleasing” metre; i.e. if they misbehave, I won’t be pleased and I will chastise them. The same goes with God, yeah He loves us so much but we are in control of pleasing Him. If God is pleased with us, we will get a reward- an eternal one for that matter. If we are naughty He is going to chastise us for the bible says God chastises us because he loves us.

We please Him by simply obeying his commandments…no long story. To be honest His commandments are for our own benefits. The bible says when a man’s ways pleases the Lord he makes his enemies to be at peace with him (proverbs 16:7). Really, it is really heart-breaking to take his love for granted after giving us His ONLY son.

Know this today, He loves you no matter what your story is, just as a mother’s love is unaffected by the child’s behaviour, so is God’s love for you. All I’m asking today is that you choose to please Him- be intentional with your “pleasing” metre with God today.

It’s worth the wait!

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delayHabakkuk2:3                                                                

worth-the-wait-mint_1024x1024

I woke up to the most beautiful news last Saturday! A close friend of mine, (let me just say we are more like sisters) gave birth to a baby boy- yay! I’m a god-mummy. Despite the negative doctor’s report and obscure physical situation.  I can remember the words of exhortation I said to her during her challenge. I will share some of the words of exhortation I shared with her.

 There was one thing I noticed about few of the women that struggled with infertility in the Bible.  What was it? God gave these women extraordinary children:

  1. Rebekah was barren, she conceived Jacob. He became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  2. The Lord opened Rachel’s womb, she begat Joseph who was favoured by God to become the prime minister of Egypt.
  3. Samson, the man with an extraordinary strength (Judges 13:2-15). His mum (Manoah’s wife was infertile)- this dude was born to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Philistines ( but really! Why are the Philistines always on the throat of Israelites though…lol).
  4. Hannah begat Samuel. He was one of the greatest prophets in Israel.
  5. In the New Testament, we have Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.  This was one child that was filled with the Holy Spirit right from the womb (Luke1:15) wow! Can you beat that! John the Baptist played an important role in preparing the foundation for the ministry of Jesus Christ and was the greatest man that lived on the surface of the earth according to the Jesus( Matthew 11:11)

I have good news to the mums-in-waiting. Don’t be discouraged. Maybe, just maybe (well I believe He is), God is preparing a special child to be conceived and begat by you- you know that child (children) that is better than 10 sons. Samuel was born when God wanted to replace Eli; John the Baptist needed to be born to prepare the Jesus for his ministry. Be assured, your child(ren) are going to be extra special and used by God. Don’t let the devil fool you with his gimmicks of showing you a picture of your prayers not being answered by God or your past has caught up with you. Once God has forgiven you, He can’t remember your sins anymore (He said though your sins are red as scarlet He will make them white as snow…so you are starting on a clean slate okay- Isaiah 1:18).

Lastly, please hold on to your faith while you are in your waiting room. One thing I admired about my friend was her unshakable faith. She had bought her baby stuffs right before she even conceived- talk about the faith the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see Hebrews 11:1). The bible says when we ask, we must not doubt because a double minded person should not expect anything from God. If you are struggling with keeping your faith intact, ask God to increase your faith as the apostles prayed (Luke 17:5). I pray and will keep praying for God to bless your womb because it is our birthright as Christians to be fruitful

God blessed them and said, “Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth, and be its master. Rule the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that crawl on the earth.”- Genesis 1:28.

By God’s grace, we will have victory over unfaithfulness.

 

It is NEVER too LATE

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord”- Proverbs 21:30

its_never_too_late-title_card

Last weekend, my sister and I were discussing fulfilling our purpose and I was like I wish I started my journey earlier. I just felt I had wasted time and how selfish I had been all this while, fulfilling my desires. Then she made a comment that I held on to- she said: Ope, God is never late. He had a reason for you to be aware of your purpose at this time. What if you had known and you still failed to pursue your purpose.

After the conversation, I still pondered on the comment she made. Then I remembered Prophetess Anna the widow who prophesied on Jesus’ life (Luke 2:36). She was 84, yet she was used by God to prophesy about Jesus life.  Like she also had to wait for so many years to proclaim the prophetic message!  Wow! That would have taken a lot of devotion. We were not told about what she did in her early years (except worshipping God, praying and fasting), only what she did at 84. She was one of God’s chosen to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. I wonder how she felt when she finally proclaimed the message to Jesus’ parents. Even Jesus Christ, our model started his full-time ministry at 30 years old.

Sometimes, we think running a home, taking care of the kids and work, (some of us are still in the process of finding a work-home balance life) has stopped from being what God wants you to be (like I was thinking). Deborah’s story (Judges 4) is one story that inspires me to believe I can fulfil my purpose as even as a wife and a mum. She was one of the judges God raised up to provide leadership for kingless Israelites (Judges 2:16). The bible said she was a prophet, a wife and a judge of Israel. She was famously known for fighting against Sisera with the help of Barak and Jael (the woman who drove a tent peg through Sisera’s skull).

So if you think it is too late for you to be used by God or you feel you disregarded the calling of God upon your life. Our God is a God of a second chance. He gave Prophet Jonah a second chance after he tried to run away from God (Jonah 3:1-2)- even in the process of running away from God, his situation still evangelised for God (Jonah 1:16). Just cry to God, he is a loving Father, He is ready to take you back.

Here are 3 points to note:

  1. Never tell yourself you are too old to do what God has called you to do
  2. Never tell yourself you missed your chance
  3. Whatever you were born to do, the grace of God is still available for you to do it.

I have good news for you, my fellow yummy mummies!  IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!

quote-in-christ-it-s-never-too-late-you-re-never-too-old-it-s-never-too-anything-for-him-to-joyce-meyer-90-84-04.jpg

K is for Kindness

This is going to be really short, dashed here from taking care of my two young babies.

So here’s what I have to share on Lifestyle today- it’s not too early to teach your children kindness.

As a young mum, we probably can identify with Sesame street, I stumbled on this Youtube video on Kindness, and found this a rather creative way to teach young kids about kindness.

In these days where kindness is increasingly seeming like a scarce commodity, why don’t we catch them young by introducing them to Godly characteristics while they are still innocent?

tori-spelling
Want to watch the video? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back click here to watch.

Leaving the Past Behind

Hello Young mum,

Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past. 
Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even put a road in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.- Isaiah 43:18-19

Have you ever had the nudge in your spirit to start something good but you get scared because of your past or you feel you are not perfect enough?

Those stuffs you have done in the past you are not proud of even though you have repented of them.

I know this struggle too well; I went through the same thing when I wanted to start this blog. i kept telling myself i am not ‘righteous’ enough to start a Christian motherhood blog.

To make matters worse the devil (the accuser of the brethren) with his lies, kept telling me how imperfect I was to start a Christian blog, if I was really sure I heard the voice of God or it was the voice of my heart. Oh! I believed his lies for a while until I snapped out of it using the word of God, which is a Christian offensive weapon.

Perhaps the devil is saying the same thing to you too. The bible says the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is on a mission to destroy your purpose. He might use negative thoughts that is why the bible says we should guard our heart diligently as out of it comes the issue of life proverbs 4 vs 23 and as a man thinketh so is he proverbs 4:27.

image-for-blogLet us take a walk into the scriptures to look at few of the imperfect people God used. Can you remember Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 2)? Despite the levitical law on prostitution, God still used her in helping the Israel spies bring down the wall of Jericho. Most of us know Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. (Hebrews7: 14 For it is evident that our Lord came from Judah, and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests). The Judah dudes had a weakness for women starting from Judah, the son of Jacob who slept with his sister-in-law thinking she was a prostitute (Genesis 38:16). David slept with another man’s wife. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Yet Jesus still came from the sceptre of Judah. We have Abraham who lied! God made him the father of many nations.

So mamas in the house don’t be discouraged! Don’t entertain the devil’s lies or what people will say about you. Jesus has forgiven you and that was what he came to do. And if a particular sin in your life is preventing you from starting that assignment God has placed in your heart. All you need to do is confess, repent and ask God to help you overcome that sin. And one thing i know about God is that once he sees in your heart that you really help to overcome a sin, he will release that grace to overcome it.

You are born with a purpose and some peoples’ lives depend on it. You are someone else’s’ miracle. Please don’t screw it up!

My 2-In-One Bag

meghan-hess
Illustration Cred: Very Talented Meghan Hess

I mentioned in my past post that there will be a lifestyle part to my on the blog- here’s the first of many other posts.

Here’s a fact, I am a stylish mum of two under 2. So it is essential for me to have a diaper bag. When I was pregnant for my first child, I was really looking for a stylish diaper bag; unfortunately I couldn’t find any that suited my style (simplicity is key for me) and I couldn’t afford those really expensive ones.

Those diaper bags just makes you look like an un-stylish mum…can I get an amen? Lol; I also didn’t like the idea of Carrying two bags (my personal and diaper bag. I love travelling light).

Well after my second child. I told myself no diaper bag this time. So I got a diaper bag insert bag handbag that I can put baby stuffs. I simply just placed the insert organiser bag into a big spacious bag. So I have my bag with my own stuffs and a diaper with my baby stuffs in one bag.

My first child is a little over a year old so she doesn’t need much and has a backpack I can put her essential.

What do you guys think? Please let me know your thoughts. Diaper Bags has got nothing on us.

meghan-hess-2
Illustration Cred: Meghan Hess

#StylishMums #NursingAndStillStylish  #SlayingWithDiaperBags