I can barely control the all-Caps right now. I’ve looked forward to my 22nd birthday for years.
Since I was a child.
And it turned out to be everything I could have hoped for, and more. I don’t know why I’ve been blessed with such wonderful and thoughtful friends both near and far, but everyone just went above and beyond to make my birthday so special. So thank you all – to my lovely family, to my family of friends from home, to my family of friends from Pécs, to my family of friends from everywhere! I’m truly overwhelmed by the immense outpouring of love I’ve received today. Twenty-two is going to be such an amazing year!
I had an unconventional Thanksgiving this year (my second one, actually – for the first unconventional one, I was studying abroad in Paris in 2011). I spent the actual holiday in classes, later attending an art show by an American guy who had lived in Dallas for almost 30 years working for the US Department of Defense. The show is always held on Thanksgiving, as it’s his favorite holiday, and to celebrate, there was apple cider and pumpkin pie (and festive Thanksgiving napkins, too!). Thankfully, to cap the night, I got to FaceTime with my whole family back home and enjoy being a part of Thanksgiving there, too. So fun!
Black Friday is when the real dinner was held. My amazing Hungarian teacher, Aniko, offered to host Thanksgiving at her home, and her and her family went above and beyond to make it as homey as possible. They decorated their place with posters that said, “Happy Thanksgiving, Layo!” and baked traditional apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. The rest of my medical group brought traditional foods from their cultures for all of us to share. It was a beautiful night, full of food, laughter, thankfulness, music, great conversation, and lots of hugs. It’s definitely a Thanksgiving for the books – one I’ll never forget. I’m so thankful to be blessed with family and friends such as this, both here and at home. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
I think this day has to be the most love-filled day I’ve ever experienced to date.
Today, February 22nd, is my 21st birthday and the joy and bountiful blessings have just been pouring in on me all day long! I always get introspective around special occasions, but this has been an especially poignant birthday for me as I’ve had time over the past few weeks to really ponder over just why I love birthdays so much. I wondered over my penchant for birthdays because I’ve known so many people who lament them, either because they’re getting older or because they don’t know of good presents to ask for or because they don’t get to spend it with certain people. But I love them (and let’s be serious – I adore mine) because it really is a celebration – God’s brought it to my awareness more in these past few weeks, but each day really is a gift. No day is promised to any person, so to have the opportunity to celebrate another year of life? That is truly a wonderful, heavenly gift that deserves to be celebrated. And even though it always shocks me how quickly time passes by, one of my co-workers put it into perspective the other day, saying that “when time passes so quickly, it’s because life is good.” So there’s no need to lament growing up another year… I see it as a time to be immensely grateful for all God has done in my life over the past year and as a time to look forward to new growth and maturity, both personally and spiritually. Continue reading →
A decade ago, on July 4, 2003, I wrote an essay for a “patriotic essay” contest sponsored by Trinity Fest in Dallas. It was about why I loved America – basically, a few paragraphs considering all the opportunities I have been blessed to experience since my parents decided to move here to the U.S. many years ago. I’ve always been grateful for who I am and the things I’ve been blessed to do, but looking back over the past decade after reading the fabulous 10-year follow up article in the Dallas Morning News by Ms. Floyd, it almost baffles me at how far God has allowed my family and I to come. Truly, we’ve accomplished things that I don’t think would be possible had we grown up in Nigeria. Of course, we’re extremely proud to be Nigerian (my family and friends can attest to that!) and I can’t wait to visit soon, but I really believe that each of our talents, from my parents to my little sister’s, have been unimaginably cultivated by the experiences we’ve had by also growing up as proud Texans in the U.S.
Truthfully, I don’t think we can ever adequately thank God for these opportunities and blessings. But for sure, I can say my family and I are really grateful to Him to be here.
Yesterday, my family and friends celebrated so much: my graduation, my sister’s graduation, my other sister’s trip to Indonesia, long-time friendships, and even the great weather. I’m reminded daily that I have so much to be thankful for as I enter into this next stage of life, and this song truly begins to reach to the depths of what I feel in gratefulness to God for all He’s doing in the lives of my family and friends. Every time I begin to think of the many things the Lord’s done in my life these past few months, I can’t help but think of how awesome these next few months will be. He’s so unerringly good that I can barely stand it or can’t even begin to explain it. I think I say I’m thankful for things a lot, but in this season of life, I’m really, really grateful for just so much. Over the years, I’ve found that being grateful is the best medicine one can take. When I get in the mindset of thankfulness, other circumstances melt away as I realize that I’m truly blessed despite whatever else may seem pressing.
I also told my sister I’d love to share some of the photos she takes while in Bali, Indonesia, for her photography class, so I’m hoping she’ll email some while there or share others when she returns!
Also, I’ll be keeping the people of Oklahoma in my prayers; I can’t imagine the stress surrounding the families there right now.