More than a day….

It is not unusual to hear some people refer to days like Valentine, Birthdays and Anniversaries as just another day. I think differently, first of all, every day is a blessing in my world. Another chance to do right, live better and do more.

Special days are even more important as they mark the start of something new. Each recurrence presents an opportunity to evaluate how well you have done, applaud yourself or course correct.

The thought of an applause worthy Special day gives me an adrenaline rush since I get to give myself a treat for a job well done.

O well, you can say I love celebrations in whatever form, after all we only get to live once. So when our tenth anniversary came knocking, we could not resist the urge to celebrate.

As I dreamed up ways to make this more than just a day, an amazing Black Friday Deal too good to be true popped up on my screen. You can call it a coincidence, I will choose miraculous. I watched my dream escape to the island of Cape Verde become a reality; the right price and an irresistible deal and Voila, Project Verde was activated.

Four hours later, we touched down on the beautiful island of Cape Verde somewhere off the West African coast surrounded by the Atlantic ocean. Blue beaches, lovely resorts, great foods, beautiful sunset and world class hospitality.

Project Verde Goals accomplished…….

A well deserved celebration of ten awesome years of growing and learning together. As we celebrated, we are reminded that we are better today because yesterday we chose tomorrow together. We believed, we worked and now the project continues.

Life is a project with milestones along the way, so think of today as a milestone in the ‘Love’ department. Even though, some folks say ‘love don’t cost a thing’, love does cost something, it is in the action and the sacrifice. It is never idle, it is always doing. So whenever an opportunity presents itself for love to be expressed, sound the alarm and make it loud and clear that you love and you love for real. Don’t just sit back and watch today go by, find a box of chocolate or whatever tickles you and take sometime out to celebrate love and friendship.

Because love is a beautiful thing, make this Valentine more than just a day…………

Happy Valentine Day!!!


Never too late…..

I often marvel at the elasticity of the human spirit, something in us keeps striving, keeps pressing and keeps trying until we have more than an aha moment.

Meet Ms. Grace or ‘mummy’ as i like to call her and yes this is a real person and a real story.

A few months ago, we all listened to a young lady speak to us at a Women Conference on the topic, ‘Dare to Dream’.

Mummy is in her late fifties and I found it surprising that she was as excited as we younger folks. Fast forward to a few weeks later, she whispered to me, I have started sewing again. Even though I don’t know if that spark lit a fire, I was just excited that someone took the learning and acted on it.

Exactly one year later, while gisting away, she mentioned a store, I didn’t probe much because we were talking about more important things. On a Sunday morning right after church, she slipped an invitation into my hand.

Mummy was opening a restaurant, she called it ‘Souper Woman Kitchen’; Souper I guess because of the mainly soup dishes that she will be serenading her customers with.As I look more closely at the word ‘Souper’, I think of the closest English word to it ‘Super’. 

Ms. Grace is an example of so many ‘super’ humans out there striving, pressing and demonstrating the elasticity of the human spirit.

At close to 60, Ms. Grace listened to a young lady tell us that if we don’t take action, our dreams will remain what there are ‘dreams’.

She took action, not just one, several little steps. Souper Woman Kitchen opened, I missed the opening but heard that she is excited about this new opportunity.

As I reflect on this story and my interactions with Ms. Grace,  I recall that she was always on time for all meetings (Discipline), listened with intent  (Deliberate), acted on what she heard (Determined) and was very comfortable around young people (Teachable). I find that you gain a lot of fresh insight from being around younger folks.

Now and in the years to come, it is not OK to dream and write goals, be like Ms. Grace and take action.

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Here is wishing you the best life has to offer, see you next week…….


Hi, We are Idorenyin and Thelma Mbang

We love to tell stories that draw out lessons from every day life.

If our stories strike a cord with one person, then our day is made.

Life is a journey, it leaves imprints along the way; good, bad and sometimes just plain ugly. As you go through daily life, keep your 👀 on who you are BEcoming.

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Here is wishing you the best that life has to offer

Idorenyin & Thelma Mbang

New Money

Every year, most of us get either a pay increase at work, a new job with higher pay or maybe finally get that first job right after school. The pay check that comes with any of these moves is what I refer to as ‘New Money’. ‘New money’ is the difference between your former net worth and your new net worth as a direct result of a change in your life circumstances. You maybe saying to yourself, I have not received a pay raise and there is no new job in sight, so this post is not for me. Before you look away, how about breaking an old habit that frees up cash that you can now call ‘new money’. Old habits like buying the latest toys, shoes, bags, clothing, wedding asoebi or going out for drinks with friends. A quick look at your bank statement would throw up some idols that you can easily give up temporarily or maybe forever to enable you do more with your money.


A few months ago, we had a chance to speak with some friends who got hired into a new role with a Fortune 500 company. They all encountered a quantum leap in their finances and their bank accounts were about to encounter an earthquake literally. It was obvious that they were able to live just fine with their old income and even if they encountered a few rough patches, they found a way to make it through just fine. With their new jobs, they now had an overflow of cash in the horizon. So we posed a simple question – What will you do with the extra cash now that you have more than enough wiggle room? Let me guess, most people will likely act out of impulse relying on their default mode which tends in only one direction. A decision to switch things up immediately, play catch up, upgrade our lives, get everything we feel we missed out on and even enter ‘pepper them’ mode (whoever ‘them’ constitutes). Trust me, they all contemplated all of those options before we screamed…..

Stop! There are better ways to handle that money and then we spent some time giving them the money talk and challenging them to think differently about what to do with all that money…

Preparing mentally for growth is the first step. It will help you handle money better when you finally have a financial increase. When you prepare, you are rightly positioned to be one step ahead of yourself in life. Remember, if you don’t have a plan for your money, plans will come up somehow and random plans typically don’t favour the owner of the money. I constantly dream of when I will make the big bucks aka ‘hammer’, my plan is to take a year off and go to my village, sleep and wake up everyday to a nice plate of pounded yam and white soup. In other words, I will not touch the money until I have stared at it long enough, confirmed it is for real and device a plan to grow gradually into my new place of abundance. That is my plan, I am sure the pounded yam part made you giggle… So what is your money plan?

Practise deferred or delayed gratification, I remember while growing up, my mom never allowed us wear new clothes on day one. In her own words, “were you walking naked before I bought you this?” I learned early to wait and I am sure that we can learn a little lesson from her. Let me paint a scenario and encourage you to explore it whenever you have new money. Instead of spending the extra cash immediately, how about putting it aside for a while (12months maybe) in an investment pool? When you do this, you are putting yourself on track to build some savings. Of course, I understand that everyone’s situation is different and not everyone will be able to put aside everything so strike the right balance and choose the saving scenario that works best for you after asking yourself some hard questions to justify your expenditure. When you decide to invest, make sure you invest in something that you understand and in an instrument that is tested and trusted. Run away from quick rich schemes. If you start from now to defer spending new money by a few months, you will have a healthy stash of money saved up without feeling the pinch. Think of it this way, if you survived the last 12 months without the extra, a few more months will not hurt.

Practising contentment will keep you grateful and accountable for everything that you have. You will be confident knowing that no matter how much more you make, your worth is not determined by your net worth but by a self-worth grounded in Christ. You really arrive when you can echo the words of Paul and Timothy in their letter to the Church in Philippi – “for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”.(Philippians 4:11‐13)

Every time you acquire new money, you get with it an opportunity to handle money differently, to practise the simple money principles that ensure that you take good care of today and wake up tomorrow and next with sufficient for each day. So when next you receive some extra cash, practise the 3S – Save, Spend and Share.

Note to Self – When next life changes propel you forward financially, think of storing up first before splurging.

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Have a great day!

*Pepper them* is a Nigerian slang for spitefully showing off aimed at a particular person or group of people

The Ugly Side of ‘Broke’

My parents made it clear that I was going to Boarding School quite early. Each time I pondered on the idea of going away from home, I was gripped by the fear of the unknown. The thought of being all by myself in the midst of people I did not know, scared me.  As the days grew closer, my mom gave me my last set of independence tips – ‘Choose your friends wisely’, ‘Read your books’ and  ‘Do not collect anything from anyone’. The last one instilled the fear of God in me and made me wondered what kind of people I was going to meet on the other side of my new life.

September finally came and the long drive to school was upon me. Getting prepared was more fun than I expected. I showed up to school with a suitcase for my clothing and a huge metal trunk box for my provision aka box of goodies. I settled in quickly and life in the real world of boarding school began. I visited my box of goodies very often because it reminded me of home. As the weeks rolled by, I noticed an emerging trend. Each time, I paid a visit to my box of goodies, the box room filled up quickly. Everyone wanted something from my box and I kept giving. I was young and naive. I gave foolishly to every request and soon, my box became a supermarket and Oh boy! did they shop so freely, I did not mind, I kept giving.

It was a few days to the end of the term and my suitcase was now empty. I was so hungry, I wanted something to eat. I had never had any reason to ask anyone for anything because my mom’s warning rang in my head. But by the end of the term, I felt I knew them more, so I asked for a snack and everyone seem to have a reason to say No! Those last few days felt longer than the entire term and all of a sudden, in my starved state, my eyes of understanding were open and I felt used.

The holiday was a time of reflection for me. I saw a different side of life and came face to face with the reality that even in the the midst of teenagers, life is a jungle and only the fittest survive. I came up with my survival plan, I know now that what I did back then is called ‘Strategizing’. The new School term was going to be different, I had grown wiser. I recognized that my inability to say ‘No’ was still a weakness and while I worked on a nicer way to respond to requests that should clearly get a ‘No’,  I moved my box of goodies out of sight.

It became clear to me that if I must have enough resources to last me for the school term, I must budget and put in place a system that allows me to spread my resources over an estimated period of time. I must also prepare for days that I may run out of everything by setting aside an emergency supply. I did this by locking up a portion of my supplies in my Guardian’s house as a last resort.

Being broke taught me a few early life lessons:

  • You are generally at the mercy of others and may find yourself in a situation where you feel pressured to compromise your values.
  • Everyone appears friendly when you have, but when you are broke, your relationships are tested and you realize that your true friends are few.
  • You have to learn how to manage your resources in a way that allows you perform acts of kindness without jeopardizing your well being.

Those early days taught me to apportion my resources wisely, setting aside the right portion for saving, spending and sharing. Life, as you have come to find will have some years of surplus and years of famine. We can all learn a lesson from Joseph’s strategy in the book of Exodus. In Egypt’s years of plenty, he led a nationwide campaign to store up a fifth of what was harvested. When the world around them fell on hard times, Egypt became a lender to nations. I also noticed something from that story, the ‘broke’ will always bow to the ‘lender’. So choose the right side of life by becoming a better steward of the resources that God will entrust to you.

Note to Self – Broke days maybe ugly, but they awaken you to the realities of life and push you to do what you should have done all along.

We will love to hear from you, so you can like, leave a comment, follow us, and tell a friend. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on who you are becoming.

Have a great day!

A New Kind of ‘You’ – Video

You can read the full post here.

We will love to hear from you, so don’t forget to like, leave a comment, follow us and tell a friend. Remember to keep your eyes on who you are becoming.

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Through the ‘Pain’

Pain is something we all don’t like. We run from it, avoid it or sometimes try to ignore it. In our diaper days, we did not mind the pain, but as we grew older, it appears we began to focus more on the pain and less on the rewards.

One morning, I watched my 23 month old daughter climb our dining table. In the blink of an eye, she fell before I could catch her and this was not a light fall. You would think that she would learn from that experience, but just a few minutes after, ignoring all my warnings she went at it again. If you have watched toddlers, you would know that a painful experience at what they have set their minds to do, does not stop them from further attempts. Somehow, they try to figure out another way to do it. In fact, most times even when it hurts, they do not cry so that they do not call the attention of adults who would stop them from their ‘brave acts’. Sometimes, it feels like they look at us and wonder, what is wrong with these adults? Just imagine for one second if we stopped toddlers from their attempt to walk each time they fell at it and experienced some pain.

After that experience, I sat and pondered, where did our brave hearts go? Did they shrink as we grew older? If it were an adult, he/she would be unlikely to try that climb again. After all, ‘Experience’ they say is the best teacher! But can it also teach us to fear pain? and does it expand our fears on certain things and prevent us from trying again? I have no doubt that we learn some valuable lessons from experience, but I think the question to ask is, should we always refer to experience for forward movements or should we search for the inner voice within us? If Thomas Edison fixed his gaze on the pain of failing one thousand times, we probably would not have the light bulb today. It is noted that he tried one thousand times before he succeeded. He had one thousand reasons to stop, but he chose to let his inner voice guide him forward, not only his ‘teachers’ from the past.

Like toddlers, if we really want to do something we strongly believe in, we need to stay focused on the ‘WHY’, defy the pain and try again and again. In other words, we may sometimes need to choose the pain. In the words of Colin Powell, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”. I remember the lines in the song by the Late Aaliyah, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try again”. I will also add that when you make a mistake, besides dusting yourself up and trying again, stop and examine the process so that when you go at it again, you will know what pitfalls to avoid.

We will go through many situations, some will come with pain and discomfort but if we keep our eyes on the reward, we can look into our inner self and unleash the courage to move on through the pain.

Note to self – Even though ‘Pain’ will cause you temporary discomfort, it is not necessarily a negative encounter but an opportunity to rethink your strategy.

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Have a great day!

The Brighter Side of Meeting ‘Not so Great People’- Video

You can read the full story here.

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Everyday Battles

I have heard it said frequently that the world is a battlefield and we are part of the war whether we like to admit it or not.


From the moment that our waking eyes begin to attribute meaning to things, our consciousness is awakened to the battle between good and evil. From the pictures in cartoons to lessons in Sunday school, you could feel the battle raging. On the streets of life, you quickly realize that you are either looking for someone’s trouble or you are being troubled by someone or something. Everyday battles, different for each one but common to all.

We moved to a new house and after a few weeks’ wait, our furniture finally arrived. The old house was bigger and more spacious, so we had to figure out how to fit all these stuff into our new space. It was a project team of 2, Dad and me. For some reason, Mom sat in the dining area and had no interest in what was going on as we tried to find a place for each item.

It was fun recreating our new space but the fun was short-lived. I noticed that Dad was having troubles coming to terms with our new reality, an anxiety of some sort manifested by his refusal to accept the reality that everything was not going to fit into this new space. As he drilled holes into the wall, I started becoming uncomfortable, I felt like he was slowly turning our house into a museum. He kept on drilling and as the nails went in, the pictures went up.


I could not take it anymore!

In a small still voice, I said, “Daddy, too many pictures, no more pictures, it is enough”. Of course, he said no, I kept pushing until he gave me the standard parent response, ‘when you have your own house, you can do what you want in it’. The fighter in me refused to take the cue, I went into battle mode and decided to enlist an ally. Mom was nearby, she heard everything and said nothing. I called out to her to join in my battle to free our walls from unnecessary pictorial attachment. She looked at me and laugh me off with a sigh that carried a lot of meaning. Even though, I tried to persuade her further, I learned a valuable lesson from her silence.

You will have many battles in the journey of life, small, big, calm, ugly and messy. As much as you would like to fight them all, you cannot realistically do that without burning out. You will have to choose your battles wisely, not all wars are worthy causes. Think of it, even nations know they cannot afford too many battles and battles still end up in dialogue so be wise. Wisdom knows the right response for every situation – a simple choice to Be quiet, Speak calmly, Speak loudly, Retreat, Persevere, Surrender or Walk away.

My friend put up a funny post on her status update saying she usually starts to sing the song ‘Joy Overflows in my heart’ after she get in a disagreement with her significant other. I guess that was her way of getting through the moment. I could totally relate with the feeling and as I laughed about it, I sent her a reply to say, ‘My worship is my weapon, this is how I win my battle’. It was meant to be a joke but as I reflected on the words from the song ‘Fragrance to Fire’ by Dunsin Oyekan, I realized those words carried more weight.

There are some battles that you will win like Jehoshaphat in the place of singing, like Joshua by dancing around that Wall of Jericho or like Paul and Silas on your knees praying those prison walls down. Some battles are not even worth fighting, precisely why God took the Children of Israel through a longer route as they left Egypt and marched towards the Promise Land.

Now that I am much older, I know that there are more important things in life to worry about. If I must live well and have peace of mind, I must see from afar the battles that lie before me and navigate my ship to pick the battles that are worth the fight. I have learned that as much as it is within my means, I must live at peace with ALL men. I have come to find that with the battles that I face every day, peace is always within my means if I agree to choose the right response.

Note to Self – When next you hear a battle cry and you feel the pangs of war pushing you to strike, consider the odds, pick your battles, keep them few and in each situation choose the right response.

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Everything will be alright!


There is a bug called ‘worry’, we all get a sting in our teenage years and then its effect keeps growing and growing. Suddenly, we start to worry about everything from the weather to how we look, what we will wear, eat, drink, the list is endless. How I miss the days when I was young and had not a care in the world. I wonder if we can choose differently, I know that we can, so the simple answer is yes. I am sure, worrying has never solved anything in all my years of living but still I worry.

On a lighter note, my daughter was growing older and it was looking like she was going to pick up an accent that I wasn’t particularly comfortable with. I do not have a preference, but I wanted her to pronounce her words correctly. As parents, we worried about how that accent will affect her in future. You can say we worry too much but trust me, parents tend to worry about everything, it comes with the portfolio. I know that the cares of life are not always this simple, but with worry, we all experience the same set of emotions no matter how simple or complex the issues that confront us.

This week happens to be one of those periods in my life when I have wandered down the ‘Worry Lane’, so my thoughts are fresh out of the oven. Think of them as my personal notes on some ways that I chose to act differently. I found that sharing the burden with the right person is therapeutic, reflective of the English proverb that says, “a problem shared is a problem halved”. I gave myself a pep talk to remind me that what I have going is more than what does not seem to be working, and no matter what happens, as long as I have life, I have hope. I pulled out my planning hat and considered all scenarios, even the worst case. The scenario casting empowered me to see that all scenarios are navigable if, given all I know I make the right move like a skilful Chess-master.

At times like this, the method is usually not as composed as my write up makes it seem. I may stay down for a while, cry my eyes out, look upwards, sing a song, meditate on the word for that season, listen to stories from others who went through my situation and broke through, pray without ceasing, do a victory dance as I anticipate a new day, tell myself things like ‘I need to keep hope alive because a living dog is better than a dead lion’, cry again. In choosing to rise, I speak and act like a ‘Believer’ and gain victory over worry.

Back to my story, we changed cities and after one week in a new school, my daughter was speaking differently. I listened in amazement as I watched my daughter’s transformation. As I observed her, it felt like God was saying it does not take me anything to change anything. At that moment, the words of my dear friend echoed loud and clear, whenever we experienced bad days and slip into worry mode, she will always say ‘las las,* everything will be alright’. That phrase has become a source of encouragement helping us see the bigger picture with hope. One day, I found those same words in Scriptures,

“Relax, everything is going to be alright, Rest, everything is coming together (Jude 1:2a MSG Bible)

A reminder that no matter the cares of life, if we cast them upwards, everything will be alright.

Note to Self – No matter what you go through in life, you can choose to worry or choose to take charge. Let these words comfort you – Relax, Everything will be alright!

We will love to hear from you, so you can like, leave a comment, follow us, and tell a friend. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on who you are becoming.

Have a great day!

*las las – a Nigerian slang that means ‘in the end’

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