some may have noticed, some not, that I have been very silent here. IT’s not that I don’t have ideas anymore to write. In summer I actually experienced a burn out that slowed me down with everything. All of a sudden when I couldn’t keep up with the pace the Lord showed me how noisy it has been around me and how I’ve numbed myself over a long period of time with all kinds of destractions. Social media had developed as one major noise in my life.
Now, I’m doing already ways better but I’m not done yet… so I’m taking a further step: a sabbatical, a break from Social Media. If you want to get in touch with me you will find a way to call me, write to me an E-mail or letter or you meet me at home. In this season of life I only want real personal contact with people. No group chats. Life has been too noisey and destracting. Let me get back to some chore roots, to breath, hear, see, taste, feel again in all the senses that life offers.
Will I still be writing? Yes, for sure, but I won’t be publishing for now. Will I come back? I don’t know yet. The sabbatical, I believe, will show, which platform will be still relevant to me.
Life is too precious to just rush through it. My body is too valuable to just fill it with a bunch of information that my brain can’t process. People are meant for real community, to be seen and accepted in their full image and meant to experience real life in all its beauty, senses and forms.
Since I keep hearing of traumatic birth experiences, I feel deeply on my heart to share my own experience because I found a way how delivery can be a very beautiful, faster, less painful/ more bearable experience. I believe every mother can prepare herself for a rather positive experience of delivery.
1st child: Josephine Okekeni
For my first delivery I thought, well when I visit a birth preperation course and follow all the instructions the midwife gives, then I will be prepared enough. So the day came when I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions. I looked at the clock to observe how often they were coming and as they became more regular and intense, we decided to drive to the hospital. On arrival, the doctor immediately examined me and told me that the Cervix was only 1 cm opened, that we still had a lot of time and we could even go home… But since we had just driven 30 minutes and feeling nervous (being our first child), we decided to stay. I was sooo nervous that my body tensed up making every contraction even the more painful and as a result delayed the opening of the Cervix. Thank God that I was the only prego in the Maternity ward on that day so atleast I could freely move around, which did not really helped me to relax, and this time felt like forever. I had to take some painkillers in between. At midnight there was a shift change for the midwives and the midwife assigned to me came in stressed and seeing how exhausted I had become, persuaded me to do a Peridural Anaesthesia (PDA) so that I could rest a bit and regain strength for delivery after a long day. I had to succumb to her persuasion even though I had no idea what that would mean. I had to sign a paper that if anything went wrong, it would be at my own risk. That was a bit scarry. But finally after I got the PDA, everything went well and I could sleep for about three hours. Then at sunrise – it was already 24 hours spent in the hospital. Another shift change brought in new sets of midwives. This time, a younger and very energetic midwife was assigned to me and also, my Cervix was wide opened. The Midwife helped to “break my water“ and this led to stronger contractions. Because of the PDA, my left leg was numb so that the Midwife had to hold it up to enable me push while lying in bed. The Midwife gave me several instructions so that at 11am, after 30 hours in the hospital, our wonderful baby girl Josephine Okekeni was born. We stayed for three more days in a family room together in the hospital before we were released to go home. It was a baby-friendly hospital, so they supported me a lot in breastfeeding and bonding as a family.
2nd child: Charlotte Okpunyi
When I started to prepare for the 2nd birth I noticed that the fear of delivery was stronger than the excitement for the baby. At the same time my midwife abandoned me when she didn’t have enough women for the birth preparation course – afterall for my good. So I had to find my own way, which felt in the beginning quite frustrating because I only had 6 more weeks before delivery and I felt so alone in this. But then I cried out to God and started browsing for resources that would help me to prepare well and finally, I found a very good book that a christian lady recommended on Youtube. This book is what I want to share with you now:
Authored by Jackie Mize and called Supernatural Childbirth. It’s a book with a lot of positive testimonies of childbirth, some with mostly practically no labour pains. The last pages contain prayers and proclamations. The woman who recommended this book also shows a video on how while she was on her way to the hospital was so full of life, positive, excited, and praising God. She documented how she experienced a very beautiful almost pain free delivery and that got me also very excited for my own. I started reading the book and kept thinking I had enough time to read all through.
My due date was the 25th of December and we had a very lovely family friend who blessed us with a date-night while she babysitted our little daughter. We chose Friday the 9th of December so my husband and I could go to the cinema and afterwards to a greek restaurant. During the day I felt some light contractions but not like serious ones. While eating in the restaurant they got stronger and stronger but then I just joked about it saying what if we have to drive straight to the hospital after the date. Around 10:30 p.m. we made it home and chatted a bit with our babysitter. Josephine was sleeping by then and I noticed that the contractions were somehow getting more intensed. I decided to lay down to relax to see if the pain would reduce. We already sent the babysitter home but I told her please leave your phone on in case we need to call you back this night. After briefly lying in bed, I noticed that it was actually getting serious now. Unfortunately, we couldn’t reach my friend again so my husband had to drive me to the hospital while our little daughter kept sleeping alone at home. At the hospital the Midwife examined me immediately and seeing that my Cervix was already 7cm wide, she panicked also because she still had to fill in some paper works for me. At the same time she sent my husband home to take care of our daughter. Even though the Midwife was so stressed out, I was calmed and relaxed. After less than one hour, with some few pushs, our second girl was born, there was a litte labour pain, again in bed without any complications.
3rd child: Elyon Ocheri
For the 3rd child I wanted to have an even better experience. The third baby was as heavy as the first child and my experience was very beautiful, self determined, and fast without the need of much help.
I had already a good experience with the book. So this time I was totally positive about it, no fear left. The only challenge was what to do with our two kids at home. This time I came across an article about good labour positions, saying straight ones are the best and lying in bed is the most contradictive one, where the baby can’t flow well causing more pain. But this is a position that doctors encouraged since it gives them more overview and control. Through that new information I definitely wanted to try a different position. Briefly before delivery I also did some breath exercises with my midwife. This time I just used the book for prayer and some proclamations with the last pages which really helped. When the day came with contractions in the morning I prepared for hospital and made sure that the kids were ready for kindergarten. We also had informed some people (as a back-up plan) who could take care of our girls if it would happen at different times. I also imagined which times would be best and my biggest desire was that my mom would be there for the girls. On that particular morning when the contractions were getting stronger, I called my mum. She immediately confirmed that it’s happening and that she will take the next train to us. At this moment I realised that we had to make ready for the hospital. This time the pain was more in the back, which was very uncomfortable, especially sitting in the car. But most importantly we made it to the hospital on time. I had two midwifes who attented to me, cause I was considering a water birth. They hardly needed to help me. I followed my instinct. Mostly processed the labour on a mat with a gymnastic ball. And since I was very heated up, I hardly could hold my husband. But when one strong contraction came I had to grap his hands and the water broke in that glorious moment. The contractions intensified and I pushed about 3 or 4 times till the baby was out. This was the most beautiful delivery I ever experienced, so self-determined, with cheerful music in the background and so smooth. Even the midwifes thanked me afterwards for allowing them the honor of witnessing such a beautiful childbirth.
In Germany we are celebrating „Thanksgiving“ today. So I feel inspired to write and share with you some impressions. If we would directly translate the German Word for „Thanksgiving“, „Erntedank“ into English, it would be „Harvestthanks“ or „thanking for the harvest“. In early days in Germany, most people were farmers and lived from their own harvest. The „Harvestthanks“ literally meant thanking God for all the harvested produce. Nowadays, since very few are farming, and most of us not, what is our “Harvestthanks”?
I’m today reflecting on all the things God has blessed me with.
I’m so grateful for the gift of life.
When I look at my two wonderful daughters, I’m so amazed at how God has created them, how healthy, perfectly formed, no missing body parts… When I think about the way I look at my kids and marvel at them, I am reminded on how God our heavenly Father, the creator of our flesh and bones is looking at us and celebrating His perfect Work of creation.
Then I can really meditate on that scripture in Zephaniah 3:17 „the Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.“
How often are we discontent with ourselves? How often do we rather feel stuck with our human flaws than see the many little things that are actually good? God who created us, rejoices over us His creation. He knows the real value of what he has created.
My little daughters have no idea yet how precious they are to me, and they might never realise why I can simply look at them and rejoice over their lives (even with their excesses). I think that this is how it is with our own lives. We have no idea how much value we actually have before GOD, the Almighty, the Sovereign, and ever Faithful.
The same with the things that God has blessed us with. Do we really know and see the value of it? How often do we compare ourselves with others in terms of what they have and we don’t? Let’s look at our own lives today and take stock of what we actually have?
Maybe the working place comes with a lot of stress and imperfections, but it has helped to pay the bills last year?
Maybe the apartment you are living in is not the dream house you have in mind, but you have an address to retire to with a roof over your head; a protection from all kinds of weather.
Maybe you have problems or conflicts in your family but atleast you have people around you that you can share life with and who form you?
Maybe you don’t swim in money but atleast you have s.th. to eat, drink and to dress everyday.
I think a lot of times we tend to evaluate our lives too critically and as a result miss out on the precious moments making up our daily activities. So why not take today and think about the things that you can be grateful for, reflect on those things that you have planted this year where you can already see some progress or even a full harvest?
remember it’s not about perfection!
Especially not in the way we see and evaluate perfection. It can really help to see things in God’s eyes. God, the only one who is perfect.
you (God) is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.“ Psalm 36:9
I’m deeply shocked about the horrible news about Nigerians all over the world and especially right now in South-Africa. How can IT be that a whole people Group is persecuted just because of some bad people of the country? Isn’t it that every country has good and bad people? Why are Nigerians mostly known for the bad, the crimes and we don’t hear so much of the good they do and produce? I wish there is a day to come when Nigerians will be known for who they really are. I pray, that the inheritance that Nigeria has will come out for good. When I came to Nigeria the first time in 2012 for three months, God spoke to me: “See these great people that I have created, see the inheritance I have given to them, see the great gifts and talents I put in them. Unfortunately they are not known for this in the world. There is a cloud right now above this country that covers the good deeds. But I want them to shine and go into all the nations and be known for who they really are: the arts, music, dance, rhytm, academics, Stage performance.”
Through my Nigerian husband I’ve gotten to know many amazing Nigerians. First of all with my husband I could have not found a better match. He is such a wise man with all time a good advice, encouraging word and He is so helpful. I really like his personality and I can learn so much from him. He is Not a Matcho as many people think in general about african men. He likes to do the dishes, cooks well and helps me in the household. He didn’t mind to stay at home to take care of the kids when I was working full-time and He did such a great job even with their dressing and their hair. He always wants the best for me and encourages me to go out to grow in my calling. I have met through my husband also other nigerian men who respect women and help in the kitchen, household and the kids when they come for visit as I have not seen it from any other people group. My husband even sets an example for his football colleagues when he goes for football camps and washes his boots and clothes, puts the things in order, airs the shoes and clothes at the right spot that the rooms wouldn’t smell and cooks delicous meals for everybody. Besides that I’ve met a lot of Nigerians who are one of the best in their academics and bring a special flavor into the group because they think outside of the box. So, as you can see there are a lot of positive things I can mention about Nigerians. And it pains me to see when Nigerians are not entrusted and even persecuted because of some people who do bad things. Some might even not be Nigerians but use the nationality to hide their own. So please stop persecuting Nigerians, stop your prejudices against any people group on this planet. And I want to encourage all Nigerians to take heart and press into till it gets better. Let’s pray for Nigeria and all Nigerians who suffer right now persecution or who have lost one of their loved ones.
In the front page I shortly wrote a bit about the year 2019. But now I actually want to take some more time to write about 2019 on a deeper level. For me it is all time important to find out in which season I am in because I believe that the Lord has created different seasons as we can read in the book of Eccl. 3,1-8, in the bible. It helps me to understand and to deal with every season, situation and circumstance.
ECCLESIASTES 3,1: “THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING, AND A SEASON FOR EVERY ACTIVITY UNDER THE HEAVENS: […].
Besides the different seasons that can be in one year or over several years, I believe there is s.th. about every year that concerns people individually, nationally and some things are for all people all over the globe. That’s why I love to hear prophecies from other people about the year, to see if it aligns with what I’m sensing.
In Germany we also have a particular scripture for each year, called ‘Jahreslosung’. The scripture for this year is in Psalm 34,15: “(TURN FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD); SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. I think this is such a relevant scripture in a time like this when there are a lot of things going on in the world: wars, fights, catastrophes, corruption, injustice, crime etc.
Every year when the year goes to an end I like to reflect on the whole year. I think about what were the highlights, what am I grateful for, what happened, what did God do, what was challenging. I look through my journal and check my goals for the year and evaluate it. Last but not least I try to pick out the best pictures of the year and we watch them all together as a family for new year’s eve. That is the best part of it, cause pictures somehow show the beauty of a year, the best moments, the highlights. They help my negative emotions to cheer up and to see the good things of a year. They help me to draw a positive conclusion. At the same time I also like to look into the new year, already, before the year ends. I like to take some time out with God and to ask HIM prayerfully what I can expect for 2019.
I give you some impressions that I personally got for 2019:
When 2018 was the year of new beginnings and breakthrough then 2019 God will establish these new things more and will stabilise them. From the foundation to the top. HE will give you more understanding as you seek HIM.
Psalm 36,10: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light”
It is your time to SHINE. Try new things, go after your ideas. Focus. Never let your own fear stop you from moving forward. Don’t be afraid to shine or to do different. Be courageous, be, go with your creativity and let your loved ones live out their creativity as well. Stay opened for new ways. If you find yourself in a new situation take it optimistically and ask the Lord to show you the meaning of it before evaluating it negativeley. Seek things that have eternal values.
Following I have you summarised some prophecies from Lana Vawser’s website (https://lanavawser.com/) who posts for every year and whom I really respect because her previous prophesy for 2018 was so accurate:
2019 is going to be a year of significant OPPORTUNITY, it is going to be a year of significant INCREASE of heavenly vision and perspective
2019 is the year ASK (Jeremiah 33:3) and to move in divine wisdom and heavenly strategy like never before. 2019 will be a year where we will see the demonstration of the Lord’s “outstretched arm” to deliver and save in power, like never before. This is a time of great harvest. This is a time of great outpouring. This is a season of rain. The move of God that we are all anticipating and feel the Lord continually speaking about is upon us.
“I am decreeing over 2019 that it is a year to CONQUER and to ADVANCE. It is a year to take new ground and to move ‘off the beaten track’. […] For there will be many times in 2019 where it will require radical obedience and moving ‘against the grain’ in many ways, but where I guide, I will provide. Do not fear the testings that will come in this year for I have already given you the key to overcome. My Word and the decreeing of My Word will cause you to overcome. The ferocious focus of faith upon what I have spoken to you will cause you to move forward in the victory that is already yours in Me. For the enemy will come in 2019 with new strategies and new ways to ‘lure’, to ‘tempt’ and to ‘test’ but My people you will overcome and conquer as you stay close to My heart and decree My Word.”
“For these testing times and times of temptation are bringing a stretching and a fortification within you My people to carry My power in ways you have never experienced before. Do not despise the battles. Do not despise the time of testing, for I am giving you the keys to overcome. I am leading you into greater victory. There will be MAJOR demonstrations of My victory in and through your life in 2019 as you stay close to Me and hold onto My Word.”
UPGRADE YOUR VISION AND PERSPECTIVE
God is increasing, strengthening, maturing and fortifying His Bride and His decree over you is that you will SHINE in 2019, that you will CONQUER in 2019 and be part of the mighty move of His Spirit upon the earth that’s before us.
Listen to this version of the song ‘Good Father’ by Chris Tomlin
This video inspired me to write about ‘why I love black people’!
The first thing that comes to my mind, which basically summarises everything:
Life WITHOUT BLACK people is LESS COLOURFUL!
I believe the Lord created the black man on a very good day, probably on a Sunday, when He had a lot of time. Just because of the fact that HE placed so much creativity and talent in these beautiful human beings. Besides, isn’t it that the very first human beings: Adam and Eve, were black!? So, we all actually carry the DNA.
When five years ago for the first time I set foot on this beautiful continent, ‘AFRICA’, more specifically ‘NIGERIA’, the very thing that just hit me and stuck out the most was: BLACK PEOPLE ARE TALENTED – Let me even say, for me, they are the most talented people in the world when it comes to MUSIC, DANCE and anything with rhythm. Somehow, we all know that. But when I watched these young people performing at a concert in Nigeria, I felt like the LORD was releasing a cry in my heart and saying: “see! that’s how I created them to be, powerful, dynamic, most talented ARTISTS. But that’s not what they are known for in the world. They are rather known for bad things like corruption, criminality, drugs, laziness and prostitution. But I want them to go back to their calling and shine all over the world!!!”
Believe me, BLACK PEOPLE, that is not even all! You are not just simply entertainers!!! You are called to RULE the world! When people accept or appreciate you, then they like you at least for your entertainment. But unfortunately, my experience in Germany so far has been that you are likely not to be given the top positions as leaders. And I’ve been wondering WHY? Because being married to a great and talented nigerian man of God, and also getting to know other great Africans in Europe, I’ve noticed that you’re not treated equally. This act is something so hidden that most white people are ignorant of. Little will they realize that this is discrimination. I have wondered if this is because of the root of slavery? or is it because of Fear? or is it that the media paints the wrong picture? or because black people still carry their own slave mentality and don’t take their stand. There might be different reasons that I hope to, from the revelation of the LORD with time, be able to address in the proper way to help us cast out every stronghold concerning this topic.
What I want to say is, that I also see that our community would be ways more richer (in wisdom, integrity, morality, “holy” success, …) if we would embrace, trust and give the platform to our black brothers and sisters. The LORD put consciously specific qualities in every nation that in the TOGETHER we would be made perfect. There is so much to learn from every nation and there is no one who has it all. At the same time, I could write a whole page on the qualities that the LORD put in Germans. But I think that is something for another day.
So, what are the qualities of black people besides arts?
It is the FAITH that they have in God. It is their fighting spirit. Their prayer mentality. Their heart of worship. Their positive mentality. Their positive thinking: believing that everything is possible through HIM. Their TRUST in God. Their dependency on HIM. Their ability to DREAM and not just think realistically in their own abilities rather, their believe in our ALMIGHTY GOD. Their easiness and how they take their time. In their perseverance and ability to wait on GOD! Their knowledge of the WORD of GOD and how they really believe and practice it. Getting their values and discernments from the word of God and NOT from the world. Perhaps, why they’ve got lots of WISDOM! Practicing leadership and discipleship as it is taught in the bible. Intelligence and smartness that can compete all over the world. Black people can be educated even when they might not have the same high standard tools to teach in their university. But interesting enough, if they have the possibility to study in our western universities, they can easily adjust and compete very well. Black people are not illiterates as many people think!!! And they are also not just poor people!!!
I feel so privileged to be called Mrs. Agbike. I thank God that the LORD put me in a cross-cultural marriage with a mirror that challenges me, that forms me and brings me in a better shape, that helps me to identify cultures and see how they differ from the kingdom culture.
There is no better or worse culture. There are just DIFFERENT CULTURES that GOD created for a reason!!! So let’s treat each other like that, as equals. Simply, people of God made to glorify HIM with the things that HE has put in us! We can learn from each other, We can live with each other without superiority or inferiority mentality!
Several times in my life I’ve been confronted with jealousy. Me being jealous or others being jealous of me. I’ve realised that this is one of the big killers for good friendships. The biggest (negative) example in the bible for jealousy is Satan and he is the source of it until today. We’re not fighting against flesh and blood… When I’ve been recently confronted with this topic again I stumbled across this following article. Please if you start reading it, also read the comment. That’s where it explains more about Satan’s ways.. I’ll try to summarize and translate it into German later…
One little eyecatcher of this morning that I want to share with you as the new week is starting…
Don’t give up! Even if it feels so dry around you and others are so discouraged. Keep pushing, keep reaching out to the source of life and you will flourish as this single rose here! Have a blossom week ahead of you and let’s stay focused! No matter the circumstances! ❤
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
When I saw this beautiful flower while walking with my two precious daughters today, it just sticked out to me and I’ve thought this one is worthy of a picture. Then I asked the LORD is there anything that you want to tell me with that.
Somehow I can connect with this flower. Sometimes feeling like in a dry and weary land without hope, without future perspective. But then seeing this flower it gives me hope. First it’s amazing that on a big stoney place like this that there is a flower at all and second if one flower has found its way more flowers could even make it, right?