Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two Decades Ago....

How many of us can remember exactly who we were fifteen or twenty years ago? I guess the more appropriate question would be "How many of us can relate to who we were fifteen or twenty years ago?" I'd like to think that even if we could remember, it would be hard for us to relate! That of course is a sign of personal growth.

There are very few people who are not much different from who they were back then. I say very few because we have the select minority of people who have always had their life together and made all the right decisions, right? Just a select few however. Hahaha. I can truthfully tell you I wasn't one of those. But I am grateful to God for how far he has brought me.

Unfortunately, some people really do look at you and see who you were twenty years ago. That's not only hilarious, it is stupid. And it really just proves those people who are comfortably stuck in the past like that are the ones that have not grown at all.

One of my friends, Pastor Flo, had a status update to that effect a few days ago on facebook. It essentially stated that if your memories are bigger than your dream, its a disaster. It was a quote by Jesse Dup. It was like he took the words right out of my mouth as I had intended to write a short note about this and just had not gotten around to it.

My wish for all of us is that our dreams and our destination are so much bigger than anywhere we've been that our memories though important are only a small fraction of what takes up our day. If our current situation and our dreams and aspirations remain big, we will not have the time to dwell so much on memories, especially negative ones.

Keep looking forward. Keep marching forward.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Winner of the 500 Business cards Giveaway!

And the winner is...(drumrollllllll)...Tiffany Eskew! And me of course. We both get 500 business cards from absolutely free; 2-sided gloss, full color, free shipping with a 3 days turnaround. Now, where can you beat that?

Enjoy your weekend y'all and please be on the lookout for more giveaways. It's for real.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day!

Mothers are amazing. Mothers wipe snort, cry with you, laugh with you, bail you out of trouble, love you, care for you, keep the family together, protect you and so much more.

Mother's day is the preferred spelling, so it will be personal for each family and not a collective term for all mothers. This is according to Wikipedia.

In the UK and Nigeria, Mother's Day was in March and is also sometimes called Mothering Sunday. In the US, it is this Sunday, May 9th 2010. This coincides with the second Sunday in May.

Many mothers hope to be celebrated on that day. Expectations are sometimes high. Some mothers may dream of a day free of childcare where they get to have dinner at a restaurant such as the rotating Sundial in Atlanta. Some just want to spent it with their kids and be appreciated and told how much they are loved. Some wish for designer bags from their husbands. Some would settle for a nice home-cooked meal but cooked by someone other than them. And some want to go to Dubai for the weekend (hint, hint)! Unfortunately, many mothers will not get what they hope for on that day.

Let us celebrate us, whichever way it comes to us. Being a mother is a wonderful thing. Let us appreciate ourselves. Let us pray for those who have not yet had the opportunity to be mothers but would love to be. Let us pray for the mothers who are not such great mothers, that God will touch their heart and heal them of drug addiction or whatever may be plaguing them, so they can truly be connected to their kids and enjoy the joys of motherhood.

If Sunday comes and it does not unfold like it did in your dreams, be thankful anyway. Be thankful for life, for love and for the kids God has blessed you with or that are on the way!


Friday, May 7, 2010 Business Cards Giveaway

We are having a Business Cards Giveaway sponsored by I will be awarded the same prize as the winner of the Giveaway!


500 Business Cards for One (1) Winner
Sizes: 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (slim card)
Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
Specifications: Full Color Both Sides; Offset Press; 3 Business Day Printing
Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping
Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only
The Giveaway Prize will be awarded to the person who answers the most questions correctly in the next 1 week about The Only Way is Up and the author Folake Taylor between now and May 13th 2010. Prize will be awarded May 15th 2010.
A question will be added to this post everyday. If there is a tie at the end of the period, there will be a tie-braker question. Thank you in advance for participating.
THANK YOU UPRINTING.COM for this Giveaway!
Day 1 Question: What is the number of pages in the print version of the revised edition of The Only Way is Up?
Day 2 Question: What is the cost price of the Kindle version of The Only Way is Up?
Day 3 Question: What USA metropolis do I reside in?
Day 4 Question: What is my profession; my day job?
Day 5 Question: What is the cost price of the print version of The Only Way is Up?
Day 6 Question: When was the first edition of The Only way is Up published?
Day 7 Question: When was the second edition of The Only Way is Up published?
HINT HINT...answers on or

**Please answer the question on the blog itself. If you are viewing this on facebook, you can click on "View Original Post" at the bottom of the post. Remember, if you are anonymous, I cannot locate you for the prize if you don't add your email address in your response!**

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Friendship Revisited: Taking Stock!

DISCLAIMER: This is not pertaining to any particular human being. It is an overview people...

Let me start by saying friendship is a very beautiful thing. For people like me who have no blood sister, great friends become like sisters to me, or even brothers. Friends make you laugh and friends make you smile. Friends love you for you and friends make you feel good about yourself. Friends do not expect you to be perfect and friends will fight for you and on your behalf. Friends keep you company and friends always show up. Friends forgive wrong and friends help you be a better person. Those are just a few of the great things I think of when I think of true friendship.

But we sometimes overuse the term friendship. Nobody wants to say someone is an acquaintance so we call them friends. Nobody wants to accept that even though someone was a very good friend at some point, the relationship has changed somewhat for whatever reason. And nobody wants to say someone is a co-worker or really the friend of a friend. We instead label them friends too. If we start by re-organizing our labels, it may help make our expectations more realistic and how much of ourselves we divulge to avoid future hurt.

Some people are in your life for a REASON, some for a SEASON and some for a LIFETIME. It helps me keep things in perspective when I remind myself of this saying. When friendship does unfortunately go wrong, realization of this fact helps us understand that it is not abnormal that this can sometimes happen. And it's alright to let it go as long as you don't become evil in the process and do things you'll need to be sorry for, both to the person and to God. "Be angry but do not sin; Do not let the sun go down on your anger..." Ephesians 4:26. It truly is easier said than done however but we should try and keep things in perspective even if there is an arguement and not just a drifting apart.

Recently I had to take stock of friendship on the whole, emotionally and socially. As we grow older, we continue to learn. It's a dynamic process. It's a daily process. And we should also open ourselves up to change. If a new situation or challenge presents itself, go with the flow; get with the program to fix it or adjust to the change depending on what the situation demands. Also, learn from it. In addition to the following pearls I came up with while taking stock, less talking is always a winner! When there is strife, stop engaging the person in conversation, period. Who knows what could happen if you don't stop talking?

1) As you grow, everyone in your life is not going to grow with you or in the same direction so you may automatically grow apart. It's much like some marriages unfortunately. If you don't pay attention to the warning signs, it may shock you when it blows up but hey, "It is what it is!"

2) As God elevates you, some of the people you always thought you could count on will shock you by turning their back on you. They may not know how to get you out of the little box they've always had you in mentally! Then they'll convince themselves you are fake or misrepresenting yourself rather than realize they hadn't been paying attention. It could be various reasons. They may just not agree with your apparently new visions or philosophy. They may be envious of your success and cannot adjust to you not being the underdog in their mind. They may misunderstand you. They may feel insecure. They may think they know you so well and be stuck in twenty years ago instead of rediscovering you as you have rediscovered yourself. Every situation is not the same and it's not every situation that can be fixed. It may just be time to move on.

3) You should actively pick your friends and not passively let friendships happen. Much the same as a lady would process dating prospects in her mind and have a written or unwritten criteria, one should have one for friends too. Though sentimentally one wants to stay friends with childhood or long-term friends, the reality of it is if you are not in the same place, space and time anymore, you may need to redefine the relationship, keep a comfortable distance or even weed some bad eggs out.

4) You should not befriend everyone who tries to befriend you because it can come back to bite you in the rare! I have a good and a bad habit with regard to how I make friends. The good part is that I am careful and slow to make friends and I don't make too many friends because of a morbid and real fear of hurt based on past experiences. I get me; I am unique but some other do not get me and instead may think I'm weird. That's fine but they shouldn't be my friends if that's what they think of me! I cherish friendship; I think it is sacred and special and I consider my few core friends my sisters for reasons previously mentioned. I don't take it lightly. The bad habit on the contrary concerning how I make friends is that when someone actively tries to befriend me, I am not as careful. I let their apparent niceness cloud my judgment instead of making sure we have the same value system and enough of our core in common. It's those issues that usually come back and bite me in the rare unfortunately. My university days were a period in which I made a lot of friends because they chose me and not because I necessarily chose them and I'm still getting fall-outs from it unfortunately.

5) Get rid of dead weight in your life. When people who have whole converstaions with you that leave you feeling sour, empty or drained because it was all about strife with someone or the other and proving how tough and difficult they are; or a lot of negativity always ensues, maybe even gossip, they are not the best for you. People who do almost all the talking, never listen and keep jumping from one topic to the other should make you uncomfortable. If this kind of energy dominates the conversations or most of the picture, and it bothers you or it interferes with where you are in your life, you don't need it. It may be wise to put some distance to the relationship or just nicely let the person know you don't really want to talk about those things. That's easier said than done however, especially if you unfortunately get drawn into the negativity of the moment yourself. That little bit of honesty may just trigger them to get nasty too so that may not always work.

6) Unless you are loud and verbally abusive yourself, do not make friends with such women (I say that because mostly women get that way or at least we hope!). It's only a matter of time, they will do it to you too. When it happens, you will feel like you're in a movie or a freak show. I promise you. And you will have to check yourself and your ability to judge character and all that. But don't be too hard on yourself. People do change and they may not be the same person they were years ago anymore and not in a good way. Or they may have just refused to grow and it's getting quite old staying in high school mode. Vindictive, unforgiving people need to be avoided. They always cause trouble.

7) Join yourself to people who have substance, depth and are bearing fruit and not people who constantly engage in strife, put people down, are prideful and feel they are better than others and just generally make too much noise. Empty barrels? In Nigeria the saying goes: "Empty barrels make the most noise." Here's what I say to that: "If you do not bare fruit, I will spew you out of my mouth!"

8) You should let impossible people have the last word so you don't start to look like them yourself. Instead of responding like this when they call you names or go off on you:

"You coniving vicious little two-faced *%$#^!" (a quote from some place I can't remember!)

You can respond like this instead:

"God bless you too!"

(In your mind better still so as not to elicit a response because you know they won't leave it down. They have to respond. That would be a WWJD (What would Jesus do) answer. Jesus does not like ugly so rather than be ugly, keep it moving.) Note that people will say anything to you to hurt you and make themselves feel better. It's ok. They expect a comeback and they feel stupid when you are instead silent. Abrasive confrontational behavior is unbecoming of grown folk. Do not be caught up in it. Respect yourself.

9) Get far away from people who are verbally abusive on facebook; people who literally explode if your view differs from theirs! They are unstable people and will ultimately make you a target someday. Some people do not have a frank psychiatric disorder but they may have Borderline Personality Disorder (an actualy medical diagnosis) that causes them to split and see people as all good or all bad at different times with extreme reactions either way. I can't be your hero this week and villain the next. I'd rather just be me. (Borderline personality disorder (DSM-IV code 301.83): extreme "black and white" thinking, instability in relationships, self-image, identity and behavior.)

10) Re-evaluate friendships and relationships. If you haven't physically seen or been around someone in a long time, do not ignore subtleties in conversations that you pick up on and question transiently. That may just be the key that you are on different wavelengths. For example, it may even be an obvious reference to something or several things that show they have no idea who you are presently or what you stand for. Maybe they never even took the time to understand you. That is unhealthy.

11) Nobody is all good or all bad. Do not be sucked into that need to be right or let hatred germinate and grow in your heart. Attribute it to ignorance on their part. The fact that you no longer get along with them does not make them bad; just not a right fit for you. You can even remind yourself of some of their good qualities if it helps you keep your perspective. They hopefully have some good qualities. It's ok to be the bigger person.

12) Beware of people who think they are doing you a favor being your friend or the friendship is based on some kind of pity, the word think being the operative term here. It's their perception that makes the difference. It is not wrong to have friends who have more than you. Economic advantage never makes another person better than you however. It is always hard for such people to adjust to not seeing you as that needy person they perceived you as, even though you may never have been needy in that sense of it; it may just have been where you were in your life then. It usually ends badly though. Pay attention.

13) Do make sure you learn from every situation. That's what life experiences are. Whatever the lesson is in each situation, you need to get to a place where you get that lesson from it. Apparent disappointments
initially will turn out to be major blessings. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Would you really not have wanted to know if that person thought all those awful things about you but pretended to be your friend all this while? The truth sets us free. Nobody needs a friend in their life who does not think the world of them. Seriously! Life is too short.

14) Remember it is never about the quantity of friends one amasses. It's always about the quality of them. If you have 2 friends and they are like sisters and tried and true, that will do you more good than fifty back-biting, roudy, superficial, materilistic, 2-faced friends anyday!

15) Forgive. Pure and simple. If you don't forgive, you're not any better than the other person. WWJD?

Most importantly, love yourself and be comfortable with yourself because you spend the most time with you! So people, your friendship is sacred, it is special, it should not be given or taken lightly! Let's try to remember that. Friendship is a wonderful thing but when it becomes stressful and high maintenance for you psychologically, it may be time to move on. Unlike marriage, there is no vow or covenant that it must work. It may be better for it not to work...

**I in no way subscribe to malice. You need to make sure the soon to be ex-friend knows you wish them well and God's blessing's still, regardless.**

Like cousin Barack, negativity just has to roll off of me like a bad thing!

1 Thessalonians 4: 11
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you..."

Who knew that was in the bible? Ha. Channel your energy elsewhere when it gets confrontational. I write and it's therapeutic! Volunteering is always very rewarding as well. Or just work hard too. Lol. I try to do that as well.

Hebrews 12: 1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

"I do not have a single day of my life to waste on your baggage."
Pastor David Cooper Mt Paran Church Atlanta GA. That should be your attitude to naysayers.

Yes, so let us concentrate on the friends that understand us, love us and accept us for exactly who we are even as we grow and let the rest of it go. Let us concentrate on what is important and leave the rest to sort themselves out. Biko!


Folake, forever keeping it real.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Accuser

I probably knew this at some point in my life but I had forgotten. Today, my pastor reminded me that the word Satan means "the accuser". And it suddenly made sense. The devil will not come with horns, wearing a red and black outfit and spitting fire! He will use people to push your buttons, including accusing you of sins you have forgotten; sins you have been forgiven for. You need to rebuke the devil so he will flee from you.

The devil will attack us and try to bring us down when God is ready to blow us up. Are we going to let him? Guilt is not of the Lord. Counseling, therapy etc may help but cannot take away guilt. Only Jesus can. And once you are forgiven and you forget, nobody can condemn you or continue to make you feel guilty. I will not give up. I am not perfect and I never present myself as such but will continue to try my best each day. It is a daily walk and a daily struggle. We shall overcome.

AMEN Pastor David Cooper of Mt Paran Church Atlanta GA. He said and I quote: "God will forgive your sins but people never will." It is what it is. Get over it. Get back on your feet in victory and keep going people.

May God help us all to forgive, forget and not judge people, consciously or subconsciously. Please view today's sermon notes here:

God bless you.


Your Beginnings Do NOT Determine Your Destination

I saw The Blind Side tonight, and it moved me to tears. I did not know it was a true story from this age. It's not remote at all. If you have not seen it, I implore you to do so. It restores and re-affirms my faith in the basic goodness of human beings. Good does exist. And God is good.

It further challenges me to make a difference in this world. We need to make a mark. It could be as little as buying someone a meal and clothing someone or as major as putting a roof over someone's head or adopting a child.

Where you were does not determine where you are going or what you can be. We see it over and over. And I just hope and pray there will be many more people with this kind of story.

If you haven't seen it, please watch The Blind Side: the story of an African American man born to a drug addict mother. It features Michael Oher's journey from the Streets of Memphis TN to becoming a member of a Caucasian family and then on to pro football. He was drafted in 2009. Google him for the real life pictures of him and his family. Amazing.

Once again I can only say God is good.

Goodnight y'all.