“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley
Hiyaaa, lovelies!!! We are already well into the new year and I’m so glad to find you present this year. Indeed, God is faithful. This is just a post to share the inspiration behind the Seventy Times Seven series, to share a few lessons and experiences that happened in 2016 and to say a big Thank you for sticking around and eating the meals prepared on the blog. This post is dedicated to you, my ah-mazing readers. It is also dedicated to Franklin Badu Jnr. of Citifm. Your birthday is on 13th January and it has come early for you this year, I just can’t wait…heheheee!
At this point in our lives, I’m sure most of us have written down some resolutions and even if you haven’t written it down I’m sure you have some ideas and plans of what you want done by the end of this year. Just know that no matter what you shouldn’t give up on your dreams for dreams are forever. You were given those dreams for a purpose so don’t relent.
2016 was an amazing year – a mixture of good, crazy, sadness, challenges and a lot of laughter and I want to share a few lessons and experiences.
- Prayer works and words are powerful!
There are times when you pray and you feel God isn’t just listening but He really is. I attended a focus group discussion on mobile phones and their usage on campus and I remember walking with my roomie and sister, Naomi. I told her that I pray that I get the Icy Cup for one week prize. Uhuh! I love food, don’t act so surprised. Everyone needs food, abi? She thought I was acting silly because I said it jovially but honestly, I was dead serious. I wanted that prize. A week of being supplied with the awesome fresh yogurt to go with a bunch of pastries sounded like heaven to me. So I really prayed and when we played the game of picking the paper and finding out what was on the paper, I shrieked out. There, on the paper, was the one week supply of Icy Cup! This may sound like a small testimony; there have been other times God has answered my seemingly “huge” requests but I want you to know that his answers aren’t always yes, sometimes it’s no, sometimes it’s wait. Just know that He has good plans for you.
- People are important
I’ve learnt that in as much as we want to be independent and have time for ourselves and our own preparations towards our successes, people are very important. Sacrificing your time for people to help them is what matters. I wish I had spent more time on people last year, though I did a bit. I’m gradually learning that it’s people who are going to celebrate with you, it’s people who you can call for advice, it’s people, you can act silly with, it’s people who annoy you. Not the inanimate objects of books, movies, research and experiments but the presence of people. I’m so thankful to God for all the people that have come my way, because out of them, I’ve made life-long friends and family, I’ve learnt to make friends out of “enemies” and I’ve learnt to keep people.
Moving from just success to significance is important. Ask yourself, what can I do with what I have to help people? And when you do, that’s when the feeling of fulfilment sets in and it’s an amazing feeling I tell you.
- Have the courage to start
To me, courage is staying, sticking and learning from your failures. It’s not giving up and walking away. 2016 taught me to start and to do just that.
I remember I made a firm decision to start a blog. I had already been writing and cooking up stories for as long as I could remember but I felt starting a blog would help me share my stories, experiences and also give the opportunity for my readers and I to interact.
I was super excited when I published my first blog post and was exploring all the other features WordPress had to offer. This decision of blogging was inspired when I was doing my attachment at Citifm in 2015 during the long vacation. Working as an online journalist at citifmonline made me fall in love with the whole blogging and website thing. And oh, getting to meet Akua of http://www.akuawrites.wordpress.com and interacting with her got me into the whole idea of blogging.
I was exposed to a lot of blogging and writing and of course, there is still more to learn! Currently, the hottest thing on the blog is the Seventy Times Seven series. If you haven’t read it, my friend, what are you waiting for? Just check out the previous posts and you will find the episodes there. This is where to start: https://selassiespeaksblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/seventy-times-seven-i/
Starting with a series on the blog was one of the most challenging things I did last year. It meant I had to be disciplined and consistent. Initially, I hadn’t thought for Seventy Times Seven to become a series at all. I had just written the first episode and I felt it will just go down well as a “suspense-ful” short story so that readers would be left to figure it all out but I’m thankful my readers didn’t let me sleep. You all pushed me to continue the story, to come out every week with episode after episode.
Some of you called, some of you messaged me, some of you got angry when you felt I was being mean by not telling it all yet and it was your encouragement that pushed me to finish it. Thank You and I’m so glad that the series has affected your lives one way or the other. Honestly, I was a bit sceptical about posting the first episode when I had finished it because I was wondering what people would think about the sensitive issue I had written; but I’m glad I did not succumb to my worries. I would’ve been killing your dreams and mine too.
What influenced the title for the series was the part of the Bible where Jesus was asked by one of his disciples that “How many times must we forgive?” and he answered, “Seventy times seven times.”
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
To be candid, we’ve all done some wrong at some points in our lives. We all need to be forgiven. Unforgiveness is a fox that lurks in most of our lives. Most people, especially Christians are still bitter because they cannot let go of that person who wronged them and they cannot forgive themselves.
This new year, I am going to tell the hard stories, I’m going to bring to light the things in our society that are going on unnoticed, I’m going share our stories; our hurts, our storms and our victories, I’m going to tell the story of both the hunter and the “huntered”, my voice is going to be louder – our stories are going to be heard now more than ever! I’m going to share the shades of blue I see in my paintings so that the light of hope in our society can be seen and felt and I’m not going to hold back. Ever!
I’m so glad we did this! I’m so pleased I have found a family and a network of bloggers and friends over here. Thank you all so much for your comments, your encouragement, your criticisms, for sharing the episodes and posts on the various social media platforms and for your love. I just love you too!
- Sedesel Publications
Last year, I also had the opportunity to work with my Dad. We wanted to start a publishing house and we did! The Publishing firm’s name is Sedesel Publications and it’s registered and recognized and we are gradually building a team. We mainly publish stories (fiction & non-fiction) and Christian literature. We also offer services like editing, story writing, transcribing, designing of books, brochure, logos, calendars and advertising.
Last year, there was progress in this young company because we were able to launch the first novel written by a very seasoned and experienced Grandpa, Mr. Ernest Branttie who just wanted to share the story he had written with the world. It was held in a wonderful ceremony at the Institute of Local Government, Opposite ARS, Madina Estate in Accra, Ghana.
The books are doing really well now. For some copies you can contact: 02635907779 or you can buy the novel online on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com.au/Angel-without-Ernest-Emmanuel-Branttie-ebook/dp/B01K7TO8TC
So if you’ve got that story to share or you’ve got that story you’ve already written gathering dust on the shelf, you can contact us on 0263507779/0501368890 and we will work with you to make it a masterpiece. Don’t wait too long to share your story; the world needs it now. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com
Go follow Sedesel on Facebook: Sedesel
- The famous four-letter word (LOVE)
I’ve come to believe that it’s not a big nicely decorated house that makes a home, it’s not the walls, neither is it the chambers in the house, it’s the people that make a house a home; it’s the smiles, cries, pain, tears and laughter that we share together that makes a family. It’s the silent communication of a stare and touch that is understood by people who go through what you go through. I’m mighty glad for my family and their support. And for the new families I’ve made in school, at church, on social media and especially, on WordPress. No matter what we’ll continue to eat our mangoes, we’ll continue to live our lives because we have each other.
5. Say it and do it!
Just tell that person, that family member, that friend that you love them. Don’t wait until it’s too late, help until it’s too late; don’t wait to give that hug, say that kind word, do that good deed, until it’s too late.
This year, I hope to explore more, to be adventurous (the good kind of adventure, lool, before you start thinking far), to know God more, to help out more, to make more friends and meet people, to tell people’s stories and not forgetting that they matter whiles at it, and to go out to places I’ve never been to before. What about you???
Finally, I’ll just leave you with the Bible scripture my mother always leaves with me:Seek God first and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.