Happy happy happy happy October 1st!!! Welcome to the TENTH MONTH of 2016!!! Wow! And since I am in Nigeria, let me say Happy 56th birthday to this bustling country! 

It’s that time again for me to share what I I am grateful for, from the month of September. If there is a phrase that I could use to describe September, it would be “reawakening of truth.” September was an emotional roller coaster for me, that resulted in a LOT of reflective moments, a lot of tears, a lot of questions, a lot of sadness, a lot of joy, a lot of anxiety, a lot of excitement, a lot of loneliness, a lot of happiness, a lot of growth, a lot of concentration and a lot of reminders! 

God works in such AMAZING ways because had you asked me in August, whether I was prepared for what September would bring about, I would have told you, never! But there I was dealing with a lot of baggage and just navigating my growth, and where I want God to take me as a person. 

I’m more awakened and more connected to what feels like the most honest and authentic version of who I am! There’s still sooooo much that I just learn and discover, and I’m excited to be conscious and reflective about that growth process. I’m

Soooo happy that we never stoop learning and growing in life! I’m soooo happy and thankful that each day presents brand new opportunities for us to BECOME!

With that, here are the 5 things I am grateful for from the month of September!

1. Clarity through alone time 

I spent the whole month of September in a fabulous and cozy hotel, hidden on the mainland of Lagos. As I navigated my doctoral research and spent time in prayer and thought, soooo much was revealed to me. For the first time in an extremely long long long time, I was alone. What kept me company was my mind and my work, and the presence of God.  And in that, I learned so much about myself (for one I love being surrounded by people and can’t do alone time on a permanent basis LOL) and allowed my mind to go and consider places and things that it has always feared. In confronting some of my fears, I saw myself even in the midst of tears, emerge. In the midst of it all, I know it was God reminding me of who I am! Who He has created me to be. 

2. Favor and ordinance 

When Jesus says yes, can’t NOBODY, say no!!! My field work here in Nigeria has divinely ordered, as I have worked from a position of rest, the whole time I have been here. Everything the made me anxious, and I prayed for, God answered in ways that ONLY BE CAN! I have the most amazing testimony about my experience here in Nigeria, as I have spent weeks talking to some of the most successful and brilliant female entrepreneurs that Nigeria. I am Sooo thankful for everyone God has used to bless me!!!!! I can’t believe how favored and blessed I am. God is really watching over my pursuit of this degree, and I know and I know and I know, it comes right from His heart. 

3. Friendships that defeat the concept of time! 

Ahhhh I’m soooo grateful to have been able to connect with one of my besties, who reawakened hidden aspects of my spirit, I had for so long, neglected. I am thankful to God for friendships that carry you till the end of time, and that show you the best of humanity! I am thankful for friendships that grow and motivate you, and that remind you to never stop shooting for the stars; that this life is yours alone to live; that you have to consciously grow yourself to become the best that you can be. It’s so beautiful to be reminded and not you having to do the reminding! Hahaha! LOL

4. Strengths that make us unique 

I’m in the process of reading John C. Maxwell’s “Good leaders ask great questions” and what it’s really driving home is a lesson that I learned as a freshman in college, when I first took the Strengthsquest strength finder test! It was then revealed to me for the first time that focusing on our strengths makes us better leaders, and more  effective individuals. In a society where people focus so much on developing their weakness, why spend so might time on something you will never become GREAT at! Focusing on your strengths allows you to be GREATER THAN GREAT! It allows you to hone into something that you are already familiar with, and become the champion of that! I’m so grateful for this reminder, which came at a very critical time in my development as a person and leader. 

5. Avital Suites and Resort Staff

Avital Suites is a little hidden treasure in the midst of mainland Lagos! As someone who has only stayed on the Islands in all my trips to Lagos, I was a little nervous to spend 6 weeks in the bustling Surulere! But y’all, AIN’T GOD GOOD THOUGH. Avital has been home away from home, with extremely attentive staff, who “annoyingly” want to take care of each of my needs! I swear if they could write my dissertation for me, they would! Hahaha. Considering the fact that I travel to the extremes of Lagos each day (Ogba, Ketu, Ghabada, Ikoyi, Ipeja, Lekki, etc), the hotel is perfect for its location which makes where I’m going to so research interviews,  that much accessible. It’s been a great time with no light issues, in a country that is engrossed by struggling lights, with strong and working wifi, an amazing restaurant, a cool management team, a great gym with personal trainer access, a conference room I have used and used, good food, I mean what more could a girl who enjoys some luxury ask for??? As someone who is extremely picky, I am soooo grateful for this hotel! Comfort was something that I was looking towards to in doing my fieldwork, and accordance and accessible comfort is exactly what I get in a daily basis. The next time you’re in Lagos and are wanting to stay on mainland, check them out here and here.

And yourself? What are some of the things that you are grateful for from the month of September 2016! Here’s to an amazing TENTH month of the year!!!!!!! 

Please don’t forget to share with me what you thankful for from the month of September. I really would love to hear your thoughts!

-Unravel Away Artist-