A fine WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘author’

HELPMEET BY LOLA BABALOLA

Helpmeet by Lola Babalola

The question is, are marriages made in heaven?
Helpmeet fincvr
When you pick up the papers to read, you are fed with stories and pictures of marriages that have broken down. Some have been marries for a while, some for far much longer. It is those long marriages of twenty plus years that sadden me. A friend of mine who had been married for twenty four years walked away and I felt really bad. If you had stuck with for that long, why walk now? Then you read about the wife killing the husband, do you stick an association where mutual respect has been downgraded to zero? I know a young woman who says she really does not think marriage is meant for her, because she could not be sure the gentleman of today might not turn out a monster later. Why do people get married and picking from my guest today, what role is the woman to play? I do remember that the Lord is reputed to have said he He was creating a helpmeet for the man. HELPMEET. That was the word that struck me when I saw the book. It resonated with me. It is not a book for Christians alone but for women of all ages, creed and race. That was what I found comforting. I did not have to be of a particular faith. I could read it as a manual, a guide, letit be my friend on a lonely confused night.
One hundred and forty five pages of inspirational and intuitive sensing of the role of the woman in this wonderful creation.
The cover art was also interesting as it spokes volumes, the deep roots of life together on a journey holding hands and connecting.
It is a fairly long read, but I am sure you will not notice as I had to restrain myself from asking endless questions.

Let us meet the author Lola Babalola Screenshot_2015-10-13-08-38-49-1

1. Let’s get to know you
My name is Oluwafunmilola Babalola. I am an intercessor and the wife of Olajide Babalola, an Architect and generational reformer. We are both ordained Pastors and family counselors. We are blessed with six beautiful children. My professional background is strategic communications and I have quite a few years of experience from both the private and development sectors, so I consult across both sectors but my job title these days is Mum.

2. Is this your first book?
I have been writing for many years and have published my poetry on the world wide web. I am also the Founder of a pure play company called Feelnubia.com, where I have been writing for about 6 years. HELPMEET is however, my first published work.

3. Why did you write this book?
I must make a quick clarification. I will say I was the Editor but I cannot claim to be the Author of this book.

Back to the why:
Although I shared some of my personal testimonies in it, HELPMEET was written on the instruction and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to encourage women to contend for marriage of their dreams by equipping themselves with the knowledge of God’s original plan for a wife in the life of her husband. That knowledge liberated me as I wrote and read over the manuscript. It continues to take me closer to God’s heart for my marriage as I read it and I am blessed by the numerous testimonies of both single and married women who have read both the manuscript and the published work.

4. Do you think marriages are made in heaven?
I believe that each one of us is created as a unique expression of a multifaceted and gloriously complex God who is as real to us as we allow Him to be. If you invite Him, He will guide you through pretty much every aspect of your life the least of which is not marriage. In fact, I venture to say that marriage is the most important individual decision you will ever make in your life, second only to the decision to stop blindly driving one’s own life and hand it over to the direction of the only Person competent to navigate one through life’s journey. So, my answer to your question is not a simple refutation or affirmation. If you invite God into the preparation, selection and martial process, your marriage could very well be made in heaven!

5. In your view, what would be grounds to seek divorce?
This answer would depend on the worldview to which you subscribe. These days, I live my life for Jesus Christ and the Bible, which is my Standard Operating Manual (if you will) prescribes adultery as grounds for divorce. In practise however, there are many reasons why a person might seek or welcome divorce. The Bible also shows us that Jesus is big on love and forgiveness, while clearly stating that God hates divorce and for good reason too. Some of the reasons a couple might find themselves at the brink of divorce are logical outcomes of the foundation of that marriage in the first place. When we rush through our preparations and decision to marry, it is inevitable that some signs we ignored or trivialized would come back to haunt us. Furthermore, many of us do not appreciate the gravity of the covenant of marriage so these days, you hear married persons say casually: ‘I will walk’ over seemingly trivial issues.

Divorce can solve some problems but it is not always the magic pill that our fast-food convenience culture presents it to be. Many marital or relationship problems persist beyond the divorce, as couples that have children continue to deal with one another nonetheless. Divorce does not take away my poor decisions, immature management or reaction to a problem. It does not wipe out my own mistakes. It passes the buck somewhat but it oftentimes compounds the problem. My encouragement to anyone considering divorce is that each person should honestly examine their reasons. Is this situation remediable, forgivable? If not, why?

In HELPMEET, I was able to address some uncommon perspectives about divorce and I quote:Helpmeet fincvr

“There are women who have turned marital challenges and betrayals such as domestic abuse, adultery, even homosexual confessions around and built strong happy marriages out of the ruins of such calamity, while others have understandably found it impossible to navigate past those deeply difficult and painful experiences”.
Also, from another section I quote:
” It Takes A Life-Time To Correct A Marital Misstep
Even after divorce, couples find that the scars of their previous marriage lingers, colouring every subsequent relationship and interaction for as long as they live. It becomes a condition many live with, learn to manage but never quite overcome. Perhaps that is why God hates divorce because it creates a wound in our spirits from which we hardly ever completely recover. Even after they are healed, these wounds tend to cause a mutation from the scarring such that we are no longer quite who we were before we got married to that person and can never return to being the person we would have been had we not been through the experience of a failed marriage. This sobering thought shshould make us unwaveringly determined to get marriage right the first and only time.”

6. How would you advise a battered wife or an abandoned one?
In life, we have little control over the things that happen to us. The only part of life’s experiences we control is how we react to the curve balls that might be thrown to us. Both men and women have experienced physical or emotional abuse as well as abandonment. Some abusers are psychologically handicapped and require intervention to amend their responses to stress. Some find that in different relationships or circumstances, they are not aggressive or predatory. Often times, abuse is accompanied by other behavioral problems but all marital problems have a cause and effect. The effect might be disproportional to the cause but it has a cause nonetheless.

Some abuse might be accompanied with signs apparently escalating towards resulting in or serious physical or emotional damage. If the victim seeks divorce or finds him/herself served divorce papers, the truth is that divorce (while greatly damaging) is not the unpardonable sin. With wisdom and divine guidance, people can move on from divorce beyond the conventional levels.

If you have problems in your marriage, you could choose to go it alone or turn to popular wisdom. An uncommon option is in the book HELPMEET and I quote: If you find yourself confronted with marital problems,
“…you need to return to the manufacturer and turn in your warranty. Go to the Lord, the author of marriage and… give Him a blank cheque and wait on Him for instructions, which you must follow to the letter however foolish they may sound. He is able to turn around for good what is meant for the trash cans but that wisdom and technology is not in any man’s possession. You must wait on Him though, for your own specific instructions, rather than following the instructions given to someone else who was in similar circumstances.”
I must add however, that if you consider your life to be in danger, you would be best advised to first put some physical distance between you and your assailant, while you await further instructions or seek godly counsel.

Should parents help in determining the helpmeet of their children

As a parent, your influence on your children’s decision about their marriage is not so much in talking them into or out of a choice but something that begins long before you the parent even get married. As soon as you become aware that you are to be married one day, you should begin to pray about your yet-to-be-unveiled spouse, your life together and your children (biological and spiritual). This perspective adds a weightiness to your own decision which will certainly not be lost on your children as you recount it over the years to come. Marriage makes or mars destinies: yours and that of your seed after you!

One piece of wisdom that I acquired through penning this book is the realization that each one of us is part of an intricate whole. Your story began long before you were born and continues long after you would have died. You are a unique, wonderfully unduplicable expression of God and the culmination of the dreams and hopes of many, many of your progenitors who came before you, as well as an ancestor to generations to come. Your decisions and choices will impact your children and their children either as examples and a blessing or lessons and a burden to them. That singular perspective will guide your children as well as it will do for you.

8. I am intrigued by your choice of the word helpmeet? Please explain.Helpmeet fincvr
It was not my choice, actually. Please remember that earlier on, I admitted that I wrote this book by instruction and inspiration. In that sense, I was simply the Messenger.

Having said that, I do know though that the book’s title is taken from the scripture in the exact form that it is recorded in the King James’ version at the point in scriptural reckoning when man’s need for a wife was articulated by God. The Lord said: ‘I will make [man] a help meet for him’ This means a help that is apt, just right, precise and commensurate with his need. Help meet in the original text of the Bible means ‘strength’, which is a paradigm shift from the way women are perceived; as the weaker vessel.

I believe the title was chosen for that reason, to unveil the deeper and true meaning of a wife’s identity and purpose in her husband’s life. To quote from the book:

“While at first glance, the difference [between WIFE and HELPMEET] might appear to be nothing but a matter of semantics; it is actually a matter of perspective. This perspective is often what determines the failure or success of a union.”

9. What is your perspective of the true role of the wife to have a blissful marriage?
It came as a surprise to me as I read the manuscript that the true role of a wife is to live for another, to be a “life laid down”, laying down her strength and pouring out her life in obedience to God as a demonstration of God’s unconditional, unrelenting and unselfish love for her family. To quote from the book:

“It Is Not About You
Women have been sold a lie. That lie is the idea that happiness in life is about what we can get from other people, how much they love us, value us and give us. Nothing is further from the truth. A self-centred life is a very hollow life and the stuff that misery is made of. TrTrue happiness comes from service to others. Loving THEM, giving to THEM, valuing THEM and serving THEM. ‘Except a grain falls to the ground, it yet abides alone’
No fruit ever becomes a tree by sitting pretty in the fridge. It must be eaten and its seed thrown in the dirt, covered by earth, to all intents and purposes it must die: rot and decay first, before its essence is regenerated, then it germinates and begins to grow. If it wants to remain un-un-eaten, clean, pretty and comfortable, that fruit will not amount to much by itself. It will ultimately rot and be thrown away, not even fit to be eaten anymore. Yet, within that one fruit is a seed that has the potential to become a forest, if only it would let itself be thrown in the dirt and be covered by earth. When we learn to live for others, we discover that the beauty of love is buried deep within our sacrifice.”

10. Share your thoughts on the following as they affect a marriage

a) drunken husband

b) flirtatious wife

c) disrespectful children

The foundation of a marriage is a strong determinant of its outcome. The Bible tells us that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all”. The effect of problems on a marriage are determined long before those problems arise. What is your philosophy of life? Where do you get your compass, your navigational tool for marriage? Will you permit problems to derail your marriage or strengthen it? That perspective is one which we tend to choose before we embark on the voyage of marriage. Did my marriage vows include the words: “…For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health…”? Did I even hear them or did I just mumble them without any consideration for what I was saying or what the words mean? Some couples now leave those words out. That already says a lot about where that marriage is going. The Scriptures tell us about two houses: one build upon sand and another built upon a rock. We learn that WHEN the storms come, the one built on the rock would stand through the storm. Please note that the scriptures did not say IF the storms come, it said WHEN. Problems are inevitable. They just present in different forms.

Marriage is a covenant, a vow, an oath between you as an individual and God. Your spouse just happens to be a beneficiary of that covenant. What excuse will you give God for not delivering on your vows, which you made with your free will?
Screenshot_2015-10-13-08-38-49-1
11. Who do you intend this book for?

This book is written for women who are married or for single ladies whom marriage is a desirous estate. As it says in the preface:
” This book is written for both Christians and non-Christians alike, in response to the call of the Lord to inspire hope and faith in the hearts of women all around the world. This is a call to women to understand that God wants a wonderful life for them and marriage does not need to be excluded from that life. Marriage is not a journey for the feeble-hearted nor the double-minded, but you do not need to give up on your ideal of marriage. This book is written to give you a clear vision of God’s purpose in designing marriage and will help you to understand that purpose in order to give focus to your desires and aspirations. It will help you to contend for the marriage that God intends for you to have, one in which you are fulfilling purpose and within that purpose, you will be able to enter into peace, all round prosperity and walk in your destiny.”

“More women than ever are opting to pursue [other] goals to the total exclusion of marriage. If that is you, this book might not be of any interest to you”.

12. Please give us links to how we can get a copy of the book

Please search for the book on Kaymu, Amazon (Book) worldwide or Waterstones Bookshops UK, using the search parameters: HELPMEET, LOLA BABALOLA

13. Will you be interested in answering questions on a counseling basis from readers of your book?
It will be my great privilege.

14. Give us a an address where we can send such questions
Kindly email me: lola@babalola.com.

Thank you very much for honoring me and reviewing my work.

Writer’s block or Lethargy?

I have had an intense week. Okay who hasn’t? I heard that , but we agreed to have a conversation okay? The problem felt simple., I have heard about writers block. You know sitting in front of the computer and you stare at the keys but nothing happens right? Good. How do you explain having lots of stories running riot in your head and you actually have finished the story in your head….or so you think and then for the life of me I simply open the computer and blimey, I go over to social networking and Lord I am lost. I giggle, smile, even chuckle at some of the posts and then three hours later am tired, sleepy and the characters sadly head for my head, another wasted night the characters mutter to themselves settling in different corners of my brain. We all spend a very restless night. Some of them are angry enough to inflict some level of nightmares on me. Am I addicted? There are days I simply sit by the computer and stare too fuddled to even go the social media sites and then in some unexplained misery, shut down. I sense a problem but for the life of me I am at a loss to explain it to me. Then I have what I privately call writing binges. I simply can’t seem to stop. Poems, jokes, drama, and I simply seem to haunt my social pages then. I find it difficult to get to bed. Those times Numen simply sniffs and goes to a corner not giving me a thought. I know why because inspite of that frenzy, I have not gone back to the sequel about her story.
We have been avoiding each other for days now. I started on the story then asked her a question and she took umbrage. The question was simple and clear.. do gods and goddesses fall in love? She gave me such a long silence that I imagined that she had left and then a long sigh came and she whispered.
“What do humans know of love? Of its awesomeness? Love, the world rotates on that axis and it is the template that determined the world. No, not the weak self- serving version you humans call love. Have a look into creation from the molten fiery depths of the plates of the earth that serve as the shoulders of Atlas to the roar and silence of the depths of the sea that is the belly of Neptune to Sango’s speed swinging in service and obedience to the Will of the Creator”. She paused for breath and I sensed her frustration. She sighed.. “Don’t ask such a silly question my friend. Humans have no real concept of Love, if they did, they would swing in the Natural laws and I would have little reason to be here”.
An amused chuckle escaped me and she smiled in return not one whit fazed by my supercilious amusement. Suddenly I was bored and I felt the dread of my disbelief. I was talking about my disorganized writing regime and was not really interested in in gods and goddesses I mumbled in irritation. Now I will have to sit down and make some sense of this blog, I continued complaining.
How do I solve this peculiarity? Is that what is meant by writer’s block or in my case a plain case of mental laziness. Ouch! At least you could pretend to be reading and be amused at my attempts at writing.
Now I do have a problem, I have been trying to decide if I should shoo Numen out of my head, life and space. She really has not finished her story but I am not so sure because I have a sneaking suspicion that she is going to tell me something that I might find difficult putting it right in words. Fantasies could become blurred you know. It is a longing for escape. I also have a simple confusion. Would I be stretching the magic if I write a sequel to Numen Yeye. In its original manuscript (by long hand, two big notebooks and hundreds of sheaves of loose sheets), Numen Yeye had spanned three parts. Must have been crazy in those days I used to say to myself. I mean who wants to read about sagas? My fingers ached and so did my back from sleepless nights. She sat glued to me then. Come to think of it she has stayed back and close since 1981 when she walked in.
Since Numen Yeye came out, I have noticed that my friends tend to give me strange looks. Like they wonder at me. I take great pains to explain it is a story but my close friend gives me a look that suggests she really does not think so. Kind of convenient that I find the social media a good excuse right?
A friend from the other side of the pond simply dismissed my story as superstitions and stuff and from his Olympian height said he did not care for such stuff. I scratched my head, puzzled. I had read his sci-fi stories and though I did not understand his imagination I had read his book no books and enjoyed the artistry of his words. Why am I puzzled? He did not extend to me a charity that I had hoped. The sharp end of reviewing that every writer dreads, accepts and helplessly hopes that he would not have to face.
You know as a writer, you do hope that your book will be well received. You hope that at the very least friends will see the merits of the effort and make a fair comment. Some of my friends have been generous, I thank them, some have been blistering and I do thank them as well.
My editor said everything.. He said, there can be only two ways people will see your story… those who will like it and those who will not understand where you are at. That gave me lots of comfort. So when a fellow Nigerian said she could not wrap it round her head I smiled. Or the fellow author who said he was going to dump reading the book because he did not care for superstition, I did not bother telling him that we had chatted on social media about the book while I was writing.
I just remembered something.. Have you read the book Numen Yeye? By the way I do reviews too. You know in obedience to the law which states that it is only in giving that one receives lasting values.
Let’s meet again soon and I sincerely hope my lethargy will lift and I can report that I have gone someways with Numen ‘s sequel.
Hasta la vista friends.

ROSES….or THORNS? Conversation from the workshop.

How long have I been out? I have been attending a workshop for writers in my neck of the woods and it was really an eye opener for me. I had a better understanding for Gerry, my chief editor who doubles and the face of my publisher as he is the one I really always relate with.

I was the only one who gave a paper on creative writing but I would share that in a moment. What I found really interesting were the comments of the writers who had gathered to listen to the presentations of the speakers who were a collectivity of learned persons, a prof and some intellectual doctors.

I came away with a better understanding of the agonies that Gerry must have gone through with me and maybe a few other authors. I never could understand for a long time why I had to wait forever to get a book out in print and I had a better understanding at this workshop.

Apparently the traditional publisher has a lot to contend with, from the minute he agrees to publish a book. An indigenous publisher who is acclaimed by all as being very successful agreed with the general outrage that enhancing our reading culture is an uphill task as it costs the earth to get all the materials needed for printing a good quality book.

He gave a list of that they had to pay for. The high taxes, the high level of corruption, and the intransigence of electricity, salespersons not remitting in record time . By the time he had finished his catalogue, the hall was silent. I sent a silent thanks to Gerry.

Before the publisher took the mic, I had gone round some of the stands of authors to see what the competition was, some had self -published their works. I was interested in that since I have been toying with that idea for a while. I need to keep my body and soul together. I write solely and have very little outside income so I have been hungry for a long time.

The idea of self- publishing became very attractive as I have quite a lot of books, (some in series) that I want to publish. I use to feel I do not have that much time left and should really do something to put out as much as I have written over the years.

However the lot I saw at the workshop dismayed me. Badly collated prints, badly stapled, and I just sighed and walked off feeling depressed. The other side of the coin did not look attractive either. Publishers want to wait months, some years to publish your book, cannot promise to help you promote and the very small matter of royalty is a strange word to them.

I mentioned that to my new friend, publisher chairman at the workshop as we got talking, he seemed to have liked my paper and he asked me questions about my new book Numen Yeye. He explained with a twinkle in his eye that publishers need to deduct their initial cost outlay before they can pay royalty and added that self publishers had the problem of marketing as well as the logistics of placing their books at location where it can sell.

However, he consoled that he has a large staff, and works along the coast of West Africa. I gave him a suspicious look and smiled, wondering if the same treatment of low royalty applied to his titles. He laughed and called over an author. He invited the author to be honest and confirm what he got last month as royalty payment. I stared as the man smiled and simply brought out a photocopied check for one million naira. I almost fainted. The author explained that he fainted too, but believed it when the bank confirmed payment. So he had the cheque photocopied as he was going to frame it.

I was quiet for long moment after that, but felt a deep sense of gratitude to Gerry Huntman. I wondered if he had ever thought of being a manager of talents. I recollected all my fears, tears and sometimes fury and each time Gerry had been rock solid and calm. Phew! I could never have understood the publishing mess but for him. But I still have questions. Why do publishers take forever to reply to queries?

I am still in a quandary about self publishing. I like to have somebody else make sense of what I am trying to say and not kill me in the process. I love to know that someone is there in my corner so I would love to have my book published for me. I really am not sure I want the ego trap of wanting to do it myself. Above all, I can’t stand publishers who think they are doing me a favour, for they make me want to shove my gray head down their throat.

Finally, I had a very beautiful time at the workshop as ah yes, my book was well received and I got quite a lot of enquiries. More than half of my friends cannot buy books online so I am going to be the book seller of my book from the look of it.
Oh yes, my reviewer took my book with him on the flight to Britain as he told me that he did not want to miss a page.

Wow, you could say it looks like it might turn up roses for this old lady who simply can’t stop dreaming.

 

Tag Cloud