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Kemi Ajaja: A Reason To Be Thankful



The story is told of how, recently in a US restaurant two men walked in and asked to be served by the grumpiest waiter. The owner said they had no grumpy waiters and offered to seat them with the happiest waitress instead. The men accepted the offer and were sat with 18 year old Abigail Sailors. Abigail was bright and cheerful, and served the men their order; turkey dressing special with eggs and sausage.

The men asked her what made her so happy. Her answer to that question was an account of how her childhood had been so filled with pain and sorrow. Her parents were involved in a car crash when she was young. The accident left her mother with permanent brain damage and rendered her father unfit to care for her and her four older siblings. Abigail spent her youth moving from foster home to foster home. Often times away from her siblings, and eventually she and her siblings were taken in by a couple who she says shaped the person she has grown up to be.

She told the two men about how she had been trying to put herself through Trinity Bible College, studying Youth ministry and Psychology, and how because she didn’t have enough money. She had to take up a job, saving her wages and tips to add to her financial aid and return to college the following year. But despite everything, Sailors says she is thankful. “I’m just thankful, everything we went through; my attitude is God blessed me with a lot of things, and that is why I am thankful”.

The two men finished their meal. One told her he graduated from Trinity himself. Then they both reached out and gave her two checks; one for £5,000 which was her tuition and another for $1,000 which was for personal use. They topped it off with a $100 tip which Abigail split with another server.

Needless to say, miracles, big, humongous, gigantic, unexpected, undeserved, happen when we dare to be thankful. Life can hand us so many reasons to be sad, down, depressed and forlorn, but we can chose to have an attitude of gratitude regardless.

This year 2014, if there is one new year’s resolution you should be making, it is to develop an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. Yes, you will have days when you will be happy this year, and yes, you will have days when you will be not so much. But make a resolution that no matter what happens, you will always look for a reason to be thankful and your joy will be full. The heart believes what the mouth proclaims.

Ignore everything that tries to make you complain or whine or worry; your weight, your unemployment, your financial status or bank balance and remain thankful and watch the heavens move on your behalf. In the Bible, it didn’t take prayers or a long, lengthy fast to bring down the walls of Jericho, it took a loud thanksgiving, joyous shout. And those walls came down. No matter the walls that stare at you this year, may a song of thankfulness continually flow from your lips, causing them to bow.

Have a thankful New Year!

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”― Oprah Winfrey

Photo Credit:
Kemi Ajaja is a lawyer in training with a deep passion for helping build marriages and working with young people and inspiring them to live their best lives. She writes at
Avenue TwentyFive

I am a lawyer, business woman, mom and wife who is extremely passionate about marriages, relationships and young people. I spend my spare time thinking up mind boggling business ideas, offering support to young people and singles, cooking, reading and writing. I believe marriages can and should be successes and will offer tested and trusted practical tips and lessons I have gleaned along the way and from others in a bid to help a person or two revive, restore, rebuild or simply replenish their relationships. Welcome to The Love Kodes With Kemmie. Here's to joyful, lasting, loving and beautiful marriages! Drop me a line or two @ [email protected]


  1. uju

    January 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    awwww Kemi thank you for this amazingly beautiful piece…indeed i will be thankful irrespective of what may throw itself at me this year and afterwards…i do know that this year is going to be spectacular and full of fulfilled promises for those who believe with a thankful heart…again God bless you boundlessly Kemi Ajala!!!…*kisses n hugs*

  2. Sunshine

    January 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I always say genuine gratitude, sincere thankgiving and a joyous heart is the one true key to further blessings.

  3. Desireayo

    January 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Appreciation to d most high is on my mind more than ever before.

  4. Iyke

    January 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I am grateful to be grateful…to understand the weight and measure of a grateful life… Recognizing that gratitude is an essential part of the human experience… Understanding life as a gift and the many blessings and opportunities as valued rewards and challenges that develops character and life’s fulfillment. Learning to honor and design a life of service to be proud of. Sharing with others the wealth gratitude inspires…being thankful. Living life as a testament and expression of humility…grace and generosity… This is at the heart of all I share…and what I would ask of you, my bella naija friends.

    • Iyke

      January 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Thanksgiving has meant many things to me over the years… As I have grown and evolved, so has the idea of what being thankful represented for me…one who has always had so much given and considered. More than a house filled with people who loved me…a table stretched with platters and bowls of food cooked and displayed with pride and abundance…wonderment…and the suggestion that all the saints and ancestors had gathered to witness…we were dressed in the embrace and notion that life hung generously around us…uninterrupted and adorned… Those memories considered, as a man of considerable experience and changed circumstances…I am fully clear and sober in a new more expanded consciousness… I am now more painfully aware that my life as a child growing up in the lap of parents and family I adored…gifted me a practical application to also better see and understand the world and people engaged in life’s pursuit. Having made and collected so many life memories I am not without awareness of those less fortunate…. While I make no apologies for my wealth of indulgences and blessings I have received…I whole “heartedly” acknowledge that I have been fortunate…extremely, and I am thankful for the opportunities I have been both given and those I have created in this life gifted me… I am thankful for a positive attitude…for the spirit and the zest I have and share for life… I am thankful for so many of you who regard me with your kindness and support…love when applicable, and stimulation that keeps me on my toes…
      I want to thank you my Bella Naija family for allowing me to share my voice…personality and stories…bad as it may irritate some. You help to make me richer than I ever dreamed I could be…you make humanity full…a real destination…”I AM GRATEFUL…as we sit tight in the lap of our lives…” lets be thankful for one another… for we are all what makes life right… Cheers!!!

  5. Hurperyearmie

    January 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Jesus am so grateful for your love

  6. Jescy Eagle

    January 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    aaaaawww so touching….great article!!! I am thankful!!

  7. anon

    January 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    lovely!!! you have blessed me this year.

  8. temitope

    January 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Kemi,GOD BLESS YOU, and all that is yours, your writeup gave me a lift.

  9. Dee

    January 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I know people will yab me well well but they gave one check in pounds??? and one in dollars??? please clarify

  10. Grown Woman

    January 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Lovely article….We should always be grateful and complain less.

  11. Cutesthunk

    January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Thank u Jesus for everything that you have done

  12. Firstlaydeee

    January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    This will help people realize to be thankful just for a minute , instead of getting angry what you dnt have , thank God for what you do have . Please check out my blog

  13. whocares

    January 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This is me right now. Yesterday I was slightly down, that is a lie.. For a long time now I have been feeling well not like myself. I love to read and I have found no pleasure in books or anything lately, and that is why for a while I have been commenting almost obsessively on BN. Then I started to watch Polyanna. If you have seen the movie there is a game she plays the “glad game”. I thought to try it out, and I started listing everything I was glad for, and of. I wrote it down, I said it out loud, even turned it to a song in my shower, which then turned into praise songs and eventually prayer (I am not that religious I will be the first to admit).. Point is today I am ok. I picked up a book and I am able to read it.. It makes sense again.. I can read and see and live the story.. It may not be a lot, but reminding myself of the things that are going well for me has given me the impetus to push forward and continue filling out those damned training contract and vacation schemes applications *sigh* and enjoy people more.. not just on a superficial level which is what I had been doing as well.

    • jcsgrl

      January 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Lol at commenting obsessively at BN. Aww hun, it is allowed. I’m glad you’ve got your mojo back. I need to find mine. Happy for you!

    • whocares

      January 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thank you 🙂 *hugs*

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      January 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      whocares, I’ll be saying a prayer for you that you regain your joy completely. Life is hard enough, we all need that joy to deal.

      And even despite you “not being religious”, God hears prayers all the time. That’s an exercise of the spirit, religion ain’t got a thing to do with God listening if you’re calling Him. Don’t stop telling Him about that training gig you’re after. I pray for you that it will happen.

      Re the article, two mornings ago, I was feeling thankful about my exes… go figure 🙂

    • whocares

      January 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you!! I only just saw this now. We will both share testimonies. Lol at feeling thankful about your exes.

  14. Bee

    January 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful piece.

  15. iwalewa

    January 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    you just blessed my soul and body with this piece. Thank u so much

  16. Love me Love me

    January 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    love this piece and thank you for reminding me. More Thank you rosary’s coming up

  17. freda

    January 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Am thankful!

  18. frances

    January 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks so much for this. Indeed,an attitude of gratitude makes the difference.

  19. hmm

    January 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Thankyou so much for this inspiring write-up. Lord, I AM THANKFUL…..THANKYOU JESUS

  20. kemi

    January 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Simply inspring!, we often forget this.

  21. Yours Truly

    January 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I’m so so inspired by this article. Instead of moaning all the time, I should develop a heart of gratitude

  22. X-Factor

    January 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    wow!..thank you for this

  23. ICE Princess

    January 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    thanks Kemi, Thanks BN, THANKYOU JESUS!!!

  24. anniesexy Mbz

    January 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    nice piece Kemi, tnks 4sharing dearie.

  25. Adeola

    January 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    God, I’m super thankful and grateful for everything, be it happiness or sadness. I thank you Lord for the room over our heads, food on our tables, clothings on our bodies, money to spend, education to afford, jobs, solid health and our families. Be praised.

  26. Moi

    January 16, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    This totally resonates with my outlook for 2014, and I hope the rest of my life. Perspective really is everything! I’m not talking about rose-colored glasses, just the realisation that life, however miserable, past, present or future, is worth being grateful for! The hardness of the blow or the acidity of the lemons only means you can still feel something, even if it is pain. And for that be gratweful! It’s amazing how much better life is with this attitude. What makes it easy for me is the knowledge that the Creator of the entire universe and all that lies beyond is is madly in love with me!! I can not be bugged by transient upheavals knowing this! Regardless of what life throws, I still got it good!!!!

    Thank you for this! Love it!!

  27. Chubby cake

    January 18, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Thank you. Love the piece

  28. Abiodun Opanuga

    February 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    what can i saythat others haven’t said, but i must agree to the fact that this right testimony is so inspiring and i wish more Nigerians read and learn from such inspiring right-up….My dear i am your fan anyday…..Ride on

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