Monthly Archives: March 2021

My Big Three


I recently delivered my first toastmasters speech and it struck me as something I should share here.


My name is Kyesubire Greigg, daughter of the Most High, storyteller extraordinaire, scribe, encourager and a hidden gem. Please join me on a quick journey.

Many of us define ourselves by where we were born but I believe that is limiting. I was born as the youngest of three in a cross-cultural home with such different drivers on either side of the family. As a result, I was independent at an early age and my inquisitive nature meant that I was hard to stop when I wanted to explore something. In fact, no challenge was too difficult to conquer.  My mother always says that if I was her first child, she would never have had another one. Why? I was on the other end of the spectrum of different. Oh! to have been a fly on the wall in my childhood just to understand the extent of my antics…but alas!

So, let me ask you…what defines you? Is it by your birthplace, tribe, work, possessions, or academic qualifications? Could it be your looks, networks, residence, or faith? Can you see what defines you?

Remember I said I was born third? What I did not say is that I am the second girl so there was no special treatment for me. You see, I am not the first child or first girl or only girl I am just the third child. In many families, being the last born is a big thing because you are the baby, the special one, the spoilt one or the pet. Alas, in our home, all children are equal, so none got special treatment not even the youngest. I had to figure out what would define and identify me?

Finding my grounding ideas did not happen overnight but at the end of it, I learnt three things that I will share with you today.

Sit tight and learn with me.

First, is curiosity. He who knows the end from the beginning, created me for a very specific purpose that I cannot override thus I find myself wondering about things and asking many questions. How is it made? Who made it? Why did they think it was useful? Are there other options? Where does this road lead? What is the worst that can happen? Will she get mad if I walk away? Oh, the list of questions is endless.

Curiosity has me trying new things once I begin to get answers for my questions. I am known to get on roads in the city and explore just to know where they go and what the houses look like there. I like to know what drives people, so I ask many questions and am punctilious about my notes. Above all, curiosity is my greatest teacher. She has led me to interesting life intersections before leading me down crazy paths. She has led me through deep dark valleys of adversity and up bright mountain peaks of victory. She has always led me to a place of answered questions and deep fulfilment, so I am grateful to her.

The second thing that defines me is fear. You did not expect that eh? Many of us avoid this girl at all costs because we believe she is bad. A while back in the middle of a life shattering crisis, Fear and I collided, and she gave me two choices. One, I could either run for the hills or I could deal with her and overcome. I had no option but to face her trembling and almost out of my mind, but I had to do this. We stared each other down, she appeared in ever situation from unexpected corners, in disguises looking like a friend yet she was a foe then she was a little ant in front of a great light, so her shadow looked like a lion. Suddenly I realised I could use her to grow as one looking into a mirror. She shines her light on what I need to deal with, and areas of growth then opens my mind to change. Now, I feel the fear but work through it and have become a stronger woman. Fear is now a dear friend.

Third but not least is family. I believe family is not biology rather it is that that person or those people who know why we are brought together and seek God about this journey. We pray over one another, call each other out, encourage one another and so much more. We go for long periods in silence but when we connect, it is as if we never stopped talking. Family is an anchor in the storm, the wind beneath my wings on the journey, the spanking when I am being naughty, the hug when I need love and comfort, the smile on a long journey, the silence when working things through, the laughter when we are celebrating…the gift that keeps on giving, the well that never runs dry. True family is who I am!

Have you had time to figure what defines you? Do you embrace it with all that is in you? Finding these three things has given me great stability so I ask each one to:

  • Take time to find what defines them,
  • Correct any negative definitions,
  • Grow and thrive wherever you are planted.
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Created Spaces


Have you ever been alone

So lonely wondering where everyone has gone

Looking behind every smile around with no hope

Then you realised you created this place?

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You shut all the doors

You boarded up all the windows

You closed all the curtains

You created this ‘safe’ space

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You walked out of all the relationships

You ignored all the calls

You stopped all the chats

You created this ‘safe’ space

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You sat in the darkness for so long

You sat in the background for even longer

You sat in the shadows silent and still

You created this ‘safe’ space

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Have you fear it can change

Do not fret there is hope

Understand all things are possible

You can uncreate the space

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Pick up your phone

Look through your contact list

Find the ones you can call

You can uncreate the space

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Send that one message

Send the next one

Make that one call

You can uncreate the space

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Start tentatively but start anyway

Reach out gently for that connection

Trust that there will be response

You can uncreate the space

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You have been away for long

But things can change

You have been hidden for a while

You can uncreate the space

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Hold on to hope

Make daily action

Move closer to others

You can uncreate the space

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Do your best to renew connection

Stay the course to restore communication

Chose to rise once again

You can uncreate the space

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Never let anyone steal your joy.


Remember that day you butted heads with your husband? Remember the things your mother said that hurt you? Remember the lies your child told you that upset you? Remember the way they rebelled and talked back that broke you? Remember that nasty boss who only found fault and put you down? Remember how she walked out on you to date your best friend? Remember that teacher who intentionally denied you marks?

I have found that the hurts from past and present challenges make us more susceptible to hurting one another. They significantly change how we deal with life and respond to people around us. In time, we have lower bandwidth for people and things leading to very little patience. In life, we are the sum total of what happens to us and must be deliberate about how we deal with it. We must be careful to actually unpack and deal with things and do it well.  

Hurt people, hurt others…

Life is full of opportunities for people, circumstances and incidents that make or break us. Every situation that challenges us shapes how we see life. Every event either brightens or taints our view. Every interaction significantly shifts our trajectory. We do not have much control of how others respond to us but our responses to them is all our prerogative.

I find that I have less bandwidth for many things. In the past, I would feel bad if I was not able to go to every memorial service, burial, wedding, get together etc. I would beat myself over calls missed and returned late, messages slipped through the cracks, the lack of an appropriate answer or even uncertainty where we stand. I took responsibility for other people’s responses so when things did not work, I would be sure I could have done more, but was that totally true? Not really…there are so many other possibilities beyond my control.

Relationships are two-way streets and must add value to life or they are not useful.

Relationships change as prevailing circumstances change. We could have been friends for a long time then one of us moves to another country or city and the relationship dwindles. Or a once great friendship changes when one or both parties go through a life changing experience. Or there is a disagreement that is not resolved that makes the relationship disintegrate. Or life just gets extremely busy and there is little to no time to cultivate the relationship and keep it alive.

The flip is also possible. Two friends are apart for a long time and one day you meet and reconnect as if you never stopped speaking. Or God places someone on your heart and though you have never met, you pray for them with clarity and certainty. Or a long-standing friendship gives stability to life and the respective parties are doing so well.

Either way, we are called to live and travel light so we must be vigilant.

To know where we are we must regularly assess our relationships. We must be honest with ourselves and find out what is working and why or what is not working and why. We must talk about things, deal with them and when we cannot deal, be honest about it. We must ask for what we need, be sure to be clear about and if not heard the first time, keep asking. Its is important to identify who makes us feel undervalued or less than who know we are then distance ourselves. Find out who makes us cringe when they come near and use that information to recalibrate our lives. Are there those who care about us and encourage us? Let us draw strength from them. Are there those who stand with us in prayer? Be sure to keep them close.

Sometimes the toxicity in our lives is from the nearest and dearest and we often say there is nothing we can do about it but that isn’t always true. Even if it is a toxic sibling, parent or spouse measures can and must be take to shield ourselves from the toxicity because it will kill parts of us in the long run. In the Afrikan context of always being nice to people it is harder to step away from toxicity but it is imperative to do so to keep mentally healthy. Have I done it? Absolutely! Was it easy? Nope, but it was necessary to guard my mental health so I did.

I strongly believe that I am better off with three solid growing friendships or relationships that are give and take than fifteen that do not push me to be the best I can be or that draw all my strength. I made a choice that I will no longer entertain relationships that do not grow me, that steal my joy or are just there. I will no longer be bound to people who I cannot help grow and who cannot help me become all that God has seen me to be.

There is no space in this inn for joy stealers.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. When Christ said “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest,” He knew we would have to make drastic choices to ensure the work we are assigned gets done on time and well. He knew we would have to choose who to relate with, how deeply, how often, how long and why. He was also deliberate when He chose twelve to be with him all the time and he knew that one of them would not make it to the end yet he still made that choice.

I have chosen to find strength in my tribe and grow to the fullness God saw and established before the foundations of the earth. Join me and let us focus on being the best we can be so that when our work here is done, there will be only rejoicing and no regrets for things yet undone.

Photo by Alexander Ant on Pexels.com

It Remains No Matter What


Even when I do not understand,

The promise remains.

Even though it may get hard,

The promise remains.

Even when it seems so dark,

The promise remains.

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Even when the night seems long

The promise remains.

Even when the clouds hide the sun

The promise remains.

Even when the rain is relentless

The promise remains.

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Even when loved ones are unwell

The promise remains.

Even when sadness overwhelms

The promise remains.

When the end is near

The promise remains.

When we lay loved ones to rest

The promise remains.

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When the basket is empty

The promise remains.

When the store is empty

The promise remains.

When the tap is dry

The promise remains.

When the lights are off

The promise remains.

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When sadness overwhelms us

The promise remains.

When loss cannot be quantified

The promise remains.

When loneliness is amplified

The promise remains.

When anxiety seems to be thriving

The promise remains.

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Nothing can stand in the way of the promise

Except my responses

Nothing can deviate the path from the promise

Except my responses

Nothing can change the trajectory of my life

Except my responses

Nothing can derail the outcome

Except my responses

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The promise remains

In the middle of the storm

The promise remains

In the darkest nigh

The promise remains

On the mountain side

The promise remains

In the lowest valley

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The promise remains

Because the Father gave his word

The promise remains

When built on that word

The promise remains

As it builds us up

The promise remains

On the path to healing

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The promise remains

When we set our eyes on Christ

The promise remains

When we hold on no matter what

The promise remains

When we stand on the little we know

The promise remains

When we ask for help

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The promise remains

Because God’s word is true

The promise remains

Because nothing can change His utterance

The promise remains

Because His word is everlasting

The promise remains

Because God is true

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The Promise Remains…No Matter What

Image from my personal collection of sunsets 2021

The Promise Remains True.


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind as we watch things happen around us and it is easy to wonder where God is and if He sees.

The way we were raised in our early days was that if you are walking by faith nothing goes wrong and you are always on top. We took the on top to be literal fame and recognition and have thus judged God unfair when he did not deliver that for us. But is that the whole truth? Is that the picture we find throughout scripture? Could it be we have been a little selective through the generations?

Scripture is full of stories of challenges and trials, yet we only focus on the victories.

Cain was banned from the presence of his people for killing Abel but was preserved with the mark of God on his head. Noah was ridiculed for following through with the instruction of God because up to that time, there had never been rain from the heavens. Can you imagine the laughter when he started talking about water from above and a flood? I see it as people coming every day to watch this foolishness and laugh…until the rain actually came.

Abram was called out of an affluent home and comfortable life and given a promise of greatness including a child of promise, many generations and great protection. All kicked in when God spoke, but the child of promise could not come out of Abram and Sarai and life’s challenges were used to test and approve them thus transit to Abraham and Sarah. They even ‘helped’ God in the process, and we know how that went. Naomi, lost all the men in her family in a foreign land and had to go back home in her old age, despondent and grieving but the love of her daughter in law would be help she needed to be joyful again.

Esther was an orphan adopted by her older cousin and rose to be queen, but she was not spared when the edict went out to destroy the Jews. She had to give up her hidden identity and step out with the possibility to death to defend her people. God gave her victory. Mordecai, choose to remain true to his God and found himself in the crosshairs of Hamman who did everything in his power to destroy the man and his people to no avail.

There are so many stories of people walking through adversity by faith

Elizabeth was barren and it brought shame on her and her husband. The word of God came but Zachariah didn’t believe so he was struck dumb until the coming of the son. When he was old enough, they suffered the difficulty of having a different child, one who was out there on his own, eating locusts and honey while dressed in camel skin before he was beheaded for speaking the truth. Mary and Joseph had to deal with shame because of the perceived indecency of her pregnancy. Can you imagine how Joseph felt knowing that Mary is pregnant, but he has not taken her to bed? Can you imagine having to raise someone else’s son?

The most vivid one is Christ in the garden and on the cross. The day before he had shared his heart with His Father that He would rather not die. He was so aggrieved; He was reported to have sweated blood. Yet He still accepted the plan and went through the beatings and was crucified. On the cross, He was caring about the thief on His side even as He was in intense pain. At the last moment, knowing that His father could not look at Him because He was the representation of sin, He calls out, ‘My God, why have you forsaken me?’ Then asked for the forgiveness of the people and committed His spirit to the same one who had ‘forsaken’ Him.

As these stories run through my mind, I find them totally intriguing and revealing. They tell me of people whose lives were not easy, but they chose to continue walking. They tell of hope beyond what was visible to the eye. They talk of people who had a deep faith in God hence a deepened ability to keep going no matter what.

What kind of faith is that and is it visible in our day?

I look around me for people who live like these men and women of faith and indeed I have found many. They are living otherwise unseen lives and thriving. I also find many who are either mad with God because of the way life is going or have totally walked away. It is healthy to take a break from everything you have been taught so that you can interrogate it fully and come to a place of deep understanding of what you believe and why.

About ten years ago after a long season of struggle and walking out of the conventional church system, I blew up. I was so mad with God, I walked out of all things fellowship and shouted at Him that if He was still God and existed, He should come down and reveal Himself to me in a way I would understand or else He should just go and sit in the corner. This begun a journey that is still on going, that teaches me to keep trusting. Is it all rosy? Nope! Yet what other way do I have? I have done it in many different ways, ranting and raving at God because he is not doing what I wanted Him to, when I want Him to.

He has often, “Even when you cannot see the fullness, I am in control and I am at work.

In the last few months, I have had moments of when I had to stand still and just remind myself that He is faithful and great at proving Himself in very subtle ways. So my posture today is,

  • Even when I do not understand, the promise remains.
  • Even though it may get hard, the promise remains.
  • Even when it seems so dark, the promise remains.

No matter what, who, when, where, how…the promise remains.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Guarantees


Another breath
Is not guaranteed
Another beautiful sight
Is not guaranteed
Another sweet flavour
Is not guaranteed
Another sunrise
Is not guaranteed
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Another salary
Is not guaranteed

Another shopping trip
Is not guaranteed
Another car ride
Is not guaranteed
Another day out
Is not guaranteed
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Another page to turn
Is not guaranteed
Another letter to write
Is not guaranteed
Another sketch
Is not guaranteed
Another stitch
Is not guaranteed
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Another sigh
Is not guaranteed
Another smile
Is not guaranteed
Another joke
Is not guaranteed
Another hug
Is not guaranteed
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The only guarantee is
The voice of the Most High
The love of the Divine
The joy of His presence

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The only guarantee is

This moment
This smile
This hug
This song
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The only guarantee is
This day
This hour
This minute
This second
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The only guarantee is
Now
Not later
Not tomorrow
Not whenever
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Be sure to
Live in the truth of this moment
Attain the fullest of your life
Follow every instruction
Finish every assignment
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Be sure to say
I love you
I miss you
I hear you
I am coming to you
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Be sure to say
Thank you
God bless you
His peace be upon you
You are beloved
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Be sure to
Keep your promise
Only say what you mean
Go the whole hog
Never look back
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Be sure to
Showcase Divinity
Direct others to His reality
Choose your path wisely
Remain committed to the journey
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Evolve Deliberately & Grow


I just could not wait to turn 18. I could get my driver’s licence; I could get my national ID and I could wear makeup and any colour of nail polish. I grew up in a rather conservative family with clear rules about make up and there was no option but to abide. I had my ears pierced when I was young, but the rest of the beauty regime was for adults, so I had to wait. Yes, it was time to change, and I was so excited.

Despite a long-standing journey through acne, I so desperately wanted to be beautiful, and to me wearing makeup was beauty. So I learnt the art of makeup and became a diligent user, putting on a full face of makeup from foundation out, even in the hot Athi River sun and dust. It meant I built an intense facial routine to keep all matters steady. There were limits though…I would not wear red lipstick or nail polish colours like black or red because they were not for quiet girls and I considered myself a quiet one. (Laughs silently).

One day, life ground to halt, I broke, I changed, and left the makeup world abruptly.

In time as I dealt with the difficulties of life, I found myself judging others because of their beauty regimes and their choice to do makeup consistently. How foolish was that? It was really a defence mechanism that would allow me to calm my ruffled feathers and hide the pain within me by being critical of others behind their backs. It was so easy to hide pain behind lots of work and many accomplishments but one day it will all fell apart, no longer worked and oh my…it was ugly.

I could not stay down because what kind of life is that? I had to get up and even if I dragged myself, I was determined to be whole one day. The road of healing was the only way out of that rut. Life refused to be easy rather it demanded a lot of deep thinking and dealing. A recent conversation with my coach helped me understand that part of growing up is understanding and accepting my part in things, dealing with my contribution to things, finding the things I can change and letting go of the ones I cannot change so need to walk away from. It is understanding that just because I have known people for a long time does not necessarily mean we are close or that they are in my life for long or that they are instrumental in my process.

Where does makeup fit with all this? Read on!!

My journey of healing has led me back to the makeup counters as a school of life albeit on a much smaller scale but still significant. I received a couple really nice lipsticks in colours I would never wear before as gifts and I bought the more sedate colours I would normally wear. I looked for ways to brighten my usual colours and dampen the new brighter colours without allowing them to lose their full glory. One colour I never thought I would wear is…yes, you got it…red. On my own I would never have bought it but alas. I was given the option of picking lip colours and I chose what looked like a deep red but when it came…mayooo…it was bright red almost like Marilyn Monroe’s red.

At the start, I used it under a deep brown or maroon or mixed with a gold shimmer to dim the brightness of the red and ensure I was comfortable. It also really helped that we are in the Covid era and I always had a mask on when I went out but I had no excuses when in virtual meetings. I dreaded the day I would need to go out with that shade visible because I expected people to talk about it and call me out.

Can you see how foolish and self-absorbed one can be?

It so happened that one day, I could not find all the lighter or deeper lip colours and I had to wear the red on its own. Maaaayyyoooo!!!! You should have seen me stare at myself in the mirror; you would have laughed. Initially I felt that the image in the mirror looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car at midnight…statue and staring. Then I blinked and looked again, and again, and agin. Finally, I saw how beautiful the red really was and how it actually complimented my skin tone. I looked again and saw how it brought something out I had never seen before.

It brought a glint to my eyes and loud peal of laughter as I realised that indeed I looked really good. As the laughter bubbled to the surface, it brought a revelation of the music that is in me to compliment the beauty of God’s creation. Of course, I was more self-conscious in my meetings but I was also a heck lot more confidence because finally, I could see myself as my Father had been saying to me for a while…I saw Beautiful Kyesubire, with twinkling eyes and a ready laugh.

I would never have appreciated the depth of beauty hidden within.

You see…I am evolving. I am changing. Nothing about me is static now or ever will be, so I must embrace the change. I must:

  • Seek to understand therefore ask myself lots of questions,
  • Help others understand by never telling them what to do just ask questions,
  • Pursue clear communication and ask clarifying questions,
  • Be unashamed of emotion because they help bring clarity to situations; therefore, walk through and deal,
  • Encourage others to walk through and deal with their emotions for greater clarity and balance,
  • Always process to understand and change therefore always move forward and grow.

Growth and evolution is not easy and is often nerve-wracking especially when I don’t want to really deal with the matters at hand, but I must learn to push through because it the greatest key to my growth. I can now see that the red lipstick did not show up suddenly. It started the day I added a floral red and black top in my wardrobe two years ago. I increased in January 2021 when I polished my toenails bright sparkly red. The change began slowly and quietly and took time to fully manifest.

It is said that ‘hindsight is 20:20’, and I really understand it this time.

My growth and change has been gradual and a lot of it went unnoticed because it was shrouded in small steps in seemingly unrelated places and processes over time. Are you tracking the little things that are changing in you? They could be good or bad changes, and they need to always be tracked no matter what because they are building up to one big thing that will blow your mind when done and bring great attention to your assignment and calling.

Whatever you do, never forget that when you stop growing, you start dying and that death or life is a very personal choice. Always challenge yourself to see more, read more, hear more, understand more, share more, grow more, and become more so that those around and behind you have a path to follow and precepts to learn. Let the legacy of your life be a transformational example of walking with God in obedience and honestly.

Off you go to evolve!!! Shalom.

Kyesubire Greigg March 2021

Love & Joy


You are my heart

You are my hope

You are my joy

Yet I must keep you hidden

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You make me smile

You make me laugh

You make me sigh

Yet I must keep you hidden

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You see through everything

You unpack my code

You understand my pain

Yet I must keep you hidden

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You make me comfortable

You make me deal

You make me face it all

Yet I must keep you hidden

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You peel the layers

You uncover hidden hurts

You find the real truth

Yet I must keep you hidden

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You are my strength

You are my clarity

You are my true support

Yet I must keep you hidden

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I keep you hidden so I can deal

I keep you hidden so I can grow

I keep you hidden so I can learn

I keep you hidden because it is best

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You challenge me to unthinkable heights

You refuse me to doubt and hide

You challenge me to unbelievable faith

You refuse to let me walk out

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Your faith in me gives me hope

Your love for me gives me strength

Your joy and laughter makes me smile

Your cheeky personality shines out

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 Thank you for being God’s hand

Thank you for having faith

Thank you for praying me through

Thank you for standing on God’s word for and with me

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Rise And Be Counted!!


I am fascinated at how often we are pushed into corners.

Are you one of those who prefers working at night but has to work by day to meet the needs of others? Are you a loner and would rather be off on an island but life tells you that is not the way? Are you loud and many people look at you in shock when you laugh? Are you positive and happy and you keep being told to tone down? Society has a way of telling us what is right and what is not.

Recently the new World Trade Organisation Chief Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reported to work in her usual attire, an elegant, floor length flared African print outfit with matching head gear. I saw post talking about how regal she looked and how she had just burst the barrier that said our Afrikan print fabrics and clothes were unprofessional. If you have never met the stereotype, it exists.

Stereotypes are created from experience and values set for us.

It reminded me of my days in the event world. I am a born creative and event designer who struggled with rigid colour codes, so I wore flowing printed A-line skirts with fitted tops and headgear. I remember going for a meeting with a corporate client and they could not get past my dress code. We had several meetings and every time I walked in, they smiled, and we discussed. One day, I was told that when I am meeting with banks and corporates I need to be in black, navy blue and red if I wanted to be taken seriously. You can imagine how I would have to shop for that wardrobe and of course I did not do so.

I have always been one to question things around me so it was no surprise that I would not align to something that was deeply contested in my heart. Watching Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala walk up the steps at the Centre William Rappard (CWR) in Geneva, I understood that times had changed, the shift had happened, the scale has tipped, and I must step deeper into my identity as a daughter of Afrika and do my part to change the narrative and life around me.

Life was demanding more, and I need to be prepared to stand firm.

I looked at many pictures of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala online and there was not anywhere she is in anything other than her Afrikan print outfits and head gear…not a single one. So, I asked myself, am I so sure of who I am that I would keep to my personal style and sense of self no matter what? Do I even know what I must wear and who I must be well enough to I would be steady and unmoved? Am I confident enough in who I am and what I bring to the table to say, stuff it, I will be me at whatever cost?

The ability to stay a course is based on my sense of self, belief in myself and certainty of my calling. The certainty is based on my upbringing and belief system. It is about clearly knowing that my path is divinely ordained, and I am around here to make a difference that will leave footprints for others to follow. Some of us will walk where there are no paths and will be the ones wielding the pangas aka machetes to cut through the bush and leave a path for others.

Bottom line…everyone has a path to chart, a difference to make.

Each of us is responsible for our lives and impact of the same. Each one must commit to the path and bring forth the good within them, but it is a very personal choice. No one can force another to make the choice or live for another. Understand that just like Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, your place in the community awaits you and no one else is created just like you are to become all that and more in your area of influence and ordination.

Arise and be counted as one who makes a mark on their corner of the world that will understand their calling, align to the path and live-in full fidelity to the calling. Rise and be counted!!

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her first day as WTO Director-General (WTO Picture)