Monthly Archives: December 2021

Oh Lord We Give You Thanks


Our father and Our God, We thank you

This 31st day of December 2021,

The year is a wrap

We come to you with a grateful heart.

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We thank you for your protection

You have been with us every single day

We thank you for sustenance,

You have kept us alive

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We thank you for provision,

You have supplied all our needs

We thank you for peace

You have surpassed the understanding of men,

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We thank you for your sufficient grace and mercy

You have given us multiple chances

We thank you for work and for business

You have created opportunities for us

We thank you for the gift of friendship, for family and for our loved ones

You have preserved our communities

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Lord all we can and are saying is

THANK YOU

Thank You

Thank you.

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Be exalted and be glorified in our lives

Be lifted high above the earth

You are God and you will always be

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We trust you

We believe in you

We hold onto you

We rest in your love

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By your grace and mercy

In Jesus mighty name we pray and believe

Amen

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By Tim Mjete a prolific writer, lover of God, encourager and gracious believer

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Find Your Place & Build


A recent trip with the young King to the coast was a game-changer like nothing I have ever known. IT all started with a simple conversation in early December that made the trip an urgent reality. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and noticed a food post from a friend. I said we are coming to eat, and he said please make sure you come and thus the plan for the visit took shape. The young king mentioned that Christmas is coming up and schools open right after that so if we didn’t go ASAP, we would miss out. So we planned and off we went.

It was the most off the cuff trip I had taken. The plans for the day crystallised in the morning based on conversations or activities of the day before and finalised based on the needed budget and funds at hand. Some days were spent lazily in the pool or on the beach, others were filled with visits, car rides, food tastings and social gatherings.

It also opened so many things for me to learn as I had time outside my normal routine to really process life. This was the first time I have fully stepped out of work in two years, and it was transformational. It reminded me why it is important to reset often to be more effective at everything we do. This season of reflection taught me a few things

Rest: Even though we spend a lot of the year working and running, we just have to find time in the year to rest. Contrary to the thought that rest is only sleeping, it takes different forms. In fact, I recently found an article that explained rest very simply and highlighted the seven kinds of rest that will help us be truly rested and refreshed. I found stillness, deep sleep, time to meditate, and a connection to nature. Let’s make time to rest

Community: No man is an island because refreshment and wholeness truly comes when we feel like we are part of a community. A community can be family but doesn’t have to be family only. I personally found rest in hanging out with dear ones who were interested in knowing my heart and showing me their heart. I made new friends with locals who guided us through different experiences, conversations and laughter. Community brings healing.

Stillness: One of my best experiences was sitting in a warm pool of salty water at the mouth of Kongo River in Diani. I sat there, floating in the waves, sinking my feet in the sand just sipping ‘madafu’. The sun was hot, the wind was cool, the water was gentle near me but waves were rushing in a short distance away. I sat there until my heart stilled, my mind cleared, my spirit settled and I truly began to rest.

Honesty: It is easy to hide and put on a face of all is well and even lie to ourselves, therefore self-honesty has been my greatest realisation. I didn’t have to eat if I’m not hungry or go out if I didn’t want to. The first place of honesty is to myself to accept that something doesn’t resonate. It brought to the surface all the things I have done in the past JUST because it was expected of me. Not happening anymore…I am done.

Self-love: To love oneself is to be aware of who you are, what you need and how to get it. To love self is taking time out to recharge and grow. To love oneself is to be conscious of your boundaries and enforce them.

I have begun the reset. I have begun to listen deeper to my soul and spirit. I have reconnected to my path of growth. I have learnt to choose myself. I have learnt to make time and room for meditation and growth.

The coming year will be pivotal and I am building the reserves I need for the journey. Join me!!! Make your choice, take your place and build along the path you know you should be on.

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My Safe Space


Every so often we find ourselves in spaces of deep reflections and hard realisations…life is often harder than we expect and we must find ways to deal. Some go silent, others get loud. Some drink the stress away, others fight and quarrel. Some recoil others uncoil…these are the reflections of one choosing silence as their route.

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They don’t care, so why do you

They don’t look, you definitely do

They haven’t said a word, you want to

But the truth is, they don’t care about you

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You want to tell the whole truth,

Want to tell their truth,

They say it sets you free, the truth

But they lied about that too…..

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It breaks and crashes

The truth steals and snatches

It tears homes apart

The truth will break your heart

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It then sits back and watches

What its done come to play

Laughing at all the carnage

It causes from day to day

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These scratches are killing me

My skin is bruised

Untold truths are eating me

Opening new wounds

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I wish they would take a minute

And realize, that I’m not okay

That they are killing me

That you are dying on the inside

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But I know that they won’t see

Because love isn’t in their league

Friendship is just another way

To please their needs

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That’s not how it works for me,

So I’ll just sit here

Find comfort in the quiet

Drowning in the silence

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This is how it’s always been

How it will always be

Just me in my own world

That much is my clarity

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My books my safe place

My mind my prison

Society my deathbed

This world, got the best of me

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Design by Akiko Stories

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Eri.G is an upcoming writer and poet…

The Dream Is Free: The Hustle Is Sold Separately.


Every so often, I come across pieces that say something more eloquently than I can and I share them. Atieno challenged many of my thoughts and reminded me of some important principles that I could apply in life, so I will share her story here

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The Dream Is Free – The Hustle Is Sold Separately!
By Atieno Ayegba
Today this road got me reflecting on when I first came to Atl and also when I landed in the USA in Miami. Well…I am back to my stomping ground …but 1st let me take you back before we come to this here.

MIAMI
New in the USA, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to take on the world (ok…well the USA…that part of the world). Much as I was excited about this beautiful country the reality of the expenses and how to survive was really real. Ex-Hubby and I started off at a Motel, which got costly, so we later moved into an efficiency, that was a lot cheaper, thank God. We could afford it. Was so cheap that as you paid weekly rent, you also got a mousetrap. 🙂

It was one bedroom which meant the bathroom sink was also the kitchen sink. No cooker, so trust I can make several delicious meals in a microwave.
Sometimes the mice used to try and munch on our cereal as we slept. Interesting times those were. I remember loving to walk to the library to use the computer to email and pick out books to read. At some point finally, we were able to save up and buy a car but unfortunately, my dad died, so with the savings, Ex-Hubby bought my ticket to go back home and bury my dad. He bought a bicycle for his means of transport to work as he had gotten a job where he needed to be at work by 3.30am-4.00am and no busses ran then, so bicycle to work it was.

ATLANTA
We decided to move to Atlanta but in parts. He stayed in MIA to keep the income flowing and I came to Atlanta to try my luck and if all worked out he would join me. A wonderful friend Jacky Kio had sung ATL praises and I was like… Why not try it?
I was lucky to get a job at a hotel at the end of this road as a front desk agent and soon after a Mortgage company also got me on as a receptionist. I later moved into the closing department due to my hunger to learn. So 2 jobs, no car but with determination to make it. I remember waking up at 5am to catch the bus to be at job 1 by 7am. Then rushing out at 5pm…..running up the hill to catch a bus to the train/bus station to run up another hill change into my front desk uniform and try to hit the desk by 5.30pm -5.45pm. I typically did that shift to 11.30pm, walked to the train/bus station and went home and rinsed and repeated the routine again.

Today I am back on the same road, rinse and repeating again. This time, I get up at 4.45am…drive from my home to my personal trainer’s training studio. Get there approximately by 5.45am and super excited for the fitness beat down.

Here are some things to think about:

  1. Start from where you are with what you have.
  2. Don’t give up. The dream is YOURS….do whatever YOU need to do for YOU. I started my American dream life in the deep ghetto, some guys would do it that way, others not so much which is fine. The journey was/is mine…I made it work for me.
  3. Little by little, things come together. Just take one step at a time. If you fail, fail forward.
  4. To resilience n grit, add humility, the ability to survive the school of hard knocks and a plan….typically, things work one way or another.
  5. To those starting from zero or even negative: push through: stay the course, typically things turn around. Also while in your journey, whatever portion of it you are in, look for things to be grateful for. It’s funny that even when it is raining you can learn to dance and just because you are on the journey, this doesn’t mean it is bad; you are just where you are when you are and that’s OK too.
  6. Build those inner qualities in you like grit. resilience etc, add peace & joy they too go a long way. Then just be a good human.
  7. God is present.
  8. Stay grounded. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize. (Whatever your prize looks like).
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Atieno Ayegba is a Sr. IT Information Security Tech Analyst| SAP Security| S/4 Hana| Fiori| GRC| CyberSecurity| Mentor -Careers in Tech & Cyber-Security|SOX COMPLIANCE| AUDIT| CONTROLS, bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast.

REFLECTIONS


By Eri.G

Two faced

Everyone is two faced

Everyone is fake

Everyone always wants it their way

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If you have something to say

Say it to my face

If there’s something you’ve been hearing

Shut me up and make me listen

Stop talking behind my back

Stand up and be a man

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Stop the group lies

Put an end to the group chats

I honestly thought we had grown

That we were bigger, better than that

That we’ve matured enough to know

It’s time to let this go

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The mindless conversations

The constant broken telephone

The senseless way we pass it on

The way no one ever goes to the source

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Do we ever just sit back and listen

To all the crap we constantly take in

The edited versions

The ones with the cut out portions

Do we ever really question its quality

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We don’t because that’s not what matters

Just as long as we have the tea

No one cares about what’s missing

We all just want the juicy sweet

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But the minute the table is turned

Faces shift, some cease

It switches to become,

‘Why you always out for me?’

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DEsign by Akiko Stories

Eri.G is an upcoming Kenya writer committed to honest self-expression

Changing Thoughts & Words


I found this piece and it really caught my attention because it is something I have been thinking about for a while. How often do we say, I was wrong or I am sorry or I shouldn’t have said that?

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PASTOR NIYI ADEBAYO WROTE THIS,

“I WAS WRONG!
In 1994, I preached from the Book of Ruth Chapter 1. Recall Naomi and her husband, Elimelech together with their two sons left Bethlehem for Moab when Bethlehem was hit by famine. Yes, they got food and temporal comfort in Moab such that their two sons got married. However, Naomi lost her husband and her only two sons mysteriously in Moab. Painful!

My Error: In that message, which I still repeated somewhere in 2006, I posited very strongly that Naomi came under such heavy disaster because she and her family didn’t pray well before relocating. Again, I insisted they should not have left the Lord’s country to an accursed city of Moab! Hmmmmmmm!

A couple of years later, I realized that the fact that a person falls victim of some losses and bitter challenges doesn’t mean he didn’t pray about it. Jesus authored the voyage in Mark 4:35ff, yet storm arose in the middle of the river.

That a couple hasn’t gotten children in their marriage or that a business or ministry is facing serial critical challenges doesn’t mean those involved didn’t seek the face of God ab initio. The way of the Red Sea wasn’t the only way to Canaan from Egypt; God chose to lead them through that axis for reasons He alone knew. Joseph’s brothers possibly didn’t cross the Red Sea when they went to Egypt to get food…

Are there thorns on your path and you feel life is unfair to you? You prayed, heard God before getting into that marriage, business or ministry but you are battling with painful stuffs there now. Hold fast to Christ. He will come through for you sooner than later. Whatever and whoever Naomi and Ruth felt they had lost cannot be compared to the fact that Jesus’ lineage is traceable to that genealogy now.

Whenever God seems to be slow, He’s coming up bigger. Even, when He’s 4 days late, He’s still on time! True patience means waiting without worrying!

No Pastor is all-knowing. No prophet sees it all. Many times God keeps us in the dark in order to prove to us that HE IS THE LIGHT! It will end in PRAISE!”

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This resonated because over the last many months I have had several conversations about dealing with challenging situations, people saying things and not being able to admit that they said something out of turn or even apologise. If you ask the younger generation, many say that even if your parent is blatantly wrong and they know it, they won’t ever say they are wrong or sorry. So why do we insist the younger ones should learn to apologise when we are not interested or able to do so? Shouldn’t life be do as i do rather than do as I say?

So I looked back to my youth and found that we were raised to believe that our parents were always right and that we should never counter them no matter what. It appeared that they knew everything and would never make a mistake. In turn, we assumed that when we grew up we would know everything and we would be decision makers who won’t be questioned. Oh how I looked forward to being an adult so that my words would be law and not countered. What a let down when I finally ‘grew up’ and realised just how little I actually know and how many times I would have to say as much.

The truth is…no one knows it all no matter what!!!

Our perspectives are influenced by our upbringing and exposure and if we do not question the paradigms we were raised in, life will surprise us when we don’t get what we were looking for. There is nothing wrong with not knowing. There is nothing wrong with being uncertain. There is no way you will be the most knowledgable person in the room all the time. It is indeed possible that you could make a mistake and need to apologise and no one, no matter their age, is too old to say sorry, please or thank you. Be careful that old paradigms do not rob you of a rich and full life today.

The world is changing every day at a rate that is faster than anything our parents dealt with. The simple reality is that there are things like the level of information access and speed of change today, is light years faster than in the past. It is a fools idea, to assume that we would know it and and therefore be unquestioned. I have found that asking questions and listening are the most critical tools of the day and we can find peace and grace in life.

I posit that we must live simple, never think too highly of ourselves and be quick to apologise, repent and share the love of God in real deep ways. Life is simpler when we know our limits and live consciously.

Shalom.

Design by Akiko Stories

You are Present


You are eager to spend time with me.
You actually come and wait for me
Not just one day, but every day
At the time I said I would come.
I come and wait in a hurry
I come and wait sometimes
I come and wander wondering if You’re there
If You will come, if You know I’m here

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I go
Unsure, uncertain, disappointed
You didn’t come
You didn’t wait
You don’t come through
You don’t talk to me
I don’t know Your voice
I don’t hear You

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The truth is You are here
Or there, wherever I am
Because You are You
Jehovah Shammah
God who is Present
So, I do not have to wait
You are not coming
Because You are Present

By Tibaga Talitwala-Gacheru

Growth is a CHOICE


Too often we find what we think are reasons for not moving or growing and get stuck. If only that was true.

Growing old happens automatically from the day we are born as we progress towards our final day but growing up and maturing is not automatic. My grandfather used to say that if you educate a thief you have an educated thief and the village idiot no matter how old isn’t wise…he or she is just an old village idiot.

We must learn to CHOOSE to grow. Yes, growth is a CHOICE. A young lady asked me why I say so and this is when I really listened to my thoughts. Let me share a few!!

If you are at the bottom of the class and you know you shouldn’t be, you have a choice to make…either stop playing around and study hard or keep playing around and remain bottom of the class. It is a CHOICE.

If you want to build a business and all your friends are employed, you must get over your need to be seen in all social spaces, choose the field and work on it diligently. You will network and connect, work to fill the orders, build and dismantle teams until they work and keep at it until it succeeds. You will save funds, cut back on the social activities you do and make as much time for the business until you succeed. It is a CHOICE.

If you choose to get married and remain married. You will ensure you choose right, invest in the relationship before and during, connect with your spouse often, make time to realign, be accountable to one another and others, speak about your plans and commitments and forsake all others who may draw you away from the relationship… It is a CHOICE.

If you want to become a public speaker, you would look for a place to practise speaking, read more diversly to, ask questions, listen more, and begin to speak even if you make mistakes. You will seek feedback from honest sources and practise to make the recommended changes and keep at it until you are good then practice some more… It is a CHOICE.

Do not let anyone fool you…you cannot grow until you CHOOSE to grow. Nothing and no one can force growth and lasting change down your throat. Not a single thing can make you choose to change. Growth is a PERSONAL CHOICE made for PERSONAL REASONS. I cannot count the number of times I have had to go against the grain and do things that others didn’t approve of at that moment but I knew they would be the right thing for my journey. I cannot count the number of times people have marvelled at how I have changed and transitioned towards my goal.

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The things I know that have worked for me are:

Choose the GOAL: what do I want to grow into? Who do I need to become? What is the instruction over my life? What must I accomplish for God on this journey? What part of society must change because I am alive and working in that space?

Choose the growth TACTIC: What things will be part of my daily routine from now until we attain the desired growth? What kind of people must I avoid or connect with?

Choose the MEASURE: What will I have become and done for me to know that I have attained the goal? What is the picture of my successful transition from ordinary to extraordinary? Who will hold me to account? How often will I report progress? What is the format and duration of the accountability?

Choose to START: Every day is an opportunity to get up and make progress or remain in the same place and shrivel. Daily one must choose to rise and start the journey in the morning, restart when things fall apart, recover from loss or failure, celebrate wins and growth. The important thing is to ensure that we are making steps every day.

I hope you now understand why I say Growth is a CHOICE.

What choice are you making today that will help you grow every single day for the rest of your days?

Shalom