The Simple Life

Desperate to see


It feels like I am in the dark

Like the sun never rises

Like the rain always falls

Like very little changes

Like the weight never lifts

~===========~

It feels like I am in the rain

Like the drizzle has turned to a thunderstorm

Like it has shifted to hail

Like the wind is blowing the roof off

Like the weight never lifts

~===========~

It feels like I am all along

Like no can see me

Like no one hears my cries

Like I am in a dark dungeon alone

Like the weight never lifts

~===========~

It feels like the walk is too long

Like we are walking up an hill

Like there are no breaks an stops

Like my feet are numb from walking

Life the weight never lifts

~===========~

How do I move from here?

How do I make headway?

Where do I get the strength?

Who do I turn to for help?

What do I hold onto?

~===========~

Oh to know the way forward

To have a path to follow

To have a plan to execute

To have a place to call home

To have a people call my team

What do I hold onto?

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The Simple Life

Be Truly You…No Hoops


You do not have to jump through hoops to be loved or accepted…that my friends is the truth.

It is common today to say,

  • If he loves me, he will prove it by….
  • If she loves you, she will…
  • If they are part of this life, they should….

The list is as endless as the wind is invisible.

I have grappled for a long time with how I expected people who loved me to behave. I expected constant communication, deep conversation, time spent together, warm hugs, hangouts, etc… but alas. Less than one percent of the people around me could fully deliver on that expectation and I was devastated for a long time.

The thing that devastated me the most, was how clueless many were about what it takes to keep relationships alive. Many seemed to think that as long as we call ourselves friends and hang in the same circles that all was well. They assumed that going to school together or having mutual friends was enough to say we were close. Not a chance in my books!! Why? Simple! It takes work to really get to know and support people.  It takes trust to walk together. It takes hope, faith, and love to stay the full course, and therein lies the challenge.

Often, I found myself having to change who I am to suit the conversations around me or remain friends. I found myself dumbing down my responses so I would not hurt people. I found myself measuring my words and walking on eggshells or having to defend myself over things that do not need it. There was so much pressure to be a certain way that belied who I actually am that did not sit well with me. It made me ask myself,

Why isn’t who I am enough?

The biggest challenge I have saw is how we must jump through hoops to fit in. How certain kinds of behaviour was ascribed to denote a cultured person and impacted acceptance, yet I am the most randomly different person many have met. I remember stares when I walked into spaces a little dusty because I used public transport and had to walk the last kilometre. I remember stares from guards when I get off a motorbike outside a prime location and walk in, I think they preferred cab drop-offs. I have looked up and found people staring at me because I comfortably sit on the floor in public spaces, take the most random photos of plants and things in mid stride or even smile at people I catch watching me.

I remember stares, whispers, and chuckles when I walked across a 5-star hotel lobby, barefoot because my feet were too swollen to fit into my shoes from long hours standing at an event setup. I remember sniggers when I declined to attend a dinner with friends because the cost way high and another time when a friend declined to have more than a drink at a night out because her pocket was light. I remember shudders of disbelief when I said I would not be part of a project because it did not resonate with me.

Is there another way?

Over time, I realise that my path has to be true to who I am so I must be comfortable walking to or away depending on how things resonate. I am learning to speak my truth however unpopular because I will no longer knowingly put myself into situations that will destroy me. Do not get me wrong. I still take on challenges, I still work to climb and overcome the mountain. I still walk on paths unknown and chart ways in unexplored places. I just do not do it for the praise of people or on the pushing of those who do not understand my path and calling.

I no longer jump through hoops to be loved and accepted. If who I am, warts and all, is not enough for you, so be it; our paths will diverge. If the relationship or friendship is not building us up, we do not need to walk together. If my presence in your life does not help both of us grow, our time together is up. I will call you out if our walk needs to align and listen when you call me out to recalibrate, yet I will always remain true to who God has told me I am, no matter how many people walk away.

I will stand and defend what I know is my assignment and pray for the rest from afar. No more hoops…just walking, trusting, believing, connecting, relating, and growing.

Shalom

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The Simple Life

Imbalance


Always strong now weak

Always stable now broken

Always smiling now sad

Always bubbly now silent

≈============≈

Always clear now confused

Always a pillar now a stump

Always on point now off track

Always

≈============≈

The imbalance is too much

It is hard to keep up

This weakness is hard to deal with

It is too messy for us

≈============≈

Who will reach out?

Who will understand?

Who will connect?

Who will stand alongside?

≈============≈

Why are you so imbalanced?

Why are you so out of whack?

Why are you so off track?

Why are you so lost?

≈============≈

Why are you so fearful?

Why are you so broken?

Why are you so different?

Why are you so shakeable?

≈============≈

Where is your faith?

Where is your hope?

Where is your strength?

Where is your power?

≈============≈

Where is your ready plan?

Where is your balance?

Where is your strength?

Where is your God?

≈============≈

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The Simple Life

Authentic Conversations


How many conversations can you have a day?

I thought it would be few, but the last few weeks have really taught me that I can handle more than I ever thought especially when they are about things, I am passionate about. Recently I spent six hours in conversation between meetings and phone calls and in person conversations. It got me thinking of how important what we say is.

Every conversation was distinct but had a common thread. Each one was as unique as the individual on the other end but there was a common thread. The one thing they all had was the push to become better, learn more and move forward. It was so interesting.

Conversations are life…big life.

The conversations brought insight into situations that at the start looked dreary. They drew the curtains back on the real reasons behind the way things are and allowed us to see the truth previously hidden. There is something about open curtains and the ability to see again. It gives clarity and hope when you know what you are working with.

One thing that really caught my attention was that when the curtains were open the thing on the other side of the curtain was dirty windows. Our view is hindered when the window is dirty. Our view is obscured so we cannot see the beauty or the challenges on the other side. It gives us a false sense of safety because we cannot see it but trouble could easily sneak up on us.

Conversations are all about quality not quantity.

Quality conversations are about depth and honesty, truth, and reliability. They bring people together and help us understand our foundations, what drives us and where we are going. It is all about learning new things about each other and understanding that we are all growing so we can give each other room and support to do so.  

As I think of conversations, I remember many conversations that we could not have as we grew up. There were so many topics that were not kosher because the adults around us were not willing to indulge and our young mouths would ask all the same, only to be shut down. That is why conversations are so important to me.

So, I am wondering how more of us can learn to have more authentic conversations. Do you have any ideas you would like to share?

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The Simple Life

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.
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The Simple Life

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?

==========================

You shut all the doors

You boarded up all the windows

You closed all the curtains

You created this ‘safe’ space

==========================

You walked out of all the relationships

You ignored all the calls

You stopped all the chats

You created this ‘safe’ space

==========================

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

==========================

Have you fear it can change

Do not fret there is hope

Understand all things are possible

You can uncreate the space

==========================

Pick up your phone

Look through your contact list

Find the ones you can call

You can uncreate the space

==========================

Send that one message

Send the next one

Make that one call

You can uncreate the space

==========================

Start tentatively but start anyway

Reach out gently for that connection

Trust that there will be response

You can uncreate the space

==========================

You have been away for long

But things can change

You have been hidden for a while

You can uncreate the space

==========================

Hold on to hope

Make daily action

Move closer to others

You can uncreate the space

==========================

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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The Simple Life

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.

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The Simple Life

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.

========================

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.

=======================

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.

=======================

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.

=======================

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.

=======================

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

=======================

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

=======================

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

=======================

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

=======================

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 Simple Life

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.

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The Simple Life

Guarantees


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

Another salary
Is not guaranteed

Another shopping trip
Is not guaranteed
Another car ride
Is not guaranteed
Another day out
Is not guaranteed
================

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

================
The only guarantee is

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