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.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

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
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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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The Simple Life

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
The Simple Life

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

===========

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

===========

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

===========

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

The Simple Life

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)

The Simple Life

Anchored


Many times we think our lives are built on God

But alas

Unless we can track it back to an encounter

Unless it is based on a specific word

When things get rough,

We are rudderless.  

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Most of us don’t even know the WORD is our anchor

We were taught to be around people of God

That because of people it will just work out

We have believed the lies

We are paying a heavy price

We are rudderless

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HOPE is our anchor 

Our place of stability 

Our source of strength 

Our strong tower

Our rudder

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The WORD is our light

Our illuminaton

Our source of guidance 

Our solid ground 

Our hope in the darkness

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The PROCESS is the training ground

Our pruning

Our planting

Our watering 

Our place of experience

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His VOICE is our guide 

Our rod of correction

Our light in the dark 

Our source of comfort 

Our eternal transformation 

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Our strength is in His HOPE

Our joy is in His LOVE

Our peace is in His EMBRACE 

Our power is in His STRENGTH 

Our life is in HIM

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The Simple Life

Mama


As more days go by

As I think about you more

I realise what a mother I have

I see how much work I need to put

into being a better son.

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

I am amazed

How someone I met so randomly

Can be so beautiful

Can love so genuinely 

And never hold anything back.

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

There should be a verse

Written somewhere public

There are many pastors

There are many teachers

But very few real mothers.

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

You are my mama,

A mother who chose me,

Who took that mantle with ease and gladness

Who watches over my life diligently

Yet I haven’t been the best of sons.

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

You have shown me genuine love,

You are obvious in your care and concern.

You have lifted me up whenever we met

You gently but strongly pressed and pushed me

You challenge my mind to open.

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

You demand that I think

Think beyond my brick walls

Think beyond the mediocrity

Think beyond my life of confinement

Think and then act on it.

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

You believe in me even when I don’t

You are confident about my gift

You push me to be professional

You demand I focus on growth

You see my devotion to God.

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

You have never doubted my abilities

If you did it never shows

You warm me when I am being foolish

You stand on the sidelines watching

Never losing faith in me no matter what.

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

The last year may have been hard

Yet you have never left me

I count you as a huuuuge blessing

An ever present support

Always by and on my side.

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

I need you to know

I appreciate you mama

I appreciate you completely and wholly

I love you like the awesome wonder woman you are

I love you Mama!!

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

You have let God use you to bless

You have modelled habits for me

You have watched as God is working on me

Today I choose to be a better man

A man who loves God.

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

Your life is built on a WORD

A word God spoke to you

Not just you doing what you think

But living out a divine plan and pattern

That is a major difference

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

I daily learn how essential the word is

How much my walk depends on it

How many people will challenge it

How much I will have to choose the Word

How my belief of that word will strengthen me.

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

I am now on the right track.

There is so much I have to overcome

I really want to walk with God

There are always depths I will uncover

I will grow no matter what.

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

I have discovered the Well in God

I will always drink of God

I will discover myself in Him

I will get to know myself well

I will remove all facades & false mirrors.

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You warm my heart mama

You have opened your heart to me

You inspire me to be so much better

You are vulnerable with your children

You always make us feel at safe and at home.

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

Mama you have my heart

You win it over, ever time we talk

Your faith in me inspires me to keep walking

I will find more time to spend with you

I will follow God more nearly, because of your example.

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

Thank you Mama,

Your love has changed my life

Your faith has charted a path

Your honesty has challenged me

Your love for God…is my greatest example.

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Photo by uncoveredlens on Pexels.com

Inspired by a series of conversations

The Simple Life

Make The Effort.


Anyone who has a ‘difficult’ name knows how many times they get asked for a short and easy form. I get that question every day and though it used to bother me, I laugh about it now. I am learning to train people how to say my name and encourage them until they get it. No excuses.

I was given an English name at birth so I had always hidden my Afrikan name but the emerging Pan Afrikan in me choose to drop the English name when I needed to fill a form and all the names could not fit and it made sense to use my Afrikan name going forward. Something rose in my fourteen-year-old heart that knew it was the right thing even though I chose to shorten it for the sake of people around me.

20+ years later I realised just how important that choice had been.

Currently, I am going back to using the full form of my name…yes…the full form. Ironically, many people ask for a short form. Why? Simple, many think my name is very difficult. Granted it is different but not impossible. I am perplexed because we go to school to learn other people’s languages, we perfect our pronunciations of people’s names and even gain accents, but we do not want to learn the difficult local names. What is that about? Could it be that we do not value our own?

For so long we have sought to look ‘global’ enough to be appreciated that we forget just how valuable what we have is. Ethnic names have loaded meanings based on the person they come from to the long sentences that you would find in West Afrikan names. They speak to realities that are beyond what we know when taken in relation to the Word of God and our ordained path in Him. Our names give us perspective into the calling of our lives. I know people who had to change their names because they were out of alignment with their calling with amazing results.

Some parts of Afrika more than others, are devoted to their local names and it often comes from the understanding of who they are and the value of their names. There is beauty in local names, the stories behind them, the meanings, and callings. Additionally, names are spiritual; they bring things to life, they protect, they open doors.

All names have meanings no matter the language. Esther means star, so does Estelle, Stella and over 30 others. I think back to Matt 16:17-19 when Christ has an interaction with Simon about the revelation of who He was and when Simon answers, his name is changed to Peter and pronounced what his future would be. Saul had his Damascus road experience, and his name was changed to Paul as he started off on the journey to become an effective Apostle. A change of name aligned people to a future true to the meaning of the names given and lived by Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah etc.

The traditional meaning of my name hoped for, but there is so much more…

Faith is the substance of things…Kyesubire. Yet there is still more!! As my understanding of my name has grown, the reality of what it carries is greater. The reality of my name is Hope Expected. It is the certainty of something coming; the answer is definite. It means that whatever is promised is coming to pass. Now you understand why it is important that I use my name in full.

A few people I know have tried to get me to go back on my choice to go back to my short form from my full name but please understand, it is not about you and your comfort. It is about me and the path of my life. When we meet and I ask you what your name means, I want to understand you better and connect deeper. I also want you to understand your name, its meaning and value no matter what language it is in.

I have said it before and I will say it over and over, my name is Kyesubire and these days, I use the full version, no excuses, because it is more meaningful that way.

Photo by Cleyder Duque on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Rise As One


When we are in the thick of life

We may not see all the vistas

We may not see all the gifts

We must have open eyes

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We will get there

We will build hope

We will find strength

We will conquer it all

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Working together

Communicating clearly

Moving as one

Seeing all angles

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Subtle instructions

Simple angles

Deep insights

Deeper patience

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Learning to be comfortable

Focused on growth

Showcasing inner beauty

Building common strength

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We will know when we found it

We will hold the pose

Shift as needed

Moving with intention

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No guesswork

No discomfort

No fear

No trepidation

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Visualise

Dream

Believe

Work

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Confidence will rising

Knowledge abound

Growth as a constant

Love embodied

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Oneness with the Father

Oneness with self

Beauty unfolding

Light and warmth

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Photo by Git Stephen Gitau on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

In Plain Sight.


For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that  condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
John 5:4, 6-9 NKJV


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Talk about answering the wrong question. Christ asked the man by the pool, let’s call him Henry, if he wanted to be healed and he went on a long explanation about how he cannot move to beat others into the pool. Was he hard of hearing, didn’t he understand the question or was the question beyond the possibility of his imagination?

I will let you decide on that one.

Henry could not wrap his mind around the reality that there is another option. History said that the only way to get well, was to get into the pool before others. He saw no other way so his heart was heavy and his face was long because he couldn’t see a way to get healed. When an alternative was placed before him, it is impossible to see it because it’s based on an impossibility.

Does that sound like you?

Are you moving steadily, hearing clearly, adjusting appropriately to the instructions or are you unaware of what is going on or how you need to be?

Henry caught my attention because of how blinded he was to possibilities and alternatives. A solution was right in front of his nose and he couldn’t even recognise it. Most of us would say it isn’t his fault because he was unexposed to options but something else comes to mind. He was living in a time when Christ was around and stories about Him healing and performing miracles abounded so could it be that he didn’t believe in healing or that he didn’t know it was Christ talking to him?

What blocked his view?

A lack of knowledge had him bound and stuck because he couldn’t see beyond his face. In fact, everyone at the pool was totally focused on getting into the water that they couldn’t see other possible options. They were so focused on the water that they didn’t even see the conversation or healing.

Is that you and me?

Do we see what is available around us or are we so stuck in the way we were raised and how we have lived so far that we are blinded? That is the thing we need to figure out.