Category Archives: The Simple Life

This catergory caters for articles that cover different aspects of our daily lives from relationships, to success tips, to the happenings of the day. It is light and interactive

Conquering Unbelief

Recently in a conversation with God, he asked me, “Do you actually believe?”

What??? How could that be the question? There is a back story here. It was on the back of a question about a promise that seemed late. As a family, we received a clear word from God more than a decade ago, but we are yet to see its fullness. I was in a tizzy because I couldn’t understand why we were so stuck and were not arriving at our destination. So, imagine my surprise at God questioning my belief. 

Let me laugh at myself. Of course, God knows all and sees all so the gap in my beliefs is evident to him. The shock was that I had never seen it. I could not imagine that I could have such a gap. When did my faith get this low? What happened to me; how did it happen? What should I be looking at in my life? Like all divine encounters, all one needs is the desire to see, and He will open your eyes.

I saw it! Where? I confessed the promise but always had a niggling doubt in my mind or heart of its fulfilment. I spoke the promise but questioned the process and timeline. I confessed the word, but whenever trouble hits, I look for a way, a plan B an option.

Sadly, I honestly didn’t believe unequivocally. 

Belief is much stronger than anything I know. It is beyond decreeing and declaring the word. It goes deeper than stamping my foot in confidence as I talk to others. It is much more than anything I knew about myself and my life. It is about a depth I was unaware of and unwilling to admit until that end. 

Belief turned into something so much bigger than me. It showed up as trust, faith, and confidence that started deep within me. It is certainty in God even about things that seem impossible to me. The word that holds my attention is a certainty. Certainty is a firm conviction, meaning that no matter what happens, my mind will not change, and I will not doubt or wonder if things will happen as said. 

Belief is an undying commitment to a word so strongly that I will remain steadfast in the face of all things, including adversity, like the three Hebrew boys, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, aka Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Certainty is the only way out of unbelief.

How did I stop believing?

My life path had been treacherous for so long that the depth of my faith shifted. I had allowed the things that weren’t working or seemed delayed to destabilise my position. The shift had been so gradual that I did not see it happening. I did not see my faith waning, my heart moving or my mind changing. I didn’t perceive the pain was slowly chipping at the pillars of my faith until it was almost all gone. 

On the surface, I said I believed, and it appeared so, however on the inside, there were lots of doubts. I denied the questions and fear. I rejected the notion that I possibly had no foundation or base anymore. I couldn’t admit that I had moved out of my place of rest into a situation of works and machinations in the name of remaining true to the path to bring the will of God to pass. My words and inner actions were totally out of sync. 

The solution is that I return to the place of rest.

It became clear that unless I return to rest and trust God truly, nothing will work. Nothing is possible without a complete recalibration. I can now see why the questions I asked my mentors didn’t make sense to them or seemed shallow. I now understand how some comments I made got me strange looks from others. I acknowledge the sag in my shoulders is because I lost confidence in my walk but camouflaged it well.

The beauty is that God doesn’t leave us in unbelief. 

When we ask, He sends us help. I attest that assistance has shown up for me. I realised that He is a Father who never lets His children die. He is gracious enough to reach out or send us people to support. He will never leave a child who is calling Him stranded. He responds to a responsive and committed child.

The journey back to a strong belief is still going on and has taken several things:

  • Acknowledging what I had seen in myself. 
  • Repenting for getting distracted by the troubles of this world.
  • Creating a new pathway with Papa. 
  • Speaking the new path out loud so my whole being can hear. 
  • Repeating the new pathway to myself when I feel my faith is waning. 
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Take Responsibility

Take responsibility

No one makes you mad

Even when they taunt

You choose how to respond to their jeers

Take responsibility

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No one makes you fall into sin

Even when they tempt you with the benefits

You choose whether or not to do it

Take responsibility

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No one makes you attack them

Even when skimpily or suggestively dressed

You choose to let your urges overshadow you

Take responsibility

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No one makes you fat

Even when they ply you with food

You choose to keep on eating

Take responsibility

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No one keeps you unhealthy

Even when they encourage you to skip your workout

You choose to remain on the couch

Take responsibility

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You only get one life

So live it to the fullest

Make choices that count for you

Take responsibility

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So little has changed.

This week I had a conversation with some teenagers that upset me.

One of them shared how in their school, the girls must pull their socks up and under their skirts all day so that no part of their legs is visible. Apparently, the sight of their legs can cause their male teachers to be distracted. Really?

Why was I so upset?

If you cannot see it, let me explain. Why are we making fourteen-year-olds responsible for the behaviour of adult men? Why is it their responsibility, yet it is the men who should know by now how to control their urges? This story upset me because I heard the same thing as a teenager. At the same time, the boys around weren’t taught anything about managing their appetites until they were older.

Why do we make men’s behaviour the responsibility of women?

I understand that men are visual but are we saying they cannot control their appetites? To say that they cannot control the attraction and subsequent action is to say they are wild animals; that is not true. My experience has been that as we tell girls to be decent and control themselves, we are not telling the boys anything.

It is sad to hear boys put girls down or misunderstand their actions. As a result of this misinformation, when a girl says no, many assume she means yes. When she is assaulted and raped, it is her fault. If she wears a short skirt or form-fitting dress, she asks for something sexual. When attacked, the first question is about what she wore that day. Why?

This narrative must change!

We must teach our sons to be responsible for their thoughts and resultant actions. Man is created as the priest, protector, provider and leader so that the women are under his care. How can he demand that the one he should protect is responsible for his protection? How does he turn around, assault her and make it her fault? How can he say that she is the reason he did something so nasty to her?

Let us teach our sons their role; to stand up for their sisters and not gaslight them into shame and fear. Let us train the men to stand up and defend the women and girls before they are preyed on by others. It is time to make the men responsible for their actions and those of their brothers. They must hold one another to account for their appetites and the outcome of their actions.

Today I am just sad because, on this matter, very little has changed.

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Joy is so much

Joy is an astounding thing

It is not happiness

It is not a warm feeling

It is not the usual thing

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in understanding

Understanding the path is ordained

Understanding the route is set

Understanding there is a way

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in understanding

Understanding the purpose of God

Knowing that He has ordained it

Knowing that He is reliable always

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in peace

Peace is a choice to believe the word

Peace is the presence of the Father

Peace is the confidence of the word

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in waiting

Standing on the word of God

Standing on the hope of His word

Standing on the path of righteousness

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in Christ

The author and perfector of our faith

The firm foundation under our feet

The pillar of strength in our Father

Joy is the reality of God as the driver of everything

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Joy is found in the knowledge that God is the centre of everything

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The Reality of JOY

A while back, I showed up to see a friend with a sad face. A long conversation ensued about where I was on the journey. We spoke until I could see what he meant by sadness should never take root and I should never get used to it. Funny how I hadn’t seen it before. 

How could I, a child of God, have so many sad days? How can the weight of sadness be so settled and not lifted? Did I miss something in my journey? Did all the people feeling down miss something too? How could such sadness take hold of the people and never seem to let go? Some days we smile to cover it, while on other days walk away and hide. How could such pain coexist with faith?

A lot of the sadness we carry is often from relationships. 

Life can be challenging because of how we interact with people and then how we expect them to deal with us. We hold onto those feelings and even project them onto others unrelated to that pain. It is possible to be so used to sadness that it becomes our cloak and identity. Other times, sadness is a tool in the hands of God to teach us to press into him and earn of him. It could be the place to create compassion for others. 

As I write, I see how I choose the cloak I live in; I am astounded. Everything works together in God for my good and His will. I must understand the importance of how I feel and turn it to Him. God is in control because nothing is impossible with Him. Everything happens according to his purposes and plans. 

It then struck me that JOY is critical to life, but a choice.

It is not the absence of sadness or a feeling but rather the reality of God as the driver of everything. Joy is understanding His purpose with this season and then walking with confidence. Joy is grounded in God and only understood through Him. Therefore, I must choose to connect to the Father and remain hidden under his wings. No matter how hard the things around me have been, I make a definite choice. I choose to listen; I choose to follow; I choose to become. 

I find strength in several scriptures that I will share here today:

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Ps 91:4

The joy of the Lord is my strength, Nehemiah 8:10

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Cor 1:20

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov 18:10

…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises… 2 Peter 1:3-4

…Weeping may endure for a night, but [a]joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5b

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Prov 17:22

My journey in God is founded on and grounded in the realities of His word and His work. The promises of God will never fail. 

Shalom.

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Different and Ok

I am one way you are another

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am short you are tall

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am dark skinned you are light skinned

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am quiet you are loud

We are different

And that’s ok

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I have little you have a lot

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am employed you run a business

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am community focused you are business focused

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am a follower you are a leader

We are different

And that’s ok

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I have no child you have many children

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am big bodied you are small bodied

We are different

And that’s ok

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I am fully able you are partially able

We are different

And that’s ok

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Grow beyond comparison.

It was interesting to see how often we compare people and things. 

A while ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being judged negatively by someone else’s experience; it stung like a bee sting. It hurt because of two things. First, the intention behind the situation had nothing to do with what they thought it was. Second, I was unaware of the matrix being used to judge me. The accusation broke my heart so I walked away from the person and conversation. In the end, an honest conversation with my coach righted my thinking.

I had taken issue with the person in this instance, but I had also done the same thing to others. How often have I taken offence when someone shows us late without asking? How often do we sit in our corner and decide what someone’s silence means? How often have we determined the impact of something was because of a specific action without asking? I was shocked when I saw myself in that space.

Several things came up from my reflections:

Do not judge or assume you know why something happens: there are always factors that I cannot see in the background of every interaction, and I need to be open to hearing about them. Every person is working through something, and they may be responding from pain, fatigue or other emotions I cannot understand.

Step back and evaluate your response: Yes, you are hurt or angry. Yes, you expected something different. Yes, others have done better. However, was your response the best? Could you have done something differently? How can you deal with the frustration created by the situation? What can you learn that will shift your response next time?

Forgive: We forgive for our personal sanity and not for recognition from the other person. We do not forgive so that we can make a show of it. We forgive to reconnect to our inner balance and remain connected to God. First, forgive yourself for getting angry and lashing out since it is not part of your character. Second, if you have been a short fuse for a long time, use this opportunity to learn to be a long fuse and gracious person. Third, forgive the other person. Finally, be free.

Extend grace: reach out and find out what is up with the other person. Encourage them, pray for them, raise a banner on their behalf, and place them in the hands of God.

As I reflected, I realised that I was upset because of comparing. I was seeing the actions of this person as the same as others who hurt me in the past. Ah! How good can life be if I do not compare people and experiences? How different will my response be when I learn to allow people to be themselves and meet me free of judgement? It would be absolutely different; that is what I am pursuing. There is extreme peace that comes with letting go: such peace.

Pursue peace by letting go of comparison and thrive.

I am still on the way, but I have grown.

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I am worthy

My worth is not tied to anyone

I finally understand that

I am worthy because I am

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My worth is not determined by anyone

I finally separated myself from that

I am worthy because I am

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My worth is not based on people’s feelings

I finally understood that

I am worthy because I am

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My worth is not a result of anyone

I finally can see that

I am worthy because I am

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I am worthy because I am

I am worthy because of God’s hand on me

I am worthy because I am chosen

I am worthy because I am

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Healing is a Choice

I have never been a person who loves touch. If you ask my mother, she will tell you I was the most different of her three children. I determined early in life that I would be independent and not need people too much. As young as four months, I wanted to be left alone seated, preferably on the floor. I would scream when you carried me and laughed at you when you put me down either in frustration or at my mother’s instructions. As I got older, I resented touch but because we live in a community that likes to shake hands I swallowed down my angst every time someone approached.

My close friends knew my drama with touch and so we high-fived or waved at each other. One day someone asked me why I don’t hug my sister and I said we just aren’t like that. Their facial expression was so hilarious. They just understood that was me and let me be.

For many people, touch is a love language, and I have learnt to absorb that and adjust.

I cannot really tell the root of my aversion to touch as a child. I can however trace it later in life to inappropriate advances made. We currently have a rule of all passengers seated in our public vehicles, aka matatus, but it wasn’t true many years ago. In fact, we would be packed into the ‘matatu’ like sardines. One guy sat on the back seat and once the vehicle was full, he worked his way to the front organising us to stand for the maximum capacity. You would find the vehicle has double its capacity or even more. In those tight spaces, I would be claustrophobic and witnessed many girls get touche inappropriately.

I wasn’t in that class because I learned early on to use my mouth as a deterrent. Yes, I have always been vocal. Several times a person tried to make move on me, but I always made a point of loudly asking him what he was thinking and why he thought it was appropriate to that. thankfully no one tried to take it out on me but I earned the reputation of being ‘mdomo’ meaning a big mouth. I honestly didn’t care because my big mouth saved me from many things. However, these instances and many others of people using touch as a weapon for control taught me to dislike touch.

Fast forward to today. My son, however, has taught me to come out of the no-touch space. He loves touch, so I had to learn how to communicate that way. What a journey that has been. Every day I remind myself that touch is an important part of life for others and have been studying it. I am still learning but I have found that touch, especially hugs and held hands, are indeed tools for healing.

Touch represents connection and compassion.

Hugs from the right people with the right intentions represent healing, they are a source of hope. They are the depth of restoration and give peace. Recently, they have brought me healing and helped me move from one who didn’t like physical contact to one who can appreciate it. They have translated the meaning of connection into a language I now understand.

I am closer to being whole. I can only heal and remain sane when I choose to do the work.

What do you need to identify and acknowledge that is standing in the way of your growth? Do it soon and commit fully to the process of growth.

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I CHOOSE to learn

I stepped into a new classroom

The classroom of listening

The classroom of understanding

The classroom of following

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find there is more I need to learn

I find topics I need to understand

I find habits I need to learn

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find I need to stop more often

I find I need to write more often

I find I need to reflect more often

Oh what a ride it was

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Every time I think I have learnt

I find that knowledge has no end

I find that learning is for life

I find that a desire to grow is power

Oh what a ride it was

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I choose to keep learning

I commit to growing daily

I choose to listen more carefully

I commit to understanding

Oh what a ride it was

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