Walking with God, THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Hold Loosely


It is incredibly easy to hold on to people and things too tight to remedy for our inner turmoil.

Do you have relationships that are challenging or have failed because of being tight fisted? Do people in your life say you are clingy? Have you described someone as high maintenance and demanding? Have you been described as such? What could the cause of this be?

I spent time digging into my life and found that whenever I was feeling lost and lonely or I was dealing with difficult things I had a few default responses. I would hold on tightly to the people around me and use them to validate my feelings; I would pretend to be okay but inside there is a war raging driven by anger and sadness because people couldn’t see my pain; I would stand in the corner terrified by my life and expect people to see I wasn’t okay so they would come and ask. How did I expect that to happen if I didn’t speak up?

I was stunned to realise that I wanted my people to be mine and no one else’s.

I wanted monopoly over their lives and attention. I wanted them to drop everything and come to listen to me regardless of where they are. I wanted them to answer my calls and messages immediately even during work hours. I wanted them to just know internally when I wasn’t ok and o know the actual thing that was ailing me. I wanted to be the focus of the lives around me that were core to my survival.

In time I had to realise that no one can be forced to be around me nomatter how much they say they love me and no one can really understand me unless they have an interest in doing so and have a divine instruction and revelation to stay around. Why? We are all special and not everyone is built to live and deal with us. There is a specific core. I also realised that this kind of connection is a two way street so I wanted their attention and devotion I needed to be willing to return the same attention and devotion.

I remember telling a friend, and I may have said it here, everyone in my life is categorised.

The journey to wellness and balance demanded a shift to a more realistic view of me and life. Everyone has a place and each place as a sense of expectancy to a certain end. It means that those in the inner circle have greater access to my inner sanctum and can ask questions and demand accountability. The further out one gets the less access they have to personal information. Why? Not everyone needs to know and not everyone can handle the inside of me. Sounds simple enough no?

My people and I can read each other from a distance, from the tone of a message or unction in the spirit. The part that really fascinates me is how deep the freedom to call one another out goes. There is little we can’t talk about and lots of strength we share one to another. We are driven to see each other become better people so where there is foolish we address it, sadness we assess and engage it, challenges we resolve them, joy we celebrate loud, long and hard.

The caution though, is to remain an individual even as part of the tribe.

Sometimes, when the journey has been long and arduous, it is easy to lean into people so much that they become the ones living our lives for us and directing every step. This isn’t healthy. Pillars are important to a building but they aren’t the whole structure and the same applies to our people. It became a stark reality that I needed to find and make space within and around me for myself and my people to feel free to be away and be confident that they will come back and the experience would make us stronger.

It has been quite a learning to curve to understand and accept that my people have friends and support pillars outside me and I cannot change that. In fact, these outside engagements could be the key to making our connection deeper. Even harder was the ability to give them the freedom to not only be away, but also to be silent even for months on end trusting that when they resurface we will be able to reconnect. (The silence for months is my current lesson…wah!!!) This applies to friendships, family connections and even marriages. So often we think that unless we do everything together in marriage we aren’t a unit now I know that to be rather false.

I found that, having and pursuing personal interests on one’s own adds incredible depth and variety.

It has been hard to realise that I may not know everything about every member of my tribe, but I must be grateful I at least know most of the things. The thing that gave me the most freedom was the realisation that these other friendships and interactions add so many dimensions to our connection through diverse experiences, interactions, ideas and expressions.

It also dawned in time that if I want to rise as an individual who is part of a strong tribe, there are people in my tribe who want the same. Could I be the one holding them back by my application of behaviour, culture and traditions that are archaic and non-beneficial? As I have interacted with more and more young people, I also realised that there are things we are the older generation see as the bedrock of relational stability that mean nothing to them because they don’t have the same social context as we do. This forced me to think through finding ways to connect with people around what is important to them and show them what is important to me.

So I say love deeply, connect honestly but hold loosely.

Holding loosely demands that I deal with the fear, anxiety and pain within me that demands I have certain people and conditions around me for stability. Holding loosely means I must address and resolve the internal sources of uncertainty that make me feel imbalanced. Holding loosely means I trust God to know and orchestrate the right elements for my growth and rise. Holding loosely means I have to trust that the value I give to my tribe is enough to keep them coming back. Holding loosely means that when a member of the tribe needs to leave, I can allow them that privilege without guilt trips and fear.

Holding loosely means that I can admit when I need help and find it even if it means looking for it  externally. Holding loosely means I take responsibility for my inner state and do all I can to resolve the challenges and build strength. Holding loosely means I love, accept and forgive me first then share the same grace to my tribe and the rest of the world. Holding loosely means I am can forgive and move on even if the other party isn’t exactly repentant because forgiveness is for me. Holding loosely is letting go of the pain and learning to live without expectation but full of expectancy. Holding loosely is learnt over time and gives freedom to love oneself and grow into the most beautiful version of myself.

Here’s to holding loosely!!

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com
THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Deal, Deal & Deal


Have you ever been told get over it and move on? So have I.

I am still on the subject of pain because it has so many facets. I remember periods in my life when on the outside I got over it and walked on but it wasn’t true inside. If you met me, I was happy and carefree but on the inside I was bleeding, dying and in very deep pain. Why? Life had been hard and it was taking its toll on me but the need to be strong and stable striped me of the ability to be vulnerable and actively address the pain in my life.

A few years ago I met a young lady, let’s call her Ally, several times in different settings and on the third meeting she asked me if I was, ‘The Kyesubire?’ I had an idea what she meant but I still asked ‘Which one?’ Oh my! She described me in living colour based on things based on a previous broken relationship and I simply said, ‘Yup, the one and only.’ What was it? I had walked away from a relationship without a backward glance into a beautiful life leaving the other person reeling. But was it true that I walked away scot free? Without any knowledge of my side or state of heart and mind, she and many others judged me as mean and unfeeling.

That day we had a long conversation that has come back to me the last few days.

She had never met me but those who saw me ‘walk tall and go on with life’ without knowing what was going on inside told her about me. In turn she judged me as unfeeling from people’s interpretation of my outer face without even meeting me or knowing what I looked like. I knew this was happening because people I had never met were cold as ice and I only made the connection when I realised which circles they walked in. The pain shook me because I had never faced such widespread hatred by people I didn’t even know.

‘Why did you make it appear like you were fine?’ Ally asked shocked to find out how a strong outer experience can be a mask for deep pain.

‘It would be used against me if I was broken, so I toughed it out,’ I replied.

‘Didn’t it kill you inside?’ she asked.

‘It almost did, but I survived,’ I replied

‘How did you survive?’ she asked

‘I shut down and didn’t deal with the pain until I had the strength to do so,’ I replied.

‘Why?’ she asked.

‘That was all I could do at the point.’

It took me many years to deal with the pain of this situation but I grew in the process.

I have since walked away relationships and friendships when I realised I am or can cause the other person pain and things are unlikely to change. The hardest part in relationships is realising that there is no end to the pain and we are better off apart. As one who loves deeply and totally this has been one of the hardest things to learn but I now understand that if I being with me will cause one of us to fail in the end I must leave even if you don’t understand right then. I fight for important relationships but when I also let go when being together will create a form of death or loss.

It is very easy to be judged because of a side of me that people don’t or didn’t see. They didn’t see the years I spent second guessing my worth because of making an unpopular choice. They didn’t see the deep sadness and loneliness in the ensuing days because of lost routines and networks. They didn’t see the struggle of faith because the very people I expected to walk with me shunned me for a choice they thought wasn’t good but in time has proved to be the best choice ever. They couldn’t see because I couldn’t dare show it to them without looking foolish; or so I thought.

My healing came when I learnt that I am not perfect and I can cause pain to others. Healing was a journey with lots of help along the way. There are a few things I need to highlight that helped me along the way:

  1. Self-reflection: I had to look within and understand who I am, why I am here, whether I am on track, where I got on track and if I could get back on track. I had to look and see the pain I had and continued to cause others. I had to face it even if it was hard because in life we aren’t taught to easily accept that we have made a mistake or a wrong turn and need to course correct. This step set the important pace to healing because it enabled me realise I wasn’t perfect and also have an end game to work towards. I am still working towards that goal.
  2. Honest People: I remember the thing that kept me going at the beginning was an unlikely group of friends. A few of my male friends came alongside me and became my crew. They checked on me every day, the caught me up on all the things people were saying about me, they invited me to hang out and made sure I ate. They taught me that I have to be deliberate in life to build a community who believe me, stand by me, are confident enough to challenge my ideas and opinions. They taught me the value of total acceptance and no judgement. It took a few more years for me to really be able to accept totally and not judge but they set the foundation for me. In the ensuing years, we are no longer close but I know I need to have a few close people to hold me to account.
  3. Emotional outlet: It was important to let the pain out in tears but mine used to be non-existent so I didn’t have that outlet. I didn’t even know how to throw things or scream to relieve the internal pressure. What did I have? I had words and hands, simple huh? I poured out my heart, fears and would be tears into a heap of journals, some of which I destroyed as I dealt with matters. They became the outlet I needed to deal and the place to find peace at the end of the day. They still allow me to go back to the remaining ones and remember how I need to keep growing no matter how challenging it gets.
  4. Counselling: There were things I couldn’t handle alone so I sat with a professional in to work through the issues. What was interesting was all the people I sat with emphasised that I couldn’t change the other person so I must focus on dealing with me and the things within me that needed changing and growing. It was hard at first because we would identify how I felt, why I felt that way, who caused it, how it was affecting me and how to get back to healing. These sessions helped me realise that I could only change me and that had to be my focus.
  5. Closure: I learnt it wasn’t always possible to find closure on my one so as often as I could I went back to people I had differences with and had difficult conversations. In these chats we had some of the most intense conversations. In time I realised that sometimes when relationships end, one side may not know what happened or why things went south while the other has a clear idea. I found that both sides have differing opinions of why and how it affected and honest deep conversation could start deep healing. I found that I had to be so present and honest and even though it was hard we came away as better, more grounded people. What could be better than that?
  6. Forgiveness: The thing that has blown my mind is how the simple act of asking for and receiving forgiveness has major healing power.  It was unreal when after a long conversation one of my friends asked for forgiveness for the pain caused yet I was the one who walked away. Another apologised for not protecting me when people begun to tearing me apart by telling his side. I was always the culprit who assumed they knew why I left so I was always on the hook apologising for the assumptions. In the last year I have seen how forgiveness changes situations and I am glad to be part of them.

There isn’t a simple way to deal with the pain of life but to deal, deal, and deal. We cannot hide from it or walk away, but we can deal with it and use it as fuel for the next phase of life. Once through the process, I realised that the pain of my past was the best classroom and launch pad for my life. I learnt to walk free and light because even when I could not talk it out with those causing me pain or those I have caused pain, I could work through it and come out on the other side stronger and better.

I am better because of the pain I have been through. I am less judgmental and legalistic. I am more compassionate and understanding. I still demand 100% from myself and my people but I no longer expect people to move at my pace but push them to move swiftly at their pace. In the middle of pain it feels really bad and we want it to end but on the other side of pain I find that we have more strength that we ever thought possible.

I therefore say, don’t avoid pain, deal with it, learn from it and become the best version of you.

You are beloved.

The Simple Life

My Unexpected Teacher


On one of my many public commuter journeys I met an amazing and unexpected teacher. I had a brief encounter but it was a Masters class. It was at about 6pm and I was on my way home at the Railways bus station. It had rained and so as it typical in Kenya, the public commuter vehicles had hiked the fare by at least 50% while on some routes fare had gone up 100%. Added to this fact was the reality that many of the vehicles were trapped in traffic on the way to town so there were few to no vehicles at that normally bustling bus Amazing Rock-splashes-at-sunset-resizecrop--station. This day the place was thick with people and thin with vehicles.

At about 6.30pm, vehicles started coming but none of them were willing to get onto our route. You see, only part of the road is tarmac and the rest is all weather but it is rough and it goes on for about 10km. There was no other option so we stood for quite a while and waited. Ok…it is be a stretch to say we waited patiently because we were antsy, fidgety, tired and many were complaining. Finally, one bus came and they said they would go as far as the end of the tarmac and many of us quickly got on. I like seats near the front, so I got to sit in the seat next to the conductor a young man I will call Karis. He is a very polite young man who intrigued me from the start. Those who know me well know that when I am intrigued I want to know more and understand the person on the other end.

We started talking when I gave him a crisp Kshs 200 note and told him I don’t want dirty money for change. He smiled and said that he has learnt to be fair and give people what they give him. If you give him old notes you get your change in old notes; if you give him clean notes you get your change in clean notes. Hahaha! That was the funniest thing I had heard all day. I got my crisp Kshs 100 shilling note back and off he went to collect money from the rest of the commuters. Once done, he came back, sat down and we began chatting. I learnt so much from him I couldn’t believe it.

This young man is 26, he has four other siblings and they are orphans. Their parents died when they were teenagers and they were raised by their aunts and uncles. He was raised in the church but because of lack of fees he never went far in his education. However, he said something so profound I was reminded of it this week. He said, “In life there those who are educated and those who are wise. The people who are successful are the wise and not necessarily the educated because wisdom helps you make good choices.” This was the start of an hour long conversation because that day there was traffic.

Amazing Two-lovable-babies-resizecrop--The highlights for me were several:

  • Your start doesn’t matter: where you were born doesn’t determine where you will end up. He was not born rich but he lives well and has found joy. He worked for a garbage collection firm and arrived at work at 4am and left at 10pm so he had no time to waste. All he did was eat and sleep in the evening and then get back to work in the morning.
  • A good upbringing makes a difference: he was raised in the church and taught to love God, focus on life and avoid a loose wasteful life. He was also taught to work hard and dream about the future. He also saw what alcohol, smoking and living loosely did to his colleagues and opted not to get involved.
  • Saving: it is important to put money aside and invest it. He saves at least Kshs 4000 a week. He learnt that as long as he is able to eat and sleep every day he can put aside all that he didn’t use. You see, most conductors earn at least Kshs 1000 daily. If he spends less than Kshs 300 daily it leaves him to save Kshs 700 a day which translates to Kshs 4900 a week. there are days when it’s more.
  • Never give up: a few years ago he was dating this girl and he was really serious about and he gave it his all. In the scheme of things the relationship ended after about a year and she left him high, dry and broke. He had to find the strength to go on and start again. He moved out and away to start away
  • Always look for quality at a good price: it was interesting when he said that he was looking for leads on expatriate sales so that he could get good deals on quality furniture.
  • Have a plan: know where you want to be in a set number of years. Clear goals. Set timelines. Clear action plan.
  • Never give up: life will send things your way that may be huge to get over or through. Don’t let the obstacles keep you from getting what you want to. The important thing is to keep moving and life will work out.
  • Appreciate the people around you who care about you: Karis owes a lot in his life to his uncle who gave him opportunities to grown and encouraged him when things were thick. He also let him know when it was time for him to stand on his own and be a man. He also has an older sister who took care of them when they were younger until they could stand on their own. It was never easy but they stood together.
  • The importance of salvation: In his words, ‘Imani yangu ndio imeniweka kwa yote imehappen…Kama sio Mungu…’ (‘My faith is the only thing that has kept me through all that I have been through. If it wasn’t for God…). Enough said.
  • Seek to be wise over and above schooling: Schooling without wisdom gets you nowhere…seek both and reach higher in life. In his definition, schooling happens when someone just goes through school and comes out with papers while wisdom is the ability to assess situations and survive because of street smarts. I use schooling because I believe the education is what is left when all else is forgotten, so it is beyond schooling. I am still unpacking this one lesson and when I am done you know what will happen around here.

Suddenly I was at the end of my journey and had to get off the bus but there was so much to think about as I walked the last distance to the house. We were all dropped at the start of the dirt road to proceed to our respective homes as the driver and Karis turned around to head back into town for a few more trips to the nearby areas. In that instant I realised that his shift was far from over but he hadAmazing-tornado-over-water-resizecrop-- taken time to talk to and inspire another person.

I am totally inspired every time I think of Karis because when I am honest with myself, he is doing so much better than I am with so much less than I have. My decision from that day has been to be grateful for what I have and use it to make life better for me and those around me. I also decided that my life has to have value and be shared with others so that I can make the kind of difference in their lives like Karis made in mine.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Unexpected Perspectives of Life


I have had the opportunity of using public transport a lot in recent months and it has totally changed my perspective on life. I have been struck by so many different things it is amazing in and of itself. I have a new found respect for people who use this as their primary means of mobility. Wow!
If you work 8-5 and live in my neighbourhood chances are that you wake up at 4.45am and will leave home at 5.50am. Once out, you will either walk to the main road or take a motorbike taxi there or occasionally get the few ‘Matatus’ these are 14, 29 or 38 seater minibuses. My oh my…the cold at this time is unreal. Add dust from some of the dirt roads, the lights from the cars rushing out, the beeps of motorbike horns, the whiz as they pass by…it is amazing. I can only call it energy.

Photo courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Photo courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

When you get to the main road, you have to cross one single lane road then two, two lane roads to get to the inbound bus stop. Imagine crossing a busy road under the cover of darkness. I wondered if I could be seen. Are my clothes reflective or at least light coloured? Have I properly calculated the speed the oncoming vehicle has? Is it a Land Cruiser Prado or any make of Subaru? I found that you can outrun or properly anticipate the speed of all other cars except these two. So I stand there for about ten minutes before I can safely cross the road. Oh I am the only one who takes so long most people are used to it so they are across in a couple of minutes. Wah… finally I am safely across and my heart is pounding and the adrenaline is flowing. I need a couple of minutes to recover from that yet the journey has only just began.

After a brief wait a ‘matatu’ or two arrive and begin calling for customers. I find it funny that different operators have different prices as well as routes. There are two ways to get to town namely through Uhuru Highway or through Jogoo Road. The latter is a new route that came about when the main roads into town would be too congested. There also other sub routes where the operators don’t reach the CBD but stop at different points along the route. Anyway, back to the ‘matatus’. In my opinion, these vehicles play very loud music. They also have coloured internal lights that are not helpful for reading (well most people aren’t into that) but are for seeing passengers and empty seats. Often the easiest thing to do is put in earphones and listen to something on your phone or catch a nap. Now, owing to the fact that I have already been up for two hours that nap is elusive yet not quite so for some of my fellow passengers. I choose to sing along with the radio station and laugh at the comments of the presenters. The most interesting thing is that most of them tune in to the same station so if you get off one and onto another you don’t lose much on that show if you are interested.

It is at least a 45 minute commute that ends at one end or the other of the Railway Station depending on which commuter sacco vehicle you have travelled in. If the energy on the way in is anything, the energy in this lower end of town is insane. You pass the main Nairobi market and it is bustling with people, trucks and buses as wares are sold. The streets are teeming with people walking to work and there are restaurants open and already doing booming business. What time do these people get up? When do they get all these things going? The thing I found most amazing was that there were several shoe shops already open and doing business at this time of the morning. I was amazed because it I have never seen a shoe shop open at 6.45am!
There is another category of people I had also noticed as I sat in the ‘matatu’. There are many, many people who walk to work. I have honestly known that many walk yet this time it really hit me just how many. There are droves of people from different places and directions walking in the cold and dark morning. I realised that some people walk all the way, others take a vehicle part of the way and walk the rest of the day. Yet in this mix you see people talking to each other and laughing, listening to music or radio or just walking in silence…just like those in the commuter service vehicles. Some are walking free others are heavily laden with their wares often from the market. Alongside them are the handcart pushers. These guys pull handcarts loaded with merchandise from one end of the city to another. The bulk of the ones I see are ferrying food from the market to the residential areas for the vegetable vendors to sell. It is a sight to behold as many of them are sweaty and in a light t-shirt yet it is cold and the rest of us are bundled up and shivering.

This journey isn’t ending in town though; I am heading to the other side of the city so I walk across town to

Picture courtesy of www.frazerfamily.ca
Picture courtesy of http://www.frazerfamily.ca
get my next vehicle. As I get further away from the lower end of the city the situation is totally different. There are very few people around, shops are still shut up tight it is clear that the day hasn’t started. The first time I took this route I didn’t realise this because I walked most of the way through the busy lower streets parallel. On the following trip I took a different route and that was when I realised the difference. The two sides of the city are so different in terms of when and how they come alive and when and how they shut down.

As usual this got me thinking…

Picture courtesy of Stephen Ananda
Picture courtesy of Stephen Ananda

• Are there things going on around me that I had never seen?
• Are there things in my life I need to sit up and recognise so that I can reach the next level?
• Are there people I need to listen to or at least appreciate more for their labour?
• Are there noises around my life that I either need to tune out or tune in to?

Even as these questions are running through my mind, I have so much I can pick up as lessons. I have to decide clearly what I want to do and make the choices count by doing something about it every day. #MyTakeHome from this experience is:
• I need to develop a sense of consciousness about my life and the things around me. There is no room to
walk around oblivious to the things going on.
• I need to stop and listen to the music of life, savour every situation and appreciate the gift of life
• Always look for the good and the great lessons in life
• Ask every question and ensure you have an answer for each.

Here’s to a great life full of listening, learning and sharing.

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

#Renewed by Nature


I am continually struck by the beauty of creation and the glory of the fullness of God. As I sit at my desk and I need inspiration, I find myself looking at beautiful pictures, lively colours, simple things and quotes. I have begun to find deep peace and inspiration in the simple things that God created and the lovely people that He has given us to live with. I am astounded every day at how small things can inspire. There are scriptures that inspire me too and below is one of the greatest ones.

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Psalm 24 (KJV)

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, theLord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

***********************************************

I walk more these days and the experience of the outdoors has opened up doors and ideas of things that I may never have found. In the outdoors I have experienced greater peace and calmness yet at the same time, the serenity has opened my heart and mind to face some deeply hidden parts of me. The parts and levels that I may never have reached because of the pressures of my life. In this place I came to realise that there is order and sense we need to make about this life that cannot be done if we are not truthful to ourselves and find places of stillness and peace.

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” V1

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

This resonates with me because I realise that I am here on a very set and established timeline and for a set and established purpose. The purpose question stayed with me a lot. I realised that I could be looking for my purpose in big things and deep connections yet it was in small and seemingly insignificant things. Simple things came to me in different and amazing places. I realised that walking along the roadside and driving along in a car provides very different perspectives. Travelling in a public transport vehicle and riding on the back of a public service motorbike also gives astoundingly different perspectives.

The bigger question is how these perspectives affect how I live out my God given purpose.

I decided to let go of my previous perceptions and learn to seek new explanations and opportunities where I am. That is when I realised that I have met amazing people as I have walked some really long distances. The biting cold wind on the back of a motorbike gave me incredibly fresh thoughts (no pun intended). I discovered many things about me as I was sitting in the traffic listening to a radio station I naturally wouldn’t pick just because I was in a public vehicle. I have had personal and social conversations with travellers are we drove together in personal vehicles from A to B. I have walked along newly paved and lit roads at night that in the past were no go zones. The variety of these experiences has inspired me and created valuable and life changing experiences. I discovered things I didn’t know about myself that I now love.

Recently I took a motor bike to get to a meeting and I found myself leaning into the direction of the turn as the driver took corners and sitting upright behind the driver to avoid excess wind. I was suddenly aware that I had become comfortable with bikes (as long as they aren’t being driven at high speeds). My heart was no longer in my throat as we drove along. A few weeks before the motor bike experience, I was walking from one side of a suburb to another and the pace I was keeping caught the attention of a fellow walker. He was an older gentleman and we walked together for a long distance. He shared lots of insights and laughs that made the distance much shorter than it would have been if I was alone. I learnt so much from him and my spirits lifted. As we parted, a friend I needed to speak with called me and he was across the road from where I was and was headed in the direction I was heading. You can imagine my excitement when the day ended and I sat to think it through.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of… This fullness means that my life has meaning and purpose and every day has a purpose that must be fulfilled. I must therefore live in an ever present state of awareness that there are things to do, words to say, prayers to make and places to visit that will help me fulfil my purpose as well as help others fulfil theirs. In the book, Divine Inspiration; the key to extraordinary living; Dr. Albert Odulele says something I find totally profound…he says:

“There is ‘substantial creativity’ in you and many await it for the alleviation of their sufferings. When the things locked in you are

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

unveiled, joy, peace and an improved quality of life will be the direct by-product for all those who benefit from it.”

So the questions I ask myself every night…

  • Am I living the life I was sent here to live?
  • Am I having the impact that was designed for me?
  • Am I concerned about the insignificant or significant?
  • Has my day lived up to its full potential and impact?

Wow…let’s keep walking this faith walk

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Mind of Its Own


There are things in life that we are good at times and therefore take for granted especially when we have done them for a long time. This is especially true if it is things that we do well, naturally and with little or no thought. What do you think would happen if one day you set out to do the thing you have always done well and it doesn’t work? Take a moment to think about.

Recently, that very thing happened to me and I was devastated. Growing up in our home there were things we had to learn to do to enable us to survive. We had to do well in school, be good at all we did and be able to take care of the home which included cooking, cleaning and any other task at hand. I had a great interest in the kitchen and so I was encouraged me to begin to do these things. I was in the kitchen cooking on a stool from when I was six years old and by the age of eleven, I could bake. From that point on my mother and sister were relived of baking duties and I thrived in that department. Over the years I gained experience and for those who have tasted my cakes can attest they are nice.

Over time, I have played with and adapted recipes time and again to suit the situation, style or size I needed. However, for the first time in over twenty years of baking things changed. An acquaintance asked if I could bake a milk cake. A what? Ok, let me be honest, I had never heard of a milk cake or if I had, I had dismissed the whole notion. My initial response was to laugh and then forget the discussion. However, I was prompted again after a few days so I googled it and sure enough there are hundreds if not thousands of milk cake recipes with varying complexities. After a long search, I selected a recipe and tried it. Voila…it was easy as brushing my teeth…one try and it was all good, even better than good. It was my new favourite cake. I sent a taste piece out and it was approved and the order placed.

Remember I am confident about my skills so I simply mixed another batch of the cake and put it in the oven and waited for it to cook. Lo and Behold, when I pulled it out of the oven it was cooked but had sunk in the centre. What? How did this happen? Absolutely confident that I could remedy the situation, I mixed another batch and put it to cook. Once again the same thing happened…it cooked through but sunk. This time, I almost fell. My lil man saw my face and actually came to give me a hug to make me feel better. How could this be happening to me? I was sure I had followed the recipe to the letter and I was a seasoned baker! Over the next three days I re-tried the recipe again and the same thing happened and now I really had to stop and think.

As I worked through the process I asked a series of questions to find out what was missing:

  • Were the quantities right?
  • Was the process right?
  • Was the temperature right?
  • Where did I go wrong?

After some thinking and questioning, I finally found the answer. The problem was in the process. Let me explain. I had inexplicably used the milk and butter mix when it was too hot, didn’t cream the eggs and sugar enough and the oven was too hot. Simple things yes, but they totally changed the final outcome. The cake was cooked through and very tasty but it was not as appealing as it should have been. Once I revised the process and adjusted for the errors it worked out well. Then I realised what was wrong.

This made me think about my life and walk with God. There are daily challenges in life and my response to the instructions received from God determines my success in life. So I have to ask several questions:

  • I Am I walking as I should be?
  • Am I listening for direction and following exactly?
  • Am I in the place I need to be when I need to?
  • Are there subtle changes I have made in the process that are affecting the outcome of my life?

As you read this, can you relate to me on this issue? I am sure someone can. What do you need to assess and reconnect to that will change the course of your life?

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

It’s not that hard…just ask


Last week I posted the lesson below on my Facebook page…

#‎WeeklyLessons‬….

This week I have been reminded that I don’t know it all and I need to learn to ask for help when I’m not sure what to do…
Asking for help provides insight and knowledge
Asking for help gives another person a chance to share knowledge
Asking for help isn’t easy by any length of string
Asking for help is very humbling

One step at a time…but one step everyday…one move all the way…

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Once written it seems so easy but in all honesty it is much harder in practice. Remember how we mull over the issues going on in our lives and feel the need to be all to all and find the answers for ourselves? How much easier would life be if we realised that we cannot indeed find all the answers in ourselves. There are important external sources of information and ideas and neither of us is the custodian of all the information.

I found that the inability to ask for help is born from FEAR…not one kind but fear of many things. Some of the options are…the Fear of:
1. Being vulnerable
2. Losing control
3. Confirming the thoughts of others
4. Loss of image or influence
5. And anything else that you can add as you recognise what scares you

My reality became that not everyone is out to make me look bad and I could actually use the different point of view. In the family that God has positioned around me I have found the strength to seek support and ask questions and get guidance. However, the greatest source of answers I am finding is in my relationship with Papa.

May we all find courage to follow Papa and all the instructions to get help and support.

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