The Simple Life, Walking with God

Look Back To Grow


It is never easy to walk a separate path but it is important.

At the end of week I like to spend time looking back at the week, find lessons and places of growth. I know people who don’t like to look back because it shows them where they have failed but in my case, it is the only way I can grow consistently. It hasn’t always been easy to do but as I have gotten older (ha…I never thought I would use that phrase), I have learnt the value of looking back to grow and not to stagnate.

A few years ago, every time I looked back all I saw was the things I didn’t do well, the ones that failed, the places I embarrassed myself and all the other similar stuff. I would beat myself with a big stick and wallow in the mud for months on end even as I walked around with seeming confidence. In this period I learnt the fallacy of ‘fake it till you make it,’ in reference to my life. I faked it, and faked it and faked it but never really made it.

It took a candid self-evaluation to see the challenge.

The pattern of my life doesn’t allow faking or pulling the wool over people’s eyes. As I have learnt that, I have come to see the value to real, personal evaluation to get ahead and keep moving forward. It took collapsing businesses and really challenging situations to stop me in the tracks and begin to do different.

Can you imagine sitting with yourself starting the day with a to do list and at the end of every day, looking back at the list to find what you hit or missed? That was my pattern for a while. It got me on track and kept me moving forward because there were specific things I needed to get done and nine out of ten times I got more than eighty percent done and done well. It was disheartening to have things left on the list but it was encouraging to have things ticked off.

This worked until the list became a tether.

The reality that a good thing can become a hindrance really blew my mind open. Are lists good? Absolutely! Can they become bondage? You had better believe it! This realisation pushed me to find a way to have trackers in life that are supportive and not hindrances. It wasn’t easy but in time sense came.

  1. Track life: I began to look for patterns in my life. What factors came together to indicate change was afoot? What mental postures happened in the middle of change? What indicators showed progress? Are there recognisable patterns in my life related to years, places, people, work etc? Can I see patterns that have repeated themselves? If there are repetitions, what is the time frame and extenuating circumstances? Wow!! The realisations blew my mind because I realised my life was built around patterns of four, seven and twelve (story for another day).
  2. Think: For decades I heard the call to meditate and I thought it was a thing I couldn’t do. I was raised to do avoid things I didn’t understand and meditation meant some really weird things for me. In 2018 I begun to understand that meaning of meditation in the bible is tied to reading scripture and thinking deeply about it. taking the concepts of scripture and turning them every which way to gain clarity. Joshua 1:8-9 means to spend so much time in scripture that your mind is shifted and changed so you are able to see more and understand deeper.
  3. Time out: The need to take time to get away from regular patterns to recharge, regroup and reposition stood out like an elephant in the desert. I always said that I could not afford to go away and it bothered me until I realised I could get away right in the confinement of my home. Time out is getting away from the routine so if I left my phone in another room and just take time to chill, read, pray, meditate or just be…it would really help

Life’s reality is that nothing remains static permanently.

Understanding that my life is bound to change and preparing for it as mentioned above, changed the trajectory of my life. I no longer throw sissy fits when people shift goalposts but I no longer stay if I am no longer needed. I have learnt to walk away from places I am no longer needed or where our values are no longer in sync. It has been hard sometimes because that meant I walked away from income but in the end the peace of mind and provision from my Father has resolved all the questions.

I have also learnt to hold my peace when arguing to defend my position won’t make a difference. It is more important to live a life that changes minds and creates possibilities than to talk about things that haven’t been seen before. So I check my walk constantly to ensure continuation and consistency. I also allow my people to take me to task about my behaviour and patterns because I know they are looking out for the Word God spoke over me.

Steady does it, so that is how I live my life going forth. Join me!!

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Stripped But Stable


So many things have fallen apart for some of us and it is scary. I have had countless conversations recently and they all lead back to anger, frustration, fear, worry and doubt. There have been job losses, pay cuts, loss of business, relationship conflict and so much more. The very things we have held close and viewed as proof of God at work in us have been ‘taken’ away and most of us don’t know what to do.

For so long we have sought simple, comfortable lives as evidence that we are in the right place with God. We have been content to learn habits and ways of life that have the appearance of good but don’t get us anywhere. We judge one another against standards that do us no good because they are external but we don’t even know they aren’t adding value.

We have been stripped of our ability to plan our lives.

We have lost the ability to see beyond tomorrow because we have nothing to hold onto. Think about how you started 2020. It was full of hope and peace but as we have gotten deeper into the year, it has become more challenging by the day. Remember the fireworks? Remember the celebration? I remember it so clearly.

We usually go to Carnivore to watch fireworks and it is usually a long heart stopping drive to get in and find the right parking spot then walk to the place with a perfect view if there are trees overhead where you are parked. This time we didn’t go in rather we settled on Langata road just around the exit from the bypass. I had known as we drove into Nairobi, I knew we wouldn’t be at the usual joint but I didn’t know why.

The atmosphere was different that day but I didn’t understand that.

I remember the clarity that we do something there was something different that day and nothing would be ordinary then and would be in 2020. I didn’t know what the actual mechanics would be but I knew in my heart something was different. There was a kind of charge in the atmosphere as if we had the opportunity to connect to something much bigger than us if only we understood it.

It was also different because unlike other years, we came straight back home and settled down to sleep. What do we usually do? We go out for tea with friends and stay up all night hanging out. 2020 started with deep reflection and conversation filled with calmness.

The thing that comes to my mind today is how deliberate God is.

Even as everywhere I look, I see despair and sadness because of the uncertainty around me, I know that is not the whole story. I don’t have to understand the whole story, because I know the writer. I don’t have to know the whole path, because I know my leader. I don’t have to have the full picture because His eyes are on the end game.

I know 2020 will be the best year yet. I know the goodness of God is available to me. I know God’s love abounds and covers me. I know I can trust Him who put the world together. I know that nothing can separate me from His love so I am safe. I know my Redeemer lives and I can lean on Him. He is my strong tower, shield and buckler, the strength of my life and my eternal portion.

I am strong and secure because my Father is the One.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your [b]keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

Psalms 121:1-6

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Sitting on the side-lines.


Recently a sister and I were having a conversation about the state of affairs in Kenya and Nigeria and the similarities were stark…unexpected.

For many of us, it has felt like we are in a never ending cycle of pressure, stress, trouble and hardship.  Many look at our lives and our nations and wonder what is going on, what we have done to deserve this and how we will get out. It is as if we stepped into a washing machine that was turned on to full power with hot water and in a never ending cycle of washing. It feels like it is unending…yet the end is appointed to come.

Many times, we feel helpless and wonder what to do to right things around us. We have prayed, fasted, asked, meditated and just when we think things are on the mend, a prophecy comes through that God is angry because we haven’t been faithful, we have not repented, we have allowed madness to happen in His land and He is coming in force to deal with us. Someone has a dream of disaster, judgment and violence that God has said He will release on the land.

It feels like watching a football game from the side-lines.

I don’t have an answer to the prophecies and dreams people have had off late, so if you are looking for those, you can stop reading right now. I cannot share wisdom on those items because I am still awaiting clarity and interrogating my response if there will be any. However, whatever happens, I will stay true to the word God has spoken to me and only that because everything else is confusing and scary.

Have I had dreams I don’t understand? Yes! Have I had conversations that confirm I am not the only one seeing those things? Definitely! Does it make sense? Heck no! Am I scared? No! Do I have a plan of action? Yes! What is the plan? Simple…be still and sit until I get word about my points of engagement and the required strategies.

It feels like watching a football game from the side-lines.

Many of us hear a word or a dream and we panic because it is scary and we think we need to be doing or saying something right here, right now and move…just to say or do something because a word has been spoken. If we do that we would be like Ahab when he went against Syria with Jehoshaphat. He wanted people to tell him they would win and this had created an army of 400 hundred false prophets who said what he wanted to hear and the one true prophet Micaiah was consistently side-lined and ignored (1 Kings 22).

As they went to war this time, Jehoshaphat asked more than once if there was a true prophet of God who could tell the oracles of God and ofcourse Micaiah was called tongue in cheek aka shingo upande. As usual he didn’t have anything good to say about the war because he was speaking the word of the Lord that remains true and had nothing about keeping people happy. He said to Ahab, ‘If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me. Take heed, all you people.’ He was confident that what he spoke was the word of God and nothing could stand in the way of its accomplishment. That is the certainty I am pursuing in this season and all the days of my life. I want clarity that I have heard and I am living out God’s word even if it is different from what others are saying because, He (God) watches over his word to perform it, (Jer 1:12).

In my instance today, Micaiah represents the ability to sit still and await a clear word from God with tactics and reasons for every move. It is the ability to understand that though there are many options of actions, the only ones that matter are the ones God has given. There certainty and conviction that a specific set of actions is right and no matter what will produce God. So if a fast or a day of repentance or a season of mourning is called, each of us can only engage as directed by God for to do anything else is to put the whole army in danger. It makes me think of the Bereans who took every word the apostles taught and went back to scripture to interrogate it and learn deeper.

So when you see me sitting still watching, understand that I am awaiting instruction or that is my instruction. Pursue yours!

I would rather be in the right place, saying simple prayers and doing the silent work of my Father than be seen on the frontline of things only to get killed or injured in the wrong place. I know who I am, I know my role in this journey and I know how it is to be lived out in this season. Did I always know it? No! But time and sitting under the right authority has opened me up to it.

The other thing I understood a few days ago is that I am specially designed for the role assigned to me so the very things people use to judge and dismiss me are the ones that God has placed in me to allow me access to hidden places and secret wisdom useful only for the assignment. I am not sitting on the side-lines doing nothing…I am there being, listening, making room, praying, activating and shutting down, to give my Father proof a life lived for Him.

What are you doing on the side-lines?

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

The Places I Hide


A safe space is a place free judgment, bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, and conversations held here will not be broadcast. It is a place of deep vulnerability and honesty that leads to incredible personal reflection and growth. It is established and defined by the parties involved and it cannot exist without each knowing it has been created. It doesn’t happen overnight but is cultivated intentionally over time and strengthened through action and understanding and must be protected.

A safe space starts with intimacy, needs time and focus

Growing a safe space needs all parties to remain connected and communicating without judgement or hiding. It entails no holds barred communication, interaction, challenges and sharing to ensure growth and commitment. It shuns spoon feeding and harnesses reflection and personal realizations to fuel lasting growth and change.

It demands deep personal introspection, vulnerability and honesty that guides life’s journey to growth because the hard stuff requires work and though it would be easy for those in the space to provide direct answers, it is beneficial to the participants to allow each other the opportunity to learn and develop the skills needed to deal with life. These spaces provide guidelines, accountability and social support structures through challenging and joyful situations that keep the journey on course.

The adversity and hostility around makes many prefer external conformity to social norms and expectations than to be themselves hence the need for more safe spaces. At it gets increasingly intense in all spheres of life the skills and lessons learnt in the safe spaces enable one to conquer the outside.

When I began walking with coach, I’d complain about everything from the schedule, to life, work, how the home was running, who wasn’t talking to me etc. He began pushing back at every complaint assessing my ‘reasons’ for the situation or choice and countering with questions. Often I wanted to walk away saying this is not what I signed up for until we revisited matter.

‘I didn’t sign up for this.’ I said

‘Yes you did.’ He replied. ‘The day you accepted my offer to help you walk this journey together.’ He said

‘I didn’t know it would be so hard…’ I sighed

‘It is only as hard as you make it,’ he chimed

‘Yeah right. All you ever do is ask questions and tell me how I need to look deeper, that I know the answer and I don’t want to deal with stuff. I am doing my best.’ I whined

‘Are you sure you are doing your best?’ he asked

‘There you go again doubting and pushing me.’ I responded

‘Do you understand why I push you?’ he asked.

‘Because you are mean…?’ I said

‘Ha!! No!! Try again.’ He said

‘That is what I think,’ I sighed

‘Good God help me,’ he sighed. ‘I push you because I am a true friend.’ he said

‘Yeah right!’ I puffed, ‘True friend my foot.’

‘It is true. Hard stuff requires hard work. I want to make it easy but I wouldn’t be doing you any favours. The goal is to guide you not do the work for you.’ he replied.

‘Why?’ I ask softly

‘Healing comes from the work done in an environment that allows failure but demands you rise when you fall. If I coddle you when you need to keep walking I won’t be helping you long term and that won’t help anyone. In this space you can try and fail knowing that there is no judgement just pressure to keep pushing and working towards your goals. When you reach the goal, the push is to set a new target and keep walking and growing. Safe space aren’t about holding you with kid gloves, rather it is a demand that you to be the best you can be.’ He said

‘What happens when I fail, can’t get up and go on?’ I ask

‘We will sit there for a bit, allow you to catch your breath, find the lessons, apply them then get up and keep going. When you feel at the end of your rope or need to deal with deeper issues we will sit together and deal but in the end you must stand up and keep walking. There will be no wallowing self-pity so we don’t lose momentum and never get up again,’ he responded.

Suddenly, I really understood! This space allows me to grow in leaps and bounds because the pressure is consistent and unrelenting. It has forced me to deal with life in different, be more self-aware and know the voice of God . This deep self-awareness fuels the application of lessons learnt to the path walked. I have several safe spaces because different people are assigned to different parts of my life so we plan for these differences.

It’s impossible to keep moving without spaces to just be truly me.

Be certain that when you don’t see me losing my cool or understand where I get the strength to deal with the day from, I have been to one of my safe spaces, let down my hair (pun intended), cried, dealt and come back out a better person. I have been pushed to the corner and come back stronger. I have faced me and found the right way out of, through or round the challenges of growing. I have found spaces where no matter who I am or what I have done or am going through, I am free; I am loved; I am enough; I am accepted.

Do you need to ask God for a space of intentional growth? Take a moment and do so.

Life changes when we tackle it head on.