Tag Archives: Growth

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


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


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


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


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


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


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. 


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Different and Ok

I am one way you are another

We are different

And that’s ok


I am short you are tall

We are different

And that’s ok


I am dark skinned you are light skinned

We are different

And that’s ok


I am quiet you are loud

We are different

And that’s ok


I have little you have a lot

We are different

And that’s ok


I am employed you run a business

We are different

And that’s ok


I am community focused you are business focused

We are different

And that’s ok


I am a follower you are a leader

We are different

And that’s ok


I have no child you have many children

We are different

And that’s ok


I am big bodied you are small bodied

We are different

And that’s ok


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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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


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


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


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


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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Healing is a process.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my responses to life could be traced back to trauma from things that happened to me when I was younger. My need to be strong affected how I view people and what I expect from them. It also tainted how I expected people to support my growth and success and how I supported them. The need to be strong affected my view of my soft feminine side and even led to resentment affecting my response to the strong male. I am not talking about unnecessarily soothing the ego or deferring to foolishness. No! I am talking about learning to be a girl and allowing the men around me to be male. Where to start?

My first realisation is that there was a mismatch in the divine design for male and female.

The Male is Iyshthe one who pierces aptly represented in his genitalia but so much more. His role is to pierce all around: mentally to understand new concepts and expand the existing one, physically to cause reproduction and safety, spiritually to lead the way into the realities of God like never seen before, and economically to provide and expand the knowledge of income generation, and every other aspect of life. He is the one who sees the big picture and finds the support to fill it in. Male is designed to lead, provide and protect, with a deep desire for respect. The male is visibly strong physically and needs to build the internal temerity to be mentally, spiritually, socially and economically strong.

The Female is Iyshathe one who is pierced, aptly represented by her genitalia and so much more. She receives the seed and nurtures it to life then through life. She expands and increases all she receives. The one who sees the details of how to build the big picture and help it succeed. The one who understands the gravity of what she carries. The one who influences everything she has and uses it to grow herself and those around her. The one who provides strength and support to her assignment.

Quiet trauma that festers for so long becomes normal. 

My life’s challenges that led to my trauma responses have short-circuited my ability to be led or to follow. I learned to look like I am on the team while quietly doing everything and not expect help. In my mind, I am being careful to get things done on time, but in reality, it is an effort to control the situation no matter what so that no one has the power to hurt or disappoint me. 

It all starts when we go through a difficult situation and decide that we will never let anyone have that kind of power or ability to hurt us again. Often addiction becomes the tool we use to deal with the situation. Though my addiction was not to a substance, it was the need to control every situation and never find myself in a position of weakness. This addiction is as terrible as substance addiction. The reality of this trauma hiding on the inside is worse than what others see on the outside.

I now see that even as I have been quite successful to date, there have been significant barriers to my growth and success. My thoughts and defence mechanisms have created blockages that have stalled my growth. It has taken safety and an undeniably loving environment to notice the signs of trauma. This same environment is also providing the needed space to heal. I also realise this is a journey so I must give myself room to travel to the healing. Finally, I have learnt that healing and restoration take time. 

I choose to heal one thought and action at a time.

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This love…oh my!!

This love is so new

The kind that grows daily

Because it is like a budding plant

The kind that gives room

To the beloved to grow and thrive

The kind that always hopes

Because hope is the anchor for our souls

The kind that always believes

Because belief is the foundation of change

The kind that never fails

Because it is grounded in divinity

The kind that is patient and kind

Because life is a two-way street

The king that corrects with gentleness

Because correction can break a soul

The kind that dreams of my good

Because we are stronger when we are growing together

The kind that draws me to safety

Because true love is all-encompassing

The kind that never judges

Because mercy abounds from God

The kind that never lets me settle

Because the calling in my life must be accomplished

The kind that knows my dreams

And rallies me to work on them daily

The kind that pushes me to my dreams

Because I am a better person when I am moving forward

The kind that holds me to account

Because accountability is the foundation of growth

The kind that prays for me

Because prayer changes everything

The kind that stirs me to pray for you

Because my knees are my place of strength

The kind that makes me more aware of you

Because it is when I understand who you are I know me more

The kind that shows me my selfishness

Because a mirror of love is transformational

The kind that leads me to selflessness

Because it is the heart of a great life

The kind that understands my crazy

Because that is a real part of me

The kind that pushes me to deal with my crazy

Because I want to be a better person

The kind that changes my life daily

Because it is refreshing, restorative and heals me every day

Oh I have never known a love like this

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Stong or Not…

Are we strong or are we hiding behind a mask?

I have been privileged to participate in conversations about past hurt and lost hope because of things that happened or others’ responses to us. I thought I was alone in this struggle until I participated in these brutally honest conversations with others. I knew life experiences change us, but I had not noticed how far back they affected many of us.

We are the product of the environment we live in and the experiences we have been through. We also choose how we will deal with the circumstances of life so moving on is a choice.

I learnt that many of my responses were and still are trauma responses. I learned that my shows of strength were a trauma response. I learnt that certain phrases I use often were double-sided trigger words.

Here are some examples of things I said and I know many of you do too:

  • I do not need people.
  • I do not need help.
  • I am good thanks; even when I am falling apart.
  • I cannot afford to fail.
  • I am stronger alone; I am better alone.
  • I can do better than everyone else.
  • I must be strong no matter what.
  • I never cry because it is a sign of weakness.

All these and many more are trauma responses. We are cultured to be strong, stable, indestructible, and unshakable.

  • Is that realistic?
  • Can one perpetually be a strong and busy warrior?
  • Can I always believe it will work on my own?
  • Can I always stand on stage without the input of others?
  • Am I a solo standing mountain, an island, a baobab tree that grew into a behemoth on its own? No!

This singular focus on being strong and always able has hampered my interactions with people. I could never understand how people were so indecisive or took so much time to think and make decisions. I fought the need to depend on anyone because others had disappointed my people and me more than once. I would assign tasks to people but always have a plan B so I could get the thing done.

Looking back, I see how I set people up to get away with a lot because I always picked up the slack. On the flip side, I was resentful when people around me could not keep their word and do their part of the deal for whatever reason.

Imagine my surprise when I realised, I had enabled this behaviour. I am a finisher and people around me know that. Whenever I am in a group or on a project, I always complete the task. People know I frequently take charge, accept it, and leave me to my devices. Yet I often stood in the corner complaining that people were unreliable. Now I know people are different and thus have different values, but could I help them grow? Not unless they want to grow.

I did not realise it yet, but I had internalised the situation, focused on being strong and accepting loads I did not need to carry. Sigh! All the unknown but deeply ingrained trauma responses seemed to make me stronger but also made me tougher to deal with. Externally, I was unshakable yet internally…it was a different story.

  • I was raging mad one moment and utterly sad the next.
  • I was happy and excited for a season and utterly lost for another.
  • I learnt to shut down and never expect help.
  • I gave off the energy that I didn’t need help,
  • I got upset when no one stepped up.
  • I lived with a deep fear of disappointment.

Often we don’t know how deeply scarred we are by life. Even more often, we lash out at people or are living with anxiety that this is from unresolved traumas from the past. I finally accepted that it is easy to look normal and still be dysfunctional because of what happened in the past.

I realised that trauma comes in different degrees depending on the causes. I learnt that I am likely as traumatised as the next person so I cannot judge them. I have learnt that I can no longer pretend that all is well. I have been affected by life’s circumstances. I need to heal. I can become more than I ever thought possible despite my past and the things that have scarred me.

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