The Versatile Blogger Award

It is not often that I get to write on Sunday but I thought it only fair to respond to this challenge before life got in the way. Thanks Simon for nominating me. I noticed you ‘stole’ some of the people I would have thought to nominate. I still haven’t quite figured out my ‘lucky 15’ but I shall save it for the end.

7 facts about me…*shriek*

7

Here goes!

#7

When it comes to people/things I love and/or believe in, it is usually all or nothing. When I find myself at the border of either, then I begin to question what I am really doing.

#6

Being a good mother is more important to me than…(insert titles,accolades) <most things>I have seen how the presence/absence of one can impact an individual. I really look forward to that phase of my life.

#5

I have a certain version of ‘OCD’ in some areas of my life.

#4

I am living my dream.

#3

Throw away every communication gadget that ever existed or make 6,327,211 more and I’d still choose real, face to face conversations any day.

#2

I love letters, reading them, writing them, thinking of them..pretty much everything about them. *except when the post makes them disappear :(*

#1

I am repulsed by pride and all its relatives; arrogance, snobbishness, the desire to define one/others by class… The more I interact with braggarts, the further I want to be from that plague that’s affecting them.

Well, this was harder than I thought.

I suspect some of you may already be nominated but I shall go ahead either way. I doubt I will make 15, . Here’s a short(er) list. 7 for 7

  • Brenda *seriously, when did you last write?* Serious dusting needed nooooww!
  • Patra
  • Benjamin
  • Grace
  • Julie No pressure but this I really want to see :p
  • Evelyn– Your blog is m.i.a when it does resurface; hello ^^
  • Portia I can clearly see your site is for football but one can only dream. Humour your ageing aunt, please? 😉

The Rules

1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
4. Share seven facts about yourself

 

I look forward to reading your facts.
Have a blessed week and exciting February! Go forth and conquer!

X

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Just because..

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”

This morning a random memory crept up in my mind and I thought to share it. Yup it perturbed me all morning and I thought, perhaps someone needs a pick-me-up. Here goes.

Last year, I was invited for an interview and given several weeks of notice (that always helps) I accepted, saved the date and forgot about it. On D-day, I woke up to the reminder. That week I had decided to stay indoors to reduce on unnecessary expenditure and concentrate on some work with deadlines closing in.Amount of cash in wallet=Ugx 5,000. I contemplated backing out. I could explain that I was busy, which wasn’t entirely false.

By an hour to the do,I’d decided to go. I just made a mental calculation of what I’d need to get there and consoled myself with the thought that one listener would, perhaps, be inspired.

The interview was alright. It was for a much younger audience than I was accustomed to. I honestly couldn’t keep up with some of the slang. I remembered that when I was a teen, some of the (now) teenage listeners were not yet born and that gave me all the perspective I needed.

After the interview, I had a short meeting with the producer and tried to pitch other ideas for a broader partnership. As I was leaving, she said “Pass by the accounts office on the left and pick a small transport allowance.” Pardon? <You know when you have heard exactly what someone said but ask them to repeat because you just need to make sure,just in case? That was me> She repeated the statement.

“That was you Lord!,” I thought to myself. I walked slowly to the office, knocked at the door and asked for the person in charge. She smiled and handed me a form to sign, along with Ugx 50,000. That morning’s ‘5K’ had rapidly multiplied by 10! I thanked her and walked out of the office.

I walked for a while towards town. I did not immediately get into a taxi or a boda boda. I walked slowly as I mentally examined the gravity of what had just happened. It was less about the money and more about what it represented. I could tell that in the future, that moment would represent something on this journey to dream against all odds and withstand anything and everything life decided to serve. You just never know what awaits you in this unpredictable life but chances are, if your intentions are good, eventually you will begin to reap fruits.

small

Your miracle, your moment,your breakthrough..they all await you. Now, leap!

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

X

War room

I had it on my to do list to watch the movie ‘War room’ but the opportunity did not present itself until last night. I am glad it did because I have an uncanny talent that leads me to watch movies several months or even years after their release *SOS*

From the on-set, you can tell that it did not cost an arm and leg to shoot this movie. The actors were unknown to me, which was both a good an bad thing. Good because you get to discover new talent and bad because there are scenes in which I had someone in my mind who I thought could have given a stronger performance. Nonetheless, the message was brought safely home and that is the most important part.
P.S If you have watched Courageous or Fireproof, the brothers behind it; Stephen and Alex Kendrick produced War room. If you haven’t, I recommend them 🙂

Without giving away too much; In the movie, Elizabeth is married to Tony and they have one daughter, Danielle. Elizabeth is unhappy in her marriage mainly because her husband does not listen to her, verbally abuses her, is drawn to other women and has no time for her or their daughter. When Elizabeth meets an elderly lady, Clara during her rounds as a realtor, she is introduced to ‘The war room.’ This room is a small room that was once a closet but Clara turned into a prayer room to pray for her husband and family. Here, she spends quiet time with the Lord and articulates her needs while crying out to him.  She tries to encourage Elizabeth to do the same. Elizabeth is adamant at the beginning but later submits. It is when she (Elizabeth) is fully immersed in faith and belief in the power of prayer that her life begins to turn around.

If you are a Christian or a spiritual person watching this movie, it presents moments of conviction, learning and reflection among other things. If you are agnostic or even an atheist, there will probably be moments when you’ll roll your eyes till you can see your brain. Hopefully though, after the eye roll, you can appreciate one or two messages therein.

On a personal level, I could relate to this movie in many ways. I actually remember a time a few years ago when the phrase ‘I’ll pray for you’ sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. It is not that I did not believe in the power of prayer, it is that I wanted it to be backed by some tangible support. If hypothetically I told someone we are trying to raise money for a loved one who needed an urgent operation. I expected them to either offer support, ideas, ask me how they could help or at the very least offer to/spread the word. If there first reaction was ‘I’ll pray for you,’ I felt cheated for lack of a better word. However, I have come to realise that if it the prayer is more than just a promise, if someone is actually going out of their way to pray for you, prayer does indeed change things. Fast forward to the ‘current me,’ I am now the one ‘stressing’ people with my I’ll pray for you. I am very much still an advocate of backing prayer with action. After all, faith without actions is dead. So, for example, while I pray for my unemployed friends to get job, I shall also send them links for jobs, offer to proof read their applications and then provide as much moral support as possible. You need not restrain yourself from going the extra mile, in prayer or action.

prayer

In the movie, the underlying theme is prayer so you might think, “If my spouse is abusing me, should I just go into a closet and pray?” There are obviously many other courses of action but I believe the writers/producers saw the need to remind us that before we should not involve the world or fight battles alone when we can begin with letting it all go and submitting to the Lord. Once you know that ‘someone’ stronger, mightier and more capable than you is taking care of your business, it is easier to worry less and sleep more.

sin

Last week, I had my own rock chasing me downhill. I was not able or willing to reveal its full intensity. One night,I decided to seek out to a few friends whom I knew would pray with/for me even when I failed to myself. I mentioned exactly what I wanted and then I went to sleep. The next day I woke up with that “I believe I can fly” attitude. I was singing and dancing in my room like I was being paid. Had all my problems vanished overnight? Not at all. Did I believe that they would? Yes. Did reminding myself that I was incapable of fighting alone help? Yes. Did my prayer and that of my loved ones change things? Oh yes!

faith

I am no expert in these matters, far from it. However, I have seen what suffering does to people. I have seen what it does to me. I know what it is like to feel like there is nowhere to turn, like God has forsaken you. Except, that is when he is working overtime! He allows trouble to pursue you and I. Through these troubles, he leads us to discover the gifts in darkness, the lessons from tribulation. I can’t reiterate enough what joy there is in learning how to wait, to be still in anticipation of his next move. While me may need to wait for him sometimes, other times he calls us to leap. To leave everything we know and love and go on a journey. Think of all the faithful men and women in the Bible. Now begin to meditate on the trials each of them overcame. Did God test them because he hated them or did he allow their faith to transform them? And so the learning continues…

John-1010

Overall, it was a good watch, with many learning points. It would be nice to watch it with your spouse and is suitable for family viewing.

Recommended music from the movie

Shake loose- Vickie Winans

Press on- Mandisa

Warrior – Steven Curtis Chapman

Crazy faith- John Waller

To know you- Casting Crowns

Healing begins- Tenth Avenue North

What were your thoughts when you watched the movie?Do share 🙂

X

Hello:)

Hello from the other side. Which other side you may ask..? The other side of the .com!

You may or may have not noticed but we discreetly graduated to dotcom status. I was equally surprised when this new development came to my attention. A little fairy was working overtime to deliver this package (Thank you Gloria :-*)

Last week when I received an email from WordPress asking me about this website kaboozi, I simply moved on and refreshed my inbox. Oprah might finally reply and I need to be ready on that day :p

celebration

 

If you are good at this stuff and can make this look like a ‘proper’ website without losing its identity, please help a sister out. My only skill lies in clicking the ‘publish’ button so it is unlikely that I shall succeed on my own.

In the meantime, as I try to push aside all the internal puresha (pressure) to make the page more appealing, the show will go on. It has too.

 

Xx

Humps ahead

Temperatures are now as low as -2 degrees in London. A normal person would probably succumb to flu or cough at most, but no, Linda had to go and attract some other bugs.

After an almost ‘too good to be true’ fortnight, the universe decided that this lady needed to calm down a bit, thereby sending some ailments her way. Unfortunately, she had sped past the sign so all of it came as an unwelcome surprise.

humps

Google image

Monday was deadline day for an important assignment. 5,000 words can seem like a small novel, especially when it is on topics that don’t exactly include one’s interests.She started to feel sick but could not let herself accept that this was happening at such a crucial hour. Denial it would have to be, until further notice.

All the pain and discomfort was put on hold until she clicked ‘submit.’ “It is just fatigue,” she thought, and went to bed with the hope that everything would be okay the next morning. Unbeknownst to her, she would not be able to leave bed the following day.

It was finally clear that Linda would have to seek medical attention but possibly the next day. She freshened up and went on to fix herself the first meal of the day at 6p.m. In the kitchen (that also serves as a common room), sat the excitable , Jack. “Would you like to sit down and have a beer?” he offered. She declined, trying to seem as ‘normal’ as possible. Upon reaching her room, she realised that more people had been streaming in and music was starting to get louder. She had lost count of the parties these undergraduates held every other day. At first, it seemed like a weekend thing but gradually grew into a ‘when we feel like’ tradition. She tried to watch a movie to pass time until she received a message from her classmate. The list for people who handed in the assignment was out and Linda’s name was not on it. Talk about bad luck! She checked the email and indeed her name was not mentioned. Too disturbed to comprehend the situation, she decided to shut out the noise and find some sleep.

She thought of the people around that she could confide in about her illness but did not want any of them to have to leave work for her sake. She decided to send one message to one of the scholars, her new Kenyan friend, Grace. She hoped Grace would offer to accompany her to the clinic. Plan B, would be to ask her out rightly and if she was busy or unable, plan C would be to find it on her own. After sending this text, she closed her eyes.

Morning came as early as 4a.m,Linda  tossed and turned as she awaited daylight. The plan was to stay in bed till enough strength was amassed. At about 9 a.m, she heard a knock at her door. Still groggy and clad in pyjamas, she opened to find a concerned Grace. “I took a shower and came as soon as I read your message,” she said. Phew! Linda felt a huge sigh of relief. Grace consequently left to make them breakfast as Linda got ready.

They both didn’t know the location of the clinic but it was that much better getting lost as a pair. Linda was dizzy by the time they arrived. It turned out seeing doctors was only on appointment except for walk ins that began at 2p.m. They had over two hours to kill but at least there was comfort in knowing they were in the right place.

Time moved slowly until Linda started to notice the students who were coming in. Those registered needed to only mention their date of birth and the receptionists would find them in the system. One by one they walked in “July 2nd 1995, November 30th 1998…”
“Whhaat?!” The ladies began to muse at all those ‘babies.’ Linda played a game where she guessed the years as soon as they walked in. Some looked pretty young but others could fool anyone as being closer to 30 years than the 20 they really were. Time moved faster with this exercise.

Finally the hour came and she saw a nice doctor who understood her condition. Armed with a prescription, they found a nearby pharmacy. She thanked God she had carried emergency money because the bill brought semi-squints. She made a mental note for the 1000th time not to convert to prices to shillings.

They decided to take a bus back and look out for sites on the way to their residence.

bus

Google image

Grace heated up some food for Linda upon arrival as she dashed to her room to make a call to her husband and son.
All Linda could do was thank her endlessly for sacrificing most of her day to take care of her.

This morning the other two Ugandan scholars showed up at Linda’s doorstep. “We have heard the News,” they yelled. She could only laugh as she questioned their sources. “Bad news travels fast, they replied.” C’est vrai.

Grace later joined with a cup of hot chocolate for Linda in tow. The ladies shared tales of their experiences on this journey so far.

Linda found out Racheal had spent Sunday night crying because she missed her son terribly and kept promising him goodies each time they spoke. The son’s father walked out on them last year. Jane’s bosses were not paying her salary for the period she’d spend in London but she was still grateful for the opportunity.

When they left, Linda was immersed in deep thought about everyone’s journey and how nothing is guaranteed. She was reminded for the umpteenth time, how blessed she was.

Although this sickness had come at a bad time and slowed down the pace of her progress, she knew deep down that a testimony was unfolding before her very eyes. All she needed to do was be patient.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

On green grass..

 

I met Doreen at a birthday party recently. We had not spoken in a long time so I chose to walk with her when she decided to leave. She had updated me on the progress she was making over time and I was impressed. Not only was she rising up to senior management at her day job, she was also running a successful side business. Doreen and her brother were in the process of building their mom a house, a development I had only learnt of that night.

When we got to her car, I expressed my admiration for her as an ‘independent woman.’ I told her I could only imagine how difficult it was for her to get to where she was even if I wasn’t privy to the back story.

The turn this conversation took left me flabbergasted, to say the least. “How can you pretend that you applaud my work yet you are the one who is successful? I see you in the papers at work, on facebook when I log onto my computer and then again on t.v when I get home.”
It took me about 10 seconds to pick my jaw up from the ground and another 30 to compose myself. She had blurted out this unexpected response without so much as minimal acknowledgment of the compliment(s) she had received.

In that moment, I wanted to say a quick good night and return to the party. At the same time, I needed to explain a few things about life to this woman. I chose the latter.

I shall use two of the relevant dictionary definitions for success that I found; “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”
“The attainment of fame, wealth or social status.”
I believe each of us consciously or sub consciously has an idea of what success means to them.

I urge you to take a minute to think  about what your definition of success is.

Now, if that is done;imagine a world in which there was no society to ‘tell you’ what to do, peers to ‘compete’ with or people to impress. If you had to only make yourself ‘happy,’ would that still be your definition or would you alter it a bit?

As I write this, I am reminded of Mrs. Bucket(pronounced Bouquet) and her antics in the sitcom “Keeping up appearances.” While it was funny, it is sad that many of us spend our lives like this woman who did everything to ooze class and wealth despite the reality of her less than royal lifestyle.

bucket 1

 

bucket 2

As if our spines were not already fickle enough, the emergence of social media has made it that much more difficult for (especially) young people to water their grass diligently. You need not look too far to find the ‘greener grass’ that shall keep you up at night if you so choose. Photo of a new car on Instagram followed by a long mushy post complete with the picture of a huge diamond ring on perfectly manicured nails when you cross over to Facebook. You think you have had enough so you run to whatsapp  for the silly jokes. Alas, everyone in your group chat is congratulating your friend upon her first class Master’s degree, in engineering no less. Will you ever catch a break?

The answer is no. For as long as you don’t learn to appreciate what you have and be happy for others, yours shall be a long life of dissatisfaction.

At the end of the day, we are all human beings, undergoing human experiences.

Joan got married to a ‘successful’ man whom her father approved of and their marriage lasted all of 2 years. She is a divorced single mother at 26.Mark and Becky have been in a relationship for 10 years. It is now a long standing joke that they should not get married lest they ‘mess it up.’

Julius works for a multinational company, great salary, big car with a chauffeur, allowances you can only dream of; but he tells me he has never felt so useless in his life. Basically his job is being done by him and 5 others. Joe, on the other hand has a start up that essentially provides rent, food, transport and the occasional drink. He boasts that he has found meaning in his life but if in 3 years things stay the same, he’ll flee.

Lisa’s son, Max is a product of a one night stand. After a life of having everything handed to her on a silver platter, he was her first real reality check. Her parents disowned her and she has no contact with her son’s father. Nonetheless, she quickly learnt to ‘hustle’ and discovered talents she did not even know she had. She is now an interior designer and almost-full-time mom who manages her own time and schedule. This little boy was once described as a mistake but he gave her a new lease on life. In fact, he saved her.

The list goes on and on. I am sure you and many people you know are living a life completely different from the one they or their parents had for them. That’s just how it is.

Imagine your life and its complexities, from the day you were born. Now, what makes you think that person who is ‘better than you’ has no challenges? They do, you may just never see them; just like not everyone who ‘knows’ you has heard the story of how you went hungry and slept on the floor when you hit rock bottom.

I think it is healthy to look over the fence once in a while and say hello to the neighbour, even help him carry his groceries. As long as when you get home, your conversation isn’t “I wonder whom Jack had to rob to build such a house” but rather “Honey, we are blessed to have such a good life and we should keep working hard to make it even better for the kids,”

X

Out and about

The life of a student is a complicated one, especially when in a place away from home. You want to work hard and excel but you also need to take in the sights and sounds, uncertain whether you shall get another opportunity to indulge.

Linda is no different. She looks at her to do list and then turns to her ‘to visit’ list soon after. Imagine her joy when she realised some of the must see places were next door to her residence!

When Linda was certain she was going to London, she shared her address with her brother. He looked it up and exclaimed what a great location it was. Filled with anxiety and related emotions at the time, she did not fully comprehend what he meant, until Sunday.

On Sunday, she arranged to meet her brother’s friend James.* He had agreed to take her to church, and show her some sights.

The walk to church was practically 5 minutes, a great relief for her knowing her Sundays were sorted. Westminster cathedral stood there, in all its grandeur and poise. Staring would be for later. First the mass.

It was a beautiful sermon that recreated Jesus’ baptism and its meaning to the lives of Christians. The message may have not been very new, but its delivery was.

After mass, the two took a short tour of the chapels and James wondered aloud, why African churches did not also adopt the concept of little chapels within the cathedrals.

With a variety of restaurants to choose from, they settled for an Italian restaurant called “Zizzi.” Not in the mood to experiment, Linda ordered a pizza, as did her host.

PP

It turned out to be the right decision as the pizza was scrumptious. The olive oil availed to use with reckless abandon was a plus.

What followed was nothing short of a little adventure. The walk to various sights was like a scene from a movie, or perhaps more than one. From Buckingham palace to Hyde park to the Houses of Parliament and a quick stop at Downing street, it became increasingly improbable for Linda to keep her eyes from widening (or her jaw from dropping)

Piccadily circus, surrounded by theatres, cinemas and restaurants offered a great atmosphere filled with energy and lights, lots of them. This was followed by a walk through Leicester square which houses several theatres that are often used for movie Premieres (All those red carpet moments seen on t.v suddenly struggled to be remembered)

leicester-square-09

big ben

As James and Linda walked returned from their view of Big Ben and the London eye, Linda couldn’t help but make out the sounds of Sam Smith’s, “stay with me.” When they turned around, a gentleman, with chubby cheeks, probably in his twenties, stood there belting out the lyrics, guitar in hand..and guitar case filled with coins. His voice was sultry and seemingly effortless.

She asked James if they could stay and watch. Before long, a small crowd formed. His rendition of Passenger’s ‘Let her go’ was tear-worthy (in a good way) At this point it was 4 degrees and the wind was unamused too. They left shortly after this song. This was not before James passed Linda a pound to tip the talented young man. It was quite possibly the best pound she’d ‘spent’ since she got there.

They started to walk back. Next day being a work/school day.  Time seemed to have stopped in Linda’s head.

At a cinema en route, they stopped for warm beverages. Linda looked at the cinema’s prices. Movie at £18??Sssh…Surely Channing Tatum ought to give you at least a hug during the movie at that rate, no?

It was quite difficult to do much when Linda got back to her residence. She ate the leftovers of her pizza and gave thanks to the Lord for opportunities, kind acquaintances and life.

Images : Google