Actions speak louder than words

26

A number of people have asked if 4040 is a Christian organisation; others have assumed. Many a time, I have heard expressions like “That 4040 event is for balokole (born again Christians) I can’t go.” Or been asked ” How come there was alcohol at your event? I thought you are saved.” The responses don’t vary too much. I don’t see reason is constantly justifying my beliefs.

I remember a 5 aside (soccer) event at Bush court a couple of years ago, vividly; Dora walked over to me,Guiness in hand, visibly tipsy.
She was yelling my name. Earlier that afternoon, I had been attacked by John* because he felt his team was cheated during a game. He had downloaded profanities, one after the other and left me feeling both insulted and repulsed.
While I later found out he was a perpetual trouble causer, his breath betrayed another reason for his increased confidence.
A friend had whisked me away in time, as John was threatening to beat me up. I could not wait for that day to end.
The tone of Dora’s voice simply made me think “Not again!” I turned around anyway.
She gripped my arm and said “Thank you.” I was puzzled. Although I had seen her before, I could not imagine I had done anything for her to warrant gratitude. That is when she told me that she herself had had a troubled childhood and was glad that 4040 was helping vulnerable children. She added that she was excited to also be supporting in a small way and was thinking of ways to do more. My eyes welled up. I spent sometime talking to her and blocked out the earlier incident with John.

What I am about to say can be interpreted and debated in several ways but I hope that the message shall be well articulated anyway; I subscribe to a brand of Christianity that encourages Doers. The word is important and so is sharing it especially to those who most need it(we,sinners);but I believe that if we spend all our time preaching, it will keep us from actually practicing that which we preach.
While the organisation upholds Christian values, we also do not turn away anyone-after all, we are all sinners alike.

Atheist,Agnostic,Traditionalist;so many of these individuals are more Christ-like than those who shout ‘Lord,Lord!’
( “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”)

Millions have died at the hands of people practicing ‘religion,’ and using God’s name for these atrocities; It’s about time we stopped casting stones,and spent time saving our brothers and sisters so that by standers can see/feel the power of the mighty God we serve.

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A letter to my teenage self

Last week I got two blasts from the past. I was invited to give a talk to S.3 students at the school where I studied and completed my ‘O’ level. A few days later, a friend sent me a letter I had written to her during my ‘A’ level studies. The former reminded me where I came from, the latter showed me how glad I was to be who I am today.

I thought I should write a letter to the girl that I was, because…well, she didn’t have much of me then.

Dear me, isn’t it such a great time to be young?
Look around you. Do you see how blessed you are? You might not have everything you want but you certainly have everything you need.
Those Visiting days when some of your friends stay in class like it’s just another day, you move about anticipating the arrival of at least one representative from your family. They do not have that. I know you don’t fully comprehend it now but I have noticed that you empathize with those that lack, do not stop.

You have been picked on for the way you look, by tribalists and other judgemental people who think small= helpless. It will probably not stop soon and it isn’t like you are going to going to transform overnight. Embrace it. When you can, politely engage those often ignorant people that offend you. However, when in doubt, always choose silence. It can be a weapon in itself. Like most things, time might not necessarily heal those wound, but it does prepare you better, for the next time.

You will be undermined even when you are older. Try not to be offended. Laugh. Try to laugh each time you’re faced with conundrums from myopic people.
Laughter will take you through some seemingly unbearable situations. As difficult as it may seem, look for any angle of humour in the darkest of moments. Sometimes laughter is all you’ll have.
Oh darling, I have seen how you vex yourself trying to make everyone happy. Stop.
Those who like you will continue even when you’re dressed in rugs and those that do not, well, they’ll find fault in everything you do.
The sad reality is that there’s only about a handful of people who truly care about you. Focus on those. Everything that you do should be with reason, may that reason never be to compromise on your integrity or seek favour.
Your folks are great people, you should be thankful to have them alive, caring for you the way they do. Go out of your way to make them proud but don’t lose sight of what you truly want in the process. When they see you chasing your dream(s), they will respect you. Whether or not they agree is another thing all together. Honour them but allow yourself to be you.

Try to be comfortable with who you are because you are the one person you guaranteed you’ll spend your life with.There’s always going to be someone better than you. I know that when you compare yourself to others, you feel inadequate. That’s okay, it happens sometimes. Do not let that feeling rule you. If you must keep it, use it to build a better version of yourself. Did you hear, I said of ‘yourself’ not anyone else.
Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them. I kid. You’ve met your fair share of spineless boys, I assure you that many more await you in the future. Thankfully, you’ve grown up with kind, respectable and all round amazing male influences in your life. That should tell you that there are others like them out there.
Do.not.settle. You’re probably too young to be hearing this but then again, you’re probably not. Many of the little injustices we that consume us begin as ignored hints of pain swept under the rug. We shall talk more about this when you exit these teenage years.
You think those migraines are the worst form of pain you have felt? I hate to tell you, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet.’ However, I have some good News. Your high threshold for pain will be a huge plus in the coming years. You remember that time when that teacher whose name you’ve conveniently forgotten beat you up so bad you thought you were going to die? Remember how he maliciously caned you and said he wouldn’t stop till you cried, and you inwardly held all your tears with everything you had because you weren’t going to let him ‘win?’ Well, it seems that was good practice for the life ahead. You did not cry then. The more aches life gives you, the tougher your skin becomes. Keep being strong, sometimes it is all you will have. On emotional pain however, do not attempt to control it. Let your fears and tears be. I only ask that you determine what/who can get away with hurting you. They berra be worth it!

You are young and your dreams change every other day. You like to see the best in people,even when you have been disappointed.
That belief is one of your greatest strengths and weaknesses but I will not advise you on that. Your intuition will guide you,mostly. Need I add? Keep listening to that inner voice. It’ll help you through some pretty tough mazes.

Follow that which makes your heart smile, dare to be wrong, to be alone, to be different.

You are not the coolest girl or the brightest, your outfits can be pretty ancient and there’s no real talent to point at when anyone is describing you.
You argue more than you should and do not always listen..

Despite all this, you have managed to forge meaningful friendships and keep a good head on (most of the time)
You don’t spend much time in the school canteen because you’re always saving for  God knows what. I remember that Christmas circa 2003 when you bought gifts for the entire family with about 30,000 you saved throughout the year. Keep the spirit of giving and use any excuse to celebrate, life gets too complicated sometimes. You’ll need the memories.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, that saving culture will help you out when you make some crazy decisions in the future, like say quitting your job with no financial plan, or any plan for that matter.

Above all, trust God. Believe in him, glorify his name.
Do not wait for the world’s approval on anything. It is your life. Live it.

Love more than you should, forgive even when it hurts. Dance. With or without the music, just dance.
No matter how much you achieve, remain humble and constantly remind yourself of where you have come from, who was there, who left and why you do what you do.
God will take care of the rest. I know this, because…I am you.

letter

Sincerely,

You.

Passion. Pleasure. Pain

It is one year since I made the decision to walk out of what is commonly referred to as  ‘gainful employment.’ When I asked google what it meant, this was the response I got. ‘Employment situation where the employee receives consistent work and payment from the employer’

Never mind that I thought gaining can be in other ways, you know, knowledge, dream chasing, etc? Well, I was wrong-“serving to increase wealth or resources”

wealth, wealth and more wealth. I could argue though that wealth is more than just assets, right? Perhaps,another day.

One Monday two years ago, I opened something that would change my life-forever. At that point, I did not know this, only the author of life did.

Before I knew it, I was in love with these children who fit perfectly in my heart. It seems like their spot had been there all along.

I found myself spending lunch money on a boda boda ride to visit them, work hours to plan for them and weekends to do all the above with anyone who was willing.

40-40 was quickly becoming my life and although I recognised this, I needed to work, survive and be ‘normal.’

It wasn’t very long before I realised that I was biting more than I could chew. By day, I was keeping the social media pages active, running to hospital to visit a sick child, meeting potential partners and countless things in between. By night, I was writing business plans, editing marketing strategies and looking over proposals for the job that paid my dues.

I always told my boss “I will have it sent to you by end of day and by this I mean midnight.” As a result, my emails to him usually had the 11.58pm time stamp. I felt like superwoman. I was chasing my passion and doing my job, surely it couldn’t be that complex, right? Wrong!

My system began to crash physically and emotionally, relationships quietly crumbled and at any one time, I was under pressure from not one but both ‘entities.’ It was a nightmare!

Crossroads

Most of the people who cared about me expected me to ‘snap out’ of this ‘charity thing.’ Explaining my predicament only proved them right. “Focus on your job,” was the easy response.

Here I was-a journalism graduate writing business plans after failing to find work in ‘my industry,’ a ‘mobile mind’ that jumped at any opportunity to work out of office and ‘multi tasker’ who could not even realise when to ‘give up.’ Something needed to change-fast.

Decisions…decisions

I decided that I would not think about how to survive or what the future held, not too much at least.

I had not consulted anyone before starting the 40-40 journey. I took it then invited people to take it with me. It somehow worked.

I made up my mind to leave the job on my own and hoped that those who mattered would understand my decision and support me.

When I sent that resignation letter, I felt a strong sense of peace and a similarly powerful sense of panic. I am all about the optimism so I had to make sure the positive outweighed all other depressing thoughts. *breathe*

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

What next?

I needed some time to think, take a journey of self discovery and come back ready to do the job I was made for.

That was not to happen, not quite at least.

I no longer had ‘work’ as an excuse so structures had to be set up, plans made and as much as possible and we needed some evidence of progress, right? Okay. *breathe*

The Marathon

The events that followed were mostly miracles and if you believe in signs-these were the ‘loudest’ signs you could find.

I do not take credit for these. Many nights I went to bed and had this to say to God. “Really?”

When I quit, I barely sat for a week, ‘scattered brains,’ as we like to call them were at their best(worst?)

We planned a team building at one of the team member’s homes. While there, we had a speaker who among many things said, “ Why do you keep acting like a small organisation? You have grown, by now you should even have an office.” The irony! When I leave work is when you bring up such things? Thanks!

That night I went home and told mom. She knew someone who was leaving an office just next to theirs and gave me the contact.

Within three weeks, together with my friends and family, I had the ‘millions’ required to pay for 6 months rent. The rate would be ‘good’ because the former tenant put in a good word for us.

That was just the beginning.

Most of our events brought in about 5 million shillings (total) by then, Hoops for Grace that September brought in 5 million UGX as the surplus..

We would then have our most successful online campaign the following month, dubbed #BuyABrick- for a dormitory we were building. It raised 8 million shillings (cash) in 10 days on facebook and twitter. Period.

The following month (November) came with the inaugural social media Awards. 40-40 scooped the award for “Best Campaign” in a category we were certain we would not see light of day in. Why? The household names we were up against-Coca Cola, MTN and Airtel. How??!

As the year came to an end in December, I would be recognised as the “Heroine of the Year 2013” by the Young Achiever’s awards.

In three months,40-40 had had more ‘action,’ than I could contain. If the universe was sending a message, I had received it loud and clear. Wouldn’t you agree?

What lessons can I share? What do I wish I knew? What does this experience mean?

If at least one person can believe with you and go the extra mile, you are onto something

The 40-40 greater family is in thousands and that looks good-on paper.

The naysayers are lurking around, perhaps even one in three. To keep the main thing, the main thing amidst life’s hurdles is extremely difficult but NOT impossible.

Two years ago I met Joseph* In fact, he was one of the only people on the team whom I did not know from ‘my past life’ (Everyone else was a friend or at least an acquaintance)

He was dedicated,you could see that. Him and I were (are) also very different.  It took a while for me to get used to him, one of the reasons being >> ‘tasemba na kyo’ (loosely translated to mean, he always has the last word) even when it is obvious he is wrong. (in his defence, I also drive other people mad so…)

Let me even give a ‘real’ example. This one time he knocked a policeman (poor boy was on his way to a 40-40 meeting) and as he narrated the story to us, he seemed to suggest that the policeman (who was on foot) is the one who knocked Joseph’s car 😀 <<< see?

Well, he happens to be one of the most loyal members of my team

For almost two years, he braved Entebbe road traffic and a demanding bank job-to attend our weekly meetings(in Kampala) that often end at 9.00p.m as well as having a key role at all our events.

A couple of months ago when African Hope Network offered to support me and 40-40, my opening request was that they facilitate me to hire an accountant.

The first time I mentioned it in a meeting, a few people nodded, some weren’t sure. Joseph*  on the other hand sent me a message that night saying he would quit his job and join me- full time.

What? how? why? when?

I spent the next fortnight giving him all the reasons why he should not make this drastic decision.

I needed him to be sure. I was living a precarious life and did not want to carry any ‘casualties’ with me.

He did not budge.

Well, as I speak, he is my first real ‘employee’ and we haven’t killed each other…yet.

So you can say I am a boss-ish.

Speaking of bosses…

I do not consider myself a boss, it will take some time before I get the hang of it. When I was younger, I knew I would support a cause like ours, not be at the helm of it. See the universe playing tricks again?

Even with the titles Afande, CEO/ED/KCCA/UPE etc that we joke about, I see my team as equals. Some older, some younger but nonetheless, we are all 40/40.

My friend Gloria introduces me to everyone as ‘My boss Esther.’ The most awkward one was recently when I was at her ‘actual office’ and her ‘actual boss’ walked in. “Meet my other boss, Esther,” she calmly said. The expression on his face-priceless!

It’s all about the money, money, money…NOT

For the past nine or so months I have had interviews on t.v, radio, print and several occasions where I have been invited as a speaker.

This is what always happens when the opportunity avails itself, in this order.
Me: Oh what an honour!
Me: On gosh! What am I going to say?
Me: In front of all those people? I can’t.

Me: I do not have anything to wear.

You would think I would be used by now. I shock myself too. Same nerves, same panic, same fear of falling and stuttering etc.

At the end of all this, I will look at my closet, grab something, head out (almost always on my trusted boba boda) and then present myself and my dream.

I do not like audiences or speaking to them but I do enjoy telling people about 40-40 and hoping for at least one convert.

There is always that person in the audience who asks malicious questions so the poker face must be intact (I struggle)

After one talk, this gentleman asked “So how do you keep your hair looking like that if you are saying you are still growing and thus can’t afford salaries?” Before I could respond he insinuated I had a rich man taking care of me *yawn*

I do not know why  people are so myopic. They barely ask what drives you or how you have come this far. When they do, it is after a snide remark about charity and giving too much of oneself to others. Frankly, it is exhausting, but when you want something badly- you begin to gnore even the greatest humps.

Let us think of a business. You borrow money from friends to start it. You ask your family to let you use the garage because you can’t afford rent. You let your employees know you will pay them when things are good but they may go without salaries sometimes. You also assure them that you will understand if they need to go after ‘greener pastures’ because they have to survive. One day, you catch your lucky break, and the rest is history. Does this make sense?

Okay, now replace business with 40-40 but envision it as non-profit but with possibilities for it to employ the brightest and the best and one day actually pay those salaries. To be honest, my team is already all these things, only difference is they are not doing it for the pay cheque- which makes it that much more awesome. Plus of course, they will be repaid ten fold.

So whereas one might recycle outfits and forego vacations or seemingly incredible employment opportunities, there are few ‘real’ things money can buy, if any..happiness and peace of mind do NOT make that list.

Now that I mentioned opportunities, I have remembered my ‘excruciating conundrum.’ After reaching the two year mark at my old job, I figured it was time to move on. I decided to apply for this one job. I actually did fit the part to a large extent.

During the interview the interviewer seemed impressed by the fact that I had managed to balance work and 40-40, until she turned it around. Wouldn’t I give her organisation less time because of my dream? I decided that would be the last job interview I would initiate.

 

After I started to do 40-40 full time, the calls started to come in. The weird bit was that most of them were management positions. I leave my ‘baby’ which is what made you think of hiring me in the first place, come and (hopefully) ensure yours succeeds and then what happens to mine? Best believe their response came with more 000,000’s than words. It was then that I would say thanks, but no thanks.

I did actually try to take part in gigs that could be done part time and at my convenience…Hmm, let’s just say it is not them, it’s me.

From my S.6 vacation when I volunteered as a teacher at an international school where most of the children were snobbish and it rubbed off on the teachers too ,(or is it the other way round?) to the internships I did for four months, every year during my holidays at University, to the office where I watched our pay being swindled and realised I can’t keep silent in the face of corruption to the jobs I have done for pay and the life that I live now- I can safely say that I have never before been as comfortable in my skin as I am now. In the past year, I have felt more ‘useful’ than I have my entire life and that is something that has no price tag.

 

 “I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Your script is different

I have friends whose lives have escalated quite ‘differently’ from my own. We are the same age, perhaps even come from a similar background. Our stories might be somewhat intertwined but often take different turns. Angella* is married with kids, Emily* is steadily rising up the corporate ladder and drives a car that costs the equivalent of what I spend in three years, Jane is in a new city each month and Brian* just got an international job that promises practically everything we dreamt of when growing up. Is this their story? Yes. Is it exciting? Yes. Is it mine? No

If society decides to judge you, their examples shall be simple and yet close to home. “Why can’t you be like your friend who……?”They will go on to tell you things about this friend whose story you probably shared in the first place. It is now ‘their’ story.

The truth is that everyone has their own story and there are no stories that can be identical, similar-yes, identical not a chance! For every ‘achievement’ {because this is subjective} you ‘should have’ attained by now, you are aware and possibly beating yourself up enough without any room for ‘concerned parties’ to add their voice.

The trouble is, though, that we often pay too much attention to the voices. These voices tell us everything we are NOT instead of reassuring us about everything we ARE.

In the end, we do not even remember our dreams or what we loved to do. We are stuck portraying everyone’s definition of success but our own. This is a cancer that can eat at you for the rest of your life if you let it.

Let your story be yours. No matter how dull, dramatic or painful it is-as long as it is yours, all else is secondary

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

lonely

Before I go

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at our accounts and realised they could be better. You know how when you are broke and you remember all your debtors? It was a bit like that. I remembered that this organisation had made a 1,000,000 ugx pledge that wasn’t fulfilled. When I contacted them they said their boss had been out of the country (never mind that he was in the papers and on t.v (United States of Kololo perhaps?)

24 hours later, the money was miraculously ‘ready.’ All I had to do was pick it up, and give the 3 people who ‘helped process’ it their cut, take the 40-40 share and go. What is 1,000,000 divide by 4? Yeah. Exactly.

I told them to give us all of it or keep all of it because we would rather close shop than lose integrity. After all, dividing it amongst themselves without us, would mean more for them.Their response? “We’ll call you back.” That call has not come through since.

The truth is that so many organisations and people operate like this in this country and many others- from the lowest level to the top. That does not mean that we should condone this nonsense because it is the ‘done thing.’

On the other hand, we can’t use blanket statements like “That is why I will never help people, they are all crooks.” There is always an exception to the rule.

Change does not have to happen at once. No amount of change is insignificant.

We need to support each other and help those around us grow.

There are some bits of African culture that do not sit well with me.  I will illustrate.

A woman is beaten by her husband for years and never lets the children know, she is the best mother but most depressed human being. Very soon her daughter is 25 and engaged to be married. It is a huge celebration. After the ‘honeymoon phase,’ daughter returns home. She explains that her husband is a monster. He beats her up like he is trying to kill her. Mommy raises her dress and shows her scars. “My child, guma” (hang in there). She goes on to share the stories of what she went through.

We need to speak up..!! NOW not tomorrow.
This year has been an incredible experience for me mostly because it has opened my eyes. It has not been easy and I acknowledge that. That does not take the beauty from it, in fact, it makes it that much more worthwhile.

If I am blessed with children or people to mentor, I would like to tell them things as they are, no sugar coating- only facts!

I would like to illustrate that it is not always black or white, it can be grey.

I hope that I will teach them to understand that passion is a beautiful thing and whether you find it at 13, 24 or 60- the best gift you can give yourself is to harness every last inch of it.

discover you

God has been good. I have no doubt he put me here and gave me amazing people to ensure his work gets done. I will serve him for as long as I live.

Thank you for reading up to this point! I know just typing all this out has exhausted me.

Just remember;

winner

To dreams and more, xoxo

passion

Life-Precious (Part II)

If you do not remember or did not read what part I was about, it was basically a summary of events that occured a fortnight ago as I battled ill health.

I left out a few of the other parts so it would not be so crowded.

The day I git admitted, a gentleman who knows mum came to my room. It was filled with my friends and we were chatting away. “What are you sick of, he asked, Is it malaria?” By then I hadn’t even been told the diagnosis so my response was unclear. This sparked off a one-man conversation that I had not anticipated. “What would a young girl like you be suffering from?,” he mused pondered out loud. “If it is not malaria, it must be issues related to men.”

The mother burst into laughter and would not ‘recover’ for the next 24 hours. Of course my friends began to joke that I was love sick, hysterical or heart broken. All this while I was thinking but the near-stranger in here has guts.

Poor Uganda. The only disease we ‘accept’ is malaria? How sad. This guy also laughed himself into a stupor till he left. It was hilarious. Mum later told me he is a driver for a company that makes deliveries at her office. She barely knows him. The fact that he was that cheerful around people he barely knew amused me even further.

Later that night, I asked mum to go and get an update on my lab results. I heard her laugh a few minutes later. It is so distinct, you can’t miss it. When she returned I asked what was funny. She was shocked it had ‘reached’ me.

She explained that she had met someone who asked her why she was in hospital. When she told him I was sick, he asked. <drum roll> “Is it malaria?” I am sure he thought she was insane because she laughed at her inside joke and left. See,  the entertainment for that first night was covered 🙂

The less you know…

The next evening, another patient was brought it. There were two non-practicing journalists(mum and I) in there so we found out he spoke Swahili. A few pleasantries were exchanged and then we went on about our lives.

On day 3 however, as we spoke to a nurse, we found out the patient had no family or food. He had been dumped at the hospital. Mummy dearest went over and obviously returned with full details.

This Congolese National had been ‘hired’ by a Pastor and was working with a church in Kampala. He too did pastoral work. When he got ill, the Pastor dropped him, left 20,000 shillings and disappeared. What can 20,000 shillings even do? Being admitted obviously comes with extra costs but by the time we left, the nurses had promised to treat him with or without payment. *They asked him to go to Mulago before but he declined*

Mum began to give him meals until we left but one can only imagine what became of him after.

I would like to begin a rant which focuses on Christians and our lack of compassion, hypocrisy and other related issues but I shall save it.

My little testimony here is/was, laughter and a short conversation that begins with “how are you?” can be all it takes to make someone feel better 🙂

The day after I left hospital, I found out about two breakthroughs that had happened in lives of friends I was praying for.

1. Liz(not real name) graduated on 1st November. This should not be such a big deal ordinarily, except it is.

See Liz is about 34 years old. She decided to pursue a degree against all odds, cut her hair short and shared a class with 19 year olds who downloaded I phone apps while she raised her 3 children and juggled coursework and wife duties.

As if this was not enough, her husband was diagnosed with Hepatitis B, a disease that is 50-100 times more infectious that HIV. His treatment was costly and now more than ever the children needed her.

While all this was happening she got mugged after lectures, twice. One time it was so bad she literally crawled home. After such a dreadful year, she graduated with honours.

How many people do you know who have had everything given to them on a silver platter and still collected more retakes than awards?

She is super woman and she does not even know it 🙂

2) Jenny is a good friend who is quiet but somehow surfaces at the right time. Our friendship isn’t conventional and sometimes we go a month without speaking. Nonetheless, we mourn and laugh together.

About three months ago I was in a rut. I took her to lunch because I had been procrastinating. During the meal, she broke down in a crowded restaurant. I was crashed. I would later find out her family was losing their family home to the bank because of one mistake and Jenny had also been recently cheated on by someone she thought was her soul mate.

All my problems became inconsequential and I felt terrible for being so helpless.

For all the time I have known her, she has been unhappy at her work place and constantly getting so close to getting a good job but only managing to come in second place.

Well, on this suddenly cheery Monday she let me know she had finally got a good job and was to start right away. She would then move her mother to a nice place and begin to save, something she had been unable to do in all her un fulfilling yet demanding positions.

All things work together for the good of those who love HIM!!

Why is life precious? Well, we are granted second chances, sometimes even more and it is up to us to utilise them, over and over again.

Are you the only one who is suffering? No! In fact, your misery pales in comparison to the ‘happy’ smart lady in your office. She smiles because she is out of tears.

What can you do?

Treat life like the miracle it is and your loved ones like the precious gifts they are 🙂

 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

xoxo

suuun

Crossroads

You know how even atheists shall cry out to the Lord when faced with the possibility of death or any other such terrifying moment?

Well, sometimes Christians are no different.

We wake up every day going on about our business,taking a taxi,driving to work, making calls, reply any mention of us on the social media; a few angry remarks here and there..before we know it, The day has ended. We whine more than we should and compliment a lot less than we can. We think it is okay because “It’s my life”

Except, it’s not.  I mean it’s not okay, not it’s not your life.

Some evenings I am so exhausted all I get to say before I sleep is Amen or simply the Lord’s prayer; on many mornings I am too ‘lazy’ to even mumble that prayer. When I do pray,I sometimes rush it more than I should.

However, when someone close to me is in pain or am at a point of crossroads in my life, my every waking moment is spent in some sort of prayer, consciously or sub consciously. I sing his praise, read a few verses and pray or fast.

I will stress God so he can give me a sign of some sort, I shall call on him till he hears my cry.

BUT

How often do we go back to thank him after that call to tell us ‘You got the job!’ How many times do we at least say ‘thank you father’ before we close our eyes? Do you remember the last time you had any sort of thanksgiving for your love, family and all other elements of your better than average life?

Lately, I have gotten to a point that I can’t quite explain. I am yearning for God and yet not searching, searching but not finding,whispering when I want to praise. I am…numb.

Everyone who has shared their pain with me in the past few weeks has earned a prayer but when I get to the part about me, I go silent,stiff and stare into space..then it ends there and I hope that the next day shall be better.

I have woken up from nightmares,accumulated sweat,fear and random thoughts in the wee hours of the morning but none of it makes sense.

I think. Reminisce..but nothing.

So I say, I will take it to the Lord in prayer, and then I don’t

I think maybe talking to someone will help, but probably not

Oh, a getaway will take some of it away, tried it, lasted only as long as a the time away

and ……we’re back…

Blank

Uncertain

Lost.

Maybe someone else has gone through the same ordeal or is gong through it right now. Maybe this will be one of those posts which you simply can’t relate to. Still, I got a few verses to sort of help me through some of the emotions I have been feeling lately and thought I would share.

We can’t always have the answers but I know the one who does hears us even before we call and understands the most subtle signs beckoning him.

This should just be the default rule. When in doubt, ask Him, when you are certain, ask Him,before you begin, during and after the decision you are about to make/making/have made, ask Him!

Let it all be about Him, and not you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

When things do not seem to be working out, but you believe in them still,stand still and await his direction.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

Suffering? Well, you are certainly not on your own and guess what? It will build you-for real..

Romans 5:1-21

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. …

Anger; Yes, it is natural but don’t let it consume you

Ephesians 4:26-27

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

It is not just you. We all have the moments of grace and those of defeat.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Temptation. We can’t always fight it but look to Him, he believes in you.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Nobody said it was easy. If they did, they lied.

Have hope. Keep the faith

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

  • James 1:2-4

    Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Doing good with little or no reward

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Endure and you will reap,don’t believe me? Trust Him

Hebrews 12:1-15

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

And finally, we should be thankful to God for anything and everything and let him know whenever we can.

I chant ‘Thank you Lord’ whenever I can. It could be a hymn for you or a favourite song but do let him know.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This may not all make sense now. God knows even I have some doubt as I type this. On those days when the blows keep coming with no warning and last longer than they should, I ask myself why and want, even need to give up but you know what? Still I rise, and so should you 🙂

Where do I go?

Where do I go?

May God see you through the difficult and happy times alike for it takes an end to see a beginning.

Thank him and call on him. He doesn’t mind either but think about it. Which do you prefer to have people constantly ask you for things or knowing that even f you are their provider, they still have the courtesy to thank you?

Stick with Him and you shall be  in for a thrilling ride…You gerrit,right? 😉

xoxo

Aside

Thank You

I just want to say Thank you father.

I don’t always have quiet time to reflect but even with a busy schedule, I acknowledge how blessed I have been.

You know me..with all my flaws and yet you still embrace me with open arms.

It amazes me and humbles me everyday. I do not say it often enough but this is just to say thank you Lord:-)