No. Not today. I just can’t.

Some days never make sense and the more we try and make sense of them, the harder the truth we face is.

Today is one of those days.

I can’t.

I find comfort in the following: God is our creator and the sustainor of all life and in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). In the song “What I thought I Wanted” Sarah Groves talks of wanting to get to heaven so she could go and ask Job what he knew about faith and being able to remain focused on God through tough and trying times. Today, I wanna ask the same hard question. Thankfully, we worship a might God that we can directly approach with such questions.

 

Fave Emmy Red Carpet Looks

 

Best, in terms of I love their personality, the show and they look good!

Simple looks but really gorgeous!!

Kerry Washington in her maternity look. Yessss!!

Not sure why, but I love this dress!!

Confused about these two looks. Not obviously bad but they just need little tweaks.

All pics sourced from here.

What were your best looks?

(Long) Sunday Reads

  1. Great marriage lesson about talking honestly of our growing up experiences
  2. Clothes, beauty and Africa (NY Times)
  3. Uganda’s fastest and cheapest street food: Rolex. Do yourself a favour and google how the typical Ugandan pronounces itūüôā
  4. …. and then a brief history of Vietnam’s street food, the Banh ¬†mi.
  5. School lunches in Japan.
  6. So much good in this story.
  7. Relationship goals. Yes!!
  8. I love mussels and this seems so simple to make at home.
  9. I sometimes feel this way about my accomplishments. Yeah!
  10. I WANNA host an ice cream social too.
  11. Because Lagos loves to party.
  12. Bringing up kids in this day and age is not for the faint hearted.
  13. Giving birth in Guinea is not child’s play.
  14. We must watch Hidden Figures. Very important story to tell!!
  15. Yummy (no egg) ice cream recipe.
  16. This is my plan for September – need to get a proposal out.
  17. I had a similar meal recently at a restaurant, YUMMY cauliflower.
  18. Some more productivity hacks.
  19. This letter. So true and poignant!

Week’s Memory Verse

John 1: 12 – 13

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God‚ÄĒ¬†children born

not of natural descent,

nor of human decision

or a husband’s will,

but born of God.

Belief in God gives us access to eternal life and a godly heritage. We are siblings of The First Born who died for us, Jesus Christ. I love this verse. It reminds me of Carol services on Christmas Eve. We always read John 1: 1 – 18 and this verse about being called Children of God always gives me the warm fuzzies. Always. Today, if you too would receive him in your heart and believe in Him, you will surely also receive eternal life and right to be called a child of God. While we all have life and are in fact living beings, not all of us are children of God, that requires belief and faith in God.

Black, Female and Strong

It is a really interesting time to be in South Africa, what with all the #Fallist talks and the different dialogues happening around race, culture and identity. Last week, I attended the Open Book Festival in Cape Town and happened to attend two talks that had me very excited.

The first related to decolonising institutions. Although most African countries obtained political and some level of economic independence, in the main¬†very few countries embarked on¬†that extra step to decolonise their culture, their thinking, their language and their identity. My personal view is that this is vital and regardless of the length of time that has passed from independence, no country is fully emancipated until they do this and I suppose this is where South Africa is at the moment. Slightly controversially, I think that it is the colonised Black¬†people that must fully lead in this process and set the agenda. Also, less clear to me is the question of language. Can a revolution led in the “colonisers” language ever be taken seriously? Or have that full acceptance and recognition? While I am not fully convinced it can be, I am not sure what the counterfactual is.

This talk also touched on the¬†question of privilege which led me to think of my own story and my privilege. As¬†I am obviously Black and female this makes¬†class my privilege¬†because through class, I can transcend some of the discrimination I would otherwise face. For example, I am really grateful that I am privileged to be able to outsource some of the things I don’t enjoy doing around the house to someone else and pay her to do them on my behalf. Some of the expectations that I am graciously excused from as a ¬†new wife by my extended family. I am extremely grateful but also, with privilege does responsibility also increase. To give back, to ensure justice and reduced inequality for others that are less fortunate. To do something.

The second talk was on feminism. The panel has become my ultimate girl/writer crush/ perfect dinner guest list/ people I must meet before I leave the earth. The moderator was Mohale Mashigo and the panelists were: Yewande Omotoso, Nnedi Okorafor and Pumla Dineo Gqola. After the session was over, I just wanted to sit and bask in the warm fuzzies generated by that session. Nothing I love more than passionate and educated women with a strong opinion that they are happy to share and loudly at that. For the hour that they spoke, it was nice to talk about common and sometimes not so common experiences we share as women. When did you first know that you were a feminist? How do the books that you read portray female characters? Media? TV? Is feminism for all? Is this brand of feminism accessible to all or are there some class privilege undertones? When the struggle is so tough, how do you reignite the joy and keep the focus? I am obviously not even summarising the discussion well but it was a very interesting discussion.

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L-R Mashigo, Okorafor, Gqola, Omotoso

Friendships can be tough sometimes

Image result for an african city

Source

Since leaving home, I have had two kinds of friendships. Those that require little maintenance and those that we have to continuously work on to maintain.

And that’s been fine.

For the most part.

However, something I struggle with is when to let go of a friendship. I find that I become consumed by the memories and the fact that we have experienced so much together and that it would be such a pity to let x be the reason that we part ways. When do you just leave and let be?

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic

Such a good summary, thanks for this!!

Cooking without Limits

I start blogging in September 2012 and my traffic for 2013 and 2014 was not good at all, as you can see in the image.

traffic blog

I had a few followers and few people saw my posts.  After reading about traffic and visitors I manage to get more people reading my blog with just a few steps. So here is something to help you gain more traffic without paying anything:

  1. Write short posts because people don’t like to get lost in the story. Most of us don’t have time to read thousands of words.
  2. Read every day other people blogs.
  3. Try to answer to all your visitors.
  4. Use links to other posts when is necessary.
  5. Use Facebook, Pinterest and other social sharing sites to promote your posts.
  6. Tell beautiful stories.
  7. Write guest posts for other blogs and have guest posts.
  8. Try to write a post once a week.
  9. Use beautiful photos…

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Sunday Reads

  1. Baaagh! shaving season is upon us.
  2. My oldest nephew is headed to teenage-hood. Freak out!!
  3. But why is our leader like this?
  4. Definitely baking this lemon and thyme cake this weekend.
  5. I love the idea of helping women over 40 get back into work.
  6. Marriage is often about managing details. FACT.
  7. Recommended baby shower gifts.
  8. The Real Housekids imitate the Real Housewives of Atlanta.Hopefully, they get round to imitating all the series of this show.
  9. Funny mom emoji’s.
  10. I liked Tsitsi Dangaremba and this was an interesting read.

Blogaversary

According to WordPress, today is NINE YEARS since I started blogging. What? Where has time gone?

This here little blog really means so much to me and gives me an outlet to share about myself and some of my interests and I am grateful for this opportunity and for many of you guys that read, comment, like and follow.

Thanks and here’s to many more!!

(Long-ish) Sunday Reads

  1. Love the little eateries in Cape Town –Hallelujah. Truth Coffee.
  2. Sometimes in a long-term relationship you can forget how to really have a good conversation. Here’s how to rekindle that.One. Two.
  3. I wonder what a similar labour market analysis would reveal of the aged workers across Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. I love reading about productivity hacks.
  5. Some apps to help with  productivity.
  6. This article is spot on about how alcohol is fuelling a lot of women today.
  7. One day when I am all grown, I will use my board and have a charcuterie and cheese platter.

Recipes

 

Songs of Praise

 

 

Blessed Weekend and Enjoy!

Sunday Reads

  1. A creative activity from something we all use weekly.
  2. Sometimes we are loneliest in the midst of other people.
  3. Funny but so true how we always Google an illness and walk away with the worst possible diagnosis.
  4. Very emotional read about the alternates at the Olympics – it takes such depth of character to keep going when you are so close but not quite there.
  5. How (un)romantic to talk of love and microbes.
  6. Obama’s Summer 2016 Playlist, I think I have deciphered the code message behind it.
  7. Lovely story about this dad that tried to get his daughter out of an arranged marriage.
  8. BUT, Joburg has some cool places
  9. I am astounded by the desperate measures people will take to get to a “better life. Long, but worth the read.

Sunday Reads

  1. Do this to improve your potluck hosting game.
  2. Important subject matter (slavery in literature) and I definitely want to read the book, The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehad)
  3. Interesting thoughts on appropriating food from another culture. Not unexpectedly, I am more chilled about it provided you show respect.
  4. So much I didn’t know about one of Brazil’s most iconic landmark.
  5. Green bean stir fry.
 

Sunday Reads

  1. These are my best friend goals for when we are 70-plus.
  2. All night after care facilities for busy parents. Very sad!!
  3. Vanilla coconut ice cream.
  4. Another pasta recipe.
  5. You don’t need a sandwich maker to make these cheese sandwiches.
  6. Such memories we all have about meeting our MILs for the first time.
  7. This is a whole post on the pressure of being a young adult now.
  8. So scary but very fascinating.
  9. A to-do list if you are looking to change your name post marriage.
  10. I am voting for jumpsuits as the official bridesmaid wear!
 

Where did July go?

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Cooking Sukuma Wiki (Kales) for the first time at 31.5 years old

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Sunset over Stellenbosch

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Dinner at Asara Boutique Hotel, Stellenbosch

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Trying to finish gloves before the worst of Winter is behind us.

Also read this book, didn’t really like it …ūüė¶

LOVED THIS BOOK!

Finishing this up now too …

Sunday Reads

  1. This article captures how a good policy intended for women can conversely benefit men.
  2. Tips to help one eat in moderation.
  3. Again this article on how African women’s bodies are fetishised and no one really cares for us. They never loved us!
  4. This place has been popping up quite often, should try and stop by before the cool kids monopolise it.
  5. For anyone looking to study for a PhD. Some valuable advice.

Thoughts on being a worshipper

During my BSF break, I have been going through the Purpose Drive Life book. I had read it some years back and following the study on Revelation, I thought this would be a great way to meditate on those specific lessons. I have finished the first purpose, created for his pleasure and wanted to summarise some of my thoughts so far.

  1. Because God delights in us, He created us (me). Worship is how we reflect our delight and pleasure back to Him.
  2. Anything, from the mundane to the extraordinary, can be done as unto God and therefore qualifies as worship.
  3. Delayed and partial obedience is disobedience. Understanding can wait, obedience cannot. Obedience to God precedes understanding.
  4. Worship is steeped in a total surrender to and trust in God. Here I am reminded of the 24 elders in Rev 4:10 who before the throne of Christ. “fell¬†down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne” declaring His uttermost worthiness of all glory and honour. Their crowns were their most precious things and before the throne, they laid that down before God.
  5. Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God! Surrender is counter culture and against our very personalities.
  6. True worship is steeped in understanding who God is. And here I am reminded of this famous line:¬†“when we see Him as He is, we will worship Him as we ought”.¬†Often we (me included) talk of worshiping a particular type of God i.e. I cannot believe¬†that a loving God would do … and if He would, then I cannot worship Him. This makes the construct of God something that either you or I could fully grasp. God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours and the only we can understand that/Him is via constant prayer and meditation on His word.
  7. God calls for true worshipers in spirit and truth (John 4:24). True worship is authentic. Authentic in that it is centred on a true understanding of God and His character and is true to my unique character. I have come to understand that I worship best in a very structured and almost ritualistic environment and therefore things like an Anglican service really appeal to me.
  8. Sometimes, we feel like God is distant. We still have to worship. But how? (i) we can honestly share with God that we do not feel Him or His presence. We can trust God with our emotions. All of them, the pleasant and the not so great. (ii) Focus on God and His true character. Continue to pray and give thanks ceaselessly. (iii) Reflect on God’s past faithfulness. God has already met our utmost need through sending His son to die on the cross for us. Our biggest need is our salvation and reconciliation to God. This has already been met, we only need to believe.
  9. There are also some barriers to great worship. The biggest one is me and my perception of how I need to worship. In addition, is fear, lack of trust and pride.
  10. Finally, I leave you with a few verses to meditate on regarding worship: Philippians 3:20, Romans 12:1-2, Hebrew 12:28 and 2 Corinthians 5:9.

From my Bookshelf

I recently read a book that I just loved.

That I just enjoyed.

That allowed me to be in the moment.

That fully had me in its grasp from start to end.

At the end of which, I hugged the book to my chest and sighed and it felt like I had just experienced the most exciting thing ever!

This is not even a review beyond the fact that I read a great book and you should check it out too.

Sunday Reads

  1. These tips on how to give a good toast should be mandatory read. The number of wedding toasts I have heard and cringed.
  2. Free versus structured play. I am all for free play.
  3. Interesting study on why women share photos of their kids on social media.
  4. Apparently more people are using video to inform family and friends alike that they are having a baba! (NYT article).
  5. 10 ways to reduce your wedding budget.
  6. Yes kids get sick at daycare, but they also get sick less often later. This study proves and my mom always said. (NYT article)
  7. Such a sad story but so beautifully and heart-warmingly portrayed.
  8. So much cuteness in these pictures.
  9. On the messaging that we s(sub) consciously send to our daughters.
  10. Spicy carrot cumin and coconut soup.

Men have been denied so many safe spaces where they can be men and vulnerable
Guys like us, it turns out, are hungry for a place to talk with other men, particularly about how fatherhood is changing us, and changing writ large. Just as literature has long helped people see that our seemingly personal struggles are universal, being able to talk in this group offers a similar revelation. In an age of near-constant superficial virtual connection, there‚Äôs an enormous benefit in having a real life community to confide in more deeply and provide a genuine social network ‚ÄĒ especially for men and young fathers so often without it.

(Please also read the comments)

 

More great Seth Godin

The Saying/Doing Gap

At first, it seems as though the things you declare, espouse and promise matter a lot. And they do. For a while.

But in the end, we will judge you on what you do. When the gap between what you say and what you do gets big enough, people stop listening.

The compromises we make, the clients we take on, the things we do when we think no one is watching… this is how people measure us.

It seems as though the amount of time it takes for the gap to catch up with marketers/leaders/humans is getting shorter and shorter.

Source