So, what’s in your handbag????
So while in truth I am 32 years, I hardly ever feel that way. I suppose in so many ways I have age dissonance in that, that’s the number I put down but hardly do I look at myself and think, there she is that 32 year old, nah, nope, never. So how old do I feel? Well, I have three secret inner ages.
At this age, I fell in love with Nairobi. I was also deemed old enough to commute to the Library and church and back home unaccompanied. I also loved taking matatus (public service vehicles) and would delight in selecting the hottest one with the best music or the coolest people. I enjoyed feeling like a grown up even in this really small way.
At this age, I felt grown. School got tough but I managed to draw on my inner strength and focus. By this point I had chosen subjects that would pretty much determine what I studied at University and essentially my career. Now I know many people didn’t take it that seriously but I certainly did and saw each of those decisions as a major cog in the life wheel. I also remember the clarity I felt around these decisions, I was so bold and didn’t even for a second second guess myself or my abilities.
I literally felt like I was on top of the world. I had completed my undergrad and felt like the world was my oyster. I jokingly say, I should have rewarded myself with motherhood because thought I was single, this was the only time I felt the need to bear an heiress 🙂 But I felt young enough to be optimistic and experienced enough to have something under my belt.
In truth though, we have friends who have one or two kids, some who are divorced, others have faced miscarriages – all things that I think of as being done by big people. We have gotten married, changed jobs, moved cities and all that but somehow that’s another person not me. Do you sometimes feel that way or is your life aligned to your actual age?
What about you, what qualities do you look for in other people?
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Source)
Psalms 103: 12 reminds us that God forgives fully and removes our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. This truth came up recently when I met a friend to discuss the bible studies that we had both done separately over the BSF break, her Hebrews and me, James.
A theme that separately came up for each of us is belief and how it is also possible for us as believers not to take God at His word and put in caveats that are not there OR that limit our overall ability to enjoy the time spent with Him. And this way, practice unbelief. In my specific case, this came through in the area of prayers. For others in my life, I am able to pray big prayers and believe on their behalf that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He said He will but somehow somehow in my case my faith is muted and I doubt that He will do what He said He can. So my pal rightly asked me: “what’s that about?” And in that moment, I was reminded of the verse that exhorts fathers not to provoke their children to anger by how they treat them (Ephesians 6: 4 NLT).
We often approach God based on our earthly experiences rather than step out of those and experience Him as the eternal Father who loves perfectly. Who has been perfectly revealed through His son Jesus Christ (Heb 1:3) and His living word (the Bible).
This contrasts with the devil who speaks from both sides of his mouth. On the one hand he is the father of all lies (John 8:44) and in the other, the accuser of brethren (Revelation 12:10). However, we also know that Jesus has fully overcome the world on our behalf and though we will have trouble we should take heart and have peace (John 16:33). This means that I can overcome this burden of shame and this fear of intimacy with Christ due to past sin by entrusting my all to Him and believing fully in Him. Additionally, I know that Revelation 12:11 talks of overcoming the accuser through the words of our testimony. By what we declare and what we state can we be renewed and overcome his lies about us, God’s children.
Lord we thank you that you are eternal yet unchanging, that your word is true and that you can swear by none but yourself which further encourages our faith in you. Forgive me where I have doubted your word in how I have acted, thought or spoken. Help me always to trust in you ( in the following specific areas of my life ) and believe even when my old self wants to doubt. Teach me how to hold onto my faith unswerving and this way to bring glory and honour to you. I thank you that you are a good Father who gives good gifts to His children and who forgives us fully and does not hold our past sins against us.
The tenth prompt from this list asked me to talk of something about myself I like.
Just this week I was reminded that a compliment I often get from those dear and near is that I am a great encourager. I listen patiently and help people to see themselves in a more positive light, I offer solutions to problems and offer to assist with heavy burdens. I am good at strengthening people and getting them to see as strengths setbacks while pushing them upwards and forwards. I hope I never forget this or hold myself back when those in my presence need to be uplifted.
What’s a compliment you often receive?
After seven and a half years, I really really still love my hair. It is now waist-length and just as exciting as when it was first locked. After all these years, I still get excited at having my hair washed, twisted and then styled. Before that I delight myself by looking at pictures online and choosing an appropriate style and then looking forward to the big reveal at the salon. When I see someone with dreadlocks that either have a style I would like, that are dyed beautifully, longer and sometimes even shorter than mine but just look so good, I get the worst dread envy.
And all of the above is how I know that I made the best move and I still don’t regret it. Nah, nope, I am still good. CONFESSION: Come Summer, I do want to trim them slightly shorter, just an itsy bitsy bit.
In the meantime, below are some styles I am looking forward to in the next couple of months.
What’s on your nightstand?
My bible, two or three books I am currently reading, a bottle of perfume, two birthday cards from family, a coaster (for my nightly cuppa tea), some paperwork I need to file.
What is an ideal day?
Predictable i.e it goes according to plan with nothing unexpected.
What trait do you deplore in other people?
Dishonesty, lack of conviction.
What trait do you most admire in other people?
Honesty, loyalty and ambition/drive.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Books, tea and stationary.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Hopelessness and having nothing to look forward to.
Who’s your favorite hero of fiction or movies?
Moses from the books by Barbara Kimenye
Mountain or beach vacation?
City, but if I had to strictly choose, then beach.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My buck teeth.
Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26
With those close to me, I love to talk. But equally, I tend to say things that are undesirable or hurtful and so my desire and prayer is that I would learn to restrain my tongue, being slow to speak and anger and quick to listen (James 1:19) starting today and always by God’s strength.
Courtesy of this journaling prompt.
Black is beautiful
Black is strong
Black is me and I love it!!
On the last night of BSF we typically have a sharing night where class members share with each other lessons and thoughts of the study. It is a very encouraging and motivating part of the lesson as the Holy Spirit continues to affirm that He is the one who reveals knowledge to each of us.
Below see some of my thoughts and I pray that you will be deeply encouraged/challenged as I was.
Having learnt all of this, I can also say that my discomfort at the number of the unreached (unsaved) also grew. It is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrew 9:27). My responsibility is purely to share God’s word and leave it to Him as he awakens faith in us and causes us to believe. While scary, failure to believe means meeting Jesus as Judge as opposed to as Saviour and Great High Priest. So I pray that we may continue to share the reason for our Hope when asked (1 Peter 3:15).
This morning the Mr and I had a little fight. I had to take my car for a service – something that in my horror, totally feels like a dentist’s visit what with the information asymmetry, pain (actual and to the wallet) and the fact that there is a specialist whom you trust but then again, information asymmetry. At the root of the fight though is that ugly word: Expectations.
Any one about to be married, or married for a day and an hour will long have heard the mantra that expectations kill a marriage and that the counter is communicate, communicate, communicate. Our little fight had me reassessing all the different expectations that I had regarding marriage and an assessment of all other expectations I have held since our marriage started.
I must say these lessons are over and above learning how selfish I am, how much space and time alone I require. All of that. Marriage is certainly not the penultimate goal, neither is it my most defining relationship but I must say I have learnt a lot and it has been very fulfilling for me.
I have to make some life decisions and that always makes me draw back on previous decisions I made and how those turned out. Some of the decisions I have made in life that I am quite proud of:
Are there any decisions I regret? Sure but that’s another days post 🙂
I was listening to Cape Talk this afternoon and the presenter was talking of the touristy things in Cape Town that local residents had never gotten round to doing. This triggered a similar thought for Nairobi. So here goes my list according to Travel Start and Migrationology.com.
Do you live in an iconic city? Have you crossed off most items on your city’s to-do list?
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!!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you of the different moments when I knew I was grown and I was OK with it. Minute 5:22 of this video.
“As you start to get older it’s about reconciling the fantasy with reality and still maintaining the vision for your life. So that you are going towards what you want but still incorporating the reality of life’s experience and reconciling that certain things you don’t have control over.” Tracee Ellis Ross
We all have this age when it hits us that some of the plans we made as young people will not take the single format we had envisioned.
When I was young, I knew that I would one day be married, never really planned the wedding but knew that I would be married. In my head, I was going to meet my husband at 24 get married at 26 and have my first child at 28 like my mom. Well, when at 23 I enrolled to do my Masters, I knew that this was never going to happen. Also, when I started working and realised the cost of weddings, I knew I had to push it out.
Or the dream to join the World Bank Young Professional Programme? Slowly and painfully letting this one go as I approach 32 and resting on the fact that hopefully I can join the Bank at a later stage in my career.
Similarly, how quickly I dropped the dream to go to the London School of Economics and do my Masters – one day I looked at their prospectus and realised that I was not interested in their course offering.
The dream to live alone before I was married. Things changed and it was fine.
I guess at different stages I learnt that the dream does not have to come in only one format and that you know what, it’s OK to reconfigure, to rediscover to restart or redo. It’s OK. My new thing is to keep it moving and to keep trying forward.
On this day in history, well, only eight years ago,I boarded a plane with a plan for two years but all of my worldly possessions and came to start my Honors and then Masters Degree the next year.
All I can say, this far the Lord has brought me and has continued to sustain me through so many lessons, firsts, lasts and experiences altogether. In keeping with my desire to be grateful this year, I am extremely grateful and my heart bubbles over.
Thanks for the memories and here’s to so many more years to come.
I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!
Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!