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?
- Curiosity about one self, people, life or other.
- A passion for life. You have to have that thing that drives you.
- Ability to laugh at one self and others but not in a mean girl way.
- Not being clingy / able to chill with yourself and do stuff on your own.
- Ambition or wanting to better yourself.
- Being comfortable in your own skin and trusting that people walk through life in different lanes and being OK with yours.
- A love for simple things. Yes big luxurious things are great to have, but someone that you can enjoy the small everyday things with is even better.
- A fear of God, I don’t know any atheists/ agnostics because I feel it is important to have a fear of God, an external standard that guides you and reigns in your own inner and crazy self.
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.
Questions to Ponder
- In what ways do you struggle to take God fully at His word?
- What are some of your personal life experiences that hinder the development of a childlike faith in God the Father?
- How will knowing this truth of Christ now impact how you approach Him in faith?
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.
Posted in books, Heart matters, life
Tagged about me, bible god, Bible Study, Book of James, BSF International, devotions, female friendship, friendship, God, relationship
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?
All of this week I am thinking a lot about relationships and one long-term one that I have is with my dreadlocks.
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.
For a wedding or special date night
I love the braid at the front, it elevates an otherwise boring style
I love the take on the traditional morehawk – but a part of me keeps thinking of the weight on your head.
Posted in Heart matters, home
Tagged about me, dreadlocks, dreads, hair, hairstyles, love, natural hair, relationships, stuff about me, stuff I like
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.
Posted in Heart matters, home, life, marriage, working
Tagged about me, belief, Book of James, faith, Jen Wilkins, lessons learnt, speech
Possibly in a bid to cheer myself up after the last post, I found the following images of black women and it made me insanely happy so enjoy!!
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.
- The Father and the Son act in one accord always. Jesus acted in total obedience and submission to His father and was obedient to death, even death on the Cross (Philippians 2:8).
- God is Sovereign – He ordains all things so that scripture will be fulfilled. This was confirmed for me particularly at the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord – He was in charge at all points, even when He gave His spirit on the cross.
- Through looking at the relationship between Father and Son, I was able to reevaluate my identity as a Child of God (John 1:12 -13) and to critically evaluate those relationships that were providing a pseudo identity. It particularly helped to read that believers are a gift from the Father to the Son (John 17:2) and we are securely held in the Father and the Son’s hand (John 10:28).
- Believers bear fruit as they abide in Christ. This forced me to look at the Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) again and ask those around me to help me identify where I am not bearing fruit. It was challenging to hear but definitely true and it gave me another reason to trust and ask God to help me overcome this area of growth.
- The character that most reminded me of myself is definitely Peter. Oh how I wish I could say I was like John but I saw repeatedly how self confident I am as opposed to being God-confident.
- I was struck at how unbelief in Christ existed throughout the gospel. I had previously thought that it only grow during that Holy Week but it was only present among the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders throughout His life on earth. However as John explicitly says that he wrote this book that we would believe and by believing we would have eternal life (John 20:31), this is what I learnt about belief:
- Jesus confronts unbelief to expose the heart. I was particularly challenged at how praying small prayers ultimately demonstrated that I did not fully believe that God is able to achieve significantly above all I can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
- A believers’ sole identity is in Christ and nothing (or no one) else.
- God provides evidence for each step of belief.
- I also learnt that obedience is the lens that allows us to see the purpose that we were created for. Also, through the depth of my obedience am I able to show my love for Jesus Christ.
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 expected a partner that would take charge of cars and who would directly engage with mechanics and basically inform me when I needed to do any car-related changes.
- Ergo, any fixing of stuff around the house. I would highlight any issues and he would oversee to the fixing – whether directly or outsourced, I am ambivalent. To be honest, a lot of the technical stuff I was happy to delegate away.
- All newly weds are told that they need to set time for date night or else … Consequently, I too came into marriage with this (fear-driven) expectation and very early on we both figured out that given the pace of our lives it would be infeasible to designate a specific evening to always hang out. Having said that, when one of us is hectic, there is no expectation to do stuff but when things simmer down, we often hang out.
- My family has a habit of starting to plan for Christmas from as early as August/September. His family? Not so much. Initially this made me feel slightly helpless. Besides the family tradition, my personality is such that, you can never be too prepared OR start preparing too early. What we now try and do to incorporate both our idiosyncrasies is to have a lose discussion in September and refine it in the following months. This is certainly imperfect (according to me) but it definitely helps somewhat.
- I thought that I would hate meal planning. Turns out, I love it.
- Sometimes as wives we expect that our husbands will become our best (female) buddy. That’s not the case and surely it’s not the reason that we fell in love to begin with. So keep your buddies and work on building a friendship with your husband too.
- Before the wedding I had heard of brides that often felt a bit sad after the wedding because things had gone back to “normal”. Did I feel the same way? Emphatically, NO!! After the energy and time spent planning the wedding, I was only too happy to settle for normal.
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.
Posted in Heart matters, marriage
Tagged about me, about us, conflict, date night, friendship, in-laws, love, marriage, meal planning, planning, relationships, Wedding
- If you are not a Longreads fan already, here is a list of their best articles of 2016.
- I am all about female friendships and stuff. I also love the authors idea of an article’s club.
- My friends and I have these kinds of conversations all the time. Why can’t I ever record them???
- Things people say after a miscarriage.
- Black Power!
- Kindness is the glue that holds couples together.
- What to choose when considering a Bible Study to join. We all need tips on how to improve our prayer life. Yep. At least me!!
- I guess con artistes are always looking to make a quick one so academia is also fair game.
- Short-run solutions to youth unemployment in South Africa. Can young offenders reform successfully?
- I love the aesthetics of this home!! This housing option seems quaint, but not for me.
- Helping kids to make New Year resolutions. Some help for adults too. More help from podcasts.
- Cool places to chill in Johannesburg. And in Uganda.
- On identity and what makes us, us.
- I watched the movie Birth of a Nation and liked it.
- Recipes: Cooking with soy sauce. Fragrant Chickpea Basmati Rice with Fresh Coriander.
Posted in design, good, Heart matters, home, marriage
Tagged 2017, about me, cartoons, cooking, Johannesburg, new beginnings, new year, parenthood, pregnancy, recipes, resolutions, Sharee Miller, Uganda
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:
- The decision to accept Jesus as my Lord to live for Him after.
- To study Economics.
- To never try hard drugs.
- To settle down with my husband.
- To drop certain friendships.
- Financial discipline.
- To stop eating red meat and to a smaller extent chicken.
- To leave a straining job with no prospects at the time.
Are there any decisions I regret? Sure but that’s another days post 🙂
Posted in home, marriage, school
Tagged about me, adulting, decision making, decisions, diet, economics, faith, marriage, pescatarian, school
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.
- Go Karting on Langata Road.
- Ice Skating at Panari Sky Centre.
- Watch a local production at Phoenix Theatre.
- Visit the highest floor of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
- Attend Rugby Sevens.
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!!
Posted in books, design, good, Heart matters, home, life, madness, marriage, school, working
Tagged about me, anniversaries, blogging, stuff about me, Wordpress
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!
- My theme this year was on obedience.
- Listened to great music too!!
- Took care of myself!!
- Really got into podcasts.
- Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
- I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
- Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
- Cooked some nice things.
- Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
- Made a personal announcement too!!
Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!
Posted in books, design, good, Heart matters, home, life, madness, marriage, school, working
Tagged about me, books, Cape Town, cooking, design, dot, good, Heart matters, home, life, little things, madness, marriage, motherhood, music, Podcasts, reading, school, theme verse, working, xenophobia
Check out this definition by Jason Zweig:
ECONOMIST, n. A professor who studies the interaction of people, goods and money in a chaotic world. To do so, the economist applies mathematical tools that are the equivalent of using a ruler and a stopwatch to measure the movement of matter in a particle accelerator, where the velocity of subatomic particles can approach the speed of light. The painstaking measurements taken by the economist enable him to make powerful predictions about the future behavior of the ruler and the stopwatch.
Wouldn’t do any of these but I would love to be friends with the girl that could carry them off.
Yes, I still check out wedding stuff from some of my old favourites.
My favourites are number 1 and 4.
Love that #1 is playful but it could also be adapted into a long, short or midi dress. I also like the polka dots on the trail and seeing it again, it could be done into a jumpsuit!
#4 has the type of neckline that I just love and indeed, my wedding dress had an illusion neckline as well.
If you any girl that would wear these dresses, send her my way 🙂
Posted in design, Heart matters, life
Tagged about me, clothes, design, fashion, friendship, Heart matters, life, love, shopping, wedding dress, weddings