Tag Archives: authentic life

Three (maybe, four) thoughts on Grace

At Church we are covering a series on Grace and so far the study has reminded me of two things that I would like to share today.

The definition of grace is “unearned, unmerited and undeserved kindness and favour of God.” Grace is free and has all to do with God and His love for us a sinful, unfaithful and undeserving people.

Sometimes we forget this meaning and so it’s the third thing that we often forget and so I thought it wise to begin there. Now onto the things that I have actually learnt.

  1. No sin is bigger than God’s grace. There is nothing that we can do that will set us apart from the grace of God. Because if there were, it would negate the very definition of grace.
  2. We have to accept this grace on our own behalf. In that sense it’s personal but it’s also possible that you can reject it and miss out because we choose the penalty (death – the wage for sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ [Rom 6:23]) over and over again.
  3. Lastly, due to our nature, we can get very transactional with God. If you do this, I will ….  I thought I didn’t do this but I see that I quite often do this I still bargain and negotiate and try to “please” God so I am slowly learning to rest in His completed work and to be still.

I pray that I continue to meditate on these truths always.

Guest Post: Motherhood: the first 12 months

Show some love today for a regular guest poster here on the blog for Simple Girl blogging over at (Simple Girl Writes) who defines herself as Slightly Neurotic, Cheerful, Blessed, Wants to be a back-up singer in the next lifetime, Sh*t scared of pigeons and chickens, Econometric nerd extraordinaire, Just a simple girl

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Mummy and her Little Madam 🙂

Technically my little one is now just over one year  (13 months to be exact) and I honestly can’t believe that I’ve been a mother for a year. WOW – we made it 🙂  (albeit with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way and don’t forget the many, many tears)!

I’ve never really liked children. I know that may be a shocking way to start this blog post but I always thought that I was a better aunt especially to little ones over the age of three. But babies? Yoh, I was not present for the diaper changing, constant burping, bottle feeds and anything else associated with newborn babies. So when I found out that I was going to be a mother, my biggest worry was whether I would genuinely like my child. Of course I would love my child – that goes without saying but I was honestly worried about how I would cope given that I knew nothing about handling babies and whether I would genuinely like the experience.

I was pronounced a mother on 28 November 2016. When I finally got a chance to look at the little human that I had been baking for nine months, all the fears and trepidation I had did not miraculously disappear (contrary to all the lies you are told at the baby shower) – but rather completely enveloped me.

Yes, I was that woman.

I was scared and completely nervous about being a mum over the first four months. I was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with raising a child. The sleep deprivation and hormones did not help. And let me not start on the struggles faced with breastfeeding. It didn’t help that I also did not receive proper support regarding this and went into it completely blindsided. People take it for granted that every woman will have sufficient (milk )supply and the right technique for baby to latch. Needless to say, I struggled with breastfeeding. We had incorrect latch and minimal supply (a teaspoon worth of milk was produced after pumping for at least an hour). Breastfeeding completely humbled me. I remember hysterically crying after another (well-meaning, I’m sure) relative called to give me a lecture about the benefits of breastfeeding and that regardless of the pain and difficulty I faced that it’s just something I must do if I want to give my child a good first step to a healthy life (yes, those words were actually said). The judgement you face from other women when they hear or see that you aren’t breastfeeding is real 😦 I still haven’t gotten over the guilt over my failure with breastfeeding  – this despite having a happy and healthy little girl. Lol, I actually think I am quite scarred by the experience, especially people’s reaction to my attempts. Baby steps I suppose.

But the past year hasn’t been all gloom and doom. The first time she smiled at me, first time I saw her sitting up on her own, the first time I came home from work and received a massive toothless smile and of course the first time I got a wobbly hug after someone took her first steps were literally the best moments I’ve had in a while. Those were the days I honestly felt like a mother and realised that this little person knows that too.

What I have learnt over the past year is that it’s ok to not be in control of everything and to ask for (and accept) help. Once I learnt to let a few things go, motherhood was not as scary anymore and I was able to enjoy being a mother. I luckily went through this emotional roller coaster with probably the most understanding partner I could ever have asked for. This coupled with the support from the grannies and aunties also helped (especially when all the nanny drama started – that’s a story for another day).

But honestly, I think motherhood (especially with your first child) is made to appear all shiny and sparkly and perfect (like floating in a field full of candyfloss perfect). And in my experience, I was rather running through a field of thorn trees 😦 Yes – It does get easier and becomes quite enjoyable but it’s not always easy to start off with. I just wish someone had told me that so that maybe I could have prepared myself a little bit more for it.

When I think of motherhood now, I’ve learnt to be kind and patient (nothing like a few weeks with minimal sleep to test your patience). That Googling if the colour of baby poo is normal at odd hours of the morning is ok. I also know that I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was. Importantly, I’ve learnt to humble myself and to be willing to do just about anything  (including crawl on the floor if I have to)  to get that amazing laugh (now with eight whole teeth!) from the little madam.

I’m constantly amazed by my child at her sheer resilience to reach all of her developmental milestones (regardless of the many bumps, tears and falls on the way). I’ve also fallen completely in love with my husband again and again while watching him interact with his child – their bond is love in its purest form, it is beautiful to watch. So here’s to the first year of being a mother – it hasn’t been rosy and perfect but hey, aren’t those imperfections what makes for an interesting ride?

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The Little Madam Herself …

Thanks Mama, please check out her past posts here and here.

Thanks so much for this post, I already shared with you how much it means to me that I can guilt/bully/ ask this of you and know that I can depend on you to be honest and vulnerable with me. It is much appreciated. As someone that has witnessed you come into your own as a mother and wife, I am so delighted to witness this growth and wish you and your family many more joyful and blessed days ahead.

Our Love Is ..

I remember these cartoons from way back and how they made me feel. Like love was the most grown up thing I could think of because it was so out of my reach at the time. So each day I would look at them in the newspaper and imagine this thing called love and so here are a few things that demonstrate our love.

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Our love is just us and these cartoons can’t even express but they try …

Characteristics that I value in others

  • 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. 
  • Loyalty.
  • 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?

 

Sunday Reads

  1. This article on that tragic election.
  2. This lady trying to make sense of that election (1,000 comments but good).
  3. An education on the for-profit education sector in Kenya and Uganda.
  4. Extra-judicial killings in Kenya. HEARTBREAK!!
  5. Undertaking a life audit/ preparing for your 2017 New Years’ Resolutions.
  6. Why it is important for adults to give back in their community.
  7. I am definitely a sampler. I used to be a compartmentalizer before I got married and had to force diverse groups of friends to meet 😦
  8. Simple items that you can turn into a gift by framing them.
  9. Yummy vegetarian meals.
  10. Debunking the myth of a biological clock.
  11. Who are the middle class in Nigeria? PS: This is not a direct economic answer.
 

1: Are you currently living your most authentic life?

I was talking to a highly accomplished friend of mine (Rhodes Scholar, two Masters degrees, now studying at Harvard) last week and this thought popped into my head when we were both lamenting the fact that we want to do (the elusive) MORE  with our lives but don’t know what that is and in the meantime we are torn between having faith in God and just feeling jaded.

Am I living my most authentic life? Probably not:

  1. I believe as a Christian that I need to serve God with my talents and gifting but I just do not know where. I am called to teach but I don’t think its to Sunday school. I feel very passionate about women and empowering them, is that it Lord?
  2. I am dissatisfied with the Church that I currently go to and I think its related to (1) above. I don’t feel this is my eventual spiritual home so I feel pushed out, but in a way that will encourage searching and greater fulfilment in my Christian walk.
  3. What about PhD topics and the bit that involves funding? I just wanna pipe down and get the proposal done but it always ends in a resounding BUT …
  4. I wrote this post of things I would like to achieve before I turn 30 and let’s just say its nowhere near complete and I feel like I have really let myself down and I am trying in the next 16 months to try and catch up on that. So help me God.
  5. I am grateful for my job, but I am not content or happy with it and I feel like the elusive Gen X’er! 
  6. I really want to travel, but I mostly want to travel on my own for a couple of days. I am considering a walking tour to the Eastern Cape for a couple of days. Only question is when?????

What would help you know you are living your most authentic life?