Run to win in 2018

This was the title of our pastor’s new years message and I quite liked it so I thought I’d put down a note for posterity. There were 3 points under this: Run light, Run focused and finally Run with endurance. The text was from Hebrews:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I found myself looking at this verse in Habakkuk also, maybe because of the reference to running:

Habakkuk 2:2-3 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

You must have a clear vision to run towards then run with endurance, with the faith that it will come to pass. How do I know it will come to pass? Because of God’s love. Because He is good and His plans for me are good. If you understand God’s love and heart towards you, it gives you hope in life, and hope that does not disappoint.

New King James Version Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I never used to understand what this verse means but I’ve gone through some experiences in these last couple years that have made it clearer to me.

Its interesting that in the Habakkuk verse he references waiting as part of seeing the vision come to fruition. I’ve been in a waiting season at this time in my life. Waiting is so difficult because this world we live in and everything we’re taught makes us want to move, do something. But if you’re in a waiting period, taking action that’s not required can mess up work that God is doing in your life.

2017 was a bit of a tough year for me. Last night I was not able to wait for midnight to ring in the new year, I fell asleep. This was after I’d had a fight of sorts with my son so there was hardly a festive atmosphere in the house. Sigh. Sadly that’s how it has been lately. He’s 16 this year and its been a tough 16. You hear alot about how the teenage years can be difficult, but until you’ve been through it nothing can prepare you.

I know some kids can be easier than others, so I’d been hoping for an easier one lol. What do we fight about? Curfews, chores, schoolwork, friends, his phone. Alot of stuff. He’s taken to listening to what sounds like gangster rap that I literally cannot stand. He got his ears pierced this year. I’m bracing myself for the tattoo. I try to remind myself that I’m not the only parent going through these challenges, and  many probably have worse challenges than me. Anyway, I’m hoping his 17th year brings better things.

In the morning I found 2 happy new year messages on my phone. One was from my mum and one from a friend. So I guess my friend shedding in the last year has turned out to be quite successful lol!

I’m so ready for 2018 because I need some blessings in my life this year. We got some rain here today which is unusual at this time of the year when its normally hot and dry. I’ll take that as a good omen of a blessed year ahead.

Wishing you (and me) a happy and prosperous 2018.


of single women and online dating

*taking deep breath*

Okay, here goes. My online dating experience.

Once upon a time, in my mid thirties, which can be a desperate time for a single gal, I logged on to an online dating site. After setting up a profile and checking out a few, I found myself chatting to this guy who I seemed to connect with and lo and behold he went to my church! Well, after getting over that surprise and thinking maybe God is in this after all, I set up a meeting with him. We exchanged facebook contacts and I was able to see a picture of him finally, and the same for him, since none of us had put up profile pictures on the dating site. This is Nairobi y’all, its a pretty small place and everyone knows everyone. I’m a very private person so I was not about to put my face out there for people to see. In fact I doubt that very much online dating goes on here and I don’t think that dating site exists anymore.

Anyway, long story short, from the moment I saw the guy’s picture I was not attracted to him at all! But since I had already given him my phone number and we had agreed on the date and all, I ended up going anyway. Besides which if I was serious about finding a husband shouldn’t I be less judgemental and aren’t these the risks I needed to take? So on set date, I made my way to the place and spent a couple of hours with the guy. Meeting him in person did not increase my attraction to him at all, but he seemed to really take to me. What to do? And he had my phone number and everything. I ended up going on one more date with him before I had to do the dirty deed of ghosting him and disappearing from his life.

That was my first and last experimentation with online dating. It scares me now to think how desperate I had become that I literally put my life in danger, going to meet some stranger I didn’t even know. I thank God that He was watching out for me and the guy turned out to be who he actually said he was, because when people chat with you online they can make up any kind of story.

A few years later the guy got married. I saw his wedding announcement in the church bulletin and ran into him after the service and said hi and he introduced me to his fiancé. I didn’t ask how he met her but I’m quite sure it was not online.

After this experience and a few other doomed ones that I may one day write about, my position on relationships now is that God will bring someone into your life and you just need faith and patience. I also refer you to this article by Vanity Fair magazine written in 2015 where they describe apps like Tinder to be the apocalypse of dating. I definitely agree with that article and whenever I see people writing their blogs about how they’re online dating, with their little plan of how they’ll date a certain number of people, use a certain kind of formula and voilà they’ll find a husband or wife, I shake my head knowing I’ve been there done that and hope that they get through their experiment unscathed. I mean sure every now and then you hear a success story from these sites, but I’m convinced this is the exception rather than the rule. And for every one success story there are probably hundreds of horror stories.

I’m now a rested woman and waiting on God and wish for everyone out there the same peace and confidence.

New King James Version Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Book review: When God winks on love

I absolutely love this book, its chicken soup for my soul so to speak. The author, Squire Rushnell, has a whole series of these books that concentrate on coincidences in our life which he says do not happen by accident but are orchestrated by God, thus Godwinks.

This one on love has absolutely heartwarming stories on how people from all walks of life found love in their life by “coincidence” including the author himself who found his happily ever after having gone through 2 divorces. Its an uplifting book and an easy read because its a series of short stories as opposed to one long novel. So if you’re looking for some light reading, this is the book for you.

Book Review: The emancipation of Robert Sadler

This is an amazing book about a man born in 1911 in South Carolina. He was sold into slavery not once but twice, by his own father at the age of 5. This despite the fact that the emancipation proclamation had already been issued many years earlier (about 1862).

The book takes us through his experiences in slavery from the age of 5 till 14 when he escaped. Then on to his life as a free man. He struggles with freedom and at one point even decides to go back, finding the free world too difficult and unfamiliar to navigate. He eventually becomes a preacher and lives a life of great faith, helping others.

What I found so captivating about the book is how it tells the story of Robert and God throughout. The reader is able to see how, through people and events in his life, God was slowly drawing him, showing him he cared. And how these events eventually lead to Robert becoming a man of great faith.

The book is very well written and easy to read, I could barely put it down. This despite the fact that I was reading it for the second time. I first read it about 20 years ago, a borrowed copy from a friend. I was reminded of it after watching the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of how William Wilberforce struggled over many years to get the bill outlawing slavery passed in the British parliament. I googled the title online and was pleasantly surprised to find it available on Amazon.

It has some underlying analogies to real life, in areas where we have become so accustomed or enslaved to certain ways of living and thinking. Change is difficult and we find ourselves wanting to go back to what is familiar, even though it is not beneficial to us and we need to go forward to better things. Think about an employee trying to become an entrepreneur. Or the Israelites on their way to the promised land, who frequently complained about the new challenges they were encountering and wished to go back to Egypt, to the familiar. Freedom has a price.

All in all the book is a great read!

of single women and childhood sweethearts

Once upon a time, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, there was a boy in my school who liked me very much. So much in fact, that he wrote me a poem and had someone deliver it to me, I don’t remember who it was now. What resulted was a gaggle of excited and giggling school girls gathered around me as I read it. Then someone grabbed it from me and read it out loud to the whole group. That was an exciting day in our primary school life. I didn’t know what to make of it. The girls discussed in excited high pitched voices the implications of this act, what should or should not be done, would I get in trouble?? Oh please Lord don’t let me get in trouble with the teachers! Some girls were of the mind to forward the whole perplexing issue to a teacher to deal with and I was horrified! Luckily such a thing never ensued and I was free to continue my hitherto unremarkable life in peace.

From that day forward I was never quite sure how to behave around him. He was a really nice boy though. We would be coy around each other. Sometimes he and his friends would chase me and my friends down the school corridors, since that is what 12 year old boys do to show how much they like a girl 🙂

Ultimately nothing much came of that incident, and by the next year we were all off to different high schools and I never saw him until we were in university. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend (I think). But we would occasionally run into each other and hang out, especially in our first year when we were still getting familiar with the new environment. We were very comfortable together because we knew each other from our childhood. As the years passed he moved to another campus, we stopped running into each other or hanging out, so nothing came of this meeting either.

Fast forward about 10 years later and there was a school reunion. I was very excited to go and catch up with everyone, see how they had changed or not, and find out what they were up to. He also came and so, for a third time we met. I was single, he was single. And he looked quite interested in me. He hung around me the whole evening, bought me drinks, kept me entertained. I was a bit hesitant however and maybe he read my reluctance because he never called me after that night. I was a single mother now, and having come out of a harrowing relationship I was not about to jump into another. His lifestyle from what I saw and heard was a bit on the fast lane and I did not want to be the one trying to keep up with him. I had already tried and failed with my ex.

About a year later he got married. We would still chat sometimes online, and one day he mentioned to me that I had always been ‘the one’ except that I had never been interested. I was shocked. I didn’t know he still had that sentiment about me. After a while we fell out of touch and I haven’t spoken to him in years.

I’m still not married. As a single gal wondering why you’re still single, you occasionally go through your old files, such as this one. Was this my chance that I missed totally? Am I now doomed to a life of singleness after missing ‘the one’ for me? This question really used to bother me because I thought I had missed it. But I came to realize this was not true, and God still has ‘the one’ for me. When you find the one for you there’s no hesitation or second thoughts. I’ve been loving this sermon by Pastor Toure on finding your soulmate, it reaffirms my belief.

Do you have an old relationship you have regrets over? Let me know in the comments.

of single women and the twilight saga

Ugh. As in disgusted at myself. I got caught up in watching these movies again. It came on TV last night and before I knew it I had watched the whole thing. This is my one vice left over from my romance novel reading days. Watching chick flicks.

But the twilight saga is on a whole other realm. I think it’s all the blood lust and love or die theme. These vampires don’t sleep, don’t die, life is one whole dragging existence. The only thing left to live for is love. In fact it says so on one of the movie posters, something to the effect if you can live forever, what do you live for? And the answer is….  love. This gets the women every time. I remember the first time I saw the trailer for the movie (see it here)I was like yet another teenage movie, with wolves and vampires no less, God help us all.

Then one day about 3 years ago,sitting innocently and bored on my couch, it came on TV and I was transfixed and could not for the life of me change the channel. It was the new moon movie, same one they showed again last night. I was swept up in the whole story and the next thing I knew I was out at the video store looking for all the other installments. It so bothered me that I went online to check the reviews, was I crazy? Then I saw the comments by all these women in their 30s and beyond and I was consoled. The one I most related to was a movie critic who says she succumbed to the palpable chemistry between the leads and remembered my own girlish fantasies with something of a head spinning rush. Yeah.

The fervor of the love is such that it’s almost religious. Consider Edward’s declarations to Bella: you are my life now, I no longer have the strength to stay away from you etc. (These btw are from the first twilight movie which I promptly had to rewatch after watching new moon awoke the beast within). I’m not surprised to learn that the author, Stephanie Meyers, is a staunch Christian. A Mormon I think.

It brings to mind for God so loved the world…..that famous verse. In fact in the bible God is described as love. As in God is love. And since he created us by breathing his life into us, then love is the very essence of our being. Children thrive on love. You cannot bring up a child in isolation giving them only the material things of life and no love. That is how you create a monster. Women however seem much more connected to this essence than men. Men are commanded to love their wives. Women are commanded to honour their husbands. Maybe that’s why we’re into all these love stories. Or maybe that’s my excuse lol.

At any rate in our search for love sometimes we get fed a lot of crap which we need to learn how to sift through and get to the real thing. One of the memorable quotes from the first movie is after they first get together: and so the lion fell in love with the lamb, what a stupid little lamb, what a sick masochistic lion. Poetic and apt but certainly not wise. It has less to do with love and points to everything wrong that’s fed to poor teenage girls in romantic novels about what relationships are all about. I’m a fully grown woman and still in recovery from all the wrong ideologies I got from these books.Maybe I’ll write about that one day.