“Grown up in their youth…”

“Let our sons in their youth be as grown up plants, And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace.”

-Psalm 144:12

Hey People! I hope you’re  great…I am doing fantastic, work’s been super busy but I am really looking forward to the Easter holidays and my birthday is in exactly a month! Yay!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I watched an interview on NTV’s AM Live that got me really inspired. Hosted by Sheila Mwanyigha, Kobi Kihara and Debarl Inea, I find the show refreshing because they are… themselves! Sheila’s bubbliness gives me that extra “umph” when my mornings are dreary, Kobi is so humorous and cool and Debarl’s poise and seeming “I have it all together” challenges me. Well, this post is not a psychoanalysis of the AM live presenters. It’s about something a little more profound.

Today they hosted American Football player Daniel Adongo. A 24 year old Kenyan man standing at 6′ 6″ who recently joined the Indianapolis NFL as an outside linebacker. Pretty young considering all he has achieved so far-made me so proud. I had no idea who he was before this morning. I had only seen him on the cover of this month issue of the DRUM magazine.

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What got me, despite the young man’s obvious good looks, was his drive, focus and something he said about neglect of his talent being equivalent of “spiritual suicide”. I am yet to hear a more deep, articulate, grounded young Kenyan. He spoke with the wisdom of a sixty year old man. Truly grown up in his youth, there was just something about him. He attributes his success to God and even though he left home for the United States at the early age of 16, away from his family, he has remained determined and focused. When asked about how he has managed to stay away from drugs and other vices even amidst fame, he said that he lives in a bubble and avoids negative influence.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering why I am gushing praises for this young man but it’s really because he sort of put a picture to the kind of young man I want to raise some day. I am fully aware of the fact that he is human and that a short interview cannot give me the full picture of who he is but the snippet I saw spoke volumes and strengthened my faith.

Of all my hearts desires,one of the most earnest is that, godwilling, I will birth and raise a good and godly man. I know, I know, there is nothing novel or spectacular about having a boy as opposed to a girl- it happens all around the world, maybe every hour. I am not saying that boys are more special than girls in any way but I believe that my dream is valid (hehe!). You see, there is a quality of man that is very rare these days. A man that truly knows his purpose, embraces work and responsibility and knows above all else that he is nothing without a solid dependence and a relationship with the God who made him.

A man who knows that his assignment to this world is not primarily around pleasure and comfort but in giving back and building the lives of others through whatever God has placed in his hand. A man who bears the brunt of failure or lack in his family as opposed to only taking pride in the wins and successes.

A man who is unafraid of any obstacle that comes against him or his house, one who does not shrink back from affirming and cheering on others even when his back is against the wall. A man who is strong and not only in the physical sense but even more in his mind and spirit.

A man who like King David is relentless in the pursuit of his God and lives a life that is surrendered to him through his mistakes and short falls; who is driven and ambitious yet humble and gentle…not taking life too seriously. This is a glimpse of the kind of man I want to raise.

I do realize that all children are gifts from God and I will accept and raise well whatever child he gives me when the time comes but I know, just like Hannah of old, God had placed this desire on my heart for a reason. I know he will equip us (lol!) to raise this man if it be in his will.

Meanwhile, I challenge every man reading this, young or old, to think critically about the course of your life and the responsibilities on your lap right now. Be it your talent, your job, your relationships, your calling…true freedom comes from embracing responsibility not shirking or procrastinating. Seek God and align yourself with him to find your place of purpose and depend on him to chart your course, leaning not on what you think you know. Our world is yearning for you to step up to the plate and take up what has been long neglected. Lead, protect, provide, BE everything you were made to be. There are few things more beautiful, more relieving, more comforting than when a man is being just that. A man.

Here’s a great poem on things manhood 🙂

If: A Father’s advice to his son by Rudyard Kipling

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

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New Year Things…

Happy New year good people! I know it’s the 29th day of the year but hey…those of you who are like me, want to hang on to the newness for as long as we can. I am a sucker for clean slates and crispy new pages.I hope your year is off to a great start. If it isn’t, there is no need to fret. You’ve got 336 days left. The possibilities are endless!

My heart is so full this morning. I am back to work from a two month leave which was super refreshing! Ok…at this point I feel like I am at the brink of writing that composition “What I did in my December Holidays.” Ha! I really am thankful though ,for the time I got to spend at home and all the travelling I got to do! I bonded with my family and got to re-connect with many of my friends. Also, I started a business. I never ever deemed myself entrepreneurial but I guess I would never have found out if I never tried. It’s so fun; I love selling! This made me think of all the unexplored things we are. Imagine if Michael Angelo never sculpted or if our very own Lupita Nyong’o never gave performance a try. Man! I am deeply inspired by her. Made me resolve to try out as many things as I can. You just never know!

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My heart is full also because I have seen many prayers I have made answered in ways I never thought possible. Our God is so faithful. I have seen healing and restoration where there was emotional and physical infirmity in the lives of those around me. I have seen growth in wisdom and stature. I have seen opportunities explored, burdens cast down and freedom stepped into….

Still, there are areas that I would love to see better progress this year. Among these are first, on a personal place, to finish writing the book (devotional for teen girls) I began last year and develop my mentorship program a little more. I am trusting God to use “Gems for Girls ” which he placed on my heart last year and for growth in leaps and bounds.

On the public front,  I really desire that every single person be content with this season of their life. Especially us ladies.  We have made an idol out of marriage/having a man and I think it is growing by the day. I know this seems “out of the blue” but the level of discontentment among single women is so alarming. It has been the butt of many, many jokes, which though hilarious, point to a deep seated issue.

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My friend and I were wondering out loud when exactly it became so urgent for women to settle down. (we have wondered too many times :P). The pressure, both inward and outward is crazy. It is true that the number one need of every woman is affection but is it so bad that it leads to ugly desperation and making wrong choices? None of us is immune to discontentment but when it creeps in, the decision to feed it or starve it, remains our own. This recent, tiny-bit-cheesy movie, that I loved very much, was a refreshing story of single and searching with an obvious happy ending. So much eyecandy going on and I love Paula Patton’s role. She’s so sweet! 🙂

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If you are single and have been for a while, you’ve probably heard the words “waiting”, “patience”, “timing” too many times. What I think/have found useful is shifting your mind from this as a focus. Do not let it consume you. I have come to a place where I am convinced that some things are sweeter when they come slower. 🙂 It just is what it is!

Ps: social media is glucose for discontentment.

If you find yourself overcome by a sense of urgency concerning this, make a deliberate choice to focus on the Lord and build a strong relationship with him now- if only because you have the priceless gift of time! Explore your world! Explore your limits! Build lasting friendships. You may have only 2 years left before you start a journey toward “till death do us part.” Maybe a couple of months now or even just a week! Maximize on this precious chance. Give yourself passionately to everything on your lap right now. Again, it’s only a matter of time.

Watch: Dr. Myles Munroe- Singleness

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.”

1 Timothy 6:6

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There Is Hope Yet.

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn.’ ” – C.S. Lewis

My heart is heavy this morning. Sometimes you look around and there’s so much pain…the world just isn’t alright. I went to sleep last night super tired after blending lots of fruits and veggies for a lady who just found out she has liver cancer. I remember going to see her earlier in the year when she was recovering from chemotherapy treatment-from breast cancer. She is still the most positive, cheery cancer patient I’ve ever met. When I went to see her she was bopping her head to Joyous Celebration Choir DvDs happy as can be despite the fact that she was having side effects from treatment. Now she is sick again. With a different cancer. She is too weak to begin chemo again yet when we went to see her in hospital, the first thing she said was; “God is so good- despite challenges, he is so good.” Hers is not the first cancer diagnosis I have heard in the past few weeks. A friend of mine also lost a loved one who was in and out of hospital for so long.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” – 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9

God made me an optimist and I believe it is one of the greatest gifts he gave me. I am a glass half full person and I often believe the best of situations, of people and of outcomes. This has cushioned me and carried me through some dark times but because of this mind set, I usually have a hard time wrapping my mind around pain and suffering which is reality. I am not a realist. As I go on in life though, I believe that one of the greatest lessons God is teaching me is to embrace pain and difficulty and not to try and seek all the answers. Some things, I think, we will only come to understand when we meet God face to face. Before then,  it would help a lot to rest in the fact that he is as merciful as he is sovereign and that he will never give us more than we can bear.

I have learnt also that in the midst of suffering that God comes very close to us and we are able to see him more clearly and receive his comfort and his peace that he says is not fragile.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalms 34:18

Suffering refines us and looking back, many attest to having their lives completely changed through painful ordeals and situations. If you are going through a hard time, know that nothing lasts forever but be sure to draw strength from the truest Source. His grace is more than enough to carry you when you feel you cannot go on. Look to him. Cry to him. Learn his heart but whatever you do, do not lose hope.

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“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

Good Riddance To A Cruel Master…

I didn’t think I would have time to do anything substantial outside work today. Let alone blog. I just finished putting together a long presentation on inheritance and succession. I worked late, slept thinking about it, woke up thinking about it…and finally, it’s done. Whew!

A few months ago I had this mini-epiphany: Fear is easier than faith.

Scientists say that humans are born with a total of two fears. The fear of falling and fear of loud noises.  When I read this i thought,  the most fearless people in the world should be matatu conductors. Jumping off of moving vehicles with music so loud it could blind you.

We unfortunately manage to learn a million other fears as we grow older.

Fear is a go-to-emotion. Faith is more than an emotion. It is substance, evidence. Fear cripples you. Faith causes you to move past the paralysis and walk. It’s easier to be crippled. Seemingly easier I should say. It’s easier to resign yourself to circumstances than to believe in things unseen. It’s easier to make excuses than muster the courage to step out, believe and do great things. It’s easier to stick to a status quo you’re uncomfortable with than be different or stand out.

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When you go with fear, “behave yourself” and do what you think everyone expects of you get the everyone’s nod but I can almost guarantee you, you will lose your soul.

When you take the road less traveled and go with faith, you gain your soul. It may take a while but if you truly believe in what you have, you gain other souls too!

Fear demands less of you than faith. And sadly, many people prefer to stay in their nice, warm comfort zone. I say do it afraid. For a long time I had serious stage fright. When I was younger, this did not exist. I was super confident and thrived among audiences. Somewhere along the way though, I lost it. I shook in my boots every time I had to address more than a few people.

I still get a bit nervous with crowds but I can proudly say that I am a lot better now. I take advantage and stand before people whenever I get the slightest opportunity. I have to unlearn the fear I picked up. I believe that I have important things to say-that are worth listening to!

I am really passionate about mentoring young girls (teenagers) and am currently working on a manual/curriculum for my mentorship program. Not because I was an excellent teenager. Haha… not close. Most of my teenage was shrouded by fear. I woke up afraid almost every single day of my high school life. I was afraid of the world, afraid to fail, afraid I was not beautiful enough… I had some serious identity issues and was depressed a lot! I hardly rebelled because I was lost somewhere inside my mind. My class performance was terrible. My parents were so concerned since I was a well above average student in primary school; topping the class in some subjects even. They took me to see a shrink who I doubt helped me much. (So yes, like Sheldon Cooper, my mother had me tested.)

Looking back, I can only attribute the re-birth of my confidence to my God. I sat at his feet often and begged him to let me see me as he does. And he did! By the time I went to campus to study Law (another miracle story for another day) my mojo was coming back. And it showed in my studies!

I challenge you today to turn your back on fear. Fear is a horrible master. No dues…ever. Do not allow yourself to continue being a slave. You are bigger. You are better. You can walk away.

Kirk Franklin – Hello Fear

Motivation… More-tivation… Motii~vation

I wrote this post in November last year…but didn’t complete it…till today.

“Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”
~Zig- Ziglar~

I’ve been feeling like a deflated baloon at work of late. I am not sure why. I prayed for this job for sooo long…I should be powered up and ready to go! go! go! right?… I really do enjoy it. I like my boss, my colleagues are alright, my bank account…lets just say it’s sitting a little prettier in comparison to my internship days. I owe these things to God. I am thankful for them…but….why do I feel grrrr… another fat file…endless submissions and pleadings… Oh boy…

There’s an app on Facebook… God wants you to know… I find the messages a tad tacky sometimes but today this is what I got:

“On this day of your life, Joey, we believe God wants you to know … that you have no right to wish for more, until you fully appreciate what you already have. “It’s not the amount that matters, but the blessings you are able to receive from it. A slice of stale bread gives more to the beggar, than a new house to the rich. Everything you have has unending blessings for you hidden inside, – learn to receive them.”
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It made me feel guilty about my dreariness. I have all these things and people and lots to be thankful for but… i want more… I feel like some-thing’s missing. I don’t understand this season to be honest and after giving it some thought…and this may sound lame…haha… I don’t think its  more-tivation I need. Its just good old-fashioned MOTIVATION.
It is not a new outfit or shoes that will make this feeling go away.. It’s not a change of circumstances or me ending almost every sentence with a huge sigh and ” I neeed a vacation.” I don’t need a vacation. (I don’t think anyone’s ever actually admitted that! LOL!) I need encouragement… But sometimes you have no one but you to do it. I’m reminded of this verse in 1 Samuel 30:6…
“…And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

I’m not big on cars… but I know I’m a Benz girl…stuck on Maclaren to be precise. I love how mercs say power and elegance all in one breath. When we were little my mother used to sing a song for us to wake up…(we did not need lullabies, getting to wake up was the rough part ha!). It had something about waking up to go to school so we could drive a nice car some day. This right here my friends…’ motii~vation’

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So fast forward 19th April 2013… I’m looking at my drafts here and I see this! Thing is, once again, I’m having that meh! dreary feeling today. I rolled out of bed this morning and begged God to wake my brain up as I made my bed. Just yesterday I was talking to a friend about how hard it has become to spend time with God in the morning because somehow my eyes are too heavy, my sleepy head wanders too much and I just end up feeling like i’m being punished. I have since resolved to stick to doing my devotions before bed, which definitely works better for me.

5 months down the line, a few pairs of new shoes and fabulous vacation later, I have found that the secret is still the same revelation I had back then. We need to keep encouraging ourselves and stay consistently motivated. Discipline is also vital in trying to hold things together. (Boy am I blogging to myself!). I have found that once you let one thing fall by the way- side, say a work-out routine, it has a domino effect on so many other aspects of life. You notice sluggishness here and there and lethargy and procrastination sneak up on you like a thief in the night but you cannot stop fighting. The struggle is real BUT chin up. We are more than conquerors!

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