Let No Man Pt1

I am amazed at how much I have learnt this year concerning marriage. Marriage reveals whats in your heart through a series of challenges carefully scripted specifically for you and your spouse. ‘Till Death Do us Part’ will be tested;make no mistake about this. But you can choose to go about the tests joyfully or you can choose to run away.The choice is yours.The lessons we learn truly are subjected to specific seasons we encounter throughout marriage. Be of good cheer! There’s hope! There’s one who is more committed to seeing your marriage succeed that you and your spouse will ever be!

2015 has been both a beautiful and one of the hardest years I have encountered. Beautiful because I gave birth to our son Joshua and it’s been a joy watching him grow up.  Gosh they grow up so fast. He’s been able to bring out sides of me that I didn’t know existed. I haven’t gone back to work since I gave birth to him- I’ve had to deal with people’s opinions-which I still choose to ignore- concerning my decision to take time off to take care of him. I believe that there are things in store for me to do concerning work-things that will come at the proper time. For now, I am glad to take care of him, the husband and our home.

2015 has also been hard for my husband and me as a result of the changing dynamics brought about by pregnancy and the new addition to our family. We have since learnt that any change in marriage ought to be maneuvered skillfully largely through communication. Yes, our marriage has been thoroughly tried and tested and quite honestly we didn’t think we would make it but we did. I faced the prospect that my marriage could be over and this made me depressed, fearful, hopeless, helpless, angry and sad. Those were dark days even as I look back. When the good book says that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning, it meant exactly that. It’s until we invited God and acknowledged our inability to fix and solve what needed to that we began to saw real and tangible change. I moved from depression to soundness of mind, fear turned to certainty, hopelessness became hope, helplessness was replaced with strength and certainty, anger and sadness turned to joy.

As we began to prayerfully seek God on our marriage, it became so clear to us that we needed to shut out all the well-meaning voices and not so well meaning voices that were around us.  God doesn’t require spectators when He’s working on precious stuff such as marriage. After all marriage is a three corded strand. The Lord opened my understanding to the Sacredness of marriage.

Something Sacred is something devoted exclusively to one service or use-Something entitled to reverence and respect-Something holy- Merriam Webster. I honestly had never viewed my marriage this highly. That my marriage is meant to be devoted exclusively to God floored me. My contribution to the marriage either positively or negatively reveals how much I esteem it. I now see how critical it is to do marriage around Gods throne. Focusing on God will definitely prepare you for every season your spouse and you will ever encounter in marriage, the good ones and the not so pleasant ones.

Holding and esteeming my marriage as sacred has meant that I don’t speak ill of my husband and my marriage no matter how bad it gets.  Yes, it does get bad at times; no marriage is immune to hard times. All that matters is how you navigate those hard times. I now believe that the hard times are meant to hopefully draw you closer than turn you against each other, something that tends to happen.

But more important than not speak ill of your husband and your marriage is being careful of how you think of your husband and marriage. What goes on in your heart is very critical to how you do marriage. There’s no way around this one. If your thoughts towards your husband and your marriage are foul, then it’s only a matter of time before you speak those ill thoughts corrupting and perverting a holy thing. Being one with your spouse means a lot. It means that you can’t take care of the right side of your body while neglecting the left side. Those who do this are smack in the middle of selfishness. Are my husband and my marriage perfect? Far from it guys, but what’s perfect is the person who joined us together, the one who will perfect and still perfects that which concerns my husband and my marriage. Yes, you will get irritated- yes, you will get quite angry but in your irritation and anger do not sin. I pray that in your irritation and anger you will master the humility no matter how right you think you are or how offended you feel to approach God and pour it all out there as opposed to pour it all out on your spouse or your marriage.

[Even as I write this, I know I will keep revisiting these lessons. This is not a claim to mastery of this but it’s a claim of a willingness to continue learning about the sacredness of my marriage].

I now see why God would have me view my marriage as sacred. My marriage is not only an avenue of worship but we now have a son who will experience us through our marriage. Gods will isn’t for Joshua to interact with a broken marriage. His will for Joshua is to interact with a healthy and a whole marriage. Please note I said healthy and whole NOT PERFECT. This knowledge has made us seek God more on how to do marriage. Not seek others. There’s a time and space for involving other people carefully selected by God but not at the expense of involving God. Who orchestrated the marriage in the first place? Run to Him.

I find it interesting that bridal showers and the male equivalents attempt to prepare couples for marriage in just a matter of hours. There has to be a better way of preparing couples for marriage. Part of this will involve having open and honest conversations with our children about our marriages. I believe this would mean that we apologize to our children and those around us for not honoring our marriages and for not setting a good example.

Allow me to share a prayer I have been praying to this effect,

‘Father I realize that I have been viewing my husband and my marriage with a selfish and critical eye. Help me see my husband the way you see Him.  Help me see my marriage the way you see it. Father help me protect the sacredness of this marriage you’ve entrusted me with. I am open to learning more about the sacredness of my marriage. Cause my hearts motivations and intentions towards my husband and my marriage be in line with your will and not mine. Expose every ill thought toward my husband and my marriage and birth in me worthy thoughts towards my husband and my marriage’.

This prayer has exposed a lot about the condition of my heart towards my husband and my marriage and I continue to put in the work required on my part. I pray that as you whisper this prayer, God will reveal what needs to be exposed and birth in you what He needs to as only He can. Stay longer with Him, your marriage depends on this interaction.

Don’t allow the enemy have a field day concerning your marriage. Don’t allow yourself to desecrate that which you are a part of-that which is holy.

I have also learnt about DISCRETION.

Talk soon!

Love,

With Fresh Eyes

 

Learning Grace Pt 1

God risked creating humans whom he knew would keep defaulting time and time again. Yet he took the risk. It feels wrong to call it a risk. Actually it’s a risk. Then why would I run away from this kind of love? An unconditional love that knows- when, where and how I will default?

I shudder to think that I prefer to embrace the perverted love I have grown accustomed to- A love that doesn’t take risks, one that’s conditional and a love that desires me only when its convenient. What a hard way to live life. This seems exhausting and it’s what I have chosen and continue to choose. Flawed humans will never meet my expectations of  perverted perfection.

The father keeps organizing a banquet for me but I have lined up perfect excuses for my absence.  In my modern day that would be – I have no means of getting there and even if I had a car it would be that I have no fuel- My clothes and shoes aren’t cool enough for the banquet plus I don’t have the right make-up. Come to think of it, all these excuses are just a way of avoiding the face of grace and love and the unmistakable change of heart we would experience from the interaction. I think we would be bothered by the fact that we would have to extend the same grace and love to the undeserving because this is what happens when you grace looks upon you.  Look, we think of ourselves highly than we ought to, playing gods among other little gods. Imagine little gods competing? Always waving around our feeble risk free and conditional wands hoping they land on those who have dared to go against us. This is a poor and pathetic sight.

Oh the glorious welcome the father has in store for the prodigal son- A welcome that melts away all our cleverly crafted and rehearsed apologies. Look, he took a risk on you; He knows that you will default again. But that doesn’t matter to Him. It matters to Him that you are in His fold. It matters to Him that you feel like part of the family. It’s as though He knows that the warm welcome will make you rethink your ways- and even if you didn’t, He would still welcome you time and time again. We are the cause of Jesus journey.

I am clearly the older brother outraged at my father’s extravagant acts towards my vagrant brother. He ought to learn a lesson or two –I think bitterly to myself.  Why is his outlandish behaviour rewarded! He embarrassed us! Last we heard of him he was frolicking with the whores! If I was the parent this story would be different! How many of us have thought these thoughts? How would you want to be treated if you were the reprobate brother? We really don’t understand grace. I have come to a truth- I don’t understand grace.  It’s as though grace delights in the filthy and disgusting! Yes, I have been good but I haven’t been real- this is costing me and others a glorious opportunity to interact with grace.

Why am I behaving as though I have to apply for an audience with the gracious father?  No wonder I keep feeling bad when the vagrants seem to walk right in and make merry with the father! Aren’t we meant to boldly approach the throne of mercy and grace that we may receive help in our time of need? Boldness we bear due to the knowledge of His grace and love.  Since I have been so full of myself, I am too proud to admit that I need help- Help is for the weak ones who can’t get anything right. The vagrants and reprobates know something we good but unreal people don’t! They have seen grace and love for afar with arms wide open and are willing to fall into it.  It’s as though they are confronted with the knowledge of their grand goofs versus the face of grace willing to embrace all their filth. They fall on grace because they have a stark realisation of how much Help they need. We good, proper but unreal people are still under the shroud of perverted love no wonder we get disgusted at the sight of the vagrant and the father embracing. Help us father!

This Jesus story seems so unfair. Grace doesn’t depend on what I have done for God rather what God has done for us. He sent His only son to die for us reprobates.

Help! Is a precious cry the father responds to speedily. As though we have finally realised that we make poor gods in need of the real God. To the reprobates- yes, including me- He’s been seeking for us and is constantly doing the same until all He died for come into His fold.

Remember Merciful Jesus that I am the cause of your journey- Mozart’s Requiem

FIRM REFUSAL

I had a huge realization the other day.

Sometimes,in the name of love, we make room for other peoples dysfunction because they make us feel like we have to change something about ourselves.

This false change/s,is/are meant to serve them,I call it ‘rearrange your life to accommodate their dysfunction while pacifying their fear/s’.

We are all called to growth.

Each individual has to be secure in themselves seeing themselves through their makers eyes. This is the only way to realize if peoples demands about what we can give are valid or not.

It breaks my heart just knowing that there are individuals out there who are being held hostage by others peoples dysfunction and fears.

The worst kind of prison is the one we willingly enter because we keep trying to give more than we are required or are able to.

At the end of the day, there’s one Jesus who saved all of us. We cannot save other individuals. We, however, can point them to the source of healing.

All of us are in need of some type of healing. Human beings also have their own limits to how much they can help solve your problems.

I pray we realize that we have our own limits.

I pray we realize our own selfishness when we demand more than others can give.

I pray we acknowledge our own brokenness not as a weakness but as an opportunity to be made whole birthing strength in us as a result.

Lastly, I pray that you firmly refuse to play to the tunes of dysfunction and fear in other people instead be gently firm and patient enough to point them to the source of wholeness.

Love always,

I stopped dancing to dysfunction and fear

RAIN

The pregnant nimbus clouds began gathering at supersonic speed bearing a darkness that threatened to dim the light on earth.

You could almost taste the rain. Rain, a welcome relief to the harsh heat and dryness we had been experiencing for months.

The wind began howling furiously bringing the rain closer to earth.

You could see women clutching at their dresses tightly as the wind threatened to disrobe them.

Men held tightly to their hats as the wind threatened to tear them off their heads.

The trees began to sway back and forth happily singing to the melody of the ghastly wind. The trees were actually dancing to the whistling wind.

I looked outside my window and was happy.

Happy that finally the earth would be kissed with some water from above. I was quite frankly tired of all the dusting I had to do in my home. Yes, the dust would lift off the surface of the earth and this was good news for me.

What was even more delightful was the gift the rainy season bore. I didn’t mind the seeming gloominess the rain came with. The prospect of curling up on the sofa with a hot mug of tea, reading a book and dozing halfway warmed my heart. I missed listening to the rain as it softly and sometimes not so gently pounded the roof with fury and vengeance as though to repay for not coming sooner. This was precisely what I was looking forward to, Listening to the rain.

For nature is constantly pouring forth speech. Day and night singing praises to its creator.

Remember the old nursery rhyme we used to sing as children?

‘Rain rain go away, come again another day, little children want to play rain rain go away’

I look back and realise that we innocently and naively chased away the rain forgetting that we could play in the rain. I want to play in the rain. I don’t want the rain to go away. I welcome all that the rain comes with. Yes, even the mud. Mud games seem like fun right?

When will we ever let go of all the inhibitions we’ve learnt to embrace through life and just dance and play in the rain? Oh! Forget about catching the cold due to exposure. The cold would probably be threatened by the renewed zeal to embrace the rain that it would retreat to God knows where, away from our noses and chests.

Teach your children to play in the rain.

Teach them to sing,

‘Rain rain come again for we enjoy playing in the rain, little children want to play rain rain come again’

Flow and Order

Embedded in every home is a flow unique to each household.

Homemaking is largely associated with decorating the home as all homes should be but whats the use of having a beautiful home with no flow. Where chaos thrive and where there is no respect for established order. Order that ought to be followed but flexible enough to allow the users of the home experience freedom while enjoying the beauty of the home.

This is not my usual subject to write about however something happened in my household that made me look at homemaking in a different light.

I live in a country where house-helps are the norm. And it doesn’t even cost you an arm and a leg to get one.

There’s a danger in delegating all home related duties that the woman of the home looses the flow and order in her home. This largely happens when the house-help feels that things ought to be run a certain way, her way. And I don’t blame them for this because majority of the time the woman of the home is absent. Training the users of the home to respect order and flow is very key. Constant training at that.

I am learning that you cant have one foot in and one out on homemaking. I am learning that my help and I cant have two orders and flows. Our way of doing things in the home have to converge into a method that works and doesn’t interrupt the original flow and order in the home.

Flow and order in the home are part of the heartbeat of a home. If the outsiders who have been invited into our personal spaces don’t regard that flow and order then surely the situation has to be re-evaluated so as not to jeopardize the heart of the home.

Homemaking,the art flow and order, cant be delegated,not even to the most equipped help in the world. It however can be taught. A womans home is part of her treasure.

Love!

AWAKENED

Dullness is Lulling.

You cant See what you’re Really meant to See as you Should See it.

You cant HEAR what you’re Really meant to Hear as you Should Hear it.

You cant Comprehend what you’re Really meant to Comprehend as you Should Comprehend it.

It is dangerous.

To be desensitized is dangerous and a far cry  more so because we are beings of sensitivity.

A desensitized being will curse that which they cant see, hear and understand. Always fighting the truth because their dull eyes, ears and mind are asleep.

Oh, that our sensitivities may be awakened.

Oh, that we may rouse from the slumber.

To be able to see as we should.

To be able to hear as we should.

To be able to comprehend as we should.

Really, you begin to realize that as your sensitivities are awakened, you embrace  truths that are not only vital but those that transcend time, space and culture.

A space where Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow fuse into NOW.

Surely, then, our lamps need to be fed with oil and undergo constant trimming of wicks for the dullness to turn into Sharpness.

Sharpness of the eye, Sharpness of the ear and Sharpness of the mind.

AWAKEN!

Love always,

Awakened.

UNCONDITIONAL

You are deserving.

Yes, you are.

You are qualified without any reservations.

You are qualified without any conditions.

The one thing ALL OF US crave is Love.

Unconditional Love reached out for and to us.

It reached out wholeheartedly and unquestioning.

It is complete and absolute.

But we were taught that we don’t deserve it.

We taught ourselves that we don’t deserve it.

So we became conditional.

We formulated standards higher than unconditional love.

We looked at ourselves through the lens of our mistakes, pain and shame and ran away from unconditional love.

You are a bearer of unconditional loves’ image and likeness meaning you cant attach conditions to your reflection of the highest love.

Now these three things remain;

Faith.Hope.Love

But,

The greatest is LOVE.

Unconditional Love is there for all of us.

Yes, even you.

Stay Loved!

MIRRORS

Mirrors are fascinating tools.

They will always reflect the truth and expose self- deception.

What or who serves as a mirror in your life? That thing or person that serves you the truth or exposes self-deception?

What do you see when you look at a mirror?

Are you satisfied with the reflection you see?

Have you ever really looked at your reflection through a mirror? Your eyes have a way of communicating a lot without words.

Trust me, if you have a lot going on in the inside, you will immediately turn away from your reflection. This has happened to me a lot. But instead of looking away, really look intently and resolve what needs resolution. Looking away will only cause whats festering to fester some more.

There’s real courage in looking intently at the person presented as a reflection and resolving that that person will be an embodiment of TRUTH.

Stay true!

Love always

SHE IS WOMAN-Sands Of Time

A few days ago I found myself staring at an elderly woman who was seated next to me. She was actually dozing off which I found amusing. I guess old age comes with the ability to doze off anywhere at anytime.

I could clearly tell that she had gone through life if her wrinkles and her course looking hands were anything to go by.

At that moment I saw myself in her. One, because I am headed there,old age, and two because she was once a young woman.

Her graying eyes spoke of an untold story. I think she has seen a lot in her lifetime.

Her white hair spoke of uncanny wisdom. Did she gain all that wisdom through mistakes or did she just get it?

Her wrinkled face spoke volumes about all the facial expressions a woman can possibly wear in her lifetime,both good and bad.

Today she wore a peaceful countenance as she listened to the teaching. I could tell she yearned for more knowledge and insight.

I wondered what her thoughts on womanhood were.

Was she bothered by her thick waist?

Did having perky breasts matter anymore?

What was her definition of beauty?

What did her husband think of her?

What did her children and grandchildren think of her?

What were her thoughts on girlfriends?

Did she have girlfriends who have journeyed with her?

Did she miss her younger days?

What would she tell me about journeying through womanhood into old age?

Was she fulfilled?

Did she pursue her dreams or did she sacrifice them at various altars?

What was her understanding on the trials and winds of life? Did they make her a better woman or did she give up the will to live?

If I see her next time, I will buy her a cup of tea and just listen to her.

I felt she epitomized ‘Charm is deceitful,beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the lord is worthy to be praised’ just by the look of reverence on her countenance as we sang a hymn.

Yours,

Curious Woman

I AM WOMAN- Worth Fighting For

My heart has been heavy lately.

I was thinking about the dynamics of manhood and womanhood in my society.

The truth of the matter is that we are groomed differently to fit into our roles and men and women. Yes, we have to be groomed differently but it has to be the right way.

I find it absolutely ridiculous that little girls are groomed to be wives and mothers. This is ridiculous because a woman isn’t defined by her status as a wife or a mother. I am a wife and a mother and both these roles don’t define me. I AM WOMAN.

While girls are prepared to be wives and mothers,boys aren’t groomed to be husbands and fathers. The problem begins right here.

I have a son. Yes, I will teach him about many things including how to treat his wife and women in general.

Little boys get away with many things as they transition into manhood. Case in point,  a young man might steal his fathers or mothers car to go to the club with his friends. His parents will find out, he will possibly get reprimanded here and there with the father secretly proud that his boy can actually drive, what a show of manhood after all! In the same breathe, his parents will send him to the supermarket to buy a few things with the same care he stole. What message does this communicate? That he can get away with stuff and get rewarded. Picture this same boy/young man as a husband. He will do wrong towards his wife expecting to get away with it because after all his mama never questioned him. So who are you as my wife to question me? Picture the same man with a son or sons who receive the same ‘you can get away with this attitude’. Shortly we have a society full of irresponsible men and this makes me tear in the real sense of the word.

I completely disagree with the way society has painted manhood. Manhood isn’t about drinking with your buddies till  3 am while you have a wife at home waiting for you. Yes, I said it.

Manhood isn’t about cheating on your wife. Yes, I said. I don’t care what your reasons are.

Manhood isn’t about violence. Yes, I said. Get your temper checked.

Manhood is about being a gentle warrior.

Manhood is about putting your wife’s needs first even if it pains or inconveniences you.

Manhood is about fighting for your woman no matter what.

But how can a man possibly know this if he doesn’t have a relationship with the author of manhood?

But how is a woman to position herself in such a way that she can be fought for if she has no relationship with the author of womanhood?

How can we co-exist peacefully and in harmony if we have no relationship with the very one who conceived the very idea of us?

What are we to teach our sons and daughters?

We have to stop this madness.

It will start with me and how I bring up my son Joshua.

Truly,

I AM WOMAN