The Writer’s Hustle

You see, the mind-boggling bit about writers is that they can write about anything and everything.

You cannot comprehend the number of pieces I have hoarded in my archive; half-written, complete or just titles without bodies. Include herein, many scribbled notepads.

If I have a riveting or a colorless conversation with you, I’ll be haunted to write about it.

If I observe an occurrence Iike last week’s blood moon and how watching it left me in awe, I’ll feel obliged to write about it.

If I manage to whip up an awesome meal with little soup and no waru (I’m Kyuk), it means I have conquered a massive temptation and I’ll be dying to pen it.

From the simple, mundane and minute stuff to the profound and weighty, writers will naturally feel inclined to jot down these thoughts. Whether for private or for public consumption.

Our brains itch as stories somersault in our heads. They embezzle our peace and our sweet slumber. We will be up at 3am scribbling on our notebooks. And once we ink them, we experience a bottomless sense of tranquil.

Until the next encounter, next conversation, next hardship, next escapade; which happens sooner than later and the cycle begins again.

Words are the games we play. Books are the items we binge on. We fantasize robbing a bookstore twice a week. Writing makes us come alive. It’s a rebirth of sorts.

In case you don’t believe me, check out Tabitha Njambi or Wini Nkinda or Eric Elisha Kiambati or Walter Akolo or Evans Toroitich. Plus many other matchless writers who I can’t fit in here.

These peeps remind me I am sane. The stories they tell in their simplicity or complexity evoke a rollercoaster of emotions. Humor, sadness, challenge, encouragement, love, name it! They write. They make the world a better habitat. I salute them.

By the way, they didn’t pay me to vocalize the above. (Though in my head I’m wishing they did). Just game recognizing game. Sawa?

When it comes to this craft, we are mostly meticulous people. We can punch away 1,000 words in less than an hour, but spend 2-4 hours editing them. We will go full-blown OCD on the poor little article. Guns blazing! Comas, full stops, sentence structure, paragraph length, grammar, readability and much more will be subjected to our microscopic and brutal scrutiny.

And I can tell you for sure, if we re-read that particular piece an hour later or a year later, we shall still find fault. Oops!

What you probably didn’t know is that we sometimes feel inadequate when we compare our works to other great writers.

We sometimes shudder at what people might perceive of us.

We sometimes tremble at the thought of being misunderstood, misquoted or rejected.

Clicking on the Publish/Post button can be the most daunting task for a writer. It takes overwhelming courage, I tell you.

So, please be gracious to us and offer your positive criticism. Help our rubbery knees. And even though we may not say it often, you, our readers are the sole reason we write. So, thank you. We appreciate you.😳

And now, in light of the aforementioned, I have been itching to narrate an encounter.

See, a former high school pal recently contacted me and requested that I assist her to write an email. She needed to express herself but lacked the words to. I recall being lethargic that day. Didn’t feel like writing a thing. (Yeah, writers lack motivation sometimes, no, most times?)

So I wrote a draft and sent it to her. Told her she had the liberty to omit or add to it. Long story short, she was delighted and her recipient was equally elated. I was gratified too. I had served my purpose for that day.

Two weeks later, she reached out again, said she needed help with editing some document. The only difference this time was that she added the magic words – “Then send me an invoice, I’ll pay”.

What?!

Couldn’t believe it!

A few words I had drafted out of sheer kindness had landed me a job. As we speak, I have completed that task. It took me 1 and ½ hours to edit it and $23 added to my blinking account. Consequently, long-term project talks are on the table. God bless her beautiful soul.

The moral of this story – I mean, apart from the fact that a little drop of kindness goes a long way is – if you cringe at even the thought of having to craft words, whether an email, Minutes, personal letters, not so sure about proposals and tenders. I think Tabitha Njambi handles that.

Or, if you need content for your website, company product/service or blog – I’m the person you holla at. All you have to do is just add the magic words like she did.😜

And when you do, I get to pay my rent, my Mshwari loan, my Timiza loan and purchase my papa’s medication. Then I’ll not only sleep well, but I’ll rest. I’ll be peaceful and happy.

And when I’m untroubled and jubilant, you will want to know why. I’ll tell you it’s a long story. And because I’ll be loaded, I’ll offer to buy you lunch at a mall with an escalator (just so that you know I no longer fear these intimidating machines), then I’ll tell you my story.

I’ll tell you I sell art here: https://www.facebook.com/abstractwallpaintings/?ref=bookmarks

I’ll tell you that I also blog here: www.ofdailyencounters.wordpress.com

I’ll tell you that I have few but amazing friends. That I have danced and sung my heart out with my family. That I have laughed so hard and found myself on my knees, literally! I’ll tell you that I have been blessed with many beautiful memories. That one of my heart melting moments is my first review from an Upwork client. (picture inserted)

Then I’ll also tell you laborious truths. That my heart has been previously shred to pieces. That my pillows have been tear-soaked on some nights. That betrayal has knocked on my door and grabbed a couch, not once or twice. That I have had moments of despair and doubt. That I have wrestled with esteem issues. That I have failed and faltered countless times!

I’ll also tell you about Jesus. That He is so real and so faithful and so loving and so forgiving. That He has been and still is the glue that keeps me intact when everything else is crumbling. That being a Christian does not exclude you from trials or pain.

But I’ll still tell you to love hard. To laugh hard. To play hard. To work hard. To cry hard. To let go. To pray hard. To cut you some slack. To use your gifts.

I’ll tell you to enjoy every single minute of your life and make it count. That you will win some and lose some.

Then you will go home happy. And in effect you will feel propelled to spread some love or words of encouragement.

You will smile at someone. You will offer to sort your seatmate’s fare, who will replicate the act to someone else the next week.

You will buy two loaves of bread on your way home; one for you and one for your guard. He will almost tear because he didn’t have a meal for that evening. And every time he spots you, he will be grappling with whether you’re truly human or a celestial being.

Your guard will then travel to shagz and return with a sack full of maize from his kaplot in Busia. He will give you some. He will also share with his neighbors.

Then one of his neighbors will make chapatis and share. Get the drill? We will be one big sharing community!

Hold up…did I just pitch you guys? You barely noticed, right?

I forgot to mention that subtlety is a weapon writers unleash in a subtle way.

Haha.

Just send the gigs my way. I’ll appreciate much!

And while at it, spread some love this week!

Yours,

Kare G.

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Cloudy Days: A Sure Remedy

birds cloud fog gloom

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Cloudy days.

Dark days.

The blues.

Whichever descriptive words you may wish to use, these days do exist. And they are constantly slamming on your door with increased intensity threatening to break them off their hinges. Sometimes, they do. Sometimes, they come close. But the shattering reality is that you will be at war with them often.

For me, a cloudy day looks and starts like this;

Morning episode

I arouse heavy-hearted, I disrelish leaving my warm bed yet slumber has no room in my eyes. I have no desire to have my devotion, having a conversation with God doesn’t seem exciting. I’m simply lethargic. I don’t feel hungry. I even shudder at the idea of chewing food.

Afternoon Episode

I’m still not hungry; my energy levels have plummeted to negative. I have pending works but I have decided that it is never that serious and I’ll just sit there, deep in thought. Chewing cud. Ruminating.

And can I tell you what I’m focusing on?

My troubles.

My struggles.

My battles.

My fears.

Business challenges, low sales, my aging parents, will I make rent..

I’m focusing on what isn’t going right in my life. I’m focusing on unanswered prayer(s). My focus slowly but steadily turns into inner grumbling and my heart grows heavier and heavier as my head spirals!

Late evening

The dark cloud above me has now thickened. It has taken over and it is firmly rooted, with its intimidating presence. I can’t shake it off, I feel alone, weak and crushing under its weight. I become unproductive, unmotivated and full of anxiety.

You probably and most likely can relate. Bad days are non-fictitious.

Here’s what I have learnt about these dark episodes in my life and how we can beat the blues;

Play some loud music. Well, that is if you have the grand pleasure of living in your own compound and your next neighbor is 10km away. But if you are like me and your neighbor can hear your microwave beep or even worse, your token meter beep, then a little consideration won’t hurt. You don’t want to be The Grinch who steals people’s peace with your loud-banging, window-vibrating music.

Plug in some headphones, set the volume on high – ignore the warning that your eardrum may be in danger and dance your troubles and fears away. After all you can only sustain this level of high intensity madness for an hour tops!  But the reward will be grandiose!  Plus, you will burn some calories in the process. You can switch to worship music for a cool down.

Evaluate your perspective. A wise man once said that the problem is not the actual problem, but how you view that problem. Perspective, my friend. Perspective. Don’t over analyze the situation. Deal with the facts. This is easier said than done but with a little exercise you get better at it. While at it, check your thoughts. Consciously think about what is right, what is noble, what is praiseworthy…I suggest having a vertical perspective when trouble shakes the ground beneath us.

Have some contact with nature. I especially love the evening breeze. There’s something so magically refreshing about it! Take an evening walk and clear your head. The dim lights, the giggling voices of children playing, the soft touch of the breeze on your face, a warm hello to a neighbor or your guard, the alluring scents of simmering dishes as residents prepare dinner, will be the perfect blend for melting away your worry.

If you get an opportunity for a short road trip, whether work or family function, choose to intentionally suck in all the beauty from that trip. I had an opportunity to travel to Naivasha for work last week. I had used the Mai-Mahiu route several times before. But this time round I chose to literally savor the beautiful but scary meanders of this particular road. The escarpment, the Longonot and its rising peaks covered in green lush. I was constantly fascinated at how creative God is.

The road had an interesting blend of impatient drivers pulling crazy stunts; and careful drivers – I salute them, tortoise trucks, people farming on the nearby plots, maize was being roasted amidst football conversations; the vitality of life was palpable. My heart came alive.

I recall lowering my window at some point and screaming my lungs out as my voice was quickly absorbed by the wind and trees. It was liberating! Try it! As crazy as it sounds, weird even, you’ll thank me for it.

Be grateful. I know this is quite the old adage, but still very life-changing. A good friend of mine, in one of our very long phone conversations, put me up to a challenge and asked me to tell her two things I was grateful for in my past week. I have to admit that I struggled. I was ashamed even. Thinking about it later that night, I discerned that I had become accustomed to taking many blessings for granted.

You too, I suppose? It is so easy to slip into the stinky habit of ingratitude. If you look intently, you will be cognitive of your innumerable blessings! Life, salvation, good health, the few loyal friends who warm your heart with too much laughter, a warm meal, a warm bed, a roof that isn’t leaking, a job, a sale, a cute baby. The list is bottomless! A grateful heart has a firmer ground. And you can easily be assured, that this too, you shall conquer.

Find comfort in knowing that the old saints experienced them too! Yes, you heard me right! Elijah , Moses, Jonah and even Paul; these heroic men of God suffered discouragement, despair, despondency and depression. I like the fact that God includes this picture of His men and women. He doesn’t hide their weaknesses. How comforting is this?

Talk to God about it. Be real with Him. He is your creator. There is nothing that catches Him by surprise. His promises are sure as much as you may grapple with this truth. His presence is a constant. He never loses sight of you, never!   Ask Him for renewed strength and grace and know that you can trust Him. Surrender.

How do you beat your blues? I personally wouldn’t mind adding to my weapon list! Please share with us, please?

 

 

Yaaay! I Took the Leap!

man person jumping desert

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Psssst!

I’ll start with a confession. We all know confessions are never plain sailing. I’ll probably wake up in a pool of nightmares warring against my brain at such an admission. But vulnerability comes with the job description. So here we go!

For the longest time, and I mean super long, I have had an incorrigible fear of escalators.

There! I said it! Escalator-syndrome is real people!

And yeah, I see you.

You too, huh? I know we are a gang but I’ll take one for the team today.

My well-known fear of escalators has been the conversation-starter in my family. It is even used as an icebreaker during get-togethers. Sometimes it is a whole topic. (Discuss Kare’s fear of escalators. 1000mks). This topic constitutes 75% of all talks. Surprisingly, I am still alive.

But roam with me, for a minute..

There’s something about those machines. The manner in which that yellow line pops from beneath in quick successive motions, makes me dizzy. I experience shortness of breath, head-pounding and a near heart-attack.

I steer clear of those machines like plague. I’m always on the lookout for elevators. And if out of sheer bad luck I find myself in a building without elevators, I’ll painfully take the stairs convincing myself that a little increase in heart rate is beneficial.

Recently however, this story took a non-identical angle. With the help of a buddy, and in a not so crowded mall, I decided to annihilate this phobia. She instructed me that the magic formula was to make a step immediately after the yellow line. I gave her all my belongings, lest they hindered my success. Then she held my hand. God bless her.

It was a wobbly start. I lifted my right foot, got panicky and backed off.

I tried once more.

Again.

And again, until after several attempts I managed to get my foot off the solid ground onto the moving, intimidating pulley. I was beyond elated once I got to the top. It was quite a mental battle.

And since then, I can say that I have successfully maneuvered escalators 6 times. Albeit it feels like a million times.

Isn’t this like life though?

Your walk with God?

Your career?

Your relationships?

Parenthood?

What is required from you is just a lifting of your foot and making a step. It is however, so daunting, heavy even. You constantly wonder if you are at the center of God’s will and if you can actually trust Him. You find yourself at a crossroad. The flesh and the spirit battle it out. And the rule of the game is that there can only be one victor. Mostly, the flesh wins, sadly.

You throw your arms in despair and revert to your comfort zone. Nothing much happens in this zone really. You become embittered by the mundane. Your conversations are dotted with complaints and grumbling. Joy becomes a vocabulary in your life. You sense your windpipe slowly closing in.

Yet something fathomless within perceives that you are simply settling. Settling for less. That you have so much potential to make a difference in your life and the life of others. You are faintly budding.

So you try again.

You try making the step.

Again and again.

Then eventually, you do! With rubbery knees, you slowly rise. That isolated step propels you. You become more useful. You smile more. Your outlook towards life is more positive. Your comrades enjoy your company more.

Most importantly, you grow!

After taking this step though, I can assure you it won’t be painless or undemanding. You will have episodes of doubt when the challenges hit. And hit they will. But you will be so glad that you took the step. Because when you intently look within these obstacles, you will see so much beauty.

And if you’re a Christian, even better! You’re assured that you aren’t taking the climb unaided. God is right there, urging you on, gently, sometimes not so gently because come on, we are a stiff-necked people! But He is faithful and loving. And that is all that matters.

This has been my journey really.

See, I have been contemplating writing seriously for a while. My family and friends have urged me over and over to pursue writing. I shelved this idea. Once in a long while I would write a piece. Then I would receive messages and comments that someone was encouraged by my words. Consequently, the tagging in my heart became incessant but I still shoved it in the back burner. I was comfortable writing as a hobby.

Until God.

Until God intervened to capture my attention. He made sure that my business was more or less at a standstill. This meant I had more time to write. I had run out of excuses. Yet the bills weren’t running out. Ha!

So I took the leap and signed up for writing classes by Walter Akolo through the help of a cool pal. I landed a writing job on the second week of my training. I’m still learning on working productively. Adjustments and all. It’s costing me my social life for now because I have to work on Saturdays as well. But soon I’ll find my equilibrium.

I’m also working on my blog so ideas are welcome. I am grateful to those who have been instrumental in my writing excursion. From the comments on my posts, to personal phone calls, to inbox, to reviews, to positive criticism. You’re quite a blessing!

Since I’m writing about mountains for my amazing client, allow me to use mountaineering lingo to pen off. (Pen off? Do people still use this word? Sounds ancient to me)

Anyway, if you’re on a similar course, I persuade you to take the leap. Gear up the best you can. Proper equipment-Sacred Writ as a compass, much prayer and meditation is of the essence as you make the ascent. Pace yourself, life isn’t a marathon neither is it a competition.

Acclimatization will be necessary especially on higher altitudes. So surround yourself with positive people and have a teachable spirit.

Remember to enjoy the scenic views on your way up. Celebrate small victories. Have many hearty laughters with friends and family. And if you’re like me, buy pizza! And because you were not created for yourself, help someone reach the peak too.

See you at the Summit! A breathtaking sunrise awaits!

 

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Raging Storms

island during golden hour and upcoming storm

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Me?

I love a story with a jolly ending.

I love stories of battles conquered.

Speaking of battles, I am especially fascinated with how the military formulates combat. They sketch. They concoct. They plot.
They ensure they have requisite and ostentatious armor. Then they execute.

But despite all the forethought and groundwork, most missions are unpredictable. They will be compelled to make life-and-death decisions in split seconds amidst airborne bullets and grenades.

Thereafter accomplishment, homecoming celebrations, badges of honor/courage, awards. Ecstatic close!

I love the story of a destitute upbringing, punctuated with heart-wrenching hardship; sealed with a glass office at the top, an Apple desktop, a miniature golf course and a Mentorship Program/Foundation. Befitting finish!

I love the story of a woman who has always desired to nurse, and after many years of tears and doctors’ appointments, boom! Baby! Jubilant ending!

Stories of lost sinners who encounter Christ, now forgiven and clothed with His righteousness; freed from the path of destruction and eternal damnation. Amazing close!

But today, I’m scribbling a story representing that segment where the happy ending has not yet come.

In that dark tunnel.

In that storm.

In that battlefield.

A story before the first ray of light can be seen;

Before a wounded soldier hears the hush of a conquered enemy;

Before the ravaging waters calm.

And we all have been there, or are there, or are about to get into one.

As entrepreneurs, among the many challenges we face amidst bouts of triumphs, is delayed payment. Or if you’re employed, delayed salary.
These pending payments in most cases have a lot riding on them; rent, food, fuel or fare, car service, restocking, bills et al. Yes? I know you can relate.

And so I am here today, trying to cling to every Scripture, sensing my faith being tested and stretched as I contemplate the truth that in this Christian voyage we must encounter both a sigh and a song, a groan and a triumph, a tear and a laugh, until Christ comes!

Many are the times I have been flapping my arms in desperation trying my best not to sink. Yet the waters rage even more. Now my arms are wearied, I am drenched and frosty, I can’t see the shore..

But I soon realize that I am equipped. God is near, closer than I think. And all I need to do is trust Him. To relentlessly seek His presence through worship while perusing Sacred Writ. To focus on what He is doing within me, transforming me into His likeness.

For it is in this affliction that my heart learns of its pride, of its misplaced priorities, of its worldly desires, of its insatiable need to steer the wheel, of its ingratitude over the many blessings He has bestowed upon me.

I realize that He is all I need. That payment or not, He is enough. So I opt to halt the flapping, to look up and find rest in His arms. After all, He spoke the seas into being, He has the Earth balanced on empty space, He knows when the mountain goats give birth, the hawk even takes flight by His wisdom, and the eagle? The eagle soars at His command!

And I hear Him whisper, “ Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?”

Since He speaks to us in our distress, we are broken and His power is made perfect in our weakness. We know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance that we may be mature and complete. So we ought to be grateful, hearkening to His voice should be of our utmost priority!

And then?

And then we wait.

We wait in expectation.

#SurrenderChronicles

Reflections: Inspired by a Sport

action backboard ball basketball

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So I recently unearthed a sport.

A sport that I have scantily participated in, mostly while having fun, learning the fundamentals…a few attempts at dribbling and equally managing a few successful shots. Nothing highbrow.

A sport that I have actively participated in, watching some of the best players in my home turf killing it!

Basketball.

You see, I have never really been intrigued by sports. I played badminton (twice or thrice) in high school and that was it for me.
So absolve my unscholarliness on this subject. But this one, this sport, is an interesting one!

It’s known to be the sport with a swag, or so I think.

How most of the players are towering beings, with enormous feet. Sometimes I tend to think that they breath a slightly different, unpolluted air. Like there’s a zone above us that only they can access.

And so this past week I had an opportunity to watch the East Africa Inter-City Challenge. I never knew I could watch a sport with bated breath, that I could cover my eyes so as not to watch a player from a team I wasn’t supporting make a shot, or cheer the dunks and 3-pointers!

Interestingly, I noted that if a player made a killer pass or a dunk, the fans would give a standing ovation regardless of the team they were supporting.

But as much as there was impressive dunking, shooting, ball-handling, dribbling, rebounding and shot-blocking;
the moments that stood out for me,
that moved me,
that subjected me to the onion effect were these..

How when a player fell, an opponent would give a helping hand. I found this ironically interesting. Especially in the manner they did it.

How when the players from both teams would line up before and after the game to shake hands or high -five each other. I couldn’t help notice how genuine the losing team would congratulate their opponents.

How they respected their coaches and teammates. I never at any one point saw a player defy a coach’s order.

How during the free shots after a foul, the team mates would still high five the shooter even if he missed the shot.

I was given one word that sums up the above; sportsmanship.

Aren’t we challenged to practice some sportsmanship? Even when we are in support of different political parties? Challenged to give a word of encouragement even when we are being let down? Challenged to show respect and submit to authority?

That encounter humbled me.

Please have a sportsmanship-filled weekend, will you?

PS; I managed a capture as a fan with one of my fave players from Mogadishu. No.22! Grin!

Reflections: Of a Dear Sister

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Ahoy good people!

Today is a momentous day!

A day when the good Lord in His infinite wisdom deemed it fit to bless the world with a phenomenal woman; my sister, Maggie Wanjiku!

My kindred and her friends may have incalculable tales to share about her, but for me my narratives are especial. No amount of words or heart jargon can capture or articulate the pillar she has been and the role she has played in my life. And fervently speaking, the person I am today is largely attributed to her.

She believed in me long before I believed in myself.

She is the reason for my many firsts;

She bought me my first Bible when I got enrolled in high school.

She is the reason I first saw the inside of a banking hall and subsequently learnt how to fill a bank slip and deposit checks from her. You see, in my naivety I thought banks were used by a special group of populace, the elite; and I wasn’t in this pigeonhole.

My first Steers Burger. Eeeeish! Those days if you mentioned you had been to Steers, you were worth an honorary.

My first flight experience, I owe it to her. Yaani alinitoa ushamba mingi.😎

She changed my outlook on matters life. She stretched my thinking and my abilities. Even when i faltered in my salad and witless days, she never ceased believing in me. And to this day, she still does. She cheers me on, she encourages me when darkness threatens to close in and engulf me, she supports me in my endeavors even when they look bleak to the point of hanging on a bare thread.

I pay homage to her today because she sacrificed the little pleasures of life to get me an education.

I still muse on the day I was joining campus, we went shopping and she bought me my first three sufurias and a pan that i still have to this day. Its handle is now broken though, my friend Milka always teases me about it. But i can assure you that I whip up mouthwatering pancakes with it.😜

To me it is just not any frying pan…it is one of sentimental value. It tells a story. A story of my campus life, in a far away country. A story of the many times I dashed to the bank to pay my tuition fee in the morning when my exam paper was in the afternoon. She is the reason this was possible and a powerful God behind her. Never did she let me down. Not even once!

It tells a story of me riding on her faith and even in my meagre understanding of God then, I grasped His goodness through her.

The list is multitudinous…

But the one thing that i will eternally be grateful for; is that she invited me to Nairobi Chapel, where i gave my life to Christ. This, this is a gift that cannot be traded. This decision has perpetually crafted my life despite my many shortfalls.

She has many balls in the air and I stand in awe at how she juggles them all.

By the way, she can steer a manual transmission car with grace, and I mean, effortlessly…on this note, I pause and exhale as I salute all women who can steer automobiles while shifting gears and balancing clutches! I already i’m exhausted at the thought of this.

And she rocks short hair too! Okay, okay! I stop now.☺

Please join me in raising my glass to this unparalleled woman and wish her a happy birthday! May God continually light her path and shine His face upon her!

Happy birthday my sister!

Oh! The depths of His love!

man kneeling in front of cross

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I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way,
The sin that promises joy and life
had led me to the grave.

I had no hope that You would own
a rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

Selah

I pause and recall the many times I have thought that i am the one who sought God. I’m the one who desired Him first. I’m the one who took myself to church that day. That I am the one who realized I was deep in sin and needed His pardon.That the gaping hole in my heart that led me to Him was all my doing…That I found Christ.
But in the real sense, Christ found me! And as one good friend said to me in the affirmative…that Christ wasn’t lost for me to find Him, I’m the one who was!

Selah

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
and led me to the cross

And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all i know is grace.
Now Lord, I would be Yours alone
and live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
could never come from me..

Selah

Again, I would tend to think that when i set time aside to seek God, to read His Word, to pray, when i forgive those who have hurt me, when I seek reconciliation with those I have offended, when I tithe…all the good works I could come up with..I should applaud myself.

Interestingly, I have been pondering this hymn since I heard it in church last Sunday…why and how those words captured and shook my soul, why my heart was gripped, why they brought tears to my eyes..

Behold today, I come across this verse in Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose.”

Huh?

So i quickly and humbly relinquish any credit I had wrongfully adorned myself with. And I lift my hands, bowing before Him and say;

Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way you choose
And let my song forever be
my only boast is You.

Selah

Come, sit with me and let’s ponder this mystery of The Cross together..

When Entrepreneurship Meets Faith

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I thought I’d write this piece when I’ve already made the millions, when I’ve been categorized as the upcoming entrepreneur to watch out for, when I’ve become a guru in this most sought-out field.

And as much as the-end-justifies-the-means saying could be regarded as bearing some truth, I believe that the process in-between counts as much as the fullstop.

I may not have many zeros in my account to validate my dissection of this topic, but I have my nuggets of experience worth sharing.

As most people in business would dare to admit, this is a journey NOT for the faint-hearted, but a journey with the MOST rewarding outcome. The outcome may not necessarily be monetary but one of self-discovery, endless opportunities and faith enhancement.

I discovered that I have an in-built shock system, a thick-skin and that I will continue to surprise myself by how much I could take in. You see, when you start a business, you have goals, projections with paralyzing profit figures, a visualization of branches countrywide under your name, community projects that you’d take part in giving back et al. But the reality is, as much as this dream is very achievable, the process will entail numerous and humongous hiccups! Most of which you will not foresee, they will catch you completely off-guard! Barefooted!

And your ability to be flexible in such moments will be highly tested. You will feel like crumbling, crying, throwing in the towel and its dampness but you realize that the sooner you pick yourself up and keep trudging on, the better.

You will hold many positions in your firm. You will be the Sales & Marketing person, the Administrator, the Accountant, the Delivery guy, the Public Relations Officer, the HR and the Logistics Manager. Any department you could envision in a fully-fledged company, you function in all of them!

I’ve learnt that faith plays the biggest role. That the clients I have encountered are a combination of my effort and a super-natural power-God. He gives the ability to create wealth. Every little, tiny bit of success, I owe it to Him. Being in business has taught me to go down on my knees every single day. He has revealed Himself to me in my most trying times. But isn’t that the time He knows we can hear Him best?

Like Moses wouldn’t have noticed the burning bush that was not being consumed if he was busy serving at the King’s Palace. He noticed it because he was in the desert, bored, tending flock and nothing exciting was going on in his life. I have sat helpless at times, not knowing where my rent or food would come from. In the process, I have experienced the many facets God represents. The Provider. The Peace-giver. The Comforter. The Loving and Caring Father.

You’ll need a great support system in your back-pack to thrive. Someone who’ll chip in one way or another. Someone to encourage you when you hit rock-bottom. Someone who has knowledge on certain business structures. Someone who will invite you to a certain forum because they know it will be worth it. Someone who’ll believe in you and constantly cheer you on when you’re looking at the end of the rope. A reliable business partner who will step in and act on your behalf. Someone who will bluntly tell you the truth even when it hurts. A parent who is always whispering your name to the One above.

 

The Proverbial 3-0!

When the bell of my existence rang 30 at the beginning of the year, I expected some form of metamorphosis.

I expected the earth to come to a halt..well, atleast for a second. Coz we all know how catastrophic that would be anyway.

I envisioned my level of intelligence sky rocketing.

I expected my neighbors and peers to spread a purple carpet for her royalty to walk on.

Oh my, I think I even foresaw myself on the front pages of the dailies.

On the contrary, it was a dawdling, trudging day for me.. considering January and business don’t see eye to eye.

It was a day of abysmal reflection.

I commenced with an enumeration of my achievements and an itemization of my assets..you know, to perceive how i’d rate on the top 30 under 30 nominations.
Let’s just say i was a bit disappointed. No, hugely disappointed! And depression almost struck.

But then I became conscious of the fact that my accomplishments may not be necessarily material. That I had achieved so much! I had learnt so much!

I unearthed that I was super rich, because I happened to have subscribed to the One above, the one who owns all the silver and gold. And I was grateful that He calls me His princess, that I am an heiress!

I unraveled that I had a mental shift of how I percieve this life and world we live in. We are pilgrims. Voyagers. How seeking the pleasures and indulgences of this world is vain if we don’t acknowledge and accept the One who gave it all up for us on that cross. If we don’t comprehend that we don’t live for ourselves but for God. If we don’t grasp the fact that we are merely stewards of what God has blessed us with…not for us to hoard but to share with His beloved.
That we should set our minds on things above. Invest towards eternity.

I gleaned that not all friends stick..but a few do. In the thick. In the heat. And that it’s okay when they walk because they also have stuff they’re figuring out. Issues they are dealing with. Life has probably thrown them a few curve balls. Relationship issues…a new born…you know.

I have learnt that the devil is an accuser of brethren, and that when I fall…instead of hiding my face from God in guilt, like an arrow from a bow, approach Him for remission.

I used to fear end-time stories, death stories, rapture stories…but not anymore! Instead I look forward to the day of His coming with great anticipation because maaeeen! this world has it’s share of predicaments.

And haven’t I also learnt much about the male species! By all means I respect them. I salute them. They make the world a worthy place with their egoistic tendencies, their machismo, their wit. I normally feel like they bring a completely different, intriguing and fascinating dynamic!

Now, I used to think an ideal man is one who has something going for himself, a reputable career, has ambition, is mature, acknowledges God and is a close fit to the tall-dark-and-handsome pigeon hole.

However though, I realized that an ideal man is one who not only acknowledges God but has also given his life to Him, has a deep reverence for Him. He seeks Him daily, prays, studies and meditates on Scripture. One who realizes that he is imperfect. One whose desire is to please Him alone.

I learnt that maturity in a man isn’t really about his age (please don’t bite my head off). But maturity should at a great extent be assessed by the level of spirituality. He should be grounded in faith, stable in His walk with Christ. He shouldn’t be thinking about how many additional cars he will acquire, but how he can use the extra coin to change someone’s life for the Kingdom’ s sake.

So, I’m not where I’d have loved to be by 30 but I know I’m not heading into a ditch because God has my back, as long as I unwaveringly hold on to Him even in the turbulence.

Cheers to this hullabaloo’d 30!

November..

relaxation water wave circle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As this new month of November commences, it sets in motion a mixture of feelings for me..
The kind of pang that comes with the realization that the year is almost gone and I haven’t accomplished half the goals I set out to achieve.

It seems like the years are passing by while I simply cling to a kite tail.
I feel staid, dissatisfied, unfulfilled.
Entranced, I now take an exhale as I impulsively reevaluate my life..

I resolve to live life with deliberation. I know it may mean transcending the mundane, embracing the unknown..
But I opt to discover delight moments, to gather my rosebuds,
To appreciate friendships,
To smile and listen more,
To keep a gratitude journal instead of being consumed with the minutiae of written lists..

I am open to a chatty phone call, a spontaneous lunch with a friend, an evening walk with my neighbor..
I will indulge my two great escapes; writing and reading.
I will live more!
Because every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day..