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OFFENSE PART TWO

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Remember we promised this topic would continue? Apart from offense being a bait like we said earlier, let’s see how else we can define it.

Offense is when people are not polite with others and they fail to show regard to others hence wounding other people’s feelings.

 Someone could be asking, why take time to discuss offense? One of the reasons is, Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble!!” Offense is part of this trouble! Secondly, in this day and time, people are committing suicide, murders, suffering in low self-image, and low self-esteem because of offense.

Most of the times we don’t offend people deliberately, some of the things you say meaning well but the person you are saying to takes offense.

Of great worth to note is, you can be offensive simply by what you are trying to be and not the things you are doing or things you are saying.

Here are some of the possible areas we can offend people and possible ways of avoiding offense where possible.

  • One area we can offend people is by offering unsolicited advices. e.g a girl’s face is having acne and there you go asking what they have applied and start making suggestions of things they should do.
  • When you interrupt or intrude other people’s conversations
  • When we presume about what other people like or don’t like.
  • When you choose to act like your time and your needs are more important than others.
  • Don’t criticize things that you have not even familiarized with beforehand.
  • Treat everyone’s opinion as something valuable
  • Avoid over stepping. Know your boundaries and keep them.
  • Avoid things that hurt other people’s dignity. It’s not just about respect but this also includes someone’s privacy, everything related to someone’s self-worth.
  • Making degrading comments about any features that are tied to a person’s identity or being e.g. calling someone fat
  • Ignoring people, making them feel like they are less important.
  • Calling someone by the wrong name or mispronounce, misspell their names.

This list can go on and on. From all this it would be true to say, you will offend or be offended in one way or the other. There are people who feel victimized all their lives. Others get offended by almost everything because they take everything to themselves.

It can be so exhausting if you try to please everyone. Please stop trying too hard to fit in. you won’t be able to. There will always be something about you that people don’t like. When you are slender you are called a grasshopper, if you gain some weight, you are called a hippo, and please be you. Be unbothered, be yourself, the world will acclimatize!

There is a story said of a plum.

A plum once said, ‘just because a banana lover came by, I converted myself into a banana. Unfortunately, his taste changed after a few months and so I became an orange. When he said he I was bitter I became an apple, but he went in search for grapes. Yielding to the opinions of so many people, I have changed so many times that I know no more who I am. How I wish I had remained a plum and wait for a plum lover. (#borrowed)

Allow me to remind you that you are unprecedented, so unique kindly enjoy being you.

Please don’t rid your originality so that you can be noticed or so you can avoid offending people. As days get by you will regret you traded your distinctiveness for a moment of fame or endorsement.

There is a platform for each one of us to shine. Please find yours!

Shalom!!                                                                     

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PARENTING

“Parenting is by Example”

I have really struggled writing on this topic, I actually did a draft of this in April 2020 and until now I don’t feel very ready, but I just had to. One of my reasons for being hesitant is because I am not writing from a place of authority, and secondly because I am still a student in this parenting class of life. I know churches have classes, I know books have been written on the same, but I still believe every parent walks a very personal and private path with their unique babies. I will call them unique because even if you have seven of them, each one of them is so different. Unlike any other writer like I mentioned earlier, I am not writing as an authority, but as a student from my own experiences.

Parenting, hmm? This young girl comes into our lives in 2005, we are excited and at the same time afraid. Someone completely dependent on us.  Parenting reminds me on just how much I need to depend on God, me unlike God; I don’t know what to do most of the times. This is one of those responsibilities that God has given me that is quite sobering. How could He trust me with so much? I have found myself asking this so many times.

The first came with worries of various kinds, I remember one time she had issues with her bowel movement and when she was able to we would be so excited. We would take her to hospital and I would be told I am not breastfeeding her properly, as a first time mum I am wondering, ‘is there a proper way of breastfeeding’.  Parenting is a learning process both for the parent and the (sic) “parentwa..” the child in this case.

This girl, a teenager today, was so adorable. So interesting, everyone who met her just fell in love with her. I would never have words enough to describe her. However one of the experiences that has stuck with me is the first day she started walking without support. She didn’t crawl like most children do; she started moving around the tables and the walls. On her first birthday, we had invited so many children, we were so excited our girl was turning one year. There was so much fun with the many babies around, and that is how my girl decided she couldn’t miss out on the fun, she stood and ran to play with the others, that was the first step and the many steps the same day.

I kept feeling like this girl had taken all my love, like the whole heart really such that I was worried I would have nothing to offer to any other child that we would get. I know this is weird but it’s true. So we are enjoying parenting this bundle of joy despite our shortcomings in the field. A few short years its 2010 and another bundle of joy comes again, by the way why are they called bundles? This time it’s a whole set of challenges but still the joy this child brings is beyond compare.

Two children each adorable in their own right, completely different yet so much the same. Fast forward, 2014 we have another bundle of joy. This time seems to be no different but we are in for a surprise, adorable as the rest but with a mind of his own.

These children are blessed of the Lord and are a blessing to us; through them we have learnt a number of things:

  1. That, if we don’t acknowledge that we are only stewards to them. then we tend to think we own them and that puts us in a collision not only with the one who created them but even with them. Psalms 127:3
  2. That, you don’t need to boss them around. It’s a relationship. Ours is to guide and pray. Proverbs 22:6
  3. Teach them to be truthful in their ways 3 John 1:4
  4. Teach my children reverence for God and authority. Deuteronomy 5:29
  5. That I should not provoke my children to anger, rather discipline and instruct them in the way of the lord. Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:6,7, Isaiah 54:13
  6. That we should be firm with our children. Proverbs 29:17
  7. Sometimes as parents we will not have answers but continue to trust that he who that gave them to you will provide all that is needed. Philippians 1:6

I have found myself on my knees, crying before God for them.  Being with them make me want to be better person and parent. Indeed children are like arrows, psalms 127: 5 says he who has quiver full of them is blessed for he will not be put to shame when he contends with his enemies at the gate.

Our job is point them. Putting God at the centre of it all because they belong to him.

Kindly watch out for the upcoming blogs on

  • Motherhood chronicles
  • Parenthood from the dad’s seat

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LIFE IS SPIRITUAL

I will remain steadfast and resolute regarding my convictions!!!

I have been listening to some sermons and what has come across continuously is, life is spiritual. Human beings are spiritual, they will always have some faith, even if not in God, but in something else.

Looking closely, in this journey called life, I have realized things can only tell that life is influenced by two forces greatly. Growing up I was so adorable, I don’t know if I still am; dad’s favorite, the best cousin, the best niece, the teachers’ favorite all the way. So influential, in school, in church to my fellow youth in church. The preaching’s, the teachings … I never struggled with issues that teenagers or the youth struggled with. I was known for being strict, firm and all. One thing that is for sure is, I am so better in ways more than one in comparison to this girl twenty years ago.

Soul searching still, I am left wondering, being more experienced in this school of life, shouldn’t I be way better than I am? Should I be struggling with sin? Should I be struggling with making simple decisions? Should I not be the best wife even after being married for all these years? Should I not be the best parent, daughter… why should I start like five businesses and closing each one of them even when I was so sure I got this right? Why should I struggle with finances even when I have a good job? If I once earned four thousand shillings and now several thousands much more, shouldn’t there be some improvement?

Surely, it’s an error for one to struggle with issues forever. This brought me to this place; life is spiritual. There are things or issues I would never struggle with, as long as I remained single. There are things I would never have to struggle with as long as I never got to a certain level. If you are like me and in agreement with what I think so far, let me tell you something I have learnt in the process.

Just like in a court of law, ignorance is no defense. You can never say you didn’t know. Make it your business to be in the know. As a student if you want to do medicine, you know what grades you should be working for. You want to be a good parent, spouse, there are schools too and areas of influence. Put the same kind of effort you would input into your career, into that masters, into that phd… most of all, the school of the Holy spirit. The school of good mentors and fathers who are ahead of us and doing well. For we are surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses.

God is not unjust that He won’t reward you for your efforts. Your actions have consequences, choices have consequences and so are the words of your mouth. You can not wish your child does well in school and with the same breath call them names. This week I just learnt of a species of a bird (crane) which naturally makes involuntary noise as it flies up. In as much as this is a part of their make-up, this noise endangers them, because this is how their predators know where they are and zero in on them. As a result of this, as they grow up, they learn to pick a stone with their beaks as they start to fly, that way they don’t make the noise hence cheating on their predators. How often do we attract our predators through our own confessions of defeat, by sharing our dreams prematurely and to the wrong people, by exposing too much too early? Let’s draw a lesson from these birds.

None the less, we have a God in heaven who is interested in your well-being, your success, your sound health… If you are tired in the knowledge of Him as the omnipresent God but never feeling His presence, there is an open opportunity to seek for his manifest presence. Launch into the deep. Only bad things happen by themselves, for every good thing, there is a price, a cost to pay. Be positive, believe in yourself. As a man thinketh, so is he. The beauty of all this is, the grace of God is sufficient, His mercies are new every morning, His loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting!!!

IS IT A TABOO TO TALK ABOUT IT?

Learning so I share

As married as I am, if you heard me tell a guy I love you, what would come to your mind? Can someone love a person of the opposite sex without any strings attached? Just as a friend. Like I can tell my girlfriend how much I love them? Can I love you and tell you without being judged? Please someone educate me, what’s the big deal? Anyway, this is a story for another day.

For now my biggest question is why can’t we talk about sex freely? In the right context of course. Why will we talk business, parenting, finances but even with our spouses we have issues discussing sex even when we can see there is a problem? Is it possible that the stereotypes associated with this subject affect our marriage relationships?

I hope you didn’t forget the little naïve village girl who has finally come to this town and is in IT business and in the process this IT guy surfaces in her life and he becomes part of her business too.

After some time they agree it’s now time to take this relationship to the next level and they finally get married. At this point, I will reference comments I have heard from people in the course of life. I am not sure I would give me as an example like I have done with most of my write-ups.

I once heard a colleague who I would say was a mature Christian, a married woman and was actually more than a decade in marriage ask a girl who was planning her wedding, ‘how can you be planning on getting into marriage when we are looking for the exit?’ This time I was a newlywed, probably like a year into marriage so I didn’t feel qualified enough even to share my sentiments because I knew I would be silenced like, ‘don’t say much yet, you are still in honeymoon.’

In as much as I remained silent, that comment really disturbed me and I felt so bad. That was so mean. I kept whispering to myself, that shall not be my portion. Every single day of my marriage will be an awesome experience.

The honeymoon isn’t over yet, I have just been into marriage for a decade and a few more years and I have this to say, marriages work, marriages can be fun if founded on the right foundation and with the right person.

With that said, I was reading this book today that was given by a friend like three weeks ago but never created time for it. I actually would say this wasn’t the first time I had come across this book. My experience was the typical, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’

It has been said that most of the issues that breaks or destroy marriages are around sex and money. If sex is that important then why don’t we give it the seriousness it deserves? On this account I will discuss sex because this is where the book I was reading comes in. just before I delve deeper into the book, is the way we are socialized around sex issues a challenge that we take along even into marriage? While growing up did I hear too much of how bad sex is? No one even said that it was good at the right time or in the right context of marriage!

So here I am, the wedding has come to an end,

and everyone has gone. I am finally with this guy in a room alone, he is not just visiting, or leaving after dinner, he has just become a bedmate. This girl has lost it and I am wondering, ‘girl, what did you just get yourself into?’ It took me ages of talking myself into it and telling myself, you are here and there’s no turning back. It took me too wrong to appreciate his touch or even a wink because I considered it inappropriate.

Reading this book, ‘How to beat your husband’, I came across a letter from this husband. I am still feeling guys like this one are rare. Of course mine is a gemJ 

Kindly have a sneak peak …

My dear loving wife,

During the past year I have attempted to seduce you 365 times. I succeeded 36 times. This averages once every 10 days. The following is a list of the excuses made on the unsuccessful occasions:

We will wake up the children                                                 7

Its too hot                                                                                15

Its too cold                                                                              3

Too tired                                                                                 19

Its too early                                                                             9

Its too late                                                                               16

Pretending to be asleep                                                          33

Your backached                                                                      16

Toothache                                                                               2

Headache                                                                                26

Giggling fit                                                                              2

Not in the mood                                                                      21

Baby crying                                                                             18

Is that all you ever think                                                         105

This list went on till he accounted for the difference. I really feel him. I know this too well.

Do you think you can improve our record this coming year?

And then he signs off with his trademark tenderness and loving touch thus:

Your ever-loving husband

(source: Jack Dominian marital break down)

Lessons I have learnt and still learning:

  • Don’t take anything for granted. During this covid period, I found myself missing even those disagreements we’ve had at some point. I would complain when my hubby would place his hand on my shoulders because I consider them heavy; but during these lockdowns, I have found myself missing those moments.

MY RECOLLECTIONS

“Thinking about the past”

My sister introduces me to this guy; that’s a story for another day. The wow effects this guy had on me, I couldn’t recover for quite a while. I think I was suffocating for the five year relationship I had told you earlier but I had not realized. This made me see how much I had needed some fresh air, but I was too engrossed to realize it.

This time I am in some computer business. Have you seen or probably heard of an old vehicle which will just go off whenever it wants and ends up putting you in some awkward situation or rather very embarrassing moments? That’s how the computers I had would behave. No, they would only behave that way when I had some work from a customer, probably a thesis they are supposed to present the following day in the morning or some wedding cards that a customer has to wait for because apparently there is a relative who has to go distribute.

Guess what, actually your guess is right, my new friend is an IT guru, and actually I call him a nerd. But can he be a nerd and charming at the same time? This guy was just the kind of person you would like being in their company any time. He hit me flat-out  “10 nil you may say”. Can you smell a rat? I mean regarding the five-year relationship😉

I trusted myself though; I was in love, and in a very serious relationship for that matter. The challenge was, how can someone have a guy for a friend? Just like that? With no strings attached? There must be more than meets the eye. As far as I was concerned, he should not be a threat, he was not a preacher, and neither was he a preacher’s child. This way I didn’t see any reason for my fiancé to get worried, yeah! Please stop looking at me like that😉 call me naïve, it’s alright.

Poor me, little did I know I was sitting on a time bomb! Did I know this was a scandal in the waiting? Nah… The challenges of my computers dying anyhow and embarrassing me had gotten taken care of though. I had just the right friend. A few months down the line, I have managed to convince him to be fellowshipping at our church. My doing this was just genuine, no personal interests (I know what ur thinking 😉) the church was just the best. At least I know we fed on legit word. I was just looking out for a brother; of course, that is what good friends do. Oh boy, didn’t I just land myself to hell. Until yesterday, I am still convinced this guy I was dating had found a better paid girl than I was but he didn’t know how or have an excuse on how he would leave me.

The pressure of relationships can be so draining and especially where there are insecurities. Finally I am accused of everything humanly possible and I decide enough! Looking at myself today and that petit, naïve, innocent girl back then, I think all that which I was subjected to was unfair. But who am I to decide what’s fair and what isn’t? Several months of scandals, serving in church became a seriously straining and draining issue. By the way all the youth who were punished then because of mistakes I did or did not do; my apologies.

My IT boyfriend by this time had made advances severally which I ignored. Nicely of course because this was a friendship I couldn’t afford to lose; for my own selfish reasons. I knew nothing could possibly happen between us. I knew how to set boundaries and keep them. Especially when there were so many looking up to me.

How many of the scandals and rumors could this little girl accommodate? Apparently, people in church too couldn’t understand how this guy came from Nairobi and doesn’t seem to be going back any time soon. He has even become a member of the church, a very active one for that matter. Isn’t this too much of a coincidence?

Have you heard a saying that says, ‘what a woman won’t do out of love they will do out of spite?’ That’s how my new relationship began. How can everyone decide I am dating someone I am not? So I decide, why don’t I just do it? Is that rioting, feels like rebellion, right? Please don’t do this. It worked for me, but it may not work for you. Looking back, I am so convinced God had wrapped by blessing in a very unusual way. I thought it was just protest, but this must have been God.

Did I say now that I have the hottest guy in town it didn’t hurt? I had invested so much in this relationship; emotionally, my time and just me. Being human I am looking at the many serious guys I had turned down. Some that I wished had come earlier 😉 please don’t look at me like that. I actually remember during some of the mini break-ups we had during the five years, which by the way happens so much if you decide to count…

Several years down the line, I know why T. D Jakes called a sermon I listened to, the BACKSIDE OF BETTER. You look at people in relationships and nice marriages and you envy them, it has not been all sugar and honey. In every better, there is a backside.

In this social media era, you are tempted to keep stalking your ex to see the posts they are making. You may keep wishing they change their mind and come back to you. But is it really worth it? Redeem yourself worth. By this I don’t mean you disregard your emotions, you are only human, don’t pretend like it never happened, but create a balance. Don’t let your emotions rule over you.

There are some lessons I have gathered along the way. This I am not speaking as a relationship coach, but from experience:

  • Involve God every part of the way. He’s the best counsel.
  • You cannot make someone change for you. You may tell them what you need from them. You may tell them that what they do hurts you, but none of these will necessarily make them change.
  • Should you find habits in your partner that you don’t think you could live with, please take an early leave; don’t waste each other’s time.
  • If you are not ready to settle, don’t get yourself into a relationship.
  • Don’t ignore any red signs hoping you would change someone, take an early leave. Better a broken relationship than a broken marriage.
  • Don’t use your past experiences to gauge every man/woman, we are not the same. There are good men/women out there

This isn’t exhaustive.

I thank God for this far. I am a firm believer of Romans 8:28 – and we know (with great confidence) that God (who is deeply concerned about us) causes all things to work together (as a plan) for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

For any kind of support don’t hesitate to reach out!

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