Wednesday, 30 March 2016
BEING A RUTH
LESSONS FROM LADY IN WAITING
As I conclude on Being a Ruth this week I would like to clarify one thing. These virtues are a growing process. One is not born with these qualities they develop over time.
Sometimes even through a traumatic experience. I wrote about a difficult experience in The THING ABOUT PAIN
Dealing with that heart break made me realize that you cannot always prepare yourself for it or avoid it, sometimes it’s necessary to go through it and learn from it. It is always tempting to be bitter but it is you who suffers.
As I noted in part 1 of this post these are lessons from the Book LADY IN WAITING by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones.
Ok here we go again
LADY OF PURITY
There is a quote in this book that really stood out to me. A woman who marries still a virgin has become the exception not the rule.
It’s one of those statements that can go around having blame games from, daddy/mummy issues to society to women’s liberation or that boys will be boys.
There are many reasons why it has happened and the blame can go around but the truth is what do you do about it as an individual with your own personal purity. We tend to point the figure at someone you may feel is worse off than you are but there is more to purity than being a virgin. It starts from our thoughts, then our words then our actions. They all matter.
For now I will look at sexual purity and maybe write a purity article one of these days J
What I personally believe is there is a reason sex was created for marriage. There is just a connection that it is supposed to bring for husband and wife and when it goes in the wrong context it doesn’t bring the intimacy as God intended.
I want more than just the physical thrill, I want commitment and security in the relationship, where I will be cherished and treasured. Marriage is more than about sex anyways.
On the other side the emotional devastation is not worth it to just casually engage in sex. It takes out a part of you that you may never get back and brews resentment. It ruins more than it fixes and has a lot of baggage. People who have had to recover from this can testify.
So guard your heart, guard your purity and make prior decisions on what you want in a relationship.
As for those who seek a second chance do not allow the flickering pleasures of an evening of ‘making love’ destroy a lifetime of ‘lasting love’.
LADY OF SECURITY
With the way the world is going security is a major concern in almost all areas of our lives.
Feeling insecure has become almost second nature to some extent.
However feeling insecure is way worse because that is a battle within. You reduce your self-worth and believe that you do not deserve better. It can cause you to be demanding and unrealistic and you become worried and frustrated.
Don’t make a ‘life mate’ choice from a limited perspective because you longed for security of a relationship. God can and will give you His best if you wait for it.
In the end it is only God Who can meet your need for security. Let’s face it the other person is just as insecure as you are.
LADY OF CONTENTMENT
I used to think this was not possible. Being content. It actually is. I realized that the things that used to really bother me don’t as much anymore. I wasted so much time fantasizing on what I could have or what I could want that life was passing me by. I looked back and saw how unhappy I was and was wondering if I was going to continue living my life with what – if’s?
I encourage you to do that once in a while. Look back and review yourself and how you live. It may amaze you.
Waiting is one of the hardest things for me especially if I have no clue why I am waiting, this is mainly because of my planning – every – thing nature.
The book has some interesting point of view on this topic and I encourage you to read it. Summarizing it here will just take away from it.
But one part I can quote is that accountability is key especially in this area.
We need to monitor and discipline our fantasies and have friends who remind us not to run ahead of God’s timing
Learning contentment is only achieved by complete surrender to Christ.
LADY OF CONVICTION
Anyone who knows me knows I have strong convictions. When I make a decision,that is it.
It is not a decision I necessarily come by with ease, I way a lot of options and I consider consequences. Very rarely do I change my mind.
It may mean I am head strong to some people, but when I am convinced of something that is it. Only God can change my mind.
God’s Word is my source of conviction, it is what I live by. And I have found it to be applicable in my life. Choices guided by conviction rather than chance determine destiny.
Conviction is allowing God to renew your mind on a daily basis. Conviction is a standard that serves as a spring board for your choices.
Living by conviction helps one make better decisions because our decisions make our destiny.
LADY OF PATIENCE
I am convinced that this is that lesson that haunts me and morphs into different forms to ensure that I get it and need to be patient.
I will not lie it is not always the case, sometimes when I am patient I am glad I was and everything worked out, but when I am not….. Oh! The mess
People who say ‘Patience Is a Virtue’ should complete the sentence with ‘that is hard to find/ hard to master’
There are too many consequences of impatience and waiting on God’s best seems like it will take forever.
Sometimes the wait is not about you, it could be about something connected to you.
Don’t let impatience rob you of your life. You are in that space for a reason. God knows what is best and his timing is perfect and He wants to bless you to the full.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
BEING A RUTH
LESSONS FROM LADY IN WAITING
I read a lot and when a book has impact on me I share it [not lend it per say] but recommend it. This particular book was gifted to me by a friend in 2011 and the lessons probably speak more to me now than when I first read it.
I am sure by now most of you have read LADY IN WAITING by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. If not and you are a single Christian woman or are a woman wanting to disciple and mentor single Christian women this is a great book to get.
It is loosely based on the book of Ruth and draws lessons from the whole Bible. It is closely related to a previous article I wrote
This is more about being Ruth and what it means
I this post and the next I will give an overview of what it means to be a Lady in Waiting and share a bit about my personal journey. Yes this is a very personal post as well, so here goes…..
LADY OF RECKLESS ABANDONMENT
This is one who recklessly abandons herself to the Lordship of God by diligently trusting Him with her state of singleness. A woman becomes a woman when she becomes what God wants her to be. Fulfilment for a Christian woman begins with the Lordship of Christ in every area of her life.
I like how it sounds, reckless abandonment. It’s almost like you do not have a care in the world. In our African culture the male figure in your life is your identity whether it’s your dad, brother, husband, son, you are practically invisible unless you have male accompaniment. I actually read a blog yesterday that says how hard it is to travel as a single African Woman in Africa as a tourist. It was funny how suspicious they treated the blog author. It was almost like she was suspected of a crime. She has been treated better in other countries but Africa is another ball game, you need to have a male companion.
Thank God in His Word it’s not like that. He wants us to recklessly abandon ourselves to following Him. Ruth had left all she know that is why it was reckless. She didn’t not think and counter think she just did because in her heart of hearts she had nothing to lose. She was a new widow and her father-in-law was also dead. Even in Moab life was going to be difficult but now she had God.
As a Christian African Woman I do have God and I have nothing to lose when I choose to surrender all to Him. It’s not the easiest thing in our culture because even when you don’t have a care in the world some auntie or relative will have that care for you and convince you how it should be a care for you as well. But ideally the depth of my relationship with God is up to me. No one can interfere unless I let them.
Colossians 2:9-10New King James Version (NKJV)
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
LADY OF DILIGENCE
To be a lady of diligence to me means living my life and keeping busy not having a pity party and feeling sorry for myself alone at home. Trust me I have been there done that and I realized life was passing me by.
So I did the exercise in the book and decided to see just how dedicated I was and how I was using my time in service to God. I can say I am doing well so far. Better than I thought. So let me just list them and suggest, male or female you may want to consider these as you wait.
And note that this is a huge sacrifice
· Ministry of Teaching –sharing with others your faith, not just receiving the Word for yourself
· Ministry of Encouragement – sharing a word or two to someone who is down
· Ministry of prayer – pray with a prayer partner on a regular basis for you and others
· Ministry of service- be of use where you are before God brings someone to care for you
· Ministry of Writing-write a postcard or letter of encouragement like Paul in New Testament
· Ministry of Listening- Listen to one who needs and ear without giving advice but praying silently for them
· Ministry of Hospitality- Go the extra mile with the sick, bereaved and needy. Make a care meal, sit with them, visit them etc
· Ministry of Helps- help with daily tasks once in a while, shopping, errands etc
They all make a huge difference in someones life and can be scheduled into daily routines. And yes you can still join the choir if that is what you prefer
LADY OF FAITH
I know that for me this is big because sometimes I do let anxiety and worry overwhelm me. I like the scripture
Romans 10:17New King James Version (NKJV)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
It just means that I can increase my faith by continuously being in God’s Word.
God knows what I need and when I need it and I don’t have to live a life where I fret over all the details.
I decided to just give this year a diligently obey God attitude and see where it leads. Trust me for a planner like me that is no easy task, but I can say so far so good and I am way happier for sure.
LADY OF VIRTUE
Ruth went through many life trials for sure and even after leaving all she knew she got into a situation of new culture and new people and the people were known to despise her people.
That is tough by any standard. But Ruth was a person who just sought God and did what she was meant to do and her character got her noticed pretty similar to Rebekah and how she met Abraham’s servant. Being a girl in a pastoralist’s family was not easy, it was hard labor.
But you cannot beat character no matter the situation.
I try to live a life that speaks for me and my character. I try to be as authentic as possible and be true to myself and to truthful with others.
I am also very self-aware and will probably fight a wrong view of me but I have also lived a life where people have given me so many opinions of what I should be like that I almost lost myself once and was very unhappy. I only change when god asks me to. I recommend you do the same.
LADY OF DEVOTION
God created woman to love Him and experience His blessedness of fellowship with Him.
I have come to understand the important role I play as a woman in society and the influence I have over others. Both fellow women and men as well. I have decided to use the influence in a way that I help people see their need for God and get closer to Him.
I have since then developed a very strong emotion against negative vibes. I just do not like it because it does not help.
That is how simple I can define what I want to accomplish. I do it in various ways but my ultimate goal is to let people know God loves them and all will be alright and it will work out.
Jeremiah 29:12-13New King James Version (NKJV)
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
For me its all or nothing, and it’s a serious commitment because I know Christ is fully committed to me.
BLESSED EASTER EVERYONE
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
THE THING ABOUT PAIN
I recently went through a very emotional experience that made my life reach a halt. Literally halt.
I can only explain it as pain. It was very intense and very crippling.
It wasn’t my first experience with pain but this one was different, and very personal.
My first ever debilitating pain was when my mum passed on. It wasn’t the pain that hit you at that time. It came way later and way after the funeral had passed.
My mind took two years to adjust because I would dream that she was out there somewhere and was going to come back. I was going crazy almost wondering if my dream was my reality or my reality was a dream. On top of it I had new responsibilities to handle and take charge as the oldest in the home to make sure our lives were still as normal as possible.
Eventually my needs took a back seat and I put everyone else’s needs around me ahead of mine.
That was a very, very bad idea.
What eventually happened is that I lost a lot of years living through the motions. I never really thought about what I wanted or what I wanted to achieve out of my life.
It took a while to take time and re-evaluate my life and see how unhappy I was. I was physically ok, but emotionally drained. I gave away so much of myself to others, but no one was refilling my emotional tank.
The only thing that actually helped is that I wasn’t the only one who had experienced the loss, so speaking to my siblings did help a lot and they completely got where I was coming from and we made the adjustments to share the responsibilities. Took a while but I can say we all got into a healthy place with our grief and now celebrate more the life my mum had and what she taught us than the fact that she is not there.
SO just in case you may or may not know, there are 5 stages of grief. Some have up to seven but let’s stick to five.
It is not wise to stay in one stage for too long. It is wise to progress, even though we cannot always help it and we can stay in one stage for more than we should. You also cannot rush the process.
We tend to go through this process every time something traumatic happens. I have even experienced it with my work, especially when a client is not happy or if things just aren’t going as planned and I am stuck in a rut. Picking oneself up is not always easy.
Sometimes God allows this because he wants to stretch you, read more on that in my previous article TRANSITION SEASON
Last year, I went through a new pain, one of heart break.
It is so interesting how you can take all measures to protect yourself from it but sometimes it is inevitable.
I learnt that sometimes God will allow certain experiences to stretch you.
I learnt that I had compromised a lot and went back to the cycle of not looking out for what I wanted or deserved.
I learnt that I was making all the sacrifices and I was feeling resentful without knowing.
I learnt that I am worth more and I deserve more than I was getting.
And yes I also learnt that I do not ever want to feel like that ever again but I am also strong and God brought me through that experience. I am still in the stage of accepting and letting go, but it’s not always easy. And i am still learning.
The thing about keeping busy so you don’t think about it can sometimes work at a disadvantage because you can easily shelve something and it comes back later in greater intensity or in another form. It’s always wise to work through something not skip it.
Yes with that experience I did go through the stages of grief. My anger phase was pretty scary, I barely recognized myself. I have a good friend who refused to allow me to get too much into the depression phase and if it weren’t for her I would not be in the acceptance phase.
I found out there is a new phase. The indifference phase. For some reason it is not an official phase but I have been there for a while now. But because I write this blog and it’s a great outlet for me, I am slowly getting out of it.
I figured I cannot endorse things publicly that I do not do myself.
Am sure you have seen very unhealthy ways people can process pain, some get into substance abuse, some abuse their bodies, some even end their lives.
Either way my advice to you is, process your pain, and process it in a healthy way. The world still goes on so do not miss out because of one experience.
Emotional pain does affect your life but it is up to you on how it will.
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Lately I have been going through a transition season. This is that season that I have been praying literally 10 years for.
The funny thing about a season like this especially if you have prayed a long time for it is that when things start to happen you get into denial. You think it’s a fluke and you just expect things to revert as they were before. You even try old patterns and realize they do not satisfy you anymore.
Personally I am learning to let go of my anxieties.
Yes, I am anxious about things going well.
It is strange, they are not going that well just yet but I know they will get better and not worse and for some reason I have become too comfortable with disappointment that I am wondering when this bubble will burst.
I have had to take a step back and re-examine my life and my experiences. I am that person who has spent so much time longing for a new season, especially a transition and then when it’s finally starting to happen it all looks so scary. Like “what was I thinking? I can do that”
Well looks like maybe this time I am ready for the transitions because for once now, I do not have it all planned out and also I will have to solely rely on God during this season.
And because I have so much experience in that for once I will begin with God and not crisis manage.
I have noticed a lot of my friends are in this season as well, and family and the temptation to revert to the familiar is tempting. But the truth is God expects us to grow and even if your transition is into a difficult season or a blissful one, there is a purpose for you there.
If you have been praying for a new job and that you want more responsibilities, just because you have one bad day of work does not mean the job is wrong for you. It means you are being groomed for more.
I learnt that after losing my job that despite the fact that it was painful and I was unhappy and not growing, God was fulfilling my dream of wanting to create employment. It did not come in a package I was expecting but with that final paycheck I started a business and employed a young lady I could mentor. The circumstance was not ideal and half the time I was not sure I could pay her but 2 years later I have never not been unable to pay her.
And on that note I became more confident and my client base grew and now I am in yet another transition that could see me go even further and further in realizing my dreams. But it took getting fired and walking in faith to get where I am and only God with all my emotional turmoil could pull me through all that.
That is sincerely a journey that has seen me grow in leaps and bounds in trusting God and the plans He has for my life and the fact that He actually answers our prayers even in the way we may not expect.
So trust me when I tell you, you do not want to remain in Egypt or in the wilderness even if they are comfort zones and know that land of milk and honey is there. We have learnt from the children of Israel that to get to the Promised Land there is some preparation and even when we get there we have to fight for that promise.
If you are in Egypt, God is still with you. That storm will not last and He does hear your cries. Just like He sent Moses He will send redemption.
If you are in the Wilderness, God is trying to build your character before he takes you to the next step. He is working on you and your circumstances to prepare you for the Promised Land. So hold tight and learn all you can.
If you are in the land know that this is just the beginning of God’s blessing upon your life and even when He blesses you, you will still be tested. This does not mean smooth sailing it means that He is the One Who is your source and still sustains you and His blessings should not take His place. You are where you are because God knows you are ready for it. To get to the next level expect some challenges as well. Before the blissful years of Solomon’s times, the Israelites went through a lot of challenges from within and outside as well. It was during Solomon’s reign that it finally looked like Milk and honey and Promised Land.
In case I have completely lost you read the stories in the Bible from Exodus to 1st Kings. It will all come together, I promise J
As I continue to embrace this transitional season I encourage every one of you to continue to seek God and experience the amazing work He is doing in your life