New Year Resolutions or Prayer Requests? #My2016

It’s a new year! Oh, yes, 2016 is already a week down. So I am pretty sure many of you have over heard statements wishing you a happy one. So, I will not go into that. But even then, to each one of you that will set your eyes on this article, blessings be upon you in 2016! May the new year be new! To me, 2015 came along with its own style of things, and left me with a long list of lessons learnt; some painful, and some with really good memories attached to them. As a custom towards the close of any year every year, when a friend asked what my new year resolutions were, I told her this time I had mine summarized into just two words,…”BE HAPPY. the rest of them will be prayer requests.”

Sounds kinda achievable right?  Yeah, that’s what I thought too. 🙂

So, for a change I didn’t make any new year resolutions. Not like I haven’t thought of those. I only decided not to. I have actually made a couple of those in the past but I didn’t seem to move my feet even any close to getting them done. Until reality hit that I should instead switch from focusing on “getting them done” to actually “what I need to get them done”. And I will probably leave it at that and just…watch the space.

Now I know for some people it may sound so unreal, but in the space of time, I have seen things getting done long after my own efforts (even as much as I really gave them the best of my all) have given up on me. Oh, yes I have! The same experience  brought me to another level of acknowledging a stronger power that can take care of things as I sit back and swing in my ‘sometimes imaginary rocking chair‘. And the best thing about this power is that everything falls in place in its due time. After all, life is not an emergency…well, because I know some one may want to out-reason me on this, I will add, …in my world. This one is not up for debate my friend.

So, yes, often times we ought to leave the big guy up there (read ‘God’) do his mix, while the rest of us watch and wait. Because nothing beats that at pay-off time.  And that’s  what is up in 2016.

I don’t know about you and your new year, but as for me and #My2016, we ought to do the needful, and then wait as everything takes its place.

Happy new year folks!

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Letter to Heaven ~ You were absolutely the very best.

Dear Dad,

I really don’t remember the last time I wrote you a letter. But at least I am glad that I ever wrote you one, that one that was delivered by Mum from school. I had just started my first year of high school. I was only sure that you loved reading, just like you loved writing, and you loved reading that letter. Frankly, I can’t even remember what I wrote, but am so sure that whatever came in there was straight from a heart that truly loved you.

Oh, how I wish I could trace it!

So, I thought I would write you another one, this time I will send it with the parcel that will go direct to heaven. Unfortunately,  I know you won’t read this, but I have a feeling you will still understand, somehow you will feel the words, you will definitely feel the love.  Well, since  you left, I have grown, we all have grown up.  I lately admire the kind of person I have become, am quite sure you would be more than proud, even if you could probably say it after so long…I still know.

Today is my very first time to do such a thing, write anything about your life (it has not been as easy)  but am only grateful that I braved through. For the past years, I only tried but could never find the words. But I want you to know that just because I didn’t do it earlier, or that I don’t do it so often, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you…No! I do, I even miss you so much, but just that the thought of the plain truth would not let me bear the reality, or even write about it. After this, I will probably write many more of these.

Oh, how time flies! I can’t imagine its 4-years already!! Four years! It only feels like it was yesterday.

I remember everything like it was only yesterday, the days we used to have you with us. Especially the stories at dinner that would be filled with a certain sense of humor. I still remember how you used to pause a little or even give up the story once any of us interrupt you with a question. And the way you would just leave us in suspense until another day. It was not until when we learnt the secret, listening to the end of the story, and then maybe burst out into a heavy laughter later.Surprisingly, it could keep happening, even after we many times of missing out on killer stories.

I still remember how we used to wait on your home-coming every Friday evening, because we could only get to see you during weekends, I would not forget that we could just keep waiting, with all the hope that you would still come home. I mean we had no phones then, but we could still not lose hope that you would not turn up on every other weekend. And you would never disappoint.

I still remember the brief talks we always had before we left for school, each beginning of the academic term, and each of these times, you never really ceased to remind us “never to forget where we come from.” I still hold on to that, because if I forgot where I came from, then I would possibly not figure out where I am heading to either. I still remember those days when I prepared your favorite meals, and your smile before  you said “Thank you”said it all,..Yes, it was that rare. I learnt but a thing from you; to always say what I mean and mean what I say. I still hold on to this, and that you always stayed true to your word. Well, I do too…Thanks to you.

I still remember how you would watch Mum in awe during her regular “drama scenes”…(God I hope she never gets to read this article, in anyway…otherwise it would just turn out just like that little note I wrote during one of the nights I was supposed to be reading my books..But who tells a Primary kid to sit up until 10 pm reading books anyway???)  I still remember the faint smiles that could run  cross your face as you could watch her sway from one place to another, probably talking about something that we did wrong or something that we moved. We could all wonder what would be running through your mind, because you could seldom speak out. Sometimes she could be doing something as simple as supervising us “read”.

I still remember that Christmas day, that seemed so somber for us simply because we slept just a little longer than usual and she was up before any of us. And when you woke up after the drama had started, I still remember you wishing us a Merry Christmas, and Queen asking you if we could really have it “merry” with such morning moods home…As if you could even answer that! You just shook your head silently and moved (probably wondering what had got into Queen’s head this time).

I could write a book, if I was to bring out all the moments, but at this point, I will solicit some help. Sure, I am not the only one who remembers.

Well, I must say, it’s usually a little hard, getting home and the first thought is, I won’t see you; am sure I could share this with somebody else though. There are memories  of you just waiting in your room,and  the thought of not finding you home again still gives me disturbing moments, but grateful for the power to gradually brave through it. There is also that thought that when I bang whatever I get my hands on, that I am disturbing your afternoon nap…thank God the weight of this is fading with time though.

From the life God allowed us share with you, now I know, if I am to honestly ask myself  which people  in my life mean the most to me, I often find that it’s those who, instead of giving so much advice, solutions or cures or even big chunks of money, have chosen rather to share my pain and touch my wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The kind of friends who can be silent with me in a moment of despair or confusion,who can stay in both happy moments and hours of grief,who can face with me the realities of life…the friends who care without a benefit. Those that may not even promise to stay, but I am sure they will,and I count on them whenever. I must thank you for that lesson, because that’s how you did it.

I am sorry for all the times I was a pain but I hope  the good times outweighed the bad tenfold. And I hope you are resting peacefully from all the pain and hurt you were going through the last days I saw you.It was so hard, to see you through it all, yet I could not help a lot. Painful memories…but when I think of the pain you were going through in your last days, I want to think  that it was the best you needed. Just to let you know, in the course of time, when I miss you, I have learnt to let myself cry, cry it off until it feels like ‘better’, and then wipe my eyes and smile over the so many memories with you.

Cancer shows no concern at all for anyone… It’s only up to us to keep those lost to the disease alive in our thoughts and hearts. You were ready to go, the rest of us were simply not ready to let you. But as for now, we refuse to hold on to that, we shall celebrate a full life you lived.

You were without doubt, the absolute best.

May your soul rest in peace forever Dad.

 

Daughter, Norryn.

 

My Magical moments with Don Moen…Thank you God!

At the beginning of this year, when I told somebody I am believing that 2014 is my year, I hadn’t foreseen anything. But right before the end of 2013, I could always anticipate something about 2014. And surely I can’t say the anticipation has gone in vain, because so much has unfolded so far.
To somebody else reading this, it may probably not make the same sense it does to me, but then again, for purposes of never ever forgetting what this moment felt like, I should keep it this close to me,I mean write it out, pin it somewhere to keep the memory. Because it surely made up a fine piece of my 2014.
At first I thought it was only going to be some time off-work, away from some routine ,but it only turned out much more than that. I didn’t have a very clear plan of how things would go, but I was only sure of one thing…this was the time for me to meet one of my mentors, lets say spiritual mentor this time. Somehow, I couldn’t help my heart beaming with excitement at the mere thought of even a second with Don Moen. God bless the Pearl of Africa for giving me all it took. Today,  when I look back on that very evening, I can only but thank God for the 1st of June 2014…for letting it happen, and for making a dream pass – no wonder I couldn’t find even a few words to describe it all, until now. When a friend asked me how the show was, I only smiled..I couldn’t find the right words to explain the experience, but I hope I got  a couple of them now. (trust me it wasn’t as easy).
For some reason, when having such a powerful moment like that one, I usually chose to close my eyes, but that night I was caught between two choices, to either do my usual or open my eyes wide without blinking so that I don miss any moment. It was such a hard decision to choose on one..Nevertheless, I lived in the moment; switching between them to make sure I don think it was one of those other moments that I pretend to hang with Don, simply because am listening in to the powerful lyrics while  in my house.  I had to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, that I was actually with Don Moen on the same ground.

Continue reading My Magical moments with Don Moen…Thank you God!

Sometimes the hardest voice to hear is “The one within”.

If anything is to ever hit you so hard (if it must) so you keep it in good memory, it is the moment you finally realise (d) that the only person whose opinion you have to mind about is YOU! I can’t count how many articles I have written but they eventually ended up in my “Not to Be Published” box. To give you a picture, I even coded this box so that whenever I think of publishing any of these articles, I instead think of the reason it’s coded. (Don’t laugh; they are called “tools of self-control”)….​of course according to my own edition.

I didn’t do this because I never consider the time and effort it costs me, NO! I always put this in mind. It was only because I had kept in good custody a particular voice that occasionally reminded me that what I write is not close to attractive  for their eyes. (They would never be bold enough to say it, but I heard it right whenever they said they don’t believe in writing. )
​Because of that constant voice, in the following years, months, and days, I lived through the same events, writing and immediately saving them under my coded  box. Each morning as I attempted to come up with an article and actually publish it became more terrifying than the previous one.

But if you are currently reading this, then its evidence enough that I surpassed that voice. (Thanks to the tiny still voice, and the article from one, Eric,  I read this morning that gave me a helpful insight for the day).. And if you think just like that same voice, then you could once again be hereby accident.
​ ​
Why am I even talking about this? But I probably should, for future purposes, or maybe for my daily inspiration through life. I try to pick a lesson from everything that happens in my life,I usually I think they all happen for a reason.
​And one thing I know for sure is that is that I learnt something important; to celebrate what I am and have become without necessarily seeking ‘unnecessary’ approval, the same spirit that I would like to share with my readers.

For so many years, I held on for so long, on what people say or think of what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. But guess what? I don’t give a care anymore, I pledged to give this a try, hoping that  it will be worth it. I want to do things for quite some time, without consulting the east, or even the west, not caring if somebody has been hurt in the process or how many I have pleased. (Of course I do mind what hurts people, but for once, lets concentrate on what I am talking about here.)

​ Y​eah, I know, it gets mean some times. But you see, at the end of the day, everyone ought to realize that there comes a point in life when they should neglect all the voices that come from the outside, set your own rhythm and dance along that. After all, nobody will give a damn, though they might just eventually like the result. So the focus here is actually on the tiny voice that is in most cases covered up by the roaring negative voices, and that’s where the secret lies!

Of course at the start you will have a stone or two throw at you, probably judging you, blaming you or​everyone else claiming for their usual ‘selfish’ interests. But just one thing; grab it by your two, step on it, and move on! We all have  moments when such happens in life, but at the end of it all, the only person you will have ​t​o focus on is YOU!

It’s you that will appreciate your efforts, pat your back at the end of the day and say, “Nice try! But to make things better, you don’t have to go that way again”. Remember we were not put in this world to please everyone (not like we can afford the costs anyway). So in the event that you have tried, given it your best, even prayed but situations haven’t changed a bit, SHIFT! Move your focus to something else, and if you can’t find that, at least move it (the focus) to somebody else. That somebody is YOU!

Listen to your heart, and let everyone else listen to theirs too, the tiny voice that comes from within should be the one to keep you going when all else fails. If you don’t do this, at least don’t blame anyone, because as you went through the process of pleasing them all, it was you that failed yourself, not them. They have their own role to play, messing up with whatever you lay your hands on, interrupting whatever you have tried to achieve. they make it a point to focus on your life and how you living it to make sure they identify a fault and use that to ​downplay your own progress, of course, again to their own interests. And they are doing that pretty well; that way they are busy pleasing themselves, so you don’t have to go that way too.

These same people have often misled others even when they are aware there’s no​​t even a light at the end of that tunnel, not because that’s the only available option. But because their attitude towards life is simply that low; messing with others’ affairs.

And remember this, it’s not because their own life is perfect! No, not even close! I call them ‘diminishers!’  No matter how good you are to them, they will still find fault with you; they will still find some reason to  be critical. They derive their happiness from messing up your life meeting their own targets. That’s why I let go of these, along with those who always make it a point to frustrate everything I do, they don’t build, neither do they encourage. And the only mirror they use to look at life is the one which best reflects their interests. So, for once in life, mute their voices in your head, and give way to the tiny voices that has brought you that far.Otherwise, if you let the other voices out-power it, things may simply backfire just like they always have. Just shake it off, be happy and run your race.

After all, there is only little point in trying to play good to EVERYONE!

 

 

And finally…to the arrival of 2014!

One of the end of 2013 highlights
One of my ‘end of  2013’ highlights

If I must shout  it out once again, Thank you God, for a new year, 2014! How could I even miss out on writing something about 2014? I was only busy busy but i knew this would eventually show up..So, if you are reading this, then you and I must be the luckiest beings to having made it to January 1,2014.

It wasnt by accident or just by chance, there must be a BiG reason why we made it to the top ~ probably a mission to fulfil and then take off peacefully.  I would never tell what is coming along this year but at every thought of this year, my heart skips a little. It feels like earth is just about to break lose!…O, let me stop this because it is probably keeping you curious..:-) It’s only a feeling.

But at least one thing am certain about, I couldn’t wait to let 2013 go! I only hope it took along with it all the memories i had kept in the trash box..coz I can’t keep them anymore.  It simply took so long! But then again, thanks to everyone else, I got some particular moments that caught my attention. (I will stick to the rule of focusing on good memories and letting go of the ugly ones; so here is a recap)

Of course to many it doesn’t ring a bell, am only glad that I got some of those moments that really meant so much to me for moments to wind up my 2013,but  i gotta hold on to those. First of all, unlike the normal tradition of trekking down to my village for Christmas like the rest of the world, I stayed back to share it with my housemate and some of my colleagues that also  couldn’t leave the country for one reason or another.

2013-12-26_16.37.09[1]
This one made my day with endless stories
And trust me, come 25th December 2013, our house was the only place to be!After inviting in a couple of friends, we randomly got ourselves very exciting company..We all watched the night turn around while  pulling all the famous dance moves, eating, drinking and laughing out loud. It was all one big happy family, many thanks to everyone who stormed the house. You made it so hard for me to wake up the following day! But of course being my most favorite day of the year (If it wasn’t for that day, you’d probably never have met me),  I had to step out and check out my long time dream..sharing it with some lovely kids in the outskirts of Kigali. Oooh! it was a lovely afternoon, having to having to play around like it was a replay of  my life’s golden days!  and listening to innocent happy voices for a couple of hours…Sometimes it feels like heaven. 

At the end of the day, I and my travel-mate were completely exhausted..I actually almost dozed off my seat in the bus. So, after such a long day, I was only grateful that nothing kept me back, that i instead kept going with all that I had for a long time wished to do., I felt like it had been a useful journey.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I now thought the last point would be my room, where I would close myself in my little crib, then quietly reminisce about my day, I end up to a house full of strangers. Good thing I wasn’t given time to identify the faces that had showed up or even think of a plan B; either running out of the house for a random destination (I tell you, I would just run for life) or at least throwing them out (after all, that was my home! On addition to interrupting my evening plans ), otherwise,we would have staged a nice play. So, whoever came up with the “shower” idea, the other people must have paid you something!

And to my Judas Iscariot, aka my travel mate, a revenge is still underway! So, ya! that marked the beginning of an end to my favorite day, me and my heart, we say ‘thank you’ to everyone who spared their precious time for the evening! I had never seen my room done any better! :-).

Now instead of  the quiet evening that I had earlier thought of, I was treated to another evening of laughing out loud, more food and more dancing! At least i got to realise I got a team of jolly good fellows…I should say thanks to those guys, for trekking 2013 with me…and for being nice! Don’t exclude selef  in 2014! 

And now 31st December gave me one of those simple joyful ways of ushering in a new year, unexpected, unplanned but it all happened in a very promising mood. Staying with a couple of friends and a cute-looking baby girl (God, thank you for this baby), 2014 knocked our door too, giving a decent send-off of the notorious 2013!

Now this was a big change, I was only used to ushering the new year in church, I had never thought of it otherwise, but I didn’t regret the change tho’! It was another treat to a house full of laughter because of the guys blessed with a sense of humor, we all  started counting down to the end of the year, yet welcoming a new year that so many of us are looking up to.Until  some people couldn’t resist the urge to hunt for fireworks around the streets, it was an amazing time we had! Now, i also had to take off to my next destination! It was all funnn!!! Like one of my resolutions, I will keep sticking to what my heart finds appealing,  Life is short!

After such a beautiful beginning, I will definitely look up to so much more in this year…So help me God! 

 A HAPPY NEW YEAAAR!!!!!!

For the love of playtime!
God bless the Children!

A tribute to Madiba!

Mandela[1]
We will never forget you Madiba!

On the fateful  Thursday, December, 5, 2013, the world came to a standstill. Much as I would have mourned  the death of a hero with sorrow, I refused, and I instead joined with the world to celebrate with pride and hope, the legacy of a Nelson Mandela Madiba. At 95, amidst rather hard conditions, Mandela had fought on to dear life to the end.  When I think of him, there are special words that best describe him; African hero, freedom fighter, first black President (1994-1999), global icon, and o yes, prisoner! Of cos not to mention, South Africa’s strong symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.

For this reason, South Africans or not, we have all lost a noble person in Mandela. With his level of humanity, selflessness and dignity, he will be greatly missed all over the world; he was such a unifying figure between so many people.  But what is most important is that Mandela has lived a full life, am sure there were no regrets, (Ok, of course no one is perfect) but he gave life his all until  the last-minute.

I first heard about Nelson Mandela as a little girl from a story by my Dad, another great man who happened in my life (RIP Mzee), and somehow  every statement about Mandela’s journey to freedom sounded like rocket science to me. It was kind of unbelievable to me that someone with a humble background could fight such a battle without so much stronghold support. But just the way my Dad held on to Mandela’s life in his stories (trust me originally he wasn’t actually good at narrating stories) made me think twice about this guy. And with time, I came to realize that his life is actually a real life story. I still think there was something common between them though – the two guys actually succumbed to the same disease. And for this, I dream of starting a lung cancer charity in my life. (So help me God).

If I could emulate anything about Nelson Mandela, it would be his forgiveness nature, an inspiration, a giant of justice. I would take on his selfless nature of sacrificing his full life to achievement of freedom, reconciliation, justice, and joy. I would never stop to think of the capacity in which he managed to act not with fury and vengeance or resentment to the people who had hurt him so much, but with humility, another reason I believe his legacy will always live on. He lived a truly meaningful life.

Mandela attributes his humble personality to the 27-year imprisonment at an isolated Robben Island, in a damp concrete cell with only a straw mat to sleep on and a thin blanket. At this island, racism ruled. Mandela was only identified by number ‘46664’ to rob him of his real identity. (He was the 466th prisoner at the Island in 1964. The number is now a global symbol for humanitarian causes, raising awareness about social issues like poverty, hunger, education). He is remembered for launching the ‘Kick Polio out of Africa’ campaign in 1996. It’s now the famously known ‘End Polio Now’ campaign today, the Rotary International’s noble promise to Africa and to the world.

If it was in our age, it would totally go the opposite, but trust turning something negative around into something positive, Mandela turned the number into a brand.

salut

 

Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the village of Mviza in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. His father was a counselor to a local king. He chose for his son the name Rolihlahla, which translated from Xhosa literally meaning “troublemaker.” A schoolteacher would confer upon him the name Nelson.

RIP Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela! You have left a legacy!

Favorite Quote: It always seems impossible until it is done. – Nelson Mandela.” 

We will never forget you Madiba!
We will never forget you Madiba!

Are you the world’s greatest friend?

God gives us our relatives, but thank God we chose our own friends..Today I will talk about friendship because I have noticed that there is just so much  to say about it. We all have friends, of the different categories in life. I for one, have come across all sorts of friends; great ones, good ones, not so good ones and the downright, ‘not-so-good-enough’ ones. (sorry to be that point black), but sometimes its only necessary that I should call a spade a spade.

Great friends are the ones who understand you. They know all about you and love you just the same. They influence you positively and are always at your beck and call. Imagine if you were stranded somewhere and needed someone to pick you up, do you have the type of friend who would come to the rescue? If your ‘great friend’ is the kind who will lie to you and say that they’ll come and pick you but instead pull the covers over their head the second the calls ends, or one who will always find an excuse to being there for you, that leaves question marks. Great friends are reliable, there are people you can count on; no matter the weather, season or circumstances. They will always work towards your achievement, because they respect your dreams and believe in you.

‘Not-so-good-enough’ friends are those who you think are laughing with you but are really laughing at you. They are the kind that insist on ruining your life no matter the cost (of course through a lot of pretense) only to reveal their true nature after more than enough damage has been made. They come into your life with a purpose and they will eventually disappear once that purpose has been fulfilled. They will downplay your worth, disrespect you and try to make you believe that you are not worth anything.  You innocently think they are genuine individuals but their agenda is of another kind and it’s never a good one.If it’s not to disapprove your worth, it is to meet their own selfish intentions, and trust me they will work towards just that. They will pretend all their life that they believe in you, yet in actual sense, they are working towards your downfall.They will take you for granted build on your weaknesses as a person and exploit you along the same, instead of helping you turn them into strengths.  Be wary of this kind.

Not so good friends however, will only love you when you have something to give or, when they can benefit from you in some way. The second things go sour in your life; they run out at such a speed that would ‘put Usain Bolt to shame.’ When you get back on your feet later, they will shamelessly remember that you even happen to have a phone number. In brief, they only love you when conditions are favorable for them, when they need you. And once that equation has been solved, they will pretend they only just realized you just can’t be friends. They will fly off, and only remember that you actually were once a friend when they need you again.

Great friends must not be taken for granted. They are a treasure like no other –this means no ruby, diamond, emerald or pearl can ever measure up to them. It also means that you have to make an effort to be that kind of person too, in their lives. Great friends are the “all-time” friends, and reliability is key for them.

I had a click of friends back in my ‘hey days’  and every time I sit down and reflect on that time, I have no idea why we were ever friends. Of course, there was the occasional gossip of who said what about whom, but at the end of the day, none of these would put any of us to a higher level.

It later dawned on me that we were never friends. We just liked hanging out together. There was nothing positive we ever did for each other. We were selfish and very immature.We were too much into each other’s lives but we didn’t get anything constructive from each other.Years later, I have come across some of them and it saddens me that they haven’t changed one bit.

It is still all about who will be seen where and who will wear the hottest outfit. You would think that after all these years; a person would be less enthusiastic about life in the fabulous lane (especially when you are not so fabulous).

I suppose that if I had chosen the right path from the start, my life would have been different. But I refuse to regret the time I wasted trying to fit in because that path also brought me some good things. Things I can’t live without now, things I am more than grateful for in my life.

There is still plenty of time to make influential friends (if you haven’t already). I have made some of those over the years and in my perspective, they are everything a friend should be. I too, want to be that friend to them. I too, want them to feel they can always count on me. I just want to be the world’s greatest friend, at least to the few who know what it means to be a friend, and I am well on my way there.

Ask my real friends, at least I got a couple of them!