Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning for things in advance and having certainty, and yet, on the other hand, I also like learning and doing new things. When I go to new restaurants, I am that person who will want to try a new dish; I must admit it does not always turn out well – at least I know what not to order the next timeJ. I love travelling, you can ask me to go to a country I have never been to, and I will pack up, go and settle in quite nicely, I have done it several times, and I have always seen it as having an adventure.

At the beginning of the year, my swimming school (yes I am learning to swim to those who don't know) told me that I was going to change my swimming instructor because my current one then would no longer be available. I was sad because I liked my swimming instructor – she was very patient with me, and I could not imagine anyone else being that patient. There was no avoiding it, the new instructor came, and the lessons had to go on. The first two or so lessons I struggled because I did not trust her yet and I was getting to know her. At some point, something happened, and we connected. I tell you my current instructor is even better than my first, not only is she very patient but she is also fun. We laugh a lot, and we have so much fun – I am always surprised at how fast the lessons go. The other day she sent me a sweet message telling me how well I was doing, that she was proud of me and enjoyed teaching me. I was floored by her message, and I could not agree more that I also enjoy having my lessons with her.

Not all change is negative; change can be good. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that to everything there is a season and time… When life’s season changes occur it can be scary or sad but if there is one thing which I am learning, even a seemingly bad season always turns out for good in the end. The Bible is on point when it says that all things work for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8.28). Look at Joseph - being sold into slavery and being thrown into prison after a false accusations were terrible things to happen to him, BUT God turned those situations for good, he became the second most influential man in Egypt second only to Pharaoh. May God grant us the grace to trust Him with every change and situation which comes our way. He knows what He is doing; he has everything under control. He’s got this!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

All Rolled Into One

There was a point a while back when I was beginning to feel that this blog was now becoming a travel blog. All I seemed to do was do travel posts. I then decided to go easy on the travel posts and so that means I have a number of travel posts which I never shared. To remedy that I have decided to do this post today summarizing my travels since late last year. Some of the things are just too good not to share so here goes:

October - November 2016
I returned to England  for a visit after six years. I never thought I would return to England but wow ... God had a plan. It was exciting visiting and it felt like coming home again.
Walked down the streets I used to walk in my not so small anymore town in Hampshire.
Hung out with old friends. So much fun.
Visited my old work place and even shopped there. I used to walk up and down those escalators everyday. 
Hung out with kids of friends who I remember as tiny little things. 
December 2016 
I was privileged and honored to be asked by one of my friends to be a the maid of honor at her wedding. This was my second time being a maid of honor, but I was still taken back at how much of a responsibility it was. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot of things. I was taking notes (wink, wink).

Look at the bride doesn't she look gorgeous
 I even managed to capture the big moment. I took advantage of my maid of honor position to take good pictures. 

December 2016  - Early January 2017 
After the wedding which was in Bulawayo I flew to Windhoek, Namibia to visit some friends and of course to play tourist. I loved Namibia - I am a sucker for small towns and countries. I could see myself living in Namibia.

We stayed at the fabulous Lapa Lange Lodge. It was an oasis in the desert in the real sense because it is situated in the middle of no where. 
Got to watch animals coming to the watering hole at the lodge. It was a beautiful sight to behold. 
Hung out with the cool kids 😄
Took some selfies during the game drive.
If you are ever in Windhoek, you have to visit Joe's Beer House. It is a must go to place.

February 2017 
My goal each year is to visit at least three new places. Nigeria was first new place of the year. Abuja is surprising and not what I expected. As the capital city I expected it to be crazy busy and very advanced but alas it is still developing and nothing like Lagos (briefly passed through Lagos but not sure it counts as it was from the domestic airport to the intentional one). The people are very friendly and have big personalities.
Welcome to Abuja.
Met some awesome young people who  are passionate about making the world a better place. They are real Champions.
Driving around Abuja. 
Braved shopping at one of the markets. Word of advise -  you need to be a strong bargainer otherwise you will be ripped off. Having a local with you will help. 
Ate this delicious braiied fish.Usually I don't like spicy but in this case, spicy worked just fine. 
March 2017 
This is the month I met my second nephew ( Little Munchkin) for the first time. He is such a cutie. I flew to Hwange and spent a week there and even managed to play tourist in Binga, a small town along the Zambaezi. My other nephew Baby AA surprised me. The last time I saw him he would not come near me or anyone, he would hang onto his mum or dad's leg. But when I met him in March within an hour he had warmed up to me and we were friends.
This place in Binga along the Zambezi had an amazing view. Who knew that Binga was an interesting place. 
Look at my nephew Baby AA. He is all grown up and we were the best of friends.
Selfies are a must of course.
Took a boat ride in the Zambezi and even managed to drive the boat for a while.
Fishing anyone? I caught a big one or did I?
Best of all I hung out with these two lovelies.
May 2017 
This was third new place to visit for the year. I drove with a few work colleagues to the South Africa-Lesotho boarder town of Fickburg for a work event. I participated in my first talk show ever and fell in love with the electric blanket.
We stayed in this quaint little lodge. On the outside it looked disappointing but inside it was gorgeous and homey.
Made a presentation on girls education and also took part in a talk show. 
Captured this beautiful sunset on our way back to Johannesburg. 
 I really tried to make this post short and to the point. I did a good job didn't I? These could have been six potential posts but I think they are better like this, all rolled into one. 😂😃😄.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Current Idee Fixe

This is my song of the moment. 

Indeed,  when He speaks, moves and does what He only can do, it changes us completely. I enjoy and welcome all such times because only good comes from those encounters. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Things I Did Not Know I Needed

Most of us, me included think that we know what is good for us and want we want, that is until that second when God shows us otherwise. There are those defining moments where you experience something and have that aha moment, realising that you didn’t even know you needed that thing. I had the opportunity to go on a business trip in a small town in Free State, right by the Lesotho border. It was early May, but when we arrived there, it was so cold. The lady in the lodge we stayed in (bless her heart,) switched on the electric blankets for us when we arrived. Till that point, I had never owned nor used an electric blanket before. I had always been sceptical about them because I didn’t think they were safe. That night in that small town I had one of the best sleep I have ever had on a cold day. The next morning I raved to my colleagues about how I was going to buy an electric blanket for the winter.

Life is also like that. We think that we know it all but do we? I cannot count the number of times when I felt I was happy and had all I needed. Then God would bring something my way, and I would realise I actually needed that thing but just didn’t know it. It is a privilege that we have a God who knows all our needs even before we do. If you make Him the driver of your life, you can be rest assured that you are taken care of and that at the right moment He will provide what you need. Imagine the advantages of having someone who sees ahead on your team (Revelation 1.8). It takes the worry out of you, and you don’t have to stress. I look forward to those aha moments; Lord keep them coming, your surprises are the best.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Keeping Your Head Above the Water

One of the things about me is that it is usually the very small things which get me. Someone might say something seemingly insignificant, but it can have a big impact on me. A quote or a few sentences in a book or a song can spark something huge in me. Some of my friends say that I have a weird taste in music and some always ask me where I get some of my ideas from because it is as if I live in another world. How can I put this? Usually, I am just being myself. To me it is normal, but I have come to realise that sometimes what I think is normal is not so to those around me.

Some time ago I was talking to my mentor, and I happened to mention that I am fascinated by Belgium because of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective character from Agatha Christie’s books. She remarked that it was so funny because most people usually talk about the Belgian chocolates or beer. It was only much later when I was replaying the conversation in my head when I realised something - I am a unique individual, and God made it that way for a reason. That revelation made me more appreciative of who I am as a person – the quirkiness, the things about me which many people do not get and so forth. It is all me, and yet the pressure is always there to conform. Sadly, there are instances where I have pretended to be something I am not, just so that I wouldn’t come across as weird.

I love what Psalm 139. 14 -16 says.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God saw me before I was born and every day of my life has already been recorded in His book. Think of it this way, if God the Most High made each of us different and unique, then surely it should be ok to be ourselves instead of trying to be other people. I know that it is easier said than done and there will possibly be times when the urge to conform will be strong but I know one thing for sure – I can always be myself with God. Come on nothing can be hidden from Him so really there is no point in pretendingJJ. I tell Him things I would never dare tell anyone and I know that it’s ok. Even when I mess up big time I know that He still loves me. Plus I know that he gets me, as in really get me even when no one else does.  Knowing this enables me to embrace my uniqueness more and more every day.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

On the Grass Being Greener...

 A while ago a friend asked me to do a post on her blog. I wrote something but completely forgot to send it her way. I saw the post a few days ago in one of my folders and well...I thought why not.

As a little girl, I remember being absolutely crazy about Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Two of my favourite songs from that movie where Under the Sea and Part of your World – ironically both songs have a strong theme about the grass being greener on the other side. Picture this - Ariel sitting on a rock under the sea having daydreams of what life would be like if she were human? She was convinced that life would be better, something she later discovered was not necessarily so. I would be the first one to admit that I am a dreamer and like Ariel, I used to (and still do sometimes) have a tendency of dreaming and obsessing over things. I used to constantly day dream and obsess over things convinced that it would be better say, to have what someone has. I learned the hard way when fervent prayers for some of these things came to pass. Once I realised the pitfalls of such prayers, I stopped making them. As they say, one man’s meat is another’s poison, just because it working well for Jane doesn’t mean it will work for me. We are all unique, accepting that I learned, makes life a notch easier.

Yes, I believe that it is possible that the grass could be indeed greener on the other side but one of the questions I frequently ask my myself these days is – is it my kind of green? A wise woman once told me that one of the best recipes to happiness is to embrace who you are and be the best version of yourself.  She was onto something. I have struggled many times about embracing who I am and where I am at on my way to where I am going. Maybe if I got married, maybe if I had children, maybe if I got a better job, maybe if … the list is endless but will it ever be enough? How much better is it really going to be if those things come to pass? Alas, it is like chasing a mirage. Getting to the seeming green side will never be enough because there will always be a greener looking side. 

Contentment, trusting in God, faith and oh yes patience – please don’t start me on the subject this could be a whole post altogether J – are important ingredients to achieving sanity in this crazy world which is always telling us it is better to be like this, to have this and to do this. We are all different, have  different purposes in life so back to my earlier assertion, maybe the question to ask is: is it my kind of green? As for me, I want to live a full life, I want my dreams to become a reality, but I want it to be to be in terms of it being my kind of green – a green that stems from trusting and walking with God. 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

I love Him, Its that Simple

I love April. It is one of my favorite months because Easter my favorite holiday usually falls in that month. Easter is special right...I am always reminded about God's deep and unconditional love for me and the beautiful gift of grace which came with his death on the cross. I love Him so much and I feel blessed to know Him and that He is my God. Either way, when the chips are down or up, I know  I can always count on Him. He gives meaning to my life, take Him out of the equation and I would be lost. Thankfully, that will never happen.

So I have two songs which have been on repeat on my playlist of late. These songs take the words out of my mouth and are currently acting as my prayers as I sing along.
Jekalyn Carr with You are Bigger. This young woman is amazing!!!She started singing when she was 13 and she is only 19 now.

Dr. Tumi with Without You. Can you believe that he is also a medical doctor. I wouldn't have imagined that a medical doctor could sing so beautifully... but here he is.

I smitten by these two songs. What do you think?

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning ...