Isa – a – belle











Somewhere deep ‘in-there’ I hurt so much and my tears continuously flow. Death has gruesomely taken a dear friend and the only place I know to run is to the loving hands of my Father.

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“Hosanna” (which means “Save us!”) is what I cry out as I hurt so deep, for only He knows the full weight of what I need when I cry out to Him; when our hearts betray us like the crowds betrayed Christ way back, “Hosanna” should be our cry for He still saves and Salvation belongs to the Lord.

Pain is a part of our everyday lives and in more ways than one, it helps us grow emotionally and spiritually. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. If we don’t correctly address the pain, it can easily result to bitterness – a monster in itself which makes us suffer much worse.

May we always remember that what matters to us—matters to God; and this is not only true when it comes to the big stuff; the major-league difficulties like disease, death, sin, and disaster, even the smaller things like our pain – whatever about; a grouchy boss,  flat tires, a friends betrayal, late flights, toothaches, and the like. These too matter to God, because they matter to us.

I John 3:1. “The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God.  And we really are His children.” I love that last phrase.  “We really are His children.”

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

 (Few extracts from Max Lucado)

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{June 10, 2013}   Office Poli-tricks

Hard times call for hard measures. With unemployment rates shooting to as high as 40% in some countries, many employees seek for different ways to not only keep the job they already have but to get promoted and get a pay rise while at it; all very understandable. They call it the rat race.

Idealism aside, in as much as skills are important, they are not a guarantee to keep you in your job or get you that high paying salary job you seek. I’m certain you have witnessed or heard of scenarios where less skilled people get the promotion, leaving out the more skilled and fit persons, who now have to report to the former. You have to learn the art of playing and dealing with office politics to keep ahead – it’s not all about how good you are at your job.

According to psychologist Oliver James, although there’s plenty to deplore about underhand games, it’s vital to learn how to use office politics to gain career success. He says “Office politics has a bad name in that people tend to think that it’s people behaving in a devious way, but in reality we all engage in office politics – it’s an inevitable part of professional life. Let’s stop regarding manipulation, which happens all the time in business, as a dirty word.”

“Resources – whether that be pay, promotion or good jobs – are finite, and we all have to be political to some degree in order to get them,” he says. “So not only do you need to be skilled at office politics to thrive, you also need to be able to spot whether people are stitching you up and use them to avoid trouble.”

You need to learn to ‘read’ others traits, not everyone has your back. Being astute is a trait that will benefit you in this organizational game. You also need to be relational both internally and externally beyond your organization-Networking. However, remember to be true to you. As Oliver puts it, you need “…the appearance of sincerity – the closer the fit between who you really are and who you come across as, the better.” Don’t be a fake.

Playing office politics doesn’t mean you become a shrewd superficial person; it’s simply being aware of your surroundings and seeing the best way to play the piper to get you to where you want to be. You cannot please everyone so by all means don’t try – but know who you need to please, and who you need to keep at arm’s length, so go ahead and polish on your poli-tricks.



{March 12, 2013}   The man in my dreams…

He just popped up!

He looked almost as perfect as I wished him to be in my earlier more naive days when I thought I could get him all tall, dark, cool eyed, proportional handsome faced, lean, confident and a gentleman.

This time, he was not more than two inches taller than I, about 5’9 meaning if I wore my 5 inch heels, I’d be looking down at him. He was a shade lighter than the ‘dark’ I used to envision, lean- he looked like he made a conscious effort, and attractive. I couldn’t put a finger to it but he grabbed me. Must have been his eyes, they had a darkness to them that was magnetic; our eyes connected.

It was the last day of the banking conference and being the big shot he seemed to be, he had stopped to address a few people. I was walking in the direction he was headed, only, he had stopped and turned to make his short address; that’s when our eyes locked. My brain and body registered his presence and internally communicated causing discomfort. Darn! He wasn’t a sore sight to the eyes! As I walked past him, I acknowledged his smile and fixated look at me, with my unconscious shy smile, hoping my internal combat didn’t leave external evidence.

Few steps after passing him and his wondering crowd, I slowly turned my head over my shoulder to have one more look; I caught his stare and knowingly smiled back at him as my heart skipped a beat. I gracefully turned forward as I recorded the event in the ‘to be remembered’ folder in my brain.

I smiled to myself as I walked on, not imagining I would see him again, but pleased to have had a trifling mind and body experience. I love being a woman! I thought to myself as my inner girl danced herself silly…

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I’ve made many mistakes in my short 30 years of life, and I can bet you as sure as day, I will make others – but I still like myself.

Fact is, I am learning to accept that I don’t and can’t do things right all the time, I try but along the journey, I miss a step and fall, and therein lies a mistake or two. This doesn’t make me a bad person; neither should it make me like myself less; it just means I did a wrong thing. My ‘Do’ was wrong, but it doesn’t affect ‘Who’ I am. I am liked and loved just as I am.

When you learn to separate your ‘Who’ from your ‘Do’ you not only get a sense of freedom, but you are also in a better position to correct your ‘Do’ the best way possible. You learn to look at others in a different way. People’s mistakes do not define who they are. If this were the case, we’d all be doomed.

As Joyce Meyer put it, “When you know that God likes you, you start to really like yourself. When you start to like yourself, other people begin to like you too. Liking yourself doesn’t mean you’re full of pride; it simply means you accept yourself as the person God created you to be”

We all need changes in our behavior, but accepting ourselves as human, knowing we can err at any point is vital in the process to become an emotionally healthy individual and we can live a less shame free life.

We are all a work in progress…



{August 30, 2012}   The Reality of Forgiveness

Many of us struggle not so much with understanding the message of forgiveness, rather, living in the reality of it.

Forgiveness is not easy; at least not when you are the wronged one. However, it is important to live in the habit of forgiving because as sure as day and night, you shall be wronged. Keeping in your heart a bucket full of un-forgiveness will eat at you, and many a times the person who wronged you, whether they are in the knowledge of their offence or not, has moved on. It is you; the wronged one who hasn’t forgiven that suffers.

Sorry, a word well known but rarely made use of is one that the proud and those of us with big ego’s know not of, yet it is a word that heals and mends broken hearts, if sincerely made use of. It neither belittles the user nor gives the other an upper hand in the issue in question; it is merely a healing word.

Our inability to accept the reality of forgiveness is a reason we have the practice of confession. We need to confess in order to heal and be changed. Confession means saying that somewhere in the mix was a choice, and the choice was made by us, and it does not need to be excused, explained, or even understood. The choice needs to be forgiven; the slate has to be wiped clean.

May we remember that each of us falls on either side of the battle at one time or another; the offender and the offended and we therefore need to be in the habit of forgiving and confessing; a lifelong habit.

We all have logs in our eyes, sometimes even something the size of a canoe and this makes our ability to perceive accurately be affected. We have to see our sins through new eyes; we need to see them through the eyes of those whom we have sinned.

Includes excerpts from John Ortberg.

 



{August 27, 2012}   Use Your Inside Voice

Somethings are better left unsaid. If I could just emphasize. Completely unsaid.

Say for example, the all time offence “gee! have you put on weight?!” That’s an all time offense even to the skinniest ladies. If you can’t work on getting a more polite statement, and if in any case saying it won’t change the situation…use your inside voice and say it to yourself.

If you have the gift of the gab and you have the tendency to  put your foot into your mouth… work on being subtle; may take you some time but you’ll get there.

I got this phrase ‘speak with your inside voice’ from a friend a while back, and it’s become an all time favorite.  I have often been guilty of uttering aloud my inside thoughts and I must say, I have ended up a tad bit embarrassed, having to explain myself, which often doesn’t go too well.

When we think before we speak, a lot of the emotional damage that happens would reduce, and yes we would often be at better emotional conditions. (sounds like a disease) Words have the power to build and destroy hence the importance to think about what we say before we say it.

If i look back in time, I can recall when someone I cared for said words that built me…that makes me smile to date, in the same breadth, I can think of one or two people who uttered words they can’t take back and they hurt, even now at the remembrance of them. Think back, i’m sure you can recall some too. Dwell on the good.

Out of the abundance of the mouth, the heart speaketh. Be attentive to what you say; think before you speak, and when you feel you itchy and you have to speak, use your ‘inside voice’ that way, the words remain with you, ready to dispense when you can utter them with a purpose to build the other person.

Don’t underestimate the value of the inside voice.

 



“Trophies aren’t given for great starts. Medals aren’t awarded for entering the race. A good start is crucial, but in the end, the end is all that matters.” Max Lucado

Many a times you can get caught up in a mix of emotions when you think of your past or even present actions and circumstances; the consequences can be overbearing, it’s easy to give in and to give up. However, may you continually find hope in the fact that you are still in the race; not particularly at the front, nor at the very back, simply in the race.

You may have had a great start, all things nice and smooth, that is until you met the speed bumps right before the main bumps in life. You may have had to slow down and re-look at the situation, and in that time, you realized that the situation has changed and the ‘road’ was not as clear and smooth. There was traffic, meaning you had to slow down. This coming with its own consequences. Do not despair. Remain in the race. It’s the end that matters.

You may have had a not-too-good start. You seemed to have missed the ‘Green-Go’ light. There is hope; as long as your breathing, there is always hope. It’s not about finishing first or last or starting first or last; It is finishing whilst still in the race.

ImageThe race isn’t over. How we started isn’t nearly as important as how we finish.



{May 11, 2012}   Three in One

The Trinity; many of us don’t have a clear understanding of this bond, I being one of the ‘us’. It is however one of the many questions I shall seek to get revelation to, when the time comes. For now, I try to understand it just enough to clear the ambiguity.

Take water for example, its chemical components can be evident in various forms; vapor, ice and liquid. Yet in all these forms, it remains water.

An egg; it has three aspects of it, the outer shell, the white and the yolk. All the while, it remains an egg.

A woman, she is capable of carrying various titles; wife, mother, friend, daughter. In all this, she remains herself.

In the same breadth, God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and He remains as God. We cannot separate the bond. They are 3 forms in 1, each in relation with the other.

Vapor is no less water if you can’t touch it, as a woman is no less a mother if you don’t view her as one.

We are expected to relate to each of these separate items that make the one and are one, in totality and in their specific elements at that specific moment.

There are times you shall speak to the woman as a mother, other times as a friend, other times as a wife, yet in that same moment, she is all those personas in one. In the same way, there are times we speak to God as our Father, as the Son and other times as the Holy Spirit; however, in each instance, He remains to be God.

A friend broke its mystery to me and said, if we were to look at life from the inside of a straw, we would have a very narrow view of life, yet that’s all we’d know to be life. Depending on our capabilities, the straw could be expanded and we’d see even more. However, we may not be able to handle the reality of life if it were altogether torn open for us to see. We wouldn’t be able to understand leave alone cope.

For such a reason as this, God doesn’t reveal everything to us; as per our capacity and His purpose for us, He makes everything beautiful in His time. We already have the universe and all the surrounding planets, yet that in itself is a lot to grasp and digest in our minds, what if He made Himself fully known to man? Would we handle that?

As we walk through this God given life, let us continually seek to fit into God’s designed plan for our lives. Our purpose.



{May 3, 2012}   CrossRoad

Every so often in life, we all reach at a crossroad; we wonder which direction to take; north, south, east or west or anything in between.

Each of those roads will lead to a different place, different experiences, different results; we can’t afford to be haphazard in deciding the route to take; it’s dicey.

I am at one of those crossroads in life right now; only thing, I can’t move forward, not until I am clear on where I’m supposed to go, not particularly where I want to go.

You see, like each one of us, I have a purpose; therefore, the choice of my direction is directly proportional to my purpose. Unfortunately, for one reason or another – my fault, I have a vague outlook on my purpose. I however hope it’s clear soon…I need to move, the crossroad is uncomfortable. It’s got nothing to do with me; my maker has the whistle on this one.

What do we do when all life keeps handing us, is numerous options; if A doesn’t work, try B, if not, keep trying up to Z, then come back to A.

Many a times we get overwhelmed and carried away in the moment, that we don’t bother to try so hard, because there is another option, a way out. If I take North, I can go all the way, if I feel it is not the route I should have taken, I turn back and take East; had we only taken more time to scrutinize.

I however acknowledge that this is an ignorant way to live, and yes I am guilty every so often. We were created by God, for God, hence I say, it’s nothing to do with me, it’s all about Him; and He promises that he knows the plans He has for us, plans only for goodness.

As it has resonated in me, may it also resonate in you, that we don’t call the shots; we are products of our maker’s creative mind. He holds the steering in our live’s and even when we think we do, we don’t.

He knows when we should up and leave or stay put and forge on; if only we were in sync more often,then we wouldn’t need to keep stopping at crossroads, we would know His heartbeat, we’d be in sync, smile and forge ahead knowing only so well, that we are on the same page.

For now, I find hope in the fact that nothing in my life is arbitrary, it’s all for a purpose, and that purpose I seek daily to unfold to its fullness.



{April 11, 2012}   WARNING. KEEP OFF!

I love the weather today. Unlike the usual hot and humid days in Dar es Salaam, this day has been graced by rain all day long and gloomy clouds covering the skies. It’s on such days I would love to be cuddled up on my couch with a loved one, covered with a kilt sipping a delicious cup of hot coffee.

See, I have this day, and the opportunity to do all that…but it just didn’t come as I expected it. I am literally confined at home within my four walls due to the contagious RED EYE! Medically speaking, conjectivitis. It’s painful, makes my face look like I have been in a fight where I lost altogether! Worse still is that I can’t really be around people too much as per now lest they get it as well…so the cuddling on the couch with ‘cough! cough!’ is out.

So I have been left to bum on the couch playing around with the TV channels, and after every so often waking up to do some stretches seeing as all this chilling in the house is pretty foreign to me.

You’d think It’s on such days I’d put on my thinking cap on and get a few things in my life in order…nope…the day just passed by; chatted couple of concerned friends, did some reading and watched too much news on TV, I could attend one of those ‘What’s Happening in the World’ quizzes and  ace them!

Guess some days you just have to be forced to chill out and slow down. I am not too used to that.

I surely hope I’m better tomorrow; one day of this is manageable, two days-head spinning.

I’ll just go to work in sunglasses with a ‘KEEP OFF’ sign hanging on my neck, if I wake up still looking beaten up carrying along red swollen eyes.

             



et cetera
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