Single Mother

It’s the day before Mothers’ Day. While in the carpark of a supermarket with a list of items to acquire and a reusable shopping bag, I bump into one of my former university colleagues. He was always an old soul trapped in a young man’s body. A great mind to hash out contemporary topics between our history lectures at university. During our impromptu conversation, I asked after his family. He said that his sister always said that she admired my teaching style for history. I smiled and noted that she was one of my best students as well.

After we said our goodbyes, we went into the supermarket our separate ways. Then I resumed the Saturday morning hustle of a single mother. The first boy had archery lessons… yes in 2018 we’re still shooting arrows. Who would have thought it? Last week I had beginners’ luck when the instructor during my son’s session invited me to try it out. This week he wanted to see if it could happen again. The complete opposite happened. I was thinking too much about everything: how to get the target again, what I had to do after the lessons and how was I going to get through everything.

As soon as my son’s session was over the instructor called me aside. He said that he hoped that he wasn’t being out of place but he really admired the way I handled myself as a mom and a teacher. After thanking him for the compliment, I asked him why he thought that it  was out of place. His response was that others may think that it is crossing the line when making those comments on a person’s character.

Twice in one day! Upon reflection of these comments from my former university colleague and my son’s archery instructor, I came to this conclusion. Single motherhood is a lot of work and it takes a lot from you. However, the rewards from it are sweet. It’s true that I get twice the love and the looks of respect from others. But here’s a twist and you probably were not expecting it but I’m really not single at all.

Everyone’s perspective on this is different. I may appear to be single as I have no spouse However, my support systems really don’t make me feel single. Many times I joke about the committee which goes into helping my family run. Before making any decisions, I have to confer with the committee. The committee is made up of everyone who is a part of this single mom journey: my mother, my family and the institutions of the school and the church. My mother is mentioned first because she really supports my dreams as a good mother should. I hope that I can be half the mother to my children as she is to me. Then my family related by blood and spirit help me so much in raising these children with which God has blessed my life. With them by my side, these children want for nothing. Their physical and emotional needs are met. Finally the institutions of the church and school, which work together to mould our professional and spiritual development.

So don’t stop praising single mothers. They need to hear the praise through all of the strength and difficulties. It feels sweet and makes it worth it. Single mothers wake up before everyone else in the family and takes care of the household. Single mothers make it work in terms of taking care of others. Single mothers believe in a power higher than themselves to help them get through. For with that power, they are not single. That power flows through the institutions of the family, school and church. That power that makes it possible for single mothers is the help that comes from the Divine.

And every blessing that has been given to me whether I can see it or I can feel it… I give it back to God. For everything I am… You helped me to be.

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Do You Know the Way?

This question has a lot of currency with teenagers, thanks to a popular meme. My students and my son often ask that question with a smirk on their face and quite truthfully it intrigues me. de waySo I did some research on it and found out that it was the meme of January 2018. It is a deformed version of the character Knuckles in the popular video game Sonic. Knuckles forms a group of Ugandan warriors and the followers ask this question: “Do you know de wae?”

Inspired by the Bible reading for this week: John 14: 1-14, I am confident that I know the way. What’s more I know the truth and I also know the life. So the purpose of this blog is to break down another famous “I am” statement of Jesus as well as to link it with contemporary popular culture.

the way

So Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” Jesus is the way. This reminds me of a song which one of my favourite gospel singers sings: There’s only one way… This gets me to thinking of one of the most powerful psalms: Psalm 23. For Jesus represents the narrow path, the way less travelled by others because everything else looks so much easier. It looks like everyone else is using it. Our path is difficult at times. For instance when it looks like most people have an opinion, our path may be to speak up and give a voice of reason. It’s not easy going against so many but with Jesus on our side we are never alone.

Jesus says I am the truth. So many quotes of truth are in the Bible. One of the most popular is that the truth will set you free. minority of oneThat has been proven time and time again. It may not be a physical freedom but a mental freedom and ironically that’s where freedom begins: in your mind. Any type of freedom begins with a mind-set. That growth mind-set is rooted in faith. Another truth quote comes from the interrogation of Jesus before Pontius Pilate before he was sent to be crucified. Pilate asked a rhetorical but salient question: what is truth? We still ask ourselves that today: what is truth? What is fake news? What are myths? We must remember that there are three sides to every story: what he says, what she says and the truth. The truth lies in the points of the story which match up. truthFor everyone’s perspective entitles them to their opinions. Opinions are based on facts. The facts which can be proven to some extent is rendered the truth of the situation.

Jesus is the life. When I help others, my life feels so much more complete. When I take care of my mind, my soul and my body, life feels so abundant. Jesus is the life in which He lived as an example for us all. Jesus represents the life. Walk humbly, listen, raise the level of your words, speak when it is necessary and love everyone. These traits are difficult to live by for they go against our instinct as human beings. But if we lived in a way in which we got our way all of the time, we would not be able to live with others.

In the selfie world we live in, we think we know the way. The way and what’s more the truth and the life is in Jesus Christ. Draw closer to him through prayer, reading spiritual books and surrounding yourself with positive influences and positive people. By choosing to go that way there will be an awesome discovery of the truth and the life. So I end with the same rhetorical question with which I began: Do you know the way?