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?

 

 

 

Our Faith Can Move Mountains

1-Corinthians-16-13-14It is humanly impossible to move mountains. Yet with faith, those mountains can move. The mountain causes discomfort and pain at times but through those feelings, growth occurs. My challenge is like a mountain. It looms ahead of me: majestic, unfathomable and larger than life. But I have a tool. This is the tool of determination. Courage is not in the roar of a lion. Courage is simply having the strength to get up again after being knocked over time and time again. So here’s my challenge and I’m not afraid to speak out against it. I was at first, because I was afraid of being made fun of by people. I was afraid that someone will laugh and think that my challenge is invalid.

 

I have been made fun of all of my life and my greatest fear is that people will laugh at me. When I was a little girl, on my way home from school, two boys would taunt me. They insulted my glasses, my hair and the fact that I was a year younger than everyone in the class. That stopped as soon as I told my father about it and he took it up with the boys’ parents and the school teachers.

When I was a teenager, I was teased about my social upbringing in the church. Some called me a “goody two shoes”. I was also teased about the colour of my skin. If only my skin could have been a lighter tone. The tactics I employed in this case, was not to tell my father like before. I ignored the teasing and I associated with a clique to ensure that I would never be alone on the outside. But that was a façade, for I was lonely on the inside, fighting a battle of self-image and self-esteem. Soon after that my tormentors found someone else to make fun of and I was off the hook. Little did I know that they too were fighting a battle of self respect as it was a challenge for them to respect others.

When I became a teacher, I thought that in my adult stage, people would stop making fun of me. But I was mistaken. My knowledge and resources were taken advantage of by those whom I taught and by those who taught with me. I was at a crossroads. What do I do? There is no father to turn to who would speak on my behalf. If I ignore that gives their actions validation and I am way too old for cliques. The answer was simple. The answer was something that I did as a little girl. The answer is to speak out but in the adult forum: through creating social awareness of my challenge. The answer was to treat others like you wanted to be treated: with respect. So I called them aside and had an assertive conversation with them and got to the root and the route of the problem. Consequently we became stronger from these experiences of discomfort.

But there is one thing that I’ve learnt so far in this life. Fear does not get you anywhere. If you distract yourself by other people’s expectations, you would not have time to focus on your own. This is how I’m dealing with my challenge. First, I am doing qualitative and quantitative research. I am asking other persons if they have this challenge as well. I am reading articles on this challenge and observing what other persons have done in their situations. I am not alone in this. For by viewing what others have done in their situations, I am able to adapt their solutions and fit them to my own circumstances. Then I will quantify the problem by compiling tangible research: facts, percentages and surveys. By doing this, the challenge will become more visible to myself and others. To know is to have a direct connection to omnipotence.

Therefore with the combination of research and observation, solutions to my challenge will be implemented. The mountain can move or be immovable. The most important factor is that I have changed as a person. That this experience will continue to strengthen my capacity for understanding self and others around me. That this experience will edify the spiritual journey, which we call life.

So let’s face it, I will be made fun of because everything that they ridicule is what makes me who I am. It’s what sets me apart from the rest. It defines my identity. It makes me unique. God does not make mistakes. He makes miracles. So I’m not afraid of others making fun or laughing at me, for I’m strong enough to laugh with them and wise enough identify the fear and seek the faith that can move the mountains in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Good Friday”?

You know I am a Rebel.

I’m a divorced single mom of two boys who still goes to church. The church I go to is full of rituals. To try to explain them to you would take all day…and you still wouldn’t understand them all. But I do it anyway. I go to church because one would least expect it. First off I’m divorced, yet I still believe in marriage. I’m a single mother by choice. It is more peaceful that way and I love my space and I love my independence and I love how strong of a woman I am. Yet that still doesn’t mean that I don’t need or want a man. After all I have two sons. From since I was a little girl, my parents taught me what we want most for our children: to be healthy, wise and good. The boys have fathers in their lives: first and foremost the Heavenly Father and he sends examples of men in their lives who are providers and protectors. God always provides.

So what does this have to do with Good Friday? Every year my church has a three hour church service. Most people roll their eyes at the thought and figure it out to be one word: “boring”. But I figure if you can stand up three or more hours at a fete, you can sit down for 3 or less hours in church and listen and experience the Word of God. You might learn something. Some counter that argument by stating that at a fete you enjoy yourself. Big misconception! I party too and to tell you the truth some fetes are sooo boring, especially if the music isn’t right. It can really turn you off. So this Good Friday my family and I went to church… for three hours and no one fell asleep. The four year old had colouring activities and snacks for days. The older boy was involved in the activities at the altar. I wrote down interesting notes in my journal and mom well she was enjoying time with the family. I caught her looking at her grandsons proudly every now and then. In Proverbs it says that grandchildren are jewels around the neck and I love to see her jewels shine in my mom’s eyes.

That’s what’s so good about Good Friday: unconditional love. Not only in my family but also in God’s family. “God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus preached the way of love and peace. His death was the world’s example of how such an injustice could bring healing through decisions which could solve the world’s violence. Crucifixion was an extremely violent way to go, yet through that Jesus brought the whole world to himself as he was lifted up on the cross. He brought the world together through languages as the inscription above him was written in the main languages of that time. He brought Romans and Jews together. He even brought his mom and the disciple whom He loved together as He let her know that He had to leave but reassured her that He is still here.

That’s what so good about Good Friday. Jesus had to leave…but He’s still here. All around us. Comforting us, being there for us in so many ways. Providing for us and protecting us, because we believe in Him and we will not perish. Our lives would not have been lived in vain. For we will pass down the goodness of unconditional love from generation to generation as we desire nothing for them but to be healthy, wise and good.

 

 

 

 

4 Things I would say to my ex

Strong women are that way for a reason. No matter how many times life knocks you over, you make the decision to get back up again and fight. “Cry a river. Build a bridge. Move on.” It’s difficult to admit that you were wrong. It’s difficult to build from the broken pieces. Yet you pull yourself together and move on. Life lesson. True story.

The truth is that divorce is a double edged sword of pain and peace. It was painful because the person you spoke to everyday is now gone. It was peaceful because all of the fighting was finished. You fight no more and it feels great.

If I ever saw my ex again, I would tell him these 4 things:

  1. I’m better off without you.
  2. Thank you for the good times.
  3. Thank you for showing me what I don’t want in a partner.
  4. I’m happy now.

(Drops mic, shrugs and walks away)

 

 

Rebel

I can not even see my tattoos. Why? Because they are on my back. I put them there so I could hide them from my parents…but I ended up hiding them from myself. Go figure.

I got them in my first semester at university. No parents permission needed. My boyfriend at the time funded me. I went to the parlour with my new best friend. Actually it was in the hair dresser salon in town. The artist’s name was Troy and he was cute. My friend and I decided to get our zodiac signs. Mine is Aquarius. We were so afraid that it would hurt. We heard the stories of how to make sure that the needles were sterilised. We heard the stories of how they were not acceptable in Christian circles. We heard the stories of tattoos that went wrong.

No lie. It hurt at first. But once I got used to the needle it started to tickle. I put the first tattoo on my lower back. More tattoos came after that. The trend at the time was to have a rose in the centre of the lower back. For the pants at that time were a low-waist style. I had two jeans that would have complimented that tattoo. The first one had silver studs from the hip to the bottom of the pant leg. The second jeans was laced up at the front. Really sexy.

The second tattoo was difficult for two reasons. The red rose had to be redone because I did not hold colour well. Also the rose was around my spine. Anyone who has had a tattoo knows the discomfort which is experienced when the needles come into contact with a bone. It is recommended that tattoos be done on fleshy areas of the body.

Yet I went on to get another tattoo. My third tattoo was about music, my greatest love. The only problem I had with it was the size. It was the smallest tattoo I ever had and it was on my shoulder blade. After that I stopped getting tattoos. The appeal had gone and they were getting to be quite costly.

Why did I get tattoos? I was at a rebellious stage in my life. I wanted to do something memorable. I wanted to say I have been there and done that. It was all about me. Today they are faded pictures…memories of a past that I enjoyed but that is not my reality. I would not want to remove them and I would not want to have another one because that stage of rebel is gone and all that is left is peaceful contentment and understanding.

Free Yourself

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalms 55:22

I overthink. It’s part of the introvert than resides within me. So many thoughts swirl around in my head: about my children, my career, my academic pursuits, my love life… What I’ve learnt and continue to reasons within myself is that I am a cheerful, spontaneous and independent woman. My purpose is to live life day by day and try not to worry about tomorrow. psalm-55-22-large

My determined heart and strong willed personality has taught me some life lessons in the spheres of thought in which I engage from time to time. First off there is nothing wrong with deep thinking. There just needs to be a balance of the time where self evaluation needs to be entertained. I read somewhere that mental development comes from certain activities such as baking, knitting, sketching and writing. These activities and more encourage creativity. This creativity is within us and it needs to be activated on a regular basis. define myself

I am a strict mother at times. My sons are afraid to disappoint me and they adore my mother. It is only when you become a parent that you truly appreciate your parents and the sacrifices which they made for you back in the day. Your children behave as how you used to behave when you were a child and everything just goes through a cyclical transformation. Trust in the future they will understand you when they have children of their own. My thoughts become pre-occupied with having more children. Some have reasoned that in this day and age it may be impractical. Some have noted that I am still young and could go again. Then I wonder could I go through that again… and I remember Psalms 55:22.

It is difficult for me to picture myself as anything but a teacher. If they was ever a job to which I was more suited…teaching is it. Discovery learning is my passion. Grades are not everything but the effort taken is what matters to me. For instance, if I have a student who regurgitates everything that is written in book and gets a good grade, I am proud for that student has mastered the skills of knowledge and comprehension. In a similar vein I am elated when the student takes initiative and applies the acquired knowledge to create something outstanding. Do I think about my students? Of course…and I remember Psalms 55:22.

Ironically, my academic pursuits are linked with being a mom and a teacher and my love life. I am at a crossroads in my life which makes the Japanese proverb fall down 7 times get up 8, ring true. On the one hand I could hand in my letter of withdrawal and continue when the children are older and I am more established within my career. On the other hand I can work at it steadily and steadfastly, trying to break it down into manageable pieces. It sounds reasonable… and I remember Psalms 55:22.

Armed with the intent to lay all excuses down, I claim success and hold on to it in all aspects of life: physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Life is about creating myself. Leave the past behind and set goals. Break down these goals into quarterly goals and track the progress week by week. List everything which is needed to accomplish these goals such as skills and contacts. Create a vision board and begin a journal. This should be accomplished in the first week of the month.

comfort zone

In the second week, wake up 30 minutes earlier to have a morning routine to jumpstart the days filled with tasks. Adopt a nightly ritual and minimise T.V watching. Embark on a social cleanse…which will be difficult but necessary for overall well being. In the third week, meditate five minutes a day in order to exercise the mind as well as the body. Also try the Pomodoro technique in which tasks are split into 25 minute segments. After the first three Pomodoros, take a five minute break to relax after each one. After the fourth Pomodoro, take a 30 minute break to relax the mind. Also keep in mind that it is essential to do the problem tasks first.

pomodoro-technique

In the fourth and final week, focus more on reading and listening to podcasts. There will be a quest for a professional mastermind whose dialogue will assist in moving forward in your chosen career. Also do one thing that is outside of your comfort zone. Finally encourage acts of kindness. This growth challenge taken from Goalcast will ensure that the year will follow along the lines of Psalms 55:22.

A near and dear friend of mine asked me before he left on a long journey of self awareness: What do you want in life? Here is what I have so far… For my love life I want a partner who gives me passion, honesty, loyalty, effort and time. This person must make me smile and make me feel as I am a priority. In return that same description is what I will give my partner. There is no hurry and we do not have to worry because I remember Psalms 55:22. To cast all of my anxiety, fear and worry on the Lord and He will hold me up because He never lets His children fall and that is a promise. God always keeps His promises.

10 principles in life

Just a Positive Reminder

This is type of reflection which serves as a safety net whenever I fall from walking the tightrope of my life. The circus of my life with the bright lights, music and distractions and the audience of family, friends and enemies watching my every move with anticipation of a successful show or a failed act. Whenever I fall, and it happens from time to time, my desire to achieve will override the fear of failure. So just a positive reminder:

My Bible verse for 2017 : – Psalm 16:8 “I keep my eyes always of the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

My personal motto: Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

My perfect description: If you love her, she would become your strength. If you care for her, she would become your shield. And if you try to understand her, she would become your wisdom. She would laugh with you, cry with you and fight with you but her friendship is rare and precious. She will give her all but before that you will have to earn the privilege of her friendship.

The truth about me: – She is naughty and she is nice. She can be the woman who amazes everyone at a party and she can also be the one who listens like an angel to all you have to say. She would rather tell you the harsh truth than comfort you with a lie. She can care like a mother and fight like a lover but she would never let you down when you need her friendship the most.

Who am I as a person: – She is a girl who understands herself. She knows what her strengths are and she soars with confidence which comes out of self-belief. She trusts herself to be independent but cares for others at the same time. She knows exactly how to balance the different sides of her life and this is what makes her so very beautiful.

My quote as reflected by my physical appearance: – “Be strong enough to let go and patient enough to wait for what you deserve.”

The colour, purple, reflects my name: decisive, headstrong and mysterious.

When life gets crazy, remember this: – “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish them.”

The origin of my last name: (1542)
“In a world where it wasn’t uncommon to cheat others for your own personal gain, this family stood out for always treating others with fairness. No matter who they were dealing with, your family always sought to be just. To be a member of this family was widely associated with being both fair and trustworthy.”

My significant quote: “I admire people who choose to shine after all the storms they’ve been through.”

How attractive are you?: You are truly beautiful. You love God, life and you value the people around you. Your positive energy and personality makes you more than just a pretty face.

How have you dealt with hardships?: Hardships come in like the waves of the ocean in your life- ebbing and flowing. Sometimes you were calm and many times you were overwhelmed. All you did was to learn how to swim. It overwhelmed you enough to make you cry but it made you believe that you have seen the worst and nothing can break you anymore.

My quote for life: – It’s impossible to beat a person who refuses to give up.”

My purpose here on earth: Your purpose is to lead other people to God. You are a woman who knows her worth and you hope to one day travel the world sharing your vision and success with millions of people.Love has taught me that change has a way of re-defining us as individuals. It is the thing that strengthens and stretches us the most.
Finally, this is me in short:
She is crazy because she follows her heart. She believes in taking chances and risking it all for something she truly believes in. We need more and more people like her, for the desires of her heart causes a flame that can ignite many other beautiful minds. She is one of a kind. She’s magic. She knows her worth and what difference she can make with her existence. She inspires others.

Angel…

 

Laughing with God

It feels like bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Well actually it’s split down the middle. Bad things also happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.

There is a wise quote in the Bible and it coincides with the philosophy of Buddha. In Matthew, it is quoted to love your enemies and noted that the sun and the rain fall on both the unjust and the just. It is easy to love the ones that treat us well. We are really children of God when we love the ones who mistreat us.

One instance of this happen quite recently to a friend of mine. Her identity was stolen. She realised that another woman stole her name and was walking around pretending to be her. It went as far as her social media and even her credit cards and bank accounts. Understandably she was upset, she wanted to lash out at the person when she discovered her. But she related that doing these things would not provide a solution. She decided to figure out the reason why this person would do this. She tried to understand the reasoning and although her initial perception of this imposter was that she was crazy, after reflection she realised that this person was just misunderstood.

Your name, your family, your life all make up your identity. But the understanding of the word identity goes much deeper than that. Your identity is a reflection of true loyalty. This helps to shape your identity no matter how much you change physically or philosophically. Your identity is intertwined with that of the Creator. When you feel like blaming or engaging with negativity look to the great healer. Time heals all wounds. They might hurt but it gets better. Through reflection there is the opportunity to view how much you’ve grown and laugh with God at your dreams and perceptions then and view your present situation. Here in this moment -living life abundantly.