09 Aug

What turning 30 did for me…

That was 6 short years ago, the effects of which I still enjoy today. My chat with dear friend F (happy 30th!) brought this to the forefront of my mind. I have always loved the end of the year. Mum used to get my brothers and I together to pray into the new year. At the time dad was a socialist- referred to in a newspaper article I read as a child as the marxist, military doctor. So church was out of the question for him, he found it funny when on mum’s insistence we’d invite him to church 3 times a year- easter, christmas and new year’s eve. Anyway mum’s annual new year’s eve prayer amongst many others would be “Lord God, please let 1986 (or whatever year we were in) go with all its bad luck. Let all the bad things that happened this year NEVA, NEVA repeat itself again, AMEN!!!” Amidst the new year’s festivities, riding our bikes, climbing trees etc, she’d shout at us if we were being over exhuberant or naughty and say “IN THE NEW YEAR??? You’re already being naughty??” So the start of the year has always held a major significance for me. I have always seen it as a clean new slate, old things have passed away, all things have become new and don’t stain the new with old, bad habits.

When I turned 30, the same held true for me. I’m an April girl so it was a 2nd opportunity for a new start. I decided to take stock of my life. I’m an adult now, I told myself even though I’d been for all of 9 years- 7 in my parents eyes as I became an adult only when I got married. I looked back at my life and noted the things I loved about me, from my handwriting through my hair to my personality. My handwriting isn’t all that by the way but it is mine- it’s always been with me and I love it! I love my life. I love my friends, I love my family. I absolutely love my childhood and every memory I have. I of course noted the things I wasn’t so fond of. There were a few of them. I tend to procrastinate. I am not confrontational. In fact when I turned 30 I realised I could be quite a pushover- not very attractive. So I made a decision to turn things around. I started saying “no”. Like being in church and the pastor tells you to “write this down” or “underline that scripture”. Half the time I don’t want to because I want to underline what speaks to ME at the time I read it in my quiet time, also I hardly ever go back to read the notes I’ve taken. Then I end up with a stack of notebooks cluttering my bedroom, and feeling guilty if I attempt to throw them away. God showed me that I was free. Free to make my own decisions based on the wisdom He gave me and not based on the opinions of man- not even a man of the cloth.
I have always been an avid reader but at 30 I started to read with purpose. I read books that will bless me and not simply to have another gist for my girlfriends at our next buzz session.

At 36 I still say “no”. I say it gently but firmly. I make decisions based on how it blesses me and mine and the persons involved, not simply to fulfil the status-quo. I get tested everyday. At the hairdresser’s 2 days ago I fought the urge to hold a conversation with my stylist when all I really wanted to do was catch up on my reading. It still feels akward sometimes, the need to make conversations that end up being peppered with pregnant pauses.

I pray I don’t stop being the sweet girl I was while growing up. Cynicism sometimes tries to usurp that sweetness but I have Christ in me.

Dear Lord, I thank you for creating me, just as I am. I love the work you are currently doing in me, making me more like you daily. And Lord I pray where I have lost that gentleness as a result of life simply happening, replace it with your fragrant presence. Lord I also pray that my life will immensely bless all those I come into contact with, in Jesus name Amen

Thanks as always for reading!

24 Jul

Ugly Cancer & Ugly Buildings

Don’t be surprised if this post disappears tomorrow. I am so sleepy, my eyes are wide shut.
This morning found us watching the CNN documentary- Black in America 2. It was both enlightening and depressing. The depressing moments were being educated about Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Not only that it affects twice as many black women but that it is so aggressive, difficult to treat and almost certain to return. Why does cancer act like it has an agenda of its own? Why does it act like it has a vendetta against its victims? Perhaps it is a spirit with a mind and plan of its own. If so, it is an ugly one.

The other depressing moment was Chris Shurn’s* swift return to crime. We were all rooting for this chap. Our hopes were high. My understanding is that the sky is indeed the limit for everyone. Sadly not everyone can see the sky. For some the view is obstructed by tall ugly buildings. Buildings like crack and cocaine, the need to impress with flashy cars, guns and girls. For others the view is obscured by poor eyesight or blurry glasses like emotional problems. Hopelessness. A lack of good examples and role models. No good parents. Naturally people will only aspire to how high or far they can see.

Not everyone will find their way out of that jungle, but anyone can with Christ.
Lord I pray for anyone trapped in an emotional or physical prison, that you save and set them free. Thank you Jesus, you came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.

*Chris Shurn walked out of San Quentin Prison in June after serving four years of hard time for possession of crack cocaine and a weapon charge.  At 21, he entered prison with a fourth-grade education, but left with a GED certificate and was only a few semesters short of earning an associate degree. Shurn had few role models around him as a kid. His father left home before he entered the first grade, his mother was a crack addict and he was surrounded by a lot of violence. The documentary followed him from prison and out, where he could only obtain a very low paying  job. Consequently he was soon back into crime as his girlfriend was now pregnant and also raising her siblings. He found it very hard to survive on his income of $9 per hour. 

12 Jul

Friendship Soured- An ode to a friend lost

So long dear friend. Its been a long ride but the bus stops here.

It’s the toxic fumes of constant sarcasm. The poisonous gases of derision and ridicule.

Then there’s the pungent smell left after a jibe meant to embarrass. Rather than retort I turn a blind eye.

I hope I didn’t bore you during our ride. I hope I was a blessing and in some way positively impacted your life.

I hope when we do meet again time would have bred respect in place of familiarity.

I hope when we meet again we can still be friends.