Explaining Easter to children

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My son’s school has an Easter egg hunt coming up and they have all these songs about the Eater bunny and they will be all dressed up, painting and hiding and finding eggs and candy.

When I first saw the bulletin I was a little worried. Then my son came home and taught me “Here comes the Easter bunny…” and I panicked. I never thought I’d ever have to read up on pagan Easter traditions because these didn’t exist in my hemisphere when I was growing up. Neither did I ever think I’d ever have to worry about my kids thinking of Easter as anything other than about Jesus and his sacrifice.

My children, being young, do not quite understand the Easter concept (I asked my son what we celebrate over Easter last Sunday and he had no clue even though we have shared this with him before. Well, he also doesn’t remember the story about Jesus riding on a donkey- may be next Palm Sunday I should take him to a Catholic mass). My fear was that he will associate Easter with bunnies instead of the story of Christ dying for us, being killed by bad people, and rising again. I was afraid the school celebration was going to teach him to exalt a rabbit over a saviour, and to be more excited about candy than the cross. The teacher told me not to worry about it; they were just having a little fun.

I know the Easter story can be confusing and gruesome to children – evil people killing a good man, painful death on a cross, blood, darkness, scary voice from heaven, tomb, resurrection, forgiveness, ascension, second coming…

But it is a beautiful story that I realise only us as parents or grandparents or Sunday school teachers who know its power can tell it without trading it for the fun of painting eggs and eating chocolates. I realised I can’t wait for school or church to teach my children the real meaning of Easter- and the cross or assume no one will teach them something else. I have to do it myself.

I remember hearing the Crucifixion story every Good Friday while growing up and it made me terribly sad that people did such evil things to Jesus. And in my own childish way, that story moved me to love Jesus more because I knew I would never have done those bad things to him. And what a wonderful story it is because it has a happy ending for Jesus and for us. He rose again and therefore death has nothing on us. He died for us therefore he paid the price that separated us from God and we ca be God’s children and friends.

This week we’ve been watching animations of the Easter story with the kids. While they egg hunt at school, they know Easter is about God.

I did google about Easter bunny and the Christian parent’s response and here are some of the best responses I got.

“In helping them understand the Easter story, children need to understand that Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and in no way is there a correlation or story behind the Easter bunny or Easter egg that links this (this is not to say you should demonize the bunny and eggs for them, but to help them understand the non-relevance to the Christian faith).” Lagosmums
“Before you rush to embrace eggs or bunnies, be cautious and skeptical.
Steve Russo, a Christian evangelist from Ontario, Calif., and host of the radio program “Real Answers,” wrote a column for The Baptist Press regarding the issue of Christian parents and the Easter bunny. ‘Before we get too carried away about holiday traditions, let’s remember all the things that are such an integral part of our culture, things like birthday cakes and even calendars and the days of the week – all of which have pagan roots,’ wrote Russo.

“‘It’s not necessary to deprive your children of good fiction so long as they understand the difference between fact and fiction. If you are careful and wise in how you incorporate the Easter bunny tradition, it can be fun for you and your children and also provide a great springboard for your family’s discussion about why we celebrate Easter.’

Michael Houdmann for the evangelical website GotQuestions, agrees.

“It is thought that the word Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre who was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. A festival called Eastre was held during the spring equinox by these people to honor her. The name for a celebration of the sunrise and a change of season was eventually applied to the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ and the new era He heralded.

“The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit, which was also known as a symbol of fertility.

“Should Christian parents allow their children to participate in traditional activities that refer to the Easter bunny? This is a question both parents and church leaders struggle with. There is nothing essentially evil about the Easter bunny, unless it is used to promote the goddess of spring or fertility rites. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ and not the Easter bunny, our children will understand that, like Santa Claus, the Easter bunny is merely a symbol. As with Christmas, Easter should be a time to reflect upon and celebrate the incarnation, the resurrection and the risen Christ.” http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/articles/is-the-easter-bunny-an-abomination-before-the-lord.aspx?p=2#zy4E8o6jfREFRmDL.99
“So what’s the Christian parent to do? While each family must decide for themselves if they would like to celebrate Easter with or without eggs and bunnies, and even though there is no record of anybody hiding eggs around the cross on Golgotha, I personally interpret the heart of the Scripture to clearly point in the direction that these practices, even though pagan in origin, are not inevitably harmful, and today do no more honor to the old pagan gods or religions than using pagan names for the days of the week honors the sun, the moon, or Thor. Where the Christian parent must check her/his heart and mind, is the ease with which the “Easter/Christmas Mindset becomes a license for spiritual lukewarmness, allowing her/him to excuse worldly living and the lack of habitual observance of Sunday�s worship service because of observing Easter and Christmas, and maybe even going all out in the celebration of those holidays.

Thus, if you are able to enjoy the holiday, have chocolate, bunnies, and eggs without getting caught up in the worldliness that has embraced the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and if you can celebrate without compromising your commitment to Christ and His church, then there is no harm in observing Easter. As a matter of fact, Easter can and should be a time of the greatest celebration of all!” familiesonlinemagazine.com

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Borrowed musings on success

Success

How do you know if you have been successful at what you set out to achieve? By the money in your pocket? Hits you receive on your website or likes on social media? Citations if you are an author? TV interviews? Books sold?

I came across this today on Patheos, spoken by a writer to a writer:

You do not write the best you can for the sake of the art but for the sake of returning your talent increased to the invisible God to use or not use as he sees fit” (The Habit of Being, 419). She also wrote, “When you write a novel, if you have been honest about it and if your conscience is clear, then it seems to me that you have to leave the rest in God’s hands. When the book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry about this is to take over God’s business” (The Habit of Being, 143).

What’s true of writing is true of any other good endeavour. Fill in the blank… “When you are a parent and your child goes to college, if you have been honest about it and your conscience is clear, then it seems to me that you have to leave the rest in God’s hands…” “When you teach a class…” “When you design a building…” “When you clean a kitchen…” “When you…”I want to measure success by the honesty of my labour and the clearness of my conscience and the desire to trust that the labour has been handed over as an offering. What happens next–whether it be considered success or failure–that’s up to God.

” Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving…” Colossians 3:23

Whatever your station in life, it is the Lord you are serving. It is him who determines the success of the results.
Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thinplaces/2010/04/gods-business-and-our-success/#xMc675SywbiPp3tU.99

The places I want to see and re-see

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Two years ago my family took a holiday in Diani and last year, we decided to change the scenery and visit Nyali. I expected the kids to be excited about the warm water and sand the same way they were about Diani but, no. My son said he wants to go back to the other Mombasa – the one that has a lot of white sand and clean water. Clearly not all beaches are created equal.

2018 is the year to visit a few places in Kenya, first because Kenya is a beautiful country and you need to enjoy all this beauty; it shouldn’t just be for tourists from China and the UK. Secondly, traveling around and mixing with other people may help us to better appreciate all the roles that we all play to make this a great republic and why we all need each other.

Lastly, they say that you are happier spending your money on experiences rather than on things. What happened to the recommendation to have companies pay for our local vacations?

Here are places you should visit.

  1. Diani Beach. Of course because my five-year-old son believes this is a superior beach but so do other people. When I told someone previously that I had never been to Diani, she looked at me as if I had dropped from another planet. “The water is so blue, the beaches are clean and the sand is pure white; you can’t compare with these north coast beaches,” she said. My colleague told me I should include a day trip to Wasini Island for some snorkeling and to swim with the dolphins. The kids won’t forget, she promised. You can ride further in to the Kisite Marine Park and enjoy Kenya’s underwater animals. If you’ve already been there done that, it’s time to venture north to Malindi and finally Lamu to call yourself a true connoisseur of Destination Kenya. Malindi is quieter and it made me fall in love with eggplant. I’m still thinking if Lamu is a trip worth making.
  2. Takawiri Island. This has been called the most beautiful island on Lake Victoria because of its white sandy beach, palm trees, turquoise water and unspoilt serenity away from everything you know. Definitely a place to surprise yourself with when you decide its #RouteLakeVictoria. For me I have been ogling pictures of the lodges on Rusinga and Mfangano islands for a few years. From my wish list to God’s ears.
  3. Kakamega Forest. Majestic nature, small details amplified, the only remaining rainforest in Kenya, abundant and unique birdlife, home to 40 per cent of the total butterfly population of Kenya, delicious kuku kienyeji at Rondo Retreat, over 60 species of orchids… you need more reasons to visit Kach?
  4. Masai Mara. Because it is weird that people have the Mara on their bucket list and fly thousands of miles to see our wildebeests yet you who lives 200km away has never been to a game park.
  5. Mt Kenya. Everyone needs to attempt to try and climb a mountain at least once in their lifetime. Mountains, I was told, humble you. Mt Kenya, being the second largest mountain in Africa, makes for a challenging but still life-transforming experience. You can get to base camp and still get bragging rights, by the way.
  6. Kerio Valley through Iten. The drive up the highlands from Nakuru is sweat inducing yet full of fascination for a first timer. You get a glimpse of former President Moi’s backyard in Kabarnet and get to steam a little on the floor of the rift valley then are caught up in wonder again as you ascend the Tambach escarpment into Iten, the home of champions. It’s a breathtaking drive and you can make it more breathtaking by paragliding down the escarpment or getting a hotel room overlooking the valley where you are sure to catch a glimpse of a wonderful sunrise. But any time of day, sitting on a rock staring at the vastness below will sing music to the introvert in you.
  7. The majestic north, rugged wild with jaw-dropping landscapes stretching to forever. It has some top of the range luxury camps that I can only dream about for now. If you want to play it safe visit Ol Pejeta for a chance to see the only living northern white rhinos in the world, Najin, Fatu and Sudan, before they go extinct; see game from the sky walkway in Ngare Ndare Forest and skinny dip in the forest plunge pools or go run in the wild at Lewa for a good cause.
  8. Lake Turkana. Leave the beaten path and walk into pre-history, a possible home of pre-modern man. This is one of Kenya’s six World Heritage Sites and there’s record of the existence tools as old as 2.3 million years old from here. Meet communities whose lives are still unmarred by modernity including the almost extinct El Molo. Understand the other side of Kenya after passing through Suguta Valley. You can time your visit to the Lake Turkana Festival to enjoy local culture and food and possibly lose some vanity.

Away from Kenya I really would like to go to Greece – because I love Mama Mia the movie and Santorini looks like a lil piece of heaven. Then of course the Big Apple because a girl gatta say she’s been to Amerrca.

Mean mothers, you are bullies

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I’ve been following this #AfricanMumChallenge on Twitter and it’s hilarious. All our mums were clearly cut from the same cloth. Worse still, I have turned into my mother – that African mum who walks in and says “”It’s 7pm. Weka News,” then walks to the bedroom and forgets I interrupted someonés TV time. Or the one who sends my littles to take my plate to the kitchen, then follows there after to go wash my hands in the same kitchen. Yes, I’ve even interrupted my son’s playtime to get him to pick something from the floor because I’m too lazy/tired to get my backside off the couch.

But the worst realisation is that African mums can be real meanies. I have an aunt who was the queen of sarcasm and rude remarks. I’d get home and ask her where my mum is and she would tell me, “She’s here in my pocket!” If I made the mistake of asking her where an item of clothing is, the simple retort would be, “Kwani tunavaanga na wewe?”

The acid tongue of course grew on me, and I found myself regurgitating some of those things to my kids. When I ask my kids to do something and they complain about how tired they are, I ask them if they spent the whole day tilling in the farm.

Sometime in the past two years, God begun convicting me about my meanness. Empathy wasn’t just a word for people out there. It’s also a word for us mums.

I wondered if my son would receive the love of God from me or identify with my prayers if he thought of how horrible a person I am. So I started to practice empathy with my kids, being mindful of their feelings, being actually being aware that they have feelings. Then I started praying that since gentleness was a fruit of the Holy Spirit, that God would help me become a gentler mother and wife. I needed joy too; and goodness and self control.

There’s no trophy for being the mean bully mum who belittles my children and their feelings. But there is everything to gain from being a calm, gentle and respectful mum.

Sijafika! But God is growing me.

NB:// To that Kilimani Mum who was saying her kid makes her so angry she feels she may beat him to death one day- embrace the stretching. Parenting made me realise i had anger issues and pad patterns from my past and God helped me deal with them. Everything is a tool in God’s hands to make you holy; even your own children will be like sandpaper, grating away at those annoying parts of your character and personality until you are what God needs you to be.

Thoughts on marriage worth resharing

Beautiful white wedding arch outdoors

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6, 8). He didn’t die for us because he finally found the love of his life. We were not marriage material when he met us. No, he died to make us the love of his life, despite how little we deserved him. A love like his makes a marriage worth wanting, and it makes a marriage worth keeping. ” Marshall Segal

 

“Wedding vows,” writes Tim Keller, “are not a declaration of present love, but a mutually binding promise of future love.” Marriage is mainly a love declared, not a love discovered. You’re not standing there together before God, family, and friends to say, “I really do love you,” but to say instead, “I really will love you” — whatever it takes, however hard it gets, whatever happens, however much I want to leave. That kind of love will stand out in the world, and it will last long after many have given up and walked away.- Marshall Segal

 

 

Because marriage is precious

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A verse from Hebrews 13:4 has been ringing in my head the last two weeks. “Let marriage be held in honour among all…”

Our society today does not highly esteem the institution of marriage. I was commenting to a group of friends how quick we are to tell people to walk out of their marriages for all manner of big and petty reasons. But if we honoured marriage, if we thought of it as highly as God does, we would not get into it as lightly and casually as we often do. We would not treat our unions and those of others with the contempt that we often do. And we would not be quick to dissolve it as we are in the habit of doing.

The Bible commands everyone to honour marriage. Not just the married people but everyone — the State, the church, the media, children, the single, the divorced, the widows, those who swing the other side, inlaws. To honour in this sense means to highly value something — to appreciate, cherish and recognise it as a priceless treasure or jewel.

How many of us think of our marriages in this sense- as something of value, a priceless treasure? Are our hearts where our treasure is?

John Piper, author, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org, writes: “Let marriage always be thought of as precious. Let it be treasured like gold and silver and rare jewels. Let it be revered and respected like the noblest, most virtuous person you have ever known. Let it be esteemed and valued as something terribly costly like the long, black, marble Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. In other words, when you think of marriage, let yourself be gripped by emotions of tremendous respect and sanctity. In relation to marriage cultivate the feeling that this not to be touched quickly or handled casually or treated commonly. In God’s eyes marriage is precious and therefore he says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.”

Making stupid jokes about marriage dishonours marriage. Coming in between a couple dishonours marriage. Rushing into marriage vows dishonors marriage. Infidelity dishonours marriage. And dishonouring mariage dishonours God who highly values marriage.

In Malachi 2: 13-16, the prophet writes: “And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord‘s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[a] And what was the one God[b] seeking?[c] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[d] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,[e] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers[f] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Are some men’s (and women’s) prayers not being answered because they have broken their marriage vows? What did you vow to do on your wedding day- it might be time to get your wedding DVD out and brush up on the things you committed to do and be before God and many witnesses.

Peter in 1 Peter 3:7 calls on men to live with wives with understanding and to honour them so that their prayers may not be hindered.

The Message paraphrase says, “And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse.

I believe there are several reasons why God honours marriage and wants us to do the same. First, he ordained marriage. It was his idea. For his purposes. Secondly he is a part of the covenant and if the Bible has taught us anything is that God does not break his covenant. Marriage isn’t a legal contract between two people but a covenant made with God as a witness and sealer. Third, He says he seeks godly offspring. In God’s perfect plan, marriage is the ideal situation to raise godly children. Divorce devastates children and threatens their spiritual destinies. Fourth, marriage illustrates the relationship between Christ and the Church and Christ does not take that relationship lightly. I mean, he gave his life for his bride. I don’t think Christ will ever forsake his bride; neither should we.

I have put a mental note to everyday look for ways to appreciate the preciousness of this gift that God has given me and to let God’s purposes be worked out in my marriage; that I will not take my marriage or those of others lightly or treat them with disdain.

Let’s honour marriage and keep the marriage bed undefiled.

A life lived for others

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Have you written or thought about your 2018 goals yet?

Last weekend as I spoke with a group of friends about stuff they hope to accomplish this year, a quote stuck in my head-I think it’s by Albert Einstein: That a life lived for others is the only life worth living.

These people had personal goals they wished to get done but they also planned to consciously do things for others. One wanted to actively serve in ministry; another was going to open her home for fellowship;  another wanted to mentor a struggling friend…

Our plans and goals and prayers need to move beyond us to affect and impact others. Why? Because we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Because even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Because only those who give their lives away for Christ’s sake will gain it.

If you haven’t found where need is calling you this year, slow down. We can be so pre-occupied with our own lives, schedule and troubles that we speed past ministry opportunities that heaven made to fall across our paths. I have zoomed past people in need of help because I am afraid of getting late for work, or because I want to beat traffic. And even when I knew I should stop and care and do something, I didn’t because I didn’t want to be interrupted. Other times I am so wrapped up in my own little world I just don’t notice glaring needs around me.

Allow your life to be interrupted by the Holy Spirit and by the needs of others. Don’t take for granted that which captures your eyes and heart. Slow down. Be more aware. Put your plans on hold for a while.

Allow your concerns to take a back seat while you prioritise others. Jesus often did. He was going to a quiet spot to probably mourn after he received the news of the death of his cousin John the Baptist but the crowds needed him. So he served them and deferred his QT for later that night. He was headed to Jairus house when the woman with an issue of blood touched him. He was headed to Jericho when a blind man stopped him. Let us pause long enough to notice those around us and their needs.

And when you notice the needs do something practical about it. My time through the book of Mathew was spent noticing how Jesus met practical needs wherever he went. Wherever he went preached the good news, taught, healed the sick and cast out demons. He fed people when they were hungry. What needs are around you?

Mathew 25:34 is a call to care and do something about it, for when you refuse to help the least of these Christ’s bothers and sisters you are refusing to help Christ. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, invite strangers to your home care for the sick and those in prison.

My “others” goal this year is to mentor younger women and what I love about it is that I am so ill-equipped for this it will only be Christ working in me.

Whatever ways you are seeking to serve others going forward, carry these lessons with you:

(Ephesians 4:1-6)

  • Be humble and gentle as you serve.
  • Bear with one another in love.
  • Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • Have compassion.

You will never enjoy life fully- the way God intended for you to live it- until you learn it’s not about you. Live a life of service.

Obey God by meeting the needs of others instead of focusing on self actualisation, self fulfillment and selfish ambition apart from Him.

 

A year of becoming a Titus 2 older woman

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I’m hardly the type to make new year resolutions, first because it is so cliche and second because most plans like these lack follow-through because they are emotional spur of the moment resolutions. Instead, I prefer to start on major changes just when my spirit fills sensitized to.

But yesterday as I sat in the Sunday service, a thought came to me that I am not even sure was related to the sermon. It was from Titus 2:3-5

These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

I’ve always considered myself the younger woman who needs to be trained. But even opening myself to that is hard because I love my privacy and independence and I am not too crazy about people getting into my business. However, slowly I have learnt that I need to open up my life and challenges and issues to receive wisdom and grace from older godly women if I wish to become a godly mature woman, wife and mother. And they cant do that if I keep to myself.

But this Sunday it struck me that I too can stick my nose up other young women’s business and hopefully help them become more godly, better wives and mothers. May be I can encourage someone. May be I can become someone’s friend. May be I will have the courage to give unsolicited advice because some things just have to be said and the patience to always be interested and available when needed.

The thought is scary because I am still a mind-your-own-business type, there is a high likelihood that they will block me off or not be interested or I may not even have enough to give but hey! we stopped walking in fear; we walk in faith and obedience. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply this seed for sowing and increase the harvest of my righteousness.

 

The day I quit my job

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About two years ago, I quit a dream job that I had believed was an answer to my prayers. I had prayed for it, I was good at it, it paid well, it was in a great company and was in line with my career goals.

But for about a year before I left, there was this disquiet in my heart that I couldn’t place a finger to. My heart screamed- leave. But logic, practicalities like budgets and loans, pride, and fear of people’s opinions and of being broke kept me frozen in this place of anguish. I talked to my close friends and people who had left their jobs and while they encouraged me, one told me that when it was time to leave, I would know.

I remember reading an article on Atlantic.com by Ann Marie Slaughter about the unresolvable tensions between family and career and thinking- this is so me. She talks about how women often value family over professional advancement and how as a maternal imperative, they are likely to choose their family at a cost to their jobs.

She concludes by saying: “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work.”

At least I knew I was not the only one waging an inner war between office and home. Many women had fought those battles or were still fighting them. I wasn’t crazy to long for my home and children like a drug. Christmas in particular brought the blues because my office barely closed for Christmas break. I used to quit my job in my head every Christmas.

I couldn’t even explain to people why I desperately needed to quit my job but I knew I needed to do so. So I tried getting alternative employment for about a year but nothing was coming through. Those doors were firmly shut. After many days of tears and prayer, I talked to my husband and told him I need to take a leap of faith. I can bet he was scared but he didn’t show it. He told me to do what I needed to do. “We will be alright,”he said. Bless him.

Steve Jobs

After I shared my turmoil with a mentor colleague, he sent me Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford and I brooded over it for months.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever… Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle….”

The final punch for me was this line by Jobs: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

So on my daughter’s first birthday, February 24, I left my employer for my home. I had the faith that God was leading me out, but not sure into what, but I was ready to embrace that uncertainty. And it was the happiest day.

Strength and courage

That December God had dropped this verse from Joshua 1:9 in my heart, probably in preparation for what lay ahead, and I had stuck it on my office desk.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

It’s been 22 months since that crazy leap and I would make that choice again, may be even earlier. Is he a faithful God or what! It freed me to serve my family, friends, church, make new friends, have new hobbies, take new jobs, make new connections. But most importantly it helped me realize the things that were important in my life and gave me the courage to know that I can walk away if I was not happy. No job is a life sentence.

Now I realise that while my past job brought in a decent pay cheque, it wasn’t a good investment of my life. It didn’t fit with why I thought I was on this planet. It wasn’t what I cared about or what drove me or even about the change I wanted to create in the world. It had no legacy. It wasn’t allowing me to be the creative, woman, wife, mother, or Christ co-worker I desired to be. It wasn’t helping me help and connect with people in a way that was authentic to me. When I wasn’t working, I was too tired to even do the things I love like write or play music or volunteer for anything. The rest of the time I was busy trying to catch up with parenting time. I had no time for friendships. I missed my kids so terribly I would cry on my way home. I knew what my heart wanted and it was in contrary with everything growing up prepared me for. I needed to have my family first. I needed to raise my own children, not have them farmed for me by 10 househelps in a year. A busy job just didn’t give me enough time to do that. I wanted them imparted by my values, not the play yard kids. I wanted to make dinner for my husband and not be dead tired when he came home. I wanted to check my son’s homework. But no one ever told me that this could be a reality in my life or that it was okay to want to be a good mother and wife above every thing else.

For a moment I felt I lost my identity as a successful professional. I lost man’s applause. i was in strange waters. But I never walked alone. All of a sudden a new world opened up of exciting opportunities and friendships. I got to redefine myself. I was not my job. I was who God said I was and I am still discovering that and it’s an amazing journey.

I realise that that is not a  decision every woman can make. But I found out that it was what was best for me and my family. God had pushed me out because i needed to pay more attention to my family and the call on my life whatever that was. I needed to trust and obey. I needed to be those people who when God says jump I ask how high. I needed to lay down my life as I knew it then for something more bold and beautiful and yes, different, something I felt I’ll equipped and undeserving of. But nothing gives me more fulfillment. It’s crazy that “homing” gave me so much fulfillment. Even now I miss that feeling on hanging and unhanging clean laundry and making a snack for my son just before the school bus arrives in the afternoon.

I still work. But I got my values and priorities realigned and my life has more depth, may be even more impact. And while I had to take a major pay cut, I feel more rounded as a person. I have served in church ministry.  I have led a Bible study group. I get to see my kids in day light. I have learnt new skills like photography and it’s exciting. I have built deeper friendships. I have learnt a lot even about myself and what I am good at and areas I am gifted in. My personal devotion is improving though still faltering. I am reading my bible once again. And I have had the opportunity to start and keep this blog running, which i started with the desire to live authentically, connect with people and connect them to each other and relevant resources, to equip and inspire. I hope it lives up to that mandate and I do too.

This is the season I am in and I realise it is not permanent. The one question I keep asking myself is, “Am I obeying God in this season of my life?” What does faithfulness look like in my particular circumstances? I choose to serve God however he chooses. I choose to stay fruitful, stay faithful, stay obedient, wherever that may lead.

You can only connect the dots looking backwards.

 

Biblical-historical timeline

creation big bang

Ever wondered where our history lies in the Biblical context? I attempted to compile my own biblical cum historical timeline because deep inside I am a child of faith and science and one who wishes science and religion shouldn’t be in such a collision. Si they can help each other through history? Like this week I saw a scientific article that said sharks are older than tree, for example. Someone else was wondering how we can be receiving evidence from billions of light years away when the universe is only 14 billion years old.

What do you think? Can I have my cake and eat it?

Did pre-adamic creatures exist that used tools?

When was the world created?

Did Noah know Abraham?

14 billion years ago? Universe?

4.6 billion years ago? Big bang? Solar nebular?

6000 BC tools, stone age, homo erectus
5529BC creation?
4500BC copper age
5000-3500BC sumerians
4000-3000BC bronze age

4004/4027BC Adam, garden of Eden
4000 BC first neolithic settlers in Malta
3500BC mesopotamic writing
3382-3017 BC Enoch
3317-2348 BC Methuselah
3300 BC bronze age in Indus valley
3227-3102 BC Krishna?
2898-1948 BC Noah
2800 BC Gilgamesh historical leader
2348 BC flood
2100 BC tower of Babel
City of ur
Melchizedek
2085 BC Abraham
2038BC Eber
1800 BC Mayas
1792BC King Hammurabi
1650BC Joseph
1500BC Incas
1447BC The Exodus
1300BC Moses
563BC Budha
551BC Confuscius
540BC Jainism
6BC Christ
50 CE agnotism
70 CE New Testament
570CE – 632 Muhammad
590 AD Roman Catholicism
Shakers
Millerites
610 AD Islam
1845 AD Seventh Day Adventist
Unity School of Christianity
1928 AD Opus dei