Malta

On Paul’s way to Rome he is ship-wrecked and ends up on an island called Malta!

Malta in this portion of scripture can represent that place you sometimes end up that wasn’t part of the plan, that unexpected surprise that throws you off balance, that set back, that test!

But like Paul, how you handle this unfamiliar territory may be one of your greatest blessings!

Many times when life throws us curve balls we go into defeat mode & fearfully step back & not fully engage at the fear of being broken over again but Acts 28 reminds us that God may not give reason why but He will give you Revelation just like He did to Paul.

After being ship wrecked & now on unfamiliar land he is then bitten by a snake! Just one thing after another- because we all know that when it rains it pours doesn’t it! Ever had those days or seasons where everything that could go wrong just does!? Well this seems to be exactly what is happening here to Paul- to the point that the people of Malta who were initially so kind to Paul all of a sudden begun to utter phrases like “murder he must be paying for his transgressions even though he survived a ship-wreck! this is his punishment”

And what happened next will surely be a lesson to us all to remember that man cannot be trusted!! For one minute they called him murder & the next they praised him & called him a god because Paul simply shook off the snake & suffered no ills as recorded in vs.5

Man will praise you one minute & mock you the next! So whatever you do- do it to for the Glory of God.

Paul didn’t even bother to say anything to them but God instantly vindicated Him! You don’t even need to respond to your haters! God will do that for you by doing something so mighty through you that your haters will suddenly “love you!”

But the most Beautiful thing about Malta was Paul did not want to be on Malta but Malta needed him! So that Ship wreck had to happen! Because after they witnessed what had happened with the snake, the head of Island heard of this great Man Paul & asked to see him & he welcomed Paul with a feast! And it had happened that the Father of Publius(head of the island) was ill, so Paul took the opportunity to pray over him & he was healed & shortly other people on the island who had diseases came for their healing too!

Maybe where you are was not even your fault, where you are makes no sense at all, where you are is so terribly uncomfortable but sometimes God will use where you are to save a Generation!!

It may be painful now! But you could be the last who will have to go through this in your family! you may just be the one to break the curse, you are the one to bring the healing!

Malta was not on your agenda… Rome was the destination, but you had to stop over Malta to get & give the Revival necessary to make your experience in Rome even more worth while!

Whatever it is that may be trying to break you may just be what you need to get you to your destination!

Paul healed them with the same hand that was bitten by a snake! That pain you experienced is the same thing that will bring healing to a whole Generation if we let God do His thing & trust that no matter where we find ourselves like Paul we should shake it off & trust God’s Plan!

 

 

Embrace Malta & let it teach you what it will! For Malta had to happen to get you to where you are today!

POWERFUL WORD! that I had to quickly jot down at 2am while it was still fresh after I watched Pastor Steven Furtick bring this word to Life! Such powerful insights that we can borrow a leaf from as we transition in life- for Malta is a given for us all!

#InspiredByStevenFurtick

 

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To Hear Him…

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The Spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts- Proverbs 20:27

That verse reminds us that God speaks to us through our Spirit, not always the LOUD voice that we all imagine, but through your spirit you will hear His gentle quiet voice that says… This is the way walk in it!

My desire to hear God more audibly started December 2016! I would stay awake until the wee hours 4-5am just to hear Him, because I imagined I needed the stillness when the world was asleep for my spiritual antenna’s to be more alert- but as I waited something else happened; I read His word more, I prayed more and fasted even more and each time I got more revelation from His Word and my Spirit was more awakened! My desires changed, My heart was being transformed and My mind renewed… But yet, I was still waiting for that LOUD Voice that said- “GRACE THIS IS THE PATH WALK IN IT!”

So I only realized later that God had already been speaking to me, the nudges I got in my spirit to change this or do that was in fact Him speaking through my spirit, which is in fact the Spirit of the Lord at work in you. His Spirit brings Revelation, discernment, Clarity, conviction, confidence, comfort… Everything you need right😊

Another way God reveals Himself is just like He did with Joseph- God still communicates a lot through visions and dreams to this day!

Dreams

So I’m learning to wake up and quickly write it down before I forget, because His visions are very detailed and so Grand that they can scare you and even feel impossible to achieve but I’m sure as Joseph was in the pit remembering the dream God gave him- it must have seemed impossible to fathom. He was in a pit because of his brothers, yet God gave him a vision that he would one day be Ruler over them and they would bow to him, but here he was suffering because of them and even after the pit he ended up in prison! it was one thing after another before he was in the palace but in Gods time is when the dream came into manifestation- So do not be discouraged if your dream is yet to come to pass, God is not man that He should lie, so instead pray for patience, Grace and Strength to allow for God to prepare you for it.

My first Vlog will be up soon where I talk about waiting on God based on Habbakuk 2:3, so let me not share too much but the essence of it is;- if God has revealed it to you- it’s only a matter of time before it manifests so embrace the journey to and learn the lessons along the way.

His Word

He also communicates to us through His Word- like I mentioned as I was seeking Him, the more my desire to spend time in His word increased and the more I read His word, the more He revealed, many portions of scripture that I had read before suddenly appeared New! because each time God brought a new Revelation! That’s why you’ll hear two different pastors speak from the same portion of scripture but have two different revelations-because God’s Revelation is also very personal- I believe it goes as far as the level of your Faith! So the more we spend time in His Word and the more we mature in our Faith, then the more we decipher on a deeper level.

His word is LIFE! Living and Breathing! you can read it over and over again and get something new each time!

His word is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our Path- Psalms 119:105-

Go to His word for direction!

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He uses People

God will also use people… For a long time I fought this because I feared false information shared to me- so I’ve always prayed for the spirit of discernment in whatever I do or whatever or whoever comes my way, which then enables me to have a knowing of when it really is God talking through them. And one sure way of knowing that it is indeed God- is through His confirmation. For whatever He reveals to them He will also confirm it to you in your spirit and or make it come to pass! so pray for God to put the right people around you, and ask Him to give you a discerning spirit always so that you can tell the lies from a mile away!

In Conclusion…

The Beautiful thing about His Spirit working in you is He reveals himself in all things! You could be watching a movie, watching your kids play, reading a book, listening to a song… pretty much just Living your life & just like that He reveals Himself even in the ordinary day to day life- For scripture reminds us- “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11

But one thing about God that I quickly had to learn is He reveals in bits! God will give you steps not destinations!

One verse I use frequently when I’m asked about my new Faithing it journey is again Psalms 119:105- His word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path God will show you what He needs to show you at that moment and not the whole Plan! because I think if He showed us the whole Grand plan we would probably run away!

You see the desires and passions that He has put inside you will definitely come to pass but they won’t come easy or as you expect;- you will sacrifice, you will have to be uncomfortable, you will be isolated and there will be days you will want to give up!

What He has for you is bigger than you can imagine & will cost more than you are willing to give! so our job is just to walk in obedience!

God will show you- you will be a wife, a mother, a CEO, a business owner, start a ministry, be a world changer! whatever it may be, but before He gives it to you- you must not despise the day of small beginnings!

David was able to slay the giant because of His past victories slaying Lions & bears as he tended to his sheep! So be faithful with the little & in Gods time He will bless you with more & when it comes- boy doesn’t it come suddenly! pressed down & shaken together- so your heart must be right to receive it! Free of bitterness, hate, jealousy, greed & whatever ills & ready to receive what God has for you… so let Him mature you into it before you can get into it!

Remember you cannot have Great passion without pain! Passion is Uncomfortable & painful! New levels new devils they say…

You cannot be who you were & who you are at the same-time- Revelation will always bring you to separation which is painful, but let it happen, embrace your journey to your dream and watch Him open doors that only He can because you submitted to the process.

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Next Blog about how to know you are walking in your purpose…

 

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Embrace CHANGE!

This weekend a person very close to me asked me about my blogging & I responded I’m on a break unless it’s work related & reason for that is I’m currently in a season of Stillness, taking time out to hear God more clearly & audibly & boy what an adventure this is turning out to be… I’m Learning that to gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else & that indeed we cannot please God without Faith! I took the challenge to step out & trust Him & only Him to lead the way & the more I Trust the more He reveals, the more He guides, the more He directs & connects! So what a thrilling adventure this is🤗

So Last night I came across an article online from the Business Insider that instantly tugged at my heart! because boy don’t I relate in one too many ways! And because I loved it so much I had to share it here so that you too can read it😊

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This article is by Susie Moore- a Life coach & Author based in New York. She is on her second marriage, third career & fifth country of residence and here’s why she’s never afraid of change!!

Enjoy…

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This year so far one of my closest friends had a baby, one got a divorce, one moved to Asia, and two resigned from their jobs to start their own businesses.

I. Freakin’. Love. Change.

At age 32, I’m in my second marriage, third career, and fifth country of residence. I gravitate toward people with wide and varied life experiences and know that change makes you stronger, better, more interesting.

It makes your life full. You don’t need to have gone through any of the above changes in order to have experienced change, because if you look back at your life so far, you’ll see more change than you probably realise.

Anyone who has ever read “Who Moved My Cheese?” will know the importance of adapting to change, especially change created against our will. This includes careers, relationships, living circumstances and, as the years pass, even just “the times.” These changes are inevitable, whether or not we like we like them.

Today I’m focusing on the change that we generate. Driving positive change in our lives. Taking risks. Shaking things up. Believe it or not, change is our biggest teacher. It is our examiner. Sometimes it feels like our enemy. But in retrospect it is often one of the biggest loves of our lives.

Here are five ways that change kicks our butt (and why that’s awesome)!

1. We see things differently
Routine allows us to go through life without thinking too much. Change forces us to look at things with fresh sight.

Think about when you are on holiday – the architecture, daylight, menus, people – they’re all different. It brings us into the present moment and it’s like we actually see things again. When I moved to Manhattan, I was in awe of all of the cultural and physical differences – from the constant sirens to the 24-hour restaurants to all of the vibrant, colourful, outspoken people. When I have visitors, I love to see things from their eyes and hear them comment on all of the things that they notice. It makes it all new to me again in those moments.

We don’t feel this way on our daily commute to work or buying coffee from the same barista every morning for 11 years.

2. We have a beginner’s mind
This is a concept in Zen Buddhism, referring to having an attitude of openness when experiencing anything for the first time. Only something unfamiliar can invoke this. In a new situation, we have no preconceptions and simply come back to who we truly are.

When was the last time you did or saw something for the first time? I ask myself this often, and when it has been a while, I get ready to book a plane ticket, try a beginners language/cooking/dance class, or even jump on a train to a place I’ve never been before!

3. We are vulnerable
Change allows us to remember that we don’t know it all, and we don’t have all the answers. Surprisingly, everything still works out OK, doesn’t it? Being vulnerable does not mean that we are not safe. In fact, there is great honesty in this openness. It helps push us forward in our lives. We think, what else is out there? And, if I went through this and survived, what else could I survive?

4. We are humble
New experiences remove our ego. Humility is much closer to our higher self, our best self. It is on this level that we connect to our source, make clearer decisions, and some awesome inner work can take place.

5. We are grateful
Change can remind us of how much we have. Starting a new business venture or having the courage to leave an unhappy relationship can remind us that we are more resilient than we understand. Or it might highlight the real, supportive loving and friends and family that care about us no matter what. When we go through change, we value what remains constant. It is a chance to remember that we are capable and whole. We also are reminded that we are much stronger than we think!

It’s a beautiful thing to be grateful for your own strength.

Change is liberating, healing, and plain unavoidable. The more we welcome it, the more profoundly positive its impact upon us. Through enduring and embracing change, we kick a–! It’s best to adopt this truth sooner rather than later as more change in life is always guaranteed.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh said it best: “Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.”

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What a POWERFUL! Read! so much to learn from change… I’ll be sharing more of my lessons very soon, but for now let’s all take notes from here🤗

Happy Monday😊

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#SHEWORKSFORWEEWORKS What is it all About?

On 11th of May I was up in the wee-hours to catch the 6am flight to Kisumu… My very first time to Western Kenya so I was quite excited to not only meet the Women that I heard so much about but to explore a place that I’ve been looking forward to visiting for quite some time now.

Which women was I visiting you ask? Allow me to backtrack a bit to why I was heading there in the first place.

You see Globally more than 2.5 billion people lack access to modern energy even though it remains a key driver for growth. Unexploited opportunities and barriers exist in the energy sector affecting access to and delivery of appropriate energy services, thus preventing vulnerable people from securing their livelihoods. So herein comes ENERGIA’S Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme (WE) Works with women entrepreneurs to become successful business owners, energy service providers and even leaders in their communities.

However the way to become an empowered entrepreneur is not a one way road to success it takes time, facing challenges and learning from mistakes, which is expected in entrepreneurship as I’m currently discovering, so it was quite encouraging to know that the program travels along with them providing training, technical advice and hand held support.

This is dubbed the “Empowerment Journey” By targeting women, who occupy the lower end of the energy value chains, the initiative impacts a wide range of small scale entrepreneurs and move people up the energy ladder by providing them with relevant technical skills and tools they require.

In Kenya this initiative is called Women In Energy Enterprises in Kenya hence WEEK, which is being implemented by Practical Action in partnership with sustainable community Development Services and is working with Women entrepreneurs in Kenya across value chains, namely; Improved Cook Stoves, Solar home lighting and portable systems and biomass briquettes.

Now that you know why I was in Kisumu last week, my next blog will feature the first woman entrepreneur I met called Bibiana who specializes in Improved Cooking Stoves… You’ll get to understand why #SheWorksForWEEWorks is the ideal tag for this Powerful Series.

Stay Tuned…

Pictured below is Me and Bibiana at her homestead in Siaya where she makes the improved Cook Stoves.

 

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RAISING MULTIPLES- PART I- #MYSTORYSERIES

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I’ve thought about doing a series on the reality of Raising Twins for quite sometime now and with Mothers Day approaching thought I’d start a Raising Multiples series which for me is still in line with #MyStorySeries

So if you have multiples, expecting some on the way or wish to have some(as I hear all the time!) Here’s a little reality check…

THE TWIN BOND

I’m learning that with each set of twins the bond is different! there’s no one size fits all formula like the intense bond between identical twins is different from fraternal twins  & mine happen to be fraternal. Their Father happens to be an identical twin & watching him & his brother was quite something so I always thought that’s the case with all twins; having a 6th sense when the other is unwell, fighting one minute & besties the next, ending up in the same or similar careers etc so watching them I thought that must be how it is for all twins!

But Surprise Surprise! watching that phenomenon unravel before my eyes is quite different with my pair because as much as Zawadi and Raha have their similarities they can also be as different as night and day and I’m yet to see that crazy Twin bond I saw with their Father and Uncle, though I’m learning that it intensifies as the grow & spend more time together as their auntie(Janet Mbugua Ndichu) she shared with me- that her & her fraternal twin brother like mine fought a lot in their younger days only to get closer with time, though with same sex twins they’re more likely to be besties naturally, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this bond will develop. What I can definitely attest to is their solidarity especially if I come in between to stop their fights- it sometimes get to a point where I end up being the bad guy because they’d rather resolve their issues among themselves than have one of them be punished! so I guess there goes the fighting one minute to besties the next moment scenario playing out…

And when one is unwell the other will be so caring and extra gracious, if seriously unwell the other twin (if they don’t catch it) will also be a little down because their partner in crime isn’t available to play with, bother or tattle on:-)

So the bonding is indeed different from sington siblings but it’s also not as automatic as most would expect, watching this bond unravel is quite a ride filled with surprises!

SIBLING RIVALRY

Surprise number one is the Competition! I was not prepared for this I must say! I guess because growing up my sister and I never fought, but also we are four years apart!!

So imagine having someone your age with you ALL! the time! from the womb! it must get frustrating, so it’s very key for the environment to facilitate equality and individuality- Here are some necessary tips;-

  • Don’t compare them! it only creates more competition!
  • Don’t refer to them as one Unit- like “HI TWINS!” but by their specific names
  • Stop treating them like a museum monument they can not only get a complex but it frustrates them as they wonder what the fuss is all about and why the rest don’t get the same attention
  • Encourage and Nature their strengths and Uniqueness so that they each feel special
  • Align the support system to implement your structure so that whether in school or at home the same is practiced and followed!
  • Contrary to popular belief don’t dress them alike, atleast not all the time! this helps to create the individuality. In our case as seen even on the images on this blog we still do it more than we should and reason for this is the Competition;- if they don’t fight over who looks better they will fight to wear the same one or at least they used to, now as they grow they actually want to dress differently because they too get frustrated with the constant who is who comparison! so when I shop I buy lots of stuff that come in pairs that have different prints or colours and as they grow will buy more and more different outfits because their tastes too are different. One thing that also helped when they were younger and even now is color coding them;- Pink and Purple have always been our go to colours, so even as people buy your multiples gifts request for different selections or at least different colours! because I have so many matching outfits that are gifts, but ofcourse the other option is they don’t have to wear the matching outfits at the same time.

THEY SOMEHOW ESTABLISH THEY’RE OWN PECKING ORDER

Strange as it may; Zawadi is the older Twin by 1Minute and Raha second and before they even knew or understood that hierarchy Zawadi naturally behaved like a first born! always has and Raha follows her lead- but this reality doesn’t always sit down well with Raha- she doesn’t like hearing that her sister is older because there we go again with the competition! so it’s key for Parents of Multiples to learn to manage the competition because at the end of the day they’re all age mates which brings me to my next point;-

SCHEDULE ALONE TIME WITH EACH CHILD

This is so key and fundamental for them because again imagine having to share your life with someone from the womb, so spending time with them separately helps build a stronger bond, helps your child feel special and also helps you as a parent learn more about each child. Granted this alone time is not an easy one to achieve especially if you’re a single Mum like me, so if it proves difficult you can start small and steal moments alone with each twin and be very present in those few moments you’re with each child.

And Last tip for this first series of Raising Multiples for #MyStorySeries

THINK IN DOUBLES!

And by that I mean imagine buying two packs of daipers and one formula  for your singleton and how you couldn’t wait for that phase to end, well with Twins double that cost, everything you do for your little one double it! clothes, fees, Extracurricular activities (yes thats usually a whole other separate cost), gifts etc! it’s not cheap especially if you want to get your kids the “cool stuff” and the growth sprouts are no joke- they can go up a shoe size in a month, so there will be seasons when all you seem to be doing is spending money so here are a few coping mechanisms;-

  • If you can- encourage as much sharing as possible, yes you’ll need to get two bikes or two car-seats but I’m learning as they grow older that I really don’t have to buy two of everything which I’ve always done but that is not only too much of an expense for you but how about you use that opportunity to instead teach them about sharing.
  • And as much as they have matching out-fits shop different clothes as well, because they can switch the look next time so in a sense doubles up their wardrobe.
  • I grew up in a home where there was always a monthly budget that we stuck too and we stocked up on what we needed for the month, so I applied the same formula in our house-hold, because you save more as you can more clearly see how much you are in fact spending and plan for it. Also in the earlier years stocking up on daipers and formula saved us a lot! so if you can shop in bulk and if you have a connect abroad it may be cheaper for you because daipers are cheaper there and they have more bulk options, same with clothes if you have a friend or family or you’re able to travel- get as much as you can each time! there was a time I didn’t have to stock up on much for almost 7months if not more because I shopped in bulk when I traveled. Also always take advantage of sales if you’re lucky the can be quite a good bargain.
  • You don’t have to sign them up for all the Extracurricular activities even though you really want to! I used to pick almost every activity and pay through my nose until I realised that I could make it fun and either pick different activities for each child or pick a certain number a term and then switch it up the next term.
  • My Mum keeps reminding me to teach them early what needs and wants are and that sometimes we won’t always get what we want. It’s important to start this conversation early or you’ll be quite a frustrated broke Mum.

I know how it is single parents, we sometimes feel bad and over compensate by trying to give them “the world” because you feel like you may have let them down, but you’re actually doing them a dis-service by not teaching them the realities of life, so find a balance and take it a day at time, take a breath, have a strong support system and above all Trust God! He is so faithful and His Blessings are over-flowing! Just stay in him and watch Him supply for all you needs.

Remember Double the Joy & Double the Work, but also Double the Grace!!

Part Two coming soon!

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These lovely images are courtesy of Bliss Memories

Look for them next time you’re having a party and want to add an extra dash of FUN!!

Stay Blessed from Me and Mine, to You and Yours!

 

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DARING GREATLY by Janet Mbugua-Ndichu for #MyStorySeries

Hi there😊Feels like it’s been so long…

Well today’s a good day to continue my series #MyStorySeries and my guest blogger today is a dear person to me- who I’ve known for quite a while now, as our paths crossed when we both worked at KTN where we formed a friendship and now years later she also happens to be my daughters Auntie…

Janet Mbugua-Ndichu my kindred spirit I call her, because our paths are so similar it’s a tad bit scary😬😊We both started off our media careers at 19 years old, both worked at KTN and Capital FM as well, both have a love for writing hence our blogs and another scary similarity is we both probably would have studied psychology at some point! and to top it of- the Fathers of our children happen to be twin brothers! LOL! doesn’t get creepier than that huh…

We’ve led separate lives but find ourselves in the same circle constantly, even now we’re on another similar path where we’re boldly stepping out into unknown territory- again not a joint decision at all, but I guess that’s the rhythm with kindred spirits- you find yourselves drawn to the same or similar paths💜

I started this series to show you, yes you reading this that you are not alone on your journey, that our stories are somewhat inter-twined because through these stories you will see that the doubt you feel sometimes is normal, that the fear that holds you back is also normal but you must fight it and most of all the success you see now was a journey coupled with failure, re-direction and finally coming into your own which we can only do if we DARE GREATLY!

And here in comes Janet Mbugua-Ndichu’s Daring Greatly Story…

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I left kenya for South Africa in 2009 when I was 25 years old. I left behind a good job, great friends, my amazing family and a life full of promise to venture into waters I wasn’t quite sure of. Alone. And I hadn’t even thought it through much! But then again, there had always been a boldness in me, an individuality that’s devoid of clique influence, conformism and regret. I must have honed it from a young age.
 
I’ve said before, it’s frightening. Don’t think that I have it all figured out or that I’m too tough. That I don’t doubt myself. Of course I do! But I always say to myself, ‘if not now, when’? I also say, ‘if you never try how will you ever know’? These two quotes, as cliche as they are, have motivated me to reach, to try, to fly.
 
I’m a believer; my Faith has played an integral part in my evolution. I admit though that I’m one of those Christians who wonders if I let God down too much! So I blame myself for falling short of how worthy He is.
 
The truth is, we can never be truly sure if we’re making the right decision. We can only speculate and fear so much before we put our hearts and soul in jeopardy. Ask yourself, “Is this going to grow me? Am I going to gain more than I’ll lose?” You may hesitate but ultimately, the only way you can really, truly test your potential, push yourself, dare, dream…is to jump. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out like you’d hoped but I tell you, it’ll lead you to the next thing and the next, until you find your purpose. Consult those who have your best interests at heart, pray, read up on the lives of personalities and be inspired by the risks they took that eventually paid off. Oprah, Richard Brandon, James Mwangi.
 
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…’
( Marianne Williamson, Spiritual Activist)
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Thank you for sharing your story with us Janet and reminding us to always make The Next Right Move and let that be our guide.
#MyStorySeries
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Second Chances- #MyStorySeries

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The Easter period for me is a reminder of the heart of God… The Heart that Forgives over and over again, the heart that loves me unconditionally and the heart that is Faithful to me even when I am so undeserving…

Grace!!! The name that my parents chose for me has been evident in my life through the presence of God in my Life.

And during the Easter Season I naturally go into a reflective mode that reminds me of His Grace- because I know that indeed I would be lost if it was not for His Grace, if it was not for His Love for me that made Him come down to earth and dwell among us like mere man to show me how to walk this path called life, to show me that it will not be easy, but just like He overcame death we too have already overcome through Him, to show me that no Sin has the weight that His Glory can not handle, to show me that He will never forsake me… To Show me that no matter what happens in life there is always saving Grace and there will always be a second chance!

Whether it’s a second chance at love, a second chance at trying again for a baby or a second chance at discovering your life’s purpose! whatever you feel you can not come out of or you can not do again you are believing a LIE!

Jesus is the face of second chances, Christianity is about second chances, Christianity is about Grace- it doesn’t matter what the situation looks like but through Christ He can restore and renew, so I say try again… but this time with God! His Grace is Sufficient!!

He came so that you may have Life and have it more Abundantly! and His resurrecting Power that worked 2000 years ago is available to you too today! A dream you may have thought was dead can be reawakened- it’s never too late to walk into your Purpose no matter how old you are- if your dream was to be an Author start writing, if like my Mom your passion has always been interior design go for it! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! Take the Leap and do something that your future self will thank you for.

Take the Second Chance!

“To be Vulnerable and admit that you still want something after it hasn’t happened is a Gift”. Sarah Jakes-Roberts

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If you are waking up with the sensation that there has got to be more to life… then there is!- Steve Harvey

 

Wearing VIVO ACTIVE WEAR

Make-Up by WACUKA THIMBA

Hair by Crochet By Christine

Photography by PhotographyByJuneJuly

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Ordained Steps- by Julie Mwabe Balongo… #MyStorySeries

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For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by stories. When I was a little girl, the highlight of every evening for my siblings and I was being bundled up in one bed and listening to my parents tell us bed-time stories in a highly animated and musical manner! Stories about the goat tricked by the hyena, the boy who always told a lie and was eventually eaten by a fox, the woman who turned into a tree. Every night there was a different story…and with each story there was a lesson to be learnt- respect your elders, tell the truth, don’t trust strangers, always help where you can, stand tall!

My quest for stories continued beyond my childhood as I discovered new ones! Great stories of men and women who changed the world. Stories of Mohatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Stories of Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere and Wangari Maathai. Stories of heroes, of legends, remarkable people whose lives stood out. With all of them, I found common descriptions. Persistent. Determined. A fighting spirit. Will of steel. Selfless. Courageous. Conviction in what they believed in. They may have been as simple as they come but when they discovered what they were born to do, they were like an unstoppable train. Charged on. Fought to the very end and driven by their passions!

For the longest time I didn’t think I had a story! Growing up in church there was always the “testimony” segment that always intrigued me- as these were people’s stories! The stories often had a before and after. Rags to Riches. Struggle to redemption. Freedom from past transgressions. A sinner to a saint narrative. None of which I felt I had! For the most part of my life I have had it pretty good. I grew up in a middle class family, my parents dotted over me, I went to the best of schools, had great friends and my mother was my Sunday school teacher! I was safe and cushioned all through!

However despite having “a lot” I always knew that because much was given to me, much was required of me.

My story began at an airport! I was 21, just graduated from university and moving back home not really sure what my next steps were. As I was waiting for my flight, there on the TV screen was a CNN documentary on the drought in Kenya and it being the worst the East African region had experienced. I was completely moved to tears- here I was armed with a degree and I had been asking God to give me a sense of direction and suddenly I strongly felt I wanted to help those people. My flight was delayed and I decided to go to the airport computers and google “drought in Kenya”. The first article that opened up was an article from UNICEF, a humanitarian organization, and at the bottom was a byline of the author. I emailed her and wrote, “I’ve just watched the documentary, I am on my way home, and I want to help in any way!” I got a response right away saying “ Please come see me as soon as you arrive”. Needless to say, that’s how I landed my first job. At the UN. With no experience and with no interview. I did hit the ground running – one week I would be at a refugee camp working with those highly affected by the drought and the next in a hospital watching children on the brink of death from starvation. During my time working there, I heard young girls narrate to me their experiences of rape; consoled with women who had lost their babies during child birth because they could not afford to go to hospital, spent time with children who had watched HIV and AIDS slowly and painfully take their parents away from them; saw men crawl towards the border of Kenya and Somalia having lost their families along the way and not having any more living strength left; and worked in the IDP camps where I listened to children barely 5 years old tell me how they watched their parents hacked to death during the election violence.

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These were stories I had to tell to the rest of the world as part of my job. But it always went beyond just a job for me. I was genuinely interested and would go out of my way to find some solutions and suggest these to my colleagues and bosses who often (surprisingly) listened and followed through. With each story I heard, there was a silver lining, sometimes very distant but when I really looked for it, I would see it. Stories of men and women who took in 10 orphaned children at a time and took care of them as their very own. Stories of girls who had been kicked out of their communities for making a stand on their right to education and saying no to female genital mutilation; Stories of children who had taken responsibility of their siblings after being orphaned by HIV and AIDS. Stories of men who had managed to calm those in displacement camps and led them to forgiveness and reconciliation. To me these amazing and resilient people have become my heroes. People who are unheard of. No one will write a story on them or praise them for their efforts. They don’t even know they are heroes themselves or of the difference they have made.

So my love for stories continues…but what I am realizing as well is telling these stories is indeed part of my story. God has always led me to places that were beyond me- places I never felt qualified for- and truly wasn’t. I identify a lot with Moses in the bible who came up with excuses on why he didn’t think he was right for the job! But really, it has never been about me. My steps have been ordained all along- and when God leads you, he provides the grace to open the right doors for you and sustain you. My gift has put me before kings. I remember once been called upon to accompany Michelle Obama to meet children under a program she was interested in during her visit to Kenya and years later asked to support writing a speech for former President Obamas during the recent GES summit as part of my job (Real Kings I tell you). I desire to remain Gods hands and feet. I constantly ask God to allow me to see others as he does- to use me to give faith to humanity. To challenge those close to me not to roll up their windows when someone they consider ‘poor’ knocks on them. Because perhaps God has placed their resources in your hands. I pray I can encourage those close to me to see others as God sees them, to be interested in their stories and want to be part of them. I believe we can make a difference- and its closer than we think. It could be your househelp, your watchman, your driver…..stop and hear their story- their solution may just be in your hands.

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Julie Mwabe-Balongo and this is My Story…

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FAITHING IT… #MyStorySeries

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Proverbs 31:25- “She can laugh at days to come”

There’s nothing as powerful as owning your story- because when we see people who are willing to demonstrate what it looks like to risk and endure failure, disappointment, and regret- people willing to feel their own hurt instead of working it out on other people, people willing to own their stories, live their values and keep showing up! it encourages us to keep pushing and always KEEP SHOWING UP!

The key is always to KEEP SHOWING UP! No matter how defeated you may feel or how drained you may get- You can’t give up! you can re-direct YES! BUT! keep showing up!

Brene Brown is currently speaking to me in my new season… My Season of stepping out boldly no matter what happens.

I was just sharing with a colleague about my current season of Transition and he’s response “how old are you?” I responded “31 soon enough!” and he said “YUP! You’re in that season!”

Your thirties are about finding your reason, living out your purpose and if you’re a believer like me- it also means that the call on your life gets LOUDER! You can no longer quiet the voice that urges you to Jump ship! if you were not already in alignment that is…

So my current lesson is Learning to Heed to my inner voice or forever be restless or worse still even be physically sick if not careful. In specifically my career & relationships I’m at a cross-roads, transitioning into the next stage, moving away from the comfortable and into a more Bold and Daring space where if nothing else I will surely grow! Oh! boy will I grow…

Is there 100% clarity? Nope! I wish there was… I really do! but every mentor I’ve spoken to or book I’ve read including the bible- I’m learning that if there is one thing we must learn to embrace in our lives- is to Learn to do it afraid! not fearful! but afraid… For remember we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind 2Timothy 1:7

Therefore whatever you do- do it from a Place of Love, of Power and of Clarity and Sound mind! if you are conflicted or fearful- STOP! PAUSE! figure out why you’re fearful and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His Power! His Love and His Complete Clarity. Day by day I’m getting there… it’s a journey but He gives you the peace as He guides your path. 

But always remember we’re never quite ready for the BOLD Moves in our Lives! You just go for it and JUMP! All we need is a little more courage and bravery and a whole lot of Faith!

I’m learning that when the Season you’re in is ordained by God- you will have a peace over you that makes no sense to man and one should continue to use that to gauge whether it’s His Voice or your Voice…

I’m Learning that like Abraham sometimes God will ask you to leap and only reveal the rest after you have first shown Him your complete Faith and trust in Him by Leaping!

To be more introspective… Abraham was raised in pagan culture that believed in many gods and God knew that for Abraham to stay in his country with his family- it would be detrimental to his spiritual growth. In fact his family and friends would not help, but hinder him.

In a sense God was giving Abraham a clean break, an opportunity for him to more forward spiritually- which could only happen if he left.

The Timing of Abraham’s call by God was significant. It occurred shortly after the destruction of Babylon and the dispersion of the nations. Humanity had done it’s best and God brought it’s plans for the future to nothing.

Yet God’s Plan for Abraham was “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” Genesis 12:2

So I’m learning that The Lords commands are rarely accompanied by reasons, but they are always accompanied by promises. There are times when God will speak to you and tell you to do or not do something and it may not make complete sense at the moment, just like Noah who built the ark for about 100years patiently following instructions and waiting and waiting some more! I’m sure he was ridiculed for years! but what Amazing Faith he had in God to wait on God until the day He fulfilled His Promises to Him. So what He may be asking you to do now may only make sense much later! much later after you have already obeyed- Lesson is in the Obedience… In taking the step of Faith!

I marvel when I read about the Faith of the amazing Men and Women in the bible and get really challenged to one day have God call me His friend like Abraham or just a woman after His own heart like how David was a Man after God’s own Heart.

There is one BIG Lesson on this Faithing-it Journey that I must share…

You see it’s human nature for us to hold on to the familiar even when asked to let go and like Abraham who was instructed by God to leave everything he had behind and go where God would show him- “Get out of your country, from your family and from your Fathers house to a land that I will show you” Genesis 12:1- note he was asked to leave his family and go to the place that God would show him! but instead Abraham left with his family including his father and nephew and went to a place that God had not told him.

To disobey partially is to disobey! PERIOD! to delay obedience is also to disobey PERIOD! So for 5years Abraham was out of Gods Blessing and provision because he instead settled in a place called Haran (which means parched) because his Father Terah(which means delay) didn’t believe the call Abraham received from God- so bringing Terah along resulted in a delay of 5years.

Until the day that Abraham obeyed God and left Haran after his father Terah had died- is when Abraham heard from God again… For 5years God was quiet!

Has God told you to do something? Have you been dragging your feet? Have you been partially obeying? God is a stickler for details and if He tells you to do something, then do all of it, not just what you personally agree with or are comfortable with.

We need to do God’s will in God’s way and in God’s time.

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Photography by PhotographyByJuneJuly

Make Up by WACUKA THIMBA

Hair by Crochet By Christine

Ankara by LAVIERA

 

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New Beginnings

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“And suddenly you know. It’s time for new beginnings. Let go of the old and make room for the new.” Peter J.Bone

What 2017 is looking like to me! Year of Bold moves because there comes a time when one must be more intentional about how we Live! no longer just accepting the status quo or worse still become comfortable, for we all know nothing brilliant really happens in our comfort zones.

What you move towards moves towards you. John Maxwell teaches that once a person moves towards his or her vision, resources begin to move toward that person. Those resources may be material, money or people- when a person stops moving, so do the resources. As you step into your story of significance and take action, you will find this is true.

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As I step out I’m also learning that indeed-“To be significant, all you have to do is make a difference with others wherever you are, with whatever you have, day by day. When you intentionally use your everyday life to bring about positive change in the lives of others, you begin to live a life that matters” Reese Witherspoon

To have a life that matters, you have to start. Start with yourself. Your best story begins when you put yourself back into it. Be in the picture. Stop looking— start living! Not only will that change your life and help others, but it will also give you the credibility and moral authority to inspire and team with others to make a difference.

“Experiment— Experience—Explore. Do not touch isn’t in our vocabulary.” Dive in! You never know how well you can swim until you are in over your head.

Stop putting limits on yourself and letting fear hold you back! but instead do it afraid!

A well- written story is built using elements that people think are important. When we live for significance, we are telling people around us that it is important to us. Almost everyone wants to live a life of meaning and significance, whether or not they express the desire. To put significance in our stories, we must do things out of our comfort zone(this term again) And we must make changes that we may find difficult. We often avoid trying to make those changes. But know this: though not everything that we face can be changed, nothing can be changed until we face it. To put significance in our stories, we must also take action. Being passive may feel safe. If you do nothing, nothing can go wrong. But while inaction cannot fail, it cannot succeed either. We can wait, and hope, and wish, but if we do, we miss the stories our lives could be. We cannot allow our fears and questions to keep us from starting. Are you tempted to wait until an ideal time? Do you worry that if you start on this journey without knowing exactly where it will go you might not do well? Are you concerned that you might fail? Let me help you by telling you something you need to know. You won’t do well the first time you do anything. You don’t know what you’re doing when you start. Nobody is good at the beginning of doing something new. Get over it. Novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft is always crap.” (Only he didn’t say crap!) And he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. If you want to live a life that matters, don’t start when you get good; start now so you become good. I’ve never known a star athlete who started out good. All start out as beginners, and with practice, some become good. Others become great. Everyone starts out bad, regardless of what they’re practicing for. We’ll start so we can improve. We start before we’re ready because we need and want to get better. The idea is to deliver our best each time we try until one day, we become good. And then one day, we may even have a chance to be great. That’s growth. But we can’t evolve if we don’t start. Your story won’t be perfect. A lot of things will change. But your heart will sing. It will sing the song of significance. It will sing, “I am making a difference!” And that will give you satisfaction down to the soul level. If you want to live a life that matters, don’t start when you get good; start now so you become good.
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So here I am facing my fears head on! because if not now then when? and most of all because as a Christian I always go back to Esther 4:14- “What if you were made for such a time as this!” When you have the fire in your belly you get moving and trust that God will order your steps! I firmly believe in seasons! never ignore them or you may regret ever giving it a shot!

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“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. . . . Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”— Steve Jobs

FAITH IT!!

Wearing a maxi from VIVO ACTIVE WEAR

 

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