You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion…

Take that!When I first read Jamie Alexanders’ quote that “You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion“, it struck home so hard. Many are the times we have allowed the opinions of others to be louder than our own belief systems, and the faith within our deepest being that we can do anything we set out to do. The Bible in Philippians 4:13 is a good reminder for me that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. There’s no greater statement when it comes to living your purpose than that. 

The last few months have been tough for many people, jobs have been lost, businesses have been shut down, loved ones have died and been buried in places we are not able to attend due to lockdown laws in our towns and cities, weddings have been postponed or conducted without the presence of loved ones, many have been locked down in cities and towns so far away from their loved ones and so many other things that have affected what we called “our normal”, in ways we may not and we will never be able to understand or comprehend.  I remember watching some clip about the effects of Covid 19 in Ecuador and that was the breaking point for me, that I could not in my own strength take on what was happening in the world. I have stayed away from watching or listening to news but somehow, being in an environment with other adults, means somehow, I get to hear the news and since 3rd parties may not always give the true story, I get to check a sneak preview online just to stay informed. So, in some ways, I am aware of what is happening around me but not in any way letting it get in the way of the one who is fully in-charge to lock and unlock the world as He deems fit (God, the creator).

If you are reading this, you are privileged in many ways. First, you are alive (irrespective of whether you are healthy or sick), you have the gift of sight (you can see) and you have internet (and that means, you have the whole world and knowledge on your finger tips) just to mention a few. With just the realisation of those three items, what stops you from getting to your dreams?, fulfilling your purpose? and becoming the best version of yourself during this period?. Look around you, there are people who are in more dire situations than yourself. Are you grateful for the little or the much that you have?

A week ago, I brought together a group of 9 amazing young people in their twenties and thirties and every weekday, we religiously meet for an hour to define our goals and plans for the day. All these young people have different visions but one thing stands out, the courage, the vision and the passion to fulfil their purposes in different ways. I have seen one get their first client in a business she has started out of a passion she had and I am confident that in a few months, she may re-think her career all over again and use this passion she has held for so long to move her to the next level.

Are there naysayers along our journeys as we chase our dreams and especially during this season of the Covid 19 pandemic?..YES!. News, loved ones and analysts will share all the reasons why businesses will fail, your continent or country will experience the highest death rates, the next few years will be tough, children are eating too much as many schools across the world are closed, long distance relationships won’t work, your fiance or fiancee will change their mind once the wedding is postponed…I mean all sorts of opinions will cross your path, but one thing remains, You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion, and that purpose will come to fruition if you close your ears to all the opinions that derail or discourage you.What is that purpose?, what is stopping you from achieving it or chasing it now?

This has been a great time for me, it may be the best and longest time I have spent with my growing children who will soon leave my house as they are growing up so fast, we have taken walks, I have watched my 10 year old learn how to and make amazing pancakes, I have taken naps with my 7 year old daughter, I have gone back to writing and in a short time, grown my following in my facebook page and started writing a blogpost once a week. I have re-started coaching with my first batch of 9 amazing learners. What is stopping you from silencing all the naysayers and opinions around you? Share your reason in the comment section below and let it be a reason enough to push you to get out of your comfort zone, re-write your vision board and go out and live out the purpose you were created for.

If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!..if I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

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SO! 40 is here or it is coming and coming fast..

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 22.17.15.pngA few months from today, I will officially turn the big 4…0. Am I scared? I don’t know. I have heard so much about 40 that all I care for now is how I will celebrate. It’s been a trend the last couple of months wishing several friends from my high school alumni class of 1998 (Chox) and friends on facebook a Happy Birthday. That, together with the many sayings and quotes I have heard or read about online or in books such as “Life begins at 40”, or “40 is when your body gives your brain a list of things its not going to do anymore”, I believe i have enough information to put it down in writing. Well, there are hundreds of quotes available on google and majority are amazing. I however got mine from Pinterest where Unskinny Boppy says that, “the best part of being over 40 is that we did most of our stupid stuff before the internet”. I am glad because the internet never forgets and the few records I have on me include this amazing article (page 10-11 and 14-15) by Angela Kamanzis’ Mkazi- Magazine in 2017 sharing my journey in details from a few years back.

Some time last year, together with 2 of my amazing friends, Dr. Matilda and Dr. Damaris, we started on a journey through a book called Zindua (a Swahili word meaning takeoff). We were privileged to attend two separate sessions with the authors, The Anzayas and a group of other sojourners who had either gone through the Zindua journey or were starting the take off with us. In Mr and Mrs Anzayas brief of Zindua, “Zindua is a study that seeks to give people in this crucial 30-50 window of life, a vivid rear-view picture of what things actually look like from 50 onwards”. And true to their words and the many real life stories we heard from those who had gone ahead of us in the journey especially the mentors over 50 years of age, the journey through this book has been a wake up call. As I approach 40, It has helped me rethink the gaps in my 0 – 20 and 20 – 30s as well as celebrate the milestones of which some involved my amazing parents.

One of my greatest comfort is knowing very well that God is a restorer of what the locusts have stolen from me in the last 39 years according to Joel 2:25 that says,  I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten, the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm, my great army that I sent among you” . There is nothing much I can do about the mistakes and choices I made in the past except taking the lessons with me, but I can confidently pray and trust Jesus Christ, so that at the end of my life, my legacy will be as that of David, when God testified about him in Acts 13:22 saying, I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do”. And a few verses later in Acts 13:36 where we learn that, Now, when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep”.

What a legacy David left behind? can that be my prayer today, that God will count me worthy as I shut my eyes in death when that time comes and that I will have fulfilled Gods’ purpose that He intended for me in my generation?.

What is your purpose? Do you even have that answer as you read this?, can you get a coach to help you figure this out? I know a few and I can connect you to a good one.

Well, back to my journey to 40. reading through my stories, you can tell my foundations are strictly on Jesus Christ, and that is the best gift I can give my children and those God sends my way, the hope and direction that only God can give.

A few days ago, as we were going through our daily family bible study, we read Acts 3 where Peter and John were walking to the temple and healed a lame beggar by telling him “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”. It’s a great story on healing but what caught my eyes was Acts 4:22 that says “For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old”.

I know there is fear that comes along as you turn 40 or go through the 40’s and look at the checklist or vision boards of your life and you see the “lame” and “beggar” aspects with your name on them, but we serve a God who is a restorer. Nothing is too broken for God, He will fix and repair as long as you give it to Him. May it be your Career (no direction / stressful / unfulfilling / in need of a job or business), Marriage, Children, Finances (debt / no savings / no investments), Relationships, Family (extended family), Church or Other Associations you are affiliated with. Nothing is impossible for God to fix even as you turn 40 or are above 40. Just like He did it for the Lame Beggar (imagine having no name but being identified by your current condition that you can’t even face those who you need help from due to the shame or pain…remember Peters’ words in Acts 3:4, ” Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”). In Jesus name, this season shall come to an end, just look UP to Jesus Christ.

My prayer even as you turn 40 or as you continue enjoying your 40’s is that, just like the Lame Beggar, you will not only receive all that you are asking for, (Remember, Acts 3:3 states that the lame beggar was asking for Money), but instead you shall receive as he did, “exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think, according to the power that is at work in you”. The lame beggar would have chosen not to give Peter his right hand, but by faith, he did and his feet and ankles became strong. May that be your portion today as you lift up your hand in faith to receive all that God has in store for you.

May your feet and ankles be strong enough to rise up, walk, jump and praise God at what He is about to begin in your 40’s journey because you can and you will enjoy it.

If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!..if I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

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My Covid 19 story: Working from home, homeschooling and parenting..

IMG_7882Today marks my 4th Wednesday working from home. I am blessed to work in an organisation that made a decision to work from home on the Sunday the first case in my country was announced. The adjustment has been tough but I am finally at a point where I can sit back and share my journey. I have learnt to put on my straw hat (see image) to signal to my family that “I am busy at work” and should not be disturbed and finally, there is peace in my home considering that school, work, church, bible study (BSF), sleep, fun and fights can all happen under one roof, and we can agree to live together happily ever after.

Maybe I should begin by sharing my experience during the first three weeks. Week 1 was tough, getting my two young children (aged seven and ten) settled at home for homeschooling, my team of fourteen settled to work from home and finally my self.  My idea was to create a shared school and work space for my children and I, but I was wrong. By day three, I remember flipping in anger and running downstairs after I had enough of them taking advantage every time I got into a call and sharing their stories that either escalated to loud laughter or a fight. I was done and on the same day, I learnt that a member of my team had not settled as she missed one of her crucial work tools. I think it is at that point that I realised that I was stuck with a headache for over 72 hours and taking a painkiller had not even crossed my mind. Everyone was settled but myself. Previously, my schedule was so well documented with waking up at 6:00am, school drop offs at 6:45am and settled in the office by 7:00am and back home by 4:30pm in time to enjoy the rest of the evenings with my family. That was the first thing I had to change. I needed to re-adjust my schedules. I was now with my family 24 hours a day and children who were so excited to see me at  home, not realising I still had work obligations and not just “Mum” on leave.

Week 2 was much easier, my children seemed to have settled into the study system, my team was running smoothly with a whatsApp group that everyone clocked in their check-in time, break times and log off times, and my new schedules of starting off my work day at 8:30am was working perfectly well. My team tasks had changed to align with the new business goals and suddenly it hit me, that I was so anxious about the situation and so were many people around me. I wrote down an hour by hour schedule that incorporated exercise as well as aligned with the children’s study schedule to ensure we had more time together as I realised they were also going through the same anxiety as my younger one who hated hugs and kisses now gives me hundreds of kisses in a day. Thankfully, my friend and coach Joanne Kabiru got me involved in a mentorship group called ‘Salt and Light’ that started raising my spirits. That was a great platform that prepared me for a 30% paycut with lots of gratitude as I still had some income as long as I continued delivering my best.

Everything however crashed in week 3 when both of my parents in their early 60’s got admitted in hospital. All of a sudden, the reality hit me hard. I was not in-charge, GOD WAS INDEED IN-CHARGE. That changed my perspective about everything because I could have chosen fear and especially knowing that my parents would be exposed to the virus during their stay in hospital amidst trying to balance everything else including my mental state. My daily confession was that ‘God was in-charge’. It was in every message and statement I wrote, WhatsApp status and every word I spoke. Suddenly, all my fear was gone, all the anxiety was gone and I was ready to arise and share my strength with those God sent my way. This remains my statement of faith even today. My parents were discharged and God remains in-charge even as they heal.

As week 4 progresses, I have continued learning and appreciating many things, post -coronavirus season will be very different for many of us. My life for instance has been completely reset. I am enjoying motherhood and family life more, I have realised that I can do with so much less, my budget is adjusted and my family and I are so much happier, my genuine family and friends are coming out stronger now, what was broken in my house is suddenly getting fixed, my garden is now better taken care of and I have so much more time to encourage others and be there for ‘myself’ (Yes!..Myself). My coach took my friends of over 20 years and I through an amazing zoom session last night on “Building resilience in these uncertain times”. One statement that rang so deep was when she asked us what would be harder than the isolation Nelson Mandela went through for 27 years. That alone has me prepared for this season as long as it takes to ensure my family and I, my neighbours, my nation and the world at large is safe. We clearly realise now as human beings, we have no control. God is truly in-charge! I am so glad that even as I settle into this space of fully trusting in what God is doing, I am surrounded by the love of a great family, a great boss (Thank you Hillary, if you see this), great neighbours (a birthday cake and some pizza was delivered the other day for a remote birthday party for my little 3 year old next door neighbour), great colleagues, a great team, great leadership of our nation led by our health cabinet secretary and above all God who remains totally in-charge.

If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!..if I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my facebook page here