29 April 2011

Dads are special people. They may not be perfect but they are important for the running of the family. Especially when mum decides to go all jelly even after the kids misbehave. Then, dad steps in and takes control of the situation. Emotions aside, lets-face-the-facts, he deals with it. And sometimes even when mum is wincing as discipline is being meted to the kids, he still does it. Unflinching. Representing the hard side of life to the kids from an Early stage.
I have always loved mine. And no, he's far from perfect but yes I still love him. I treasure my time with him to date. He understands me. And predicts. I found that so annoying growing up but now appreciate it. That he could almost tell my next move. With precision. The confidence he has in me has steered me to places I would not have gone on my own strength. Just knowing that dad is behind me gives me the courage. Just a nod from dad is good enough for me.
And so I treasure the role of dads in families. I agree some people may not have much to say about their dad. I feel for them. But it surprises me to see dads who don't seem to have any idea of their importance to their children. These dads go about life like no one needs them and shirk all responsibility of their kids. It's not enough to provide for the family. Most times what the children and wifey will remember and treasure is the time dad spends with them. Not just there, but involved with them. Those jokes shared at the family living room. The way dad fixes stuff around the house. The feeling of protection when he is home and the homework time is priceless. Even those scary moments with dad when he lets little girl attempt some task unaided and seemingly dangerous count.
Great dads make happy children. And a contented wifey. Picture the Obamas. Gives you that warm feeling, right. And yet we have great ones too among us. Who go on tirelessly to give their family the best. Sometimes they may not express how they feel as openly but yes the feelings are there. Hidden behind those lined faces and hefty arms. With strength enough to cushion their kids against the world. And train them to make a head start in life. Courageously. Fearlessly.

I see them in the shopping centres with wide-eyed children. Trying to cope with the requests pointed out by little hands. They trudge on, promising themselves to work harder to get little one what they point out. Next time. I see them in church. Cradling little ones in their arms. Patiently trying to understand their needs. Exercising patience out most. And wifey gets to listen in on the sermon uninterrupted.  I even see them at the clinic. Sitting there with the little ones. Patiently hoping their child gets better soon. And at the graduation. Little one may only be moving to the next class but she beams at dad taking a picture of her in her gown. She just made it from preschool!And at the wedding. Dad sitting at his seat. Waiting to give away his little girl. Sure he will miss her and hoping she will be taken care of at her new home. Like in her previous.

28 April 2011

In the dead of the night

We could hear nothing. It was 2am and all was quiet yet we could hear nothing. But he could and motioned us to listen more keenly. Still..nothing. We had sat up half the night waiting for this and yet could hear nothing. Then I heard something. It was the slightest swish, but it was there. At last I had something to write home about. I had just witnessed the passing of one of the most feared creatures alive. A giant serpent.
We had heard about the story of the snake catcher who lived upcountry on the hills not so far away from our village. The stories had so fascinated us that we had decided to visit. And so, with the help of a relative, the catcher had agreed on a meeting at my relatives home. It was an area well known to him. That day after we had dinner and sat basking in the moonlight a while the stories had begun. Well into the tales that seem unbelievable to anyone but him I had gone to cross check if all the windows were closed shut because i was leaving nothing to chance.
The setting was ideal for a perfect night to just sit by, listening to the wind blow in the hills and watch the moonlight. But not that night. We were there for a different mission. An encounter with the dreaded of the village. Close to midnight, we got into the house and secured the doors. Then we sat waiting in the sitting room listening to him. He had stories that were so out of this world. Then he called out. He could hear it! But we could not. Not just yet.
It is quite an experience being in the presence of something so dangerous. Even with the walls around us we could feel the presence of evil all around. The catcher went into details to explain the habits of the serpent. He comes out in the late night to hunt. Then goes in search of water. He told us that the snake is so huge he could swallow a whole goat. I didn't even want to imagine what else would fit inside there.
We didn't get to wait for the return of the serpent up the hills in the wee hours of the morning. But he did. You see, the catcher had adopted some weird mannerisms too. He could stay awake four days and nights, complete with no sleep. Then go to sleep three days and nights nonstop. And nothing or no one could wake him up. But that's a story for another day.

27 April 2011

Share this

It is a fact. Ladies just love talking and sharing issues in their lives. Talk about anything from the house help who did some unimaginable act to the way the baby made a silent sigh in her sleep. Anything is topic for the ladies gab. Makes me wonder when I see several ladies seated together, all speaking at the same time like they are trying to outdo one another.Who is listening?
That we love to share, is somewhat a survival skill for us ladies. When I share my troubles parenting a teen, and listen to another mum who has been through worse with hers somewhat gives me the courage to soldier on. Alas, so mine is not an isolated case. There are times that I feel like the world surely rests on my shoulders. I mean, life nowadays is just one race after another. It is hard being a mother to teens. Especially a working mother. With energy all gone from my day in the office I casually step into the house, hoping for some peace but alas! Where does my seven year old get this energy from?
The visit to the salon is usually refreshing. Those few hours of attention, even if paid for do me some good. And it comes with benefits too. I get to meet other equally tired mums, who are dealing with all sorts of issues of life, with courage. This is where I get to know just what it is ladies face up to on a daily basis. And learn to count my blessings. Somewhat. The stories vary one from the other. But you've got to give it up for the way they are told. Emotionally. And so I get to experience a variety of feelings while there. Sadness for the lady whose sick child keeps her up most of the night. Yet she has to go to work the following day. Remorse that there is not much I can do but listen. Another lady does not have help and has to leave her child every day at some day care. She is not happy with the services and laments on how much it hurts to leave her crying child every morning at that place. Again, I count my blessings but feel sorry for her. And just when am beginning to think how depressing the place seems to be in walks someone different. She is beaming all over. Comes with tales of happiness, at last.
She is over the moon. Her son is getting married coming Saturday. She gives us detail after another about the forthcoming wedding. And invites all of us to attend. Of course I am happy for her. And her son who in this day and age has decided to commit before God and man. Most people nowadays do not realise the need to involve God in their lives. Saves a lot of trouble latter on.
Well, it is time to go for me. I look forward to my next visit. To share my time with these people. Although am almost sure it will be a different crowd next time. With different experiences of course. But am grateful for the experiences shared. I will not take anything for granted. Or so I promise myself.

21 April 2011


It is what makes meaningful relationships. One way or another, sacrifice is part of what makes meaningful relations. A mother withstands discomfort for nine months till her babe is born. And the father has his share of worry and anticipation. It must be worse agony watching someone you love going through so much and not being able to do much about it. And that is just the beginning. After the baby is born, through all life stages, the parents are there, right in it with their child. They give of their time, resources and energy for the comfort of their child.
A pastor gives of his time for the sake of his flock. He is on call any time a member of his church is in the deep, is celebrating or suffers loss. He no longer dictates his time. That is for his people's need to determine. Few times he can have some quiet time with his family or by himself. He's at the beck and call of his people. He has to forfeit some of his pleasures for them.
It's not all rosy for the boss either. Most complain of not having time of their own. The responsibility that comes with authority obviously takes some personal time off. Work preoccupies most of their time and other relationships could suffer as a result if no proper work life balance is struck. Obviously, success comes at a price too.
It makes sense then that someone had to sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. This is the universal pattern. Jesus left the comfort of heaven to come down and suffer death on the cross for the salvation of mankind. With no sin of his own, he died for us. As we commemorate this coming easter, we can pause and count our worth. Jesus died for us, we are children of the most high! And it will begin to rub off on us, this great lesson on giving up our comfort for someone else. Have a blessed easter all.

19 April 2011

I will be with you.

She was wailing. I did not understand what it was she was saying but her distress was oh so obvious. She kept repeating the same words over and over again. In the midst I heard the name Brian. I asked her about Brian. She told me so much I did not understand. And the name kept coming up again. Brian.
It was at the hospital and we were counselling with patients that day. Much of what we had seen so far was pure agony. Sick people all over, some too sick to utter a word. Then me and my colleague had been drawn to this loud wail. One that can only come from a mother who has lost a child. Brian.
We did what we could even with the language barrier. Some things cannot even be said in words. Someone at the hospital understood her language and was able to calm her some. He kept repeating some words in the language. And was able to soothe the lady. Slowly she gathered her baby's clothes and put them in her bag. They were all she had to remind her of her beloved child. I will never forget the look on that lady's face. It will forever remain imprinted on my mind.
Two lessons I learnt that day. In life, there will come a time when noone identifies with our feelings. Yes they understand. But only we know the depth of what it is that is going on with our lives. This is a time that we need a rock to fall back on. One that is strong enough to hold us up despite what may be going on in our lives. And will not let through.
Lesson two is the power of touch. Immediately he put his arms around this wailing lady, she almost quieted down. She needed to feel that someone was there for her. Someone that understood her well. Someone who was willing to help her rise up even in her grief. The human touch is a most valued tool to bring restoration to a broken soul. How much more the touch of Jesus!
The woman with an issue of blood only needed to touch the hem of his garment. And she was healed. Amazing, isnt it? It could change the course of someone's life. And help restore lost hope in another. And form a bond like no other. 

18 April 2011

I heard this and thought long and hard about it before I decided to share. It is on a well-loved topic. Relationships. Sounded interesting and the longer I thought about it, the more I begun to see some sense into it.
There are four stages in any marriage. We begin with the "honey" stage. This is the one where all seems dreamy and out-of-this world. At this stage the couple is fresh in love and probably newly wed. There's not a speck of fault about each other and life is all rosy and out of the movies.
Then comes the after honeymoon stage. At this stage, small specks of dirt begin to appear on the formerly clean surface. At this stage, the couple begin to fall back into living their lives the way they used to do before marriage. Some ideas clash and so do they. The lady begins to notice the toilet seat and the dirty socks anywhere but in the laundry basket. And the husband suddenly realises that she does not cook as well as his mama did. That leads to the next stage.
Disillusionment. By this time the kids have probably come into the marriage. The couple is trying to balance their work life with bringing up the little ones. There is a whole lot of stuff going on and sincerely,  the two are wondering if they can balance the lot of it. At this time they could begin to fight. Due to the pressure of work, parenting and so much going for them, one may begin to feel short charged. Right there is trouble brewing.
The last stage is the ideal of any relationship. It is acceptance. At this stage, the couple has worn the good fight, stayed strong and realised that no change is forthcoming from partner. They have accepted each other, just as they are. You see this in the elderly couple you see in the neighborhood. They walk together, share everything and do stuff together. With the kids grown up, all they have is each other and they so need each other. And he is even doing stuff he should have done earlier in life. Like waiting up for her to slowly catch up with him.

15 April 2011

Friends sent from heaven

Real friends are hard to come by. There are those friends whom you know from having common interests. These are friends who do not really care much about you. They only come into your life because your paths crossed. Learn to take them as they are and dont expect more from them than they can offfer.
Then there are those friends who you meet up often, who are always looking out for you. They call you to find out how you are doing, come to visit and generally charm your life. That's until you run into some kind of trouble. And you are there, looking left, right and centre! Where did they go? Simply put, these are seasonal friends. They will stick with you while the going is good.
There is another kind of friends. These are people, God brings into your life for life's seasons. They are there for you, they call you up often, they are simply God-sent. These will come your way usually when noone else is there for you. They make things much easier for you. Your wilderness days are lighter, more bearable because of these angels. They silently touch your life but leave a lasting mark in your heart. They remind you of God's love when you need it most.
It is important to recognise the different kinds of friends. Then we appreciate the variety they bring into our lives and are not surprised when our season with them is over. Today i thank God for my friends. All of them. But I whisper a very special prayer for the angels that have crossed my life. You were the reminder of God's love when I needed it most.

14 April 2011

Grace in small measures.

There is always something You and I could do. Might not be huge but it could change someone's life. Or yours. It's in the small things you do that don't really seem to matter. But they do. And they could be a turning point in someone's life. Take this day, for instance.
It was early morning and everyone was hurrying to work. There I stood at the bus stop awaiting means to get to work. There was a crowd of people already who all tried to get on the next available bus using all means. I stood there, wondering what chance I had of getting on a bus. But that was not for long.
I didn't hear the hoot at first. But several others did and called my attention to it. Right there, waiting just before my eyes, was a car. I first noticed that it did not look familiar. But the one behind the wheel did. It was someone I remembered as a student. That was enough to get me accept a lift in the car. And for the next ten minutes we had a talk.
He remembered all so well. About the day when at school we had sat together for close to thirty minutes. You see, he had been on the verge of despair about his home situation. Things had not been going on right at his home. And that had affected him real bad. He had looked for someone he could talk to in the sea of students. I had happened on him by chance. A chance that  meant so much to him, then and even now.
I was happy when i got to alight after the ride in his car. It felt good to have touched someone's life abeit in a small way. Felt even better that we both remembered even if for just ten minutes.