What I think I need

The bible speaks of a danger in praying amiss. It says “you do not receive because you ask wrongly”. So with time, we learn that praying without understanding is almost just as bad as not praying because when we pray without an understanding of what we’re asking for, there is the possibility that we are even praying against the Father’s will and knowing the Father we serve, we know that His loving nature would not allow Him release to us anything that will destroy us, even if we ourselves don’t know it.

A lot of times, we come to God and we do not even know really the need we have to raise to God in prayer. We get so carried away by the covering of the need that we do not look deeper to see the root of the need and pray with regards it.

For example, you might see people praying for money a lot of times and you rarely hear them ask God for a job. A job has the capacity to satisfy the need for money over a long period of time, but in the moment, such a person is blinded by an absence of money and so is constantly praying that God provides money.

Similarly, you hear people raising requests constantly about a spouse, whether a wife or husband and you rarely hear people pray for God to make them the right person for whoever God is sending their way. Here again, were blinded by how the need appears and unable to actually decipher and pray concerning the root need, which is to be the person God wants you to be before He even hands another human being to you in matrimony.

I call this The kingdom perspective and for me, it is a constant prayer always that I see always through God’s eyes. The way heaven is seeing it. This is the understanding we need when we stand in prayer and the assurance that comes in ‘whatever you ask in my name, I will do for you’. Emphasis on ‘Whatever’. So long as it is in accordance to the will of God, it will be answered.

Looking again at the Samaritan woman at the well with Jesus. Notice how she is introduced. ‘She came with her water jar to get some water from the well’. At the end of that story in John 4:28, the bible records “leaving her water jar, the woman went back to town and said to the people…”

She was thirsty right? any sane human knows that if I am thirsty, I need water to drink. So she went off to get that water. What she did not realise and what she had been blinded to see was that her thirst wasn’t merely a biological longing for physical water. Her real need was to meet with the one who had the capacity to quench her thirst forever and as we see in the end, Jesus did exactly that! Even bringing her to forget her original need seeing as she left that meeting without the water jar she had come with.

When we come to Jesus, we always leave with the things that matter most. It is a trend in the bible. Elijah came in tears and regret after Jezebel had threatened Him and He left Gods presence with instruction. Hannah came with taunting and pain and she left with a Son, this thirsty woman came with a water jar and left with salvation.

Jesus knows most our deepest needs and so even when we approach Him and it appears like were not receiving what we’ve come for, we need to trust He knows exactly what He is doing because usually the need we think we need satisfied is really minute compared  to the bigger need behind what actually needs satisfaction.

It also reveals the value of our need. That our needs attract us to God who is then able to show us the bigger picture.

Some of us are with God now with an apparatus in hand to hold what we think we need and it appears like God is not even acknowledging the presence of that apparatus and that’s fine. Just stay trusting and open to receive whatever He does send, because He alone sees the bigger picture and that’s what He wants to open your eyes to see as well.

Needs

The only acceptable trials and errors

I was thinking to myself this morning how we really do not know, until we have tried. I’m of the opinion that while experience isn’t the only teacher, it is a great and practical way to get a lesson.

I look at people doing certain things today and I truly admire their effort and commitment, sometimes, directly by complimenting or simply just internally appreciating them and praying more grace over them and their work. Most times I am not even able to think myself in their shoes because I have been there and realised it does not bring me joy, the way it does the person which is then again a constant reminder of the different courses that God has given to us all.

I played sports all primary and secondary school, football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis and even did some field and track events. I love sports! the spontaneity of it but even more the bringing together of people for a common goal.

I made beads and sold with my sister for a couple of years in primary school, we would also send some to my grandma’s and aunties. I figured I enjoyed to an extent the creativity of designing the outlook of the beads, but I didn’t enjoy so much the packaging or sales of it.

I learnt to an intermediate level, the violin and recorder in primary school, I started on the piano, and I really hated it. The violin seemed a lot better but it really still didn’t spark the fire in me. I only was dedicated to playing the recorder because I had to play it on assembly and sometimes, was graded on it.

I went for a beauty pageant in a camp in my 5th year of high school, funny thing, I actually won, but I know that if given a chance in my present life to go for a pageant again, i’ll probably decline. I hated the suspense, comparison and stress of dressing up for each round. I think what made me win it in the end was the quality of my answers which focused on social justice issues as well as the educational system of Nigeria, which really are my fort.

I did an art class all of high school and I loved that I could express myself, but I hated how messy it was. I didn’t like to get my hands stained, so I was not the biggest fan of the drawing, painting or colouring activities, although I did all my biology drawings in senior secondary school. lol

My oldest sister was a dancer. She use to have a dance group that danced at events and also at stadiums during commercials, so I had my fair share of dance lessons. I loved dance but i’d prefer doing it in front of my mirror or in church. But anywhere else, i’m not very comfortable. I’ve been in choir all of my life as well, singing is the one thing I might never stop doing. Not on a large scale level, but just expressing my voice through the raising of songs in worship.

I acted drama in church often, my mum was a minister in the children’s church and so whenever they needed people to act drama’s before lessons, they would always look for me. Not that I had the skill, just on the account of my mum. I hated it! I didn’t like faking a role or an accent. I also found the whole thing funny so usually you’d find me snickering while playing my role, no matter how serious it was.

I grew up in a bakers house. My mum baked it all, you name it! Both for the house and commercially, so I had done baking as well. Cakes, bread, donuts, chin-chin, puff-puff, meat pie etc. I loved it as well, but I hated the bits leading up to the actual activity and definitely how tired I felt after it was done.

I spent the summer after I graduated high school in a fashion design academy, learning to draw and cut patterns as well as sewing clothes. I hated it! I was scared of the sewing machine and I found the entire pattern drawing and cutting process extremely boring. The only reason I kept going that summer asides the fact that it was paid for, was that there were these 2 girls who came everyday and basically had fresh things to fight about, it was always so entertaining, so they were another motivation to keep going.

My foundation year, prior to getting into university, I spent it working part-time as a Sales adviser, and yes, I still hated it, I thought I might have outgrown it after my sale of my beads growing up, but I realised again that year that it was just not something I enjoyed or found fulfilment in, and that was totally okay.

My second year at University, I did a course called Computing Undergraduate Ambassador which had me going into a high school twice a week to teach year 9’s and 11’s Computing. I did really enjoy it! Interacting with the kids was fun and all, but it was only to an extent, I figured, it won’t be something I might want to do long term, I also figured that maybe I would prefer teaching older students rather than that age group.

My placement year, after second year at University, I worked as an Applications Analyst in a big organisation. It was very rewarding, but was it fulfilling? I think not. On that job I also explored quality testing, product managing and accounting roles and none of them supported the spark that I had within me, so while I did learn so much, I knew again, this was not it. This job also showed me that i’d rather work for a smaller company than a larger one. I loved how close knitted my team was. Not something you find in large organisations.

Along the line in all of this, my blogging, reading and counselling is something I do really enjoy. While it might not be the main dish of my career, i’m certain it will be a yummy side dish to always run to after the days work.

Now, i’m sure you’re thinking, why has she told us all this?

I want to draw your attention back to my first statement that ‘we never really know, until we try’. Having tried all of these things listed above, I know very well my capability with them. I have been able to identify the ones I loved, the ones I didn’t mind and the ones I out-rightly hated.

You know what this has done for my life? It has helped narrow down the options thrown at me. When I see an opportunity, I’m not just asking ‘can you do it?’, I’m also asking ‘would you enjoy this?’.

How hard it will be to answer that second question if I have no experience of it. They talk about exploring while you’re young. I’m an avid supporter of that statement because it goes a long way in focusing you on the one thing or things that will truly bring out the full ‘magic’ in you.

It has also made me very appreciative of people and their work, particularly for the things I have found to hate, I’m mesmerised at how another person does the thing with so much passion and adoration.

I don’t know what phase you are in right now in life, but keep exploring, keep learning and keep saying yesss. hate it, love it, be meh about it, just have an experience of it to know if you’d wanna do it again or not.

One of my entrepreneurial spirited aunts always sends me this verse;

Ecclesiastes 11 : 6

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

Don’t be afraid to  try. The least that could happen is you learn, which really is not such a bad thing.

I’m personally currently in a phase of cooking. I’m exploring cooking techniques and recipes. I’m also exploring areas in technology, social justice and politics and soon, i’d have opinions of each based on my findings…

Feel free to let me know in the comment section, what you’re currently exploring. No matter what it is 🙂

jack woman

Chief Judges by nature

People are so quick to use the “you don’t understand” line, even when they have not done justice in explaining, they just believe that you don’t or won’t understand and I’ve learnt to be very patient with such people. Not pushing them to explain beyond what they have but admitting that yes, maybe I really don’t understand, so can you please make it clearer for me?

It has taken me my few adult years on this earth to understand how the human mind works and in summary, as our thumbprints are different, so are our perspectives to things and so it is aberrational when I see people getting offended when they are misunderstood or misinterpreted. Cause being human as we are, it is something I think we need to leave space to accommodate. That ‘people might misunderstand my intentions sometimes’ and that’s totally okay.

It is also so easy to get caught up in the misunderstanding seat. To be the one who misunderstands someone, which is why we must be graceful with people who do misunderstand in certain situations cause we also fall prey sometimes.

I remember meeting a girl once who was so bent on dating this guy because of how affluent he was and she was bold enough to even admit it, saying that asides his affluence, he was god-fearing and nice and all, so essentially, she was not in just for the money although that was a plus and I remember telling her off one day about how she was making money such a determining factor in her decision of who she would want to settle down with in life and I honestly even got a bit angry and said things I probably should not have till in replying me, my eyes were open to seeing it from her perspective.

When you grow up with or without something, it becomes the standard or the norm for you. By God’s grace, I had my parents provide for me to a level I was not seeking outside of home, she didn’t have same story and so had come from a place of ‘I need to seek the one who’s gonna provide for me’.

From our different backgrounds, we formed ideologies of life and so it was foreign to her for me to be saying ‘why can’t you go home and get it rather than seek it outside’.

This is just one of many examples where I’ve imposed my own standards from my background on other people and where I have been imposed on from the backgrounds of others as well. It is something we will all need to be wary of so that we are not blocking ourselves from ministering to people at the level in which they are at and not the level we think they should be at.

It is kinda similar to the post on Culture difference pt 1 where I spoke about how we carry expectations in our heads from the places we’re coming from and when we meet with people who don’t carry same expectations and ideas, clashes ensue.

It is a daily thing for all of us, being able to remove ourselves from our own shoes and stand in the place of another. This is in no way endorsing or compromising the values we stand in, but challenging ourselves to see it from a whole new perspective that could even equip us for future connections.

perspective

The Default settings

I think the devil has a very cunning way of getting us to do the exact thing we said we would not, whats funny about it is how we sometimes convince ourselves of having thought through whatever it is and made the best loving and logical decision.

I remembered this morning how I use to prepare myself subconsciously with come-backs (a response to someone who has said something unpleasant to you). Like I would have the entire conversation play out in my head in advance and prepare myself for what to reply and at what point. So in my mind, I had done the right thing by ‘thinking before responding‘, I was not responding in haste but from thought, however that thought was merely preparing my attack, not even taking a defence, both of which was wrong when it came to dealing with people.

Similarly, I was speaking with someone yesterday about something I had posted on social media that she had contrary thoughts on and she started with “I wanted to come say it to you personally here before a stranger will insult me and I won’t take it”, so after she shared what she wanted, I responded starting with a quote of her ‘I won’t take it’, so she could buttress further and she went deeper saying that if someone came for her, she was definitely going back for them, so to avoid that, she privately messaged me.

Together with this and my remembrance of the past, I realised how ‘self’ is set to ‘attack’ by default. We aren’t programmed to love first when faced with anything unpleasant, we’re mostly programmed to defend and then attack, which only explains why we think through our comebacks before they happen and shield ourselves from the attack of people so we don’t also attack back.

For the beginning part of my christian journey, I deceived myself into thinking that the more I stay on my own, the less likely i’ll be to sin, I won’t need to receive or give offence, so it was like ‘Lone wolf speaking only when spoken to’. This meant I was limiting my social interactions and also my reach to people who I was suppose to be light and salt to. I didn’t realise then that the test of our faith is when we’re faced with the exact things that could cause us to fall and then we overcome. Anything that is not tested cannot be proven.

I cannot be claiming to be something or someone without being tested on it. Interactions with people always brings that test, it’s where we learn patience, kindness, gentleness but ultimately, unconditional love.

We have to reset our defaults to ‘love’, we have to submit to the Holy Spirit to the point where we really don’t mind being attacked, all were concerned about is giving love, even though it means us being trampled upon. We also need to know that we cannot run away from that which is meant to grow us. Christianity does not mean limiting social interaction, it is even more a call to go and distribute love anywhere and at any time.

attack

The Human Butterflies

I totally believe when people speak of the ‘transformation power’ that lies in the gospel. Until you have been changed, I don’t believe you have experienced the ‘hit’ of the gospel because that’s the purpose of knowledge, to bring change, and the purpose of the gospel is positive change, not just change. The kind where you’re stripped of self and daily  being moulded to resemble Christ who is the ‘First begotten’ and not ‘Only begotten’ anymore by what He did on the cross.

It is always a working of inside-out, never outside-in because the gospel aims for the core of us and not just the do’s and don’t’s. It is more concerned about the root than the fruits and that explains why I usually have a little problem with stewards of the word who attack the fruits and not the root.

I also usually say to people often willing to stop bad habits never to attempt doing it by themselves because it will not work. Will-power won’t betray itself. But the Spirit of God remains supreme to will-power, so rather than attempting doing it by yourself, hand that will to the Spirit of God within you and watch Him bring the never-going-back change that only He can produce. He works step by step, there’s no magic about it because the transformation He allows us experience prepares us to also administer to other people who go through the same issues.

Paul put it like this ;

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – 2 Corinthians 1:4

So if you’re struggling with stopping any habit or trait in your life that you have identified as limiting and toxic, don’t just wake up and say ‘Today, I will not do this and this’, ask the Holy spirit to empower you against whatever it is because by Jesus death on the cross, we are no longer slaves to sin!

I daily see the Holy Spirit breaking ‘self’ in my life and honestly, it remains my biggest testimony because everything that limits and causes me to stumble is in self, so my daily prayer is ‘God please save me from myself‘. I can’t begin to tell you what the answers to this prayer has done for me.

Yesterday again I was reminded, coming back from church, normally i’d get home and get preparing for the coming week and all, but the Holy Spirit just dropped names in my heart, and when I finally settled down to understanding these names, I realised it was the people who would usually be in church that weren’t, so the instruction was simple ‘message them and check they’re okay’. Despite stalling, I finally got to doing it and as I did it, God took me to realising that I could only do this by His power, because if left to me, I won’t be too bothered about who turned up and didn’t turn up to church, so He was breaking self-centeredness in self and honestly, it felt sooo good!

Fast forward to early this morning, I got a notification of a follow on my Instagram and opened it up to see who it was and after a few scrolls over the person’s page, I realised I didn’t appreciate their use of profanity in captions as well as their approach to loads of things which was evident in the captions and I mentally decided I couldn’t follow this person back cause I didn’t want to be exposed to that on my timeline.

Moments later, I felt a nudge to go follow her back and I heard in my Spirit that ‘Since you’re both following each other, she sees your captions, you see hers, so we can hope that she’s convicted by the slightest by the words that you could have in yours and you’re conscious not to allow her words or mannerism rub off on you’, and it made perfect sense to me, so I followed her back.

All these seeming small and mundane things that I see the Holy Spirit speaking to me about shows me the changes He’s making in me. It is never really the massive things as we usually think, it always starts from the small.

Let’s be intentional about this submission to change shall we? Grace is sufficient!

Have a beautiful, productive and blessed week! You’re graced in every way for it.

free

“You’re a Christian girl for God’s sake!”

I re-told the story of my friend below for a post on upliftgirl.com which I think you should totally check out! Re-told because it was by mouth it was said to me but I put it in writing.

True story, I hope you’re blessed, but even more, made more aware.

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I had already known my parents to be very religious and principled at a very young age.
It was as though certain things weren’t suppose to happen to you when you named the name of the Lord so it was hard to comprehend when I found myself in certain situations.
My parents were very loving folks and I know they meant the best for me and what I think they did was shield me from the evil of the world but I think a better way would’ve been to make me aware of it but teach me how to navigate around it.

I was probably just 8, I was living in Port-harcourt with my family cause my dad worked there. My little sister was a little over 5 and my mum was mostly a stay at home mother who thought she had her eyes on us 24/7.
We had these neighbours and big cousins who’ll come around often.
They wanted to greet my dad and all so they’d stay the entire day till he came home and then greet him before they left. As time went on, some weekends, they’d spend the night some days.

One of those nights, 2 of the older girls. who weren’t too far from me on the bed started to touch me in places that my brain registered as “unfamiliar”.
It registered it as danger but oddly, it was pleasurable.
They were older so I think I assumed it was some sort of play for older girls so I let it.
It became very frequent and they would sexually assault me with their bare hands and have me do strange things as well.

Oddly enough, I knew this wasn’t right but I couldn’t bring myself to stop them or report them. Just the thought of what my parents would think if they found out was enough to keep my hushed.

I moved away from Port-Harcourt about 2 years later. I was older then so I knew exactly what had been happening to me and it had happened so frequently I had lost count.
But hey, it was going to be a new start. I’m moving away!, or so I thought.

We moved to Abuja and it was really all sunshine and roses until one night when an Aunty came over again to sleep over and it was like she had recognised what I had been up to from Port-harcourt and the cycle resumed.
“Touching and playing like adults”

I became so irritated at the thought of myself. I wondered how a child of such religious parents could be experiencing this, like “weren’t my parents covering me in prayer!?!!”
This led to my silence.
I was usually very talkative growing up but getting to a boarding secondary school, I became mute, speaking only when I had been spoken to and a response was required. I enjoyed the quietness. It deceived me into thinking the madness was only within and not around me and so to keep myself from being more dirty than I thought myself to be, it’ll be wise to keep it all in.

I began to see my body through horrible lenses. I felt I had eyeballs that weren’t proportional to the size of my face. I felt my cheeks were too big and God!, I hated my legs, I felt like they were terribly irregularly shaped.
These insecurities ate me up to the point where I hated to look in mirrors. I didn’t want to be reminded of what my head already knew.
How I managed to finish high school without failure, I can’t explain it, but that’s pain right?
It lets you get through one phase, doesn’t mean it ends there.

It was time to get to University, fortunately, my dad agreed to let me go to the United Kingdom despite his high level of over-protectiveness. It was the first time I’d be by myself, alone and the thought of what I would do to myself scared me so much.
But hey, life had to go on.

University started great, made a friend or two, had my own mini studio apartment and I had found a few activities to keep me from thinking often. But that didn’t last very long.
I became terribly depressed and lonely, it was like, I loved the muteness, but I wanted to be around other people so I was not too aware of it.
I started struggling in Just foundation year academically and I wondered how it all escalated so quickly.

I was back summer of that foundation year and one time I sat in the kitchen with my mum and God knows whatever even made me think she’d understand and I told her I had been struggling with anxiety and depression in the most playful way.
She said “see what you’re saying with your mouth”.
Meaning, ‘that shouldn’t be coming from someone of such religious calibre like myself’. Before I knew it, it had become fight. My mum wanted to know so badly what would be depressing me young as I was and I honestly didn’t have an answer so to keep Peace and for my sanity, I told her it would be fine and ended the conversation there.
Promising myself never again to bring it up.

I knew I had to get serious with God, I knew I was now on my own, the monsters in my head weren’t going to go anywhere if I didn’t send them away.
I think God heard my prayers because He began to send me friends, friends who allowed me open up to them at my own pace, I even got into a relationship with this guy who I genuinely thought was my everything. Him and I would pray together, talk about everything and just be each other’s best friends.
We were close to the point I could let him in on my past. He didn’t judge me, he had a past of his own so we were good, really good.

Life started to look brighter and this time, it was actually the sun, not some made up artificial light in my head. I noticed that the more I spoke to people, the freer I became.
I forgot to add that I stammer and stutter, (one of the many things I hated about myself), I think I inherited it though cause my dad stammers, however, not as bad as I do.

But the more I spoke, the less I stammered, I’m not sure how but I noticed it began to go away.
I started praying more too and talking to my best friends whenever I was at my lowest and they always had the best words.

I can say I’m in so much a better place now, despite having to retake a year in University, but I’ve picked my pieces up and everyday, I’m gluing each piece back to where it belongs.
I’m learning to forgive myself, but most importantly, to separate the blame from myself because I hated myself because I blamed myself for everything that went wrong in my past.

I look in mirrors now, very often and I tell my huge eyes and not-so-straight legs that they’re beautiful.
I was robbed of a normal childhood by girls who I even still meet today, who act like it was totally fine and normal what they did, and for my own sanity, I’d rather keep it quiet, but maybe one day, when my healing is complete, I’ll gather the courage to let them know what they did to my life, but even more, how much I forgive them.
And maybe one day too, I’ll share my story to encourage other girls who come from homes where “such doesn’t happen to Christians”.

It’s been a long eventful journey but I’m grateful and here’s reaching out to every girl/woman who is still bleeding from wounds of the past in her present, heal first. Only you can take responsibility for your healing.

My boyfriend and I broke up very recently too, as much as it hurt, it was great to realise how much I had moved past pain because of how I handled all of it, especially as it really wasn’t my fault, But I’m in a happy and content place now, back to being single but learning and loving up on me.

One day, I’ll tell Mummy too, that such does happen to Christians and what really mattered then was a listening ear and not what was ideal to be said by a Christian girl. I also know already that my daughter and I will be best of friends.

My past isn’t allowed to rule me anymore. I’m a free young woman!

shhh

Can I just be independent?

I’ve heard people say so often how they feel like the biggest problem in our generation is the idea that we seem to always know what’s best for us and can go after it.

Looking at that first, it seems like a really good thing, but I think what the older generation struggle to understand with it, particularly people of African/Asian descent, is that they believe more in learning from the experiences of others and not merely trial and error which is quite costly while we just wanna take the plunge from our own intuition and see where it leads us. So you can imagine your parents frustration when they are pointing you in a direction but because you’re so convinced of the opposite direction, you take permission from them to violate their intuition and go with your own intuition.

Sometimes, we do get to certain places and realise “oh, they were right”, and other times, we get there and get to say “I told you so” back to them. May the odds forever be in your favour with regards the reply you give in life.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and she was about to do something quite big in her life and while speaking to me about it, she said ‘I don’t want my family to know’. This was not the point of the conversation but my ears picked up on it so when she  gave me room to speak, that was the first question I was throwing back. “Why don’t you want your family to know?”

She started by saying how they know how independent she is about her life and how she doubts any of them would really be fazed about it and despite my push to inform them, she was bent on not doing so, but on the bright side, she hadn’t kept it from the entire world, at least I knew what was going on. (Don’t worry, it does not implicate me so we’re good, lol).

In convincing her to tell her family, I realised a gap she had made in her understanding of what independence and accountability is, and I said to her that “Accountability  to the people who love us does not, in any way infringe on our desire to be independent“, and I’ll explain that some more.

Even when were grown and true-true, we know whats best for us, our parents and all our loved ones still love us the way they did when we were little, their love for us doesn’t change much because we now have horns and tails lol, although, there are family ties that are seared because of decisions taken by younger people.

But in this case, it was purely a picture of ‘I’ve been independent, I don’t want to bother them with this’.

So I asked her a question, I said, “would anyone in your family be hurt or offended if they found out after it was done?” and she responded in the affirmative and I shared with her how its now not just about her but them as well, if it impacts them in some way and also how it now transcends her independence and now sits on her accountability to her family by mere fact of the emotional bond shared. But being strong-willed and a true candidate of this generation, she still refuted the stance I had made.

I’ll probably still have a go at convincing her, but I need us young people to realise that accountability does not stop us from being independent and its totally fine to involve the people you should be accountable to even while making your independent moves. I’m hopeful that when we sit in the shoes of our parents one day, we’ll see more clearly all they saw and tried to protect us from, but then, it’ll now be our turn to sit back and allow the ones who ‘know’ do and learn from their mistakes. A cycle that might never end!

Lets be the strong accountable, independent generation.

independent

“I’m not ready”

prepare

I was speaking to a Mentor recently and I shared with her how ‘unready’ I felt in a certain aspect of my life. To be honest, I was expecting a hug (over facetime), a cute endearment, followed by an encouragement to keep praying and doing what I can till I feel ready. Something like ‘Aww Rubie, I totally understand, I think you should keep praying about the feeling and also wait till you feel ready’.

This was what I was expecting.

I was hit with the biggest slap (figuratively), when she responded almost immediately saying “Then prepare Rubie!”.

Because that response caught me off guard, I went silent for the next few seconds recovering from the opposite of what I wanted to hear and she began to ask “what is making you unready?” and frankly, I didn’t have an answer, so I just stayed there, repeating “I don’t even know” and she broke into mummy-mode (as usual) about how It’s important to recognise ‘unreadiness’ as either our fears or an obvious lack of preparation.

I took what she said and meditated on it the next few days and I felt the Holy Spirit use her words to speak to me on how preparation is what is needed and how it is easy to settle into that ‘unreadiness’ mentality and think it okay.

So I made up my mind to prepare, like consciously, intentionally and actively prepare, so i’m not caught off guard or feeling unready when I have the entire time to actually prepare.

I’ve brought same tidings to you; what do you feel so unready about or for? Is it you feeding off your fear, or have you just ignored preparation for it?

It could be a job, a phase of life, a move or anything at all. God honours and blesses the ‘Works of our hands’, not the ‘thoughts of our minds’. we need to move from thinking to actually doing, all as led by the Spirit of God. Like me, someone needs to start preparing!

The real Owner

We meet yet another “flash-in-flash-out” woman in the bible, I’ve blogged about a number of them so far, from Micah to Orpah to Pilate’s wife and now, we meet with Moses Mother, Jochebed (thank God she was named!).

The only thing I hear her mentioned about is her bravery in placing Moses in a basket and letting him down in river Nile. But recently, I was led to read deeper about her, even though she appears only about 3 times in just one chapter of the bible and I’m excited about the amazing things this brave woman teaches us.

After she had let Moses down in the river and he was found by Pharaohs daughter, the bible records that Miriam wittily asked her if she could go call a Hebrew woman to nurse him because Pharaohs daughter had known right away that He was a child of the Hebrew people.
She obliged and Miriam went straight away to call his mother whom the bible records nursed him till he grew to a certain point and then she went back to hand him back to pharaohs daughter who had been paying her to nurse her new son. Lol

I couldn’t Fathom this honestly, she had reunited with her baby after the very gruesome parting which had to happen out of option and not by choice and after the divine reunion, she had to take him back and present him to his new mother who just found him in a river, and I began to think,
She recognised that she had done her own part!
The baby had lived, she had even nursed him to a certain age and now she needed to present him back to pharaohs daughter.

Imagine if she allowed her emotions to stop her from giving him back, if she had been so emotionally attached to the point where she revealed the truth of how Moses got to the palace! How dramatic and bloody that scene would’ve played out!

There was a divine purpose for Moses and her part in the plan of getting Him to live to fulfil it was done.

How hard is it for us to walk away from things God has finished working on in our hands and is now wanting to move to the next stage even when we’re the ones who’ve birthed it?
Bible actually records that “she took Him back to Pharaohs daughter”

I began to think and understand how in the kingdom, we understand that there are never really “owners”, only “stewards”. There’s a clear distinction between the two and it’s only a person who understands that they’re a steward that would find joy in parting with the thing that has been given to them only for a time.

Moses mother is our first teacher of stewardship, despite the pregnancy phase, birthing her baby and even miraculously hiding him for three months, she recognised her role as a steward and not an owner which is why she walked away so easily despite being able to claim every right over her child.

What has God given us to steward that we’ve taken ownership of?
It’s telling in our reluctance and inability to release it to enter its next phase, even without you in that next phase

jochebed

What do you call it? Miraculous coincidence?

churvh girl

I think it will be hard and almost impossible to recognise and enjoy the ministry of angels when one believes in coincidence.

It’s the first belief I see God stripped down from me when I got into this relationship with Him and I’m eternally grateful because it brought me to always see the divine orchestration of the good God that we serve. I also saw that being a logical person doesn’t hamper on your ability to recognise God’s move and not interpret it as mere coincidence.

Okay.
I’ll try to type this out as calmly as possible and also task myself the possibility of writing it out with tearing up, because I can’t fathom how God works sometimes and it’s taken me this long to even write it out because I’m just in awe each time it comes back to mind.

2 weeks ago, we had an event in my church which was going to celebrate the different cultures of the world in their different expressions. Through songs, dance, dressing, food and all.

I had opted to dance again this year, first, because of the chosen song; New wine and secondly, because I love how expressive one could be in their body rendering worship to God through dance.

After practice sessions, dress code had already been communicated and thankfully, skirts were gonna be generously catered for by the church but we were gonna have to purchase our shirts.
It was such a busy week for me so I even kept wondering how I’ll make it to get this shirt. It so happened that I kept having to go to the commercial area for other things I had to do which gave me proximity to the shops to actually get in and purchase a long sleeved white shirt.

So 3 days to the event, I walked into the shop and went round looking for a white shirt, which I never found and so I asked an attendant there and she signposted me to where the stand was. On arrival, I met with all shirts being L, XL or XXL which would mean me constantly raising the sloppy neck of the really big shirts, and during dance, I think the last thing you want to worry about is what you’re wearing.
So I left and resolved to check back again.

The following day, I got there and it was exact same sizes, I decided to ask an another attendant particularly for my size and she said that wasn’t in stock at the moment, so I decided to go to another shop to get it, knowing fully well it’ll cost me much more, but it was 2 days to the event, no time to be hoping my size comes in when I can just get it at another shop.

I went into the other shop and much to my expectation, I found my size and I was gonna spend times 3 on the exact same shirt i’d had got cheaper in the previous shop.
I heard the Holy Spirit clearly speak to me and paraphrasing, it was like “Rubie don’t shame me” 😂, He told me not to buy that shirt and I stood there for close to 10 minutes battling like “but I really need this and there’s no time again”.
But thanks be to God, I obeyed. I left the shop without my white shirt. 2 days to event.

The day before the event, I needed to pick up a few things from a decoration shop still around that area and by now, I was thinking to myself like “tomorrow is event, Rubie has still not got her white shirt”. It even seemed funny to me at this point. So I branched again into the shop that had all the big sizes without mine and I was met yet again with same results that I had found 3 days ago.
I was visibly frustrated now and I remember speaking subtly out to God saying “ok God, you didn’t let me buy this shirt yesterday, I’m here today again and still no shirt, tomorrow is show day”.

It was barely 2 minutes when I turned around and saw a size 10, white, long sleeved shirt spread wide open on a rack of clothes  like literally just waiting for someone to just pick it up. I’ve never been more confused in my life but I found the strength to move my legs in its direction.
On arrival, I picked his shirt and turned it round about to double check it was actually a size 10, then I began looking around like “I’ve walked this way back and forth today, I didn’t see this shirt, where have you come from???!”
No answer.

Doubting Rubie still spent about 10 minutes looking for a pile of size 10’s that I might have missed seeing as this one size 10 Just came out of no where.
I still didn’t find any other one. That’s how I finally made my way to the till and paid for my one miracle white shirt (hope you weren’t expecting to read it disappeared and reappeared in my house! Lol)

These small ways God shows Himself in my life are the ones I treasure the most, because it makes me realise how foolish I can be worrying over the bigger things when He’s so faithful to miraculously provide a size 10 white shirt for my dance for just one day.

Every time I see or think about that white shirt I’m reminded of David’s musing on how a great God like this can be so mindful of me to this degree.

Psalm 8:4 – what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Those little things, don’t take them for granted, but more importantly, stop attributing God’s glory to the random natural occurrence of things.