Winning or whining?

James 1:12

Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

During the first two weeks of the year I made quite a number of prayers, asking God to guide and show me the way forward, asking that He makes His will and path clear so that I don’t stumble my way through the year, I remember specifically sitting at my grandmothers garden since I had gone to visit her and basically tell her what I was up to and yes I had terribly missed her! As I prayed God brought a word in my heart, the word was “Test…..it’s a test” yes I had the same look on my face, I started wondering what the test was? What it was about? And why a test?

If you are like me generally I don’t like tests!! Ever since I was in school I found them time consuming, competitive and downright boring…..don’t even get me started in the tests at the hospital.i guess that why when I went to study counseling and psychology and got to know that we dint have to sit for any kind of tests I was ecstatic ! But a year later the tests were introduced and had to be administered before one got to graduate and I was a frustrated young woman. Over time I have come to tolerate them, I tried embracing them but It just dint work!!

Test…it’s a test !those words were all that could play in my mind that day so I went digging in the word of God to see what this was all about. I was shocked to find that the word test appeared 11 times , the word tested 10 times and was referred to the word tempt and temptation 18 times . and there is a possibility that there could be more but to me this was quite a revelation, I was excited and eager to read and find out what God was saying, what instructions He was giving, what He expected from me but at the same time I was worried, and concerned and afraid….Let’s be honest its usually one thing to not know what your expected to do and just stumble your way through the right path and it’s a different scenario when you do know what you are expected to do and don’t do it !

Exodus 20:20 says and Moses said to the people “do not fear, for God has come to test you and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.

If I could quickly take you 2 chapters before in the book of exodus, this was the time when God had given Moses the ten commandments and sent him to pass them on to the Israelites, the Lord had come down upon mount Sinai and the people were afraid and asked Moses to speak for them least they hear from God and die. It Is quite interesting because these people had seen God do marvelous, and miraculous deeds in their lives yet they still rebelled and went ahead to make and worship idols, I mean when the situations in their lives at any point got a bit difficult or uncomfortable they would complain and murmur and wish they would go back to Egypt forgetting all that God had done for them. Haven’t we been here before? One day everything is working great and we are praising and giving testimonies but the minute things take a down turn we just can’t stand it.

As I read through some more Genesis 22:1, Psalm 17:3, 1 Timothy 3:10, Acts 5:9, 1 Corinthians 3;13 which speak about being tested and testing, we are actually encouraged to test things and there are promises in God ‘s word that we will be tested ! Life is a test, think about it each and every day of our lives we face some kind of situation, a decision to make , they may not be hard or life threatening ,urgent decisions not really , they maybe be a test of our character, loyalty, kindness, even integrity ! From creation God tested Adam and Eve, but they failed their test, this does not mean we will fail, no, because the bible gives us many examples of people who passed their test; Daniel, Jesus, Moses, Abraham and many others.

Rick warren in his book purpose driven life writes “we don’t know all the tests God will give us, but we can predict some of them, you will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, answered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies, In his own life he has noticed that God tests his FAITH through problems, tests his HOPE by how he handles possessions , and tests his LOVE through people” the bible has made one thing clear 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has over taken you except such as is common to man, But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you maybe be able to bear it.

So why test us? I mean what for? Can’t God just tell us what to do and how to go about it! As I said before, I hate tests! but then I am reminded that we are humans, and God has given us freedom of choice, 1 Peter 6:9 says ‘so be truly glad there is a wonderful joy ahead, even through you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine .it is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ will be revealed to the whole world. Every test that we go through is for God’s glory! God’s honor and it brings Him much praise!! Which is part of why He created us in the first place?

God loves each and every one of us and seeks to draw us to Himself each and every day, for the last so days I have known this truth and I am purposing to live it out, I purpose to pass my tests , I want to be more aware of things that happen around me, more aware of when I am about to tell a lie, when I want to compromise, when I am faced with disappointment, when I am in conflict, my response to people etc…And I believe by living out this truth I am growing in my character and learning to depend on God. I may not always pass them let me be honest but I know the few times is I do my God notices and I please Him.

One of the ways that I feel that I am being really tested on this season is my trust in God, I remember early this month I talked to a friend, and anyone within earshot of our little chatty-chat would have thought that I was intoxicated, I was ranting and raving about God’s timing and plan I mean, don’t we just love giving God the reigns in all areas of our lives? And just sit back and watch Him disentangle the kinks and knots we have made in or folly? If you are anything like me, then this description is not true of you.

What test I am going through right now you ask? The test of self doubt, the test of procrastination, knowing what I ought to do but never really getting down to it, the test of living an unhealthy lifestyle, you should see the things I eat and hear what my doctor has to say…the test of choices I make every day. What test are you going through today? Are you winning or whining?

Blessings

Ciku

Be my witness …..

I don’t know what comes to your mind when you read the title of this blog… be my witness….because rarely will you find this term floated around outside a courtroom, and yes on many occasions when signing contracts… The first thought that came to mind when I first thought of this title was marriage, and no it has nothing to do with the family and friends witnessing and celebrating the next part of your life nor is it about a best man and best maid being a witness in your wedding and actually signing on the dotted line on the marriage certificate that indeed they saw and helped and confirmed that you did get married to so and so.

My thought process was on the person that you are marrying, maybe I need to explain how I have seen things growing up(well on tv to be precise ;(I look at it this way, you are born and your parents are crazy about you, they document each and every step you take, each and every milestone you achieve, have baby photos and videos and some even go to the extent of keeping the first paper you ever colored! This is where you all go awwwww **** (yes I would love to documents all this for my kids ;)).

I mean you can see and tell the sense of pride when mothers recount the first time you walked, or the first time you called them mum, your first day at school and what not… but life goes on and around 18 years later life kinda settles down, you are either in university or college or working and apart from the random photos your friends take of you or the ones you take in the bathroom for the sake of face book and twitter nothing much is documented, a diary /journal helps but most days it goes unwritten. You see life moves on, the hustle continues and your parents, sisters, brothers are all busy with their own lives, you catch up on how one is doing once in a while and that’s about it.

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My love “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it, your life will not go un witnessed because I will be your witness “ I came across these words in my diary I think I was in my early 20’s when I wrote them down, can’t remember where I got them from but they made me go all gooyyy hi hi  hi you know just imagining that a union like marriage would be a setting where your spouse this one person that God has brought in your life would be your witnesses because really this is the one person that you will spend the rest of your life with, bible says till death do you part (yes I am those chicks who believe and know that marriage is for forever, no two way about it) so just the idea of it all was pretty exciting and unsettling at the same time.

Unsettling in the sense that what if this person got busy? What if they died? Should my husband be the only person who witnesses or notices my life, its progress, its up’s and down, its successes and its failures. Don’t you think that’s a huge task to place on someone? As all these questions went through my mind I asked myself so what, do I sit and wait until i am married to have someone to witness my life?  How does it impact my Christian life? I mean if I don’t have a witness how I walk as a Christian, doesn’t that mean I can do wherever, or I can compromise and still be a Christian. How does it impact me as a single person? As more questions went through my mind I was reminded of a very interesting verse in the bible which I had read over and over again but never really thought about it in this context.

The bible in Hebrew 12:1 say therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Please tell me that you just got a light bulb because I did, I envisioned all sorts of people witnessing my life, my Christian life, you know the road to accomplishing my goals and purpose and all this people were just cheering me on and through the word of God they were advising me and giving me tips and guiding me which way to go, what to take seriously and what to check off my list of priorities and plans….

In my understanding of this verse Noah is looking down from heaven and telling me don’t quit! Whether people on earth think you are crazy, whether they mock you and make fun of you and the things you do and believe in don’t quit! As long as God has commanded you to do something don’t quit!

Abraham is pleading with me, obey Ciku…obey the word of God and all the promises that He has set out for you, He will accomplish, I mean look at my life I became the father of all nations ! God gave me a son at an age where it was impossible for my wife to get children, have faith in God and wherever He send you just pick up your stuff and head out.

Daniel tells me to quit whining…. if I think life is unfair I should jump into a lion’s den for one night and see how unfair life really is… I mean He refused to bow down to an idol and was left to die but God rescued him.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego …where do I even begin with these guys, tide and thrown in a furnace of fire with the assurance that whether they lived or died they would never worship another God if it’s not Jehovah.

Stephen, the one that was stoned like a dog for the sake of Christ, have we ever undergone persecution? Have you ever been slapped for your faith? Let alone be insulted for your beliefs. I hear him say whatever it takes, there is only one God and He alone is God. Whether He decided to come through for you or not…just remember heaven.

Jesus the Lord Jesus Christ himself the pain, the agony to carry my sins to the cross…..the beatings, the mockery, the shame all for me and you. I cant even describe what Jesus went through…He says I went all this for you that you may have life and be my witness till the ends of the world.

The Holy Spirit Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” How can you even say you are alone when a verse like this exists in the bible?

I can’t mention all the people who are looking down from heaven and all the lessons that we can learn from them, but they are our witnesses, they cheer us one, they urge us on, they encourage through their stories of faith and pain and triumph and their love for God is supposed to remind us that we are not alone, there are people who went before us and persevered and we can do it too….Apart from God almighty we do have witnesses in our lives, everyday every moment they cheer us on to finish the race, to accomplish the tasks , to fulfill the purpose that God set out for us from the beginning of time.

I may not know what you are going through right now but I just want to remind you that you are not alone and God is able to see you through no matter the circumstances, and each and every moment of your life is being witnessed. Yes, those moments when you feel like you are stuck in a rut, when all your friends are getting married and there is no one in sight, when the boss decided to promote that new girl and pushes you aside, when you save and its just never enough, when your family seems like its falling apart, when you are fighting an addiction and you can’t see any progress, when they call you all sorts of names because you got a child out of wedlock, when you feel empty, broken and unworthy of anything good. Even on those times your life is witnessed, and these witnesses have been through what you have been through and some much worse but you can draw encouragement and take a step to live another day.

 

The bible in Jeremiah 32:17 says “O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

 

Woman to Woman……

I know that you are for me,
I know that you are for me,
I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness,
And I know that you have come even if to write upon my heart,
To remind me who you are……

The words to this song by Kari Jobe have literally pulled me through this month. Many are times in this Christian walk where things have not necessarily gone as we planned nor as we imagined. Normally like many other human beings we have plans, for women this plans include the warmth of loyal friends, the love of a good man, and the laughter of children and unity of families. A great satisfying career and financial security would definitely be an added bonus. We don’t ask for much really ;). Most times we journey through and intentionally or even strategically place ourselves in the hope that all these plans will fall into place before we hit the age of thirty. So we pray, write lists, go for every singles meeting s/dinners/re-treats we can, for some of us like I said, the intentions are clear over what they want, while some are too scared of the thought of saying it aloud, I mean what would people think if they hear me saying I need a man, long for him and want to spend my days with him.

This longing and desire has had us settle for carbon copies instead of God’s desire for us, let’s be real woman to woman how many saved, hot for Jesus, heaven bound and tongue speaking women do you know that are unequally or have at one time been unequally yoked with non-believers? 2 Corinthians 6:14 says Do not be yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what a fellowship can light have with darkness. Teaching after teaching ,seminars, conferences , re-treats name it all have emphasized on the dangers, the consequences of being unequally yoked but it just never seems to stick, we never seem to get it. Don’t get me wrong the word of God says that He grants us the desires of our heart, the desire for love, affection, children, peace, wealth, friendships and all that, but there is a another kind of desire that is in us. I don’t know about the men but I have only heard women speak about it, and I have experienced it myself, A desire to be deeply loved, deeply cared for, a longing to be held and desperate need to be affirmed, a thirst for a kiss and a touch of the soul, this love..This love that no man has or will ever be able to provide for me.

For many years I have sought this love in a man, in my career, in my hobbies and interest but I have never found it, year after year, promotion after promotion, relationship after relationship, there has always been something missing, plenty of times I would think there was something wrong with me! I mean how do you explain my wanting someone to take over and posses me, satisfy me and unconditionally love me, and no not really in a sexual way but someone who would own me! I know I sound crazy right now and the poor guys in my life never stood a chance, but I longed and yearned for that! I compromised in so many ways and in so many areas of my life that at some point I couldn’t recognize who I was or what values I stood for anymore. I was this Christian who was just seeking for the next high. This is the problem we face when we confuse the desire for God to being a desire for a man. Because no matter how hard you try a man would never fill that kind of longing you have as a woman, a career will never fill it, nor would children and wealth. This desire can only be filled with God.

God is for you, it’s funny how many Christians have been in this walk but never fully get to cultivate an intimate relationship with God, we are so content in just doing what is right, what is acceptable and move on from there, we are comfortable worshipping a little, praising a little, giving a little not knowing that those things are secondary, What God really longs and desires for is intimacy with us, He desires to whisper in your ears, He desires for you to acknowledge Him in your life, He desires to bless you , He desires to lead you to the perfect plan and purpose that He has set out for your life since the beginning. God desires you and that’s why he has your name in the palm of His hand, God loves to love you because God is love! God wants you; He yearns to fellowship with you. The bible states in exodus 34:14 Our God is a jealous God.

Exodus 20:3-4 says you shall have no other gods before me; you shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. Most often than not we think that the gods referred here are other religions or have this mental picture of shrines and witchcraft and all, but by gods the bible simply states anything that hinders your fellowship, relations, intimacy with God is a god, it might me a spouse, a job, a car, sex, money, your pride, anything that you elevate or have a high regard towards, anything that takes first place in your life is a god period! let me remind you of something you have heard of over and over, God loved us so much that He gave his only son to die for our sins, not only did Jesus die for us to be free of sin but He reconciled us to God, Jesus opened the lines of communication between us and God so that we no longer have to go through the priest or the pastor or any other religious leader. We don’t need to sacrifice by killing a goat or a ram or anything for us to communicate and commune with God. We can freely go to His presence and talk to Him, and He talks back.

I don’t know about you, but I hungered and I searched and longed for so much more, and after searching and seeking I have come to the point of understanding that it’s okay, it’s alright because God is ready to fulfill this desire, Psalm 42: 1-2 David sings, as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God, My soul thirst for God, for the living God, where can I go and meet with God? A lot of people admit to wanting to be men and women after God’s own heart just like David but the sad thing is they don’t want to do the work, any kind of relationship requires work, effort, giving, adjusting and so many other things, it just doesn’t happen, God did not just sit one day and decide to say that David was a man after His heart, but He saw how David took it upon himself to pursue Him, to learn about Him, to get to know Him, to talk and walk with Him, David would do something and before he questions what others would say he would quickly run to God to beg for forgiveness, He would do things that pleased God, He would listen and obey God, For a man who fell so many times David knew he could not do life without God, he needed him, wanted him, yearned for him. And day by day he found God and communed with Him.

Satisfaction is our greatest desire and I want nothing more than all of us to be fully satisfied in this life, but there is no greater joy than a satisfied, content woman in God. A man will never fill this void in your life, that’s the harsh truth, period! No amount of money or sex can, because a man wasn’t meant to in the first place, he can only sweep you off your feet for a few hours or a few days but God, He is timeless, He is always there, and no matter what comes your way, you can just run to Him and you will be safe.

I challenge you to go ahead and spend time with God, read His word, circle His promises in the bible and pray, pray like your life depended on it because it does, but at the same time be keen to listen as He responds. It is not a one off thing because again like any other relationship, you work on it, it’s a daily decision you make to pursue God. Woman to woman, the truth is I am still learning, I am being filled and met one need at a time. He is molding me to be the woman that He created me to be. Our God is love and He desires to love us more each day, fill us every day if only we allowed Him.

Ciku Ndungu

different is GOOD

Five years ago today I would have told you liverpools score,liverpools best scorer, liverpools scoring trend for the year even. you all know that they just won the carling cup today and as Kevo put it….they just earned themselves 6 years of braging rights! You see 5 years ago I would have a conversation with you about hiphop. talk about dre,eminen, and lacrae. Locally holy dave was hitting the airwaves and hitting em good! 5 years ago I knew about cars too much info for a woman I tell you, which car had what engine size its capacity and some other details that I really can’t remember right now.you see five years ago ciku was in love.

Fast forward five years later I can’t remember some of those things,heck I can’t even sit through a game of football unless its man u and arsenal and I need to make some few friends miserable. They know themselves. I can’t remember jack about cars and hiphop well apart from a few songs by lacrae the rest just doesn’t make much sense to me! You see being in love can make you do crazy things but the worst that I have come to discover apart from compromising, is loosing your identity.

As a woman you are born bearing your name and your fathers name. You get married you pick up your husbands name,get your first baby you get their name (insert mama Brian here). Now before you all fast forward to comment and start posting let me make this clear,I have no problem with this process. Whether you want to have your fathers name,or take up your husbands name,hyphenated or underscored its you and your husbands choice. Whether you end up being known as mama Brian or mama çhege is completely and interly up to you.

My main concern is the art of impressing the pains we go through to impress. Let’s be honest ladies, how many of us actually enjoy football? How many love sports? Cars? Hiphop? Motorbikes? Hiking? You know guy stuff? And before you preach to me about how one is supposed to take initiative to like and find out what the other person likes and shares in their experience which I totally agree and endorse 100% so no argument here. I believe its healthy and recommended that as people date or relate get to know and be involved in each others fun activities,hobbies ,past time etc. But the big problem in our relationships today is that this only happens one way.

Generally as women whether we care to admit or not, but speaking from my own past experiences and those of my friends we tend to loose ourselves in a relationship. actually one of my male friends put it this way. “it is sad that you meet a woman who you get attracted to, and as you get to know them,their likes and dislikes,their hobbies and interests,beliefs and you get to share your own. Your thrilled by the diversity between the two,your excited about knowing her,discovering things about her but a few months down the line all you mostly talk about is what the guy likes,his beliefs quickly turn to be yours and the uniqueness that actually brought you together in the first place no longer exists.

I had always been alarmed at how easily and fast I got bored in a relationship. Its like a 3-6 months honeymoon phase and after that I couldn’t wait to get out! I mean before a relationship I had my own set of values,beliefs,interests,hobbies,adventures,tales and so much more! But after a relationship its like I lost all that. Their likes,became the things I liked, what they hated I hated, I was so caught up in hobbies and interests that really I had no heart for! After a while your opinion really doesn’t count even in a conversation because this person knows that you will agree with them in everything. I am generally a very opinionated person, but I sucked at it when in a relationship. I would always look at something from their point of view. You know ,either because your not in the mood to have an argument or you just playing stupid and that really cost me. I said yes or maybe to things I strongly believed were wrong, was I forced to do so? No. I guess I was just in love and dint want to complicate things or argue,you know how small arguments can blow out of propotion? But was I really doing the right thing by me?

I know generally women we like to be associated with, but it doesn’t mean we loose ourselves. We are unique a rare breed. Men and women were created differently for a purpose,to play different roles in society and in families but that doesn’t warrant us loosing our identity as individuals. It doesn’t mean once you are in a relationship or married you forget the things that bring you joy,the silly little things that make you laugh, the simple things that move your heart, the exciting that’s that pump your soul! God’s mathematics is that one person will join to another to make one and together we will nurture the gifts,talents and abilities that God has uniquely given unto us. Let’s stop this nonsense of being so wrapped around a guys world that we forget our own. That we forget to live that we forget to give.

Let’s celebrate the deferences in our relationships and instead of them tearing us apart let them bring us together. If he likes climbing mountains and you have no heart for it be honest. You can maybe try it as an experience, because all that pain and sweat up to the mountain top ain’t pretty. If you like me, love reading. Go on ahead read and share some revelation or quotes with him. You see,you still get to do what you love and still share it with him. Life goals are very important in our lives, currently I only have 50 but I want to expand that list,and the only way I can achieve this life goals is if I plan and actually go for them. Imagine if I had a boyfriend who had his list as well. I get so caught up in him and the things that he wants to accomplish that I end up ticking half of his list of goals accomplishments instead of mine! Sad doesn’t even begin to describe it. At some point you will end up resenting this person.

As you live this single life, nail down what you stand for,what your values are, what your beliefs are so that you don’t get swayed or caught up by events. For the guys in a relationship, I say celebrate your differences. Rediscover each other,ask those questions again and see if your both living life and accomplishing what God put you on earth to do. Some of this interests and hobbies we have are not just for us to keep and enjoy on our own, some are given to us to share and encourage other people around us all for the glory of God.

If you like to watch the moon go ahead and do it,to walk to write,to sing,to dance,to talk and laugh out loud….whatever crazy thing be you and let God Use you to give into the other persons life something different, something unique and something beautiful.

Ciku Ndungu

Till my dying day


When I was born some 27 years ago, I dint know how my life would turn out. You see our parents have all this expectations for us, to be doctors, nurses, pilots ,teachers just but mentioning the common ones during my day, well this days the list is completely opposite parents have embraced the arts “ as a career path for their children, now they are okay with their children being models, actor and actresses, singers, painters, and so on…..

well I never got to really choose what I wanted to do because I dint do so well in my high school exams and if you live in Kenya, I can assure you primary and high school grades haunt you for the rest of your life, if you pass the exams you had better chances to go to a great college, do a great course and land a good job, woe unto you if you failed ! Chances of the great college, course and career were but a dream. And let’s not forget the fact that you dint have a say in whatever else life handed you after that, some parents decide you are a waste of their time and resources so they channel their money someplace else, as you try and figure out your next step, maybe wanugu the scrap metal dealer might have a gig for you, and vuala that’s what your life amounts to.

If you are lucky your parents will take you to a local college where computer course is the first thing you will learn, then find something else to do, they are eager to see you do any course get a job and leave them to tend for yourself, they might never say it aloud but secretly they can”t be more loud. Take for example, I did fairly in my high school exams but flopped math, the other day I was talking to a group of young people and I mentioned the grade I got and you should have seen some of the looks I got, a lady talked to me afterwards and confessed that she failed in math too and have never gotten over it ! I mean is it that serious??

Back to my story, so yes I failed math so pursuing law was out of the question, my second choice was hotel management but dad wasn’t enthusiastic about having a waiter for a daughter…don’t even ask !! After several discussions with mum I went to do a computer course for several months then enrolled at the Mombasa polytechnic to do a sales and marketing diploma. I wasn’t that syked about it for a while but the prospect of me getting a job and moving out of home motivated me to go on…

As the years went by I did exactly that go through college, got a job and vamuused out of my parents house, the freedom at first was great!!! lived with some roommates who were crazy and had the fun of my life, later moved to my own place and got serious with my career but several jobs later, several promotions later I started questioning if that was all to it ? I mean think about it, are we really born to just go to school, eat, drink, sleep and go to work?? No I am not mourning over not becoming a lawyer, but I mourn over not finding my purpose in this world sooner. Not taking chances and living my life, not really fully getting to know myself, abilities, and talents, not spending time with the right people and working in the right relationships.

As we come to the end of the year I want us to reflect on a few things, How we have lived our lives so far and what changes we need to make so that when we finally come face to face with death in our last days on earth we will have no regrets, we wont be mourning about what we did and dint do.I know most of us life has handed us our fair share od lemons and it has not been easy making lemonades but remember this far God has brought us.

I came across this blog through a friend and it opened my eyes to a lot of things…..bronnie ware, read her blog here(www.inspirationandchai.com) has worked in palliative care for many years and in those years as she cared for the people who had one week or two weeks to live something’s we so hold dear were the last things in their minds…..the fights we choose became irrelevant, the grades we got in school and the jobs and positions we hold are not that important.

In their dying weeks when questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

My challenge to you as we end the year, don’t write resolutions which you and I both know will never keep but make choices which you will want to see through. Live life, laugh out loud ! be kind and generous, find out your purpose but most important of all love all people as you love yourself.

Happy holidays !!

ciku

Mzungu !!! -my foreign queens

She held back her tears, yet her pain is something she could not hide, the body has a language of its own it can give away our thoughts and feelings without us uttering a word. Her pain so deep, my ears was the only thing I could offer her right now.

It’s not the first time a beautiful white skinned, long glassy haired and blue, brown eyed queen had come to me broken, afraid, rejected, bruised and stained. Each time I felt like judas, each time, I prayed that I would not be around to face them. A coward!! Yes a coward that’s what I had been.

I knew he dint love her, I knew he was using her, I knew he was married with 3 kids, I knew…Yes I knew but I never once said anything to her…I never once questioned or warned her, I left her to her fate… “Hey it doesn’t affect me in any way! Besides it wasn’t my business” I would excuse it, “and besides this white women never listen! She might think I am after her man or something”…I concluded. But the day she found out that I her confidant knew, she dint go to him but came to me, asking me, begging me, screaming at me. Her Judas…her betrayer

As Mary screamed that day I couldn’t help but feel I had failed her, I had betrayed our friendship as she vowed to never set foot in Kenya again…a woman whose every October was spent in one of the most respected hotels in Mombasa had no respect for my country any more nor for its male species. She made it her quest to ensure that every woman she knew would hear her story but I guessed some months down the line she saw it pointless because the same thing happened all over again with her friend, or maybe it was too painful and shameful to share. In some weird way I drew comfort for the fact that they were both not saved, and maybe it was a punishment so some sort, how pathetic…

If you have ever lived or visited the coastal environs of Mombasa you would see them, all lovey dovey interracial couples walking the streets, strolling the beach, sharing drinks, holding hands, wining and dining and generally having the time of their lives! Many are stories behind these relationships, a hook up from a friend, a random meeting in a club, a good worker in a hotel or the most common feigning to be a maasai warrior….goodness haven’t I seen it all.

Having worked previously in the hotel industry and noting the difference between two male friends, one dating a mzungu, yet they already were married with children and to see how these guys skimmed and plotted on how to use the beautiful white skinned queens to gain wealth and acquire positions through lies and fake medical bills and documents of every kind.

When I met Leeann and Ivy a few years later after mars incident, I hesitated in sharing my fears with them because they were dating some decent saved brothers that I knew, but as months went on I could sense in my spirit that it wasn’t all well. So as the ladies got to confide in me I realized that it was the same pattern with Mary, I told them about Mary but they sort of shrugged it off since they believed that the guys they were dating would do them no harm, I tried pointing the same patterns but they wouldn’t hear any of it, so I sort of let it go. Needless to say the guys were not pleased in my meddling.

Several years later ivy got married and Leeann got engage and my worst fears were confirmed. As Leeann was busy planning the wedding, our so-called brother was busy spending her money, buying the latest clothes and hitting the latest joints. The final nail to that scenario is when she finally found out that he had a baby that he had never told her about, and that for all those years he had an affair behind her back, all this time, his friends knew but none uttered a word.

Ivy did eventually get married and moved to the states with her hubby sad to say their union only lasted a year, once he got there he dint need her anymore, he not only assaulted her, but emotionally toured her till she couldn’t take it anymore.

‘What manner of men are these?’ was the question that went through my mind, ‘Who never did anything for themselves?’ ‘Who calculated, plotted and preyed on our light skinned sisters only to dispose of them once they get to where they want?…I battled with this questions.

I now ask myself… ‘What can I do about it?’

Do you know of someone in a similar position? Same scenario? What are you doing about it or planning to do?

Least to say I am disgusted by what my brothers did, and what they still continue to do. Is a life in the states worth wasting 5 years for in a fake relationship with someone, lying, skimming, stealing, deceiving, and destroying someone else’s future? And worse still, sometimes the African wives or girlfriends know about the affairs but opt to keep quiet and reap the benefits i.e. the nice house, nice clothes, jewelry, local holidays and money…money that neither you nor your husband/boyfriend worked for.

What happened to our conscious? Where did our integrity go? Have we stooped this low, I used to think this was only done by the beach boys that hung around in hotels, but now it has crept into our back yards, our churches yet we still keep quite about it. Who is bold enough to say the truth? Who is bold enough to stand when the pastor asks; ‘is there anyone who has reason why this man and this woman should not be together?’

Think about it, right now it could be just our other sisters going through this, but next time it just might you.

All my love

ciku

What i want in a man and what i wish men knew….

This is an article i did for an online mag back in the day, for all my brothers out there…


Dan’s article came at the right time for me since it’s only the other day that I was actually thinking and trying to put down on paper on what I really want in a man and some things that I wished men knew about women. Honestly, I don’t think we are as complicated as men make us out to be. It may be true most of the times we are not sure of what we want but when we finally figure it out, it’s too late and we are already in a relationship that’s heading neither here nor there….

So here goes. These are my personal thoughts, most-probably shared by sisters around the world.

I love a man who knows God. Not one who knows about God. Yes, there is a difference: A man who knows God is one who can believe with you that rent is going to be paid at the end of the month even when he has no hope of a job and nowhere to borrow money. He has a relationship with God and believes and has seen God come through for him even in the most difficult and hopeless of times… he believes that prayer works. There is humility in this man since he recognizes One who is greater than him, therefore he treats his family and all human beings with respect and dignity.

I love a man who is honest, not only with the little things but with the huge stuff as well. What I don’t know will come to hurt me someday, so you thinking “I can keep this from her since she might get hurt” is not a good move. If you love me and are planning to spend the rest of your life with me, you owe it to me to be honest about your past or anything else you think I should not know. Believe me I won’t understand and celebrate with you for hiding children you had out of wedlock, or debts that you accumulated over the years when we are already married. Women take betrayal seriously. We may forgive but we will always remember, and earning our trust again will take a lot of time.

I love a man who can listen. I, like many women, love to talk!!! If you are keen enough, I say a lot of important stuff when am talking or narrating a movie I saw, so just don’t dismiss me thinking I am just mumbling. We tend not to be direct sometimes – hey, we like you and don’t want to hurt your feelings but instead of not saying anything, we will say it with gifts or gestures, eg if you have worn this shirt for too long, I will go out and buy you a shirt as a gift! I will buy you a cologne if the one you’re using always chokes me when I hug you, smelling nice is very important, please get the hint! But when push comes to shove we will lay it on the table and we expect you to consider our views and input.

We already have a bunch of insecure women in the world; why do you have your arm around me and your eyes on some other woman? It’s funny – when am committed I have my eyes on you only!

A man who can make me laugh and play with me – snakes and ladders, or teaching me monopoly, stealing jokes from Google and paraphrasing them to his own liking… I’m game!! I want to see you loosen up; you’re my friend first so having fun shouldn’t be such a doting task.

The things I wish men knew.

When you break up with someone please take time and get over it. Jumping to another relationship is a bomb waiting to explode. When you do move on, give the new girl a chance, She is nothing like your ex, so stop with the comparing and contrasting.

Stop with the gestures!! “I LOVE YOU!” Those words mean a lot more to me than a shopping spree in Paris or a holiday in the Bahamas (Fungua roho yako, ONGEA!).

I know it might sound like a double standard, but honestly the gestures women give are more obvious and being a woman myself, every gesture i give has a meaning behind it. A man will pass near a market and buy you a handbag just because he saw a nice handbag, while a woman will buy a man a certain kind of shirt to say, “Man, I think you need to try something different,” or “This shirt will look great on him!”

With men, it’s just all mixed up! A man might ask you out and have you thinking, “Wow, he likes me, or he wants to know me,” only for you to find out .that he was plotless or he just didn’t want to go to the movies alone, or his friend stood him up so he decided to call you!

Not all women are after your money! Relax!! And me offering to pay for dinner or lunch doesn’t make you less of a man, or it doesn’t mean I’m trying to show you that I’m independent. I just want to treat my man as well.

I’m tired of my brothers using the visual creature excuse on us, a thousand centauries later. Please. You are the man, you’re in control, zip it!! And on the same note, stop ogling at me as if am a piece of meat you want to eat!

When I tell you that I need to think about it, whether it’s a date or asking to go exclusive, please give me the time and space to do so. I just don’t want to make you another statistic.

If you like me, or don’t like me, spare me the mixed signals and coded messages …because if I already like you I will interpret it to my benefit…so do the right thing, COMMUNICATE!!!

Again, we don’t like being rejected but the earlier you tell us where this “friendship” is headed, the less painful it is. So stop stringing us along, we don’t want to be knitted if we won’t be worn.

Before I met you, I had and still have friends who are guys, don’t expect me to stop taking their calls or meeting them because they were always there for me. I placed boundaries with my male friends so I don’t expect your female friends to be all over you either.

Wanjiku Ndungu