Posted in What I'm Learning

The Strangest Secret

I can’t quite remember how I stumbled upon this lesson, but I thank God I did.Very seldom do things have the ability to change ones life but in this case it did.

I want to share with you a recording made in the 1950s by Earl Nightingale entitled “The Strangest Secret.”

The sum total of his message is essentially that we are who we believe ourselves to be and we will have only the life we choose to create for ourselves.

My take away is this: You are what you think……….so dream big and after that even bigger; until you become the ideal version of who you were always meant to be – doing what you were always meant to do.

Enjoy!

-E

 

Posted in Thoughts, What I'm Learning

Words of Affirmation- Declaration

Identity has been my struggle, who am I? Why am I here?

This past year has been spent searching for the answers to those questions. At this moment I don’t have all the answers but I feel closer and more assured that I am heading in the right direction.

Soul searching and prayer is all I can attribute my progress to and at this moment this is my declaration of who I am and a glimpse at some of my struggles….

  • I am a child of God
  • I am a citizen of the kingdom of God
  • God is where I place my trust
  • I have been put here on earth to make a difference
  • I must find my calling and get to work

****I will no longer let the opinions of others define me. Whether it is their silent, obvious, or subtle judgements. Stereotypes, prejudices , microaggresions etc..are not my problem to solve or enlighten people about, the burden is too heavy and not mines to bare,  it is simply not my purpose. These are issues that need to be solved by the those who display them, it is their sin to deal with.I will no longer allow their sin to affect how I view myself.

God created us as equal and told us to love one another. If your view of me does not fit that description in word and in deed, I will not tolerate that in my life or allow it to enter my thinking. I have put away my captive mentality and am no longer waiting for those who did me wrong to realize their wrong position. I am forging on to make a difference in the world. Others  limited thinking will no longer stop, hinder or bother me. They are not my source, only God is. I will continue to pray that they will one day understand who they truly are…..because if  I am viewed as anything less than a Queen, royalty, powerful, wise, and capable to do all that I aspire to, then they have not only underestimated me but themselves.

I am Great, I will be great, watch me be great!

Posted in Marriage, What I'm Learning

Grace & Mercy

“It is by grace you have been saved through faith

and this is not from yourselves It is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast”

Ephesians 2: 8-9

Grace is a nonperformance based relationship; it is the free and unmerited favor of God.

Grace is a gift from God to us because he loves us.

Mercy is similar to grace it is not getting what we deserve.

It is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is one’s power to punish or harm

“He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5

Mercy and Grace is what God bestows upon us and as his children we should be willing to do the same for others.

The best place to start would be within our families. Grace and mercy should be something we shower our children and spouse with… and the rest of our family members for that matter.

As I have been studying marriage in preparation for my own, I have learned that we cannot base the love we have for our spouse on what they do. Performance based love puts us in bondage and creates unrealistic expectations for a marriage, that neither spouse can live up to. We should instead practice showing grace and mercy to our spouse just as God did for us.

-E

Posted in Thoughts, What I'm Learning

Friendship

The bonds and ties with people, near and far away,

bringing hope and encouragement when needed, showing love in all ways.

Seasons and times change us, friendships come and go, but the ties and memories made are what remain.

– for the friends that come in and out of all of our lives may we find solace in the memories.

Below are pictures of my time in Bath

 

 

 

Posted in London, Thoughts, What I'm Learning

The Lesson in the Journey

“Not Being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.” – Francis Chan

I’ve struggled with my faith ever since I started college three  years ago. God has always been real for me. I’ve seen his presence in every aspect of my life but when I left home and started college I didn’t realize how intentional my faith had to be. When I’m at home I am surrounded by my families faith. No matter what I was going through, I could always rely on my fathers faith, or my mothers faith, or even my brothers faith to keep me encouraged and to see me through. Being around them strengthened my own faith. But when I went off to college my own faith began to struggle because I wasn’t plugged in or surrounded by people who could support and encourage my faith. But that’s not the main reason why my faith struggled, it suffered because I wasn’t intentionally pursuing God and his word in my everyday life.

At home I didn’t have to intentionally choose God, his presence was already there. For example, Christian music was basically all that was played whether it be in the car or at home. When I woke up in the morning the kitchen radio would have a sermon playing, so that would be what I listened to as I had my breakfast or cleaned the house. My mother would always pray with me, either in the morning or before we went to sleep and I would constantly find my dad and brother watching sermons on YouTube or my mom listening to African gospel choirs on there. The examples could go on and on, but essentially my parents had infused God and his word into their home. And because of that, when I was at home, that environment would be my reminder that I needed to pray, read God’s word and further develop my faith. When I left that environment, I still had my faith but I didn’t create an environment for myself that would enable my faith to grow.

College is not full of believers, I knew that going in but I hadn’t fully grasped that it would impact my faith the way it did. Like I said before I didn’t plug myself into a church or faith based organization to support my spirituality and that played a part in my struggle. I kept myself very busy involving myself in many different organizations and trying to be a leader on campus. I don’t regret my decisions to be involved on campus, but I do wish that I had carved out more time for God.

My time here in London has made me more self-aware about my personality and my dreams but its also made me aware of my faith and its lack of growth. My time with God had consisted of me reading a verse or chapter from the bible and praying before I went to bed and that was fine for awhile but I had stayed in that stage for three years! It had become second nature, I wasn’t getting what I used to get out of it and most of the time I was too tired to fully comprehend what I was reading. So I became more and more distant from God and started questioning my faith and trying to comprehend God and make him tangible. It wasn’t till I came to London and started delving deep into discovering who I am and who I wanted to be, that I confronted my issues with my faith. I came to the realization that God is big, bigger than me, and you, and this whole universe. There are things about God that I will never be able to comprehend or understand with my human mind but that’s what makes him God. The fact that a God that powerful would want a relationship with me and every other person out there, just goes to prove the unconditional love he has for us. I would be crazy not to try to return that love by intentionally choosing him everyday. Intentionally choosing to get know him by reading his word, praying, and talking to him. I have to intentionally choose to listen to what he has to say and intentionally choose to obey.

Faith has to be intentional.

-E

 

 

Posted in What I'm Learning

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

A day in Stratford Upon Avon- Home of Shakespeare

I have big dreams, but sometimes they get clouded by the mundane day to day activities that seem endless and sometimes feel pointless.It is in times like these that I forget what it is that I am working towards and what I am trying to accomplish. Doubt settles in and I wonder if my dreams will ever come true. Are they too big? Am I too small?

I stumbled upon a quote from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when I was browsing the gift shop of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, it said this: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” It made me smile to say the least, but it also reminded me of all the times where I was insecure of my outward appearance, as well as in my ability. It made me think of how confidence plays a role in accomplishing my dreams as well as the role it plays in how I see myself.

If I am confident in who I am, what I believe in and what I can do; no matter how people perceive me at first glance, I can always prove them wrong or right based on my actions. My actions will speak (what my introverted nature has a hard time of conveying) who I am and what I am capable of. As I build more confidence in my God given abilities and in God, I believe my dreams will become more and more attainable because the way in which I see them will change.

Below are pictures from my Day trip to Stratford Upon Avon.

Posted in What I'm Learning

Identity

I was born in Arusha,Tanzania from the Maasai tribe. I knew how to speak Maasai and Swahili but my family left for the states when I was about five years old. Coming to America meant learning to speak English and my father taught my brother and I exceptionally. Unfortunately as I grew up I lost my mother tongue Maasai but continued to be able to speak Swahili. This created an identity crisis within me and to this day I still battle it. When I am in the states people usually are able to tell that I am different and ask me where I’m from. In the states I am considered African. When I go back home to visit, people there are also always able to tell that I am different and I am asked where I am from. In Tanzania I am consider American. 

I remember growing up wondering if neither side accepts me, then where exactly do I fall. It wasn’t till a recent trip to Oxford that I began truly pondering this question. After being asked ( for the millionth time) where exactly I was from because I didn’t have an American accent and having to explain that I was born in Tanzania but raised in America; I  spent the rest of the long drive thinking about it. 

The funny thing is that though I was raised in America I was raised in the Swahili/Maasai culture so there were many things synonymous with the American culture and experience that I wasn’t able to relate to or ever experienced. And at the same time though I was raised in the Swahili/Maasai culture I did not have the full experience as would someone who lived and grew up there.

So my identity is split and so intricately that I am able to relate with both but never fully. 

I am coming to terms with the reality that there is no one place that I truly belong to. The combination of both places have made me who I am. Both places have given me so much and drastically shaped the way that I viewed the world…..for that I am forever grateful. 

-E 

Pictures from my day at Blenheim Palace & Oxford: