Words. My love for writing started when I was in junior school. On the first day of grade 6, Mrs Cook said to us that every Monday she expected diary entries about our weekends. She made it clear that each entry must be interesting and creative, which of course got me really excited. There was the pressure of making sure that every weekend was different from the last with an interesting twist, a bit of suspense and comedic elements. It goes without saying that each entry had parts in it that were skilfully modified to hopefully evoke just the right emotion.
Every Monday afternoon I looked forward to reading the teachers comments…”Interesting!”, “Great!”, “Lovely!”. Her words always warmed my heart. On some weekends though, my creativity would run dry and there would be no way of spicing up my weekend routine of waking up late on Saturday to do my chores, watch television for most of the weekend and go to church on Sunday.
It was in grade 6 that I first heard about public speaking and in grade 8 my love for the spoken word was awakened when I joined the public speaking and debating society. I soft-spoken, quiet Barbara had a voice and this time everyone wanted to hear me speak. I had discovered a power I never knew I had and I loved it. For a while it defined me, “I’m Barbara, a public speaker” and I nourished this new found gift of mine.
One day, I stood behind a podium in front of government officials, a full auditorium and camera men, I opened my mouth and for what felt like ten minutes which was probably a few seconds nothing came out. I had gone blank and the whole auditorium was silent. Those seconds of silence ruined the last few days of the competition for me and although we won, to me I had lost. Words or the lack there of had crushed me.
Words have always meant a great deal for me, whether it were the lyrics of a song or a poem, or those written on my birthday card, or even those words you said yesterday when we had that argument. But one day I realized, that words can be just that. Just words. They often mask the true feelings of the one uttering them. They don’t need to alter the course of your life or ruin your day. Words carry the power you give them.
Hi!! Forgive me…I’m a week late from wishing you all a happy new year. I hope the festive season was amazing and that you are well rested and all charged up to take on this brand new year with all optimism. I still have a couple of weeks before I hit the books and hospital again, so late nights and late mornings are my normal at the moment with times of reflection in between. Like everyone I’m crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that this year will be a lot kinder than the previous years, with new adventures and new beginnings. 2017…it will be interesting. I’ll try accomplish my 2016 resolutions again this year and take the opportunity to try out things out of my comfort zone. So in essence, I want this year to be my year of growth, of stretching myself and learning new aspects of myself. What do you want this year to mean for you? I hope you’ve taken a moment to think about this and the ways in which you can achieve it. In addition, pray for your year…you don’t know what traps the devil has laid out for you this year, you are less than smart if you think you can walk through life without the hand of God leading you on all your endeavours.
I pray that this year will be your best year!
”There is a light. It burns brighter than the sun. He steals the night and casts no shadow
There is hope. Should oceans rise and mountains fall, He never fails…
So take heart. Let His love lead us through the night.
Hold on to hope and take courage again…
In death by love. The fallen world was overcome. He wears the scars of our freedom…
In His name, all our fears are swept away. He never fails.
All our troubles and all our tears, God our hope…He has overcome.
All our failure and all our fear, God our love… He has overcome.
All our heartache and all our pain, God our healer…He has overcome.
All our burdens and all our shame, God our freedom…He has overcome.
All our troubles and all our tears, God our hope…He has overcome.
All our failures and all our fear, God our love…He has overcome.
God our justice. God our grace. God our freedom…He has overcome.
God our refuge. God our strength. God is with us…He has overcome.”
”Take heart” by Hillsong United
Forced to marry a man who did not choose her nor love her for the sake of tradition and fear of shame. With each child she bore, she hoped that her husband would fall in love with her and each time she was filled with disappointment.
The case of Leah is one marked by a search for love and her case is no different then many of ours. It may present itself in a number of forms, but ultimately we all want the same thing, to love and to be loved. I think its amazing that God put this inherent need in all of us, regardless of race, culture, religion or age.
Is it possible that He put this yearning in us that we would inevitably be drawn to Him, the one who is Love? That in finding Him, we would find Love and know Love and that compared to all the loves, His Love is what stands true.
The story of Leah is a love story, where through the rejection of one man, Leah was able to find true love in God. It was only after the birth of Judah, her last child, that Leah realized that God had loved her all along and that His love was enough.
And so seven children later, she finally said “Now, I will praise the Lord!” and God realized that she finally understood and she stopped having children.
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him” Psalm 34: 8, The Msg
It was a very cold and rainy day, driving on the highway, on our way to the hospital as my father began to tell me how when he was very little he believed an old tale that said that the rain poured every time a leopard gave birth. And so you can imagine the thoughts that would go through these kids minds when it would rain for several days straight. Glancing at my 64 year old father, an accomplished professor in his black suit on the steering wheel, I couldn’t help but find this story completely hilarious. Imagining my father as a 6 year old boy in his home village of Bugala, seated on the ground listening intently with the rest of his brothers and sisters to this tale…believing every word. He chuckled as he said this and it made me feel glad. Glad to see the child in my father…his innocence. It made me wonder… We may be growing older and wiser but our spirits never change. Oh how it must feel…to remember how you and your mates would climb tall trees to eat big juicy mangoes as if it were a day ago and yet find yourself seated alongside your twenty something daughter who will soon get married and have children of her own. Life is funny and God, He has a good sense of humour!
“Rest from your works, rest because of His then get to work! Work because you are favored not to be favored. Pray not to persuade Him (God) but because He has commanded us and given us a pathway to walk where our mouths co-labors with God so that His purposes are realized on earth. Fast not to pay a price, but to refine your focus to fully apprehend what He has already purchased…” Ps. Bill Johnson
James 4:8 ‘Draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you…’