Desperate….

I like to be in charge and appear unmoved by the world. I like it when people think am strong and have no issues. I like to be caring and yet unmoved in the same package.

Regardless of the things I like, there is a lot that my heart really wants and sometimes it even feels like a desperate need.

I want to be caring and even cry if there is need without worrying about those that watch me. I want to understand people without judging them. I want to listen without giving advice. I want to sit through a dinner and allow people to talk without me saying a thing. I want to say hello to my neighbors without thinking of what they did that annoyed me. I want to be able to give people another chance and not prepare myself for more disappointment. I want to celebrate with those that celebrate without wondering when that miracle will come my way. I want to look back to my past with honesty and forgive completely. I want to remember the names and sometimes the face of some of the people that have hurt me the most. I want to have and feel the freedom of sharing and saying who I am without the fear of having to measure up.

I desperately want to be me but it is scary, it sometimes gets me paralyzed. I desperately want to be authentic and totally rested in God but it sometimes feels risky not to be in control. I desperately want to be free to be all God has called me to be. I see it, I know it but I sometimes fear to rise to the occasion because I wonder how an all knowing God would give someone like me such a mandate.

With all the uncertainty, risk and fear – I have come to a decision. So, what have I decided to do? I have decided to go through a 10 week experience to sort these things out. I have decided to sit under a friend’s leadership and with childlike faith wait on God to bring healing. I have decided that it is time to face the me that I had stored away in boxes. I have decided that it is okay for people to see the girl I was even as they judge (or maybe not) the woman I have become. I have decided to take a stand, deal with the past and make sure that all that boxed stuff in my past ends with me.

THE WAY OF THE SHEPHERD By Dr.Kevin Leman and William Pentak

    7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Creative People

SECRET ONE: Know the condition of the sheep
Follow both the status of your work and the status of your people
Get to know your flock, 1 sheep at a time
Engage your people on a regular basis
Keep your eyes and ears open to what the sheep is communicating, question and follow through with both work and personal status

SECRET TWO: Discover the shape of your sheep
If you don’t buy/hire right, you will inherit someone else’s problems. your choice of sheep can make flock management easier or harder
Strengths: Try to place people where they can operate out of their strengths and not their weaknesses
Heart: while the strengths reflect the abilities, the sheep’s heart reflects their passion. Know what they like to do
Questions to ask
– What are my people passionate about?
– Is the job a cause of a pay check?
Attitude: Attitude is more important than talent
– Star performers with an attitude put a constant drag on everyone else.
– If you compromise with negative people for the sake o their abilities, your other people will learn the bad habits.
Personality: Is someone an extrovert or introvert, do they like repetition (same thing every day) or do they like variety (something different everyday), do they like structure or change?

SECRET THREE: Help your sheep identify with you
– Build trust with your sheep/followers by modeling authenticity, integrity and compassion
– Set high standards of performance
– Relentlessly communicate your values and sense of mission.
– Define the cause for your people and tell them where they fit in.
– Remember that great leadership isn’t just professional but also personal.

SECRET FOUR: Make your pasture a safe place
The question to ask is “Do people leave office or the place of service having survived or having thrived for the day?”
People thrive if they rest. Find out what helps the people you lead rest. People will rest if;
– They are free from the fear of being harmed (uncertainty gets to the people)
If people do not feel secure at work, there’s no way they can do the best at work.
People feel secure if they are kept informed as individuals and as a team. People also like being informed of their progress before review time.
– There is no rivalry at work (people working against one another rather than with each other)
In order to fight rivalry in an organisation; You need to infuse every position with importance, Everyone should be reminded that they have an important role to play, If possible, opportunities should be rotated among the different members of the flock
– They are minimized pests at work (small annoying things) like rearranging priorities, many ‘flavor of the month’ i.e. change initiative of the month, talkative employees who constantly try to engage other co-workers in conversation hence preventing them from getting their work done.
– The hunger for more responsibility or advancement or pay is dealt with
You can help people thrive if you; Remain visible. ‘People can handle the uncertainty of tomorrow if they can see a leader they are certain they can trust today’ and Deal with problems immediately. ‘If you act soon enough, an individual problem won’t become a flock problem.’

SECRET FIVE: The Staff Of Direction
– A staff helps provide direction as a shepherd
When directing the people, use persuasion not coercion; instead of making pronouncements, make requests. After suggestions and ideas, don’t dictate and demand; instead advocate and recommend. Get in front of the people and show them the way. When people mess up, use the incident as a teaching opportunity
– A staff helps establish boundaries.
People need to know where the fence line is. When they go astray, they need to be tapped on the shoulder. A department can’t fulfill its mission unless everyone works together. Provides direction and sets expectations then lets people decide how to best get there.
– A staff helps in rescuing stranded sheep.
It helps get people who are in my team out of trouble.
– A staff represents the shepherd’s responsibility to encourage his flock.
It tells the sheep that ‘I recognize you’. It says ‘Don’t confuse boundaries with bridles’’ and reminds people that failure isn’t fatal.

SECRET SIX: The Rod of Correction
– The rod represents the responsibility of a leader to correct the people he is leading.
– The rod protects the sheep from predators and stands in the gap for the sheep.
– The rod is used to protect sheep from themselves. It helps in bringing correction. It helps in disciplining the sheep. People are disciplined so that they are kept from harm not so that they harmed. Approach a discipline conversation as a teaching opportunity. Discipline isn’t about handing out punishment or assigning blame but it’s about instruction.
– The rod represents the responsibility to inspect. Ask the followers if there is anything they need help with or anything they need clarification on. ‘People who aren’t progressively increasing in their capabilities have a shepherd who is stunting their growth.’

SECRET SEVEN: The Heart of the Shepherd
– Great leadership is hard work and unrelenting.
– Leaders need to be willing to pay the price of leadership.
– Someone needs to pay for the price of leadership and it is the leader that decides who makes the payment.
– The price a leader is willing to make is relative to the value one attributes to something.
– The quality of your return is based on the quality of your investment.
– Great leadership is not a life style and not a technique
– You could be the greatest shepherd in the whole world but if the followers/sheep do not know you as the shepherd – you are just a stranger.
– How you view your people determines how you lead them.

Letter to my Body

Dearest Body,
I do not know why I am doing this because I already feel too exposed and judged. My fear in doing this proves to me how much I have not appreciated you and I intend to change that trend so here I am pouring out my heart to you.

I realize now that I have not appreciated you. When I was a lot smaller in size, I spent most of the time thinking you had no character or drama because you lacked the curves I saw in ladies older than me. When you became a bit bigger, I hated you because your curves were a bit bigger than my friends. Now that you are so much bigger, I can not look at you because I feel so sad that you could look like this.
Sometimes I forget that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit and you just become a shell that I feel does not say who I believe me to be.

When people compliment you, I think they must be blind or want something because I do not see what they see.

Because I think these thoughts about you my love, I over indulge in a bid to punish you. I do not take care of you as I should because I think I will be able to move past what I think of you. I dress to prove how bad you are and to make sure nobody appreciates you.

I am so sorry that I have spent so much time hating you and pretending you are not there. I am so sorry for blaming and using you as an excuse every time I have felt insecure. I am so sorry for not recongnising your strengths as I have held onto what I feel your weaknesses are.

Even with all this, you have held me together through some really tough moments. You go through each day sometimes even two with little complaining and yet no sleep or even food.

You are so beautifully made for this that I need to do. You are saying more about me than I really am.
When I think of the times you have bounced back after some sort of strange sickness, I am grateful.

I know you have never heard this from me and yet I intend to make this a habit. You are beautifully and wonderfully made, the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are in God’s image and I intend to start treating you with love and respect.

I love you my body

Always,
Me

Dating

I was sitting in a restaurant, had a book on the table, a menu plus my phone. FYI – I make it a habit not to use my phone for the internet because I like big screens which is not facilitated by the phone. Okay, that reason is the grown up reason, the real reason is that I fear to start something that maybe difficult to stop. I may spend my nights googling up any and everything if I make a habit of using the phone for that purpose. Does that mean I do not? NO. I know you may think I am a coward or indiscipline but at least I am honest with myself. Instead of finding out how strong I am, I run from the temptation. I have learnt that running and fleeing if the situation calls for it are the best ways to deal with this sugar-coated temptation of misuse of precious God given time or even resources. Even with my advocacy for the use of technology and saving the trees, I love with all my heart to get a handwritten letter or sms instead of chat message on facebook or skype or a tweet on twitter. I still want a simple text message and a letter going through the post office.

Well, back to my story. I was sitting in this restaurant during lunch and I was hit with a new revelation. I can have a date with someone without being in the same place with me. Wait before you start judging me. I have it all worked out in my mind. You see, I spent the whole lunch time eating and texting while I laughed out loud all alone. People must have wondered what had happened to me. I was supposed to meet someone who didn’t show and instead of the usual anger, I was filled with joy as I had a conversation with a friend the way I want it. I realized that if your love language is words of affirmation and you really do not understand the reason for quality time in terms of people being in the same room, this mode of dating would work for you. You choose a time and a place. The other person goes to a restaurant and you also go to a restaurant. You both text to say you have arrived safely, after that you ask for the menu. You then text the options and decide together what food would be good for this date. You order for the food, drinks and start your conversation. Before you wonder why you are not using the internet, well you can but the internet may look like work. I know, you are probably feeling sorry for the person that takes me out on dates. Well, this is me trying to engage my mind and make a relationship work regardless of the distance. With the whole thing of who pays for the bill and things like that, you have it sorted since you are not in the same restaurant (Okay, I had forgotten the MPESA option) but it may give some satisfaction and save some judgement.

Well, I am learning to make do with what is before me. Sometimes we are in a hurry to buy gadgets we can’t afford or don’t really need for all sorts of reasons minus the important ones. We want to have the latest Samsung phone (I want) or latest I PAD or whatever it is. If you can not afford it, everyday texting is not bad at all. It could even mean that you have money to put airtime instead of using free wireless for the date and that is what I call class :=)

What is my point? This is random me thinking about random ways to love and be loved without more pressure than there is already. You can make it work with all or no gadgets at all.

One day when I am long gone, this form of dating will be looked at in awe. If we keep going the way we are, people will desire to just be able to text each other over the meal in different continents.

Is God really saying NO?

So, I am in year 6 of similar prayer requests. I know someone may say it is not God’s will but I have read about them in the word of the Lord. I know that some of these things I am praying for have a close link to the name of the Lord being glorified which removes the notion of them not being God’s will. One may say that these good and perfect gifts are not for me but I am wondering why? If this is the same God that says He will love me with an everlasting love, then why would He not give me this good and perfect gifts?

Okay, I know they are gifts meaning He has a right to give them to me or not. This reason I accept. I also believe that the Lord may desire to glorify Himself in the fact that I lack what I am asking.

However, it just hit me. Those are not the only reasons.

So, the Bible says that the Lord disciplines those that He loves. If you like me, you may have wanted a list of this discipline. I keep thinking they can be found in Deuteronomy 28 but people have a number of schools of thought. They have been some agreements pointing to the fact that we may not be able to tell if we have been disciplined by the Lord because life is full of valleys and mountains but I think I am starting to understand a few things.

God has seen vices and habits in me that if they are not dealt with will destroy me. He is not saying NO to my requests, He is saying GROW UP. Many times I am thinking of God the way I think of my earthly father. My daddy would discipline me in ways that would bring pain which would either mean physical pain or withdrawal of a desired or good thing but my question is; IS THAT THE GOD I SERVE? Would God withdraw good things from me as punishment or would I in the long run face consequences of the bad decisions and the indiscipline I have in my life?

So, when am asking God, is it like the prodigal son asking for all the foreseen wealth from the father before he is old enough to understand the responsibility behind the request?

Well, I do not know if this answers the lingering question about God’s discipline but I know it answers a question I have had all along and here it goes; ‘God, if you give us the desires of our heart, if it is You that gives all good and perfect gifts, why aren’t these particular desires and gifts coming along?’ and I believe the Lord is telling me ‘MY DAUGHTER, YOU ARE STILL GROWING UP AND WHEN YOU ARE READY – IT WILL ALL BE YOURS’

I don’t know what this means to you. However, I know that I am waiting patiently for ALL GOOD AND PERFECT GIFTS ARE FROM GOD.

It starts with me

I have been observing some really ‘disturbing’ trends. I have been meeting some people that seem to just rub me the wrong way. I have been having more moments with statements like ‘Help me Oh Lord not to open my mouth’

Each of these times,I have been pointing and pointing to all those people. Those people that are getting me angry, those people that are planting doubt in my mind because of their negative words, those people that just keep talking and keep going without seeming to care about anyone else.
I have been observing, noting and wondering why now…

I then realized that all this that I noted, all this that got me angry was small bits of me. Aspects about me that push people to the corner. Small bits about me that some other people can not stand.
The only reason I believe I could see these ‘disturbing’ trends was because I could relate completely to them.

It is now that I decide to say ‘Oh Lord help me keep my mouth shut’ not because someone did something ‘disturbing’ but because I may say something ‘disturbing’

It is now that I decide to say ‘Oh Lord help me’ not because someone will do something ‘disturbing’ but because I will do something ‘disturbing’

It is now that I decide
It starts with me

I Wouldn’t Be My Option

So, I know myself and like I like to say ‘If I were God choosing someone to do some work for me, I wouldn’t be my option’

When I read about God using the weak things of the world to shame the strong, my mind is screaming ‘I KNOW, I CAN TESTIFY’
When I read about God using a donkey, I am smiling, waving my hands like a mad woman and saying ‘I AM HERE LORD, I CAN BE A DONKEY FOR YOU’
When I read about God saying that if we call unto Him, He will do great and mighty things, I stand on the chair and start shouting ‘YES LORD, I WILL CALL UNTO YOU’

Then
I read about the lady of the alabaster box; her expression of love and the secret thoughts of the people in the room, I slowly take my seat so that no one can see me and whisper ‘Hmmmm…. Okay!’
And then there is David dancing till his cloths fall off, I cover my eyes and write in my journal ‘I love you Lord but am not sure how that will bring glory to Your name’
Then these guys Paul and Silas get themselves imprisoned for the gospel, I bargain ‘I am set free because of you. If the truth sets us free then why prison? In fact I am short of saying ‘I bind all sorts of persecution in the name of Jesus until I see ‘In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have over come the world’ Hmmmm, I wonder. ‘Who knew that tribulation and good cheer would look good in the same sentence?’
And who knew I could actually shut up?

It is at that point that I remember all these promises in Revelations about those who will overcome putting on crowns ,white cloths and cool stuff like that and I am full of energy. I stand up, carry a chair and start running with it as I scream ‘I AM YOURS OH LORD. You know am in’ that is until I discover that overcoming means hard times should have come before.

I then realize the honor and privilege I have to know a loving God who sent His son to die for me regardless…

I am forever grateful and in awe. I know that if I were God I would not choose me and that is why I am glad that I am not God