Amani Ya Juu: Live, Love, Laugh

This morning, I am dancing to this song.

One of the things that I enjoy about being in Nairobi is that there are lots of places to go with young children, that you both enjoy. When I visited in 2016, a friend told me about a place that Ksena and I would enjoy, but we didn’t get a chance to visit it then.

A few weeks ago, we finally got a chance to go to to Amani Ya Juu. It was worth the wait. The serene atmosphere was exactly what our Monday needed. It has a nice playground for children under 10, a beautiful garden and a lovely gift shop. The gift shop is something to write home about. It has beautiful handmade goods with a card attached that includes the name of the person who made it and a bible verse.

“Amani ya Juu (Higher Peace) is a training project in sewing and marketing for African women who have been affected by wars and ethnic conflicts. The purpose of this project is twofold; one is to give African women an opportunity to improve their sewing and marketing skills to provide for the needs of their families and the other is to sow seeds of peace in the hearts of these women. Wonderful hand-made and hand dyed toys and home decorations, very African with a modern twist.” ~ Kenya Buzz

Above all, the peace of God, a higher peace is there. Amani ya juu! This is a place I would definitely go to read a lovely book, spend time with God and just be. And shop:).

These wall hangings from the gift shop are serving as a special reminder to live, love and laugh this year and for the years to come.

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Acts 17:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

If I am not connected to God I will not live, move and be as He designed me. John 15:5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” To live the life that God desires me to live, I must remain connected to Him.

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1 John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Love is more than the warm fuzzy feelings. Love is laying down my life for others. I had an interesting conversation with a mum a few days ago, she said parenting is all about sacrifice and I responded that you are the sacrifice. A living sacrifice, whose mind is constantly being renewed by Christ.

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Psalm 126:2-3 New International Version (NIV)

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

God has done great things for me. When I take my eyes off Him I start to mumble and grumble, I lose the light in my eye and forget to laugh. Yet He has filled my mouth with laughter. Ksena has been reminding me to laugh from the bottom of my heart. This year, I will laugh.

I am really enjoying this ‘Sounds of Revival film’ by William McDowell.

http://www.williammcdowellmusic.com/watch-sounds-of-revival-film//

Blessings,

Bibi2be

The Needless Pain We Bear

I woke up with a headache this morning, the kind that left me grumpy so early in the day. Not my ideal way to start my day. I was longing for night time before the clock had struck 8am.

As I begun to think. I realized that something was bothering me. I slept thinking about it last night and didn’t take it to God in prayer. Thinking about it and dwelling on how to find a solution had not borne any fruit other than a headache and frumpy mood. I decided to pray and and take it all to God, stressing and analyzing the situation was not working. As I prayed the headache begun to lift. I realized that rather than it being sickness, it was a physical manifestation of a burden that I was carrying.

Oh what needless pain I was bearing. The heaviness of my heart was affecting my body and causing me pain. I was not at peace.

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The lyrics of ‘ What a friend we have in Jesus’ played so clearly in my head:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

The state of my heart can affect the state of my body in terms of my health. Guarding my heart from burdens it doesn’t need to carry, is an important part of guarding my health and acting in my best interest. There are so many times that I have wanted to treat the symptoms rather than the real cause of the pain. Because, sometimes it seems easier to swallow a pill than have an honest talk deep within and take the matter to God. Many times I don’t want to slow down and reflect on what is really happening. What I don’t realize is that by moving quickly in avoidance I am actually slowing myself down in the long run. The irony.

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Have you been experiencing pain that you can’t quite explain? Does the burden in your heart make the whole of your body hurt? Does your heart weigh a tonne? Are you harboring feelings of anger and bitterness ?

Run to God, tell Him what it is you are going through and leave the matter in His able hands. Walk in His peace as you trust in Him. He is for you. Find rest in Him.

God bless you.

Happy new month (: and have a lovely weekend!

Bibi2be

 

 

Motherhood Has Taught Me, Once Again, That God Answers Prayers

I’m so blown away by God’s goodness.

A few weeks ago, I was a very stressed and weary mama. Ksena wasn’t sleeping very well which meant I wasn’t sleeping very well either. I was also wondering how I would wean her off breastfeeding without the option of shipping her off to her grandmother’s house for two weeks.

A little background, she used to sleep beautifully until we hit a sleep regression in her first year then things went haywire. We tried all methods of sleep training but they weren’t quite successful due to other compounding factors beyond our control. So sleep was a real prayer request in our home.

I never had a problem with breastfeeding or milk supply but weaning was so stressful. I shudder when I think back. That she eats now and even asks for food by saying ” I’m hungry” or ”tummy is hungry” is a miracle in itself. I have cried tears because she wouldn’t eat, but God; He showed up and her appetite is a testimony of His Grace.

So back to the current situation, as we were away from home for several weeks, I knew things needed to change once we got back home; but God needed to come through I’m order for the changes to happen.

I needed to sleep train her and wean her off breastfeeding. The first day, I kept repeating God’s truth to her,  ”Ksena can do all things through Christ who strengthens her”. I told her that though self soothing was difficult she could do it because God was with her.  Every time she heard the verse, she calmed down. God’s word has power!!!

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In four days she was sleep trained and weaned off breast feeding completely. It’s been a while since I’ve slept so well. I can change the world. When she wants to sleep she walks up to me and says ”Mummy , I’m tired”.

A few days ago, I told Peter that many times we don’t live in abundance because we have forfeited our power in Christ. As I’ve been reading ‘The Power Of A Praying Parent’ by Stormie Omartian, I’ve realized that when I spend time in His presence, His power is released. I desire for this power to be released in every aspect of my life.

This week, I’m working on my master prayer list. Asking the Holy Spirit to write with me, that I may be intentional about praying for the big and small things that worry and wear down my heart.

If your heart is weary, I pray that you will find rest in Christ. Nothing is too difficult for Him, you can trust Him with all the desires of your heart. In Jesus name we pray and believe, Amen.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

 

By His Grace, For His Glory

AND..I’M…BACK!!!!!! (: (: (:

It is so good to write again, it feels like it’s been too long since I last posted. I’ve been in a wedding zone, two of my friends of mine got married in the last two weeks. It’s been interesting watching them journey to the aisle. It was quite nostalgic, plus, we celebrated our 4th anniversary last week 🙂 . It’s been a short long time. I remember the wedding day vividly, it’s amazing how much we’ve changed since. We’ve both grown as individuals and in our roles as well.

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As I’ve reflected on marriage the last couple of weeks as I’ve engaged in different conversations about marriage, weddings and relationships, I’ve found this statement to be the best summary of our union.

‘By His Grace, for His glory!!!’

We are married in a time where the world doesn’t honor and respect the institution of marriage. Being happily married is honestly a miracle. By God’s grace we are. We’ve seen God carry us, sustain us, fulfill us and love on us. It is His Grace that has brought us this far, for His glory. There are many marriage practices and theories that people attribute to a happy marriage, but I can boldly say that without God you still remain void. It is He who holds us together [Colossians 1:17] By now you’ve figured that I absolutely love this verse. It is a lifeline for me.


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Marriage works, with Jesus it does. We used to wonder out loud a few years ago that if marriage with God in it has its challenges, what about marriage without Him? Quite frankly, I am still not interested in finding out how it works without Him (: .

If you have given up hope on marriages in our generation, please be encouraged, a remnant of God’s grace remains, for His glory.

My heart has been so heavy for marriages the last couple of days, as I have been praying this song has been my prayer.

If your marriage is in a dark place that has discouraged you and made you doubt God, I pray that you will experience God’s divine peace. Oh that the Spirit of the Lord will break out and break down every wall down. Every wall that has boxed you in and held you captive. May revival come, His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. There is nothing too difficult for God. No situation too dark or bleak for Him. He is God.

If you would like me to stand with you in prayer, please send me an email via ess@bibi2be.com and we’ll trust God together.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

 

 

 

I Found Peace

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I struggle to hear these words in the face of adversity. All I want to scream back is  ”it is NOT well right now”.

You can imagine how many ‘it is wells’ I heard after dad died. I knew one day it would be well, but right there and then, life was many things apart from well. I needed space to feel the emotions but constantly received the ‘Be strong for….’ advice. So here I was stuck in between it not being well and exuding strength I lacked.  Quite a difficult balance to strike.

It’s easy to get sucked up in being strong for others and forget that you need to feel the emotions and be once in a while. Just because you hide the emotions does not mean that they are not there. One day they will come closer to the surface and you will be forced to deal with them (or stuff them deeper and repeat the cycle).

I’d found a way to be strong, I would avoid all conversations that required being real. So I literally avoided Peter, I’d want to be in the same space with him but avoid him. It’s quite ridiculous looking back, but he persevered.  Thank you ❤

A few weeks after the burial, I got to do something for myself, I went on a short road trip to a near by lake. Lake Oloiden.

There I made peace with myself, God and my dad.

I forgave myself for the things I thought I could have done or said better. Such sweet release. I felt free.

I was able to forgive my dad for leaving the way he did. I wept tears of bitterness, hurt, disappointment.  Forgiveness was necessary for me to move forward. Peace engulfed my heart.

I asked God to embrace me and comfort me. I released my negative emotions regarding the whole situation, God not saving him as I thought He would. I asked for His forgiveness. Then I received peace. Not as the world gives. His peace, His divinely sweet peace.

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I asked the Lord to be my father. I had just lost my physical representation of a father and there was a huge gap in my heart, in my life. This begun a beautiful adventure in my walk with Him. One of total surrender. Oh how I wish I had known Him as my ultimate father in every sense of the word when dad was alive. God is my father.

Dad’s death shook me to the core. It made me question many things including my existence and identity. But God. God SPOKE to me and LOVED on me. I am whole, I am loved, I am His.

After finding peace, I knew this is right where I wanted to get married. The scenery and presence were exactly what I wanted surrounding us as we exchanged our vows. He was there.

What is causing your heart turmoil?  Get away, lay your emotions on the table, take them to the cross and make peace with yourself, God and other parties involved.  The bitterness and unforgiveness could be what is holding your from living your best life now.

Have a blessed week ahead,

Bibi2be

Of Broken Screens, Shattered Dreams And The Life Inbetween

A few weeks ago, I dropped my phone. This wasn’t the first time, this time my screen cracked in a not so interesting pattern.

I was a little sad, but given the situation at hand, it was the lesser evil. A little background: Ksena saw a swimming pool and sprinted towards it. Now, she has never jumped into a pool without adult supervision before, but I wasn’t about to find out if she would test that boundary. So I dropped everything in hand and followed her. Unfortunately my phone paid the price.

Side bar: if anyone knows where I can find the screen for a Huawei Honor 4c please let me know. You’ll have made my life so much easier. I have seen that there is a cracked screen wallpaper app, I don’t understand the rationale behind wanting a cracked screen. Perhaps a mosaic?

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Back to the story, a few weeks later here I am walking with a broken screen which initially irritated me but I’ve now learned to live with, then I meet one of my sister’s from another mama and she gives me much needed insight.

She said, at some point, we all learn to live with the dysfunctions in life.

It hit me hard because it was about more than just the phone. It was a simple life truth. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, the dysfunctions look different for different people, it can be death of a loved one, loss of a job, a shattered dream,  depression, end of a friendship or relationship, sickness… the truth is that the cracks in the screens of our lives can disoriented us and hurt us deeply. In fact, a week after I dropped the phone, a crack cut my finger. Man, that hurt. Such is life, sometimes the cracks hurt us deeply and leave a scar.

The definitive crack in my life was losing my dad. It hurt so bad. I wasn’t sure how I’d live without him. My seemingly picture perfect life had cracked and my heart was bleeding. I had so many dreams for us, he was supposed to walk me down the aisle the following year, we had just discussed marriage. I felt abandoned and alone. My dreams in a row had just been shattered. And now I had to dream again, if only I could find peace to fall asleep again.

Eventually, I learned to deal with the dysfunction. It became my new normal. It paralyzed me but eventually I found my feet again and started to move in the right direction. I knew it wouldn’t be the same but the journey was crucial.

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Clinging on to God was all that I knew and could do. Without Him I was lost. Without Him I was hopeless. I let Him carry me and I found rest and peace. His healing hand touched my broken heart and I experienced wholeness in the midst of a storm. Hallelujah!! I was able to dream again and slowly but surely the dreams are coming to pass.

He is faithful in the midst of the storm. Run to Him and experience His peace.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

Nothing Takes God By Surprise

Hello 🙂

It’s so great to be back to writing after such a long time. I had really missed it.

Life had gotten intense and I needed to stop. There were attacks all around and my emotions and peace were all up in the air.

Even in the midst of back to back sickness, things falling through, unexpected miracles, disappointment and discouragement; I have learned to keep my eyes on He who is the author and perfecter of my faith.

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I must admit that I’ve not been a champ all through, no, at some point my attitude was stinking rotten. Then it hit me, (again) God doesn’t owe me anything. All that I have and all that I am is by His Grace. He is God in it all.

So here I am, comforted and encouraged by the fact that nothing takes Him by surprise.

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In the grande and mundane disappointments in life, I have learned that nothing takes Him by surprise and I am safe in His hands.

A recurrent prayer is that He will renew my mind that I may know His good, pleasing and perfect will. I refuse to move by my strength or wisdom. It is He who directs my steps.

I’d like to pray with you; if you have a specific request that you’d like me to trust God with you for, please send me an email via ess@bibi2be.com.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

Blessings upon blessings,

Bibi2be