Saturday, 26 November 2011

Size 10 regular...

I've always wanted to be taller. At 5 foot 5, no 6, OK, five and a half inches, I'm the shortest of all my siblings, even though I'm almost the eldest. I know some people may think that's tall enough and one of my friends that is almost six feet would probably give something huge to be my height (tall girls can't find men apparently). But, I still remember when I was little and my uncles would say to me 'watch out, your sister is getting taller than you!'- as if there was anything I could do about it. And some of them would say 'eat more beans- it'll make you grow taller' and I did, even though I hated beans. It obviously didn't work, and I watched helplessly as all my siblings grew and grew and grew past me. Sigh...

Anyway, I bought some jeans today. I didn't have the chance to try them on so I took them home. Also, the store didn't have the lengths on the jeans as I would have liked, so I just went for the one I hoped would be my size- 10 Long. But then I got home and tried them on and guess what? They were too long. I really wanted them to be my size and I even considered folding the ends but it just didn't look right. I had to accept the truth that I am in fact, a size 10 Regular.

We don't like being reminded of our shortcomings do we? At the moment, I'm re-reading 'The purpose driven life' by Rick Warren and I'm on the chapter about surrender. Three things stop us from surrendering to God- fear (we don't realise how much God loves us, so we don't trust Him), pride (we want to be in control of our lives) and confusion (we misunderstand the meaning of surrender). The whole shortcomings issue falls under pride. We want to be better- smarter, prettier, slimmer, fatter, taller. We hate it when we're faced with our own shortcomings because it makes us all the more aware of our humanity. We hate it because we want to be in control of our lives. We want to be God in our lives. Yes, we want to be God. 

This is how Rick puts it:
'We aren't God, and never will be. We are humans. It is when we try to be God that we end up most like Satan, who desired the same thing... We accept our humanity intellectually, but not emotionally. When faced with our own limitations, we react with irritation, anger and resentment....Then when we notice that God gave others characteristics we don't have, we react with envy, jealousy and self-pity.'

That's some deep stuff, but it is so true. 

The sooner we accept our humanity (emotionally), and stop struggling with God, the sooner we surrender and stop trying to control everything in our lives, the sooner we can start living that stress-free, purpose-driven life He desires for everyone of us.

All this from a pair of jeans, I know.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Why should I get married???

I'm not disillusioned about marriage. I know that it's not a bed of roses. I know you have to work at it to make it work. Despite all these, I still sometimes struggle to come up with good reasons to get married. Don't get me wrong, I do want to spend my life with someone I love, have kids, build a family, etc, etc and I think that's what God wants for most of us, but I've seen a lot of things in the past few months that just make me wonder. 

To start off, a few weeks ago, I read someone's post on facebook titled 'why men cheat' (or something along those lines) and it made for very interesting reading. The conclusion was that every man, given the right circumstances would cheat on his wife/partner. Obviously it caused a bit of an uproar, (mostly amongst women, I should add) and even though I wanted to put down my own thoughts on the matter, for once I decided to leave it for a bit and have a think. In the end, I came to my own conclusion. The writer of that piece was kinda right. Every man, given the right circumstances would cheat. But does it really stop there? Surely, everyone, given the right circumstances would do something they wouldn't usually do. But, I must add, only if we believe that we have no control over certain things that we do. Let me explain further- the August London riots is a good example. People, including some normally law-abiding citizens saw a perfect opportunity to steal and they did just that. It proves the article's point, doesn't it? But do we actually have more control over ourselves than we'd like to admit even to ourselves? Still on the London riots- not everyone grabbed clothes and shoes, even though it was right there and they probably wouldn't have been caught. Yes, some people were probably scared of getting caught, but I'd also like to think that some people decided that doing what is right was far more important than getting a few new items of clothing. 

Even though I've heard the views of the writer of that note from different people in the past, I can't help but wonder whether it's not some kind of excuse for certain men to fall back on when they give in to a moment (or two) of weakness. Just because you have the ability to do something doesn't mean that you would. Not if you claim to love someone. Not if you took a vow. Not if your life is sold out to Someone higher. And definitely not if you put measures in place to prevent it from happening. Here's a thought- surely if you think yourself unable to resist a certain type of temptation, you've pretty much fallen already. Isn't it just a matter of time? Now, I'm not naive, I don't live in fantasy land, and I'm actually not as optimistic as I think I should be about certain things, but I cannot get my head around the conclusion of that facebook note. If indeed that conclusion is true, what are women supposed to do? Resign themselves to the fact that they will one day be cheated upon- a matter of when, not even if? If that is the case, then seriously, why bother? 

The other thing I can't get my head around is physical violence in relationships. And why people stay. This completely freaks me out, but we'll talk about it some other day...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Can we talk about sickle cell?

I stumbled across this post by 'Pretty lashes' and I thought it was awesome that she blogged about it, as it's something that's been on my mind for a while. This was my response to her post:

''I love that you blogged about this, as it's something quite close to my heart, with one of my close friends being SS and me knowing quite a few carriers of the sickle cell gene. Here are my few thoughts...

Truth is that even though there are a lot more advances in treatment for sickle-cell related complications and many 'sicklers' now live longer, sickle cell disease is life-threatening and we can't ignore it. Whilst I think it's silly for people to run a mile when they meet someone with sickle cell, the example you gave about the guys possibly getting HIV or cancer in the future is not exactly the same because sickle cell is preventable even before birth, if you know about it, whilst cancer for example, sometimes just happens. Our grandparents and those before them didn't know about genetics and blood group/blood type testing and they probably lost a few children to sickle cell and called it something else, but now we do, and can do something about it.

I have a very close friend with sickle cell that has been in and out of hospital a few times and whenever I've seen her in so much pain, it makes me think; why would I want to take the risk of putting my child through that, given the information I know?

I completely agree that we should not discriminate against people with sickle cell, but if we can prevent it, why shouldn't we? That's the reason we have advances in science and technology- so we can make informed decisions, e.g. when it comes to marriage. On the subject of marriage, even some pastors would advice against marrying someone that is AS if you're also AS. Personally, I think it depends on the faith of the couple and there have been many testimonies attesting to this- God is ALL-mighty and anything is possible with Him, but I would have to be absolutely convinced of who God wants me to marry before I make a decision that could affect the lives of my unborn kids..."

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them- if you know someone with sickle cell, or maybe you have sickle cell yourself, how has this affected your life? I'd especially like to know if this has affected your decisions in who you decide to date/marry and why. Thanks!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

One goal...

Sometimes I feel like my life is out of my control
I know I gave it to You a long time ago
And I did say 'I surrender'
But You don't take that phrase lightly do You?
To You, 'I surrender' means You have my life
You can do as You please
You will go to extremes to make me the person You know I can be
The person You created me to be
No matter how much I scream
No matter how much I hate it
You'll keep working on me
Removing the crappy bits
The stuff that embarrasses You
The stuff You detest
Because there's only one goal
To be more like Jesus...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Me, God and Mr Right?

I know it's been a while folks, but life has not given me a breather for a while now; hopefully I'll be able to blog about that at some point. As I'm kinda lacking inspiration these day with my writing, I fished out something I wrote a while ago and decided to post it. Hope you like it, and of course feel free to let me know what you think!

I lay in bed thinking about how to end the relationship. What exactly would I say to him? I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but I was tired of saying the same things over and over again. I tried the following sentences in my head...

‘You don’t call me regularly. You say you’ll call but you don’t. When you do, you seem distracted, like you’d rather be doing something else.’
‘Sometimes you call for a few minutes in the morning and just as I’m getting into the conversation, you suddenly have to go.’
‘You call me late at night, just before you go to bed. What’s the point; you’re way too tired to have a decent conversation and within five minutes you’re already yawning.’
‘Football is way more important to you than I am...I know not to expect a phone call or have a meaningful conversation with you if a match is on.’
‘I wait all day for a phone call from you and when it finally comes, you don’t seem to have much to say!’
‘You hardly ask me anything deep or intimate. How are we supposed to get to know each other?’
‘You say you care about me and want us to work but sometimes I feel like it’s just words; your actions say otherwise.’

As I pondered all these thoughts, I suddenly realised that God could be saying these exact words to me!

‘You hardly ever pray these days. You promise me you’ll improve and we’ll spend more time together but when you finally settle down to talk to me, you seem distracted; there’s so much other stuff going on in your mind.’
‘You pray for a few minutes in the morning and I don’t hear from you again till last thing at night when you’re too tired to say anything meaningful.’
‘Everything else seems more important to you than I Am. How else can you explain excusing yourself if the phone rings, or deciding to watch that TV programme when we could be spending time together?’
‘I wait and wait all day long just to hear your voice. When you finally remember me, our conversation lasts only a few minutes, with you doing all the talking!’
‘I want to get deeper and more intimate with you; I want to hear about your day, your thoughts, your fears and your concerns. I want you to know me more.’
‘You say you love me; that’s all you sing about on Sundays, but they’re just words to me.’

Can you relate? As these thoughts went through my head, I realised how God must feel when I go sometimes for days without spending any quality time with Him. And He’s supposed to be number one in my life! I went to bed that night feeling very angry at Mr. Right?, but I realised that I was doing the very same thing to my First Love. Thank God for second chances.