A Reason To Be Grateful…

I stood and gazed helplessly, and all I heard and saw around 2020 was chaos.. I however had to make a choice, a bold choice that only made sense to me… I chose to trust the I AM..

Love rescued me when nothing else made sense, when all I thought I ever knew was tested and crushed, when love meant different things at every stage, and the new me knew I had to make a change… I chose to trust the I AM..

Going through a season as a caregiver, when those I expected to help chose to stay away.. and those I expected to check on me more kept failing me… but the I AM kept adding angels on my list…I chose and still choose to believe and know, that a miracle is on the way.. why?.. I chose to trust the I AM..

Losing Shox and Isa to death in a week, and realizing that the I AM had seasons and times for us all… and that my time on earth is limited, to live and love those who He has entrusted in my care.. I realized I had a choice to make.. I chose to trust the I AM..

When Coaching, Zindua and BSF were replaced with heaviness.. and a soul so weary to even remember why any of that even mattered.. I AM still invited me for chats…I remember leaning closer and always hearing that still small voice … and I remembered a choice had to be made… I chose to trust the I AM..

As 2020 doors close and 2021 doors open… I will be at my rooftop watching the fireworks over the Nairobi skyline…with nothing but gratitude over the year that was…I will cling even closer to the old rugged cross… because that’s the choice I made and I have no regrets… I chose to trust the I AM

I AM has been faithful, gracious and loving… I am glad I chose to be with HIM … and unless He leads me to you in the new year, I will intentionally stay away and keep my lane… I am so glad I now know Him more, my children know Him more and together with my generation… We shall remain forever trusting in Him… The I AM…

Reworking My Vision Board

For the last couple of years, I have diligently had a vision board. Shortly after I read Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret”, my world almost came to a standstill as I figured out that the law of attraction was all about the faith I possessed. As a good student, year after year I faithfully created my vision board and hung it up or put it where I could easily see it. Being someone that loves notebooks, I found myself in many circumstances sticking the vision board on the first page of my notebooks.

For my reader today who may not have come across that term, a vision board is a visual representation of your dreams and vision. What you want or where you see yourself a few years down the line. By having a visual image that describes what you hope to have, somehow, you are able to attract that to yourself. As a Christian, I call it faith as it is believing in the unseen. 

My first few years of creating my vision boards were really exciting and they got even better as I did my annual reviews and checked off some of the items  I achieved along the way.  I thought and knew I was the best in vision board creation and had even involved my children in the process, but all that came crashing down as I was reviewing my July goals with my coach. 

I had been given an assignment to rework my vision board and put it up but for some reason, I had not got around to getting the rightful images and put the vision board up. Being a good student, I had written them down and was happily reading them to my coach during the session when she suddenly asked me to stop. “Are those goals or is that your vision? You are reading for me things you plan to achieve by your birthday which is in 2 months”. She was so right. These were just goals. She went on to tell me how my vision should even scare me and that’s when it hit me, I had done my vision board wrong all along.

After my session, I listed all the things I needed to do that had come up during that one 90 minute online session and I knew that by the end of the day, I would have done majority of them. I was wrong. It took me a whole day to rewrite my vision, get images that related to that vision that would at least make it easier for me to visualize. For instance, I have always imagined taking a holiday and visualizing that in a serene environment by the mountains meant me taking an image of that and having it up on my vision board. 

As I printed the last page, I remember looking through the images and just texting my coach and telling her that my heart was palpitating so fast as I looked at the images and wondered how I was going to accomplish that. Well, I guess that’s what the vision is all about. 

I do not know what vision you have for your life or for your children or life partner, whatever it is, put it down on paper. The schools – kindergarten to  universities  you would like your children to attend. Dream the impossible and make that your vision. I think the people who have understood visions best are business owners, seeing a statement such as “ a brand you can trust across Africa” and that time you are operating a small office in your garage with just two neighbours as your customers. With a clear vision, no matter how small you may feel that business is, nothing can stand in your way to achieve that, because somehow, God uses that faith to align people, circumstances and events to meet that vision. 

My challenge to you today is if you have never written your vision down, start today. If there’s a coaching session that has changed my mindset most, it was this one. Seeing that I have known my coach for the last 20 years, I trust God that we will both look back many years from today and remember where it all started. 

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

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The Midway Point.

When you look back over your life and your milestones appear few and far between. When your journey though long in years doesn’t seem to have yielded much in terms of achievement, maybe that may be the right time to stop and reflect. It’s not always easy to start off on a new path and forget the roads that lay behind

July is a special month as it marks a new dawn being the middle of the year. I think why mid-way point feels special is because I believe I  will live to be over 80years old and so this year also feels like the mid point of my life as I prepare to turn the big four zero.

Life is like a journey, it is made up of steps, movement from one season to the next. When I look back over my life and examine my journey to get to where I am, my steps do not look as many. There are gaps in several places, gaps that could have been clear footsteps to guide others. However, I choose to focus on a different perspective. I choose to see those gaps as moments when I did not have the courage or the strength to walk alone and instead fully depended on God to carry me. Those may have been moments I doubted myself and my abilities, they may have been periods of pain and regret and I was not able to make any steps and I probably took time and sat still to reflect on my life

It’s for this reason that I want to focus on faith in the month on July, when many around me have questions on what next and how will they make the next steps. When many have questions of if they are leaving any steps behinds that anyone can follow. This is a season to stop looking at those footsteps, to stop looking behind at any mark you have made, but to instead look up and allow God to carry you through this season. No one said it would be easy, but always, rest in Him and allow Him to carry you through whatever situation you are going through, to carry you through the fears you have, to carry you through the dreams you are doubting will ever come through… and to just be still and know that He is God.

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
Within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust

Source: LyricFind

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

You Can Achieve Anything You Set Your Mind To.

June was a good month. I could count all the reasons that the world in general had to differ with my thoughts but in my everyday life, a single blessing outweighs anything negative that may have happened or may be happening around me. As I write this down on 30th June 2020, I am completing a 30 day challenge where I committed myself to write an article every day in the month of June. I never planned on what to write, but I was intentional in my daily prayers asking God to give me the topic and the words that would inspire me and my readers.

When I joined what has now turned out to be called Kinyanjui Kombani mentees, I never saw anything beyond the day. I set out to write an article every day before midnight and share it immediately with my followers on my blog, social media platforms and on Medium. Showing up every day instilled a kind of discipline in me I never thought I had. I  am grateful that I was consistently  able to surpass my  daily set target. Receiving feedback from my readers has always felt like it is an answer to the prayers I have made regarding getting the topics and words that will inspire me and others.

As we start the remaining half of 2020, there are so many things we may have set as goals or resolutions that have either been put back on the shelf or forgotten all together. The pandemic may have affected your day to day activities, your social life and interactions or even your income streams, but one thing you should guard at this time is your mind. However tough each day and no matter what challenge you face, let your mind be shielded from negativity or loss of hope because there is a lot that the world needs that only lies within you.

This is the time you need to set your mind to do something and do it consistently. Knock on doors that you would not have ordinarily knocked. There’s power in consistency, showing up every day. There are companies that are still hiring. There are new businesses starting up, opening their door or  coming up every day. Do not look back at what you have lost or doors that have been shut. Look up, dust yourself and simply show up day after day.

What’s that hobby or skill that you have desired to learn over the years? For 4 years, I had 4 articles on Murugiblog, but in just these past 30 days, I have 30 new articles in the same blog. It’s been the greatest proof to myself that consistency wins. I have set many goals over the years and anytime I decided to take a break for a day, that day would actually be a full stop as procrastination would take over. Now I know the secret. I have no excuse why I cannot achieve anything my mind is set on doing. I am now more confident than ever that I can write a book and I can win every test if I keep showing up.

I want to challenge you today, for the month of July, set a goal. Just one goal for the 31 days in July. I am thinking of focusing on health for the month new, but let’s see how that works. If I lose just 4kgs, I will have won part of my battle towards healthy living. I just need to use my exercise session in the daily more diligently. And with my son as my accountability partner, I know I will be celebrating another great milestones.

If you have had challenges setting goals and meeting them, I will recommend a way I have found to work, instead of thinking of 30 or 31 days of the month or a whole year. Break them down to just 7days. Promise yourself to write, to sketch to exercise for just 7days, make it Monday to Sunday. When Sunday comes, make another promise to yourself for another 7 days, and nothing will be impossible if you believe in yourself, and the God that gives us strength. Go on and conquer the impossibilities in your life.

As I sign off for the month of June, I take a moment to thank my amazing friend and editor Wanjiru Kimani. She is the lady with the eye for details, and is always on the frontline getting me to examine my own thoughts and communication.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

Teaching My Son to Manage His Day.

I don’t know why and how I agreed to spend the first hour of my day with my son. I have worked so hard to get the first hour of my morning fully dedicated to myself. This has been a work in progress and by following Hal Elrods Miracle Morning technique, I have been content with how the rest of my day has been.  It’s that’s hour that fully sets the mood for my day. When my son asked me to join me in the morning for that session, I was quite surprises.  I had gone through a goal setting session with him yesterday and I believe with all the motivation to start off July on the right note, we both woke up at 6:30am ready for the day.

My son is very talkative and I had my worries because I like a peaceful start for the day. Since I had agreed to spend the hour with him, we both happened to have woken up at the same time as our alarms would went off at 6:30am. Before I could say good morning, I gave him a hug alongside a warning, “remember, I don’t like stories in the morning, so please let’s honour that”. By the time we got to the living room, where we would be having our one hour together, he had probably shared 3 stories and there was a second alarm ringing in his room and I had to keep affirming myself that we would safely go through the hour without a fight

Miracle Morning is a very structured sort of ritual. It has six steps that fall under the acronym SAVERS. These are Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. As I was doing my silence bit which is prayer, my son was already on the laptop watching something with no headphones on. This was so distracting, and I had to wait for him to finish before I could proceed. I however decided to stop and asked him why he wanted to wake up early and the response was that I had promised to work out with him. Oh well! That was part of my miracle morning ritual and I had agreed to exercise with him as he is a great accountability partner.

I decided to take him through the SAVERS acronym by breaking it down to something he would understand. That meant he would use my ritual as his guide too, but we agreed to move the exercise bit to the end of the session as we could have fun while doing it.

What really stood out for me as I went through the session was the affirmations bit. As I explained to him on why it was beneficial to have positive affirmations to start off his day, I watched his face brighten up. It’s one of those items I will highly recommend every parent and guardian to explore with their child or children. We wrote down a few affirmations in his journal and they all began with the words “I am…”. Affirming a child helps build their confidence, however, teaching them to affirm themselves could be the most powerful tool in building their self-confidence.

At this point, I realised that my morning had actually turned out the way it did for just this one item to happen, teach my child how to manage his day. This lesson that would make my son believe in himself more, build his confidence and overall have a growth mindset that I may not have achieved in any other way.

By the time we got to review the visualisation bit, we were so in sync. I felt like my son had grown in leaps and bounds in just a few minutes. Having made annual vision boards, this went far beyond what I expected. I had asked him to close his eyes and visualise what he really wanted and right there, I learnt a big lesson on being specific. He had been wanting a specific gadget and he drilled down all the way to the brand and colour.

One thing this season is teaching me is that Pandemics are seasons of pain, but they are seasons of learning too. Today may be one of the most productive morning I have had. It did not start as I had planned but it definitely ended up better that I would have expected. What are you teaching your child or children today? What are you learning from that child?

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

Guiding My Son to Set Goals.

Living a balanced life when handling family, employment, university, business and self can easily take a toll on one’s life. Through my coach Joanne Kabiru, I learnt about planning my life around a wheel of life. The wheel of life gives me an overview of my life and I can work on all areas in a balanced way. If you are new to this, a good place to start off is with a free online assessment that helps you identify if your life is out of balance. I have done a random sample in the image above as I wrote this article to demonstrate what you may find.

Doing the assessment periodically, (say every 1st day of the new month, every birthday or every new year) is a good practice to identify the areas you will be focusing on for that specific cycle. I personally work with two cycles. A monthly cycle, which means I have goals set in each area for every month, and an annual cycle which I use to set annual goals each year on my birthday. I review these goals every new year’s eve. My vision board is now being created and set around my wheel of life to ensure a balance as well as make it easy to work towards a bigger goal, one month at a time.

As I sat to go through my July goals, my 10 year old son asked if he could join because he was bored. I have always assisted my children make their annual vision board for the new year and I give them each a flash card with their name written at the top, the date, which is usually the last week of the year and the year we are setting goals for. I ask each of them to write two to three things they hope to get or achieve in the new year and we use the same to review the progress mid-year and how well we did at the end of the year. Trust me when I say that I have seen them write down anything from the impossible to the scary, but I let it be. Mid – year when we review, I hear them say things like “I can’t believe I wrote that”.”. One thing I have learnt from my coach is to break my goals down and in the last few months of doing so, I am now able to challenge myself better as well as evaluate my milestones more often.

Going back to the session with my son, it was quite an interesting session as we had to first go through what SMART goal setting is. I found a great explanation of smart goals by the corporate finance institute that may guide you. Once we were done with the understanding, we modified some of the topics on the wheel of life just so that it connected more with him. The sections we have for him are; Spiritual life, Family and friends, Sports and Health, New learnings, Fun and Money.  When we got to the money part, he got me sucked into his goal by promising to clean up the house daily and I would pay him. I am glad because an extra hand goes a long way and he set the goal on the amount of money he would want to make. After some negotiations, we settled on a realistic amount and even went ahead and created a job description which has a clause on contract termination if any single day of work is skipped. That’s the only way I can get him to balance the money and fun sections. Despite all that, I consulted my amazing friend Shyro who always has amazing tips about various crucial topics and I now need to rethink the repayment as house chores should be every house members’ responsibility and I should be rewarding for values and lessons my son learns while doing the chores, that way he takes the pay as a reward for lessons learnt. On the health section, he also needed my participation and we agreed to have a 10-20min exercise session with him daily. Luckily, that aligned with mine too and what I know with him, he will be a good accountability partner.

My lesson doing this with him is that no one is too young to start working on their goals. In a very simple session, we were able to cover 3 areas I would never have intentionally reviewed with him which are, Life balance, Smart goals and Job descriptions. Every moment we sit with our children or loved ones is an opportunity to learn from them or teach them. What lessons are you teaching your children, nephews, nieces, godchildren today? Do you want to try and help them make some goals for the new months? Come on. You can do it.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

I Will Try Again Tomorrow.

Covid 19 Pandemic seems to be here to stay. We are slowly accepting the new normal, as economies that closed as part of their containment measures slowly reopen or consider reopening. Sadly though, livelihoods have been changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. I decided to watch the news today and I ended up regretting why I did so. There is already so much sadness in the world to keep looking for more in the name of news. A 42 year old lady had poisoned her children and gone into hiding. Apparently, she had recently lost her job due to Covid 19. My mind immediately went to work as I tried to figure out what had driven her to that. Was she alone? Were they hungry or maybe at risk of losing their home? Did anything happen that pushed her to do this? Why did she not eat the poison alongside her innocent children? Did anyone force her to do it? I had all these questions running through my head and hopefully, I can be able to follow the story in the coming days and really understand the true story and what the real motive or cause of death was for those innocent souls.

This however got me thinking about the state of life during this pandemic. The many people who have lost their jobs, have been furloughed, have shut the doors to their businesses, and have been locked out of their homes. There are so many things that are happening as everyone works to put some basic necessities on the table. If you ask those around you to share the pain they have had to go through due to the pandemic, you will receive a lot of feedback.

On the flip side, something else is happening, a new sense of self awareness. A realisation about who we are and what matters most in our lives. I want to discuss this today. There is a category of people whose lives are forever changed for the better by this Pandemic. These are the people that have suddenly accepted that there has been a shift and been courageous enough to shift with the tide. I remember starting a class around April and asking my students to list down their goals and daily actions. One of the items for those who were looking for employment was to consistently show up every day and send out a personalised resume to a company or organisation that had either advertised or they felt related to their skillset or passion.  What I have noticed with such exercises is that one can easily give up when they get a regret letter after all the time they spent personalising the resume. In most cases, a few turn to sending a generic resume to all the organisations and of course, they get more frustrated. There is however that one person that gets that regret letter and with their head held up high, wakes up the next morning and spends an extra ten minutes figuring out what they could have done better. That is what I call courage.

If any of your doors have been closed today, be it employment or business, it is not the time to give up. As long as you are alive and breathing, you still have a great purpose to fulfil in this life. Be like that shop owner, who opens up their doors every morning, dusts every product on their shelves and mops the floor, not sure if anyone will come through the door and buy any item. Some days may be good while some days may be bad, but either way, don’t shut your door. Keep knocking, renew that passion, get online and see how you can monetize your skills, talents and passion. See what you can learn from a friend or online. And if nothing works in your favour today, take a break and rest well tonight, because, tomorrow will be a better day and you will try again.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

It’s Now or Never.

My now is the greatest gift I could ever receive. I look all around me and I have several   reasons to complain, to cry, to hold pity parties for myself and to just look down and feel sorry for myself. I however, have tens of thousands of reasons to be grateful, especially for the NOW, the present (gift) moment that some people have not had an opportunity to see.

How many times do we find ourselves planning so far ahead that we miss out on the present? That we forget what we have at this time, the gift of life, the gift of family, the gift of peace in the nations we live in? We plan for the big house we intend to build and forget the small, warm, cozy home that we are blessed with. We plan to increase our wardrobes and feel sad that we are not up to the level we expect to be at, and we forget the comfortable pair of shoes and the warm clothes that have taken us through the cold season. We want more every day, we get lost in the wanting and dreaming, and we forget to enjoy the little or the much we have today.

I have watched parents and guardians make so many future plans for their children. I am a great planner myself and will do whatever it takes to give my children the best, therefore I am not against this. My question is always about the now. If you give the best for tomorrow and miss out the best for today, you have missed it all. Children for instance, grow everyday, and any moment missed can never be replaced with money or spending extra time with them.

We have lost that human appreciation, we do not appreciate those close to us now, we wait for their death, and shop for the most fresh variety  of flowers and coloured ribbons to decorate their grave. A parent, child or grandparent that never received a single flower while alive gets all sorts of flowers on their grave. I look at all manner of photos in social media platforms, in peoples living room walls  or on their desks, and you can clearly tell that time and money was spent to have a family photo session. However, when you dig deeper and look beyond the smiles, you may be shocked to learn that the children have no memory of spending time with the very same parents or guardians, because they are too busy building their careers or attending evening classes.

We have all lost the value of the now. We have lost the gift of the only moment that we are assured of. Covid 19 has in a way tried to reset our lives, by taking us back to the basics. Parents are home with their children, children are home with their parents. Airways and byways have been closed, we must build on what we have. Governments are forced to look within and see the gaps in the healthcare sector, the manufacturing sector and the education sector.

With the world on lockdown, it’s time we take a moment and look at our own lives. What are we missing out on today that can never be recovered? Is it time set aside for God, for “me”, for my children, for my family, for my aging parents, for my studies, for my health, for my neighbours, for my friends? There is so much to do now. Be present in your today, in your now, and leave the rest to God. Because He (God) lives, I can face tomorrow. That’s the assurance I need, to live for the now, and leave the rest to God.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

An Attitude of Gratitude

The news on Television, radio and online platforms will not get any better. Don’t look at that expecting to be happy by what you see or hear. You need to look inside of you. The Bible in Matthew 12:34b talks about what comes out of our mouth being what is in your heart. You find a very bitter person who never minces his words when insulting anyone who crosses his path and you can instantly tell what his heart is full of. You find a kind hearted front line staff in an organisation and you can clearly tell that they are not like that because of training but it’s because of something that’s within them.

In Proverbs 4:23 we are reminded that “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” When I look all around me right now, I have a reason to complain and ask questions but often time, because of what I have fed my heart, I am stopped in my tracks and out flows gratitude.

This week has been filled with many things. A great friend sent me message listing all the reasons why they were angry and bitter with life. They had lost their job due to Covid 19, they had no savings or investments and they had no business. I looked at the message and I really felt sad and I remembered my friend’s life over the years. I could write a whole book about the achievements in their life. Brought up in a great family, attended some of the best schools in Kenya, had amazing jobs and businesses, travelled to dream locations, dated amazing people along the way and bore a lovely child. There was so so much to be grateful for but all that, had suddenly been lost in that moment of questioning their value at this time. My response was not as compassionate and I asked if maybe they could list about ten reasons they were grateful and I offered to start them off with the first three and each statement was to be like an affirmation starting with “I am grateful for xxxx”. Having been friends for over 20 years, this is a person I know very well and I can list so many ways in which they are blessed. These blessings from where I stand, far outweigh this season they are currently in. The response I got was, “J, I am not in a mood for games”. I called immediately and shared my own experience to try and encourage them and help put their situation in context. I empathised with the pit of desperation and hopelessness they are in in at the moment until I felt that somehow we were on the same page. Today, that same friend sent me a text to tell me that they wish they would have been there for me more in this season. That was after a realisation that despite not having the same situations, I was also going through a lot but my attitude about the situation was very different.

In a season of pain and suffering, I have learnt that gratitude is a great anchor. In moments when your pain and suffering is beyond you, when the bank account is empty and friends no longer pick up your calls; gratitude is a great curtain raiser for happiness and restoration. What you feed yourself grows, what you water grows. I am so proud of some young adults that call me mom. They are not my birth children but God brought them my way in various jobs, Richie, Makau, Joel, Merylyne just represent an amazing generation of young people, who have made an intentional decision to sow seeds of greatness and positivity in them. I have watched some of their journeys and with no one to push them, God and a heart of gratitude has brought them so far and it is just a warm up of how much farther they will go. One of these amazing souls called me today to celebrate having got a new job and we rejoiced because we had always said that even during this pandemic, God will still open doors for employment and businesses to thrive. God loves a grateful heart, and people want to be surrounded by others who are grateful. You must be intentional on what you feed your heart, feed it with horror and you shall reap revenge and suspicion, feed it with love and gratitude and you shall reap the same.

I challenge you today to write 10 reasons you are grateful. Start every sentence with “I am grateful for “. An example could be, “I am grateful for having had 4 months to spend with my children due to Covid 19”, Think twice and turn each of your worries today to a positive affirmation. Read those 10 affirmations everyday you wake up and watch your life take a turn that you never expected. Watch God grant you exceedingly, abundantly, above all you can think or imagine, according to the power that is at work within you.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

Share this to encourage someone and get more encouragement by following my blog here and liking my Facebook page here.

Who Is Your Childs’ Influencer?

I am used to getting a very loud welcome in the evenings as I walk through the doors of my house, on the days that I am not working from home. Today was different. My loudest child, for lack of a better word, is 8 years old. She has an amazing personality and is so full of confidence. Our home, and indeed our lives, are filled with her pleasant and undeniable presence. If she’s not talking, she’s singing or dancing or laughing. Her presence is hard to ignore. The house is quiet when she is asleep and we have learnt to live with the fact that the house is only quiet when she is asleep. As I walked in this evening, it was obvious that she must be asleep. I assumed she had played so much during the day with her brother and her cousin and had decided to sleep early. 

I remember her asking  me earlier in the day before I left the house if she could fast, and I mentioned to her that maybe we could do it together for a few hours over the weekend. She is that child who eats at all times so this caught me off guard. I figured she would have forgotten the whole story by Saturday and we would be on to another topic. Turns out, she had decided to fast for the day and had asked her grandma (my mom) to be her accountability partner. That was probably the sweetest thing that I had heard the whole week. I only learnt about fasting in my 20’s and never really got to try it until I was in my 30’s. I realised that apart from learning from my words, she had been monitoring me closely on the days I would fast and pray over certain issues. Whenever I fasted, she would only find out during meal times when there was no plate set aside for me. Her first question during such days would be, “Mom, are you fasting” , and I would answer to the affirmative. Her father and 10 year old brother had also picked on the fasting and she must have felt left out. One thing I have learnt in my Christian journey is that you can only influence through example but it is wrong to push your spiritual beliefs down anyone’s’ throats. I wanted my children to know God and enjoy that personal relationship with Him without enforcing it as a family rule. This  was therefore a big milestone for me as she must have decided that it was time she tested this whole fasting thing for herself.

As a Christian family, fasting for us is one way we exercise our faith. When we have something significant we are trusting God for, we encourage fasting. Fasting is not just the self-deprivation of food or something else, it is a spiritual discipline that helps us focus on God. The time we would normally spend eating is now time we spend praying, worshipping, and meditating on God’s word. We have seen God work when we have prayed and fasted. The first time my 10 year old son fasted, he wholeheartedly believed that God would answer his prayer and true to his faith, God did.

As a Christian mom whose prayer it is to be a positive influencer of faith, my pride and joy is knowing that the influence is first in the fruits of my womb. A whole generation can be impacted by the things we do more than the words we speak. Watching my children as we did our Bible study this evening was so overwhelming. The knowledge that there is a seed I am planting in both of them that can only take the leading of the Holy Spirit to accomplish is humbling. It also made me realize that they are watching every action and listening to every word that I speak.

What have you seen your child or children do lately that impressed you or made you angry? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at your own life. You are the greatest influencer in the lives of your children and nothing can take away the lessons you teach them when they are young. The Bible is clear in Proverbs 22:6 on teaching a child the way that they should go and when they are old, they will not turn from it.

We all have our different ways of parenting, whichever way you choose, remember you are the first  influencer in your child or childrens lives.

As we always sign off, If you need guidance and support to sail through this season with courage and come out stronger and better, talk to me!. If I can’t help, I will connect you to someone who can and above all, we will stand in faith and prayer together as we trust the God who is in-charge.

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