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Real Love And Actual Relationship Goals

        
            I'm a sucker for Love. Hopeless romantic if you like. I grew up with movies like High school Musical and I had learned all the love songs word by word😎. I'd pretend I was waltz dancing with my imaginary Troy Bolton(imaginary white boyfriend in the picture above😂) and all our friends (in this case sofas, wall unit and the television😕) were so jealous of me because they didn't have my kind of Love like in the movie(Judge me softly. Whatever that means😃). We had this sukumawiki farm that mom had neatly planted outside our house and I'd get my hair brush and sing to the plants and tell them all about love. Yes, I wanted to be Hannah Montana (minus the wigs😉) and have a really cute boyfriend with Justin Beiber's original haircut😝😆(Don't throw stones.13 year me loved Beiber and his hair). My first soap opera was La Mujer De Mi Vida and there's a day I literally cried my eyes out and refused to eat because my parents refused that I should watch a soap opera before bed😢 because I didn't get my daily dose of love😂. If you scroll down my facebook timeline(Don't. You won't succeed. The Lord has since saved me😝) to the first time I posted, you'll see the first person I directly messaged on the timeline was Jose Miguel Montesinos from the soap opera Soy tu duena🙈🙉 (I talk too much😞)

       How old was I again? Not old enough. My view of love was shaped very early by the media. Faces, a good body and smooth talk was my idea of love from the gazillion soap operas and romantic movies I watched😐. I had to learn that A bunch of genetically blessed people acting on a production budget cannot and do not define love in a period of sixty minutes to ninety minutes quoting what someone else wrote. Real life whopped my butt big time teaching me that lesson😥. I felt so cheated when I saw the behind scenes of Titanic considering that I had cried my eyes out for three straight days because of how Jack loved Rose!😭😭 Oh I googled and the story was fiction😒. Darn! what a twisted reality.


          I'm no expert in love matters(Clearly😃) but I know a little sumn' sumn'😎 Let's go to social media love. I love social media because it presents the greatest opportunity to spread the message of The Lord to a very large number of people. BUT It's also where everyone is trying so hard to prove to the world that their lives are perfect😝. Folks feed us with their relationship details on social media like their perfect couple pictures and you'll see friends and strangers alike comment ''Aaaaw relationship goals😍'' ''I want your kind of love💕'' ''Goals for days💖'' ''You two are so perfect for each other💑'' 
         I have also seen unmarried couples who are perfect on social media but miserable in real life😳. They physically fight, hurt each other and sometimes it looks like are about to kill each other. But when it's time for perfect lighting, camera and action it becomes hashtag my main man, #too blessed to be stressed, #ride or die, #le boyfie, #your relationship goals, #haters go hang yourselves, #she's mine find yours, #my girl badder than yours, #Bae watch, #you can't touch this....blah blah blah and the final blah😒. Honestly, I don't mind. I love seeing people in love😍. Goodness gracious I do (You don't want to know how watching weddings make me cry and how many wedding videos I've watched🙈🙊) I however prefer to see married couples in love on social media. It makes more sense that way. The thing is, we have people who fall in love like five times a year and post all the fives baes and before the audience gets over the previous one there's already another one and I'm there scrolling like..."Another boy/girl friend. Bruh😫 Already??Gerrarahia mehn!😒" (This is the part I'd sip Slimming Tea as I smirk at that story but I have none so moving on swiftly😂)

          One day I was going about my business as usual on the streets of twitter when I remembered I used to see a certain famous twitter relationship so I put on my stalker coat😎 and as a concerned shareholder I landed on their timelines(How else will I put to use all the knowledge I gather from series like stalker and The Mentalist?🙈) Boy! Folk broke up and my oh my wamae!(Jeff Koinange voice😜) it was nasty. They hurled insults at each other, made memes to mock each other's weakness, started trending hashtags and their little secrets saw the light of day (I know I should have brought popcorn for this grand finale...caramel popcorn to be precise...for anyone feeling blessed to take me to the movies😂). It was like they never even liked each other let alone love. In a week after the break up, folk had moved on with other people and posting pictures with hashtag new beginnings just like that😨. Bruuuh!Just like that😲😵The funny thing is that there were still people out there investing their precious emojis(don't waste emojis. Emoji lives matter😎) to comment on the new found bae pictures. Clearly all that social media hype is just hype! 🙍

SO WHAT IS LOVE?
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.
This is probably the most common bible verse in all of history. The thing about common verses is that they are so repeatedly said but hardly understood. This has everything to do with relationships if you're wondering. God sacrificed the very thing He loved most. For what? A bunch of humans He loved but didn't love Him back. His heart spoke of love, His mind had a plan to save the world, His will was that the world He was planning to save would believe in His son and His reward was forever with Him. What does this mean? God's plan revolved and was centered on Jesus Christ. From the beginning, Jesus was the center. 
Ephesians 1:10 God's plan is to bring all creation together with Christ as Head.
                                   John 1: 3a Through Him God made all things.
           Honey, you cannot begin to love another person wholly if you don't love Jesus. Everything exists to be centered in Christ Including relationships.  That's how God rolls. It just won't work without Jesus. Let's retrace our steps back to the cross and focus on Jesus for a moment(this story gets me all the time😭😭)...the Romans used a whip made of small pieces of bones and metal attached to a number of leather strands and 39 times that thing fell on Jesus' bare back, they made a crown of thorns set it on His head and then struck Him on the head with a rod over and over, spat on Him, mocked Him. As if that wasn't enough, He still had a cross to carry. On Calvary, Nails about 7 inches long were driven through His palms and feet and raised on the wooden cross like a low life Criminal and left to die. FOR WHAT I ASK? BECAUSE OF LOVE! FOR GOD LOVED YOU AND I SO MUCH! Beloved, they shouted  ''Kill Him! Give us Barrabas!''...They chose Barrabas after everything He had done for them But He still chose them after everything they had done to Him! He chose us, He chose the cross and did not stop them when they insulted Him(Isaiah 50:6) How then can we not center this kind of Love in our relationships?

          Unless you take time and soak in all that sacrifice that was made for you, a person undeserving of love, then you will not be in a position to love another person as flawed as you. Love is not a bunch of feelings wrapped up in sweet words, it's not some expensive designer gifts, it's not some perfectly edited pictures, it's not a date or a candle lit dinner. There are so many definitions of Love but here is mine. JESUS IS LOVE AND LOVE IS JESUS. He is the equation and the equation is Him. The problem with the world is that it tries to separate the equation so that it can accommodate a pair of thighs in its bed and justify it using feelings, it wants to touch but touch just a little as long as it doesn't get to third base or home run because after all home run is 'the real sin'😒...We equate and justify Love with what we see others in the world doing when they're in love. How about we look to Jesus and see what He did when He proved His Love for us then emulate it? The secret here is to FOCUS ON JESUS. When you do that, you start to see your his plan for love through His eyes and even more beautiful is you start to see sin through his eyes and flee from it.
 
           Some wonder why their relationships don't last whereas ''God told them H/She was the one.'' Does God tell you that h/she is the one and then goes ahead and breaks y'all relationship?😝The truth is it just felt right, the squad will applaud us because of how hot the partner is, our hormones approved of the relationship then we tried to fix God somewhere in there so that He can approve and honey that is bound to fail sooner or later! it's a serious sumn' sumn' we call lust. If it's from Him then it has to start from Him and In Him and end with Him in eternity. It's not for show, it's not for appearances and it's not for some app. It's for the lord because after all every good and perfect gift comes from above(James 1:17)

SO WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LOVE?
             No, it's not a pair of matching louboutins or yeezys, not matching clothes written His and Hers, not even matching cars or matching pair of designer watches. All these things are cute and fancy and I like them but they won't buy you and your partner eternity so they should not be the focus. The internet presents these pictures of people who seem to have really mastered the art of life and relationships. The idolisation of perfect couple pictures seems to paint the essence and destination of life as getting yourself a man or woman that's insanely attractive and who will make cute pictures for the gram😒. Everyone trying to be so extra in order to qualify as other people's goals. And this breeds the ground for comparison. Comparison makes one crave for what they see even if they don't understand the story behind it. For someone like that, love then becomes how well she and the bae can look more like with Kim And Kanye, Beyonce and Jayz....etc etc. And that for them becomes goals. A shadow of other people's love.

                       Do you desire love so that you can be complete? Do you desire love so that you can boast to your friends about it and post pictures on social media? Do you desire love so that y'all can wear matching things and get cute babies? Do you desire love so that you can finally walk down the aisle with that cute Cinderella dress? Do you desire love because you're Getting old? Do you desire love because all your mates seem to have found it? WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR FINDING LOVE? Is it that God should be glorified in your relationship or that you May be glorified by others for it? When you understand the purpose of something then you won't abuse it...Even Love. You know why it's easy for someone to be a player? Because they see a jar of hearts they can collect and place on the shelf BUT they don't see hearts that were bled for on a cross and how precious every heart is because it was bought by blood. They don't see the purpose of Love.

          Eternity is my goal. Forever with Jesus is my dream. My goal is to stand before the King of Kings and hear, ''Well done Good and Faithful servant.'' I want to know that I'll eventually stand before Majesty and My best friend surrounded by glory wondering whether I will dance for Him or in awe of Him be still. And if My earthly relationship does not reflect Jesus who is love then I don't want it. That's why I can't afford to make what I see on instagram as real life goals. I don't want the glitterati and grandeur that many are dying for and miss out on the real authentic reward of John 3:16. If it does not look to Him as the example of Love, I simply don't want it


           I'm no love guru but Looking for love, making some earthly goals and then fixing Jesus in the picture will give you temporary satisfaction and a broken heart. Don't get me wrong, You might find love that way but it will only go as far as your eyes can see because after all the devil has counterfeit 'gifts' too. Jesus, Jesus And More Jesus. Just that name. Focus on that name and let it be your goal to find the kind of love that will be a reflection of Jesus. One that stirs in you a fire to fix your eyes on things above and not earthly things(Colossians 3:2). After all we're all but vacationers in this world because our real home is in heaven (John 14:2) and I don't know about you but As for me, I wanna have a blast seeking the Love and will of Jesus with someone as equally Crazy for the Lord. That means obeying, trusting and waiting on Him no matter what it costs. Jesus died for me and I will Live for Him. I Love you for being here💝. Annnnd hunney, listen to this song 🙆😉You covered me by Dr. Vernon
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And So we will be with the Lord forever.
Love and Love And Love. If you ever need someone to talk to email me @shalliegichuki@gmail.com .Jesus loves you like crazy.
Be bold. Be Dauntless. Be You.

So you like buffets? Well, God ain't one honey!

       

             Its pronounced as boo-fay in British English or if you like bah-fay in American English BUT it's not ba-fet or bu-fet😉. I Know this how? I've been there before and said ''We are having a bafet!''😂 Such savagery. Food! The magic in that word man! Fooo-oo-oo- dd! *insert some hype repetitive beat and a King Julian dance* 💃💃There! More like it. I am a foodie. A big foodie. Ashamed? Not a chance in the world. The only downside to my love for food is that, I could easily gain 10 pounds by lustfully looking at a fruit cake across the counter😭. The irony of this is that yes I love food but I hardly ever have much of it unless of course its samosas😋. Goodness! Abolfalz Beyhaqi was such a genius for the samosa mention in Tarikh-e Beyhaghi in the 10th century. Without you sir, I would have never known the piece of heaven in those small things😀. For the record, I don't know that dude either. His name is so hard, why would I know him?😒 I Just wanted to sound really smart saying his name (I'm still at the same intellectual place I was before mentioning his name. Sad). Auntie Wikipedia is the real genius. She and Uncle Google should be honored in my graduation speech😎. According to auntie, the hard name dude was the first person to mention sambusa. I'm telling you that guy would be my legit squad if he mentioned it in this century.
          I tend to get carried away by things I'm really passionate about....well, like samosas which are not today's topic. I really tried not to fuzz and twirl my hair extensions over my love for samosas.🙈  Lol but now you know my poison. It's good to know so that if I ever get lost then you'll tell the FBI, CIA And Homeland that, ''Njeri loves Jesus and Samosas. That's what we are sure about.'' (And yes I was looking for the day I will use those police terms I picked up from Designated survivor in real life and here we are. Voila!) We are trying to build a friendship here. Work with me😉.

          Back to buffets now! Phew! At last! I'm sure you've been to at least one event that had an array of food that required you to choose from. I'm not talking about those Kikuyu weddings where you have rice that looks like ugali with brown spots and the mama serving keeps insisting that its pilau😒; 
Me: Hii ni mchele gani?😕 (which type of rice is this?)
Serving Mama: Ni Pirau. Pirau jerii. (Pun is super intended) Nikuwekee pirau? 😉😀(It's pi-ra-u. Do you want pi-ra-u?)...........Sigh. 
Then There's mukimo with so many njahis you'd think there was a njahi give-away😔and not forgetting the king of the food, Mr. Big Potato swimming with two pieces of boiled meat in water presumed and believed to be soup😨. No! Not that fabrication of confusion. The sophisticated one often in metal bowls with different kinds of meat, rice in different colors, some carbs like roasted potatoes, and salads which I will NEVER EVER plate😎. Why? because you don't waste a good buffet by filling your plate with a salad😉. (I'm sorry if you're a salad person...we could be friends but it'd be a very strained relationship)  And they have desserts with strange names like croquembouche😐 that are ridiculously sweet...not that I've eaten croquembouche but I never really know what I'm eating with desserts so its only appropriate to mount that word there. The plates are often smaller than the food you should choose from which is unfair and most of us fill our plates like there's no tomorrow and we have heard the trumpet of the Lord's second coming😂. I included. It is in those moments you'll hear my mom say in the background..."Hakuna supper leo. Mtu akule na abebe na tumbo."  (''There is no supper for you today.You eat and carry with your stomach''). By the end of that buffet, you can hardly walk. All of you. Father, Mother, Minions. 😞Sigh.
          You should see the village folk in a wedding held in a posh place like Safari Park where the meaning of buffet is taken very seriously. Wah!😝That buffet will be buff buff before even half the people in the wedding eat. In such situations, it's advisable to swallow your elite ''born tao'' pride and be among the first to go for food. Let's not pretend here😔. True story people.

WE HAVE REDUCED HIM TO A BUFFET
          The beauty of any buffet is the freedom to choose what you want, what suits you, what you desire. There is no buffet police to tell you what you should or shouldn't pick. If you feel like having a salad, then by all means bore the rest of us on the table with you😄. The idea here is, you pick this and leave that...According to your preferences. Stay with me here.

          So many times in 2016, I picked up pieces of the gospel that I liked and left those that didn't suit me in the bowl. I often picked up parts of scripture that talked about grace so as to make me feel good about my sin. I Hated it every time I stumbled upon Galatians 5:13 because serving one another in love is sometimes super difficult. I have wanted the easy way out; the not praying, the not laboring on my knees, the not seeking. I have wanted forgiveness without forgiving others. Wanted Love when I secretly dislike the next person. I have even felt like I have the right to the part of God that accepts me but not the part of him that corrects me. It has taken me forever to fully accept John 15 because pruning is painful and cutting off is hard BUT I still claim to want growth. 

          GOD IS NOT A BUFFET! This is a lesson to myself first. You don't pick what you want and leave the rest. Honey, its a package deal. If we really think about it....If He is an option on the menu then we end up with no God on our plate. Why? because then the Christianity we pick up remains to be a religion of self. The plate is filled with all human desires so God really does not make the cut. We brand ourselves Christians who speak perfect Christianese BUT the choices we make (mostly secretly) are not Christ-Like because we have reduced Him to that..... An option on our plate to run to when money is low in the bank, when someone is dying in the hospital, during accidents, when we need good grades and school fees. BUT...He becomes the small dessert side-plate in our relationships and when things seem fine. 


          We don't want Him involved in our relationships because we don't trust Him with them...He in that moment of heated passion becomes the party pooper, the stick in the mud and the kill joy. Why? Because He desires Purity and treatment of our bodies as temples and it does not quite suit our hormones or feelings at that particular time so what do we do? We shove God in the backseat to when next we will need Him which is probably when we need forgiveness and the strength to move on or after failure. We pick Him Up, dust Him off and we say...."I'm in need of something Now. Do you mind working some of those miracles you do? I kinda need that very urgently."

          We try so hard to put God in a box, to really fit him into the lines we create, to limit Him to the walls in our minds. I am as guilty as they get. I have labored so hard sometimes to this point; "No God, it is supposed to be this way. Why on earth, would you take that away? I need it. I Love it. You can't just do that Daddy. I'm smart, I'll handle this." The nerve! The audacity! The effrontery of a mortal like me to argue with immortal perfection...1 Timothy 1:17 Now Unto The King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever

HE IS NOT THE BACK UP PLAN
          Without full and complete knowledge of who Jesus Christ is then he will remain but a buffet. But an OPTION. And we become collectors of bits and pieces of him instead of harvesters of all He has in store for His Children. You don't come to the full knowledge of God without the Spirit 1st Corinthians 2:11 It is only a person's spirit that knows all about him; in the same way only God's spirit knows all about God. An understanding of our God exposes you to His true nature and once you get this understanding then you will know His true and perfect will. So even when His will does not seem to suit your desires, right there in that moment you will know IT IS STILL GOOD.

          To come to this place where we understand our God, requires dying to self.Luke 9:23 And He said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, take up his cross everyday and follow me." It is only a full immersion into the Spirit of God and a sincere cultivated relationship that shows you God's heart and in this, you must decrease that He should increase. Don't grace church for an hour or two on Sunday and leave open the rest of the week and expect to be revealed to the treasures hidden in secret places(Isaiah 45:3) 'I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name....It will take Jeremiah 33:3 to unlock that 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you don't know about.' You will actually need to do your part and Call unto the Lord. Why I'm i saying this? 1st Corinthians 2:14...'Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God's spirit.'  

          We don't really need to limit ourselves to the nature of God by shopping for the attributes and parts of scripture that favor our circumstances in His kingdom. By virtue of Jesus Christ, we have all these things and so much more. Let me give a corny example; When I get married in future (hey boo thang 😉😉*wink*), I will take up my husband's last name and everything His will become mine. I will be getting married to his good side, his weakness, his bad habits. Its the same way with Jesus Christ. We are His bride, By default we are joint heirs with Him in the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:17) We will possess with Christ what God has kept for Him and He has taken us with every fault in us (Ephesians 5:26&27) Christ loved the church and gave himself for it to dedicate it to God after making it clean and washing it in water. In order to present the church to Himself in all its beauty-pure and faultless, without spot, wrinkle or imperfection...He has fully accepted us as we are and all He wants is our hearts to be completely dependent on Him for Every single thing; (Proverbs 3:5-6)Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. (John 15:5) I am the vine and 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. 
           It's a bad thing when a wife only goes to the husband when she's in need of money because then she reduces her husband to an ATM Machine😒. This means there is really no other basis she interacts with her husband. Don't we reduce God to that sometimes? Some guy in the sky who's got all these stuff we want and His work is to drop them like it's hot when we shed some few tears😒. Here's the thing ....God wants full custody over you honey and not just weekend visits where you remind him of what he must do and by what time. He wants to take you out on Monday, On Tuesday....all the way to Sunday💕. And it ain't going to be no walk in the park....there will be tears and hard lessons but that is how we learn, get refined and that is how He trusts us with bigger things, assignments, people, situations and His Kingdom because then we will be tested by fire.

          Imagine how He feels when we've been living wrong and we carry forward that pretense to His presence thinking He doesn't see through our hearts😒. The funny thing with us is that we are willing to go through so much dirt in our relationships with other people because we want to prove that love conquers all things👀. Just ask a woman in love with a bad boy🙊. But cultivating our relationship with God becomes so hard. Why? It's as simple as we just don't feel like it...UNTIL we actually need His help...then we'll do some technical appearances in church, open the bible to prove a point to Him, help the needy we pass by everyday to justify why we deserve blessings, throw in some loud prayers here and there, Whatsapp and Facebook share some bible verses and change our profile pictures to Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen quotes...mostly on Providence (For the record, I love those quotes. You should see my gallery) and download a few good gospel songs😒😒😞

          2017 is coming up. God knows how much I love you for always taking the time to drop around here. It's an honor and privilege to share my Jesus with you. It is so heavy in my heart to share that, Jesus wants more of Us...Me and You. More willingness, more love, more readiness, more sincerity. His birth and death is a proof that He withheld absolutely nothing so the question is what more of Him do we want? In real sense He now wants More of Us after the scandalous sacrifice of Himself for us. He does not want to be the dusty book you pull out from the shelf when you're bored. He wants EVERYTHING in you. All year long. Choose Christ, Continue Choosing Him even when it makes no sense. Even when you have no song, Praise on. Even when the fight is won, Praise on. Don't ever stop.You and I were wrapped up in Scarlet Kindness on that cross FOR A RELATIONSHIP NOT A SITUATIONSHIP. .Ernest Wamboye would at this point say, The Bible is daily bread and Not Cake for special occasions.
Merry Christmas Darling and I wish you and yours👪 A 2017 with a complete 360 degree experience of God's goodness, Love and Everything because His children have the privilege of Everything. Kindly listen to this song Prince Of Peace--Of Dirt And Grace by Hillsong United
Be bold. Be dauntless. Be you.

Keep smiling. You matter to Jesus and to me.

Set-All-In Instead of Settling!

But sometimes, I just want somebody to hold      
Someone to give me the jacket when it's cold
Got that young love even when we're old
Sometimes I want someone to grab my hand
Pick me up, pull me close be my Man
I will love you till the end.
    Lyrics from Dear No-one by Tori Kelly.
  
           I am not the type that fills my playlist with love songs because it will make me go from being on top of the world lip-syncing to moody to texting my favorite ex to crying when I start over-thinking why I'm single PLUS I Love the taste and sound of praise and worship on my lips all the time. But You know when a song has so much depth and nakedness of truth such that it hurts and at the same time it's pleasurable? You wanna cry and laugh at the same darn time. Oxymoron, I know. So, this girl Tori Kelly whom I love just had me feeling some typa way with this song. That itch to have the soulmate around, talking drowning depths of the future with 3 kids in it...My Emerald,My Ruby and My Milan( NB!! Don't steal my baby names lol and yes I have already named them 10 years before I See them); a home in the suburbs, a get-away cottage in the highlands perfect for hoodies, bonfires, hot chocolate, crisp cool air, a guitar and acoustics in the wild. Not the soap-opera shenanigans or Rom-com make belief of a perfect get-away to the Maldives or Hawaii on film budgets with software edited slow motion happy moments. The raw, authentic, low budget, local, technology-free imperfect type is what my old soul longs for....Happiness dependent on dry humor, inside jokes, beautiful weirdness, small victories and less dependent on the price tag.

          I have met (still meeting) many guys in the past few years. I've seen the hotcake who thinks we should all bow down as his minions, the Facebook timeline christian with a double life, the career oriented selfish one, the weird not-so intelligent one, the church going preaching water drinking wine one, Mr. Luke-warm, the successful Satanist(Yes I mean the real Satan...Voodoo weirdo), the Oh so boring small talk type(I just can't with this one), the manly insecure one, the egotistical know-it all, Mr.Nice guy and a lot who fall into the tribe of Strange. The truth? I've dated some of these people and I got it wrong 99.9% of the time which leaves a margin of 0.1% for the one that got away. I have found myself settling for less than I deserve simply because I felt something that was disguised as love but produced as infatuation, cheap thrills and lust. I once dated this strange human who told me at the verge of breaking up that nobody would ever love me because I wasn't pretty enough!?(Joke's on him now) Sometimes I look back at my foolishness and wonder why I gave bits and pieces of my heart to complete jerks...When girls say they love the bad boys, they don't mean that...They just love the euphoria  of having a man who treats them like crap and isn't afraid to show it;It looks manly and devoid of weakness which is sheer foolishness...For some reason it's attractive ONLY when you don't know who and whose you are! Decent guys have the last laugh.

          I'm about to go 100% out of chill pills and get blunt. How many times do we end up with broken hearts out of our own choosing? We settle for the cutest thing that walked into church...I mean,If they made it to church they must have some form of godliness, right?! We carnally go for the goods we see which make us believe they are good people with their good faces and forget that Good without God is pretty darn useless. We hardly take time to uncover the hidden beauty and ugliness of whomever we are attracted to. As long as there is a mention of Jesus on their Facebook and Instagram timelines then they are definitely the perfect match. This is not coming from a Saint but a girl who falls short of the glory sometimes...A perfectly imperfect Christian who needs Jesus at the tick of every NANOSECOND because she knows how hard it is to keep it together and color inside the lines.

          And as I started this post with those words from Dear No-One....I desire so badly sometimes to have someone to paint a black canvas with and this desire has led me to fall, overlook and settle for less. My ideal man is not one who walked out of a movie set with toned abs and a perfect beard...I Do have a list yes but the most important thing for me is for him to be totally sold out to Christ, a pursuer of God's heart with fruit to show for it...I can't compromise that BUT in the recent past it was okay for me to just see a bible on his table, to know he goes to church, to see that he prayed for food, Sung in choir and to hear him mention Jesus once in a while. Guess what? It was never enough! I broke up with these guys anyway! It never is enough to go for what you see and hear about people. Settling for the glitter un-afraid that glitter is easily blown by the wind. Settling for the one with the lightest skin because she gives you a status And makes for popular social media. Settling for the guy with the car un-afraid that it is a liability more so if it was bought on loan. Settling for the big bum and apple shaped chest un-afraid that that these days it can be bought and taken off at night. Settling without a standard. The minute you settle for less than you deserve you get even less than you settled for.

SET-ALL-IN
          Jesus! Just that name has made me want to Set-All-In Him. Set all my cares, desires and loneliness to Him who's perfect and enough. Colossians 3:1&2  Says that we've been raised to life with Christ therefore we should SET our hearts and minds on things that are in heaven and not on things here on earth.
Don't lose sight of who you are in Christ and all He has in store for you because of your thirst for a Bae! The truth? So many of us are so stuck on our relentless pursuit to be someones bride/b-groom instead of SETTING AND FIXING our hearts on being the bride of Christ! Jesus is the destination honey and if what you've settled for takes you away from this purpose, it's not worth it. Refuse to be the double standard christian who's in church on Sunday and in bed with the boy/girlfriend on Wednesday. The truth? It ain't easy to not conform to the patterns of this world;We are all weak in our flesh but Galatians 2:20 says that we've been crucified with Christ so It is no longer Us who live but Christ in Us and the life we now live in flesh, we live by faith in Jesus who loved us and gave himself for us. Get close to God first before getting close to anyone else because God without a man is still God but man without God is nothing.
  
                    The truth? The devil is not sitting down on a couch with crossed legs sipping tea having a field day watching young people be successful at waiting on God! He is so at work attacking the body of Christ. And He ain't dressed in a red cap and horns...Oh no!He'll bring along the girl or guy of your dreams sugar-coated with everything on your list which will make you settle for them without thinking twice of double checking if they Living Out Jesus or using Him as a cover-up to get to you.
Once you SET YOUR ALL in Jesus, His perfection will shield your weakness; His strength becomes your own. Let's not settle because we are tired of waiting. Until we fully understand how much Jesus loves us,we will always settle for less of a life than he sacrificed so much for. I'm not writing this because I have I have come up with this formula that makes me sub-human...NO!I Just know Jesus. Jesus is all I know and all I'm praying to have for eternity. Jesus makes forever make sense...Something No man can do.

Remember the song I started with? Here's how it ends
I'd love to have a soulmate
And God will give him to me someday
And I know he'll be worth the wait 
When the time is right you will be here

Dear Soulmate, I may want you here and now but I am still a huge work in progress. When the time is right, God will introduce us but until then May Jesus help us to Set All in Him and not to settle for what we see in the world.

Dear wonderful person reading this, Thank you for stopping by. I love you but Jesus is way crazy about you. Set All in Him...He's the real deal.
Keep smiling. You matter to Jesus and me!
Be bold. Be Dauntless. Be you.

Will these Dead Dry bones Come to life?

You might want to borrow some chills from the cool folk before reading this first paragraph(It's just a heads up yoh)

What if God told you to go to a cemetery and speak to the graves there and call the decayed bones to Life?(Don't shoot me with emoji guns just yet; I'm going somewhere with this)
I dunno about you but me...I'd first laugh sarcastically(that evil laugh) then cry then cry more and beg Him to change the assignment. I mean seriously...Who wants to see a zombie apocalypse and renaissance erupt and act totally cool with it?!You know those films Holywood shamelessly lies to us about? Inter alia Z Nation, The Walking Dead, iZombie and The Strain...Imagine those coming in 3D in real life!No Thank you!Father Send me to the Lions instead like Daniel which is also alittle freaky....bleh!I coulda done it!(*cue in Obama's Yes I Can slogan*) I mean...they just little lions without teeth,right dad? 
God: No they are real mighty teethed lions child!
Me: *crying*
God: But you know I'll show up. I got you.
Me: *stops crying* Aaaaaw! *Group hug*


          God must have had a sense of humor when He sent Prophet Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones. But you know what? He knew Ezekiel could do it! Yaay for Ezzy!(I just want to call him Ezzy honestly, sounds hip if he was in this generation...Prophet Ezzy yoh) Lemme break it down for you if you don't know this cool story(Ezekiel 37). Abba through His Spirit sent Ezzy to a valley covered with bones and asked him to prophesy into them and command breath from the wind to the bones. So dauntless Ezzy (this guy was the bomb yoh) obeyed and voila! What was dead came to life and that's not even the juicy part of the narrative....The bones were enough to form an army! Hallelujah! Nobody can tell me that God isn't the coolest or the most amazing coz' I can't get over the wondrous splendor of amazing stories like this(beats whatever shenanigans holywood cooks up).


          So I've been trusting God with something for more than ten years now which means from when I was like 11 years old (don't stress over doing the math...I'm only 21 now which means I've been sweet 16 for 5 times now...I Need an Oscar!). I've graduated from primary to high school to varsity...Literally become a woman!It hasn't changed nor improved. It's been stagnant.Nada results. If anything, It's worse than when I was 11. It pains me, brings me hurt, dulls my day, defeats me. I'm even tearing up thinking about it right now writing this (Don't worry I didn't cry). Does that mean that God is not good and He rejoices in my affliction? Nope! Did I give up? Yes, countless times. When was the last time I felt like giving up? Last night. Did I blame God? How could I not? Dry bones!Huh!I know those too well and so do you darling. The dead things in life;dead dreams and hopes. We identify with this valley of dead bones because we have dead circumstances like this.
Here's what the reality of my prayer looks like sometimes; 
Dear Lord, I know you're good but this don't feel good. I don't want to think that I may never understand how my broken heart is a part of your plan for my life. Somehow I still ended up in this deep dark place with no light. It's hard to count it all joy, distracted by the noise in my head, trying to make sense of all your promises. Will this glass house break? I'm loosening my grasp. I need this miracle so bad.
Have you had different versions of that prayer too? Stuck in the valley of dry bones huh? All Dried up and hopeless?

UP OUT OF THE ASHES

          Sometimes, I have so many questions as to why My Father in heaven would allow this suffering to continue for such a long time. Sometimes I fail to see the bigger picture which is to share eternity with Jesus. How about yu? Ever feel like when He says He'll come at the right time, it actually looks like a couple of forevers? But Here's the beautiful thing He is the God of the resurrection of dry bones; The God whose breath alone brings dead and inanimate things back to life. The God of an army out of the ashes; The God of Ezekiel is yours and my God...He is not any different and the centuries haven't changed or decreased His power. HE IS THE SAME GOD!

          I don't know when this will come to an end, I'm only human; I've lost my control over it but I have gained my freedom knowing He will raise my bones to life someday. He is my revival. When this God speaks, great things come to life; When He sighs, the wind (that brought life to the dead bones) becomes a sonnet. 
Notice how systematically the bones begun to join together(Ezekiel 37:8); the tendons and muscles covered the bones first and then the breath last. They did not just rise and become an army! (that woulda scared the life out of poor Ezzy)What does that translate into? That God is a God of order;of Process before promise. Honestly, through the years, my situation has made me wiser, stronger and has taught me the oh so hard meaning of Surrender. If it was any different, I'd be a very spoiled brat right now! I may want to see the end of this so badly but I know my journey there has made me the woman I am right now.
        
  
          Dearest, DON'T COVER UP YOUR DRY BONES! Not with excuses, not despair, nor cold feet, nor other people's opinions and worst of all Not with your laziness. Oh yes!I just said laziness!Because laziness to look up God's word makes us ignorant and ignorance makes us stranded in the Valley surrounded with dead bones. God wants us to step into the valley Un-afraid! Un-afraid to Speak dead things to Life. And Un-Afraid comes with speaking the word of God into your situations. And you cannot speak that which you know nothing about! The Almighty God is in you like He was in Ezzy! 

          You may also feel all dried up and worthless and lost in your sin but God can restore you back to life through His spirit and His word. There is hope! There is nothing too hard for God....You see the God that parted oceans to make a highway, dropped manna from heaven, showed up in form of a burning bush, muted the mouth of lions for Daniel and most beautifully raised His son from the dead...Honey, that's your God too and He notices you in a crowd of 10,000; He never misses a thing and He will bring new life to your dry bones.

Dear Lord,
We know you see us and our dry bones but out of these ashes may your army rise. May we feel you coming and hear your voice in the wind. Whatever is barren, may it bring forth offspring. Let it be love and patience that teach us to wait on you. However further we get away from the shores of our idea of safety into the ocean of trusting you, the faith that you've given us will sail us through. Whatever comes, We are content knowing that you are the God that brought dead decayed dried up bones to life So WE CALL OUT TO OUR DRY BONES TO COME ALIVE and we step into the valley UN-AFRAID. 
Yours, Your Sons and Daughters.

          Sometimes inspiration looks like a creatively crafted and woven tapestry that is so attractive And it helps for a moment and the next you are back to the ditch you were in AND My honest prayer is that you see Jesus between all my words and lines; beyond my stories, sarcasm and possibly dry humor, MAY YOU SEE AND FIND JESUS! HE REMAINS THE REASON! I love you for being here to read this. You can come back as many times as your time and internet connection allows. We gon' conquer this battles together, huh? I'm with you but most amazingly God is always with you. He loves you more than I ever will.
Keep smiling. You matter to Jesus and to me!
Be bold. Be Dauntless. Be you.

Depressed to Deeper-Rest


       
          A conversation with myself in my period of wilderness some months ago...(Between my head and heart...Me Gaceri from Massachussets *wink*)
 
Head: Yoh G! Get a life, will yah?! How long will you hold on like this?
Heart: Sweetheart, don't give up just yet! Abba(God) keeps His promises.
Stupid Head: It will do you lots of good and save you buckets of tears if you stop whining like a baby and grow up! Where is this God now when you need Him the most? Huh?!
Sweet Heart: Baby girl, sweet cute cuppy cake...Your miracle is around the corner. Just a little more patience. He's faithful.
Very Stupid Head: C'mon wake up and smell the darn coffee! Why hasn't God shown up?
Very Sweet Heart: Darling, just a little bit longer.... 

           I have the weirdest monologues I tell you. Growing up alone made me a serious nutcase. Describe me as an old soul but with the heart and voice of a child. I could even talk to a tree and when the wind moves its leaves then I know that the tree spoke to me! How cool(or rather seriously mental)! If it doesn't then it's probably giving me the silent treatment which I relate to as a female so I understand and move on to the girl in the mirror and give her lectures about her life; boys top that list!?(I know you're thinking I'm a crazy black woman) You see how twisted I can be? But whatevs...normal people suck anyway! Weird is absolutely healthy! Don't tell on me but I've named my laptop Emerald and my phone Gifta so that when they bring head with hanging 'manenos' then I can call them by their names and show my disappointment(I know they are machines but they are my babies too...Oh my Goodness!I am actually crazy). Before you roll your eyes at my alien uncouth behavior, let's get down to the business of the Lord!

          Sabbaticals! Sigh! We all need sometime off to re-think, re-discover and chart new paths for the the voyage that is life. A renaissance of sorts. I want to really justify 3months absence from writing but my topic head sells it away! Sheesh! My creative genes are probably hidden under all this fat I've acquired from stress eating. Still, it was a sabbatical and oh yes! I'm so back and this blog that you take time to read is a way of sharing Jesus with you and remind each other that we are the cool ones...we that love Jesus and are not ashamed of Him. We may not be perfect but He loves us still...flaws and edges...dirty pasts and crazy personalities...Jesus is for us; The Good kind of misfits.



          So what happens when you are the person that gives hope and yet you are the one in need of it most? When you literally hit rock bottom and you sink and you lose sight of the shore? When Up is really upside down.The sun ain't rising in your own little world but man it looks brighter in someone else's backyard, it's even burning them;the brightness of it is enough to take you back to your house because you can't take the intensity. Hope, a mirage. Happiness, a myth. Smiles, that's history to you. It's not your fault but the voices in your head hit hard like a wrecking ball screaming...''If you did this then that wouldn't happen....if only you were smarter, more daunting, hotter, more skilled, richer, handsome, networked''....So is the reality of life. The enemy magnifies our weaknesses and invents faults we have not and puts them in our brains on replay so that we can remain miserable and give up on God.

          I googled signs of depression in the last four months and honey I qualified the test. It was so bad such that my amazing mother who's a counseling psychologist told me that she couldn't handle me because she wouldn't know how to help her daughter without getting all mushy and emotional but she'd get me help. I understood her because I too didn't want help. I was comfortable in my misery; failed dreams, career epic fails, another failed relationship, freakazoid exes, strained friendships, repetitive sins, crazy addictions....Weirdly, I found bliss where I pitched my pity-party tent. It was okay to just grow fat as a potato couch and blame God for all this! My laziness did not allow me to make any effort to even pray. I felt defeated.


          Let's get blunt now, aye darling? The problem is not that we have problems; it's that we get comfortable in them. Maybe the implicit bias in your head is...but don't people run to God when they have issues? Typical human behavior depicts that we humans do that but we use other people to get to God....the more serious ones in prayer, the pastor, Sister Grace and Brother Joseph with the Holy demeanor and pray the loudest...the ones whom God would hear faster. The true soldiers. Why? Because we feel the need and ease to pass on our prayer items to them. If we chose to trust God fully with our issues then we know He requires total patience, tolerance and long suffering which we are not suited for because our systems demand instant gratification so in the end we push God away and try to fix things our way by forcing blessings into being WHILE still asking the intercessors...''hey! I hope you are still praying for my problems to go away!''
Don't get me wrong, I concur with Paul in the epistles that we should be in fellowship with people and pray for each other; that is not debatable but the attitude that...''Ah! As long as they are praying then I don't have to!'' is the virus.
This was a tough lesson for me one night when I chose to just sit in the Lord's presence and cry. At 3am sobbing like a two year old wondering why I'm listening to Britt Nicole's, you are the God you say you are. God is not a respecter of persons and trust me even the strongest Christians go through hard times; it's life to have some really rough patches and unfortunately I realized that at that moment in my life, I was the seed that fell on rocky ground- Matthew 13:5


FINDING DEEPER REST
          I finally kept quiet that night and reached for my bible that was on the table and guess where i landed?! Job 33:13-14...why do you accuse God of never answering a man's complaints? Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what He says...
This time I shut up foreal yoh 'coz I knew the King had just dropped one on me man! I was hoping for a Jeremiah 29;11 kind of landing BUT I got one that pricked my little pity bubble. I wasn't listening enough to Him because I was lost in my own labyrinth...a cauldron of nagging. I needed to listen more and speak less. Read more of his word and trust less the words of my well wishers. I listened and boy did I hear his voice! In one hour, I was crazy dancing to all of kelele takatifu's songs(Gawsh! they are so freaking amazing...nmeokoka na inanibamba mbaya). No, my problems didn't go away the next day darling or the next but I had listened and He told me...Rest, I got this child!

          This post is not meant to give you a genie-in-the-bottle solution to your 99 problems( coz Jesus ain't one) but it's from a sister to you to ask you to stop and listen to your Father! You find rest in surrender. Stop complaining about what's not right in your life and give thanks for that which is functioning! Get on your knees and seek God's heart before you do His Hands. Rest does not come with riding on sunshine with a life devoid of problems. Its not the calm picture of a still river; neither is it having every dream come true. Rest is indestructible peace-John 14:27, one with the attitude of you know who formed you and you are okay with His plan for your life. 


          Do you seek deeper-rest from your depressed condition? Open and read your bible honey! That is How He speaks to you. Invite the Holy-spirit in your life and see how He'll revolutionize your whole mindset.Dig deep and lean not on your own understanding for it will fail you! You may be Lil Mr.Einstein but not even the highest IQ can equate to the kind of wisdom and knowledge the bible pours into you. Invest in it with a holy desperation, time, zeal and passion  and you'll see that when The oceans rise and thunder fall, your heart will be still and know that He is God! Don't allow yourself to forget that Your Father is King of the world.
When I began to listen more, my situations started to change and when He says He's working it for your good then believe it because God is not a man that He should lie. In the end, it will all work out so Rest Darling And Hit that floor to pray!
I Love you for being here to read this. God is way crazy about you and He wants you to transition from depression to deeper-rest and all you have to do is Listen. Mad Love for yah! Stay cool yoh!
Keep smiling. You matter to Jesus and to me!
Be bold. Be Dauntless. Be you.