I don’t know what it is that has died in me … I’m fearful most of the time. If you had seen me back in high school, you would have probably voted me most likely to succeed. But I don’t go after my dreams anymore. I don’t know if I have any dreams left and the only reason I make any attempts at trying, is that my daughter depends on it. I hate not knowing where I am going, or how to get there. Today I’ve taken multiple steps backward, but this is my one step forward. This is my life, and somehow I have to live it.
so today I read a sad story about a 13-year-old who was molested by a vice principal at a her school and the sad events that followed. I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter who is 14 and whether she would be comfortable enough to talk to me about any such experiences. I sometimes wonder, like many parents if we have done enough to protect her or if ever it is possible to protect her.
I was reminded of my own experience from about 20 years ago. I am a Trust school kid, and at the time was in Grade three. I was one of those students who didn’t do her homework and didn’t finish her work in class but still managed to come 12th out of 24 students on the grade ladder. Eventually I think my teacher and my headmistress tired of my attitude and notified my parents. Mum straightened me out on the homework front, but my speed when carrying out tasks was none-existen … still isn’t great. One afternoon, another student and I didn’t finish taking down notes and we were asked by our teacher to go back and finish them (we could go home and eat lunch and then go back to school). I went home and because I lived 30 minutes out-of-town, by the time dad dropped me off at the school my classmate had already left.
I went into the class and started taking down notes and a janitor came in to clean the class. At some point he was standing close to me, and though I can’t remember the conversation, I felt uncomfortable. He reached to touch my face and I pulled away. He kept reaching and I was going to fall off the chair when I blurted out “I’m going to tell my mum”. He left me alone and I stayed clear of him every time I saw him in school. Of course I didn’t tell anyone about it but the reason I have blurted out that I would tell my mum was that I had remembered my mum saying that if anyone touched us in a way we didn’t like (not her exact words) that we should tell her.
I moved to the upper trust school the following year and sometime later, the same Janitor was with another janitor (one who was nice to students) and he tried to join a conversation that the nice janitor was having with me and my sister. I pointed out that I didn’t like him and that I hadn’t forgotten what he had done. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and I insisted he did and he walked away. His collegue looked puzzled and hezitated before continuing the conversation.
Just that one experience has informed my parenting in an attempt to protect my daughter, but I don’t know if it is effective or not. I started telling her about inappropriate touch from about 2 and a half and tried to make it clear that if anyone touched her in a way that made her feel bad, she should tell me. Why those words? because most sexual abuse victims will tell you that they felt something was wrong or they felt bad or ashamed and the language needs to make sense to the child. As she’s grown older, my language has also changed and sometimes I simply give her scenarios and ask for her responses. By no means do I think it’s fool-proof, but our options are limited. We can’t go everywhere with our children but we can give them tools to protect themselves. Even with those tools, their courage may fail, or things might still happen for whatever reason. In such cases, remember to not place blame on the child, and to show them they are loved. And always remember to pray, because where we don’t go, God still goes, and in the end, His ways are higher and His healing hands always able to bind what the enemy destroys.
As for this child, I pray that she finds peace and that she remembers her worth and beauty and the courage to live life to it’s fullest.
I bought a dress from Owprom.com for my wedding. I was looking for a different kind of dress and found one I liked in a store but it was too expensive. I decided to check online for it and I found it. I checked the website and made sure there was nothing funny about it and it was listed as an American Company. I bought the dress and online banking showed two transactions by a Chinese company. That was rectified with one transaction reversed. when it was shipped, I was given a tracking number and when I checked where the parcel was, discovered it was coming from Singapore. When it arrived, was the wrong colour and didn’t have a built in corset as advertised and the lace at the top looked a bit funny. a tailor’s pin was also sewn into the dress. The veil is horribly done and can’t be used. I have been in contact with the Company and a lady called Fiona has refused to give me a full refund, offering me $80 to $200 and keeping a dress I can’t use on a total Au$570 spend. She says they can only guarantee that a dress will be 95% similar and that dress was not near 95% similar and that was not stated on the website. I have checked the site again and the description of the dress has changed and doesn’t come with a built in corset anymore. If any you are thinking of buying a dress from Owprom.com … don’t do it!
Two weeks ago, my sisters and I went to South of Perth and spent the night just outside of Dunsborough, then, the following day, we went down to the Mammoth cave and did a self-guided tour; this was by far, the highlight of the trip, especially the bush walk at the end. We then drove down to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, and the Cheese Factory not before heading back to Perth.
Just four girls on the road, not really knowing what we were doing, maybe that was why it was so fun. I didn’t even sleep as much as I expected I would. It was good to get away, and be filled with a sense of nostalgia as we zoomed past the bush, feeling at home as we walked through the bush trail after our cave tour, with some people jumping because a twig brushed their leg. Walking down the beach, in the cold, wondering what snakes were possibly around (I promise you, if there were no snakes in this world, I would gladly live in the wild, with no care at all). Yes I know they have been given a place in this world, but I can’t stand to even look at them on TV.
Hunting for places to buy food and preparing a meal, took too much of our time, but girls gotta eat! Then there was the candy at the reception of the place we were staying. I’m the type of person who eats the sweets while the others make enquiries and then take some for the road … shamelessly. Let’s admit, we all like free stuff, I’m just honest about it.
I have to admit, that on this trip, I was struggling for joy, and I had to keep reminding myself, not to ruin the trip for everyone, especially considering I have done that before. In the end, we all ended up having fun, and I can say, that I’m grateful for those around me, who can cheer me up without even realising the power they have.
Today was my father’s birthday, and I deliberately didn’t wish him a happy birthday because I was sure we would come home with a gift. The gift didn’t happen. I’ve never been great at getting gifts for my father, and leaving it till the last-minute usually results in a fail.
My Father, is a quiet man, a loud man, a man with a weird–but great–sense of humour. My dad is loving and caring, and I have to take back my words on Facebook where I refered to him as the greatest man of the 21st century. There are many great men, who have achieved more than my dad has, but the truth is, my father is the best man for the calling on his life. No one else can do what he alone was created for.
My father is a flawed human being and like most paintbrushes; he comes with his flaws and he paints Christ. I look at my father and wherever he goes, he paints Christ. Sometimes, he paints Christ with his flaws, showing that no saint is beyond failure, and that for all of us, Christ always covers His own. Most times, he paints Christ in gentle strokes, or hard lines; in his lovely smile, in his grace and love, in his discipline and forgiveness. In his humility that says “sorry”, he is teaching me to own my failures, and in his hard-working hands, he is teaching me to work. He is ever so wise and I have gotten to know my late grandfather ba Zachiluka, through him. He carries a legacy started before him and set beyond.
My father is an imperfect father, painting a perfect one, regardless of what he does or says. He is an imperfect head, leading imperfect people, painting a perfect Head, Christ the Lord. Happy birthday dad, Atate, Tata. So blessed to have you, and may you never cease to paint.
I’ve been living under Grace my whole life.
Grace has always been there, always been home.
Grace has diciplined, Grace has picked me up when I fell, Grace has given me strength.
Grace has dried my tears, Grace has provided for me.
Grace has always been there to pick up the pieces when everything crumbled.
Grace has fed me, clothed me, enriched me, encouraged me.
Grace has always welcomed me, welcomed and loved my friends.
Beautiful Grace has been gracious, and I think was appropriately named,
Grace’s prayers have meant that I have always lived under Grace.
My mother’s name is Grace … so I’ve been doubly blessed to have always lived under Grace 🙂
What does this even mean? I don’t know about others but it’s not something I would ever use to describe a human being, let alone another woman. I find it insulting, and have recently found myself referred to as high maintenance.
What I find interesting is the fact that the people referring to me as high maintenance do not know me, or my family, and are basing it solely on the fact that I have lived outside Zambia for the last 8 years. What’s worse is, these people call themselves Christian, and yet feel it appropriate to discuss people they don’t know, in such insulting terms.
I am no gold digger, except if by gold digger you mean I get up in the morning and head to work, sometimes working double shifts, or working 2 weeks straight. I pay my own way, and my boyfriend is under no pressure to pay for my salon visits … I have gotten my hair done in a salon three times in the last 8 years because I prefer to do it myself. If I get my nails done, it’s cheap nail polish that I paint on myself.
Maybe I am high maintenance because there are things that I absolutely will not do, like sit on my boyfriend’s lap, or kiss him, or allow people to call him their “mulamu”, which means brother/sister in law. Maybe I am high maintenance because I choose not to be referred to as his wife, or prefer to keep my relationship off of Facebook. Maybe even my insistence on maintaining natural hair, or my sometimes politically incorrect statements say I am high maintenance. Maybe it’s my refusal to enter conversations about myself that I feel inappropriate, or my refusal to join the swearing bandwagon.
Maybe I am high maintenance, but at the core of my decisions as an individual, is this fact, I know myself, and want to make decisions that are mine and decisions I can own. There’s a lot I am learning about me, and I am sure that it’s grace that has brought me this far, and high maintenance or not, grace will get me where I am meant to go.
My cousin sent me this photo about 2 weeks ago. It was meant to be funny, and maybe it is, but it had a sobering effect on me. Unlike most girls, weddings have never featured on my dream boards (mental or written). I have always had something I wanted to do more than get married and at one point, never even wanted to get married … I just never even thought of my wedding.
This is the first real inspiration I have had when it comes to weddings. Yes, recently as I go through the bible, I find myself thinking, “I want my wedding, if I get married, to show clearly, that marriage is a mirror for Christ’s love for us.” But if I have had any drawing towards any concepts or ideas, this photo says it for me. Summed up in one word, it’s “simple”. I want a wedding within our means, not something that shouts money, or extravagance, but something small, clean and crisp but within our means. No debt, fun and beautiful, within our means, keeping in mind that there are more important things in this life.
This photo would have been funny before, but it didn’t evoke that response this time. There is no shame in recognising where we are, and what we can and can’t afford and learning to live without those things that are outside our means
Pain … pain has the potential to ruin us, or grow us. I hurt my shoulder 3 months ago, and I’m generally constantly in pain. It took a while for the pain to kick in, but after it did, there’s little that doesn’t cause me pain. Things I used to do without a thought, I now have to think about, like whether my nephews and nieces are too heavy to lift onto my knee, whether holding the newest addition to our family, will aggravate my shoulder.
I sometimes wonder if people believe that my shoulder is hurt, if people are talking behind my back, whether those who say they have my best interests at heart actually do. I feel small, disposable and trapped, struggling to do things that were so simple for me, like my crazy natural hairstyles–My hair is now generally always a mess, not even a hot one. I struggle to get up each morning, and I’m no longer writing at 4 am. I come home from work and sleep (I used to do that before but it’s different), and I am emotional. Pain has a way of ruining people, and I see now, just how easy it is, to get hit by depression, at this stage of my life. I’m not depressed, I wouldn’t place where I am in that category, I think that would be a dishonour to those who actually struggle with this illness, because I think it takes a lot of courage to live life with depression.
I have to keep fighting for life–for my life–despite my pain. I’m scared my shoulder will never be right; I’m scared the diagnosis might be wrong, or that there might be no logical explanation for my pain, but we all must endure the different seasons in our lives, and this is my lot, my season of growth, that God alone has a purpose for. I must walk this road, my cross over my shoulder and not be rude or mean or unforgiving, because pain can never be an excuse; it will either expose my evil heart and leave me broken, or it will keep me on my knees and cause me to bask in God’s goodness. Two scriptures gave me strength yesterday. Psalms 115:1 and Psalms 118:29, and I pray that God’s grace propels me to wake up and endure this pain a little while longer, if he so please.