Auntie, you’re my friend?

Tonight, just before drifting off to sleep while waiting on her parents, she cuddled with me, pulled my face to hers, kissed me and asked, “Auntie, you’re my friend?” I’m so thankful she already has a concept of friendship… And even though we had just had a stern talk about obedience, she knew enough to know that Auntie must be her friend – stern talks and all. 

It was one of those days – a long, tiring and supposed-to-be-over kind of day. My niece and I had had several “runnings.” She was tired, I was tired, but she wouldn’t go to sleep! And I couldn’t sleep if she wouldn’t. Sigh. But then I decided to give her my full attention, which is obviously what the poor little bumble bee wanted. Obviously, I didn’t have the energy. Or so I thought. I invited her to climb up on my bed to lie beside me. We talked about the importance of immediate obedience and then we prayed (she repeated after me) and asked God to help her. From then, until she finally fell asleep, I laughed so hard my throat hurt. That child is such a comedian! Her laugh is often enough to at least inspire a giggle at worst and a big, hearty laugh at best. Tonight, she was on a roll. 

My niece teaches me love and patience. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to hold her in my arms. No. Wait. What’s really amazing is when she takes me in her arms and reassures me of her love. That this little person understands how much her Auntie needs her, and at the time when she is “supposed” to be completely selfish, is priceless. 

She teaches me forgiveness. Out of frustration, I’ve asked her, “What’s wrong with you?” I’ve even told her that I didn’t want to speak with her for a bit (insert shame face). Yet she keeps coming back to me with those big brown eyes and that persistent smile and let’s me know that I’m still her auntie. She never brings up things I did, or reminds me of how I failed to maintain the “favourite auntie award” (licks out tongue at my sister). She just knows how to move on. 

And tonight, she told me that I’m also her friend. And I want to always be her friend. I need her to always be mine. When the days are long and the nights seem like a never ending cricket test match (licks out tongue at my love), if she could just take me in her arms like she did tonight, just in that moment, all will be well again…

When I grow up, I want to be like my 3 year old niece. 

Love is a verb?

I’ve heard it said and have quoted before – love is a verb. But I’ve been thinking – if love is an action word, then every action that appears loving will confirm that love is existent and is being expressed right? I think I’ve been wrong all this time. The reality is that sometimes people perform loving actions but their hearts and intentions tell a different story.

Therefore, I want to submit that love is two things. It is first a Pronoun. God is love. His loving actions flow out of His nature. He loves because Love is who He is. Secondly, I believe love is a noun. Love loves because love is. As an orange can only produce orange juice, so can love only produce love juice (I’m sorry I couldn’t find a better term). Love cannot do anything other than love – forgive, build up, correct, trust, protect, etc.

Why is this important?

Sometimes, we try to perform loving actions, but our hearts harbour a different intention and reveal a different expression. We should ask God to perfect our hearts, to fill our hearts with His love so that we would express a love that has been shed abroad in our hearts. I think if we spent more time choosing to love, instead of choosing to do things that only appear loving, we would lead more authentic lives.

Am I saying we shouldn’t be nice to people we find it hard to love? No. After all, love is not a feeling; it’s a choice. I am suggesting, however, that to continue performing loving actions when we know in our hearts that we do not truly love the object of our actions, is dangerous. God does not just want us to act like we love – He has empowered us to be love. He wants loving actions to flow out of who we are with this new nature. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we dedicated more energy to trying to actually be, we would find that it takes less energy to do.

What Do You Think?

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree? – The Daily Post

Interesting question.

The thing about politics, religion and other topical…well…topics (I couldn’t resist), is that they tend to connect people. Bonding takes place among individuals when there are common interests. But I’ve also found that sometimes conflicts bring people together. Some of my best friendships were formed after heated discussions, flaring tempers and mismanaged words. Whatever the case may be, we’d have to open ourselves to the risks that lie in sharing our views on politics and religion. 

Some of the most memorable conversations I’ve had have been with people I barely knew.  So as I think about this question, I’m asking myself, “Why would I not want to discuss politics or religion with people unfamiliar to me?” Isn’t the point of conversation to engage, learn and/or impart? Perhaps if the goal of such discussions is just to air my views, maybe I shouldn’t talk to anyone…about anything…period. Conversations, discussions, or whatever we may call them, are not just about ideas. They are about people. So if every time I open my mouth to speak, I am just fixed on making my voice heard, then I should probably only talk to myself. No one wants to listen to a self-centered speaker who doesn’t care to hear the opinions of others. Whatever our strong views are, we owe it to people to show respect for them, even if we disagree with the stances they take.

Here’s my bottom line – any interaction with people we don’t know is ridden with risk. There’s hardly a way to predict responses. A simple “how are you” can emit the most outrageous of answers and could end up in quarrels. I believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. And I think if we find the right way, we should feel free to voice our opinions and raise discussions about things we strongly believe in. And in so doing, we might discover meaningful encounters with strangers waiting to be friends. We might find enemies who need extra grace. We might find different perspectives that challenge ours and which help us solidify what we say we believe. But I’ve found that the greatest discovery has been that I do have the right to share my ideas as much as others, and somehow, I agree. Somehow, I burst past the fear of not knowing how to answer, or what to ask next, what to think and I launch into a place of such renewed confidence. 

So I say, speak up!

My Rainbow 

Because he loves me and wants me to maximize my potential *insert blush face* …my sweetheart does his best to take an interest in the things that interest me (thank you Jesus for such a wonderful gift in my dear best friend). And when I start to lose interest, he gives me the extra (sometimes unwelcomed) nudge I need to get things going. So It was not surprising that when he came across a resource that helps new bloggers overcome writers block so they’d write daily, he sent it to me. Today is the first time I’ve received my daily tip and the challenge is to write something – anything- that includes all of the colors of the rainbow. So…here goes…

My dearest daughter

I started writing these letters to you a while ago and though I’ve not been consistent, I want you to know that I have not stopped thinking about you. Your curious brown eyes have not yet seen the beauty of a sun kissed morning, but I have never stopped imagining the kind of picture perfect life I want to create for you. I want you to experience all the wonders God wants to show you. Oh, I am just so excited when I think about your future! I still can’t wait to meet you. To learn of you. To teach you. To be your mommy. And if I were to choose one symbol that I imagine would represent you, I have to tell you that I think you will be just like the very first rainbow…

My baby, you are a promise. Now, in this very moment, when you are just a beautiful thought in mommy’s mind, God has already decided to let me have you. (I am so overwhelmed with love for you!) He has decided to trust me with your fragile heart and your strong mind. (I am so scared that most days I won’t know what to do!) And in the midst of all of the questions your father and I will have, there is one thing I believe we will be able to hold on to – that you, our darling, are God’s demonstration of His promise to bless us with a heritage that comes from Him, and with a reward that embodies you. 

My baby, you are red – bold and daring. If you are anything like I imagine, you will be passionate. You will find that causes would keep you awake because you just need to find solutions. You will not go through life casually. You will wear the blood of Jesus like a well tailored robe and His passion will pump through your veins. You will see the pain of His heart and you will present yourself to share in His suffering. And though it will be difficult at times, you will stand up for the voiceless because that’s what Jesus would’ve done. You are a fiery one. You, my darling, are a red burning flame. 

My baby, you are orange – because a little yellow never hurt any red one. People love you because you radiate the warmth of the Son. You are just what everyone needs after a long day – a warm and quiet soul. Your deep, wise thoughts will ooze from your lips and will comfort those who need it. 

Green baby, you are Green. You are alive! And though not yet here, I am thankful that you are! 

But as I think about all that I want you to be and have and do, I have to admit I know some days you’ll also be blue (didn’t mean to rhyme. Yea, your mom’s a bit corny sometimes). I used to say that I want to shield you from pain. While that sounds good and parental, I don’t think I’d be doing either of us a favour if I did try to shield you from everything. Oh, I will do everything in my power to protect and steer you right. But my love, I have learnt that some pain will be necessary. And because you are imperfect (I hate to admit it), you may also create some pain of your own.  So I want you to know that mommy will try to be there in the blue days. But if I can’t be, I promise to do everything I can to point you to the One you really need. 

And you are indigo (what is that?! A fruit??). Ok. Fine. You are as clueless about some things in this life as I am right now about what that color looks like. And that’s okay. I will teach you how to find the answers to hard questions: yep – ask Daddy! Mommy married (will marry one day) a smart one. (You’re welcome). 

My baby, you are purple. My word – you are one expensive child to maintain! Your royalty is going to cost us all of the crowns and jewels we worked hard to achieve. But because your heart is so beautiful, you will be contented with the simple things in life. This will make it easy for us to pour our love into your life and to pamper you sometimes. You will know that royalty is not synonymous with spoilt, uncaring snobs. You will be the perfect blend of poise, class and charisma. 

And whenever I look at you, I will thank God for the promise of the rainbow. 

About those children…

Tonight, my house is filled with children from 3 – 8 years old. And the madness is causing me to think…

I love large families. Well, I love the idea of having a large family. Actually…I think what I really love is the way large families seem to always have lots of fun at family gatherings and how you always seem to have a full house. There’s always a story to tell because there are so many personalities involved.  But now that I’m actually thinking about this, I think having a large family would drive me insane! I’m an introvert who loves people, but who needs her space. Oh my word! What was I thinking??! How would I handle that?!

I have a son. His name is Teddy. He loves quiet mornings and roudy afternoons. Sometimes, he seems so much like me. Loves people, but particularly on weekends, he prefers to have some quality time with himself. I don’t know who his father is and probably never will because they don’t do DNA testing on dogs in Guyana. Yes, my son’s father is a dog. No, really – he is. And that would make sense, since my son is also a dog. My dog, Teddy, is the closest I’ve come to being a mommy. Unlike my niece, he belongs to me and doesn’t go home when his parents come to get him. I have 4 godchildren – 2 girls and 2 boys. But I’ve not had to spend more than an hour alone with them. The bottom line here, is that I don’t know why I think I could effectively have 4 children of my own when the time comes. I don’t even know why I want to have 4! I love children, and i believe they are a blessing! But most times, I can barely stand the noise of 1 child screaming through the house! And I’m thinking 4?!

But somehow I think this is okay. Somehow, I believe this oblivion and naivety are important to my development as a woman. I think one day when I do have human children of my own, I’ll look back at this time and think…….well, truthfully, I don’t know what I’ll think. I just imagine I’ll be grateful to God for allowing me the privilege of raising the 1, 2, 3, 11… children He entrusts to the care of my husband (yet to be revealed) and me. 

Until then, I’m enjoying the nights when I get to send the little monkeys home haha! And I think that’s okay too!

 

Writer’s Block

Blogging is something I’ve considered before, but I just never got around to doing it…

Ok. Fine. I avoided it because I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to be vulnerable. I’m an aspiring author. I want to write about everything – well, everything that matters anyway. Faith, love, family, social intervention, parenting – like I said, the things that matter (maybe you should blog about what matters to you). The challenge is, I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to writing (and I’ll pretend that’s the only thing I’m a perfectionist about). I want need it to be perfect before I decide to share it with anyone else (except my best friend). 

But tonight, I’m thinking about Writer’s block. For the most part, I chose to build walls out of blocks that would keep me safe. If I would just keep the thoughts in my mind, and the dreams in my heart, then I would not need to defend them before anyone. I would block writer’s block by blocking blogger’s bloopers (I wasn’t planning on doing that, but it seemed like a great idea at the time, so I went with it). Man, this has been been so freeing! Further still, if I don’t share these thoughts, then they will forever be mine. But…what’s the point of that?? Ideas are meant to set the world on fire! Eureka! They should change history!!!

As simple as it is, starting a blog took more thought than deciding which college to go to did for me. I’m challenging myself to let me make mistakes here. I am daring to learn as much as I can about authorship (including whether authorship is really a word, which, judging from the fact that there’s no scriggly red line underneath, it is.. Yay!). And I’m determined to use the mistakes I make here as the blocks this writer stands on. 

So, I’ve decided to redefine writer’s block…

From this moment onwards, to me, writer’s block will be the blocks that belong to this writer. They are the fears, the insecurities, the being-stuck-ness that will inspire me to write. They will give rise to my feet rather than block path that needs be cleared (I think that’s brilliant. Don’t you?). 

I hope that even though I just have 1 follower today (God bless you @MJNathan), one day this will inspire many others. I am choosing to write this now because I hope I won’t forget these necessary first steps (though I’m sure I will). But when (if) I do, I want to be sure to leave you with the memory of wisdom from the writer who blocks (and who now blogs). The wisdom is simple; here it is: 

Go for it. Set your dreams on fire. 

P.S. According to Google, “authorship” may be a word, but “squiggly” is probably the better word to describe the invisible red line. Ah well…cheers to learning! Officially my first “blogger’s blooper”. Somehow, I feel accomplished. 

My Quiet Mountain

Set me upon a quiet mountain and here, let me put modern pen to paper. Sit with me and leave me alone. Let me write in silence. There is much to say, but first, I must hear.

First, let me hear the beat of His heart, then permit me to observe the conundrums that dance in my mindful meadows. Let me hear His answers to my questions. Then on this mountain, I will capture His masterpieces in words too inadequate for His art. But let me capture it all the same.

Set me upon a quiet mountain and let me hear songs that are waiting to be sung. Let me hear the sounds that beg to be echoed into the abyss. Let His living water pour over my soul, and in turn, I will pour this water upon the land.

Permit me to mistakingly offer solutions and then to put pride to flight that I might apologize. Accept my apology.

Permit me to pry, to make your business my own. Let me be the friend who says what needs to be said. Let me offer you words of comfort. Let these mountain thoughts inspire change. Let them pierce your heart with love. And let us learn here together.

i am kerese. And this is my quiet place – my rugged, necessary, quiet mountain. Please, do join me.