Hey, Hey beautiful people! Today this post will focus on a powerful message I got from a sermon couple of weeks ago. I just felt in my heart to share since this platform is equally about faith. I hope that it touches someone out there who just needed to hear this. Also, I have been thinking about changing my blog's name. I haven't found any name that suits my vision for it yet but I am no longer comfortable with 19's observations now. 19 had something to do with my age but I'm a whole 21 year old now haha. So I will happily welcome name suggestions for my blog, one with meaning. It would be helpful if each and everyone could give a word or two that makes them relate to this platform. On that note, let's get started. Sermon on Mathew 25: 14-30 The parable of the three servants “At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to go on a journey; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave 5,000 gold coins, to another he gave 2,000, and to another he gave 1,000. Then he left on his journey. The servant who had received 5,000 coins went at once and invested his money and earned another 5,000. In the same way the servant who had received 2,000 coins earned another 2,000. But the servant who had received 1,000 coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money. “After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The servant who had received 5,000 coins came in and handed over the other 5,000. ‘You gave me 5,000 coins, sir,’ he said. ‘Look! Here are another 5,000 that I have earned.’ ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ “Then the servant who had been given 2,000 coins came in and said, ‘You gave me 2,000 coins, sir. Look! Here are another 2,000 that I have earned.’ ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ “Then the servant who had received 1,000 coins came in and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not sow, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.’ “ ‘You bad and lazy servant!’ his master said. ‘You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not sow, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed? Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has 10,000 coins. For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. As for this useless servant — throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and grind his teeth”. God is so generous and kind. He gives us so much. A ‘talent’ was a huge sum of money – probably equivalent to twenty years’ wages. Even the person with one talent was given so much. In the parable, the talent (this is the origin of the English word ‘talent’) represents not only your money but your gifts, skills, time, energy, education, intellect, strength, influence and opportunities. Be faithful with whatever you have been given. It is no good wishing that you had been given more. You are simply called to do the best you can with what you have. To be faithful means to use the gifts and abilities that God has given you. I am sometimes tempted to be like the third servant who said, ‘I was afraid’ (v.25). We hide our talents because we are afraid of failure and what others may think of us, or of the hard work and responsibility that may be involved. It has been said that, ‘The greatest mistake you could make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.’ The servant who received five talents and the one who received two talents must both have had to risk losing it all. Step out in faith, use your gifts and risk failure. Jesus says, in effect, ‘use them or lose them’ (vv.28–30). If you do the very best with what you have, God will give you more and say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (vv.21,23) Stay blessed xx 19's observations
Today, at 8.44 Ethiopian local time (5.44 GMT), six minutes after Boeing 737 Max-8 took off, a crash happened. Everything burned down into ashes. No survivors. I was in so much shock, and fear as I read every update about it on Twitter. I thought about the families of those involved in this crash, about my family, and myself.
Ethiopian Airways is not an unknown airline to me. The thought that it could have been anyone just fuels my sadness. No one, ever thinks it’s going to be them. No one ever plans for something to happen. Like I heard a family member of the victim express himself later this afternoon during an interview, his father, the victim, had told him he’ll ring him once in Nairobi to tell him he had safely arrived.
I have taken Ethiopian Airways probably 3 or 4 times before and I never have ever once thought of me being in a crash. Although flights freak me out, I still don’t think it’s going to be me. Not to die in that way at least. But then, today’s crash was once more a reminder that no one would ever choose to die on a plane crash.
What a sad Sunday! A black Sunday! Whenever I take a flight, the worst moments are turbulence zones. I have to say, my heart always pounds in those moments. The thoughts that go through my mind are always scary. But I take deep breathes and tell myself, God forbid and begin to remind God of his promise of safety.
Yet the crash happened! I am sure there were believers on that flight, people who prayed before they took off, prayed whilst the were on the flight, when they lost control of the engine and certainly, they had many people praying for them too, to have a safe journey. Yet it happened. Death is something I usually find hard to understand. In fact, it’s still a complete mystery. As cliché as we often hear, “no one knows the hour, nor the day”. This is true.
In this moment, I want to pray for these families. I want to pray for everyone out there that travels on a daily basis. We are safe, secure, alive by God’s grace alone. Anything could happen to anyone anywhere at anytime, not just on a plane. Therefore, if you leave your house, your bed and return whole, be grateful and thankful to God.
My father, my father, may you console the hearts of those mourning at this time. Comfort and remind them that You love them. It is a hard time, and my heart bleeds for them too. But I know you are a God of consolation and you will bring them joy again.
- Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
- Job 6:10 – If I knew he would, I would leap for joy, no matter how great my pain. I know that God is holy; I have never opposed what he commands.
- Jeremiah 31:9 – My people will return weeping, praying as I lead them back. I will guide them to streams of water, on a smooth road where they will not stumble. I am like a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my eldest son.
<li>Psalm 91 entirely is God's word of protection. I declare it and claim it everyday of my life.</li>
Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.” He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight. A thousand may fall dead beside you, 10,000 all round you, but you will not be harmed. You will look and see how the wicked are punished. You have made the LORD your defender, the Most High your protector, and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home. God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones. You will trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes. God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD. When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honour them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God stay in peace.
Heaven has gained Angels today.
I’m not a good dancer (allegedly). Almost everyone knows, but I love the dancing ambiance. So I can hype you and hype myself and dance without any fear that my moves are not the best and we still have fun.
Yet, I went for Kizomba. Kizomba of all dances!
Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance and music created in Angola. Derived directly from Zouk music, sung generally in Portuguese, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythm. The kizomba dancing style is also known to be very sensual. Although it was created in Angola it is often considered Portuguese due to the influence of immigrants, and evolution of the genre in this country.
Kizomba has seen a revival lately for two main reasons: The number of Angolans that have opened night-clubs in Europe and the adoption and reinterpretation of the Kizomba by modern musicians
It’s been three weeks now since my first lesson. I didn’t know my hips could move 😂 – given how stiff I can be. I loved it right away. I had been contemplating for a while before I decided to go for it. It was so beautiful to watch, so I had to do it.
The very first lesson was extremely funny. It’s one thing to watch videos on YouTube and see the closeness between the partners and it’s another to experience it live. The class started at 9pm and it’s 3 hours long. I was on time, Yes! We learnt the fundamental moves and the history of kizomba as above. Then we were allocated partners.
Gguuyyyysssss it’s a chest to chest dance, head to head, legs to legs, hands in hands. It was so awkward but at least the instructor made us feel at ease with his sarcastic jokes! He said before we started the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 steps: “it is time to release oxytocin 😂😂😂“.
Nevertheless, you get used to it because you get more comfortable. The guys lead, the ladies follow. As a follower, I found closing my eyes very useful to learn quickly. Regardless of the partner, I could follow. It’s twice a week: Monday nights and Saturday nights and there are socials after every 3-hours class. I have attended 5 classes so far and every other lesson day, I am excited as though it were the first. I love that I am learning something I would never have thought of. I love how adventurous I have become, and how this is one more drop of open mindedness. As a huge fan of outdoor sports – tennis, running, cycling, hiking, expeditions, and so on, this has definitely brought me out of my comfort zone. You will go from stiff to sensual in a minute 😉.
If you are open minded about music, and appreciate different flavours of international music, then Kizomba is worth your while. You don’t even have to be Portuguese or be influenced by their culture to life the stuff… or even, speak the Portuguese.
Now to this thing called coding!!!
I have always been passionate about the tech space among few others. The world of social media, digitalisation are fascinating. Let alone, the vitality of coding skills for entrepreneurs, to start businesses, for web development, comprehending computer systems; in the finance space to build algorithms for trading softwares. The benefits are unmatchable and will be serving me sooner than you think 👩🏾💻.
Anyway, two months ago, I heard about a competitive opportunity offered by codefirstgirls.org.uk for an 8 weeks free coding course on web development. If this wasn’t a sign, then I don’t know what it was because I have been wanting to code for the longest time now. I applied on their website and was selected along other young ladies between 18-23. The programme is called CodeFirst:Girls! The mission to increase the number of women in the tech space really worth an ovation. Yes I scream this out loud: tech shouldn’t just be a boys club.
The first class was last Thursday and I couldn’t believe I was coding. I shared a video with my older brother (a coding guru) excitedly and he said “this is just step one. You have a long journey ahead”. In my mind, I was like, no matter how long journey, I am ready 😅. There’s nothing that can discourage me at this point.
One thing I loved about the class was the fact that we got to do the work ourselves. We could seek for guidance but the instructors just guided us. I believe in practical learning. In as much as slides help, practicing really makes a huge difference so well done.
I have registered on codecademy for additional practice outside of these classes and it’s becoming a new hobby. As soon as I finish with this post, I’m back to it. The next class is tomorrow and I can’t wait. CodeFirstGirls is a powerful network and the coding courses, a great programme.
Let’s close this tech gap.
Confidence! The art of feeling beautiful yourself without needing to receive compliments before feeling beautiful.
I was talking with a friend this week and we both realised that we faced similar issues that we battle with on daily basis. Confidence it is. Body confidence to be precise. I had sent her a text the day before that one of our friends just got a boob job and I exclaimed through my text: “Money is the only barrier stopping me from getting one too”. We both laughed
The following day, we spoke about it again and I just realised how sad it is. That I am ready to get a boob job because I have been led to believe that lime boobs is not good looking. People constantly make comments on the size of my boobs as much as people make comments on a regular basis about my friend’s weight. I am meant to be self-confidence and not let those comments get to me but to be honest, it is hard. Those comments are usually in joke forms from close friends and direct entourage and to be a subject of constant jokes or sarcasm is just not pleasant at all.
If I were to do a boob job today, will it be for myself or for people. Will I personally feel more beautiful than I am already with some silicone in me? If I were to receive the money for that boob job, will I still do it? Those are the questions I ask myself. As tempting as the last question is to me, given my insecurity about my boobs, my answer is a no. Why? Because I am not a people pleaser. Please do it for you not people.
It is sad to live in an era where people advocate body positivity yet feel so free and entitled to make statements about the way others look. You should loose weight, you have gained some pounds, ohh your tummy is quite big, ohhh your boobs are so tiny, jeez your butt is so flat, why are you so skinny, your toes are too manlike for a lady, you are so dark, your rabbit tooth, why are you so short, you look like a giraffe, your eyebrows this, your jaws that, your hair this, you have so much loose skin, they say. Are those kind attempts towards encouraging body positivity? Should I curse my ancestors for insufficient or “your imperfect” genes?
I am sorry but before you make any comments on another person’s appearance, remember that this person has eyes and can see themselves. For example, if you are so concerned about my weight to the extent that you are sickly passionate about me loosing weight, then get me a life coach, a nutritionist, a personal trainer who can help me achieve those goals. What measures have you taken to make me feel confident about my body or help me in my unhealthy relationship with food.
Im sorry but you are the reason for others’ complexes. Everyone has insecurities but once that insecurity is vocalised by another person, then it’s a slur to my confidence. Do you realise that boobs are genetic? Are you insulting my entire generation and ancestors for not having strong perky boobs genes? Do you realise that the unhealthy relationship people have with food and that lead them to having weight issues can be due to mental instability or ill health.
Before you open your mouth, look for causative agents. Before you feel the urge to speak out about something, tackle the root. Help with action not with words. What have you done to help that person around you? What are you doing besides talking? Talking is not even bad to me, but talking without any tact, is extremely nonconstructive. Someone once told me that “no one can really love you like you love yourself”. That is true. But my love for me is also rated by the love I feel around me and that I receive. I also once heard that “What really matters is what you think about yourself and not what people think about you”. True and false here, I have to say. Let me explain…
People have internal battles and others’ words only accentuate what their battles are. For example, someone struggling with their weight. They know themselves that they are overweight. They have been trying to tackle the issue. They can see themselves in the mirror and do not necessarily love what they see. But they have to deal with society everyday when they step their foots outside. Fat shaming, comments and even from the closest of closest people to them. It is a shame. It is one thing to bring someone to self-realisation about the eating lifestyle or even express concerns about their weight with due sensitivity of course. However, it is another thing to shame, to exclaim, to insult, to minimise people’s attempts to deal with their battles.
My friend told me she was struggling to find a job. Like every other graduate out there, it is normal, I said. Job hunting post studies or during the final year of studies is never easy. Can you believe she was told by her mother that the reason she was not getting any job offers was because of her weight. Now that hurt me. Her mum definitely did not mean to hurt her but hearing that from whosoever just hurts. Who wants to hear that? Should looks matter? I mean, it is not an elevator pitch! Should it really?
Personally, weight is just one of the things that if we were to look at, we would bank it along many others! It is sad that in this day and age, people would look at your appearance before your intellectual abilities, before your personality, your potential, your drive, motivation… What happened to “who we are on the inside”? Everything that counts into appearance including weight, complexion, height, size, gender to say the least should not matter. Not to mention nationality, origins, names … Employers out there claim “equal opportunities” but behind closed doors, they consider these things! Sad isn’t it.
If we want to make this era one in which people are health conscious, confident in their bodies, mind and soul, then we have to address these issues. Help to really help not to feel relevant. Once more, think about tact in the way you address people. Tact here means: skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues. Be very mindful. We want to have a generation of more health conscious and self-confident individuals so lets all try to make that happen by truly helping others not bringing them down. Also when it comes to genetics, no one has control over the genes they get so stop it with the comments. The perception of beauty is surjective so to your tummy with how you feel I should be beautiful.
All in all, you are beautiful, you are strong, and your body, your looks do not define you as a person. You are talented and you are blessed and everywhere you go, you will be light. The most important part: Always spread love and never let society define what beauty should be for you.
Your gyal xx
A challenge has had everyone all excited over the internet active. The #1oyearsagochallenge. I recall memories of myself during that time…
Ten years ago, I had freshly turned 11 and was in Form 2 at a new school in Douala, Cameroon. I was childish and naive beyond any limits that could possibly exist. I did not take that long to blend in because I had friends in that school and had come in with my twin sister and also my best friend at the time. I am also quite sociable and down to earth so that really helped in making new friends.
Back then, I was very competitive. A character which I believe my father instilled in me and I still have till date. From a young age, I knew that only the best will have a voice. Only the best would be able to lead and have impact. I still believe this. I would compare my grades with the top 5 students. I wanted to know what the highest marks were and I made sure I always asked all my friends and bench mates their test scores. My dad would ask them at home when I reported my test scores too. I was always among the top 15 and took most often 12th or 13th position. I really wanted to be among the top 5 students but looking back now, I understand why this never happened in this class. If only I would stop arguing with my tutors. If only I would focus more on those reading modules such as history, and english literature. I loved numbers (and I still do) but in order to be in that top 5, English Literature, History, Geography mattered too
Ten years ago, I discovered my commercial acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. My first business was to sell chewing gum in school. I would get this gum every time my parents or any family member would travel and sell abroad and bring it as gift to me. I also had an aunty who worked at the biggest sweet and chocolate factory in the country, and so we always had some at home. I loved the little extra coins I would get from it. Little did I know that it wo
Ten years ago, I started to build my character. Although I was very much playful due to immaturity and being the youngest among my classmates, I was also very strong headed. My NOs were NOs and vice versa. I was extremely orderly and liked everything to be in place. I always got into arguments and fights with my siblings because someone sat on my bed that I had freshly made. Or someone wore my dress, used my towel, wore my sock … Really typical things you see in every other family. Now I laugh at how intolerant I was of minor things …
Ten years ago, I dreamt anything that my parents wanted me to dream of. I was thinking of becoming a medical doctor like my father wanted my twin sister and myself to become. I do not really think I was given freedom of choice to think about something else haha. May be if I did, I was not confident enough to say it and stand by it. Not ten years ago but definitely now.
Ten years ago, I was not on social media. I joined the year after starting with Facebook but it was very much monitored by my older brother. I did not have a phone either and if any friend wanted to contact me, I would give them my mum’s number. It never really bothered me to be honest. What will I have used the phone for to start off with? I was still a child in love with Disney Channel. I would distract myself with swimming and tennis lessons in the summer. Please what was iPhone? MacBook? Social Media?
Ten years ago, I had a secret crush. I fought with myself to delete those feelings before anyone would find out. But I think it had become obvious to my classmates. Probably the way I was acting around him. I got teased with this at school but I always denied it publicly. Haha I let the crushing die because there was nothing such as “shooting a shot” back then.
Ten years ago, social status mattered to me. I believed that those who went out for parties back then were cool kids. To be fair, attending parties, and hosting parties frequently what was used as criteria for “cool”, and “popular”. To go to “Gourmandise”, “ABZ” (popular bakeries) and pool parties at hotels was a thing back then. In fact, people were even cooler if they had attention from guys already or were dating their crushes. Big lol. I thank God for my parents for killing my aspirations of becoming “cool”. Definitely never made it out of the gate aside one party which I begged my mum to let me go to for over a month with a curfew that was even before the actual party started. You’ve guessed right, I was a “gates child”. What are you going out for. Social status was also defined by what someone would eat at the school’s canteen, or what car will pick one up after school. As i write this, I am laughing so hard because of how my perception has evolved. These things do not matter to me at all.
Ten years ago, I had a secret admirer. He would write me love letters every time I left my school desk for any reason. I never really got to know who that was till date. I never told anyone except my best friend at the time who knew about it. I was so scared of my twin sister finding out or just anyone else. I was embarrassed lol. I tried to personally find out who this person was but eventually gave up.
Ten years ago, I did not really take God seriously. Not that I refused to have him in my life, but I did not understand who God is. I heard about him so much and had a lot of questions which I did not really explore. I just knew what was good and what was bad nothing more. It was not deep at all then. I did not try to know Him more. I was just comfortable with the fact that there is an Almighty God.
Ten years ago, I would have never imagined that I will be where I am today, and have what I have today. By this, I mean the strong intellectual baggage that I have accumulated, the leadership potential that I have developed, the entrepreneurial spirit I keep developing… Above all the fighting spirit, strength and maturity I have gained.
My perspective has changed tremendously in ten years. Now I think a lot and everyday about changing the world, about the impact I have around me, about being a great leader, about being a great entrepreneur. I think about my intended professional career. I spend my time brainstorming business ideas, discussing issues we face in this century to note down some solutions, networking and developing my skills through skills training sessions. I try to get hands on every single opportunity to gain experiences. This young woman has held positions of responsibility. This young woman has started a business. This young woman was travelled to gain exposure to different cultures and markets. This young woman in intellectually curious and loves learning new things. This woman is a risk taker and loves adventure. This woman is building herself.
Who were you ten years ago?