A Poem: I’m Not Asking!

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30: 8-9

 

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GOD, I am not asking for silver or gold;

Lest I become wealthy and forget your statutes and precepts.

Give me enough to share with those in need!

I am not asking for a supernatural intelligence;

I may be led to believe that I am above everyone;

I’m desperate for your wisdom to discern between right and wrong.

LORD, I am not asking to become a celebrity;

I may think that it’s my fame that works things.

Let the whole world know what You have done in me.

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Dear GOD, I don’t want to be perfect;

I may boast.

I am craving for your humility, patience and guidance.

GOD, I am not asking that things go my way;

I may think that I am leading.

May your will be done every day.

Father GOD, I am not asking you to raise me above the world;

I may think that I rule.

Capture my heart and dwell in it richly!

“No one has the power to shatter your dreams, unless you give it to them.” ~ M. Greyson

Google images

Google images

When I was a little girl, I was my Dad’s princess. As far as I knew, he was the most powerful man alive. I felt strong and safe. I may have been tiny in his arms, but my Dad’s confidence in me assured me that I could be anything I wanted to be.

In the 3rd grade, one day my teacher approached me on a Tuesday afternoon, to ask me if I could teach my class from Wednesday through Friday while she was away. She quickly navigated through what she wanted me to cover while she was absent. I am not sure what was in my mind but I agreed.

Reflecting back, I never needed help with my school homework. I am not sure how but I just understood my subjects very well. So, when I was asked to substitute for my 3rd grade teacher, I didn’t hesitate. I always enjoyed helping my classmates understand the subjects as much as I did. Later that week, perhaps a neighbor brought the news to my dad that instead of learning as a student, I was made a teacher.

If she has something to offer to others, I don’t see why she shouldn’t do it“, my Dad answered. He always believed in me. I knew I could become anyone I wanted to be. I was encouraged to dream, by the most positive influential and amazing father on this planet. My Dad was always proud of me, I could see it in his eyes, although I was young. No wonder why I enjoyed his attention so much.

From Google images

Google images

After I lost my parents to the Rwandan genocide, it was a remarkable change in everything that surrounded me. I was no longer a princess, smart, or allowed to dream. I was someone none of my relatives really wanted, of which to this day I still don’t understand why. One of my aunts (mentioned here) told me that I had no future ahead of me, that I won’t be able to accomplish anything in life.

Also, one religious icon that we all looked up to in high school once told me that I am an orphan, and that is limiting. Or painful expressions like “orphans grasp from the crowd; they don’t really have to be told things”. As I left that cult, I was few inches close to denying God for good because of this false preacher. During high school and college, I didn’t have anybody to encourage me to stay in school, leave alone someone to cheer me when I did well in my tests. As I faced hardship, no one even whispered to me that things would be okay. But Jesus did!

You may have been told some of these things and possibly many more. It may have come from family members, relatives or friends telling you that you are naturally weak or a failure, that you will never do well in life. It may be the devil’s voices that tempt you to despair, reminding you of your past mistakes. Or it may come from life’s trials and tribulations on the road to success. Or you may perhaps have been bullied in school because you looked, talked or acted differently, and that may have led you to believe that you are simply incapable of accomplishing anything major. The list goes on.

Google images

Google images

Today I have good news for you. It does not matter how disappointing your past may have been, it is not too late to keep dreaming. It may not be what you had wanted to become when you were young, but today is your day. Remember this: God is not dictated by bad wishes directed to you from the devil or people.

Don’t let what others say or think about you shape your life decisions. Don’t spend time contemplating on your past failures; things, plans, projects, people, friendships, relationships that didn’t work out. Use it as stepping stones to navigate the road to a hopeful future. God’s plans are to prosper you, not to harm you.

Do you have something that you have been praying for and wishing for a long time? Keep asking. GOD’s ear is not deaf, I am sure of this. While you are waiting: pray, love, work hard, dream, believe, hope. I CANNOT promise to you that you won’t encounter challenges or delays, life is very unpredictable. Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, to extinguish and squash our hopes, but God Almighty is STRONGER. If one door closes, knock on the next. Keep climbing, keep walking, keep striving.

Don’t give up, do not lose hope! A small, slow progress is better than a lost dream. Great things happen to those who persist. If you look around, some people have made it, and you, too, CAN!

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Making Wise Decisions

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My inmost being will exult when your lips speak what is right. Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.Proverbs 23: 15-18

Do you ever wonder if the life decision you are about to make is wise or if it is God’s will? Five ways that can help you during the process. By Will Toburen.

1. Have I searched what the Bible has to say about my decision?

2. Does this decision make a good sense?

3. Have I sought the counsel of other believers?

4. Have I committed this decision to prayer?

5. What is my ultimate motivation?

More at God & the rest of the week!

Overcoming Shyness!

For lack of a better post title. On a serious note though, one of my greatest weaknesses is that I don’t know how to start up a conversation with someone I just met. And Google amazes me. When you search on “how to start a conversation”, it gives you a bunch of things to try out but it just seems like ten things to do to land a dream job, or how to stay healthy or even better, read food recipes. It is just overwhelming, especially that I use Google search enough, and I read so much material for my job throughout the day; therefore, the last thing I would want to do is to sit down and learn how to do an icebreaker, after work. Unless it’s a graded homework, so thank God it isn’t.

I really never considered myself shy before, but I guess I am but that’s not the only the problem I encounter. In addition to the fact that I would rather keep everything to myself than figuring out what to say and what to leave out, I cannot recall people’s names and where I know them from. I feel terrible about it. I honestly have no idea what happened. During my undergrad, I used to be able to memorize school books cover to cover, for certain subjects and courses, to the point that my classmates joked that I cheat with my head.

I also could easily memorize phone numbers. At any given time, I would unintentionally cram most numbers I often called, and it’d be a few dozens to be specific. Most of those I surprisingly still remember to this day. But in the last 5 years or so, I have only  been able to memorize no more than five phone numbers. Another weird past memory, it was very easy for me to memorize license plate numbers; who does that? But that’s in the past, apparently it’s all gone.

So, one of the Google suggestions to overcome shyness, is to tell a funny joke; oops. Trust me, I had tried. It’s just not for me. The last time I tried to tell a soccer game joke to an audience of about 40 people, less than five people got it. The joke goes like this: There were two fans at a soccer game who were rooting for their teams and doing what normal fans do during a game: they yelled at the players instructing them what they should or shouldn’t do. Then one of them got up and loudly yelled: “that guy just hit our team’s player, it’s not fair.” Then he slowly sat back down and leaned over to whisper to the second guy: “what are the names of teams playing today?”. That’s the end of the joke, and good luck figuring it out :).

Source: www.google.com/images

Source: google images

And about how to approach people? I am simply intimidated. But I am absolutely okay if someone else approaches me and asks me questions. Nothing is as terrifying as a group of individuals I have not met before; I would rather sit and make people around me wonder if I ever open my mouth. I smile though, I promise, to assure people around me that I understand English. One day, after going to our church young professionals gathering for a little bit over two years, one girl who attended for the first time that night approached me to say that she really liked the message and that she would come back. And I am sure I said that I am glad to hear that, and added that I enjoyed it as well. And then she proceeded to asking me if I plan to come back. Then I smiled and mentioned to her that I have been coming for two years and I am sure I will come back. Apparently, when you are quiet, it may be a sign of loss of interest??? I don’t understand why most of the time I don’t feel like I have something important to say to people.

One weekend, I was asked if I’d be interested in reading a Bible passage in front of our church congregation. I was not sure if I should say I will pass, or thank you for asking but I am scared :D. But I gathered my courage, prayed and responded that I would be honored to do it. Before the day could arrive, I was trembling with fear and nervousness when I imagined standing in front of hundreds of people, but the time came and God gave me strength. I was astounded to hear that people didn’t detect fear in my voice. And by the way, I call myself a Motivational Speaker. I guess I don’t know what that means. I have been sharing God’s work in my life with different groups of people though, and all the credit goes to God for real.

But there is much more to my awkwardness: I cannot keep people’s names or where we met. The easier the name is, the less likely I will remember it. I recently attended a conference on a weekend and carpooled with several people. In the end, as we parted, I gathered my strength to give a warm send off to one of my new friends by politely saying that it was nice to meet this friend. Then my new friend looked annoyed by my unreasonable excitement and responded that we had met many times before, once at my house and other places, and added a thank you. I was heartbroken and disgusted by my memory leak.

On another occasion, this one person looked familiar but I didn’t believe we had met in person. So again, trying to stretch my comfort zone,  I extended my handshake to say: “I don’t think we have met. My name is Alphonsine.” My new friend looked at me as if I was crazy and answered that we met during an other yet long trip where we had a chat about different things. Not only we had met before, we were friends on Facebook. What a shame. Oh, and sometime I blank out on names of people I had known for a while, especially if I haven’t seen them in a long time. I can go on and on with my awkward moments. The best thing that stays in my head though, is people’s life stories. Although I can’t often put the name and the story together, when we get to know each other better, we click right away.

So to overcome my challenges, I stay quiet until I have something better to say rather than embarrassing myself :(. I can write long paragraphs and stories though, can’t you tell? :D. I definitely find it more easier to interact with laptops and smartphones. And that’s the modern technology, which has clearly proved to supersede any social interactions. It’s very sad.

This is my struggle. I am not happy about it and I am trying the best I can. I hope and pray that I overcome, and that my friends are patient with me. How about you, how do you embrace a new culture and start a conversation with people you just met? I would like to hear your opinion.