Hi lovely people! Remember back in October when we were discussing Streetlights Bible? (I say discussing because some awesome peeps took over this Facebook post and the conversation in there was simply off the charts.) Well, as usual, my excitement died down and I forgot about it after listening to just a few books.

Truth be told, I have been struggling to read the past few months, not just the Bible but any book. The days I could read a book in a day because of how it made me feel are gone. I think the last time I did that was with 13 Reasons Why mid last year. I have bought books and read a chapter of each and moved on to another. Smh. I think the tide is changing back to normal now after I discovered Jojo Moyes had written a third book as a sequel to Me Before You – Still Me. And I would not have found out had it not been for me walking into Text Book Centre by chance just to pass time and seeing it right there on the shelf among the new arrivals. I immediately picked it up and started reading it same day. Again, I have not read it in a day or two like I did with Me Before You, or After You but at least I am making progress.

Which brings me back to Streetlights Bible. Last Sunday, my favourite preacher, John Calvin Kamau was on the pulpit sharing the Word from Psalms 119:105.

I guess I am back.

I’m seated at the salon, my hairdresser twisting my hair into little locks. Yeah, I locked my hair three weeks ago after I finally gave up on the hassle of trying to make it look good, in all its toughness. I think I like the direction I am going with this. Anyway, that is not why I am back. In the recent past, someone hit my mentions and said that he misses the days I would keep him abreast on the latest in our music world. Just in case you were wondering whether your thoughts are part of the “Thoughts and Stuff” mantra, well, they most definitely are. Thanks so much for always checking in. 🙂

Well, a lot has happened in my music world since the last time I ever spoke music in here but I will talk about the most recent two and make it a habit going forward.

All Things Work Together

First and foremost, Lecrae releases his eighth album, All Things Work Together a few weeks ago.

It’s Sunday. Sunday we preach, or rather, we used to preach when we were in tiptop shape. It has taken me days to build up to this post. Sometimes I think I will come up with a strict schedule, like Kariuki does at Kisauti, you know, drop a post, say, every Sunday. He drops his every Wednesday without fail. Also, his e-book is out, that’s how driven he is. He is that serious. I could do that, you know, write regularly and everyone expects the post at a certain time of day, so that if I miss out, I am accountable. I really could do that. It builds a great culture of discipline and passion cultivation. But I don’t. Why?

Well, today, like I said, is Sunday. And Sunday I preach. For a long time, I have not done so. For a long time, I have not done anything right to my spiritual self. I have not been growing. I have found myself in this routine of sorts every Sunday. I struggle to wake up, I make tea for everyone, do dishes (if I feel like), go back to bed again, wake up again, take a bath, go to church, teach Sunday school, scream my heart out at a 100 below-six-years-old kids then get out wondering why I feel drained. Scratch that. I always know exactly why I am drained. I am not supposed to teach every single Sunday without getting a break to recharge. For a long time, we had many teachers in my class, teachers that would teach on schedule, but along the way, things fell apart and became a matter of begging people to teach. I thought I could do it. I thought it would be selfish of me to just act like everyone else and jump ship, so I didn’t. I hang in there.

So we got a new reverend in our church quite a while back. I only saw and listened to him for the first time yesterday. Every time I am on duty in Sunday school, he is preaching. Let’s just say I have missed a lot. The very tall minister of the word is one of those for whom people actually walk into the building to listen to instead of walking out. Best believe. I saw that for the first time yesterday, where the opposite happens. His sense humour is something else too.

We’ve been having sermons about the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It so happened that yesterday’s was Self-control. Na by the way you guys should stop saying the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It very clearly says the fruit. One fruit with many aspects. But anyway, that’s just politics. Fruit can very well mean fruits. Depends on where you went to school and with whom.

[su_quote cite=”Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”][/su_quote]

Olympics mode.

[su_quote cite=”1 Corinthians 9: 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”][/su_quote]

That reminded me of that Love is… comic strip from back in the 90s Daily Nation leisure page. Actually, if you Google it, that’s the first result. Anyway, that’s not the point.

Sometimes I struggle. I struggle with a lot of things. Feelings of uncertainty. Feelings of hurt. Holding on to hurt. Holding on to the wrong things people do to me. Feelings of fear. Then right after that comes the guilt. The defence. The rationalization. The waste of time taking things personally (although I will admit I don’t know how else I can take things other than personally). I also struggle with love. With the concept of it. What it is. What it should be. Whether I should even be thinking the stuff I think if I claim to love those around me. Today’s sermon made me think about this. It’s been a while since I listened to a great sermon. You know those guys who preach without shouting? Those guys who are straight to the point and show you things clearly and in all practicability? That was our preacher today.

The word was about love. Passages we know by heart. Galatians 5:22-23. Fruit of the spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Oh, it’s the second result on Google when you search for “Love is”.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

How are you guys? So today, we’re all about conquering. When I was young, like primary school young, my dad took out a foolscap and wrote down something for me with a felt pen and made me stick on my bedroom wall. It was about Julius Caesar and what he said after a certain victory. What I remember most about that passage is the last phrase, “We came, we saw, we conquered.” When you Google that, you find the actual phrase was in Latin, “Veni, vidi, vici”.

By now you might have guessed why dad wrote that for me. Every day, I saw that writing on the wall. Literally. And every day I strived to conquer in class. I also had a newspaper clipping next to that foolscap, I remember. Betty Gikonyo was on it. I don’t know why I don’t remember the other lady on that paper. Actually I do know. I remember Betty because for half the years I have existed, I wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Yes. Didn’t we all? I’d like to say that I changed my mind easily. I didn’t. It was a combination of teenage indecisiveness and JAB’s decisiveness. But I still went ahead and conquered whatever came through. My dad says “conger” btw, like every other person of his generation. So for the longest time I was confused on the pronunciation. It made no sense to me. Like why do old guys decide a q should be pronounced as g? Anyway, that’s beside the point.

I will tell you the truth. The reason I did not blog yesterday. It was a long day, like every other day. My data connection refused, and so did my brain. I wanted to post one paragraph. A status update. Earlier on, someone had joked about how half his emails are from my blog. I am basically spamming people. Lol. So I decided that from now on, I will blog every other day, until something makes me change to another pattern yet again.

Anyway, my topic today; earworms.

It’s Sunday. You know me. I love me some Sunday. Today was different though. It was Founders’ Day at AHS. The 90th anniversary. Coincidentally, it was school birthday at AGHS. But as they say, there’s no such thing as coincidence. School birthday was supposed to be last Sunday, but it was pushed to today for some reason. So I cheated on my alma mater and spent the day at across, mostly because my brother is in form four. Back when we lived at across, Founders’ Day was a modest ceremony. We all fit in the chapel, it took just two hours or so and we ate nice little baked stuff from the kitchen in the lawn behind the chapel. Kimori and I loved these times! Nowadays, the service takes the whole day, in the sun or if you’re early, the tents, and there are no sweet little snacks at the end! Just kawaida food. Childhood memories are just the best!

Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing. I’m writing because of something the preacher said.

I’m having a mild headache. You know, those ones that you know will disappear once you get home. I was okay before I left the office. Then I got into this matatu with a drunk kange and it hit me that my head was aching. Dude was laughing the whole time, in delirium, not giving passengers change and showing them his “change-less” palm.

“Kama watu huishi kama wewe, hawawezi pata depression,” one passenger at the front quips.

Sit through two sermons in a span of four hours and if you do not walk out in the middle of either of them, you should not let the day end without spreading the word. Here I am. It’s been a while since I preached anyway.

For the longest time, I’ve harboured the dream of being an author. I know, not news, Shiku. Fine. Anyway, that’s my dream job.

I don’t know about you but I can shed tears very easily. Very very easily. I will cry over every movie that is good enough. I will cry when a child sings a song in church or in Sunday school and does not even know the words but keeps on singing very joyfully. I will cry when I see someone in pain or difficult situation. Like a few days ago when friends of our family lost a beloved daughter. I sat at their living room listening to the stories from her friends and family and just couldn’t hold back my tears. I had a headache that night.

This Sunday, I found myself crying on a Metrotrans bus. We were just making that turn around Globe roundabout (can I still call it that?) and I saw him. I saw the little boy coiled into a ball near the huge metal pipe that straddles the Nairobi river.

It’s been a minute.

Shikungigi.com turned one on 23rd, but I could not celebrate because I am normally completely drowned in work till it’s Friday evening. And that’s why I am so glad May 1st is on a Friday. Somebody say oh yeah!

Another week down. Lots of lessons learnt. Lots of food for thought. This will be short.

You harbour dreams of scaling the corporate ladder or birthing a very successful business. You dream of being able to drive the best cars and provide for your family. But do you ever think of the responsibilities that come with more? The responsibilities that come with a raise or a promotion?

I’m listening to that song because it’s awesome. Matt Maher is awesome. If you don’t believe me, listen to the song. I’m in this matatu that has pictures of all the vice presidents of Kenya plastered all around the windows. The four presidents are staring at us from the windscreen. The thing about Shiku nowadays is that she can only write on board stuff. Thoughts and Stuff. That’s the stuff of late. The stuff that inspires me. I honestly didn’t have content for this post but then I remembered all it takes me to come up with content is just letting my fingers do the walking.

I come from a family that prays a whole lot. We pray before leaving the house. We pray before eating at a hotel. We pray 100 times at an extended family gathering, courtesy of dad.