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’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. 🙂
Sunday was blend-into-the-community day. And what better way to do this than to go to church. When I was getting lost yesterday, I spotted one PCEA church and one Baptist church down the road from the hotel. However, a friendly guard told me that the PCEA in town was much better and was not all Kikuyu. Hehe. It’s like I look like those people who pretend not to know Kikuyu. I followed his advice anyway and walked. He was concerned about why I was walking though and I told him walking is the best option for my chill mode. As you can tell, in places dominated by Kikuyu people PCEA is a church you will see everywhere, just like home. And they keep mushrooming.
So I set off on my little adventure of Nanyuki town. As a lot of major towns in Kenya, Nanyuki is pretty linear, with buildings congregating along the Nyeri-Nanyuki road. Remember your Geography lessons about types of towns/settlements? It is not quite the short distance I assumed it was from Sporty (as locals fondly refer to the hotel) to the church. I had to ask a bodaboda rider for further direction. It gets real hot in the morning here, funny enough. I kept walking, thinking all the while that I was clearly lost, but I was not going to ask another person for direction. He said it was opposite the Nanyuki General Hospital. No way I can miss that, right? Eventually I came by an old lady who was limping to church. I could tell she was headed to church because she was wearing an AIPCA headscarf tightly around her head.
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.
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.
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m still stuck in teenage. I still delight in books written for teenagers and young adults. Why? Because teenagers in the US do things we only start doing when we’re in our 20s here. Or let me just speak for myself. They do things I am not even doing yet myself.
Why am I thinking this now, of all times? Two of the few books I couldn’t put down this year are specifically written for young adults. One was Paper Towns by John Green. I found it to be mostly stupid but I couldn’t stop reading all the same. The other is the one I just finished a few minutes ago: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I bought it last Sunday, while I was browsing through TBC, quite impressed at how they’d stepped up their stock-recent-books game. Why did I buy it? Because it had been rubberstamped by the Guardian as the next The Fault in Our Stars.
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.
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?
Today has been usual. Nothing to write home about, until Betty nominated me for the Bible challenge on Facebook. Then pieces began falling together. I am a believer in things coming together for a purpose. Case in point:
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.
Yesterday was my last day. My last day at the Office Park. My laptop had already closed for the holidays by early morning, freezing every one minute. And I am not exaggerating. I wrote the first part of this piece on my notebook.
There are exactly 14 days to the end of this year. This will be the first time I will be truly reflecting on the happenings of the year. The last 351 days have taken me through paths and thickets I have never trodden before. I thought it would be good to share some of them with you. Even though some of the may seem too trivial for life, they have undoubtedly reshaped my life, thoughts and the direction that my life has taken.