God’s Masterpiece!

If we are to talk about masterpieces [assuming we really know what masterpieces are about], then somewhere along the conversation, someone is bound to say something about The Mona Lisa. I am no artist or lover of art and I can hardly tell a real painting from a mere kid’s doodling but I know The Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time. Even in the year 3000 [assuming the rapture won’t have happened by then], when paper will no longer be in use because everything will be in softcopy, the people then will still have to accept The Mona Lisa as the greatest painting of all time. I think. I asked my friend Google about The Mona Lisa and this is what I found out:

1. The Mona Lisa is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. Leonardo may have continued working on it till 1517

2. The Mona Lisa has been described as the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.

 

Five centuries after it was painted, The Mona Lisa continues to be an invaluable work of art that has defied the bounds of time, remaining exactly what it is: A MASTERPIECE.

And isn’t it great to know that this is what we all were made to be: masterpieces. The Mona Lisa is a work of art that was painted by a man who died several centuries ago; a man who probably didn’t think he was doing anything special. But there’s an artist of all artists, the master painter, the greatest Potter there will ever be, the Master sculptor, the creator of heaven and earth, the maker of you and I. He is God, Almighty and our Father. He does His work deliberately, taking His time to fit in every detail beautifully and so uniquely so that there is only one of each piece He creates. Every piece He makes is awe-inspiring. Every piece that goes through His hands is magical. Every piece is a masterpiece. And believe it or not, you are one of those pieces that went through His hands. He molded and sculpted you wonderfully and lovingly, infusing your being with a whole lot of worth, so that even the most expensive of gold and rubies couldn’t be equaled to who you are.

 

The heartbreakingly sad part in all this is the fact that not many of us know who and what we are. We are clueless about the truth that we are masterpieces. We could sell ourselves for a fake piece of silver when even the purest of gold shouldn’t be able to afford us. I look at The Mona Lisa and I don’t see anything special; it sure is a good painting but I don’t make much sense out of it. My opinion however, doesn’t change the fact that The Mona Lisa is invaluable. We’ve given ourselves so much to man’s opinion that we’ve forgotten who we really are. We’ve forgotten that the one who made us is the best in the business. We’ve forgotten that there’s no ordinary in his work; only the extraordinary. We’ve forgotten that we are masterpieces, simply because some people couldn’t see how valuable we are. But no more. We are letting go of all excuses, shutting out all negativity and putting all our focus on being the extraordinary, phenomenal, remarkable and exceptional women that we were made to be. We are rising up and taking our places at the top: as change-makers, as pace-setters and as trailblazers. But most importantly, as GOD’S MASTERPIECES.

 

And the Ladies’ Interim Conference (LIC) 2017 is the best place to start. LIC is an annual ladies’ conference hosted by Pneuma Word Ministries with Prophetess Doreen Muhumuza as its vision bearer. This year, it is on from 29th to 30th July, 8am to 5pm at Pneuma Word Church, Kyanja. This is an invite to ladies, girls, women, daughters, mothers, sisters; females of every age, color, race and language: Come and be a part of this conference. And we guarantee, your life will turn around for the better.

Speak Life!

Let me regale you a little with stories of where I stay:

I am one of the millions or thousands (I am not sure because I was too lazy to research) of Ugandans that live in a mzigo (rental house). The mzigo I stay in is not the Katanga or Bwaise kind of mzigo, no. This one is the much fancier type: the kind that is enclosed in a kikomera (high wall fence and metallic gate), has piped water, tiled floors and even security lights. But that’s just about where the fanciness stops; every other characteristic common to mzigos, you will most likely find in this kikomera of ours. 

1. 80% of the households (and there are many households) have little children below the age of two. And yes, you guessed right, the mothers of these kids are all stay home mums while their husbands are mystery men who leave for work way before the break of dawn and only return home long after everyone in the kikomera has gone to sleep. You’re lucky if you get a glimpse of these supermen. 

2. The women in this kikomera, like in most mzigos and bikomeras, thrive on gossip, discussions of the latest Agataliiko Nfuufu and insulting the landlord every chance they get. These women diligently wake up at 7:00am, sometimes even earlier, and then take their dirty untesils and clothes out of their houses with the intention of washing them, I guess. Instead of washing though, they convene on one or two verandahs and discuss the most trivial of matters in the loudest of voices, punctuated with uproarious laughter. Meanwhile, their utensils and clothes gather swarms of flies and their mostly naked and halfnaked children wander around aimlessly, hunger painted on their faces. 

3. There’s no need of setting wake-up alarms in this kikomera. The incessant howling and wailing of one little child after another and the angry barks of frustration from their mothers are guaranteed to wake you up from the deepest of slumber, even that induced by an overdose of sleeping pills. 

4. And of course, like all mzigos, there’s always that one special character that outdoes everyone else in every negative way possible. They are the loudest, the most quarrelsome, the dirtiest and always play the loudest music. In this my kikomera, our most special character is a one Maama Male. 

Maama Male is a fairly good looking woman, probably in her mid thirties. She has three children, the youngest being only about a month and a half old. Then there’s a little girl, fondly known as Majo (short for Majorine), who’s utmost 2 years old and then the eldest, Male, a boy who’s about five years old. What makes Maama Male special in this kikomera is how she frequently verbally abuses and beats (canes and slaps) her two kids, Majo and Male. The beatings she dispenses are not a mere one or two slaps but severe thrashings, whackings and wallopings and sometimes, they border on clobbering. I exaggerate not and neither do I lie when I say Majo and Male, in their 2 and 5 years, have received more abuses and beatings than I have in my 22 years so far or that I will ever receive in my entire lifetime for that matter. Maama Male’s abuses are not your ordinary “you’re stupid” or “mbwa gwe (you dog)” abuses. Hers seem to be specially coined, like there’s some talent involved. The latest I heard from her was “magumba ga ngege gwe!” (you bones of a tilapia). 


Enough of the gossip: now for the reason why I was prompted to write this in the first place. I was in utter shock when I found Male seriously abusing and engaging in a one sided quarrel with the rain(yes, the rain). I watched on as the little boy, threw all sorts of abuses to the rain supposedly because it had made a saucepan of theirs dirty. Believe me you, his abuses were just as original as his mother’s. I was saddened at the kind of person, this little boy might eventually turn into, given that he’s already some sort of hardened child criminal. Ofcourse it is his mother’s fault, but I hardly blame her because that’s probably the way she was brought up too. Which brings me to my point: it is heartbreaking how many people underestimate the power of their words. If perhaps we knew to what extent words shape our destinies and that of others, may be we would be more careful with what we say, to ourselves, and to those around us. If we knew that words have the power to make or break someone, maybe we would not so readily dish out those hateful and insensitive words as we so often do. 


James 3:3-5 A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything–or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. [MSG]



Proverbs 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. [NKJV]



Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Your words can either kill or they can give life. Are you speaking life? I know the example used is a mother-child example but this stretches to all relationships around us. Speak life, whether it is to yourself, your friends, your siblings, your children and even your enemies. Speak life, and then maybe we won’t have so many broken and severely damaged people in the world. 

Lyrics from Speak Life by TobyMac

Though it’s crazy, amazing

We can turn a heart with the words we say.

Mountains crumble with every syllable.

Hope can live or die

So speak Life, speak Life.

To the deadest darkest night.

Speak life, speak Life.

When the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why.

Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted;

Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,

You speak love, you speak…

Love Stories…(part 2)

This was a conversation between one of my imaginary friends and I a few days ago. 

Me: (face brightly lit with excitement)

Friends! Acquaintances! Comrades! Beat the drum! Sound the horn! Each and everyone, grab yourself a flute, a tambourine or a cymbal! Let me hear the loudest ululations and shouts of joy! Break out into song and dance, and come let’s celebrate together! 

Imaginary friend: (not amused in the very least, her face painted with skepticism)

Hold on! Wait! Why in the world are we celebrating? 

Me: (in shocked indignation)

How can you not know? How have you not yet heard? Morris finally got a new phone! And yes, it is a smartphone. And yes, it is way better than the previous phone he had. And yes, it cost an arm and a leg (just joking. It probably cost only one little finger). And now I am all so emotional because this marks an end to a whole torturous month of no random “I love you” calls, no lovey dovey whatsapp emojis and no sweet morning messages. Oh, the joy in my heart! 

Imaginary friend: ( rolling her eyes at what could be 25rpm (revolutions per minute))

Suzan! Please! Please get your drama and hysteria, carefully stuff them in an airtight container and slowly drag that container as far from my vicinity as possible. Ship it to the arctic circle if you like. Or even better, go drop that container in the bermuda triangle. 

Me: (totally unfazed and now shouting lunatic-ally)

I can’t hear you!! The party in my head is too loud! 

Okay. The above is just me trying to have a dramatic beginning to my piece of writing. Let’s get back to sanity. 

Situation right now:
Morris: Drooling over his new phone and its gazillion specifications (some unintelligible things such as RAM, chipsets, Emotional User Interfaces, bla, bla, bla)
Me: Thinking, “Who really cares about RAM and chipsets and Emotional bla bla…? It is a new phone: it has a good selfie camera and whatsapp. That is enough.” So yes, I am happy, elated, excited, euphoric even! I have literally made camp in utopia. 
I know you probably don’t understand me, but that’s okay. I don’t blame you, because, neither did I understand, probably until now, how a shepherd would call his friends and neighbors for a celebration simply because he had left 99 sheep to go after just one stubborn sheep that decided to stray and get lost. 

Luke 15:3-6 

So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found [it,] he lays [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together [his] friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

My ” Morris’new phone” story and this “lost sheep” story aren’t exactly related but, they somehow found their way into my brain at the same time and so what you’re going to read next are the results of having both stories in my head at ago:
We rejoice over so many temporary things (new phones for example) because they offer us some kind of joy and satisfaction. But like these things, the joy and satisfaction are only temporal, because when these things are taken from us, we are forced to fall back to our sad depressing lives. 

Question: Why not rejoice over eternal things like the knowledge that God absolutely treasures and constantly rejoices over you? And the knowledge that even when you’re the black sheep that strays away from the other 99 or 999 or 9999 or whatever number it is, He will still come after you. He will pursue you until He finally wins you over to Himself. And when He’s brought you back, He will gather heaven and earth and all the angelic hosts and throw a party in your honor. 

If we looked at ourselves, even just for a second, through the eyes of God, I am certain, we would never undervalue ourselves again. We would see that we are special. That we are immeasurably loved and infinitely treasured. We would see that God is willing to move heaven and earth just to have us next to Him. And we would know that to have Him is all we could ever need. And then, we would never stray from His presence. 

Love Stories

It’s been aeons since Morris was the subject of my stories; what do you say I make him squirm by making him the center of attention (for just a little while) in this story? You will remember Morris from previous articles (or rather article) to be the guy that in shockingly a few years from now, will have to give an arm and a leg in exchange for a sparkly gemstone, get down on one knee, present the gemstone to me and ask if I will marry him. I, in turn, will gape in utter surprise, wipe a tear or two from these huge eyes of mine and obviously say yes. Okay, that’s just how that part plays out in my mind. Chances that it will actually happen that way? Umm, not so promising; seeing that the main character in this part of the movie (Morris) doesn’t understand why he should ask a question whose answer he already knows. Now that formalities of introductions are done away with, let’s get to the story. 

About two weeks ago, no, on Friday 10th March, 2017, to be exact, Morris lost his phone. “Lost his phone” is putting it rather mildly: it was actually snatched from him on one of those evenings when you are seated next to the window, in a taxi that is stuck in Kampala jam and your mind coaxingly whispers to you, “Now would be a really good time to check your whatsapp messages.” And because you are dead tired or because you’d rather not think at all, you get out your phone and forgetting the craftiness of Kampala thieves, hold it like you would if you were in your sitting room. Next thing you know, the phone has a new owner. I don’t know why I made the story long: I might have just said his phone was snatched while he sat in a taxi, at the seat next to the window and you would all have understood. Anyhow, let’s continue. 

So this is the situation right now;

Morris: has no phone

Me: constantly checking my phone’s dialled list and re-redialling Morris’ number, in the crazy hope that I will get a different response and then being disappointed allover again when it’s still the same old “the number you have called is not available at the moment, please try again later.” It’s frustrating, I tell you. I know its self inflicted frustration, but oh well, a girl can always hope. 

So the idea to write this article was a way of putting everything into perspective and a check to confirm that I still have a fully functional brain. See, I last talked to Morris three days ago but amazingly, it seems to me like I haven’t talked to him in over a month! Why do I feel this way? Well, because now I cannot call him randomly (or him randomly calling me) to just say “I love you”, I cannot text a “Goodmorning baby” or “Goodnight sweetheart” and expect a response. Yes, most of the time his reply is a simple “Goodmorning to you too” or “Goodnight to you too” but now I realize just important how those simple boring words are. I have not yet found the right word to describe just how much I miss Morris but I know it’s a whole lot! And I miss him this much because I have gotten used to communicating with him on a daily and taking that away from me, kind of leaves a vacuum(for lack of a better word). 

So why am I boring you with all these emotions of mine? Because if I am able to love a man this much, imagine just how much love God has for you and I. You think you treasure someone? Just think how much more God treasures you! You think you yearn to see someone you love so much? Just think how much God yearns to see you in His presence. Think how much He desires to hear your voice as you tell Him words of adoration and praise. Think how much He longs for you! 

I know that most times, we only say how much we love God and how much we yearn for His presence and His touch but the truth is, He loved us before we ever loved Him. He loved us way before we ever knew what love really is. And He still does! He loves and is in love with us. And as much as we love to be in His presence, He loves it even more. And as much as we desire for more of Him, He desires for more of us. And yes, when we stray from His presence, He misses us. When we neglect Him and act like we don’t know Him, it hurts Him. 

My message to you: The King of kings and Lord of lords is seriously, mindblowingly and eye-poppingly in love with you. Requite that love the best way you can: stay in His presence, allow Him to love on you, and by all means, talk to Him on a daily! 

In honour of Priscilla Chelangat

The birthday girl wearing her beautiful smile.

​So I have read quite a number of books from different authors and I know I am not yet one of the best writers to ever walk this earth; I am not even close to that yet, but God knows how often I dream, daydream and constantly fantasize about it. I believe it is for this reason that He (My Ever Awesome God) saw it fit to bring people like Chelangat Priscilla into my life. I prefer calling her Chelly, because it is so much easier than Chelangat or Priscilla. So yes, Chelly is one of those people, who by just being themselves, constantly gives me hope that perhaps my dream is not so big or as wild as I sometimes (rather, most times) fear it to be. From the first day Chelly got wind of the news that I had started a blog, she’s been there, at the sidelines, ferociously and relentlessly cheering me on and encouraging me to keep on keeping on. I often think of her and I am challenged to stretch out of my lazy shell and get to writing. And it is not because she constantly calls or texts to remind me to write, no. She’s done that only once or twice but since then, I have this paranoia (for lack of a better word) that she’s always some where in the shadows, watching me trying to give excuses when I should instead be writing. 

I met Chelly roughly eleven years ago, at the prestigious Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga where we both stayed for the next six years. I was immediately drawn to her for the flimsiest of reasons: she was a Sabiny from Kapchorwa and my bestfriend from primary school was a Sabiny from Kapchorwa. Perhaps I thought making her my friend would in some way lessen the heartache I suffered at not being able to go to the same secondary school as my best friend; I cannot really tell. But become friends we did and I have not regretted it since. I do not claim that we are the closest of friends for that would be a gross lie, but I do know we go deeper than acquaintances and can thus conclude that we are friends. 

So this is what I know about Chelly: she’s a jolly girl with a smile so bright, it can literally light up one’s dark days. She is a kind hearted person with a heart of gold that is ready to help just about any and everyone. She believes the best of people and unlike many of us, is never quick to judge. She’s also really good at keeping time (she doesn’t suffer from that African lateness syndrome that many of us have). She is beautiful but most importantly about her, she loves and fears God and like the Bible says:

Beauty and Charm are deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. [Proverbs 31:30]

Dearest Chelly, on this your birthday, allow me honour you the only way I can: with my words that I and my God know to be nothing but the truth. Thank you for being the huge blessing you are to me. Do not tire of cheering me on even though we both know this race might take awhile before we reach the finish line. I earnestly hope that you will become even friendlier, more amazing and more awesome as the years go by. Little Gaby is blessed to have you for a mum and I hope he will grow up holding you as dear as the treasure you are. And I pray that the Lord satisfies you with a long life full of joy, gladness, grace and love! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHELLY! 

Much love, 

Me 🙂

Insights from March


​8th March 2017

Dear Suzan, 

Forgive me for writing to you on this Oh-so-important day, but you have to understand that it’s the only day, in all my 31 day visit, when both you and I get a holiday. Plus, I did not want my excitement over receiving your letter, to be made so obvious to you and so I kept postponing my reply till I could properly settle my nerves. I must admit, you’re really good at this flattering business. You’re so good, you make me feel like the only month in the entire year. I would like to sit around blushing and drooling over your sweet flatteries but unfortunately, there are more serious matters at hand: like the fact that one entire week of my visit is gone. And I have got questions for you Suzan, tough questions that demand answers. 

1). What have you been upto this past one week? I have been around one week and have silently watched you do everything quite the same way you did during January and February’s visits. You still wake up at the same hour, with your same lazy and complaining attitude toward life and yet you keep hoping I will be treat you better than January and February did. Do you not see that the only person you are cheating in all this is you? 

2). All those things you have been postponing since forever, have you started on any of them? Did my coming around inspire you even a little? Or are you, like majority of your friends, still waiting for a right enough time? Tell me, what lies are you feeding your brain? That you’re only resting for this first week of my visit and then you will start? That there’s no need to rush because mine is a 31 day visit? That you are still waiting for inspiration? What are you going to do when my time’s up and you haven’t yet started on a single thing? Will you write to April and tell her I treated you unfairly? 

3). Do you seriously want to do any of the things you mentioned that you would like to do? Or are those just ideas and dreams that you feed your psychology to convince ypurself that you are not totally wasting your life? Are you sure those are not just lists that you keep so that when someone asks if you have a plan for your life you have something to answer? 
You probably think I am just being disagreeable and unnecessarily hard on you. Trust me, I would like to be nice and whisper to you some sweet nothings but then, that’s just what they would be: sweet NOTHINGS. So please bear with me as I dispense these hard and bitter words, in the hope that you find them of substance. 

My coming around is not going to change much; any less than January’s scorching rays and February’s short visit were the cause of your brokeness and suffering. You’re only playing mind games with yourself, and unless you stop, I can promise that this month will be just as bad as the past two. You must realize that I hold no power over your being, and neither does any other month. See, all the blessings that pertain to life and godliness have not been handed to me, or any other month for that case, but to you! And so, my dear Suzan, you will have to woman up, take responsibility and stop blaming January, February and the entire month family for your failures. You are not a child any more; do not expect to be treated like one. When you say something, everyone expects you to stand by your word regardless of the situations around you. That’s just how life works! No one cares that January was too hot, February too short or March too rainy, you will still be judged as though everything was going your way. Be wise my friend: stop waiting for the 1st of whatever month, for Monday, for next week, for next year. Stop waiting till the time is right because the exact right moment might never show up. If you mean to start today, well, start today and now. Do not be among the people that only dream and never chase those dreams. Dream and then get up and make those dreams your reality. Get rid of your fear of failure: I bet you’ve heard of the little girl that was scared to jump and said to her dad, “Daddy, I am afraid. What if I fall?” This was her father’s response, “Oh but darling, what if you fly?” Jump out of that comfort zone of yours; there is a chance you will fall, but there’s even a greater chance that you will fly. 

And finally, about me being the month of divine accomplishment: I have no doubt that the Lord is for you. But you’ve got to remember that the Lord doesn’t deal with lazy and slothful men. The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt was a great miracle, a work that was divinely accomplished; but it wasn’t done overnight while they slept. They didn’t go to sleep in Egypt and wake up in Israel, and yet we cannot deny that the Lord was with them. So, stop sleeping, hoping you will wake up to find everything “divinely accomplished.” Spend time with God and He’ll give you specific instructions on how to get everything divinely accomplished. 
I sincerely hope that by the time of my departure, you will have items on your to-do list that you have happily ticked off. 

Yours-really-concerned-about-your-life, 

March. 

A letter to March

Dear March, 

First off, nice meeting you again! God, I feel like it’s been centuries since we last met, and yet I know its only but a year ago that you brought your lovely self and made camp in my house for a whole 31 days! It must be true what they say, time indeed flies! I wonder, does she always have to fly? Why doesn’t she walk or atleast trot beside the rest of us? Now that I think of it, it is grossly unfair to accuse her of always flying; I have often sat in a painstakingly boring lecture and effusively begged time to do her magic; the same magic she does when I lay down my head at midnight, and swoosh, even before I can properly begin dreaming, its 7:00am. Yes, I have begged her in way of countless yawns and endless stretching, and all she did was lazily tick and tock along. But wait, I have digressed too much; I shall not waste my words, talking about time and her cunning ways. Let’s talk about you and I. 

See, I have been expectantly waiting for you to show up. Your cousin January is one of the most brutal people I have met. She treated me cruelly, what with her signature mercilessly scorching rays of sunshine. Your sister February was a lot nicer, but I was too hungover with January’s cruelty to fully enjoy February’s niceness. And now you are here, and am over the top with excitement, ecstatic, euphoric even. You, my dear March are my new beginning; It’s a new month-new me affair. Like any rational human you may come across, I did set goals and new year resolutions. And, before you judge me, I know I should have started on these resolutions on the first day January came to visit but well, I didn’t. I explained my reasons before; you didn’t really expect me to do much amidst all the oppression and antagonism I was receiving from January, did you? And February? Well, it is not my fault that her visits are so short. Oh, I would that every month were like you, my March! I had resolved to begin on that business project today, on your first day of visiting, but you still have 30 days with me; plenty of time, right? Oh, and there’s that book I was supposed to start on too. Hmmm… Since you, my dear March, decided to arrive on a Wednesday, let’s just wait till next week comes around and then I can start on Monday, okay? Yikes! There’s the dancing classes too! We talked about these last year, didn’t we? How have I not signed up for them yet? I will start on the process tomorrow, I promise. It feels like my memory has just been reactivated: there’s a whole list of resolutions am yet to start on: start saving, spend less time on social media, engage in atleast one sport, Lord! How all these things piled up so fast, I shall never know. Perhaps I should have started when January was still around, like I promised I would? No, I will not cry over spilt milk! 

I was at church on Sunday, and oh, how highly you were spoken of dear March! Would you like to know what you were referred to as? The month of Divine Accomplishments! You now understand why I am so excited, don’t you? There’s this threateningly long list of things I have to do, but now that you’re here, my month of Divine Accomplishments, I have no worries! You are the month of Divine Accomplishments afterall. And now that I have spent the entire first day of your visit, telling you of my expectations and all I hope to enjoy during the period of your stay, I think I will start on my to-do list tomorrow. 
Again, I am so excited you are here! 

Yours excitedly, 

Suzan. 

           Thanks for reading! My thoughts are; for this letter to make much more sense, March will have to write back to me. Lol, I am weird like this. 🙂