The Dilemma of the Alpha Boy

He could be five or six but obviously leader of the pack. Their game entailed rolling tyres across a paddle and revelling at the splash that affair raised – play a wise boy knows has to be taken far from Mama’s sharp sense.

Whoever could not raise a fountain was shoved aside…one little girl being the black sheep of the whole affair. The poor little thing couldn’t get her tyre to roll, let alone launch some mud.

Splash after splash, their joy escalated until it happened. Big boy missed a step and landed lip-first. He let out a whimper but quickly shut his mouth. He shut his eyelids tight to conceal his tears, and groped about for a nearby tree.

O what a burden it is, to have to be strong and the wearer of a mane in the cares of life.

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Thank You

There’s a place I was, and there’s the place I am right now. These add up to make me lift my heart to You O Lord. Thank you; I am grateful.

There’s a place I couldn’t imagine myself to be, and there’s the place I am right now. Lord, I am grateful; I say ‘Thank you’.

Thank you for walking me through the storm, and not just lifting me out of it. Thank you for letting me experience the gale and hail, and showing me that you weren’t going to let me drown in the sweeping current.

I am shaken and keep looking at the skies, looking to see if the shadowing clouds will let out again but the burst of sun brings back my smile.

I don’t know it yet, but I reckon all things work for good. The bigger picture is hazy for now but you make things beautiful in their time.

I rejoice not because I have seen, but because you said, “Blessed is he who has believed, yet has not seen”. Through every experience You are making a better man out of me.

Thank you for each angel you provided to walk with me, and thank you for making them think they were just living their lives while doing it. Truly, their reward lies in heaven and I won’t spoil it for them.

Thank you for these moments of faith, where realisation hits me, that I do not have to be perfect to come to you.

Thank for letting me see, that there is a place I was and the place I am right now. Thank you for the faith and assurance of the place I am going…that the seed of greatness will grow in me – and through me for Your glory. Blessed be Your name O Lord.

Motherhood

Once upon a time you mattered to yourself and it mattered a lot how other people viewed you. Make up, stylish dress were a bare minimum. Should I include the times it was all veggies so that the cute dress or the awesome jeans that cost a fortune could fit?

All this was before the tiny man came. Suddenly it is more about him. Schedules can’t be planned as was before. Waking up early and getting dressed can be changed by the fact that he woke little earlier than anticipated, slept a little more than expected or the flu that comes even though the weather mimics a macro furnace.

Suddenly, and without thinking much about it, your bust is their doormat and they stomp on it with glee as they look for a path to your earrings or the hair band.

These things make you a heroine. You manage two lives and somehow maintain a near normal life in the eyes of life. Yes, some may fault a lateness here or a tardiness in keeping pace with routine but in truth it says that you are special, for God made you so.

I watched a mother and her tyke today and couldn’t help thinking what an awesome God we have, for placing such special people in our midst.

Teaching

Putting it all to thought, the turn of a new year may mean one thing to a teacher; starting the same thing all over again.

Five years into it, I dare say this is not quite true. Look at it this way; does a mother of three have the exact same experience thrice? I don’t think so. The same goes for a teacher. Each class has its unique experience and share of joy and challenge.

One class may have a majority of mature students – motivated to do the right thing at the right time and make teaching a joy. Another class may seem to have all the ‘wrong’ crop of students; a group whose existence is buried in what the next great hip hop beat would sound, or what the hot ‘chick’ teacher might be doing at that moment. Going into such a classroom just may be a pain in the neck.

The art of teaching the same thing in a thousand different ways is the beauty God put into this experience, realising that even as a teacher you don’t quite know it all. You have to be creative about singing the same song with different tunes, all the while being interesting and relevant.

Teaching is not a vocation for churning more human resource into the world of labour. It is a journey one walks with individual students. Some are confident enough to go across the bridge but still hold your hand, others are scared that they will not make it across, yet they do.

It is true that some make a neat mess of everything, and don’t make the cut, but it is they that build our patience and help grow our character. As we pray for them, we learn to lean on hope that they will make something out of life in their own way.

The flipping into a new year is then an anticipation of a new experience, not just with the admission of a new lot, but even with each of the older ones as they face a new class year. The returning of alumni with their flashy cell phones and the outlandish sense of fashion, adds icing to the cake. It is a worthwhile journey.

Mich

You are a gift, Mich. I remember the tight grip of your tiny hand and the bright look on your curious eyes this day one year ago. You never cried much and for a time, I worried much about that. It also took you a while to learn how to suckle but you got it eventually – and became good at feeding.

I am always amused by the memory of you rolling over to get to things then squinting, snorting and shaking your head with glee. You are awesome, Mich.

I looked forward to a lifetime of seeing you grow, feeling that grip and hearing your voice every other time.

I hope to be with you one day, son. I am sad to miss so much about you; your first step, your first words. That can never be retrieved but I pray God will give me something of you to make life bright.

Happy first birthday big boy. I love you.

Daddy.

The Apple

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

In gratitude of heart
Lift my eyes did I
But lo bless me
Another apple saw I

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

Not more luscious
Not more red
I won’t say more lovely
And not more ripe

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

Blink hard tried I
To temptation ward off
Turn away tried I
But all effort vain was

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

Outward my arm held I
A grab to make
But heart got stung
When fruit was missed

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

I called it tart
No good for my tongue
To kill the lust
And bury the want

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

But no fool is sense
Big tool mind can be
The eyes can see
And heart can feel

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

Truth’s a pain
The heart won’t feign
That the apple’s not mine
And another will find

O apple luscious
O apple red
O apple lovely
O apple ripe

Shame

Ah shame
Away with you, for
Error is no chalice
Error is my teacher.

Ah shame
I showed you in, and
My life your home you made
My dignity a mat you trod.

Ah shame
I embraced you, then
Fear in my heart you bred
Fear became my lot.

Ah shame
Your lie I believed, that
To err is to break a limb
To err there never pardon is.

Ah shame
I call you out this day, saying
Draw out my gut if you will
Draw my blood and kill.

Ah shame
I am no longer afraid, so
If death be mine let it be
If healing be mine I will heal.

Ah shame
I am not authentic, then
Let my shame be exposed
Let my folly be seen.

Ah shame
I choose to be real
By exposing my belly
By bringing out my truth.

Ah shame
Away with you, and
Error is no chalice
Error is my teacher.

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