we were made for so much more than ordinary lives, let’s shine bright and let darkness run and hide.

The story as mama told it….

“once there lived a nation; One feared by many kingdoms and empires. Kings shivered and emperors trembled at the thought of war ring against them for they made useless dangerous ammunition and war strategies. These people however, attributed all the credit to their mysterious God whom they so feared and revered. It must have been true because there was nothing special about these people: they were neither huge nor well trained in battle, besides they didn’t even have a king. All they could boast of was this God.

Stories have been told of how this God raised His mighty hand in wrath against one pharaoh of Egypt for mistreating His people; unleashing plague after plague until He finally killed all the firstborns in the land sparing only His people. Pharaoh had no choice than to send the nation packing. Stories of how they had walked right through the Red sea and crossed fierce Jordan on dry ground. Other great and mighty things were told of this nation.

These people however didn’t know how special they were. After they had conquered all the nations and settled in their land, they looked around them and noticed how different they were. They thought that having a king will be a great idea so they asked for one and got it. As time went on their kings vexed them greatly. Having a king turned out to be not so great in the end.

Thing is, they weren’t a nation made to have a king but they looked around, saw the ordinary and thought it better; they traded their extraordinary for the ordinary…”

“Sarah, please never trade your extraordinary for the ordinary” mama ended.

I said my night prayer, mama gave me a kiss and said good night.

Mama had mentioned I was special. I didn’t know exactly how special until a while later when I found out I was a princess. A princess? what! Unbelievable!  Was that why I had to wear these gowns?  Yes! I am from a different kingdom than here. A much higher and powerful one (no kidding) and that is the way of life of the people in that kingdom and I have to reflect that regardless of where I am.

Till today I don’t know what inspired that bed time story – whether it was the deflated look in my eyes when I saw my dress or the longing look in my eyes as I looked at Emma’s dress; or maybe both – but I’m so glad I heard it, for it gradually changed my perspective of life and how I saw myself.

Today, I don’t fret over the long dresses and ‘many rules’, I have embraced my lot. And when I look around and feel a bit weird or uneasy, I remind myself of who I am.

So, don’t let the norm of this immediate environs fool you, we hold so much more valuables than the seemly glitters of this world; for all you know, the “cool” you so much want is dross and not gold.

….on dark days when i feel frustrated, unloved, and inadequate, I remember who I am and straighten my crown. -unknown

 

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“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”

Mama, I thought held an archaic perspective to relationships and was altogether too prim and proper about everything. Times have changed and things along with it but not mama. She still held on to the colonial definition of civility – sit down right, dress like ladies, talk to your friends with ‘courtesy’ ….and the list was endless.

The hardest part of these was the gowns -long and loose flowing dresses or skirts practically to the feet-she made us wear. We wore them everywhere except for school: where we obviously had to wear uniforms, and even with that she sewed our uniforms extra-long. I do not know about my sisters but for me this was quite frustrating and annoying.

At a point in time, all the kids at school were to go to the children’s park for a funfair and mama had promised us new clothes for the occasion. I was excited because I felt nothing in my wardrobe was good enough and also because a new dress held the promise of a much current fashion style. I should have known mama wouldn’t deviate from her usual ‘length appropriate clothes’. The clothes finally arrived and to my disappointment they were gowns.

I was so pissed. Before the promise of new clothes I had resigned myself to a selection from my woefully-limited-in-style wardrobe. The silver lining that came with mama’s promise turned out not to be silver after all: now I had to reconcile myself with my earlier decision and this was hard. I probably would have sat it out if not for the fact that I wanted to go so bad.

The day for the fair came and I dressed up with very little excitement. On the bus, I was rather melancholic in contrast to my sisters who were busily chatting away, obviously unperturbed by their clothes. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing my friends because I knew they would be better dressed than I was, and they were.

I went to say hi to avoid looking snobbish or troubled, either of which would have warranted a lot of explanation of which I wasn’t exactly in the mood for.. In course of the exchange of pleasantries, Joy, a friend of mine, said “I love the way you are so simple Sarah”. She probably meant it as a complement but I didn’t take it as one. It just set my teeth on edge. Was I so pitiful that the best she could say was “simple” in her attempt to be nice? Moreover, if she thought my clothes were that great why didn’t she get similar ones, I had worn the styles enough times.

That evening, my cousin Emma showed me a picture of a dress her mama was going to get her.

Much Later that night, mama told me a bed time story different from the popular ones.

…….

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Dedicated to my saviour,  Jesus Christ;  for opening my eyes

What about me?
How would people see me; what would they say about me?
How do they see me; what do they say about me?
What do I get from it; when will I have my turn?
When will I be known, be famous, be seen?

What about me?
How do I look; how do I benefit?
Why am I not the favourite; why am I not the choice?
I! Me! Myself! Self-ies; ish!
Me! Me!! Me!!!

Why not him, why not her?
Why not another?
What about others?
Where are the we’s and and us’?

The real question: why it is not me.
Greater than I could ever imagine and know.
Stooped from a throne august so low
And a crown that held much glory
To make for me a way of entry
Even after I had so actively shunned and scorned Him

A creation made after His image,
A status much undeserved yet so freely bestowed.
Tramped with force on the very creator.
Fell so hard in shame; become a debtor;
redeemed through grace with much love.
Claimed.

Placed on a pedestrian;
To proclaim the attributes of the claimer;
To reflect the light and glory of a redeemer.
Yet again, actively looking to self;
To the shame, the mayhem and clutter,
To the nothing, the emptiness and the futility of me.

Forgetting the real purpose, the real hope,
The real message and gospel that shines.
Highlighting self and living for same.
Every other person and thing forgotten and buried
Craving more and more, just for me
Then the lightning bolt strikes.

It’s not about me at all.
It’s all about Him
About one whose majesty transcends imagination.
Whose wonder deserves proclamation
About one whose understanding is infinite and unfathomable
One who is terrible in His works and mighty in power With beauty so far beyond comprehension and description

He who so wondrously and fearfully formed ME
HE whose counsel always stands; whose ways are tried and perfect
HE who created the rain I so marvel at
HE who laid the foundations of the earth that I stand on
HE who holds the very seasons and time that binds ME
HE who so freely laid down his life that I may have one

So yes it’s never my song, never my story
Never my talent, never my life
Never me
Always, always, always HIM!