Finally At Home

I am intrigued by the people who completely unpack their clothes when they check in to a hotel. They literally make themselves at home, and put away their suitcases for maximum comfort. They operate with order and ease, always keeping tabs on where everything is. I am not one of those people, I like to live out of a suitcase, after all I am going home in a few days. When I travel with the girls, sometimes I make an effort to remove their clothes for easy access, but mine stay intact.

I’ve lived out of a suitcase, metaphorically speaking, in Mombasa for about four years. I have been operating with a hotel mentality in my home. Answering all the ‘ but when are you coming back to Nairobi?’ questions, with ‘Mombasa is home’. Yet to a large extent my clothes, dreams, hopes and ambitions have been packed in a suitcase, with those at the bottom often being forgotten.

Many people who meet me are shocked that I have been in Mombasa for six years, for starters Swahili is still not my first language, secondly my pace is still not as slow as the camel’s strides on the beach. But you can tell that I am not fresh from the capital city. I do not have the sense of urgency that Nairobi folk do. Nairobi folk are always in a hurry, everything is urgent and in a bid to get to their goal, sometimes the relational courtesies is overlooked. My first culture shock when I landed in Mombasa 6 years ago is how important greetings and courtesy were. A blanket greeting was often not en

My friend called me this morning at 8am, and I greeted her asking her why she was using the Nairobi clock. I rarely get calls from Mombasa folk at 8am. My ringer warms up at about 9:30am on a good day.

Trips to Nairobi remind why Mombasa is an ideal town, I pant from the worry I experience as I sit in traffic. I feel out of place when I am just relaxing in Nairobi. Life in Mombasa, reminds me of the conveniences and services that I miss in the city.

I started unpacking my suitcase about two years ago, when Miss K was two. Children have a way of changing your routine and the way you operate. For their comfort and experiences, you are forced to step out of your comfort zone, to make new friends and to venture into new spaces.

Mombasa is home, until the next assignment is revealed. I am learning to unpack my dreams and ambitions and lay them out into the cupboard, where they are easy to access. It is easy to miss out on the blessings that are within reach. It is not always a case of the glass either being half full or half empty. It is allowing yourself to see the season as the Lord does.

I’ll be sharing some of the gems I’ve found in Mombasa as I have unpacked my suitcase and gotten to know the place a little better.

Here’s to unpacking, putting away the suitcases, and enjoying our cups running over.

Blessings

5 Years On: Grief. Acceptance. Life

First off, THERE IS A GOD!!!

I would not be here without Him. I literally owe all that I am to Him. He lifted me from the depths of the grave, revived the dead parts of my being, gave me His peace and fiercely loved on me.

Jesus, I want the whole world to know that you are my God. You did it for me.

This is one of those posts that is extremely close to my heart. Five years ago, my world came to stand still. I experienced heart break, pain that I can’t quantify. My world as I knew it forever changed. It changed me, it killed a part of me but the Lord revived me.

Grief

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16th April 2011, the reality of depression that had been looming for years finally set a definitive mark. My dad committed suicide. My world stopped. This was never part of the plan (or list of possible scenarios) but it became my reality. My cup to bear. My world shattered into a million little pieces.

This was an unanswered prayer gone wrong. Images of his lifeless body replayed in my mind for a long time.

For months, I oscillated between numbness and feeling too intensely that I thought I would die. I literally thought that the grief would consume me. For a moment there, it did.

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I was angry, disappointed, ashamed (you don’t realize how much stigma comes with suicide.) Sometimes the loudest condemning voices come from within. I felt like I had failed to save him. I should have seen it coming. Here I was pursuing a degree in Psychology yet I wasn’t able to intervene.

Acceptance

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I can sing, I can smile, I’m alive. Things are not the same but it’s okay.

I’m so humbled that God has given me precious souls to walk this journey called life with.

My husband, Peter, remains one of my greatest support systems. He has been a rock. For months he held me as fear, grief and a myriad of emotions made their way out of my system through tears. I would shake, it was a cry from my toes because my belly was not far enough. Grief had touched every fibre of me. It had wrecked me. But God healed me.

My oldest friend, Natasha, has been invaluable. She has understood triggers that make me sad and always reaches out, 5 years on. She understood it was more than just an event, it was a life changing one. She is a friend, sister and angel that God sent my way to remind me of His love.

My mum has held down the fort the last five years and been strong for everyone. Her strength and faith continue to amaze me. Her life is a testimony that there is a God and He holds all things together. When we are weak, He is strong and He commands His angels to carry us and guards us as the apple of His eye.

There are several other people whose support has been invaluable. God smiled on me when He placed them in my life. I can’t thank Him enough.

Life

Life-Goes

Life has gone on.

Watching  Peter play with Ksena has really made me miss dad. There are so many days I have wondered how he would have played with her. How our relationship would have been. But, I also know that he found rest. I say this carefully, but after watching depression eat him alive for tens of years, I do realize that there is nothing more that I could have done. I prayed, I encouraged, I hoped but the end came sooner than I anticipated in a way I would never have imagined. Depression and suicide are not fully understood. It’s easy to judge when it’s not hit close to home. When it is a reality it makes you question the things that you believe and whether you are really at peace.

For those who have loved and lost, I pray that the Lord will comfort you and strengthen you.

For those experiencing depression and thoughts of suicide.  I pray that the Lord will minister to you at this very moment, that He will speak to you, revive you and save you. May He surround you with angels to walk this journey with.

Blessings,

Bibi2be