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Running for a noble cause


Last week I was among the 20,000 runners who joined the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, for her Beyond Zero Half Marathon. The aim of the race was to raise money to help curb maternal and child mortality. The First Lady has been on a mission to donate 47 mobile clinics to all the counties in Kenya to ensure that no mother dies while giving life. She had donated the 21st clinic before taking a break for the race.

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Awesome colleagues all geared up for the race 🙂 🙂

What struck me most about the day was how people-young and old alike- showed up in thousands, the zeal, the vigor and the resolve to complete the race. Individuals signed up for what they deemed fit to participate in ranging from 2km, 10km and ultimately 21km that the First Lady participated in.

Families used this as an oppportunity to have their ‘family-day-out’ and give back to the society with even 5 year olds not being left behind. Wow, what a challenge for all of us. Corporates also used this as a great opportunity to interact with the members of the society that they serve in different capacities. Personally, I was part of a 31-team representing my organization. We did not register as a corporate though, but as individuals 🙂 Most of us registered for the 10km race with only four taking up the 21km challenge.

The atmosphere was filled with lots of song, dance and cheer to get people into the mood. It all started at Uhuru Highway where everyone was geared for the event in attractive purple t-shirts, which were branded ‘run with the first lady’ on one side and ‘beyond zero’ on the other. The back had an image of the first lady holding a baby as a depiction of her advocacy for maternal and child survival. People used this as a chance to not only be part of a worthy cause, but also as an opportunity to have fun and bond on their way to the finish line that was inside Nyayo Stadium.

This team decided to indulge in yoga before the race began.

This team decided to indulge in yoga before the race.

Personally, I was very scared about the race. I couldn’t bring myself to the thought of doing 10km since I knew very well that I hadn’t trained. I had been out of Nairobi for the greater part of the previous week on work-related basis and had travelled back that Friday evening. I attended a friend’s wedding on Saturday and despite the cumulative fatigue, I showed up at Uhuru Highway ready for the marathon on Sunday morning at 6.40am. I had the will to do it. It’s all that mattered right? And guess what, I finished successfully with no incidents. Yes, I made it to the finish line…What greater joy than that of seeing yourself among those who pressed on to the very end? 🙂

The First Lady made it to the finish line having done 21km. How did she even manage? Well, I guess she was driven by the passion to make a difference and her love for mothers and children kept her focused to the goal.

The whole experience taught me that you can achieve just about anything if you have the will to do it. It all started as a dream for the First Lady, but now she has garnered support from citizens and both local and international organizations. The run raised 46 million that will be used to boost maternal and child health interventions through fully kitted mobile clinics in all the counties 🙂 Mothers are amazing people and seeing a cause to aid in decreasing their deaths, is very encouraging 🙂 🙂

A photo moment with amazing friends :-) :-)

A photo moment with amazing friends after the race 🙂 🙂

Try a little kindness


Hello wonderful people,

I joined a fellowship at my workplace and we are currently sharing on the fruit of the holy spirit. This week, we were talking about kindness and I thought I would tell you a bit about this beautiful fruit.

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What is kindness?

It is being friendly, generous and considerate. Kindness is treating others with care and doing good deeds to them without expecting anything in return. It is loving others…love is kind 🙂

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.

Forgiving other people is an act of kindness. Just as God sent His son to die for us when we did not even deserve it, we should express the same kindness to other people.

How does being kind to others benefit you?

  • It enables you to give to others without expecting anything in return.
  • Through kindness you choose to see the good in others.

“If you try a little kindness then you’ll overlook the blindness of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.” Glen Campbell.

  • It gives you the power to forgive others.
  • You feel good about yourself. The thought of making an impact on someone’s life through an act of kindness brings about inner joy.
  • “Acts of kindness inspire kindness.” If you do something kind to someone, it inspires them to do the same for others.

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What are some of the random acts of kindness that we can show to others?

  • Be nice to strangers. Smile at them and offer them compliments.
  • Do something nice for your schoolmate, co-worker, neighbour or friend.
  • Donate to charity. You always have something that you can give out no matter how small.
  • Help someone cross the road. It could be a child, an elderly person or even a blind person.
  • Hold the door open for other people and always let others go first.
  • Be nice to someone who is mean to you.
  • Pay bus fare for a stranger.
  • Give tips to waiters or waitresses.
  • Donate blood. It will save a life.
  • Write a heartfelt note to someone who least expects it.
  • Offer to buy someone lunch. It might be a friend or a total stranger.

Go on now, reach out and try a little kindness today 🙂

Standing for what you believe


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One thing that I have come to learn and greatly appreciate is that people are different. Everyone has their own unique perspective of how they view life and everything that comes with it. I have learnt that what tickles one person’s fancy might not even make sense to another person. I know you are really wondering where or what exactly am driving at. Well, all am trying to say is…stand for what you believe and stick it out.

You are wired out in your own special way. You know yourself better than any other person does. Just be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy, hang around people who truly mean something to you, let go of toxic energy, sing if you want to, dance if it pleases you…bottom line, stand for what you believe.

Life is too short to be what you are not. Life is too short to pretend to love grey while you actually love white, pink or red. What matters is what you actually believe in. It is okay to seek opinion and advice from other people but don’t loose yourself in the middle of it all.

I know I sound a bit harsh today, but really, it breaks me when one is swayed in a direction that is not in harmony with their line of thought or principles. Sometimes, the reason is to just fit in or go with the flow. It is so sad to come to the realisation that you have been living someone else’s life having paused your own.

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As my principles of public relations lecturer Ms. Nancy Booker once said, work on developing yourself as a brand.” What would you rather be known for? I am sure most of us would want to be known for all the good attributes that make us. That basically means, take a moment with yourself and do a thorough introspection. Understand every bit of yourself and embrace it. Shed anything that you don’t deem fit or that at the end of the day will not add any value to who you are. Nurture all the positive things in your life, develop your skills, shout out loud your beliefs, improve what you feel needs improvement and most importantly stand for what you believe and stick it out 🙂 🙂

 

Encouragement for a discouraged heart


Are you there feeling discouraged? Feeling like it is the end of the world for you? Well, I checked in today to remind you that life is beautiful…filled with amazing things 🙂 There is much more to life than the situation that is discouraging you. You may not be where you want to be, or have all you would ever hope for, but you are alive. God has given you another chance in life to live and see Him accomplish His purpose in your life. Isn’t that reason enough to be grateful? Insert smile here if you think it is.

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So whether it’s going all good or whether everything is on a stand still and you don’t feel like it could get any better, stand up on your feet and enjoy the beauty of every moment. Smile like never before, live like the world depends on that small gesture of love that you can show and above all, reach out and make a difference in your world in your own little way. It counts!

Every time you feel like your ship is sinking, like all there is in your world is darkness, take time to think about all the good things that life has offered you. Think about all those bright days that you ever had and those ahead of you that you haven’t experienced yet. Then look at whatever is causing you discouragement and laugh at it 🙂 Oh yes, remind it that you are of thick skin. That you are way above it.

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Just think about the eagle…what does it do in the middle of a storm? It jumps into the storm, catches the wind  and soars higher…way higher above the storm to heights that no other bird can get to. Now, be the eagle. Rise up and soar higher and higher above your storm.

Its a beautiful life with many beautiful reasons to be happy and enjoy life 🙂 🙂

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Inspirational Desiderata…


There is something amazing about weaving words together to produce a masterpiece. Desiderata, meaning desired things, was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann and to date, this piece of work is a great inspiration to many. Personally, this pearl of wisdom is my mantra. I could never agree more with each single line of this piece 🙂 Enjoy the read and always stay happy 🙂 🙂

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it’s a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,

keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

World Aids Day


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Today is World Aids Day which is celebrated worldwide every year on 1st December. This day was first commemorated in 1988. The theme for this year is “Focus, Partner,  Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”  The day presents an opportunity for people all over the world to unite in the fight against HIV, show their love and support for people living with HIV and commemorate people who have died.

Let’s all show some love and join the world in celebrating this day.

Sometimes God says No


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“When God answers your prayers, He increases your FAITH. When He delays, He increases your PATIENCE. When He doesn’t answer, He has something BETTER for you.” Unknown

I have been feeling the urge to do a post on this lately. We all have times when we felt like we really deserved something or like we were the best fit yet God said no. We have treaded paths we thought were the best only to find a dead end. Prayed without ceasing but God still said no. You know… those persistent kind of prayers? I have had millions of those but God still said no. At times it feels like it is an aggressive no; just as aggressively as the request is placed.

What I have been learning from such times when God says no to my prayers is to trust in Him. To acknowledge that He knows best. That as long as He is in charge, it shall be well. All for my good. It reminds me that His thoughts are not ours and our ways not His. That at His own timing, He makes everything beautiful for us. I am at that point of surrender…Yeah, that point when you just cast it all to Him. Care less about the end result, but have the kind of peace that comes with knowing that someone else is handling your issues on your behalf. That it is not your battle to fight but that of a higher power.

This kind of realisation has brought about inner peace. I feel like I don’t have to carry burdens with me when God sent His son to carry them on my behalf at the cross. I know you too have had times when God said no to your prayers and you could not even fathom why. I would like to encourage you to remember that just as much as God answers prayers, He also says no to them and it is often for our good. A good that we might not really understand immediately but one that we come to get the revelation as times goes by.

Isaiah 55:8-11

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

9As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.