Let go of the past and say hello to 2021!

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:26

When I was a child I desired the praise of others, particularly my mother. I wanted her to see how smart I was, how fast I was, and how talented I was. My mother would come to my track and field events to watch me run. Many times, I made her sit in the living room to listen to me recite my newest poem, and I enjoyed seeing the excitement on her face. But at thirteen all this attention abruptly stopped.

Let go of the past and say hello to 2021!
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My aunt and guardian in Canada wasn’t as attentive. She never came to any of my track and field or soccer competitions during high school. She hardly knew that I was part of the announcement club, the anti-racism committee or the geography club. I was a star in high school and no one was watching, at least not the people I wanted to see me. This is what I remember most as I got older, the feeling of rejection, isolation and lack of love. All because I associate my mother’s attention to be what love was, and when I wasn’t getting that devoted parental love from my new family in Canada, I assumed they didn’t love me.

READ MORE: Take the step of faith

Could it be that we are this conceited (or desire vain-glory) because we are trapped in a moment of lack when we were a child? What I mean is, at a time in our lives when we really needed the validation from others and we didn’t get it, we started craving it more and more. And we look for it even in random strangers. I am saying, we are conceited because we lack love. The love and affection that we desperately needed from those loved ones may have provoked us and made us envious of others. It’s a vicious cycle.

Let go of the past and say hello to 2021!
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Paul says do not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Are you doing those things? Many times we exhibit behaviours that we may not be totally aware of. I encourage us to be mindful of our feelings.

I admit that for a long time I carried that need for attention, for love, and the need to belong everywhere I went. The good thing is that God finds ways to work with us. When I found a church at 14 years old and got baptized at 15, I committed myself to a new family. Even though I didn’t realize that I was throwing my need to belong on them, it was a safe place. But of course, I wasn’t at church every waking moment. When I went off to University I still carried with me those same needs. And when I became an adult, those needs were still tagging along. Until I became aware of them and addressed them…

READ MORE: Let your Father help you

My Advice for 2021 are these:

  • BE AWARE: Know yourself, your weaknesses, your strengths. What makes you anxious? What makes you frustrated? What makes you sad?
  • GIVE VOICE TO YOUR EMOTIONS: Do not suppress your emotions and ignore your bodily symptoms. Find respectful ways to express your feelings.
  • DO NOT HOLD ON TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS: Do you feel jealous? Envious? Angry? Why? Let them go- write about it, sing about it, share it, just get rid of it and let it not consume you.
  • STOP CARRYING AROUND THE PAST: This is such a heavy burden to be walking around with every day. Learn what you need to learn and move on. Forgive who needs to be forgiven, Speak the truth to those who need to hear the truth, and forget about it.
  • LOVE BIG: Love really is the answer to everything. You love by giving, by serving, by showing up, by listening. Don’t be afraid to love people, even those who are hard to love. Love compassionately, love prayerfully, love forgivingly, just love the heck out of people- they will change.

By becoming more aware of our own issues and pain, we get to develop compassion for others and are better able to love them. It’s hard to be conceited, provoking and envying to those you love. Love prevents us from exhibiting the acts of the flesh, but we need the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside.

So for this year 2021, let us choose the gifts of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And let us abstain from the acts of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. As we journey through our lives do not carry our past pains into our future. Rather, I pray that you will learn from them so that they will transform you to become a servant for God’s purposes. I love you all.

*****

This is the end of this series of Galatians 5. I want to thank you readers for showing up to read my blog each week. I hope that you were richly blessed the way I had been as I showed up every Sunday to gain a new perspective from God. Honestly, it was a joy to show up for God this way. May God’s love envelope you this year and I wish you an extraordinary 2021 journey.

What is your favourite fruit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Everyone has a favourite fruit. Mine is Mango. Naturally, I am a girl of the Caribbean and the tropical fruits are always my favourite. While on a vacation in Jamaica I purchased a bag of the juiciest East Indian Mangos from a roadside vendor. They were all yellow, very ripe and big! I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into one of them. When I returned to the Airbnb I was staying, I sunk my teeth into the mango and felt the juice running down my fingers. The taste was heavenly. It wasn’t until the next day when I was eating my third that I saw holes in the Mango, and the worms also having a feast of their own. I was horrified, sick even! I got rid of the half eaten mango, and checked out the rest of the uneaten ones. I saw holes in all them. I was too frightened to try another, so I also got rid of the entire bag, and started worrying, how much worms did I devour? I had a bad fruit and it was disgusting.

what is your favourite fruit?
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Fruits of the Spirit

On a spiritual note, when fruits are good they do not have worms. The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These good fruits don’t come naturally no matter how much of a “good person” you think you are. No, these fruits are ONLY produced when they are connected to the vine. And not just any vine, the true vine. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful (John 15: 1-2).

As Christians, we are expected to bear good fruits, both in season and out of season. I never understood that bible verse until now. Mangos don’t grow year round, not even in Jamaica. When it’s mango season, the fruit is in abundance everywhere, and they are juicy and delicious. Not like the mangos you get year round at the Canadian grocery stores. On the contrary, the spiritual fruits bear all year, in every terrain and temperature of our lives. In other words, the fruits don’t bear just when lives’ challenges/difficulties are at their minimum.

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The Fig Tree

Do you remember when Jesus was walking with his disciples and he tried to look for a fig to eat because he was hungry? The fig tree was in the right season and still it did not have one fruit on it. Jesus took a drastic approach to the fact that the tree was barren. He cursed it. And the next day the tree shrivelled (Mark 11:12–20). This is a spiritual analogy to all of us. There are times, we are so focussed on going to church, reading our bible, memorizing and quoting scriptures, but when the time comes for someone to eat from us, we have nothing to offer. That is, we can’t show love, we are not gentle, we are not kind. And so , the ones who came expecting something from us only receive the bitter fruit or worse, are eating “worms”.

The Apostle Paul is telling us what fruits we ought to be bearing, if these fruits are not visible we should check to see how well we are in fact connected to the true vine. The fruits of the spirit doesn’t come from our flesh it is internally connected to the Holy Spirit.

My Favourite Fruit is Love

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Finally, Paul says the fruits of the spirit doesn’t have a law. While there is a law against the acts of the flesh, when it comes to the fruits of the spirit, there needs to be no law. In other words, we can show as much love to our neighbours and we need not worry that there is a consequence. We can exhibit a 1000 acts of kindness each day, and no one will ever come to enforce a limit. So, while we have to be fearful when we are busy committing acts of the flesh, we do not need to worry about containing ourselves (or limiting ourselves) when we are sharing the fruits of the spirit with others.

Therefore, seek to be connected to the true vine and it will be evident when others are noticing how much good fruits you are bearing. People will come to you to eat of your fruits because your fruits will bear all year, both in season and out of season, in endless supply. Remember John 15:4, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Let love last all year, part II

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:15

All we need is love, is just another Christmas song we play once a year. When it comes down to it, we can’t find love in the people we are supposed to love to save our lives. The reality is that, when we get up close and vulnerable with people, they find words to hurt us. They ignore, they walk away, they don’t meet our expectations, and they treat us worse than strangers. The reality is that we are destroying each other daily. Our families are the best at this, and for those who also have a church family, you are doubly likely to get bitten and devoured. [I am sorry to begin this article on a negative tone]. The Apostle Paul is giving us a heads up that we ought to follow the second most important commandment, that is, love our neighbours as we love ourselves. If we do not love then like animals, we will be destroyed by each other.

let love last all year, family sitting together
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Have you ever walked away from a church community to seek better pastures? Have you ever moved thousands of miles from your family so that you won’t have to see them too often? As Christians, couldn’t we find a different way to resolve our differences? Why is it all so complicated? And why is the easiest choice to give up and walk away? How do we know that we have loved enough? Or to phrase this another way, when has love not been enough?

READ MORE: Let love last all year, part I

Do you recall 1 Corinthians 13:13? “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Love allows us to compromise, it allows us to be patient, to trust, to not be so easily angered, to not be so rude, or proud, or envious or unkind. This is not just for the other person who does this to us, this is also speaking to the one who reads this (and of course, the one who is writing this). We tend to blame the other individual, but fail to realize that we ought to be first to forgive, first to not keep a record of wrongs, first to hope and perseverance, and first to surrender our pride. Yes, love actually calls us to be the first to show love, not to wait for it to be shown to us- that is the definition of selfish. And love is most certainly not selfish. So, have we been enabling the destruction of God’s gifts to us: The family and the church? Or, are we fighting like hell to love each other as we love ourselves?

let love last all year, family sitting together with flowers
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So, when is love not enough? The Apostle Mark says, “If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.…” (Mark 3:25). This is the trouble when there isn’t anymore love: Your house is not going to stand. Even God can’t or won’t work in a house that is divided. This is what God says in Revelations 2:4-5: “But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

When we surrender ourselves to Christ and let His Spirit be what the world sees, we have a chance at knowing how to love. It’s not as easy as the world says about falling in love. We do not fall into love. Love is a continuous decision we make daily, even when we don’t want to. When we cannot anymore, we ought to pray. Because without love, little by little, we will destroy each other. And, that is not what God wants from us, definitely not from His church.

READ MORE: Love will never fail us

We can admit that when we are not loved, it can be the worse feeling. And when there is no love in a home, it can be the coldest and loneliest place to be. Although you might choose to reside there anyway, it doesn’t bring out the best in us. God calls us to be the light of the world, and there can’t be any light when you are living in darkness. Therefore, pray for love, pray for a spark, and definitely pray for God’s candlestick. The reality is, if I…do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Let love last all year

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Love is the answer- to this crooked, evil, and unforgiving world. Love is the answer to the dysfunctional families. Love is the answer to the chaotic, cold, and indifferent workplaces. Have you noticed how the Christmas season is totally different from the entire year? Over the Christmas season, we often feel a somber, joyful, unspoken presence of love in the air. It’s the music, the lights, and the excitement of giving. We are focused on preparing for this one big day which carries through the entire month of December, or until December 26. That’s the day, when the world goes back to normal. Don’t you ever wish that the feeling could last the whole year through? I think, when we are focused on loving one another, we have little room in our hearts to hate, to be impatient, or apathetic.

Let love last all year, gifting others
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Love transforms terrible marriages, restores broken children, and rebuilds unliveable communities. The world we know was built on love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Yet, instead of love, we are bombarded with hate, violence, and evil. By the time children go to school, they are faced with envy, unkindness, distrust, and rudeness. From every angle, you see the opposite of love. Our world, though created by love, seeks to create in us this spirit of hate. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why is it so easy to express hate towards others, rather than show love?

READ MORE: Faith and love move mountains

Our past dictates the person we are. We allow our early interactions with our loved ones to become the voices in our heart that plays like a record years later. Our parents abandoned us, and now we no longer feel deserving of love from others. Our parents abused us, and we in turn abuse others. Someone in our early lives told us we were nothing, and now, we consider ourselves nothing. Have you ever asked yourself why you do that? Why do we let people of our past control our thoughts even when we turn adults? The only voice we ought to listen to is the voice of God, the one that calls us a chosen people, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12). I think we catch the spirit of hate quicker than the spirit of love, and we don’t notice when we have diseased hearts. We can’t tell when we are hurting others with our words, actions, or thoughts. We begin to say things like, I am the way I am, because to change seems too hard.

READ MORE: Love will never fail us

But, this we know, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). In other words, we have to let Christ come into our hearts and scrape out all that hate, all the damage that the world did to us. This is the thing, during the Christmas season, we are our best selves. The world tells us to stop all the hate, and bring our Christmas cheer. Be happy and jolly and spend our money on gifts. But, we don’t have to wait for Christmas to transform our hearts. We can actually do it all year round. We don’t need a special occasion to show love, whether through gifting others, doing acts of service, or words of kindness. Look for ways to show love, and you will be surprised to see how love will literally transform the broken, indifferent, and hateful attitudes around you. First, let YOUR heart be transformed by love through Christ, and then you will be surprised to see how easy it will be to love your neighbour as yourself.

Love will never fail us

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Freedom means different things to different people. In my mind, it means to not be bogged down by any institution, whether family, job, or church. The word, freedom, is always at the forefront of my mind. The moment I have the slightest feeling of being trapped, I am ridden with anxiety. Why? I haven’t the slightest of ideas. What does freedom mean to you? Is it a precious commodity or do you not think much about it?

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The Apostle Paul is preaching to the Galatians that they were called to Christ to be free, and not to take on ceremonial rituals, such as circumcision. Do we sometimes mix up our call to Christ as servitude to the establishment? When you add up the hours, days, weeks and months you have to spend at church, it’s like you wonder if choosing to follow Christ is worth all of that. It sounds downright depressing. Why would one want to surrender all that time, time they could be doing a million things, just to be at a church? Does our freedom in Christ mean that we can withdraw from coming to church some of those months? Paul, gives the answer to that question in the second part of his thoughts, “do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.”

READ MORE: God doesn’t choose perfect people...

If we didn’t know that there is a law that governs the flesh, I am telling you right now. There is a law that governs the flesh, and it does not like the law of the Spirit. This is why we are always warring in our mind, because there is a fight between the flesh and the spirit. Most of us will always let the flesh win, and that’s too bad, because the flesh never makes good decisions. (Read this again). When you know you are supposed to exercise, does the flesh always get excited about the 30-minute jog or cardio that you planned? When you know you shouldn’t be eating brownies late at night, does the flesh always prompt you to abstain from them? Even for athletes, and I was one for a period of time, the flesh often sounds convincing. Every Saturday, I dreaded that 2-hour hill workout at 10am. I was on the track team, so I showed up every Saturday. Not because I always wanted to but because I knew it was something I chose, and I was committed to my team. During practise, my mind told me that my body can’t handle any more pressure. I literally had to beat my mind under subjection to what I wanted it to do. I must practise, whether it felt good or not. The flesh never makes good decision, ever.

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The Apostle Paul wanted the Galatians to know that even though they are free in Christ, that freedom doesn’t stretch to making sinful decisions. When we do things through love, we do not feel like we are in servitude to any establishment. Paul says it beautifully, “serve one another humbly in love.” Parents, for the must part, do you feel like you are servants to your kids? Or do you happily make them breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Most of the times, you hardly get a thank you. But, when there is love, it changes everything. Love will make you stay up at night with a child who has a tummy ache. Likewise, love will make you stay at church, to counsel, to host, to train, to facilitate, or to serve. Suddenly, the hours, days, weeks and months at church, is so full of joy and fulfillment that we actually look forward to it. The point is we ought to exercise our freedom through love.

READ MORE: Take control of your thoughts

Now, when I think about my freedom and I mix it with love, I am no longer riddled with anxiety, or a feeling that I am stuck. Rather, I am able to look through the lens of love and happily serve my family, serve my church, and serve at my workplace. It is not easy, however, since I am not intending to please my flesh, I will instead choose to rise to the occasion and show love. Because this is what I am made to do. I have learnt this, if I “…do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2. Therefore, be encouraged to serve one another humbly in love because this is the right thing to do.

Faith And Love Move Mountains

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6

The bible is a book about love. It is really a love story about a God who loved his people, so much so that through faith He expressed that love. As His people, we are expected to do the same thing, first to love God and second to love each other (Matthew 22:37-40). Christ came to earth as a result of God’s love for us, and helped us to truly see what the bible has been trying to say all along. Yet, over the centuries, we have been moving further and further away from love, and ultimately, away from faith. You see, faith tells us to take action, and love tells us what that action is. Therefore, faith and love must work together, the yin and yang of our hearts. Can you truly say then, that you love, when you have no faith?

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If you work downtown, like me, you see homeless people every day. In fact, you begin to know them because each person seem to mark their territory. During Covid-19, I started driving to work. The moment I get out of my car, I see two men who are homeless sitting on a bench. The first time, my heart prompted me to give them what I carried for breakfast, a yogurt. The second time, I gave an orange that was already peeled and cut. I don’t do this all the time mind you, but for those brief moments I did. My encounters reminds me of when Peter and John healed another man who was homeless in Acts 3:1-6.

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Acts 3:1-6

READ MORE: Faith and love equals righteousness

Peter could not just walk pass this man because love told Peter to help the man, and faith gave him the ability to heal. It’s that simple, although when we are faced with our own personal encounters, we have so many thoughts. Faced with uncertainty or too many options, we close ourselves from doing good, because we begin to question faith. Using our logic to reason our way out, or feeling overwhelmed that if we give, we might not have enough for ourselves. It’s not really selfish, but it’s self preservation. It’s “fleshy” (and natural) to do this. And of course, it lacks faith. When you are moved by love, you will know what to do. This is the reason, Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.” Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has value, because the reason you do it, which is love, is what is important. Whatever action one is going to take (in faith), that action requires the express of love. This was the reason why James stated, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? ” James 2: 14-15. James further expand on his rhetorical question, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:16. The answer James then gives is this: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” James 2:17.

READ MORE: For law or for relationship

Every great relationship requires love. We know this. God knew that He had to sacrifice Himself (through Christ) because He loves us too much to see us die in our sins. Yet, we fail God every time. We love ourselves more than we love God and our neighbours. We choose not to feed the homeless because we need to eat. They should have made better choices with their lives. Yet, this wasn’t what the little boy chose when he gave away his loaves and fishes to Jesus (See John 6:9). Of all the people in the crowd, do you really think it was one person who was smart enough to pack his lunch (alone)? No, I think his parents were probably there too, and they also had their lunch. They probably told their son to be quiet and let the adults figure out the problem themselves (maybe they could get extra for dinner later). But, you know how children are…they are not thinking about the future (or about anything). So, the boy gave away his lunch. And Jesus used it as a lesson. The greatest lesson was this: Jesus did not want to send away the people hungry. He loved them and cared for them. And His faith moved him to feed all 5000+ people. It was another opportunity for miracle. That is the ability we all have in us. We can move mountains by faith too.

…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Matthew 17:20

Why then do we not give so freely? God expects us to give what we have, not what we don’t have. Believe that the little you have is sufficient to help yourself, those in your care, and whomever your neighbours are that day. Therefore, do not get caught up trying to expound the law, and stuck in our heads figuring things out. Be moved by love, and put love into action. You are going to be surprised at what miracles you are capable of doing. Are you excited that you can become the miracle that someone else needs? I have never lacked something, because I gave too much. So, remove your doubts, and unbeliefs; and replace it with faith. Put faith in action, and express it through love.

For law or for relationship? (Part II)

“Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.” Galatians 5:3

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I love that we always have a choice when it comes to God. The choice to obey the law or the choice to obey Christ. It might seem like the same thing, but apparently it’s not. Even if the law may lead us to Christ, it is more restricting than choosing to follow Him. But, we need tangible rules to follow, don’t we? Remember when the Israelites wanted a king instead of choosing to follow God? According to 1 Samuel 8:6, “Give us a king to lead us” the people asked the priest, Samuel. God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:7, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.” This is equivalent to choosing the law over a relationship with Christ, the one who made the law. In essence, our fallible, humanistic nature wants something we are able to see. Whether it comes as laws or kings, it is much easier for the mind to feel a bit of control over the uncontrollable things. So, God says, every man who lets himself be circumcised … is obligated to obey the whole law.”

It seems to be that simple, but the trouble is that like the king, the law will strangle us to our demise. “Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.

READ MORE ON GALATIANS 5: FOR LAW OR FOR RELATIONSHIP (PART 1)

What are the obligations of choosing the Law?

This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

1 Samuel 8: 11-17

For these reasons, choosing the law or choosing a king, is saying yes to the fallible nature of humans. A king will never be merciful, just, and righteous like God. The law requires someone to uphold it, therefore it becomes more like a yoke, because it has a tendency to take away our rights, and to treat everyone the same. It is a burden that we are not meant to carry. This was the reason we needed Christ to come and die for us. God knew the day would come when we would cry out to him. “Then that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day” (1 Samuel 8:18). He already knows what we can bear, and He gave us choices. Yet it is His personal advice to us to choose relationship with Christ, rather than choosing the Law. Again, if you choose the law, you have to obey ALL of it. But, God says, there is a better way. Choose relationship with God. Because, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” It’s that simple.

Finally, Christ “…did not come to abolish (the law), but to fulfill (it)” (Matthew 5:17). The beauty of all of this is, the law pointed to Christ all along. And he summed it up for us this way, “...love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). In other words, since the beginning of time, all God has ever wanted from us is relationship. He wants us to make the choice to love Him, not the Law.  

Longing For You, Jamaica

Longing for YouAs you can only imagine, Jamaica is on my mind the way you would think about that hot, sizzling new crush. I wake up to thoughts of beaches and sunshine; checking out my skin to see if I got a tan overnight. I go to bed with blue skies on my mind. Just today, I was walking through the mall and I was checking out bathing suits because surely I may need one in my dream.

The truth is and there is no doubt about it; I want to go to Jamaica. I want to be there not in a few months, but now. This moment. I want to snap my fingers and have my life be transformed so that I am living in a nice apartment in New Kingston. I want to feel the warmth of the sun seeping through my skin. I want to be drenched with sweat; feeling dirt all over my body and the pressing desire to take a long shower because I was enveloped in the hot Jamaican sun. This is not a want, it’s a need. And it is not a desire to run away from the -20 degree temperatures we’ve been having here. It’s just what happens when you’re in love.

Longing for youI want to see Jamaica’s tantalizing mountains, taste the sugary mangoes, canes, coconut water, and feel the juice run down my fingers and all over my shirt. I want to put my feet in the dazzling shades of blue water and sink my toes into the sparkly cotton-like sand. I want to look at the mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises that I often miss here at home especially during wintry weather. Yes I want to be witness to the hustle and bustle and loose myself in the crime and violence; though not literally. I want to empathize with Jamaica when another one of its citizens have been lost to a bullet; and the stains of blood, left as remnants on your soil. Jamaica I want to cry when you cry for another soul placed deep down into your core. Where they should have been walking; they are now lying motionless. I want to share your joy and happiness. I want to celebrate with you during times of carnivals, anniversaries and other festivities. I want to reminisce in your
history with you and honour those men and women that made you proud over the years. Oh Jamaica, your land is so sweet. I want to eat different flavors of ice cream while sitting on your lush green grass. I want to spend my days gazing out at your leafy coconut and palm trees and spend moments in a trance while I stare at the bright colored flowers you wear so eloquently.

 

RelatedThe Last Day

I am so tired of living away from you, Jamaica; because you are hard to live without. Still, Longing for youI’ll be patient for a few more months, because I know my time with you will be sweet. I’ll continue daydreaming about your handsomeness and your rock hard abs you call mountains. I’ll keep drooling over your sugary fruits and your oh so good jerk chicken, jerk pork, fried fish and festival. Must I go on? Lord, help me so I won’t be tempted to steal away to this tantalizing island and make it my home for life.

This friend is for a lifetime

Die old flame, die

July 14, 2009 Leave a comment (Edit)

Is it true that every girl has a special someone in her life that her mind can never seem to discard? Someone whom you’ve known forever, dated, loved, at times wished you were still with him, and the reasons why you broke up in the first place seems to be vague. There are so many of my girlfriends who tell me of such a person. It’s often the high school sweethearts or the college sweethearts that make this cut but it’s the person you knew the longest, had enough time to see their dirty laundry and is unsure if you want to deal with it; but even though you’re still in another relationship, you still wonder, was he the one?

It’s not that you want to sell yourself short, or endure things that you know isn’t right. It’s just that the mind seems to be boggled up on this one person. From all the things you know about him, he is a nice person, he genuinely cares about you, he knows you well- enough to write a detailed summary of your whole life and paint a vivid picture of who you are.

The problem is, you’re unsure if he’s sincere, if you can endure the minor things about him that gets you aggravated which leads you to secretly wish for him to change. But will he change though? Has he shown any steps of improvement? Is this enough? Is he doing it now to get back with you, but when he knows he got you, he’ll return to his old self? This is the problem. You have forgiven his past behaviour but your mind can never overcome the past. It remembers what happened when you let your guard down the first time, and the second time, and even the third time. Now, is your heart wrong to feel unsure about this person? What makes him better this time? Why is he still sticking around? Is it you? or it is him?

As girls, we are trained to love and to care, to not give up on our relationships- we are emotional beings. We think that if someone authentically wants to be in our lives then why should we say no? We empathise with people on a whole. So this guy who can never seem to just disappear, who always tell you these ”nice” things that woos you everytime you talk to him, and makes you feel special for those moments is always lurking around. It’s not all his fault however, it’s your fault too. You are often the one to solicit this behaviour. More often than not, if you choose not to call or ever to correspond with this guy, the relationship dies. So the question is, why can you do that with every other relationship, including the one you are currently in, but you are so strung up on this old flame? What is it about him?

The answer to that is a mystery. Maybe he is too. The one confusing one that you can never wrap your hearts or mind around. The one that is so similiar to you, you’re starting to hate yourself for it. The one that does things to you that pisses you off and he is so comfortable in doing the pissing off, it makes you uneasy. You have to ask, how can this even work? If we live together, won’t we kill each other? Why are we arguing over stupid things? And how does the arguments start and stop so abruptly. What is it about him that my heart just cannot get enough of?

For me, it’s the fact that I know that he is the only one I have ever met that would be a perfect partner. The only one that would blend in with my family, the only one I’ve dated that comes from a similiar background as me; enjoys the same dishes as me, has similar interests as me and overall, communicates the same language as me, literally and figuratively. He is the only one that knows me so well. And inspite of our squabbles, he will still adore me because he cares. He is the only one that has stuck around the longest and still has strong feelings for me. Yet, I am still afraid that if I trust him, he will let me down. If I suggest to him that I want him, that he will turn around and flee in the opposite direction. I’m afraid that I won’t have this good of a relationship with him if I agree to date him again. So, I keep it less complicated by keeping him around. Dating others, but still feeling happy to know he is still there in my life. Is this wrong? I have no idea. But the truth is, I really don’t want him out of my life. There are some things I don’t like about him but I love what I know. And the more I think about it, I’d hate for him to marry someone else.

I cannot say why there’s always that one guy, and sadly to say he’s not always the one for us. I guess it’s just a waiting game- on life. This way, the flame won’t ever die, but it will burn slowly until one day in our lives, when we finally arrive on the same page, it might ignite with passion again. Until that day, if it ever comes, he’ll remain close and dear to your hearts. But should you choose to move on with your lives, you will also have the ability to move on without being marred emotionally.

Singleness vs the Brady Bunch

After a late afternoon bath, I feel ready to call it in for the night with only four hours of wake time. My facial creams are already on totally skipping my morning regimen, and I’m eating what feels like my bedtime snack. At four in the afternoon I’m depending on artificial lights, which totally makes it feel like night. It’s warm and cozy and I’m alone wondering whether I’d ever want to trade my current life for the Brady Bunch.

When I first woke up at 8am I thought about the errands I had for the day. Two hours later, I looked at the time and thought I really should get up. 12pm I finally rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom. As I walked into the bathroom and looked over at the overflowing laundry I thought, really, I don’t have to do this today. That left me with two things to do for the day, write an article for an online newspaper and go to the mall. The former was done in no time since I had been working on the article all weekend, but I didn’t feel like leaving my cozy apartment for anything, not even the mall. Today was going to be that day. When I’m single with no children I can do nothing. This is the pay-off after many years, 20 to be exact, of schooling. And I didn’t want to trade it in for the world. Why should I? When you’re the children in the Brady Bunch life may me great, but when you’re the grown-ups and have to provide for all 6 plus a dog, not cool!

Stress, taking on more than one can handle, is the beginning of a slow death. Being fervent on taking good advice I feel that Icouldn’t have found out sooner. I already had enough on my plate, myself, and I’m not sure if I want more. This lesson rang clear when I had to babysit on the weekend. For over two years, I’ve never had someone wake me up, yet these two little humans were knocking at my door telling me that the puppy needed to go outside. Really?! I was an hour short of my eight hours rest time. That reminds me of the kitten I decided to bring home one Sunday. I seriously thought I would love having a kitten in my home, as they say cats are low maintenance and great companions. Well that was a lie. My kitten was sitting by my room door crying because I guess she wanted companionship, and overlooking the fact that I still needed my sleep. It was only 6 in the morning and I stayed up til 2 that morning trying to play with her. I was drowsy at work for the 12 hours and worrying that the poor kitten may die from lack of companionship and would keep me up another night. Before all that would happen, I stuck her in a little bag as soon as I got home and drove her back to her owners. I was happy and I’m sure she was too. I understand that taking on too much is a stress killer, and I’m just not ready to die.

People sometimes knock adulthood, and so quickly want to get married because “they don’t want to be alone”, but if they knew what they were missing they would drop the marriage and family thing and enjoy ten more years of happiness! Why wouldn’t anyone want to be happy? I went to a single session early this month, and the pastor specifically said, “If you want to be happy, don’t get married!” Ringgg ringgg.. There goes the bell of truth. There is no better time in life than being young and single. I can drive to the U.S border in two hours or I can pamper myself at a lavish hotel with spa treatments. I can take time off from work if I want, and travel to exotic locations; coworkers do it all the time! Why would I give this life up for a lifetime with a spouse and children? This baffles me.  I set my rules and I do what I want. Ahh, freedom is rejuvenating. If all of life could have been this way I would have been happier especially as a teenager. So until I hear God calling me to marriage I think I’m just going to bask in my happiness and see how long it’ll last.