Dear Men, This is All We Need

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We are told all the time what men need to be comfortable in a relationship — Submission, constant praise and appreciation and cheering him on in is dreams. A man needs to have his ego massaged and told how he is the most wonderful thing since Thika Super Highway. He needs to know his wife thinks of him as superman and Romeo all wrapped in one package. And we strive to do all that to make our men happy.

But who tells the men what the women need? Do they have the slightest clue what makes us tick? Before we got married, a couple we love and trust encouraged us to write down our expectations. My first on the list was emotional support. And that comes in many ways. So, guys, I will give you a few clues, and here is to hoping we will have more satisfied wives and girlfriends from now onwards :).

A gift. 1

All you have heard about flowers and chocolate is actually true. But it’s never about the flowers and the chocolate, it’s about the thought that led to the flowers and the chocolate. We are thrilled to know you value us and you think about us the whole day. We are happy to know that the gift you bought is not a bribe for the time you have spent away from us or a way of blinding us to your philandering ways. The gift is an outward expression of the value you have placed on us, which is more valuable than the gift.

So, if you treat your lady like someone gave her to you on offer, and them come home with pitiful little flowers, do not be amused if they end up in the trash. Because those little gifts are supposed to come from a heart that clearly values us and makes us know we are the treasure of your heart. And how do we measure value?

Kind Words.

A woman feeds on words. That is why things she hears can make her or break her. Most of the women I see on The Ultimate Challenge – Weight Loss Edition show on KTN say they were jolted to reality about their weighty matter of their weight by something someone said to them. Or about them. And no  matter what a woman tells you, we all care what people say. Some of us just choose to think less of them and move on with life but we all care about words.

And this is most pronounced when it’s coming from the one person we care most about. We want to hear how we are the hottest thing on earth although we know deep down we are several points lower than Keisha of Single Girls. We want to hear how much you love her cooking even if we present you with  burnt offerings for dinner. The more you are nice to us, the better we strive to become.

You can tell a woman whose husband praises her. She is confident and walks with her held held high. Women are all encouraged to be like the proverbs 31 woman but I keep wondering if the men read all the verses of that chapter. I’m talking about the verse that talks about the man praising her.

Prov 31: 29 Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:“Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all.”

We love to be praised. Please do that more often. We love to have emotional support as much as we give you all the support you crave.

A Hug. love is

A hug is one thing that you cannot give without receiving. And we love to be hugged in as much equal measure as you love sex. A husband’s hugs is more than just two hands across each other. It’s the greatest sharing of unspeakable emotions and comfort that only the ‘huggee’ can tell. When my husband hugs me, I feel like I’m surfing on the Indian ocean. Never mind that I can barely float on water.

When we are angry — even angry at you — we need a hug. When we are happy, we need a hug. When we are sad and moody, we need a hug. When we are teary and we cant even tell why, we need a hug. A hug is the one things that says you do not hold our emotions against us. And especially when we are pregnant we need hugs. Lots of them.

Love For God. jesu

A godly man is a treasure because of many reasons, but my top on the list is, he will love you with love he has tapped from the best — God himself! I know many girls have said before that believers make the worst boyfriends, at least I have been told that by a few girls but I tell you they make the best husbands. If you want someone to take you out drinking every Friday, you will be disappointed.

But if you are looking for a man who will love you with all he has because he is not just accountable to you and your parents but to God himself, get a godly man. And we love men who are devoted to God because we know they can only love us as we deserve as long as they love God with all sincerity. So men, Love God. We love it when you love God.

But if there is one things that makes no sense at all, is a man who neglects his family in the name of serving God. Your family is your first service to God.

Oh, we need many other things but we can start with these 🙂

Some Things You Don’t Want to Hear

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We all want to be told life is bliss and all things are bright and beautiful – especially in marriage. Well, here are a few things I probably wouldn’t have wanted to hear that I know will be beneficial especially to the newly weds. If I had seriously thought about them, I would have had a happier first year of marriage!

1. You will get serious ‘culture shock’

I’m speaking to all the girls and men who haven’t lived together before their wedding since, honestly, those are the real newly weds. So you are expecting blissful first months of marriage? Well you will have them. Coupled with serious shocks and blows like you can’t believe. Problem is, you really can’t tell anyone about it because everyone will be expecting you to be having the time of your life, portraying anything but, seems suicidal.

You will have to get used to someone intruding in your space as you sleep. I remember one great friend calling me after the wedding and asking if I keep getting startled and jumping up in fright when I find a man on my bed! Well, Nowadays, I don’t. 🙂 Woe unto you if you are a light sleeper and your partner is…well …not exactly a silent sleeper.A sleep deprived wife is a grumpy wife, and a grumpy wife makes a grumpy husband=a grumpy home!

You will be vulnerable than you have never been in your life, more exposed to another human being than you have ever been and more open to hurt than you have ever been. And you will love every minute of it! Almost Every.

2. You Will Know Yourself — and either Hate Or Love Yourself

So you think you are generous, huh? Get married! So you think you are the most peaceful, polite human being in the universe? Get married! So you think you are the most caring, humble, God’s best gift to earth? Say it with me….get married!

Then you will discover that you are not the ‘humblest’ man that ever lived. Or you may discover you have patience that you previously thought never existed! Your partner will try you in the hardest ways possible and you will discover who you truly are. And once the mask is off, you will either loath yourself to depression, or give yourself a pat on the back. Whatever you find out, make sure you endeavor to become better.

I thought I was the most mature, straight thinking, problem solver south of Sahara. Until I discovered I need to work on the problem solving bit after I went mute on my hubby for hours — and I mean more than 24! He hated it and he said so and I got mad that he hated it and said so.I thought I wasn’t patient enough but in marriage I have found a patience and strong resolve to stick by my word and action that I thought were impossible. And my hubby has made me better at that.

3. You Will Have No Rights

Put the stones down, you post-modern people and let me explain. Thank you. Now, this is what I meant. While you were single, you did what you wanted, when you wanted, with whom you wanted, that is, given we are talking about general non-sinful things here like taking  hike to Mt. Longonot with the boys. Or going for a weekend sleep-over with the girls. Now, everything you do will have to include another human being, one that you love and respect and submit to. You cannot independently make decisions and expect your spouse to fit into them all the time!

This looks like a really small thing until you need to go for what you deem an important meeting over a weekend or that impromptu trip at work that is not exactly work related but you know you would loooove to be there. The once quick ‘yes’ response will have to be replaced with ‘I will talk to my …. first’ then get back to you.

Sometime, your significant other will not see the urgency or even the importance and then you will either have to cancel and keep a long face all through, beseech him/her the best way you know or just let go and let God! Cliche, right? Well, that is what helps. Knowing that it is God’s will for you to be there with your partner rather than elsewhere makes it all easy, and as you grow older in marriage, you realise that you would actually rather be there with your partner than anywhere else! Ask me!

4. Your first night will Not be heaven-on-earth

For once, get your head out of the soap opera, hollywood cloud and come back to earth! If you haven’t been sleeping with your partner, kudos! You have made it this far! Welcome to bliss. Now, tell me, have you ever tried riding a bike having never ridden one before? Well, tell me how easy it was to fall off and hurt yourself! After a while, you got the hang of it and rode to the horizon and into the sunset, all the while enjoying the breeze in your hair and the utmost ecstasy of…umm.. well, riding a bike!

You did have a few bruises after that and sore legs probably, but it also got better with time and you always looked forward to the time you will hop onto your bike and ride off into the sunset again. And now, you are a bike pro, you still have a few more tricks to learn but your bike riding is really great!

Enough said! Fumbo mfumbie mjinga, mwerevu ataing’amua. (My coast swag:)

4. This One You Will Want to Hear — You will be Happy!

I remember watching a show on TV earlier this week, and I don’t remember what the topic really was. I wasn’t even concentrating until the speaker said, ” Marriage is not happy. You just have to live with a resolve to forgive and forget and move on. Love is not even needed that much, just forgiveness.”

I say like my brodas from Naija, “na lie oooo!” Marriage is happiness, if you are not happy, seek out why and be happy! It is not suppose to be a relationship where you stick together because of any other reason other than the fact that you ant to be together because you find happiness in being together! In my early days of marriage, I once felt so angry at my husbabd that I told him I thought we were happier before we got married! He said he will endeavor to be happy in marriage and true to his word, I know he has been. And especially being married to me, he has really worked hard! Thank you, Ben ❤ 🙂

True, there are times you will feel like you want to murder someone. Sometime you will look at your spouse and wonder, ” what was I thinking?!?” Remember, they most certainly go through those phases too! But they choose to love you anyway, scars, flaws and all! So love them back and don’t stay on because of the kids or what people will say! Stay on because you can’t imagine life without them despite their many shortcomings!

Truth be told, it’s fun being married!!

To Submit or Not to submit? Wives Speak.

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Submission. To submit or not to submit as a wife is the question. Submission is one of the things that today’s brides worry about as they get into marriage. And whether you know it or not, you do worry about it! You may think you are submissive, until you get to married! And then reality hits you harder than a grenade in Somalia.

Yesterday, as I watched My Dream Wedding on KTN, the bride asked a question that made me think really hard. It was even more pronounced because on the same show, another bride had loudly proclaimed the same thing. She had wondered why the pastor dared tell her to submit! I mean, she was miss independent, super educated, monied girl! Submit? Not her!

Yesterdays bride said, ”  I have a problem with some of the vows the pastor was asking me to repeat. Me, be submissive? I struggled all this long to be independent and now you want me to be submissive. Submit? to who? Not me”!

All this time, the husband sat next to, her with an expression I couldn’t really tell what it meant. My husband looked at the screen in disbelief. While I may not have been the model submissive wife, I really think hearing your wife ask ” submit to who?” isn’t one of the highlights of a man’s life in marriage.

I have struggled with submission myself, and sometimes I didn’t even know I wasn’t being submissive. My husband would later tell me, in not so many words and that would jolt me back to reality. Sometime we have had to meet each other half way in our decisions and other times,I’ve had to do what hes says, with a frown on many occasions :).

And since I didn’t want to just put my own opinion here, I sought to ask a few Christian ladies what they thought about submission. Christian because I believe they are informed from the best – the bible – where the submission rule came from! They are all career women who are married to career men. All have degrees in their respective fields so I assure you they were the best candidates.

Here is what they said:

Brenda Muse – married to Muse

For me it has nothing to do with my achievements. I could be the president of Kenya but reality is, to be happy in marriage, to have a good relationship, I submit! I learned I would rather be happy than right. It is not always easy especially during decision making when our opinions differ, but I pray, explain my pint of view, if I can’t win we take his way (sometimes grudgingly) and I know the peace is worth more than having my way.

Sometimes he is proved wrong and I’m tempted to tell him ‘I told you so’, but I’ve Learned to let go and work to build him, not tear him down.

Doreen Lemalee – married to Paul Lemalee

Me: Does submission have a limit to it? Is it p to a certain point or whatever Paul says carries the day?

Submission isn’t slavery where you are to be seen and not heard, otherwise my place as a helper would lose meaning. He isn’t the fountain of all truth. Just like God allows us to express the desires of our hearts if they are in line with His ultimate will, so it should be in marriage; the wife should be allowed to express her opinions as long as they are in line with the ultimate goal of the marriage.

Submission is the recognition that the husband has been given the mandate of carrying the vision or goal of the marriage to steer it. At times, he is expected to make the final decision because the buck stops with him.

Becky Wanja – married to Humphrey Kirimi

Submission is the willingness on the part of one to adapt their rights to those of the other. it’s a give and take kind of relationship where no one has a spirit of competion e.g in arguments or decision making. The Christ-God relationship is an example of mutual submission that all Christian couples should work at. Submission is not a master slave thing nor is it where the husband rules and commands and the wife obeys. No!

Extreme silence, helpless dependency and blind obedience are not marks of submission.  Submission out of love should not make one feel inferior and the other superior. it’s more than the things we do for our hubbys, it should be part of our everyday christian life. 

Bilha Omina – Married to Denin Omina

Submission is most easy when there is love. However, none of the two – Love vs Submission- is easier. Loving as Christ did is difficult and submitting as unto the Lord is also difficult. As long as I love God, I wont struggle to submit. 

I will say what Brenda said, “I’d rather be happy than right!”

Would you willingly submit to your husband? Lets talk and build each other up.

Some Not-So-Serious Lessons from The World Cup

HILARIOUS, SERIOUS LESSONS FROM WORLD CUP

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Now that the world cup is over and the cheering and the jeering is dying down quietly, the big question is, what have you learnt? I know what the men are thinking; we weren’t supposed to learn anything, were we? We were supposed to sit, watch the game, make noise, irritate our wives and girlfriends, make and lose bets then go on with the next big game.

But I think from something that keeps everyone awake and anxious for over a month like the world cup; from something that has seen tears flow and hugs get shared in almost equal measure; we deserve to learn a lesson or two. If not for any other reason, then just to tell Harambee starts what they should or shouldn’t do next time.

  1. You shall know them by their jersey

One of the most important things in the game apart from the ball that the men had to chase around must be the jersey they wore, or just the color of the jersey. I know all the players knew each other by name and nickname, but each of them had to show up in the jersey that identifies him as a team member.

I’ve been trying to imagine how it would have been if each of the players showed up in their color of choice and simply said, “My team mates know me!” The confusion would have been historical. Not only would the players get confused on whom to pass the ball to, but the whole field including the commentator and the fans would be lost on what side the game is heading.

So is life, we shall know you by what we see. We do not have the privilege of knowing what is in your heart so what we see is what we think. We know we are of like mind and like destination when we see you looking like us, behaving like us, even as we too strive to be like Christ. So, people, this whole business of I know what is in my heart so people should stop judging me by what I look like needs to be given a serious thought. And it needs to stop as we endeavor to be like minded in body and spirit, even as we are built up to be like Christ.

  1. Even the clueless is right at least once

I know advert that will not be forgotten is the Cocacola advert and especially the clueless lady. I mean, girls, if you have to go to a public place to watch a game, be sure you are in your element. Don’t go advertising your ignorance in public.

But to give the girls some credit, she was right in celebrating at half time when Brazil was thrashed. No stones allowed here people, they were thrashed. Some teams are beaten, some teams lose, Brazil was thrashed. And so, on that fateful day when five goals were scored before half time, the clueless girl was right!

You know, it’s like they say, even a faulty clock is right twice a day. Do not always ignore the people who seem to always have it all wrong! I think we all have that one friend who just never seems to think straight. Every time they do or say something, everyone is left with an egg on the face.

We keep thinking they can’t get any worse, and then they surprise us with something even more stupid! Even those, at least once in life, they are right! Lets appreciate them!

  1. Sometimes, it’s never that serious

As my grandmother says, there is no one who is playing such an intense game who is one bit unfit. So they can all stands all the running, the kicking and being kicked, the falling on and over each other and all the battering that goes with loving the game.

I saw that happen many times, someone falls; the opponent gives him a hand, he rises and the game goes on. And so it is with life. This life is like the roads in Meru; totally curvy scary and sometimes you aren’t sure where exactly it is taking you. It seems to be heading in a direction different from where you want to go. But in the end you discover, it wasn’t that bad. You keep going, and you actually get to where you are going – safe and sound! But if someone digs his teeth into your skin you like one Suarez did, well, THAT is serious!

  1. You need to own up and pay for your mistake

Every time a player was given a yellow card or a red card, I saw serious protests going on but not once did I see that decision revoked. Maybe it was on the days I didn’t watch the game, but the referee’s decision seemed to be final. You mess up; you pay for your mistakes.

In life, maturity is when you stop saying “it broke” and you start saying, “I broke it!” that is the beginning of being a mature, accountable human being. Admitting when you are wrong and being vulnerable to correction and criticism is the first step towards having great relationships!

Well, that is part of what I learnt. What else did you learn? Share with us, we’d love to hear it! 🙂

 

So, Why Exactly Don’t You …

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A couple of weeks ago, my husband’s place of work had a closing bash. Drinks were flowing as they normally do in such parties and everyone was drinking. Everyone that is, except him.
Bosses were sharing cigarette puffs with their juniors, women were sending men to get packets of cigarettes from their handbags, girls were getting louder and louder  as the drink got the better part of their senses and all caution was gradually being thrown through the window.
My hubby sat next to a gentleman who was also downing bottles of liquor as he studied this seemingly out-of-place work mate. Finally he offered some very much needed advice-or so he thought-to my husband. He said, “don’t worry, you too will start drinking. When I first came here,I too was like you, but look at me now..”
As my husband narrated that interesting story, I was reminded of one time a friend of mine attended a birthday party, and lo and behold, alcoholic drinks started flowing. The host, who is our good friend too, and quite lovely one I must add, offered us a drink that, in her own words, “haina alcohol — mob”. The ‘mob’ came a few seconds after the ‘alcohol’ so it took us a while to register what exactly she had said before the three of us burst out laughing. Of course we didn’t take the ‘slightly alcoholic :)’ drink but that story still amuses me.
Lately, I have mused over the several occurrences when I have found myself in a situations where I know I normally wouldn’t be found in, with people doing things I normally wouldn’t do. Or the occasional temptation that forces you to make  godly decision, but no one will discover even if you don’t! And I have been wondering, at those times, what prevents me from doing something not-so-godly?
I pose the same question to you, what prevents you from doing something you know is somewhat wrong, even though you will not be found out? The answer to that question could make all the difference in your life, because as it has been said, you are what you are when no one is looking.
At that moment when it’s just you and the four walls, what you choose to do is what you really are! This thought scares me to my knees, because I know I have not exactly been the model private times perfect person! Have you gone to a certain site on your PC and then went straight to cntr+H? God forbid that anyone should ever find out YOU were checking THAT out!
Remember that ‘blessed’ moment when the matatu tout forgets to collect your fare and you almost alight before your destination lest he remembers! And you keep your gaze outside the window counting the trees  as they run past you just to avoid meeting his gaze which might remind him that you haven’t paid! As one Erick Tito posted on Facebook one day, there are temptations you should not allow yourself to succumb to – like that one! I add: get bigger temptations to test your faith with, if you could.
There are more situations than we can count that require you to keep your integrity
even if you do not have to be accountable to anyone. And the big question today is, what prevents you from going the whole hog when you now you’ll never be found out?
What keeps you from sleeping with your fiancee before your wedding night even when you know too well that you can use contraceptives, you will not get pregnant and no one will ever tell what you guys have been up to? It’s your little well kept secret!
Psalms 139:1-12 summarizes it for me:
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3You discern my going out and my lying down
you are familiar with all my ways.
4Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
If you do not have a desire to please God that over rides every other desire, you do not have enough reasons to keep on the straight path.
Digest that, part two is coming shortly … don’t open another tab!! 🙂

A REASON TO KILL MY FRIENDS

I have friends: , Ayo Okello, Bilha Njoki Omina, Akinyi Oluoch, Mwimali Wesonga, Ndanu Ngie, Festus Maunda, Wangari Githinji, Nyambura Karenju, Nasra Mahmud, Lilian Kwamboka, Calvin Eaton, Kipngetich Arap Bett, Sindala Ogutu, Paul and Doreen Lemalee, Vishal Nagaria…  Wanjiru Wachira, Njeri Njuguna, Jadot Niyomugabo, I can’t number all :).

I have Luo friends, Luhya friends, Kisii friends, Kalenjin friends, Maasai friends, Munyoyaya friends, Rwandese friends. I have black friends, white friends, red friends, Christian friends, Hindu friends, Muslim friends, even a few self confessed atheists. I have friends who can’t fit on one blog post!

I do not always agree with my friends’ opinion or even their stand in life. I do not like all their favorite foods, I actually cannot stand the smell of omena and I can’t eat mrenda even with a gun to my head. But then again, my friends do not agree with my opinion or even my stand in life. They don’t always think I’m right which is okay!

I do not know who my friends voted for in the general election; neither do they know who I voted for. True, as one leader misguidedly said, I may guess who they voted for depending on their surname – but I could be wrong! And I know I would be wrong!

My friends have been with me since high school, some since campus days. We have struggled through arithmetic together. We have been harassed by university food and exams together. We have been unceremoniously flushed out of college in the evening after a riot and spent the night in a single room with seven others as we awaited daylight.

We have enjoyed working together and shared meetings chaired by awesome bosses together. We have wept together when we lost a boss who was oh-so-dear. We have shared memories of a loved high school coordinator and a much hated teacher. We have lived under the same roof to make rent easier as we struggled through the first days after college.

We have shared the loss of a child together, crying through it all though we weren’t together in person. We have enjoyed the beauty of marriage, the birth of children and the clumsiness of being new wives. We have shared our frustrations with our husbands when we thought they weren’t being so sensible.

My friends have bailed me out financially when I had too much month at the end of the money. We have carpooled – more like I have ridden in their car! They supported me through my wedding and showed up to make it so glorious. When some people jeered me for calling a wedding committee and refused to show up, I held no grudge. I had no room since my friends stuck with me through it all and stepped in in ways I hadn’t even requested.

I have hidden a Kisii neighbor in my house when the husband beat her up and locked her out of the house at night. I have hosted a Luo friend in my house when thieves broke into her house and the land lord took forever to repair her door.

No, I’m not trying to show how I’m the model Kenyan patriot and how much I deserve the patriot of the year award. Far from it, I know I may have said one or two things that the NCIC would not agree to per se but I have tried.

I just do not understand how one Kenyan would go and hack another Kenya to death, or even think another lesser because they speak a different tongue. These are the people who have helped me up when I was down, and I know they will be of immense help later in life – whether I know them or not.

I have friends I will never know beyond the one time we met. Like the girl I took to Pumwani to deliver after she was thrown out of a dispensary while in labor. Like the stranger who paid my fare after I forgot my purse at home. These little things that make us unique is what we should be thinking about – and appreciating about each other. We are ONE!