My Beautiful Feet

I remember myself as a young, curious, and wonder filled child growing up in West Africa, Ghana. I walked barefoot to many places and I could count with two fingers how many shoes  I could call mine. But that never bothered me as long as I could play to my hearts content and wonder off on dusty streets, hoping not to find myself in big trouble when I returned home to my mother’s questioning eyes.  One gaze from my mother’s eyes and I could find some comfort whenever I hung my head low and simply gaze at my feet, as if they were a faithful and understanding companion.

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My childhood memories are a somewhat fuzzy and often the playful pitter patter of feet within my family, turning into heavy steps, and hurried shuffles as my parents went their separate ways and we,their children, were left wishing we could start again.  But everyday, like the rest of the body, we all have to wash our feet and start another day….the heart must forgive and let go of the things the feet has walked away from.

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From Ghana, to Nigeria, to South Africa and now to America, these feet have been softened and strengthened, washed many times and developed their a unique personality, and carved its own bend. As a result, I stand like no other, and I will walk like no other. And all the while, these beautiful feet never cast a shadow of doubt on the value of my existence, nor do they condemn the woman I am, or the one I am longing to be. My feet, the faithful and understanding companion, seeks no prominence or place of honor. My beautiful feet will serve and humbly carry me on the good paths prepared for me. They remain as free as my mind can see,  and as brave as my heart can run. They will walk away from harm and run to embrace love.

My beautiful feet are the most real and humblest part of me. They do not lie about where they have been, nor do they hasten after tomorrow. My beautiful feet will tenderly curl around my husbands feet, and patiently run in circles with my children, and at the day’s end, they will rest …. content to be where they ought to be. My feet stay alive and active and must be  given a voice to tell its stories and room to bring the good news that it carries.

IMG_7956My beautiful feet tell the story of life, of joy, of pain, and of hope. They carry the shoes that I alone must wear.  And everywhere these feet travel, from Ghana to Nigeria, and South Africa to America, and wherever else, these feet will continue to to discover new rhythms as it walks alongside many people and more importantly rests the beauty and grace of learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Who Are You?

To the question: ” Who are you?”

I will arise in Christ Alone and say: ” I am a daughter of the Most High God! I will arise in His unchanging love and everlasting peace to declare His praises forevermore. The old is gone,the new has come. His love has stripped fear, rejection, doubt and shame from me. He has lavished me with His presence. Oh! How precious it is to wake up, yes wake up and find that the eye of Lord is already upon you. With  his grace  generously poured over you even before you do anything. How He rejoices over us with singing. Aah! Daughter of the Most High God, consider Him and look into his eyes and tell me once again, “Who are you?”

The comparison trap!

It comes quietly without warning
Subtle voice, a tune like that of the piped piper; pulling like a magnet, making you uneasy as it relentlessly tries to get you to take just one look at what someone else has.
It’s the comparison trap, tugging you towards an empty dissatisfaction.

Lately I have felt God shine His light more closely into the corners of my heart. His desire is simple! It is to wrench me free from comparing myself to anyone, and to close my eyes and ears from the lies and whispers that render me feeling not good enough.

There is always plenty opportunity to compare yourself to others nowadays isn’t there? What you have, what you do, where you come from, the colour of your skin, everything  can so easily be measured, graded.  Worth and value so easily ascribed based on all the externals and nothing of eternal value really. From how quickly kids crawl, how slim clothes fall on your body, how tidy your house is, how romantic your husband is, gifts and talents, the list is endless.

For me though the comparison temptation has come in areas that I have been believing and trusting God for. Isn’t it funny for example that when you are single and believing for that husband, all you see are couples everywhere and you wonder why the long wait?  Or when you are trusting for that baby, all you see are mothers with babies everywhere. These corners of our hearts where much prayer, tears and hope has been tenderly nursed can so quickly be corrupted when we fail to “guard our hearts with all diligence” and succumb to comparing ourselves to others.

God desires me for Himself. To be completely satisfied with Him no matter what my desires are and what the external pressures of life are. When I compare myself, my life to another, it says that I do not believe that God loves me enough nor does he have His hand poised to bless me and care for all my needs. When I compare, I cultivate an unbelieving and thankless heart. When I compare, I lose sight of what God is doing in my life and I disregard His goodness and His timing in my life.

For each person the root of this “comparison madness” could be different. But for me God shines His light into the corners of my heart once again and He says to me “My beloved daughter, I love you. I don’t love others more than you. My love for you is without condition. You can Trust me with the desires of your heart.”

So the next time the comparison temptation comes along, guess what? It will be another great opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of others. To cheer them on, knowing that my Daddy loves me too. And He truly is more than enough.

The Hats I wear are not who I am!

It has been a an interesting journey from the dusty streets and humid sun-filled days of my playful childhood, to where i find myself now. A wife, mother of three living on “privileged” and “comfie” side of life. I often think of how strangely familiar and yet still surreal it is connecting the dots of my childhood, to the woman I am now. I am grateful that through all the challenges that life has brought, that God always knew me and He has been weaving the unending story of love and grace that is undeniable.  In this season of my life though, the question that seems to scream from every corner, with every decision and every hope and dream, is ” who are you? Clarinda? and what are the boundaries of your life?

I wear different hats on any given day: a wife, a mother, a friend, the list is endless, but what I so quickly forget at times is that I am not simply what I wear. I am learning with some urgency that if I forget who God says I am, then its very hard to enjoy wearing any of the hats I wear!

So with Gods help and my eyes set on Him, I pray that the hats I wear reflect an inner reality of one who knows she is loved. That I will wear my life with humility and without the need for approval. Oh! How I long for this to be true of me.