It’s more than just a marathon!

Like any setting with more that one person the family is one of those spaces where you love each other but have to live with and be aware that although you have some similarities you’re all uniquely different.

We agree and disagree on many things but the MTN Marathon is one activity we love to do together. It ceases to just be about the marathon but it’s the whole process getting to, during and after the marathon.

So this was my experience this month. My sweetheart, commonly called Dad, buys the kits. We are all excited, the kids get to pick numbers and 5am we are up and ready to go. Lots of selfies!!! Most roads are blocked so we end up walking a bit even before entering the arena. We have lots of interesting discussion with the kids on whether we can win, the prize money, whether we can complete, who won the 42km last year and why winners names always start with Kip… Kiprotich, Kipsero etc.

At the start we begin our 10km journey there is lots of adrenaline flowing. It’s beautiful to run through Kampala with the roads closed, the media cheering you on and the roadside boys trying to sell you glucose. As you go through the 4 kilometer, fatigue sets in and family politics begins to play. “Mummy, my legs are paining”. Siblings complaining that their sister is slowing them down and they want to speed ahead.

This year I was in the slower group and ran and walked with my two younger children. The men in the house sped away and joined the faster runners. To motivate my 7 year old we did a small detour and bought some ice cream! Yes we did complete eventually and were not the last but didn’t get the trophy!

So the MTN Marathon is not only about the race. It’s about building your team (whether family or work team) and spending quality time. It’s about realizing and building an ‘I can do it’ attitude. It’s about great conversations as you run through the free streets of Kampala and dance to the music in the arena.

We are already ready to sign up for the 2020 Marathon. Next year we are sure to be better prepared to join the Kips. My kids on the other hand have signed up for the kids run. After they did 10km they are so sure 3km will be like baby steps.

Feeeling Stressed? Why? #nopressure

Never had I read the story of the Garden of Gethsemane as I heard it on Sunday.
First of all that day Jesus prayed 3 times in a row. What was up? How bad could it have been? He asked God to take away his suffering, if He willed. He felt overwhelmed (pressure).
Then I thought Jesus always walked with the 12 disciples but this time he chose 3 to escort him to prayer. Although these 3 kept dozing off at least they were there. But even then,
God sent him an Angel who strengthened him.
So what was my take away? Have a place to pray and pray! Have your tight peeps to be there as you pursue your purpose. However most importantly God is there and he will strengthen you…even send an Angel. Don’t be stressed. Gods got this. No pressure.
Read the verses and tell me… Matthew 26: 36-46, Luke 22: 39-46.

Have a great week peeps. #nopressure#myvivechurch.

Crazy Dreamers Do Achieve

I have always considered myself a crazy dreamer. I am one of these people who has ideas that sometimes people question whether it’s doable or not. Then I double check and join them in their doubt party.

This weekend however I was glad to find a group of crazy people. Who shared what other crazy people had done.

Noah’s instruction to build a big boat in a desert! He was a laughing stock.

Like Moses, to lead the children to cross a big mass of water! Hello…ask me to walk into Lake Victoria.

David to take on a massive giant Golaith! Seems he didn’t know how small he was.

Little Mary to be the one to carry Jesus! Who is going to believe her kaboozi of a pregnant virgin?

Is that crazy or what? God picks the least likely and walks with them to achieve great things. Only so He will shock the world.

So when God gives you a task and it’s seems impossible and almost crazy, dont hold back.

People may call you crazy but if our dreams, passions and ideas are God’s plan and He is walking with you, then you might just see all those crazy ideas come to pass.

Looking forward for continuing this discussion(Crazy like that) this Sunday.

#myvivechurch #vivechurchug

African Tuku Tuku

Growing up as a child I had a lovely dark tan. Different from many around me. Interesting day for me was once on a plane I sat next to a gentleman who obviously had not seen too many Africans. After starring at me for a while he exclaimed in a strong American accent, “What lovely skin you have, it’s like chocolate!!!”. That was the funniest description I had ever heard and it forever made me laugh and smile about how God had made me with such a lovely colour just like my favourite KitKat chocolate which up to date is the best thing I have ever tasted.

Fast forward…my 7 year old recently asked me why she is dark brown and her friends are light brown or yellow. I told her that God made us chocolate and if anyone asks she should tell them that. To my amazement a few days later she came and confidently told me that she is no longer telling her friends she is chocolate because they want to eat her. She has now found a solution of her own. “Mummy, I am coffee not chocolate”.

Here’s to my lovely coffee or chocolate coloured sisters. Be beautiful and confident in your own skin. I have never seen anything more unique than our lovely colour. We must be Africans ‘tuku tuku’ as the Baganda would say. To mean we are the original Africans.

To all parents with dark, light, short, tall, thin, fat or just unique children always build their confidence and let them know they are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image.

Have a blessed week and enjoy all the lovely chocolate and coffee around you!

Power Groups

Getting together with a small group of like minded people is the first step to moving forward with the goals you have in whatever area of your life. My Sunday started with a meet up with a small group of church planters and later an evening with my small investment group.

From my interaction with both diverse groups I realised we never have time but people make time for what’s important, people make time for what builds them personally, financially, spiritually or even emotionally. People want to build themselves but also want a an opportunity to give back to society.

We are all such a diverse group of people, with different temperaments, backgrounds and social network’s. There is so much to learn from a diverse group of people. Those who are loud and speak with confidence openly share their knowledge. Then there is the quiet person who says just one word but it’s actually the thing you had all missed. The person who analyses the risk and areas you need to be cautious on and then the one who tells the group to move in faith.

Glad to have my circles of influence from whom I have achieved a lot, grown and also made use of my God given gifts.

And yes I confirmed that when people gather around food, are open and honest there is more to gain from each other. However if the group hasn’t yet bonded in a vulnerable sort of way progress will be slow.

Looking forward to sharing with you more on the dynamics of groups as I meet my other interest groups this week. We always set targets, now lets see how we do as a group in the next few months. So far progress is steady if thats worth celebrating.

Which groups, associations or circles do you belong to? Share and let me know how effective they are in helping you achieve your goals.

Learn by Reading

I want to spend a minute today to talk about two books. The first book I read is Team of Teams by Gen. Stanley Chrystal. The second book is called Good to Great by Jim Collins.

What did I learn from these books. Good to Great talks about companies that are good but they’re not great. In order for them to be great they need to do a number of things. There are some principles. The company should a level 5 leader. What does this mean? A level 5 leader is one of those leaders who is passionate about the organization. A level 5 leader aims at growing the organization. They mentor and have great humility.

The book also talks about for a company to move from being just a good company to a great company, you need to make sure that you have the right leaders in place so it’s emphasizes the need to find the right people to let the wrong people go. For me that was an exciting bit that the author wrote. The Author encourages us be consistent at what you do. Don’t keep jumping from one thing to another. Understand your product and grow naturally.

Then I also read the book Team of Teams. What you know today may not necessarily be relevant tomorrow. Times are changing and these are the days of technology and innovation. So the author says even though we make plans we must be able to be adaptable in case there are any changes. What I liked about the book is the author gave us other key strategies to use as leader in a company and these are work with teams, empower people, give them information so they feel part of the organization amongst others.

So from reading these two books what am I going to do in the way I live my life. I’m going to do a couple of things.

I will be a leader that mentors. I will be a leader that encourages others. A leader that empowers the team. A leader that imparts knowledge to the team. I will continue to plan but I must be able to adapt to changes. I will innovate work with innovators. I will be steady and persistent. So those were my take aways.

What are you takeaways? What are you going to do different? If you haven’t read those two books. I encourage you to read them so as to grow in your leadership and management.

Have a good week. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

The Lion King…More Than Just The Movie.

In my view parenting in the 21st century has changed and its less about the authoritarian style of leadership and more about collaboration and cooperation. The family is a team and as one of the team leaders the more I understand them and get them to understand us (parents) and our vision, the better. The visit to the cinema this weekend with four of my children surprisingly proved to be an excellent team building event.

Lesson one – Democracy – Let the children debate and conclude, don’t always tell them what to do. The process of selecting the movie was first of all a debate between us. Who should watch it and whether it’s age appropriate for all the children given that it is rated PG13.  The next debate was who sits where. Since there were no free seats where all five of us could all sit together we had to sit in pairs and one alone. It was interesting to see how the children self select which sibling they sit with. Interesting dynamics.

Lesson two – Quality Time. Normally since a movie is on average 2 hours I use the kids time in the cinema to set up parallel meetings or to do errands given my busy mother wife schedule. This time around I decided to sit in the cinema for the two hours.

Children appreciate that you are busy but they need your time too. They enjoyed my company in the cinema even when I thought I would rather spend the two hour trying to ‘make ends meet’ or look for money as we commonly say.

Lesson three – Rest is important. For these two hours I shut out the busy world and entered the beautiful scenery of Lion King. It was not only refreshing but also made me appreciate even more the beauty in Africa and our animals, and how much more we should be doing in the tourism sector in Uganda. Those hours to rest and disappear in the lion kingdom gave me an energy boost which as mothers God knows we need.

Lesson four – Generations need to find common ground. Lion King stimulated so much discussion. At the end of the movie from the 7 year old, 10 year old and the teenagers we were singing our favourite songs, discussing the characters, discussing the animals and where we think the scenes were shot from. They all want to see the Wilder beast migration so I guess Serengeti is on our bucket list. They were excited as well to know that there was a Ugandan actress. Now I have people dreaming about Hollywood.

It was a good movie and a weekend well spent. The team is now energized and motivated for all the tasks that lie ahead this week.

I won’t spoil your excitement by telling you about the movie, just encourage you to watch it with family and take time to rest, recuperate and enjoy each others company.

How are you doing so far?

Reflection time…12th July represents 10 days into the second half of the year.Yes, 2nd July was the middle of 2019. Time for an audit…in all aspects of my life. Somethings done. Some things undone. How am I doing? What were my goals anyway? How are you doing?
We thank God for how far He has brought us in 2019. A lot to be grateful for. A lot of unanswered questions but let’s hold on to Prov. 3: 5-7 #newyearresolutions#goalsetting#midtermreview.

Women supporting women

We all need encouragement as we go through life’s opportunities and challenges. We all need someone to guide us and tell us that we can make it. We need women who have walked the path where we want to go. This was the begining of Phenomenal Women’s Conferences.

In September 2018. One lady had a vision to support women particularly minorities and women of colour in their walk in life. This gave birth to Phenomenal Women Geneva and later to Uganda and Boston chapters. The call in these conferences is for women to step out an discover our great purpose in life and to act on their purpose. It also calls for women to in turn make impact in our society by giving back to others in any way possible, whether financially or physical presence.

These conferences bring together women from all professionals and countries to support, share and encourage one another in the areas of mental health, real estate and investment, human rights and governance, business, family, faith amongst other topics.

A number of conferences have now been held and continue to be held around the globe, bringing women together to support each other so we are strengthened and refreshed to then go and carry out our bigger mission.

Phenomenal Women Global, Geneva, Boston and Uganda will also run a mentoring programme and scholarship fund to support the youth, particularly young women.

To be a part of this global movement or get more information please contact us facebook pages on gandalifeplanner or phenomenalwomenuganda or visit the website phenomenalwomenglobal.com

Making the Right Connections

You do not need to be a genius or super religious to recognize when you have met someone who fits exactly into your puzzle. When you meet someone who you needed to meet right now. Someone who speaks to your need or situation. Its as if they read your mind or someone told them to come and talk to you. Yes, I know it may sound crazy especially if you don’t believe in crazy. Well that is what has happened to me this past week.

I have a passion or pain for encouraging, empowering and sponsoring young people, the youth. This has been on my mind for a couple of years now and this year I was determined to find clarity on whether I should respond to my passion. I decided to attend a conference knowing that by the end of the conference I will get clarity on my purpose and what I should be doing. I was totally open minded and hoping for new ideas.

I expected to hear something new or to come up with a grand plan. However, that is not what I got. Instead I felt my heart even more passionate about my original idea. On day two of the conference I asked God for one thing, “if you want me to do this thing, bring me people who will contribute to the vision”.

Huh! Oh my oh my! Be very careful what you pray for. I felt like the heavens opened up and for the next few days all the people I met fit exactly into my plan. They fit exactly into the purpose God had out on my heart. I didn’t go out of my way to meet anyone, they came to me.

Let me explain how. I sat at a table, didn’t greet my neighbor, she greeted me and told me how she was passionate about youth and was writing a book for high school leavers, we exchanged cards. I then walked to the bathroom with a girl who was also walking there, she told me she was passionate about social, emotional and mental wellbeing for young people. Then when I went to get a cup of tea, I met a lady who said she started an organization employing talented youth. We exchanged contacts. You need to understand that this was all in the space of three hours. All I did was sat on a table, go to the bathroom then pick a cup of tea. God brought people to me as if to say, ‘hear me loud and clear. This is your purpose’. You have to understand by the time I met the third person I was in tears. She was wondering why I cried when she shared with me what she does. I just told her you are working in an area I am interested in and this is a divine connection.

The next day I traveled on a flight and happened to meet a lady I haven’t seen in over fifteen years. I remembered her and called her by name. Surprised I remembered. She has been researching for aviation schools for her son and part time teaches youth and women vocational skills.  I have been looking at possible aviation schools for a boy I would like to find sponsorship for. She gave me so much information on that. I can go on about the people I met that day but just know that as we speak everyone I have met this week fits into my puzzle. It is so overwhelming.

My lesson is that if God gives you an assignment, do not hesitate. It is true, you’re the one we have been waiting for. When God asks, “whom shall I send?” respond, “Send me” because God will prepare the way for you. He will send people to you and the minute they open their mouth to speak, you will know that it is a divine connection.   

Have a good week. May you walk in your purpose and know that everything has already been prepared for you.

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Divine connections are those associations or relationships that God has pre-ordained for us.   They are priceless because God uses these relationships to direct us to our destiny and bring increase to us – Deborah Arise.