Movie Review

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Genre: Family drama

With Christmas around the corner, By God’s Grace will be a great watch for any lovers of Christian-Christmas movies. The movie features Cameron Deane Stewart as Chris Taylor, and Savvanah McReynolds as Grace Taylor as the main characters.

The family drama movie written by Debbie Preston and directed by Brett Eichenberger is rich in content, life lessons and smooth transitions in time that will get you hooked.

Chris loses his parents and Grace; his sister in a road accident on Christmas eve. This turned him into a mean and bitter young man, as opposed to how his parents raised and taught him; that Christmas is a time of giving.

One Christmas Eve, Grace “appears” to him and takes him through their past and the good Christmas memories, his current situation and how different he has become, and the future if he doesn’t change his behaviour.

Through these extraordinary characters, the film brings out the meaning of Christmas and the art of giving and sharing with the less fortunate in the society. To all lovers of Christmas movies, this is a must watch.

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Christmas throwbacks

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December festivities are around the corner. As a grown up, I noticed a lot has changed in terms of celebrating festivities. I remember when I was a child from around 4 years to 10 years; Christmas was the best time of the year.

With all the goodies that came with it, I always looked forward to Christmas and New Years Eve. This was the time chapati was a delicacy unlike these days where no one is interested in eating them anymore. Sodas were valued and at least one got to take a few bottles if the belly had enough space for that from the mega eating.

Most delicacies could only be eaten at this time, the likes of meat, ‘chapo’, (short form of chapatti) soda and other varieties of food. When we were still young, my siblings, cousins and I would compete to eat the largest amount of food as well as taste all the varieties.

That was not the problem; the issue was getting a comfortable sleeping posture. We would get so full my stomach would protrude and sag at the sheer quantity of the achievement. Lying while facing upwards only seemed to shift the contents and let out a growling sound.

New clothes and shoes were the favorite part of Christmas. On the eve of Christmas, everyone had restless excitement. The night seemed unending as we anticipated fitting in our new clothes, take pictures in them and showing them off to the neighbors children. Nowadays new clothes come at anytime of the year unlike in the past when they were treasured as festive gifts.

During festivities, there was the fun part of going for sleepovers to our friends’ places or having a family get together. The whole extended family would meet at our grandparents’ place and celebrate Christmas or New Years Eve. We would sleep on the floor, sofas or squeezing ourselves in one bed. Better yet, we would be allowed to play outside at night. The best part of it was meeting with cousins; playing the whole day and making the fun last all night. These memories may last forever, but Christmas will never be the same again.

When a woman loves

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I have heard a common phrase from men that women are complicated. That it is hard to understand them. Well, how about we talk when a woman loves? Even in their complicatedness, women are very poor at hiding it if they are in love.

As much as ladies have the habit of saying one thing and meaning the other, love is a topic ladies talk about in black and white. Ever seen a lady explaining how she loves someone? The words, gestures and facial expressions are all in one accord.
I’m not talking about crushes or a boyfriend who a lady sticks to as a matter of convenience, I mean a man in whom the lady sees a future with like a potential husband. One thing, she will talk about it. If she has a best friend who is trustworthy, she is the third party in the relationship. The best friend knows like 90% of what happens in that relationship. She might have gone through all the chats or eavesdropped in some conversations. If she loves you, she will say it out loud.

She will justify the wrong doings of a man she loves. She will defend the man and find reasons to hold on even when it’s not worth it. When a woman loves, she will overlook all flaws as well as cope up with some poor habits even when she can’t bear them.

She will understand the man and go out of her way to help him achieve his goals in life. She will work towards being helpful instead of being a burden. If a lady is all about money and material things, and she gets mad when you don’t give it to her, my brother run for your life. She loves your money not you.

A woman that loves you will understand when tell her you will not be taking her for holidays because you’re investing or running on a tight budget. She will work towards knowing the real you, what you like and what you dislike and do that which pleases you. She will push you to work hard and be a better version of yourself.

She will take your growth as hers and help you achieve it. She will be all about growth. Therefore, when a woman loves you, she will support you, tolerate you, defend you and be mindful of your progress and well being.

Learn to communicate effectively

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It’s not until a friend shared with me about a witle-to-be that broke up on the eve of their wedding because of a misunderstanding that I realized how vital effective communication is.

One of my favourite quotes says that between what is said and not meant and what is meant and not said, most love is lost. I cannot stress how much critical communication is in any relationship.
Disagreements will always be there but how we talk about them brings the whole difference. Some of us have the habit of assuming the other party knows what is happening. That they are supposed to be aware when we are stressed, not in a good mood or something is wrong. We expect them to behave or handle us in a certain way, and when they don’t that becomes a fight.

While there are people who can easily tell when a friend is not okay, majority of people are poor at this, and unless you talk it out no one will help even if they have the ability.
When communication lacks, most things are ruined because instead of knowing what the other person is feeling, we assume. Hence learn to communicate. Say what you don’t like or how you’re feeling. If you don’t like a dress your wife wears, don’t avoid walking with her because she wore it. Let her know you don’t like it and she will never wear it because it’s in the nature of a woman to please the man she values. The problem with some of us, we know how to air our views but in the wrong way.
If you told her something like “honey, I like it more when you wear the other dress instead of this”. A sharp woman will understand that you don’t like it and she will change into what you love. However, there are these kinds of people who will just say something like ” you look thirty years older than your age in that dress”. Though she will change into something else, damage will have been done.

As much as the message is the same, how it is communicated and its effect is totally different. It is therefore imperative to air your view but more so, airing them properly, otherwise quarrel among people will never seize if they don’t talk about issues in their lives.

Book Review

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Sidney Sheldon’s book titled “Tell me your dreams” brings to realization cases of people who have multiple personality disorder (MPD), also called dissociative disorder. The main character Ashley Patterson is twenty eight years old, and has two other alters that she doesn’t know about.

One is called Toni Prescott who was ‘born’ twenty two years ago after her father sexually abused her by touching her and forcing her to touch him. This alter was formed as a shield to the pain and trauma she suffered.

The second alter is Alette Peters who came into being twenty years ago after the father slept with her. These alters were as a result of the sexual abuses she underwent at a tender age. Ashley is not aware of these alters, though the two know and talk about her.

She is being accused of murdering five men and castrating them, yet she is not aware she committed any of the crimes because one of the aggressive alters; Toni was responsible for the killings.
Sidney Sheldon brings out the life of a person with MPD, and takes us through the scary, confused and sad moments of a young lady who is not aware that she killed five men in a gruesome way because when one alter takes over, she has no control neither does she know what is happening.

The author hooks readers as he takes one through the court trials where medical specialists testify against MPD, the life in hospital trying to understand the alters and ‘remove’ them, and bringing to light conditions that are overlooked in the society.

To people who are interested in mental health, through the writers imagination and creation of characters within characters, this is a great read and a book that will keep you hooked to the last page. However, from a concerned citizen point of view, how serious as a country do we take mental diseases? What are the laid out plans of ensuring that such cases of mental illnesses are taken care of, given there is a rising concern in relation to mental health globally.

Where did the selfless go?

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Sometimes I look at people around me and how much they have changed, I look at myself and wonder if that’s what I’ve turned into. Since when did people become so selfish and heartless? Where did family first go and where did genuine love and support for each other go? I think it’s a messed up world. Everyone seems to care about their own well being. We have turned into people that would rip another human apart as long as it benefits us.

It’s sad but the glaring reality is that we no longer discuss family issues with family because it’s no longer loyal. It’s sad that trusting family and expecting them to stand up for you when you need them is no longer the case. It’s understandable when a friend stabs you at the back but it’s unbearable when family betrays. The people who you have known all your life turn into unrecognizable strangers capable of hurting is a dreadful thing.

I remember the days as a primary school kid, if someone beat you up, the elder brother or sister would stand in defense. I doubt if that would be the case today. Probably the defense would be replaced with a reprimand, something like you’re too weak to allow yourself be beaten up. It’s no longer love but scolding. When growing up I didn’t know the world would turn into this. It was my little peaceful love-filled world.

They say change is inevitable hence adapting it is unavoidable. I guess everyone is fighting their demons and battles and they forget to show even the tiniest bit of affection to a fellow human being. I keep asking myself, where did being selfless go? I hope amidst us are still this kind of people, who still care about the welfare of their fellow humans. Here is to the selfless people, may we know them, may we raise them and may we be them. I hope we can still find the Abnegation faction amongst us (from the book divergent by Veronica Roth).

Looks or character

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I have heard people talk about “love at first sight” I don’t know how true and applicable this is. This is not the final say about it but my own opinion towards this statement.

You might disagree with me and it is okay because we are all different and hold different view points about life. You might agree with me fully or partially and it is okay. We should be able to accommodate each other even when we disagree. Opinions are different most of the times.

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As for me, love at first sight is the biggest joke of a lifetime. A very expensive lie. I do not believe in love at first sight. If they said love at first conversation or something like that, probably I would have believed it around 20%.

For me that is not love. I consider that as lust or physical attraction towards a person. “Love at first sight” is what you see. Not what you know or have experienced. You cannot see character on someone’s face, remember faces lie. So you fall in love with what you see. Her curves, smile or his well built body and so on.

I don’t know what people fall in love with, but as for me it is character. You don’t get to know that until you spend time with that person. I don’t mean a day and you conclude you know that person. I mean quality time even months. You know, a person can pretend and hide their true character but they can’t hide forever. With time their they unleash their true traits.

It is through interaction and a lot After all communication that you get to know a person. Probably you’ll find you have a lot in common and with time you fall in love. Tell me it was love at first sight and I will encourage you to continue being in love.

When you love a person because of their character, their looks aren’t a priority. It’s like the inner beauty overflows to the outside. After all, looks never build strong and lasting relationships but character does.

You know why? He thought you are beautiful and you started dating, after a while he sees another one who is more beautiful and loves her as well “at the first sight” and you are dumped. But if the foundation was character trust me that Union will last.

No wonder relationships are breaking after few months because what you saw is totally different from the real person. She/he looked beautiful/handsome but her/his habits are so rotten and you can’t stand them. Few months down the line you are like “I never thought you were like that” well, a rotten avocado might look okay until you cut it.

Anyway that is my opinion about this topic. Love at first sight does not exist, that is mere lust. Love and lust are thousands of miles apart never confuse them because you’ll get lost in between. As for me, tell me you loved me the first time you saw me and I will chase you like a dog that has eaten eggs.(on a light note though) because love at first sight for me, is extinct.