The baker’s granddaughter.

Coming from a long line of bakers, you would think that baking would come naturally to me. For me, baking is a craft I am still learning.

The day before my grandad died, I wanted to bake, not one but two coffee cakes. There was a sense of harmony as the sugar, eggs, and flour blended together and when they came out of the oven, it was a thing of beauty. The smell of coffee lingered in the air as I slathered the icing around the way and honestly, the cake looked like a show-stopper. I thought I had finally tapped into my baking skills and I was so pleased with myself…until I took a bite of the cake.

Something felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I recapped the steps, I got the bowl, sieved in the flour, added the eggs, the sugar…I didn’t put the butter.

I forgot to put the butter in the cake.

How did I forget to put BUTTER in a cake?

BUTTER.

I look around the kitchen to see the lonely butter sitting outside melting away looking ashamed and honestly, looked a little embarrassed for me.

I’m not sure what was passed on to me from my grandad. It wasn’t his baking ability. But grandad has passed away.

This time last year, I saw my stoic father breakdown in grief sitting on a hospitable bed recovering from my post-op infection. I had to be comforted by my sister who was learning about motherhood in the midst of her grief. I learnt that blubbering incoherent words at your manager with tears streaming down your face can get you sent home to grieve. When you get sent home at 5:30am, still crying like a baby, you tend to forget how to get home, what bus stop to get off at it and when you eventually make it home, all you want to do is sleep.

On that day, just as the sun was coming up, I thought a lot about Appapan, the man who he was, the pain that he was in and what I would have said if I got a chance. I don’t think I will ever forget the days he would come home with foods or treats that would get us so excited. All the endless cricket matches he would watch and eventually fall asleep. His snore sounded like a roar that echoed through the walls and became part of the white noise that filled the house.

A year on from his passing, I don’t know what my epic goodbye message would have been. In reality, our intimate goodbye happened months before, holding his hand, looking into his eyes and allowing the silence to replace the words. I didn’t need to hear him say the words but I knew he loved me. I hope and pray that he knew that I loved him too. I hope he knows that he made a mark in our lives and the world will never be the same without him in it – for starters, every vada shop took a hit when he passed away.

I hope he knows that I miss him and the pain of not having him here on earth will be nothing compared to the joy I will have when I see him again. Until then appapa, rest easy. I hope you are dreaming of epic crickets matches where India surprises you and wins the game. I hope you are having vadas and a quarter and not worry about them clogging your artery or ruining your liver. I hope you and Jesus are having a good time talking about your childhood and about Kerala.

Until then appapa, I will make sure to do you proud and eventually learn to bake a proper cake with butter and give you credit.

Lots of love,
Linu (your favourite granddaughter)

 

What I did not say.

On the 27th of March 2018, my grandma passed away. Having battled with cancer, she was a warrior and she was ready to meet her Lord.

The last conversation we spoke, in broken Malayalam, was her asking for prayer – prayers for a good night sleep because she couldn’t sleep and she was in pain.

Now that she has passed away, she had never looked more peaceful. Towards the end of her time, she could not speak much and if I knew how quickly her time on earth was coming to an end, I would have told her that I am thankful. So thankful to have a grandma who would wake up early to cook us breakfast. Thank you for cooking even when you couldn’t. Thank you for all the stories you’ve told me about your life which was inspiring and helped me understand you more.

Thank you for making us pray before dinner and teaching us all those Malayalam hymns. It’s a tradition that I didn’t appreciate at the time but it’s a memory that I will cherish. I loved hearing you read the Bible to us. I will always think of you when we sing Malayalam hymns.

I am sorry that I wasn’t there to say goodbye. I am so sorry that I wasn’t there. I am so sorry that I couldn’t communicate better with you. I am sorry that I didn’t get a chance to tell you that I will be going on a mission trip. I’m sad that you won’t get a chance to meet my husband, your grandchildren.

But I am so glad that you are no longer in pain. I know you worry about your kids but let us worry about that. You rest. You have led a very busy life and you kept your whole family afloat even when your rowdy boys were stubborn and when everyone worried about granddad’s health instead of you.

I am so glad that you are no longer in pain and struggling to breathe.

I think the only thing left to say was what was left unsaid all of my life – I love you.

Till we meet again,

Linu

5 verses you need to march into the love of God.

Some days, you forget how loved you are. Some days, you feel like Jesus is a nice story in a nice book but does not relate to your life. But, this is your reminder that the story of Jesus dying the most horrible death for you isn’t a just a nice story in a nice book. You, my friend, are a key character in the story for whom the hero died for. So just in case you forget, – here are your reminders.

Jeremiah 31: 3 The Lord appeared to him from saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.”

His love for us is everlasting. Never ending. Nothing we do could ever separate us from His love and He will always keep drawing us to Him. Don’t trust me? Check the next verse!

Romans 8: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Nothing and I mean, nothing can separate you from God. Believe me. So no matter how badly you feel like you have messed up, trust me, you haven’t.

Psalm 136:2-3 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.

His love for you endures forever – it endures regardless of your past, what did you last night or how you feel about Jesus. His love endures forever.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

He loved us even before we came into being. He loved and died for us even before we knew of Him or even accepted Him. Because he loves us.

Isaiah 49:15-16 Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

We are forever on God’s mind and He will never forget us. He is God who had you engraved on the palm of His hands. He will never forget about you. Even if human heart fails you, God will never fail you.

 

Dear future Linu,

I hope you find this letter just when you need it. It is 18:40 on December 24, 2017, and you are sitting in an oversized hoodie, hair in a bun, pushing back your glasses as you are typing this.

Just before the day rolled in, in the early hours of this morning, you were feeling overwhelmed with emotion and you felt the Lord say: ‘it’s all going to be alright.’  That’s what you should carry as you take on this year and hustle for all the dreams that you and God dreamed up together.

Remember that you have an amazing bunch of friends and you better not taken them for granted. Keep praying for them and standing with them in prayer and praise, through the ugly-crying stages and the laugh-till-your-belly-hurt-phases.

You are doing such a good job at trying to love yourself and seeing yourself through your Father’s eyes. 23 years ago, you must have probably bargained with God to let you come out a few days before you were due because you smelt the biriyani cooking but remember that it was God who spoke you into existence and knit you so wonderfully. Never stop seeing yourself as a masterpiece.

In this last year alone, you have

  • Met Matt Redman and James Cameron’s parents.
  • Continued journaling.
  • Wrote goals for the year and 5-year goals.
  • Trusted God more.
  • Preached more than once.
  • Started a church internship.
  • Did a mini-intro at Kiss FM studio.
  • Zip-lined.
  • Hit the bullseye 5 minutes into learning archery.
  • Started to learn MMA and fell in love with left hooks and tornado kicks.
  • Wrote psalms.
  • Wrote interviews that came in an independent magazine – Junia.
  • Started a secret life with God.
  • You didn’t stop on six.

 

Keep going. Know that your wild heart is carefully protected by your fiercest lover, Jesus. Walk into a situation, with your head held high, you royal woman of God.

Fear is a lie. #Fearless

Everyone knows of the good ol’ lad – Timothy. Tim was a great guy. He was a young kid that was under an amazing leadership of Paul and had such wisdom from God. In one of his letters, Timothy talks about how God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control.

I find this very hard to apply this to my life. If God has not given us a spirit of fear, why do I get anxious? 

God did not sugarcoat His answer for me: it’s all about choice.

Fear is a choice. You can choose not to fear because fear is a lie.

Let’s break it down. Emotions, such as fear and sadness are emotions that every human experience. Even Jesus, wept when his friend Lazarus died, He got angry when the temple was wrongly used and He was fearful when He knew the time has come to be crucified.

But with emotions, you can do one of two things. You can react like a coke bottle with hundreds of mentos stuffed in OR you can respond to your emotion, identify the feeling and CHOOSE to respond in a more Christ-like way.

When Jesus was scared about being crucified, He said ‘if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will but Yours be done.’

Jesus allows us to realise that no matter what we are feeling, it’s a choice to allow God to do His will, not ours.  

Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North when talking about his song Strong Enough to Save, talked about his inspiration for writing this one line in the song: ‘fear is just a lie’. Donehey says that he was reading a Russian novel called The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky where Fyodor says ‘avoid fear, fear is simply the consequence of every lie’.

Donehey then goes on to say drop the golden nugget of wisdom where he reminds us who the father of every lie is – Satan.

So can I encourage you to trace back your fear to see if it leads back to a lie that Satan might have said?

Let’s come to our main man Tim. Like we said, he was a great guy and his golden nugget of wisdom – we don’t have a spirit of fear but of love, power and self-control. Doing some research, we find that he practised what he preached.

That man was fearless and had a bold spirit. Tim had grown to be a bishop in Ephesus. There was a great procession in Ephesus in order of goddess Diana and Tim tried to stop it. Sadly, he was beaten and stoned to death.

He was eighty when he died.

God did not give him a spirit of fear but one of love, power and self-control. He would have been scared but he chose courage. Fear was a lie.

I AM Series: 10 Truths to Speak Over Yourself. #ThursdayTruths

Hey friend, 

We are at week four and I pray that these truths will combat any lies that are thrown at us. I hope you continue to speak these truths or other truths that you find from the Bible and transform your life.

Here are this week’s truths:

I am firmly rooted in God’s word.

I am thankful for everything God has done for me.

I am healed.

I am joyful because the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I am priceless.

I am anointed.

I am a conqueror.

I am who God says I am.

I am created in the image of God.

I am loved. I am so very loved.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s I Am Series. Post a comment if you like any more of these truths, a topic you want me to write about or ideas for my next series. I have my inspiration cap on! 

Love, 

Linu 

I AM Series: 10 Truths to Speak Over Yourself. #ThursdayTruths

Hello friend.

We are at week 3 of the ‘I Am series’ and we are going strong. I think these are some important truths that sometimes slip our mind so keep reminding yourself of these truths. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different to what God tells you.

I am valuable.

I am the apple of His eye.

I am God’s treasured possession.

I am not a mistake.

I am here in this world for a purpose.

I am never separated from God.

I am part of a chosen generation

I am the light of the world.

I am delivered from the powers of darkness.

I am loved.

Love,

Linu

I AM Series: 10 Truths to Speak Over Yourself. #ThursdayTruths

How are you doing friend? Have you been telling these truths to yourself whilst looking at the mirror? I hope you are nodding yes at the screen. If not, don’t worry – keep going; don’t stop now. Habits, especially good habits take time. Here is the next lot of truth you should tell yourself this week!

I am blessed.

I am forgiven.

I am a citizen of Heaven.

I am the salt of the earth.

I am a masterpiece.

I am not a slave to sin.

I am a new creation in Christ.

I am protected.

I am chosen by God.

I am loved.

Love,

Linu 

I AM Series: 10 Truths to Speak Over Yourself. #ThursdayTruths

I am a huge believer of speaking life – mostly because the Bible tells me so. Proverbs 18:21 tells me – ‘the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruits.’

I always make sure I speak kindly and truthfully to myself, especially when my thoughts are ready to give me an endless list of ugly lies.

The I Am series are going to run every Thursday for this month which I encourage to speak over yourself. Get ready to look at yourself in the mirror and speak this over yourself. Be consistent and aligns your I Am with God’s word.

I am an amazing (wo)man of God.

I am fearless.

I am unafraid of the obstacles because I know God is on my side.

I am more previous than rubies.

I am a loved child of God.

I am a friend of God.

I am victorious when I face my battles.

I am an overcomer of my mistakes and my guilt because of the grace of God.

I am free.

I am loved.

 

Okay guys, let’s do this together and start to believe these truths. See you next Thursday with more truths.

A letter for the fierce warrior inside of you

A fierce warrior
Dear warrior, 
 
Why are you hiding? You are very well equipped to fight this battle ahead of you, my dear friend. Equipped with the armor of God – you are protected from the enemy’s arrow and sword. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and elevate your perspective to see God and not this war you are facing. God sees the war that has been raging and He will bring the victory. 
 
So rise up warrior. Rise up; look up to see God. See God clothing you with strength: 
 
Psalm 18:39 –  You have armed me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
 
Rise up warrior. Fight this battle on your knees. This battle is not won by raising up your swords or arrows and drenching them in blood but falling on your knees and allowing God to fight for you. Know that God is closer than you know, He fighting for you more than you know. He is going before you to clear a path for you. He has you. He got you. He is with you. 
 
He is there. 
 
For you. 
 
Fighting. 
 
For you, fighting with you. 
 
Judges 6:12 – The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.
 
You mighty, brave warrior. God is with you and no matter how weak you feel, God is with you, strengthening you. You have a mighty warrior who is zealous in protecting you and looking after you. 
 
Jeremiah 20:11 – But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.
 
So rise up warrior. Rise up and fall to your knees because all you have to do be still and let God fight for you. Don’t give up. Don’t stop now. You got this, you mighty warrior.
 
Are you ready? Are you ready to get up and awaken the warrior inside of you? Cause the world could use a prayer warrior like you.  
 
So come on. 
 
Rise, you fierce warrior. 
 
Take up your position and start changing the world – one prayer at a time.