These last couple of weeks, I started to notice a trend again: Performance. It is such a big part of our world. We perform for recognition, for self-gain, to become the best. We strive to be the best versions of ourselves and deliver without any weakness or fault. We step up to plate, keep the standard high and do anything in our power to not lose face.

It is a sneaky disease, easily disguised as excellence and professional, but in the core rotten. Why? Because you are it’s centre and you have to keep it in balance and it requires everything from you.

Performance has a hidden agenda of jealousy and competition. Smiling outwardly because, let’s face it, what people think of you is vital, but on the inside, we are so critical on others and mostly on ourselves.

This little disease crawled into my world through my son. David is now 13 months old and he still crawls. When he turned one, I anxiously started to wait for those first steps. But it never came. I then started with my explanation mantra to calm myself by saying: Crawling is good for him, he must crawl as long as possible. But my heart cringed when he came in contact with other walking kids and because he is still crawling away, they did not see him or treated him as still a baby by taking away his toys. This mother’s heart almost lost it!

Then came google: “By when must your baby walk?” then came the accusing questions to my ever chill husband: ” By when did you walk? He must be like you! ” { Mind you , I started walking at 14 months.}

Then came the flat out lie covered in fear: ” He is lazy/ scared / something is wrong.”

I then by God’s grace read somewhere that for him to gain confidence, I must act like a clown and pretend to fall for him to see that it is ok to fall. In other words, I have to pretend like walking can be painful and real but still full of fun, just like life. I have to break the performance mindset.

So this morning, I decided to do it. I put him down and helped him to stand. He looked nervously at me, and I tried to explain to him that all will be ok, when the next moment, it sounded like a party erupted in my house. My nanny, Memory, the golden angel, walked into the room at that exact moment, saw him standing all by himself and burst out in a joyful sound and started dancing like crazy because this boy was just standing!

Then the miracle happened: He got so excited about this celebration, he started to walk!!!

I was at a loss for words and just burst out into a  song and started clapping my hands in celebration of my beautiful boy, joining in on their little party! For the next hour, it sounded like the circus was in town. Memory and I laughed and clapped and pretended to fall, while David giggled himself silly while standing and taking small steps towards us trying to join in on the fun!

I looked at Memory in absolute wonder because yet again, she was the man of the hour.

So this post is dedicated to this remarkable woman and the lessons I have learned from her through observing her in my life. She is joyful, yet her whole life gave her enough reason not to be. She is from Zimbabwe and like many of her fellow countrymen, in order to have a future for her, she left her family and came and settled here in South Africa. Here she met another Zimbabwean man, Ronnie, and they got married. Both are incredible people to whom I am ever grateful.

But this is how Memory lives and my insiders guide to unspeakable joy:

God is her everything. I have not met a person more committed to serving Him. Her life is that of Worship. She arrives every morning with music in her ears and often asks me to leave worship music on as she works.

She lives prayerfully. She brings everything to God and leaves it there.

She knows how to celebrate. The example of David is just one tale of how Memory celebrates people. She has met so many of my friends and I always tell her their story when they leave. She is always so in awe of who they are and remembers to ask me how they are doing if I say that we must pray for them.

One day she asked me for prayer because it was her first time at a conference. I was confused because two weeks prior to this request, I remember her telling me that she attended a conference. That Monday after the weekend, she came to work with a smile on her face and told me with so much joy that it went well. Confused I asked her why this conference needed special prayer in comparison to the others? Turns out that she was the main speaker at the conference of about 3000 attendees. I was stunned!

She walks in humility and has a healthy fear for her living God and this all adds to one very joyful woman that I share my house with.

My last tip to help you break the mould of performance is to learn to laugh at yourself.

I did this morning and my boy now walks! 😉




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