Drips and Crayon Fights

I smile to myself as I hear the girls fighting over crayons. A genuine happy smile, I can’t quite remember how many times I have smiled in the last couple of days.

‘My crayon!’ Ksena says as Ky runs away with the green crayon. Ky isn’t really into coloring, but she wants what Ksena has. Ksena, on the other hand, wants to color in peace but Ky would rather flip the pages of Miss K’s coloring book.

We do not encourage fighting, but it is so good to have them back to their normal selves. It’s been a tough start to 2018 with all of us unwell. We’ve seen enough of needles, drips, medication, and hospital walls for 2018. I’ve worried and prayed and experienced peace.

God made a way, that’s the only reason that I am even able to share here. Those days felt very dark and scary. I realized how much I don’t have control of, and there are a lot of things on that list. Even in the darkest moments, I draw my strength from my faith in Christ.

For those who are in the midst of a trial, I pray that God will be close to you, may you see His hand sustaining you, holding you and loving you.

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Baking in PJs

“Call me Chef, I am not Ksena anymore,”

I smiled and responded, “Yes, Chef!” and we started baking.

I absolutely love this toddler stage where we can role play. It is so much fun to watch and interact with her, as I understand her thought process. We take on many roles during the day, sometimes we are cows mooing about other times we are dainty ballerinas tippy-toeing about. But the status of our hearts remains: overflowing with joy!

A few weeks ago, we woke up as Chefs. With a cookie bake calling our names. I told Ksena that we’d bake in the afternoon and then something came up. By evening, all she was asking is, ‘Mummy, can we bake our cookies now?’

Promises to hope are like sugar to blood, they make its levels spike instantly. When you give your word to a child you see their hopes rise and their faces shine. After shower hour, clad in PJs, we went to the kitchen and baked cookies. It was way past her bedtime but we baked vanilla, choc chip cookies and she ate one and slept soon after.

As I reflected, baking cookies felt a lot like some of the dreams and desires that I’ve had. I’ve lost hope as I have worn my PJs and felt like time had run out but with God, it is never too late. Our man-made timelines do not limit his power. He is sovereign still.

Happy New Year!

New Living Translation
Ecclesiastes 7:13

‘Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don’t fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?’

Here’s to a year of seeing how the Lord does things and aligning ourselves with His will.

 

 

Happy Feet

The Sun has inched a little closer to the Coastal city. We are back to the hot season where you look at your children’s water bottles and cups every hour to make sure that they are hydrated.

Thankfully, the girls like water. Drinking and playing with water, anything to do with water, really. In another life, they would probably live underwater and play with all the multicolored fish. Their love for water inspired my first Children’s book that comes out in a few weeks, I am beside myself with excitement.

I marvel at people who are able to drink one glass of water a day. If I did that, my skin and hair would announce it to the world. I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and still battle acne.

A few days ago, when we went out to get a few things, we saw a Penguin water bottle that had Ksena on her feet with glee. We’ve been looking for some portable bottles for the girls to help them drink more, and these ones looked perfect. When we got home, we cleaned them up and filled them and the girls drunk a lot, Ksena even asked for more. Nothing had changed, the water was the same water that we drink every day but they drunk it so well.

I was studying John 4 on a really hot afternoon that had me back and forth from the dispenser. As I filled my glass and watched the bubbles go up, I thought about how water hits the spot. I have tried soda and juice on a really hot day but good old water remains the thirst-quenching-champ.

Sometimes, when the trials and monotony of life hit we are tempted to look for something sweet to quench our thirst, but the truth is that they can’t do what the Living water can do. They can’t nourish our inner parts so our thirst remains.

Like the girls, sometimes all we need is a change of bottle or a straw to jazz things up. And lots of water, the living water.

My new ‘Penguin bottle’ is The Everyday Life Bible featuring notes and commentary by Joyce Meyer. I am really enjoying my quiet time and dancing with Happy Feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letters of Coffee

Every time I complete a manuscript joy rises within me, it is one thing to have an idea and another to write it down in a way that flows, to tick all the boxes in my writing to-do-list. Last week as I looked at the final manuscript of my book, Ky hurriedly crawled to help me type and accidentally knocked over hubs cup of coffee and it flooded my keyboard. The caffeine kicked in instantly and had some keys working on overdrive, this must be how coffee affects our brains, makes us enthusiastic. Caffeine makes you alert, you have an answer to the question that you are yet to be asked.

My manuscript looked something like this:

coherent words….

nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn//////////////////////////////]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] to infinty.

Plus the delete button was not working. I was stuck with ‘highlight+cut’.

It was not funny at the time, but you are allowed to laugh 🙂 I am learning to take things as they come and know that God has my best interests at heart.

Hubs and I keep saying, half-joking, that we know who the writer will be among the two, Miss Ky. She is my writing sidekick, constantly typing, trying to read (and eat) my books. She has tried to write her own paragraph as I have typed this.

Bishop T.D Jakes and Pastor Steven Furtick have done a recorded a sermon on Entrepreneurship. One of the things that T.D Jakes says is that we have been called to be fruitful because we are filled with seed. You can’t bear fruit if you do not have seed within. If the seed is not nurtured in good conditions it will not grow. He added that through his sermon he was spraying fertilizer on dormant seeds. You are born with more than one seed in you, do not let the world tell you that because you have an Apple tree you shouldn’t let the Pawpaw tree grow.

It is important to identify the seed that the Lord has placed in your child so that you can put them in spaces that allow them to grow. As I sat there, the seeds in both of my children came to mind, and God unveiled them for me to see that they were not just coincidences but the seed that needs to grow.

 

Parenting is a partnership with God. It is asking the Lord to give you grace, wisdom, and patience to raise the child that He has entrusted to your care. As I identify the seeds in the girls, I pray that I will see the dormant ones in my life and let the Lord water them that they may grow for the glory of His name.

Here’s to bearing fruit and fruit that lasts.

 

Buckets Of Love

“But these shoes don’t match my outfit, Mama,” Ksena said as she removed the pink Crocs.

“Go and ask Daddy what he thinks,” I said as I tried to get Ky ready to leave the house. In the background I could hear hubs and Ksena discuss her outfit, he thought that the shoes matched her top but Miss K preferred the blue shoes because they matched with her skirt.

At 7:30AM, I have bigger battles to fight other than color coordinating outfits, but isn’t it amazing how toddlers apply their knowledge into every situation. Learning colors is both a life skill and a wardrobe fundamental to avoid color clashing . Yesterday morning she insisted that she had to wear the skirt with beads, as I watched the minute hand sway on the clock, I let her wear the skirt.

One of my fave pictures of Miss K and Ky is them sitting on the beach, clad in dungarees and pink tops, playing with their buckets and shovels in the sand. Other than the fact that I got them matching outfits, I don’t do it often, but it’s my little way of seeing what life would be like if they were twins, hats off and lots of grace to mothers of multiples, you are heroes; this picture is the perfect reminder of sisterly love, them sitting next to each other and playing. When they see each other after playgroup they elatedly run and hug each other. Ksena doesn’t take jokes around her sister remaining behind with someone kindly, she stops what she is doing and goes to her sister and calls out for help. She is protective. Earlier today,  Miss K told me that Ky can go with her to school and stay in her class. She convinced me that she will take care of her and tell her friends to play carefully around her because Ky is delicate. I smiled as I drove.

Their bond is admirable, it reminds me how we ought to take care of each other and love on each other. A few weeks ago when Ksena had an opportunity to pick one toy and  she chose something for her sister instead, it really touched me, I saw love in action, a tender care that came from deep within. This is not to say that I would have judged her for choosing something for herself 🙂 but Ky was so mushed and happy when she saw her stethoscope.

Differences are present, my referee whistle has not been shelved as they do not always agree on who should play with the toy first, but their love remains. Oh, that our love for each other will remain as gentle, pure, caring and precious as theirs.

Where Fish Hide

“But, I’m not a Fish,” Miss K replied with a look on her face that might as well have said, ‘I think you need to adjust your glasses mama, I don’t have gills, fins and pouted lips,’ as she blinked widely.

I chuckled within. Our conversations have been so interesting the last couple of weeks, there have been many questions and very many opportunities to teach. You can guess that the conversation above had begun with a question, more like a series of questions.

“Daddy, where are the Fish?” Miss K asked as she pointed at the fish pond,

“They are hiding under the rock that is where they hide from predators,” he responded as he held her up in the air to see a little clearer.

As they left, he taught her a song titled, ‘I am under the rock’, it is an oldie. After doing the school run, hubs told me this story and I archived it under the folder ‘To be discussed later.’ Miss K has a way of revisiting things after a few hours or days. ‘I want to teach her Under the Rock by MWP‘ I said to him.

Later that night, she asked to teach me a song, and started to sing,

I am under the rock, and the rock is higher than me,

Jehovah hides me, I am under the rock,

Go tell my enemies I am under the rock,

Jehovah hides me I am under the rock.

“Ksena, you know Jesus is the rock, and you can run to Him whenever you feel scared?”

“But, I’m not a Fish, mummy,”

I had not seen that response coming. When I read this verse it all made sense,

Psalm 71:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

Be my rock of safety
    where I can always hide.
Give the order to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.

Like Fish, sometimes life channels at us harsh circumstances, sometimes the elements are at their extreme, but through it all, we have a rock of safety where we can always hide. One who can give the order for us to be saved, One who is bigger than any thing that we will ever face.

As the Fish hide under the rocks when it storms or shines, as they pout and purse their lips in peace, I too will hide under the Rock and breathe and live in peace.

 

 

Bubbles In Her Belly

She swayed her legs like a little girl whose joy bubbled from her belly, though she was well over Fifty, the little girl in her was present. As she lay on her belly, she was lifted, her being leaped with joy. Her hair up in a bun, as her pen stroked the pages beneath her nose. She started slow as she looked around but once she got into it, she didn’t look up until she was done. The words came flowing, like water gushing through previously dry pipes. In that moment, the world stood still, she had found quietness in the midst of the activity around her, a moment of silence; she was on a date with herself, sorting through her thoughts,  finding clarity.

I smiled as I looked at the lady, her peace was palpable. The busyness of her surroundings did not affect her, she was constant even as the weather shifted. She was. The winds blew but she lay still.

Her image has replayed in my mind over the last couple of days, I’ve had a series of what feels like 26 hour days, where it is only by the grace of God that I’ve been able to balance all of the roles I play. As I’ve been immersed in my surroundings, answering to the ‘Mummy’ and ‘Mama’ calls from the girls, I have craved silence. A time to be still, to hear beyond the noise and then move and be present in the movement.

I went for a reading workshop a few days ago and one of the activities that the teachers do with the children is teach them how to be active listeners. They blindfold them and ask them to listen for a minute and say the sounds that they’ve heard. I tried it, and I loved the result. Sitting there and listening showed me that there are things I don’t hear when I am fixated on one thing and running from one thing to the other. In the silence, you celebrate diversity, you identify sounds that you’d not have picked up.

Yesterday I read a devotional online that highlighted Psalm 46:10,

He says,

“Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Stillness precedes knowledge.

This hit home for me, it’s difficult to know God as you run around like a headless chicken. When you still yourself, you hear things beyond your environment, then peace and joy can bubble to the surface from the depths of your belly.

The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho has been such a heartwarming read in this season, as I search for stillness and practice the art of listening first before I run. It makes a great difference when you listen before you act.

Here’s to finding quiet, pursuing stillness in the midst of the chaos.