Running on E

My morning began with a choir of tears.

I knew we were off to a difficult start. Before I had children, I used to be a morning person. Now, I  wake up before my alarm bings because I am an often-tired person, who has a long list of things to do. To be honest, I doubt I was really a morning person, I think that the Endometriosis induced fatigue was less in the morning.

Motherhood is a lifetime job. It is multi-faceted so the brief keeps changing. Perhaps, change is one of the constants. Some tricks grow old, you grow old, and your children. well, they grow older too.

It is a cocktail of laughs from the depth of your belly, and tears from the bottom of your heart. Some days are good, some days are heart-wrenching.  From time to time you countdown to bedtime, not because you hate your children, but because they have been EXTRA the whole day and you want to catch a break. On the unfortunate days, your emotions, and internal conflicts get in the way, and you are harsher than you should have been. You are not as patient as you say Jesus wants us to be. Some days you fail, and as you watch your little one’s tummy rise and fall as they sleep, you beat yourself up. You wallow in regret and helplessness.

I have many days that I wake up feeling as if I’m running on a deficiency. As though my fuel is at E. Many days where I cry to Jesus for forgiveness, and almost beg for strength because I feel spent. Days where nothing feels like it is enough.

A few days ago, in the most unlikely place, and almost in passing, the Lord reminded me that unless I look to Him and rely on Him I will feel disadvantaged. I will feel that I am not enough. I will fall short even before I stand tall.

The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days. Deuteronomy 33:25

My strength shall equal my days. God, who pre-destined me, who knows all of the days that I have lived and those to come, has already apportioned me the adequate strength to face each day.

After this revelation, I started saying this prayer in the morning:

Dear Lord, I do not know what the day holds, but I know it is You holds it. I know that you have given me the adequate strength to face this day, therefore I will go forth with boldness and peace.

For this mama, who is sometimes weary, my heart is encouraged when I know that my strength will equal my days.

 

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When Grief Erupts

I watched the cursor lazily jog on the spot as I wondered what to type. As I stared, I could feel something shift within me, grief was rising. It felt like larva rising from the depths of the earth. A small trigger, a thought I had dwelt on, was causing a surge of emotions within. Trying to suppress the grief felt like trying to stop acid reflux from filling your mouth. It left both a burning sensation in my chest and a bitter taste in my mouth.

At 1pm I changed into my pajamas and retreated to bed. The ache of my heart triggered a feeling of malaise, I wanted to sleep the grief away. To wake up feeling fresh and happy like spring. Every time I tried to write, I typed sadness. A sadness that I felt guilty about having because it’s been over 5 years, 7 to be precise. After a few years is grief tempest in a teapot? Does grief have a lifespan? Does it ever completely go away? Or is it like the waves in the ocean, swayed by other factors?

As tears streamed down my cheeks, I allowed myself to feel all the emotions in their intensity. To go down memory lane and hold on to the memories that I didn’t want to fade away.

The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope. (Psalm 34:18)

 

The Cow Has Refused

Cow milk was mandatory in most households when I was growing up. It was the healthiest drink around, well, that is after water. I can’t remember anyone in my circle who didn’t drink milk.

Every day at 4pm, my brother and I would be called into the house to drink our milk. If we stayed too long, it would cool and we’d have to remove the cream. I found this beverage quite unnecessary, it would interrupt our play and leave us feeling so full. Little wonder, I struggled to eat my dinner every night, but that is a story for another day.

For hubs, every morning, at the crack of dawn, just after the cows were milked, he would hear a rap on his door. A glass of warm milk had been brought. In their home, drinking milk was mandatory until you were eighteen years old. Now he can’t stand milk, I think eighteen years of drinking milk was enough to last him a lifetime.

When Miss K was one, her body completely refused milk but would accept yogurt. I was in denial at first so I would make her ‘nylon’ milk diluted with water, and sometimes it would work. When the symptoms – diarrhea, stomach cramps, rash on face, never-ending cough- intensified, I had to let go of the dream. Though her desire for hot chocolate and cereal has had me experiment with different brands.

I thought Ky would be the milk drinker in our home, however, I think their genes have had enough of milk. The saddest part, for me that is, is that even milk in food is affecting them. I made pancakes the other day with diluted milk, and a few minutes after Ky ate one, the rash appeared, and diarrhea

The cow has refused!

I usually joke that Ky would be the one to milk cows in our home, seeing as she is an early riser, but now I’ll prob settle for picking coconuts, as that is the alternative we are switching to.

Two years ago, I was stressed that Ksena wouldn’t drink milk, but in my journey of self-awareness, I have seen how it triggers bloating for me and learned to listen to my body when it whispers. I am grateful that I have access to information and alternatives and for peace. Lord knows that the intolerance symptoms worried me especially when I didn’t know what was going on.

Whilst the cows have refused, the coconuts have agreed!

 

 

 

 

Ballerina

‘Our dreams are valid’ is what I think to myself everytime I see Miss K practicing her ballet that has been heavily influenced by a rodent, Angelina Ballerina.

“Mum look I am balancing” she squeals and then proceeds to twirl along. Ky joins her in a swirling motion, like ice cream being dispensed onto a cone, with a smile on her face and a dizzy spell in tow.

“Mum, I want you to teach me ballet!” Ksena told me, I almost spilled my tea, honored that she thinks that ballet is one of the things that I am good at and that I am a graceful ballerina.

I think that they’ve got a hang of balancing better than I have. Sometimes I feel flustered as I balance being a mum and writer (now published author), while incubating and working on other dreams. Though I am learning that some structure and accepting help goes a long way. And the grace and poise will come with the training and territory.

The story would not be complete without sacrifice and patience, the fine print that should be in font size 72 and caps because they are the core of the journey.

Sacrifice

I write when the household is asleep, most times yawning, not because the content is boring but my bed beckons and there is something about seeing people sleeping that makes me want to sleep too.

Patience

I think I kept failing this test. It feels like I have been going around the mountain for 40 years and growing weary. I had my own grand timelines for my book(s), but they did not work out. My prayers became microwave editions, with timelines on them. Frustration peaked when after ‘2 minutes’ the meal was not ready.

Bloom

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You know the joy that you feel when you cook up a storm and it looks good and tastes good? I have the same kinda joy in my heart. My first published book Bloom is FINALLY out. I wrote it one year ago and it has been such a journey, but it is out and I am a very different person and writer from the lady who wrote it.

When I got my final sample my girlies were so excited, Ky kept squealing, “Mama!” when she saw my picture, and she ran to show anyone who cared to see. Seeing my picture and name on a book is still growing on me, but my obedience coupled with God’s goodness, faithfulness, and counsel, that I could get used to seeing.

Here I am, a dancing ballerina with joy in my heart, looking forward to learning some more beautiful steps in the ballet class of life, and dancing to please my King.

If you would like to order Bloom, please send me an email via yellowendflower@gmail.com and I will let you know how to get it.

 

Yum Yum

We are planning an art exhibition in our household. Miss K wants to have a show where she displays all her drawings. She is so serious about it, and has been sorting her masterpieces, she has a guest list and is about to give me her brief for the catering department. It is something that she talks about everyday, so I’ll share with you some pictures of the exhibition when it happens.

Ky on the other hand thinks that coloring is extremely exciting- well, nothing trumps painting- especially when she is coloring Ksena’s pages. When this happens I countdown to the exchange that will ensue, I am a full-time referee.

Ky’s fave color seems to be green at the moment, she says ‘Geen’ with a grin. Super cute, I tell you. Watching her reminds me how sometimes I think that the grass is greener on the other side, yet in some instances it just depends on which color your are coloring your paper.

We could all be having the same meal, but she will prefer it if it comes from Daddy’s plate. Last night when she saw me serve hubs, she shouted, ‘Yum Yum’ as she charged towards him his dinner. She knows that unless his food is laded with chilli he will share it with her. In fact when I serve him, I put a little extra for Ky.

At this tender age, she knows that she has access to what her father has, when she asks she receives. As she chowed on his food, I said to him, “May you partake of what belongs to your father (in heaven) like Ky does with you. She knows that you will not withhold from her any good thing.” I didn’t add, don’t throw tantrums when you don’t get your way, because the tantrums are with us, but we are grateful for grace from above and experience with Miss K, we know that they too shall pass.

In my walk with God, I pray that I will go to him as my father and partake of that which he has prepared for me. That I will not let my experiences and biases dispel my desire for Him.

 

 

 

Through The Eyes Of A Child

Every night I remind myself that we are one day closer to our little one sleeping through the night. After a month away from home, I feel as though we are back at scratch regarding sleep training, and it is okay. My experience with Ksena toughened me up a little, though, don’t ask me how tough I feel after a few consecutive days of waking up every couple of hours. I feel fatigued, irritable and groggy.

When Ky stirs in her sleep she calls out for one of us to go for her. Most times its Mummy because I am the source of milk :), but if Daddy gave her a bottle last, then she will call out for him. Night weaning is at the top of my to-do-list, I am looking forward to sleeping like a school-going toddler. All those who talk about sleeping like a baby must mean a new-born, I love how they can sleep through anything.

One day you wake up and your children are all grown. You can’t exactly say they grew on a particular date at an exact time, but every day that passes they become a little less of who they’ve been and more of an older version of themselves. I find myself staring at the girls often, taking in all the subtle yet distinct changes that emerge each day.

One of my reflections a few days ago was, “Who am I calling out to?” We tend to call out to the person who helps us in our time of need. Our brains archive their contact information and retrieve it in crisis. I know that I call out to God – most times- the question is, is there anyone or anything else that I have pegged my hope upon? Is there anywhere else that I look for my help to come from? I love how in the simple and mundane things of life, you can still see and hear God speaking.

I am slowing down and giving more cuddles because I know that they are just for a short time. Learning to say ‘Yes!’ to play more often. This TED Talk was such a refreshing reminder, it is a little repetitive but so true. When I allow myself to experience life as a child, I see and hear new things; while I am there, I trust God as a child does, there is something refreshing and renewing about child-like faith.

 

 

 

 

 

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.