Running on E

WhoMy 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 who 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.

 

Advertisements

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

The Stretched Out Mama’s Melody

We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string that we have, and that is our attitude.

These words by Charles Swindoll struck a chord within me; attitude matters. I’ve been missing on these lanes, mainly because life happened, I’d love to know when life doesn’t happen. It is not stagnant and that is the beautiful thing about it, it is fluid, and the sooner we adjust the better. You can’t remain an ice-block in hot soup, sometimes life is a lot like broth, it has some chunks that we like and others we’d rather do without, but we soldier on and chew those chunks because you can’t exactly be picky with broth, you take it as it comes.

One of the chunks that I love is that my girls are both toddlers. Where did time fly to? Just the other day, I checked in to hospital to deliver sweet little Ky, and now she is all grown. I have two toddlers, and I am here adjusting to all the milestones, it is surreal, a beautiful blessing to be part of.

The skipping of naps though, is one of the chunks I would rather do without. Nap time is half time in my day, when I can recharge, think and write. It doesn’t help that they wake up before Mr Sun has worn his yellow coat, it is usually bright but still dark. One day of less-than-what-I’d-consider-adequate sleep is fine, but a week of that, has me pulling a my recovering hairline, bubbling with negative emotions and questioning myself. This is the roller-coaster of being a mama in this season.

Thankfully, by the grace of God, lest I take any credit, Ky is sleeping better at night. She is self soothing, waking up once a night is much better than the night time circus we had going on, with her jumping up like Jack-in-a-box every other hour. To God, I say “THANK YOU!”, I know I rambled about my lack of sleep here before.

On a lighter note, I hang out with a group of mums last week, bless them, and we concluded that God made women adaptable to sleep deprivation. Regardless of your gender, sleep is important, no-one was made to zombie around full time.

My attitude is under construction, it is an area that needs some divine help, but I am taking it a day at a time. I am certain that next week I won’t be where I was a few days ago. It is what I have within my control, the string in my hand, I’ll play it each day and create a beautiful melody note by note.

 

Borrowed Eggs

Sunday naps are beautiful, refreshing, not too short that you wake with a headache and not long enough to turn you in to a night owl after dusk.

The one day that I hope and pray that my girlies will take a nap is on Sundays, nap time is usually my golden hour(s) of peace. The rays of the sun warm the room, the birds chirp melodiously outside and for a few prolonged minutes the thought of Monday doesn’t cross my mind. I can think. I can breathe. I’m at peace.

Before I had children I didn’t used to take my siesta time as seriously, I’d watch movies instead of sleep, now, I sleep to recharge and I wake up with a rekindled love for life. My siesta is therapy for my soul.

Yesterday, Ky refused to nap. Forty-five minutes of my siesta time was spent trying to convince her to sleep, but curiosity trumped sleep, so she hang out with daddy as Miss K and I slept. It was such sweet sleep.

When Ksena woke, I was on the phone, so she went to join the fun part of K squad ( daddy and Ky). Nobody told me about the 3 year growth spurt, where the appetite of a teenager lives within a toddler. I often hear the words “Mum, I’m still hungry,”, I am waiting to see her chunking up. After naps she wakes up hungry, ready to eat whatever she finds.

When she walked into the room, they exchanged pleasantries with Ky being happy that her sister and friend was now awake.

“Ksena, what would you like to eat?”

“I want,” she said as she paused to think, “The egg Shiku (Kyria) likes?”

“Which one?”

“Borrowed eggs.”

Peter looked at her, processing her strange request for borrowed eggs and then it hit him that it was boiled eggs. I guess she always hears something that sounds like borrowed (homophones and toddlers are chuckle-worthy series of posts for another day.) She likes boiled egg whites but won’t touch the yolk because it is, wait for it, dirty. Yet the dirt is not an issue in sunny side ups, omelets or scrambled eggs. Toddlers!

As I reflected later that night, I realized that there are so many times that I go to God asking for things but using the wrong name. I was comforted that because He is my father, He will know exactly what I mean and give them to me according His will and in His time.

What a beautiful feeling it is to know that we have an open invitation to the King of Kings, and we can share our heart’s desires with him, both the polished and the unrefined, and though we may stutter or say the wrong thing, He will understand.

He will not give us borrowed eggs that we will in turn have to repay, he will give us boiled eggs.

 

“No-You-Didn’t”

As a mother, the first six months of a child’s life are the most stressful. It’s not necessarily the child, but the way that the hormonal imbalance makes me perceive things, post-partum blues are real. Colic and reflux seem like the Himalayas at the time, while in retrospect they are more like Ngong hills.

When the hormones balance out, I begin to see the Sun on the horizon, I hear the birds chirping, I feel the stone I kicked stub my toe, I feel the velvety softness of my baby’s touch, I laugh from the depths of my belly, and the extra weight begins to go.

I can see clearly.

Having two little ones with a small age gap, well, small is relative considering it is a two-year difference, can be hard. But, as they grow they become friends, they can play together, they desire to spend time with each other and it is so beautiful to watch.

Until they fight.

And when they fight I become Mama the ref, my titles increase, and I realize that being younger doesn’t necessarily equate to being innocent. The transition from innocence to knowing what is right and wrong, well a little of it, happens overnight. But the coos, giggles, and smiles remain constant, so it is easy to be led to believe that the little one doesn’t know what she is doing, but she does.

Sharing doesn’t come naturally, saying ‘please and thank-you’ is not part of the default settings of a human being, and there lies the work of a parent, repetition, trying to constantly draw them back to where they need to be.

Ky was not ready for the responsibility that comes with knowing right from wrong. So she pushes the boundaries, and when I say ‘No thank-you Ky, please don’t bite your sister,’ she wails, her soft smile turns into a ‘ no-you-didn’t ‘ kinda wail.

She takes offense.

Looking at how she deals with the correction made me reflect on my life as a child of God. Watching how overwhelmed and upset she becomes looks very familiar to me, the stories that I made up when God said ‘No’ suddenly come flooding into my mind. At the time, I didn’t care that He was right, all I wondered is why He would want to hurt me, to hurt my feelings. Yet all He was doing was for me.

As parents, we correct and discipline because we love our children and want the best for them. God is no different, if anything, it is He who set the example that we should follow. My challenge to myself is to be less offended and begin to see the correction from His perspective, after all, it is for me.

The beautiful thing is that in two minutes, Ky forgets that she was upset and even goes to play with her sister. She’ll flash me a two-toothed smile, nod her head and then charge towards Ksena laughing.

Perhaps this is why the Lord desires for us to remain like children, that we will know at the bottom of our hearts that we are loved and that He disciplines us because He loves us.