Motherhood: Sleep Deprivation, Lovies and Shepherds

Before I had a baby, I was convinced that I couldn’t survive with less than 6 hours of continuous sleep. All of my friends knew that I was the first one to fall asleep at sleepovers. It was my thing. Even now, when I do stay up they can’t hide their shock as they wonder how I am still up past 10pm. Motherhood changes people. It changed me.

The first couple of weeks of being a mum I was sure I was dying slowly. The sleep deprivation shook me at the core. I was so exhausted and I struggled to see past the first few days. It seemed obvious to me that I wouldn’t make it, but almost 2 years down the line, I’m happy to report that my heart is still beating, I am breathing and sleeping through the night. I really feel like there should be some ululations after ‘and sleeping through the night’.

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Ksena slept well after the longest weeks of colic up until she hit the fourth month sleep regression. After that, it was pure chaos. I didn’t think it would ever end. She went from sleeping through the night to waking up every two hours. Sleep training was not working and my grace was decreasing. It was tough. By the time she was one year she still wasn’t sleeping through the night. Conversations with fellow mums were even more discouraging.

But God!!!

He came through. He answered our prayers and blew us all away. Once we stopped breastfeeding she started sleeping through the night. My body was in shock. It had forgotten how sleeping all night felt or worked.

After a few days of sleeping through the night, I was literally walking on sunshine. I was a new person. Praise be to God.

Motherhood changes you. A few days ago as I spoke to my sister, she interjected that ‘there is nothing that doesn’t change’. In my mother tongue, there is a finality around that statement. Things that we believed would never change, end up changing. As we spoke, I agreed with her, and the conversation remained in my memory until last night.

A few months ago, a dear friend gave Ksena a lovie. Everyone, meet Mary Lamb. Yes, her name is a shortened version of the song ‘Mary had a little lamb’.img_20160923_095937

Yesterday as I prepared Ksena’s bottle. She walked around with Mary Lamb. She held her in a very affectionate manner and at that time no one could take Mary Lamb away from her.

It hit me that there is something about a sheep and her shepherd. The shepherd knows the true value of the sheep and looks at her lovingly. Watching them together reminded me that Jesus loves His sheep(me, us) so much.

And this is the one thing that doesn’t change. God’s love.

Romans 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT)But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Mary Lamb is a beautiful white as long as she doesn’t leave the bed. When she does, we start planning for her to be washed early so she dries in good time. We, God’s children, are just like Mary Lamb, if we stay in the confines of God’s plan we remain clean(er). Even on our best days, we are still sinners. His blood that was shed at calvary is what makes as white as snow.

  1. What can wash away my sin?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
    What can make me whole again?
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

    • Refrain:
      Oh! precious is the flow
      That makes me white as snow;
      No other fount I know,
      Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

You can find the rest of the lyrics here.

There is something about a lamb and her shepherd.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

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Motherhood Has Taught Me, Once Again, That God Answers Prayers

I’m so blown away by God’s goodness.

A few weeks ago, I was a very stressed and weary mama. Ksena wasn’t sleeping very well which meant I wasn’t sleeping very well either. I was also wondering how I would wean her off breastfeeding without the option of shipping her off to her grandmother’s house for two weeks.

A little background, she used to sleep beautifully until we hit a sleep regression in her first year then things went haywire. We tried all methods of sleep training but they weren’t quite successful due to other compounding factors beyond our control. So sleep was a real prayer request in our home.

I never had a problem with breastfeeding or milk supply but weaning was so stressful. I shudder when I think back. That she eats now and even asks for food by saying ” I’m hungry” or ”tummy is hungry” is a miracle in itself. I have cried tears because she wouldn’t eat, but God; He showed up and her appetite is a testimony of His Grace.

So back to the current situation, as we were away from home for several weeks, I knew things needed to change once we got back home; but God needed to come through I’m order for the changes to happen.

I needed to sleep train her and wean her off breastfeeding. The first day, I kept repeating God’s truth to her,  ”Ksena can do all things through Christ who strengthens her”. I told her that though self soothing was difficult she could do it because God was with her.  Every time she heard the verse, she calmed down. God’s word has power!!!

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In four days she was sleep trained and weaned off breast feeding completely. It’s been a while since I’ve slept so well. I can change the world. When she wants to sleep she walks up to me and says ”Mummy , I’m tired”.

A few days ago, I told Peter that many times we don’t live in abundance because we have forfeited our power in Christ. As I’ve been reading ‘The Power Of A Praying Parent’ by Stormie Omartian, I’ve realized that when I spend time in His presence, His power is released. I desire for this power to be released in every aspect of my life.

This week, I’m working on my master prayer list. Asking the Holy Spirit to write with me, that I may be intentional about praying for the big and small things that worry and wear down my heart.

If your heart is weary, I pray that you will find rest in Christ. Nothing is too difficult for Him, you can trust Him with all the desires of your heart. In Jesus name we pray and believe, Amen.

Blessings,

Bibi2be

 

Taking Stock: No More Excuses

Whoa, where did the year fly to? July is almost here, that means Christmas is right around the corner.

Since we are practically halfway through 2015, it is time to take stock of the half that has been. See what has worked, review what hasn’t, celebrate the victories and learn from the mistakes.

I started taking stock yesterday and as I reflected, God led me to read these verses (emphasis on verse 30):

1 Corinthians 7: 29-30 (NLT-Gift &Award Edition)

Now let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short, so husbands should not let marriage be their major concern. Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God’s work.

BOOOM!!!!

I was just speechless.

Earlier in the year God asked me to do several things, some I begun but stopped midway, and blamed sleep regression, depression and whatever other ‘valid’ reason that presented itself at the time. I never quite got back to doing them.

God reminded me that when He asked me to do those things He was not ignorant of my emotions or circumstances. He asked knowing FULLY well what was going on within and around me.

I was so humbled. So here I am, thankful for second chances to be obedient. Thankful for the Holyspirit who speaks loudly even when I put Him on mute. I have written a list of the things that God asked me to do that I made excuses about, and I am going to get on with them.

1st Samuel 15:22 (NLT)

But Samuel replied,

“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
    your burnt offerings and sacrifices
    or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

Before I accuse God of not speaking in a current situation, let me respond to the instructions He spoke to me in a previous conversation. After all, what good is it to hear but not act?

The truth is we were created to worship Him. He desires our obedience rather than our sacrifices.

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God bless you even as you take stock of the half that has been and allow Him to shed His light on your path.

Bibi2Be

Super Mama

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Motherhood is a calling. It is full time, all the time, all day, er’day. It never ends. Even when the little ones grow up and move out, they still remain your little ones in bigger bodies, ask your mama. My respect for my mummy has increased tremendously since I had a baby – she truly is super mama.

Sometimes being super mama, maintaining the life and work balance, can get overwhelming; especially when sleep deprivation is playing a role. We are currently in between a growth spurt and sleep regression. Exhausted does not begin to describe how I feel (teehee I thought today was Thursday). It’s been a long week.

Someone mentioned that the work really begins once you start weaning, but meal planning saves the day. A fews day ago, a friend asked me what time I have breakfast and I said about 10am. She asked if my mornings were ‘that busy’ and I chuckled to myself. They feel like rush hour in Nairobi minus the Kidero drums 🙂 (which have now been removed) ; the things to do are lined up, bumper to bumper, as we race against time.

Miss K keeps me busy when she is awake, sometimes I can’t wait for her to sleep, then when she does I miss her; human beings are special :). I miss having unlimited alone time, though I have made peace within myself that it will never be the same. There will be portions of alone time but I will not be able to be a ‘free little bird’ ,though ,this doesn’t rule out spontaneity . I often wonder what I used to do before Miss K came.

One day as I was asking God who helps the helper (Super Mama), I was led to this scripture:-

Psalm 121 (NIV)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

God helps the helper!

When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that it is HE who helps me; it is HE who gives me the strength and grace for today and tomorrow; it is HE who preserves me and renews me. It is HE who satisfies me with His unfailing love and watches over my coming and going.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, I pray that God will refresh you, give you energy that comes from above and satisfy you with His unfailing love.

Something that I am trying to incorporate to my daily schedule is, setting aside 30 minutes every day for myself and doing something that makes me happy. This will help me to slow down, recharge and be refreshed and rejuvenated. It may sound like a short time but it can do wonders. Some activities that I am considering are:- reading a book, knitting, crafting, baking, taking a walk, retail therapy, working out, home body scrubs, and mani-pedis. I will feedback on how that goes in a few days.

If you find yourself always serving others and barely getting time to take care of yourself, it is time to re-do your schedule and feature yourself on the priority list. Better still, if you are in Nairobi and you would like a one stop break:- adult conversation (Lord knows how precious this is), networking with mums (who won’t mind if you go on and on about your litu one), a massage, manicure and photo shoot, Kenyan Mums have got you covered.

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Remember

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Do your best and leave the rest to God. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Blessings,

Bibi2Be