5 Ways You Can Help Your Child Work Through Their Emotions (COVID-19)

If you got 100 shillings for every time you heard the words ‘mental health’ in this season what would you do with it? We are constantly reminded that this period is leaving a lasting impression in our minds and hearts. Children are not exempt. They too are feeling the reality. Different emotions are bubbling within, and they may not be able to paint a clear picture of their rainbow of emotions.

You may catch glimpses of it in their behavior, in sudden outbursts, in a desire to be your shadow at all times, in moments of song and dance, in their sleep patterns, and the adventures of their imagination.

If there was a time that parents needed to be keen and present, it is now. In the midst of the struggles that we may be facing, remember that these little ones entrusted to us cannot fully comprehend what it is going on. They need our help, our answers, our love, more than anything they need our presence – both physical and mental.

Children are smarter than we give them credit for. They see the unseen, and feel what is not mentioned. They may not know how to read, but they may be able to connect the dots.

A week cannot go by without my girls mentioning Covid-19 and what they miss about life BC (Before Corona). They are feeling the change and they miss human interaction with ‘the village’.

A few days ago, sweet Ky came and told me, “Mama, I am feeling sad. I don’t know why I’m feeling sad.” She has been vocal about what she misses, and her desire for Corona to be gone forever. On this particular day, her emotions felt big, and tears flowed. Covid-19 is a tiny virus but children are feeling its effects in a big way.

As a parent you need to:

  1. Cut them some slack. It is stressful all around. Allow them to express themselves, their joys, hopes, dreams and frustrations. Feelings of sadness do not make them ungrateful.

2) Remind your children : It is okay to feel your feelings, but you do not have camp there.

Now is not the time to stifle emotions, because they will become a ticking time bomb. Allow them to feel the emotions and show them that it is possible not to be consumed by the emotions.

3) Talk and listen

A simple conversation can get honest answers flowing if you are asking questions that allow them to express their hearts. Allow them to deliver the truth through the medium they prefer, it might be a long off-key song about Corona and kindergarten friendships, or a mural of ‘Corona through the eyes of a toddler’, you know the type that you have to squint and engage your imagination to understand.

Here are a few conversation starters and activities you can consider referring to as you talk.

  • What do you miss doing? What’s your favorite memory of doing it?
  • Who would you like to have a play date with? What would you do at the play date? (Make a play date wish list to be reviewed later)
  • Where do you miss going? Who would you go with? What would you do there? What would you wear? (Write a checklist and plan to do them after Corona)
  • What have you enjoyed during this quarantine period? (Write a list and see if you can do it again)
  • What makes you smile? What makes you laugh? (Take a picture smiling together)
  • What makes you sad? What makes you feel like crying?
  • What are you grateful for? (Make a thank you list you can both refer to when they feel overwhelmed)
  • What would you like to do with mummy/daddy more during this time? Whats your favorite part of the day? (Capture these times and make memories)
  • What do you love to do? What do you want to do when you grow up? ( Have a role play game including this)

Actively listen to your child and apply what you hear. You may not be able to visit their friends, but you can call them, make a DIY gift for them, or do an activity together online.

4) Prioritize an uninterrupted time slot with your children to play with them, pray for them and offer physical reassurance. Hold them, hug them, let them know that they are loved, and that this too shall pass.

5) Teach them how to respond to times of crisis

In life there will always be things that can trigger anxious thoughts. As much as you try shield them, show them how to respond to seasons of difficulty.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Phil 4:6 NIV

The One Who Sees Me

I sat by the bed, sorting laundry, and floating in my thoughts. Baby K lay on her play mat swatting her dangling toys amidst squeals of joy. A few minutes passes before she realized that no one was besides her. She begun to cry out, it was a different cry, a panicked cry that asked, ‘”Where is everyone?”

I spoke up and said, “I am here, I have been watching over you, even when you couldn’t see me.” Immediately I uttered those words, I knew that I too needed to hear those words.

My failure to see the Lord does not signify his absence.

Some seasons in life can seem very quiet, almost lonely, and it may seem like the Lord has walked away from you. Your prayers turn in to cries, asking the Lord why He has forgotten you, asking where He is when your walls are crumbling down. Asking where He is when chaos is the order of the day.

Even in the stillness and chaos He remains God. The present darkness does not diminish His light, The battle you face, does not undermine His power. He is still God.

In Genesis 16, Hagar was on the run. She had despised her mistress, Sarah, after conceiving a child with Sarah’s husband, Abraham. Sarah was vexed that her servant could openly treat her badly, and after a consultation with her husband, she dealt with the matter.

She dealt with Hagar in an unfair manner and it sent Hagar packing and running off in to the wilderness. Hagar had an encounter with an angel of the Lord. Upon inquiry, Hagar told the angel that she was fleeing from her mistress. The angel of the Lord, instructed her to go back and submit to Sarah. He told her that the Lord would increase her descendants so much that they would be too many to count. He instructed her, gave her a promise and gave her hope.

The angel of the Lord also spoke to her further regarding her offspring and instructed that he should be named Ishmael because the Lord had heard her misery. The angel of the Lord shed light on Ishamel’s personality, this knowledge would also play a role as she parented him.

Hagar was comforted. This encounter changed something within her. It gave her direction, wisdom and grace for the days to come. Verse thirteen says, “ She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

How beautiful it is to see the One who sees you. The One who sets you back on track and works all things out for your good.

As you sojourn on this earth, I pray that you will encounter – in a vivid manner- the One who sees you.

Captivated By The Screen: 10 Tips For Navigating Screen Time For Children in the Covid-19 Season

Parenting has evolved. It still entails getting your child safely to adulthood, while equipping them for the same, but the hurdles along the way have diversified.

When we were little, the issue of screen time was an afterthought. We were at the mercy of our VHS collections and the T.V station broadcast schedule for the day. We’d refer to the newspaper, to tell us what was coming when. If you didn’t have access to a newspaper, you’d have to play it by ear.

Nostalgia.

Now, the options are at your fingertips. A few swipes of your fingers can take you on a tour of all the content that is available for your consumption.

A few weeks ago, during an Instagram Live with Wambui Nguru of Red Letter KE, we talked about cartoons and children. A few people asked me to share more on screen time especially in this season.

There are guidelines regarding screen time, but the ideal situation is not always our present situation. Working from home, being a home-school teacher, running your home, while keeping children busy without letting them go outside to play with their friends may be a hard balance to maintain. It may be harder to not offer screen time.

Children’s lives have been interrupted. They are also dealing with their feelings of loss and uncertainty in this season. When you are scared, you tend to gravitate towards that which you know will comfort you. The use of screen time as a comfort has definitely increased in this season.

I’d like to share other guidelines that you may consider when making decisions about screen time. When we talk about screens we mean the use of phones, tablets, T.Vs and laptops.

The guidelines are premised on Psalm 101:3a

The ESV version says ‘I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.’ While the NLT version says, ‘I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.’

a) Define ‘Worthless and Vile

You need to define what worthless and vile mean to us as a family. And then list how these definitions may be manifest in things your children interact with during screen time.

b) Establish Your Family Values

What are the things that you stand for as a family? What do you hope to teach your children. What is your truth?

Write down your values as a family and be as specific as you’d like. Identify content that you would be interested in, this list may not be very long at the beginning as you may find other things that interest you along the way. It acts as a guide in your search for wholesome content.

c) Identify Conflicts of Interest

Based on your truths, there are themes or words that may go against key values that you are teaching. For example, during your family devotions, you may teach your children that ‘our help comes from God’. If there is a cartoon that teaches that we can call out to other mediums for help, then you need to clarify exactly what you believe in. And perhaps consider reducing the exposure to confusing messages.

d) Evaluate Content

Acquaint yourself with the content that they are consuming. Evaluate the themes and language used, and see if they are a right fit in your home.

Many cartoons are from different cultures where some words may have a different meaning. Some cartoons use the word ‘Silly’ often, while it may be all fun and games in the cartoon, you may not be too keen to hear your refer to their grandma as silly.

e) Explain to Your Children Your Why

You can’t be everywhere with your child at every time, but you can teach them to make the right decision. Explain to them why you do not watch certain things and themes, train them to identify these themes and have a plan of action when they find them.

The song below has been helpful in teaching our girls why we avoid certain themes.

f) Train Those Around Them

It takes a village to raise a child. You may not always be able to spend time with your child, train those around them, the village, to be sensitive to the things that you are sensitive to.

g) Stay Out of Deep Waters

If you don’t want to drown, get out of the water. The truth is that children can drown in a few liters of water. Stay in the safe zone. Pre-watch content if you can. Get apps that do not have in-built ads as these can take you down a rabbit hole.

A special note on phones, not everyones phone is as sanitary as yours. While yours may be free of vile content, they may stumble on it on someone else’s phone. Teach them that phones are personal property, and that they should ask before going through them. Looking for games and apps may expose them to more than they need to see.

h) Be Keen

Listen and observe. Spend time talking to your children, playing with them and listening to how they interact with others even in their imaginative play. If there are patterns or nightmares and outbursts that concern you, calmly investigate and address them.

i) Trust the Voice

If you have a bad feeling about exposure on screen time, listen to it. Sometimes we can’t quite put our finger on something, but there is a reason that it makes you feel unsettled.

j) Have an Open Door Policy

Let children have screen time in an open place where you can see and hear what they are interacting with. If you have given your children a phone, let them know that you have the right to check on the phones.

A bonus point:

k) Find Alternatives

There is some really good content out there. As you limit watching of some cartoons, be sure to find some alternatives. If you need a few suggestions, you can send me an email via bibi2bee@gmail.com and I can share some of the ones we watch.

Also, find indoor and outdoor activities that you can do during this time. Jump in when you can, and enjoy some family bonding time.

*

Ultimately, I pray that the Lord will give us His wisdom as we raise our children. May He protect them and help them as they grow.

A Faith That Makes Sense

There’s a beautiful, subtle yet strong, inquisitive nature that children have. They believe, but they also ask ‘why?’ quite often. As a little girl, the answer to some of my questions were answered by ‘because I said so’. At the time it was valid, and then I grew up and formulated my own thoughts on the same.

Miss K loves Bible time. She often tries to connect the dots, and build on what she has previously learned. There are times that she stares at me in bewilderment. Case in point, a few weeks ago we read the story about Jesus leaving the ninety-nine sheep to look for the one that was lost. Right after we finished she asked me, “Mama, how is Jesus both the shepherd and the lamb?” This explanation took us down a rabbit hole maze. We started with a shepherd and a lamb and went back to heaven. One of the questions she asked also had me confused, because I had never thought about it like that. I told her that I’d have to confirm and get back to her. She giggled and said, “Let me guess, you are going to ask Jesus.” I smiled and said, “Yes, I’ll ask the Holy Spirit.”

Convergence conflict.

What happens when two aspects of your faith come together but you can’t reconcile them? Do you question both, or accept one aspect instead of the other one?

One thing that this Covid-19 season has brought up is questions. Questions about life. Questions about faith. Questions about race. Questions about some of the things we have believed to be true but are now quaking at their foundations.

There are many people having a crisis of faith. Asking questions that cannot be answered by ‘because I said so’.

The best part of our faith is that we have a Helper, Comforter, Spirit of Wisdom and Counselor who can guide us to all truth. The Holy Spirit brings clarity in a way that only He can.

The pace of my quiet time has slowed down. I’m using Miss K’s lens as I interact with the Word. I am asking the questions “How does this fit in to what I know? What needs to go?” It doesn’t mean that I always leave with answer on the spot, but I have peace as I seek them.

I pray that as we seek we will find peace in the Lord. That as He speaks, we will move in obedience, swift obedience. That we will not trivialize the request, may it be a call, or a prayer, or giving in one way or another. That we be willing to obey He who sees all and knows all, without needing to clarify with our eyes. Ultimately, that the move of the Lord will be seen as, we, His hands and feet, do that which He instructs.

She Caught A Fish

The girls were a bit miffed that I threw away their fishing rods. In my defence, they were twigs, and I had no idea that they were going to be used as fishing rods.

A few days ago, the girls decided to make new fishing rods to use during their time outside. Their tools were my knitting yarn -that now couldn’t possibly be enough for a bootie because all their crafts include a chunk of mamas yarn- and an old piece of wood from their chairs.

Let me tell you about the pond downstairs, it has been there for 7 years, we can count the number of times that we’ve actually seen the fish, though since hubby adopted them during this quarantine period, we see their mouths as they chomp the bread he throws in.

Peter was a team player, and he helped the girls make the rods by tying yarn on the wooden handle, and then tying some bread at the end of the string. As they walked out, I gave Peter an ‘all-the-best’ typa wink as I mentioned that I didn’t think that they will be successful. Ky shouted from the stair well and said, ‘Mama, I’m going to catch a fish.’ Her conviction was palpable.

Miss K called dibs and had the first go, she threw her rod in to the water as as Peter stood behind her, and nothing happened so she went to ride her bike. Ky threw in her rod, and then she actually caught a fish. A big fish. It took her by surprise, she was half shaking, and smiling as she pulled up the string but not quite sure what to do next.

She threw the fish back in, and gleefully went to ride her bike. Miss K cast her rod again, and didn’t catch a fish. She complained that Ky spooked the fish and they were now suspicious. Peter reassured her that they’d go down again after a few days and try fishing again.

As I reflected that night, I learned a few lessons from the fishing expedition:

a) Get out of their way

Just because I don’t think that something will work, doesn’t mean that it won’t. Within caution, I should let the girlies try what they want, and allow them to learn from the experience.

b) Hold on to your vision

Not every one sees it like you do. Don’t let their disapproval dissuade you. Give it a try, after all you miss 100% of the chances that you do not take.

c) Have faith and speak in faith

I read a beautiful quote this week that said ‘ Faith is not finished, until it is spoken’ ~David Ibiyeomie

Speak those things that aren’t as though they were. Walk in faith.

d) Cast your rod in to the water

Go where you need to be to catch the fish. Sit by the water, and then cast your rod or net. Be expectant.

e) Catch those fish

The fish may not come as quickly, in fact you may feel like Miss K did, discouraged and upset. May the disappointment not crush your spirit to a point that you give up on fishing.

John 21 tells a story of Peter and the disciples on an all nighter fishing expedition. The sun rays at dawn illuminated on their empty nets, they saw that they hadn’t caught anything, not even a small fish. A man, who they did not know was Jesus at the time, advised them to throw in their nets on the right side of the boat. He added that they would find some fish there.

Immediately they cast the net in to the water, they caught a school of large fish. When they took an account of their harvest they discovered that they had caught 153 large fish, and their net was not torn.

It may have been a rough night, or series of nights, but please do not give up on fishing. Ask the Lord to show you the right side of the boat, cast your net there even though it doesn’t make sense, and prepare for a harvest.

May our nets hold, as our hearts cling on to the Lord.

Yikes! (I Feel Like) I’m Drowning

When I was 6-years-old I almost drowned in the ocean. I remember the bitter taste of fear, and how it lingered in my mouth. The feeling of choking on water and wondering when the wave would pass. The sharp pain in my nose that sent tears to my eyes. The result was a resolve to stay close to the beach at all times. It took a long time before I could swim in the ocean, thankfully, we lived in the city, so I wasn’t required to visit the ocean often.

A few weeks ago I saw a similar look of fear in baby KK’s face as she took her evening bath. Her flutter kicks caused the water to move like a tsunami in the bath and it startled her. She looked up, shot out her hand and grabbed my spaghetti strap, (super hand-eye coordination by the way) and then let out a panicky high pitched cry. One that said, ‘Yo!! I think I am drowning here’.

I told her that I was there and I had got her safely in my hands. She didn’t look convinced as the ripples of water clapped on her feet. She wanted out, so much for the warmth, and toys in the water. The duck and fish could have the bath all to themselves, she just wanted some comfort.

It was just a bath, but it felt like being in the deep blue sea. As I reflected, I realized that she didn’t have a reason not to trust me, I was right there, and I was holding her. But how she felt in the water, as her bum skid on the bath tub floor and the water ebbed and flowed, made her afraid.

Sometimes we feel afraid. The situation might be like taking a bath in the but from where we are sitting we feel as though we are spinning in the Bermuda triangle and being swallowed alive by the ocean. In the raging waters, joy, faith and hope begin to fade away.

God reminded me that even in seasons when we feel afraid, we can trust Him. We can trust His track record. The fact that we are still standing is a testimony of His loving kindness. The waters may not feel gentle, kind, or like a loving embrace, but even in the midst of the storm, we can cling to Him.

Covid-19 has thrown several spanners into the works, heck, the whole toolbox, but our days, purpose’ and lives remain secure in His hands. His promises still stand.

My declaration in this season is drawn from the song Promises by Joe L Barnes and Naomi Raine.

Though the storms may come and the winds may blow
I’ll remain steadfast
And let my heart learn, when You speak a word
It will come to pass

Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun to the setting same, I will praise Your name
Great is Your faithfulness to me

I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground
My hope and firm foundation
He’ll never let me down

If you want to talk or pray together, feel free to drop me a line via bibi2bee@gmail.com

🙂

Newborn Hazing During Covid-19 Season: 10 ways I’m Coping

It takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when the ‘village’ is observing social distance? Motherhood in this Rona season is unprecedented, it is revealing how little is within our control.

Who would have thought that a virus would cause us to think twice, and carefully re-define normal? That it would magnify the small things, because they really are the big things in life.

A few weeks ago, the Lord added to our number and baby KK was born. She has been a joy bringer in this season. Though she’s our third born, it has almost felt like having a baby for the first time. I’ve been learning a new way of motherhood, one with limited movement and social interaction. I’ve become more cautious, and conscious of the worry and anxiety that tries to make room in my heart. The emotional, social, financial effects of Rona are hitting home, they are hard to ignore.

Some comfort has come from knowing that KK doesn’t know an alternative reality. She has no clue what she is missing out on, so as her mama, my role is show up each day, feed her, love her, play with her, pray for her and try to find joy and peace in this season.

I never thought I could be okay being home all day everyday. I love my home and family, but I enjoyed leaving the house before Covid-19. Thankfully the walls have stopped caving in, in fact if anything, I now struggle to venture out. Here’s how I’m navigating this season with a newborn (I’ll talk about her sisters in another post):

  1. Giving thanks

Gratitude is a balm to the soul. It has a way of cleansing your vision, and re-aligning your attitude.

I am being intentional about giving thanks. Circumstances may not be ideal on all fronts, but I still have so much to be grateful for.

2. Re-defining self care

During this time, I’ve had to re-define self care and make room for it in my every day life. My self care routine previously consisted of outdoor activities, it has now been replaced by indoor activities such as baking, cooking, coloring, journaling, working out, de-cluttering and silence. Yes, sweet silence.

I’m chasing sunshine now more than ever, and resisting the urge to sit with drawn blinds. The rainy season has revealed that I wouldn’t do too well in winter. Soaking up the sun is an important part of my self care routine.

3.Being gracious

At the beginning of the social distancing, I wanted life to continue as usual, but a few days in, I realized the cost of ‘normal’ was too high to bear. With our help social distancing, I pursued the role of Super woman. Hubby would tell me to take it easy but my brain struggled to chill. Until my back humbled me. One day I had a little meeting with myself and redefined normal. A normal that consisted of grace, a normal that gave me room to be kind to myself, a normal that maintained joy. A normal that understood that these are not normal times, a normal that allowed me to heal from surgery and to enjoy being a mummy and wife.

4. Maintaining social interaction (From a distance)

I had a refreshing conversation with a friend this morning. We talked about everything from insects, to milestones, to sleep regression, to CVs and cover letters, and to life in general. It was a cocktail that left me feeling encouraged.

I am making an effort to reach out to people and talk to them and pray with them. I miss coffee dates and play dates, but given the circumstances, this is working.

5. Asking for help

I struggle with this one, but I have an ‘in case of emergency’ protocol in my mind. I know that despite the distance, I shouldn’t suffer alone. Postpartum depression is real, and I would really like not to experience it this time.

6. Making memories

Babies grow so fast. You spend the first couple of weeks wondering when it will get better, then it does, but you never get the time back. I’m freezing moments by taking pictures and videos. I’m holding baby KK, gazing in to her gorgeous eyes, smelling her hair, taking her in and enjoying moments with her. I’m also writing letters to her in her journal, with prayers I’ve made for her and the sweet things that happen. These pictures, videos and letters will serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the years to come.

7. Putting my trust in God

A few weeks after I gave birth, a lady told me that she felt pity for me as this is not the best to have a child. As I reflected the Lord reminded me I can trust Him. He is the One who holds our future in His hands. He knows us, our hearts, and He knows our babies. He knew them and their futures even as He knit them in our wombs. He knew that they’d be born at a time such as this. He knew that they would be a generation that would live to see His goodness and faithfulness in their lifetime.

8. Amplifying truth

I stopped actively pursuing news pertaining to Covid-19. After evenings of increased anxiety after a daily briefing, I chose joy, and I’ve felt it trickling in. I am pursuing truth and positive things. I am listening to more things that make happy, thinking about the things that I can change and control, and praying about those beyond my scope.

9. Acknowledging my feelings

Some days are hard. Between the valleys of motherhood and the realities of life, it can be hard to feel jolly all day long. I’ve learned to acknowledge my feelings, feel them and then speak the truth that I know. I cling on to it and declare my total dependence on God.

10. Protecting myself

We still have to leave from time to time, as we go to the clinic. I am minimizing movement and taking pre-cautions when I have to leave wearing my mask, walking with a spirit spray to disinfect surfaces, and maintaining social distance. I’m trying to boost my immunity through food, exercise and avoiding stress.

I pray that this season passes soon. It is hard, but we continue to look to the Lord who sustains us.

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
    do not let my hopes be dashed. ~ Psalm 119:116 (NLT)

If you would like someone to talk to or pray with you, drop me a line via bibi2bee@gmail.com

🙂

Introducing Your Children To Jesus (Practical Tips)

‘Help me to get out of their way’, I prayed, as I concluded my quiet time. It dawned on me that I was standing in the way of my children.

Jesus said let the little children come to me. It’s quite interesting that the disciples, who were the people closest to Jesus, stood in the way of the little children getting to Jesus. These were Jesus’ best friends, the ones who broke bread with him, the ones privileged enough to get the ‘behind the scenes’ of the parables. They communed with our Lord, but missed out on this simple fact, that they should let the children come to Jesus.

As parents, it is possible to make it harder for our children to get to know Jesus. Sometimes we feel like they are too young, or the word of God is too complex, yet all that we asked to do is to make a way for them to get to spend time with Jesus.

Here are some practical ways that we can draw our children to Jesus feet.

  1. Story time

Psalm 78:4 New International Version (NIV)

We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.

Children love stories, and our Lord and saviour, Jesus used stories to connect with those around him. He was a story teller. Tell them the stories of Jesus, let them see God personified. Use different mediums to tell the stories, read from the bible, a small book, act it out, incorporate puppets and toys, or watch a bible story e.g on Saddleback kids or Veggie tales. At the end of every story ask them what they’ve learned from the stories, and talk about the ways that you can apply the lessons in your everyday lives.

2. Sing songs to the Lord

Psalm 104:33 New Living Translation (NLT)

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
    I will praise my God to my last breath!

As you teach your little ones nursery rhymes, teach them to sing songs to Jesus. Cultivate a lifestyle of praise, sing songs everyday, let praise become a norm in their lives, and not just a once-a-week event. Expand their library of songs, show them other children who worship the Lord through song. Some channels you can consider watching are: Psalty, Hillsong Kids, Watoto Children’s choir, and Lifetree Kids.

Children learn best from emulation. Let them see you worship. Fill your home with songs of praise and worship. Invite them to praise and worship the Lord with you. Let praise and worship be their default setting.

3. Set a routine

Deuteronomy 11:19 King James Version (KJV)

19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Be intentional about presenting your children to Jesus. Do not leave it to chance, prioritize it as you do other things that are important to you. The verse above gives suggestions on how often we should speak to our children about the laws, principles and stories of our faith.

4. Teach them how to pray

Colossians 4:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Teach your children how to pray. Teach them the Lord’s prayer and the grace, take it a step further and teach it to them in another language. Show them that prayer can be a lifestyle, allow them to see and hear you pray.

Let thanksgiving be at the heart of your prayers. Show them how to depend on the Lord. When you face challenges, let prayer be the first place you turn, followed by the other actions. Encourage them to thank the Lord daily, and to put their trust in Him.

5. Teach them memory verses

Psalm 119:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.

Encourage them to hide the word of God in their hearts. Incorporate actions to help them remember the verses. Choose a verse and have a family challenge, so that they can also see you work to memorize the verses.

6. Pray for them

Partner with the Lord as you lead your children to Him. Ask Him for wisdom on how to teach your children. After all He knows all the intricate parts of your child’s heart. Pray that the seed that you plant will fall on good ground. Ask the Lord to help them long to love Him.

May the Lord bless you as you raise your children. I’d love to hear your testimonies and pray with you. If you’d like to share, please drop me a line via bibi2bee@gmail.com

🙂

When Life Slows You Down

A few years ago, I had a rebirth. The Endometriosis symptoms that had plagued my life for years, finally begun to fade away. All of a sudden I had energy coursing through my veins, I could zip and button my jeans, and I could dream again. One day, I made a little vow to myself to reclaim what I had lost. To enjoy what was being restored, what the small locust, big locust and army of locusts had stolen (Joel 2:25).

I have enjoyed having more good days than bad days, being able to do more than one thing a day and not have to pay for it over the span of a week. I started 2019 with Formula One paced dreams, only to encounter serious speed bumps, some that had me seating in the bleachers spectating from the sidelines.

After inching across life’s track for so long and finally regaining your speed, being forced to go slow down can be very frustrating. Especially when you feel like nothing can and should hold you down.

Last week I got a clean bill of health for the first time in months and it was wonderful. I was ready to sprint in to the finish line of the year. Five days in to my celebration, I found out I sprained my achilles tendon. I’ve concluded that God is slowing me down a little, and I think that for the first time in 2019, I have accepted the pace of the season.

Reading through Paul’s journey in Acts reminded me that life is not always as it seems. Sometimes we make fast-paced, clear and concise plans, but then God instructs us to wait, or to take the longer route. This causes fluctuation in our anticipation and excitement, and it can really feel like a wet blanket especially after a season of planning. As I’ve journeyed with Paul two things have stood out: the seasons of waiting are for our preservation and/or preparation. They may lengthen the journey but we know that God remains our constant.

Here’s to enjoying the slower lane and being ready for the fast lane, when it is time.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9 NLT

The Thing About Love

My head is pounding but my heart is full. It’s been a long day. When I woke up this morning I had a forecast of calmness and predictability, my Mondays tend to be slow. That was until I read my whatsapp messages, and I knew that my itinerary had to change. I had prayed that the Lord would order my steps, and that He did. He ordered them out of the house and to where I needed to be.

I’m a planner, I like to think ahead and know what to expect, it is a comfort zone but life doesn’t work like that. It hurls curve balls your way and you have to adjust. Life is about trust, and trust feels a lot like walking in the dark, like holding on to promises and hoping against all odds that you will make it. Trust is relinquishing control and admitting that you do not know it all, that you are limited in power, and that you need God. Not because you have been pushed to the corner, but because He is the creator of heaven and earth and because He loves you.

Because He loves you.

Selah.

Love is a wonderful thing. It is unconventional. It changes things, it changes you!

Here are some songs that are featuring on my play list this week. May they remind you of this wonderful love and the One who loves you.

Blessings

She’s Not A Baby Anymore

I am currently sitting in a make-shift tent with Ky, holding her red pumpkin, which in reality is a bouncing ball. Though I am not about to burst her bubble, or oppose her imagination. Nah, I am here for all of it.

All of it.

That is the thing about life, you can’t have the good and excuse yourself from the bad, like some children skip over their veggies. Life is not like a side dish. It is more like a meal cooked in one pot. In the community that I come from this is a common occurrence and it is considered a delicacy. Please note that I am not talking about lasagna or shepherds pie type of one pot dish, that’s a pretty fancy comparison for the rice mixed with protein and veggies dish. But it is nutritious. It may not always look the best, depending on how it is cooked, but you know that it is healthy.

Motherhood has been like a one pot dish for me. There are seasons that I have disliked how it looked and felt. I would envy people with older children. When Ky was little, she struggled with reflux, every regurgitation deflated my hope. It was frustrating, messy and tear jerking. Having to give Ky a bath, then take a shower and change the sheets at mid-night was not the experience I hoped for. The snide comments from nurses regarding her weight gain, or lack thereof, felt like bricks pelting a straw house.

Now I smile as I watch the girls play and sit in their tents. They are always on the move, playing, laughing, chattering and running. I cherish the cuddles and moments when I can draw them in and hug them. I enjoy watching them sleep, and love that they sleep through the night.

In retrospect the mountains and valleys have been worth it. They may not have felt like it as we labored in love, but I have seen God turn things around for our good.

I have learned that it doesn’t have to feel good for me to know that it is working out for my good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

The Thing About Grief

My debut ride on a roller coaster was unforgettable. The adrenaline, fear and nausea are etched in my memory. It was exhilarating, that was until we experienced a technical failure. We had to walk off mid-way, thankfully the adults around us were very calm, and we had navigated to a place that we could get off comfortably.

In the roller coaster of life, March is my month of hope, sunshine and Endometriosis awareness. April most times is like a crabby pitstop, it pales in comparison, it’s a grim reminder of loss, pain and fading memories. May is my happy month, my new slate. 

After an incredible adrenaline filled March, April hit me so hard this year. I run to books, I’ve been reading a novel in a day. It’s amazing how much you can do when you have to survive and keep the blues at bay. The brain is an amazing organ, able to multi-task and cushion itself from sadness. 

What sucks about grief as the years go by is that the pain morphs in to a permanent fixture. It is like the loud ticking clock in your living room, after a couple of years, you get used to the pulsing ticks and tocks. You realize that it is one with your wall. It’s hard to imagine how things would look or sound without it there.

This year, I realized that the memories that I’d held close to my heart over the years were fading, and with each stroke of the eraser of time, a part of my heart wept. I searched deep within for a tape I could rewind one more time, just to hear his voice, but there was none.

That’s the thing about grief.

When you think you’ve healed, it shows you a different side of the prism, a different angle in the diamond. As you stare at the gem that is your existence, and marvel at how far you have been carried, you can’t help but think about the murky, dirty seasons that you have been through. The puddles of tears and mud of despair and anger. 

Even in the midst of the chaos, in between the raging emotions you find a stillness. It doesn’t negate the feelings, but it reminds you to keep fighting because you are still breathing. 

I look back at the past 8 years and amidst tears I stand in awe of God. The one who never leaves the one behind. There are good days, and low days. But He is still God when we are in the valley and when we are on  the hill. 

May I never lose sight of his loving kindness towards me and those that I love. 

For those who’ve lost a loved one and are still trying to navigate the tides of grief, I pray that the Lord will draw you nigh, that you will be comforted by His embrace and His never changing nature.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalms 34:18

Homemade Kids Paint ~ Easy Peasy Recipe

Happy new year from the K’s

We are finally settling back home annod it’s so good to find a new routine.

To kick start our year we made homemade paint. I was a bit skeptical about it but, I am trying to say more YES’s to my little ones and open to trying out new things.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.~

Pablo Picasso

Miss K and Ky love to paint, sometimes Ky wants to taste the paint, I think the red reminds of her ripe tomatoes, who knows? We can all agree that the pigmentation in store bought paint is quite strong.

3 ingredient home made paint recipe

1 cup of Water
1/2 cup of Flour
Food colour

Method

We mixed the water and flour until it was smooth (it still had a few lumps which you can see in the paintings). Then we divided the white paint (ha! More like pancake batter minus the eggs) in to five containers and then we added the food colour. We used powder food colour, and I took a little shortcut, against my better judgement, and added it without mixing it with water. The green was not very forgiving. It reminded me of a speckled frog 🐸.

And then we painted.

img_20190108_174715

I can attest to the fact that art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Picasso was right, he knew that art is therapeutic.

Yesterday the song that played in my mind as I painted is ‘Cycles ‘ by Jonathan McReynolds, it explains the circular motions. I enjoyed painting with the girlies, I’ll definitely be accepting more painting invitations.

The pros and cons of homemade paint :

The pros
-it is cheap to make
-it is toxin free and you shouldn’t worry too much if your little one eats it
-it is fun to make, the children can enjoy the process of making it and mixing colours
-it takes a short time to make
-it washes of easier than store bought paint

The cons
-it doesn’t keep long so you’d have to make small batches regularly
-this recipe’s paint isn’t as glossy as regular store bought paint does

I’ll definitely make another batch soon and try out other recipes.

Happy painting 🎨

Tea Party With The Teddies

Sometimes all we need is something new to breathe some life and excitement to our old collections.

On Sunday, Miss K got a beautiful Hello Kitty tea pot, while Ky got a slice of cake from a little shop, together these two toys have unified their troop of toys. Almost all our games now revolve around feeding a teddy or a ‘toto’, or even feeding ourselves.

One afternoon this week, while Ky napped, Miss K got a fraction of her teddies, put ’em on four little chairs and then begun to serve them tea. You should have seen the look on her face, one of sheer joy, and excitement. The girls love having visitors, they think that we should host people everyday. I am glad that our love for hosting has rubbed off on them, we did it a lot before we had little ones, and now that they are old enough, it is a joy to see them long to serve others and share with others.

Miss K hosted what I’d call a modern day miracle. She probably didn’t realize it, but in the moments that I watched her, my heart was so encouraged. Her fifteen teddies, varying in age and size, shared two pots of tea and shared one slice of cake. And, according to Miss K, they were so full afterwards, they needed to have a nap.

This reminded me of how Jesus fed the 5000 men.  While it was just a game for Miss K, I pray that she will apply that faith in her life. God is still in the business of performing miracles. Miracles happen when we share, then we realize how the power of God can transform little into a lot. How something that could only have benefited one or two people, can transform the lives of others.

What is it that you have in your hands? What is it that you are being called to share? I’ll leave you with this bridge that has been my heart’s song this week, as I take the limits off my faith.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains 
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again”

Angels

If you had an angel following you around every day, what do you imagine they would wear? Would they have themes each day, you know, throw in a 17th-century outfit every other Thursday or some shades of blue on Mondays?

Sunday is my most rewarding and draining days, in equal measure. I teach the little children, children below three years old. Sometimes it is a walk in the park, other times it is like trying to conduct a choir whose members are in different time zones.

Yesterday, I taught them about angels. Some were wide-eyed as I showed them pictures from a pop-up Christmas book, others were more interested in the toys sprawled around, while others were intrigued by pink crocs.

A scroll on my social media page reminds me how much we need protection. As much as we try to protect our children, we cannot be with them at all times. We don’t see the bigger picture, we are not all knowing, seeing or powerful. We are limited in our power, but we serve a God who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

He is able to order his angels to protect us.

“For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.~

~Psalm 91:11

We colored cut-out angels to remind us that God orders his angels to protect us everywhere we go. As the little ones play with their toys and lie in their beds, they know that there are angels watching over them.

My colored angel has a home on my wall to remind me that angels are watching over me everywhere that I go.

 

Juicy Grapes

The older I get, the more I embrace the things that I once detested. The things that I was hell-bent on never liking are the ones that I enjoy now. My mum chuckles that I feed my girlies sweet potatoes regularly because I would scoff at the sight of them. I would eat them amidst complaints, I was too bitter on the inside to appreciate their sweetness and fiber. But there was nothing that I loathed like ugali/sima (maize meal).

I practiced intermittent fasting on the days that sima was served at home. It was always in the wrong company, bitter tasting, and hard textured company. The veggies and the choice of protein put me off completely. My attempts to sweeten it with mala were shortlived, as I would sometimes forget to buy it on my way home, and it really wasn’t that deep.

When we moved to Mombasa, a love relationship was formed. I could actually enjoy my Sima and look forward to the days that I eat it. I still haven’t gotten to the place that I can eat it every day like my family, I guess the love for sima failed to be passed in the genes.

I also started enjoying traditional veggies, especially those on the slimier side of the spectrum – mrenda. The deep green color screams nutrients. A few days ago, as I was eating my sima and mrenda, Miss K and Ky decided that they must have grapes at that time. I asked them to wait for two minutes as I was almost done, then I would wash my hands, wash the grapes and serve them.

The girlies listened for all of twenty seconds and then they proceeded to eat the grapes as they were. They bit into the rather squishy ones that had them contorting their faces. They spat them out before I could say ‘I asked you to wait’. Their taste buds had expected the sweet taste of the grapes, instead, they got a fermented treat.

I eventually finished my food, washed my hands and prepped the grapes for them. As they chomped them down I explained why it is good to wait, patience sometimes seems impossible for toddler and preschooler. As I spoke, I realized that I too could learn a lesson from them.

When I feel like God is taking too long to answer a request, I should trust His heart and His timing. If I don’t I should remember that I might bite into some squishy fermented grapes, yet He desires to sort them out and give me the best.

Here’s to juicy grapes that are worth the wait.

 

 

 

The Writing on The Wall

My wall looked like the tiger version of Elmer the elephant. Multicolored, artsy and happy, well, at least the painters and artists were happy.

elmer

Ky woke up one day, she started singing along to songs and holding a crayon or pen like a seasoned artist. Her favorite thing to do is draw and color, while Miss K could paint with her eyes closed.

They enjoy expressing themselves through art, while Ksena caught on the fact that art is for paper, Ky is taking a little longer to understand why we need to use an A3 paper instead of the blank canvases all around the house.

While this would have made me upset a few years ago, I extend more grace now. I actually enjoy trying to decipher what their works of art are. Sometimes I see one thing, and they see something else. But their joy and confidence beam from the inside.

Instead of looking at the writing on the wall as a sheer inconvenience and something to be upset about, I look at it as a reminder of grace, that God looked at my sin, and paid the price for me. God’s grace over my life humbles me when I feel impatient, and irritable I pray that the Lord will remind me of His grace, that I may pass it on. He is not patient with me because I am deserving, He is patient with me because He loves me. And love, grace, and patience are like a three stand chord, they must work together.

There is always room for grace

And just so the record is straight, the writing on the wall skills could actually be genetic. I was an artist who drew on my mama’s walls. Her wallpaper flowers always had spots and checked lines. Most times it was just a massive doodle, on or under the wallpaper. She was not always smiling when she saw my drawings and wondered why I had ignored all of the drawing pads at my disposal.

But Grace!

It was extended to me, and now I can extend to others around me.

Cheeky Monkey Escapades

I have these lumps in my throat every time I watch Ksena climb something. She is in a phase where she just wants to climb, I need to find a good monkey bar, it will be a good exercise for both of us. She will practice her climbing and I, well, I will pray, and pray, and pray some more. That will keep me from calling out to her each time my heart skips a beat, it will also keep me from physically carrying her off the monkey bar.

She has recruited another cheeky monkey, Ky is now a climber, and they both have bumps, that look like dark potatoes on their foreheads. God forbid those become a K-squad trademark feature. I have found them on the window seal with hearts bursting with pride, while my heart was growing faint.

Do you believe in angels? I do! I also believe in miracles. I have seen these at work in our lives. You know the sound that a skull makes when it hits the ground? The loud thud that could be measured on a Richter scale, I have heard those severally and it is just by God’s grace that the girls are fine. I know that some say that children are resilient, but miracles and angels, my friends, are also very real.

The brain is an amazing organ. Isn’t it sad that we often underutilize it, yet we will have a new body in the afterlife? Miss K’s ability to remember things that happened more than half her lifetime ago blows me away. These memories are what she uses to decide if she can or can’t do something.

“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!

~ Deuteronomy 20:1 New Living Translation

This verse struck me earlier today. God’s character remains constant. He is not frazzled by circumstances, nothing is too difficult for Him. Our brains have the ability to store information and block it out as well, but remembering how God has carried you through situations in the past is crucial for you to go forth to new adventures.

The new adventure may seem complicated and daunting, you may feel inadequate, small and ill-equipped. Remember that God is greater than anything life may throw your way.

He is faithful. The question is, will you trust Him?

 

 

 

 

Gluten Devoured My Peace

My body has resolved to scream because I have been ignoring its whispers. I honestly cannot blame it, serves me right to some extent, but this, this has been bad.

I am in the middle of an uproar, a gluten revolt. Acne has erupted on my skin, I wish it was just on my face, but I have little unsightly bumps on my face, arms, and chest, then there is the rash that looks like a field of grass around the pimples.

I’ve been off dairy for a few weeks and it feels good. Ovulation has been a breeze, no pain or inflammation. The egg has traveled in peace, without much disruption of my daily life. I am high-fiving myself as I quiet down any milkshake cravings.

A few days ago, I started experiencing gluten cravings. I wanted bread, sweet bread, chapatis, mahamris. You know when your body just wants wheat in all forms, shapes, and sizes? I should have known it was a recipe for disaster. I got the usual canker sore and brain fog, then those healed, this has always been my body’s way of saying, “We have crossed our threshold. You need to chill on the gluten”.

But did I listen?

I listened for a few days then I found wheat, or should I say wheat found it’s way to my intestines. The result has not been as sweet as toast, nah, it has had me tossing in bed, jittery, anxious and red and I couldn’t put my finger on it, I couldn’t even sit still.

In my antsy state, I prayed. Yo, peace is a precious commodity. I guard it with all I have, in this case, I had eaten it away.

Then I remembered one of the side-effects of gluten, and I knew it! It was the cause of the imbalance. I did a quick experiment and got off the trigger, and my peace, sweet peace was back. It wasn’t 100% but it was not 15% either. For that, I am so grateful.

I do believe that God cares about every aspect of my life. This is not too petty or trivial for Him. He cares about what I eat, and He cares about how I feel. I know that as I cast my anxieties on Him, He cares for me, He loves me and I am safe in His hands.

His peace is enough for me.

 

Beyond Diapers and Routines

Perspective is a beautiful thing, it can infuse a stressful moment with patience. It can quiet down raging emotions and lend some insight into a situation.

The truth is that as motherhood is getting easier, it is also getting more complicated. I am almost done changing diapers, I hope you know I am using the word almost very loosely, give or take another two years, but still, that is pretty close. I am happy that the girls have grown so much. Soon they will be little semi-independent girlies, and my lap may not be there comfort zone.

Each season has its own challenges, things that could take a lot of my time. No one ever has it all figured out, at least I don’t, but I am done waiting for perfect conditions to do some of the things that I have been procrastinating about. There will never be perfect conditions, I am finally getting out of my own head, making a plan and teaching Ksena and Ky memory verses. Our first verse was Philippians 4:19. This week we are focusing on Psalms 56:4 as it was our verse in Sunday school.

In God, whose word I praise

In God I trust and I am not afraid.

~Psalm 56:4 NIV

It has been amazing watching Miss K grow in her own walk with God. Watching God teach her, and her hunger to know more about Him. This morning on our way to play school, she told me that she longs to see Jesus. She wanted to know where heaven is and how long she can go visit for. I answered these questions very carefully, especially the length of visit before she starts praying for a 1-month visit.

I received a long message yesterday that is still tugging at my heartstrings. I know in the depths of my heart that the Lord longs to reveal Himself to children. I need to play our part and prepare their hearts, read the word to them and love them.

MOTHERS – GET READY FOR NEW STRATEGIES IN YOUR PARENTING!! JESUS IS INVITING YOU INTO THE STRATEGY ROOM OF HEAVEN!!! 

Lana Vawser 

I had a vision recently and I saw Jesus inviting Mothers into the strategy room of heaven to bless them. He was inviting them in to sit at the table with Him and to receive new creative strategies and divine insight in their parenting. I knew instantly that the Lord had invited the Mothers into this strategy room with Him to hear these new strategies for they were the creative strategies for the new season to carry the increase that He is releasing. It wasn’t there was anything wrong with how things were done before, but there was an increase that the Lord was wanting to bring. 

A SEASON OF DEEP ENCOUNTERS FOR CHILDREN

As I watched in this vision, Mother after Mother responding to the call from the Lord, they sat at the table with Jesus and He began to unravel these scrolls of divine insight, blueprints and creative strategy on raising, ministering and sowing into their children. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation was so strong, I saw Mother’s filling pages and pages and pages in journals of the insight the Lord was releasing. As they wrote what He was speaking, His Words on the pages became keys. There were SO MANY keys and then the Lord spoke “This is a season of great UNLOCKING upon your children. A season of deep encounters for children with Me has begun.” The atmosphere was full of such joy and expectation that we are about to see a radical increase of children encountering the Lord and the supernatural in greater ways than we have ever seen before. As I watched this taking place it reminded me of a dream that I had a while ago regarding revival and the great outpouring of His Spirit. As I slept I heard the Lord speaking over and over “It won’t begin, until it begins with the children.” 

This invitation from the Lord for Mother’s is so weighty, it’s so strategic and it is so on the Lord’s heart right now, for He is releasing the new “pathways” to position, invest, pray and sow into our children to see them move into their greatest season of encounter with Jesus. I saw children who already know the Lord having deeper encounters than they have ever had, and I saw children who do not yet know the Lord, suddenly encountering Jesus and His radical, unrelenting, ever pursuing love and being radically transformed.

There is a MAJOR move of the Spirit of God upon children right now and the divine strategies that the Lord is releasing to Mother’s right now is going to bring forth greater healing, breakthrough and freedom to children. 

I asked the Lord why there was a focus upon Mother’s being into the strategy room of heaven right now, and I heard Him say “I am going to release a greater revelation to children of My nurture through Mothers in this season.” 

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES

I kept hearing the words “Out of the mouths of babes” and the Lord showed me that there is significant increase of revelation, wisdom and breakthrough that He is going to release through children in this season. 

“You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies.
Strength rises up with the chorus of singing children.
This kind of praise has the power to shut Satan’s mouth.
Childlike worship will silence the madness of those who oppose you.” – Psalm 8:2 (The Passion Translation)

I felt the Lord saying “LISTEN!!!” – Listen to what your children speak from the encounters that they have with Me, for there is going to be great wisdom and revelation from My heart released from the mouths of babes. For in this season you will see a greater increase of worship and praise from the children, rising to Me that is going to release a significant breaker anointing to silence the enemy and to bring forth the breaker. Do not be surprised if the wisdom and direction you are seeking Me for, comes through the mouths of babes.”  

I also heard the Lord say “Pay attention to their dreams”. I suddenly saw an increase of prophetic dreams taking place for children in this season where they will encounter the Lord and the supernatural realms in greater ways. For the Lord is going to speak through the encounters many children have in this season with Jesus in their dreams, bringing forth great clarity, insight and divine strategy. 

The wisdom and discernment to guide children in their understanding of what they are experiencing and seeing is falling upon households like torrential rain. 

CONTINUE TO PRAY OVER THEIR DREAMS

Where the Lord is increasing prophetic dreams and encounters with Him with children in the night hours, I heard the Lord say “Continue to pray over their dreams. Continue to bathe their dreams in prayer, for the enemy would attempt to hinder these encounters with Me through fear filled dreams, nightmares or night terrors, but continue to plead My blood over their dreams and their sleep. Continue to decree My Word of peaceful sleep and prophetic insight over them as they sleep and My angelic hosts to surround their beds, and you will see a major breakthrough of My Glory, revelation and insight being poured out upon them as they sleep.” 

MOTHERS YOU WILL BE REFRESHED AND STRENGTHENED BY MY SPIRIT, FILLED WITH GREATER JOY THAN YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN IN YOUR PARENTING

The vision then went back to the Mother’s in the heavenly strategy room with Jesus and I watched as they were encountering the Lord and His new strategies, blueprints and creative insight, I watched as what looked like a HUGE waterfall was pouring over them. It was the rivers of His Spirit bringing refreshment to  them. They were being refreshed, strengthened and empowered again by the Spirit of God to move in this new season and new blueprints He was releasing. I watched as the Lord encouraged them and spoke: “Greater joy than you have ever known in your parenting is upon you!!!” 

The atmosphere was FULL of excitement and anticipation, that there was GREATER JOY than they had ever known beginning to break forth. I heard the Lord continue to speak to them “Do not look at what has been. Do not look at what was. But look to Me and know that this is your season of greater increase in your parenting. In this season you will see greater healing, you will see greater restoration, you will see greater redemption, recompense and divine breakthrough in your parenting than you have ever seen.”

I then saw these heavy “sandbags” on the shoulders of many Mother’s and these sandbags were labeled “REGRET”. I saw that many Mother’s have been carrying around “REGRET” and the Lord wanted to lift it off. Attached to these heavy “sandbags” of “REGRET” were lies. The enemy had come and found these sandbags of “REGRET” and was attacking them with his lies regarding their role as a Mother and their children. I watched as Jesus spoke such beautiful truth to them about their role as a Mother, the destiny of their children and His plans, and His love began to pierce holes in these sandbags of regret and they were melting away. There was a new level of peace, joy, and expectation in their role as Mother being given to them. I then heard Him speak again “Don’t look back. Look forward. Look to Me and KNOW that nothing is impossible for Me. The strategies I am releasing as you implement them are going to bring MAJOR breakthrough, increase, turnaround and restoration. It’s time for you to THRIVE in your role as Mother. This is the Year of Family and the enemy has come against Mother’s so strongly in this season, but NO MORE. Mothers, it’s your time to FLY! It’s your time to FLY! I am redeeming time! I am taking you higher! I am opening your eyes in greater ways to My strategy and you will pray and see significant breakthrough SUDDENLY unlike you have ever experienced.”

MOTHERS, THE BOWLS OF HEAVEN CONCERNING YOUR CHILDREN ARE TIPPING

The Lord smiled and said “Mothers, the bowls of heaven concerning your children are tipping. Not one prayer you have prayed is in vain. Nothing has fallen to the ground. As you have learnt into Me and you have prayed My heart, as you have prayed My Word, as you have invested into your children through prayer, NOW you shall see the bowls of heaven are about to TIP over your children. You shall see the greatest outpouring of My Spirit over you, your family unit and your children. You shall see the manifestation of the breakthrough of the many prayers you have prayed, greater fruitfulness than you have known and greater INCREASE. The ground shall no longer be dry. The land shall no longer be barren, but you shall see great FRUITFULNESS come to your children and your household. As the fruit bursts forth, you will understand why the battle has been so hard regarding your children and family, because I have decreed this IS the season of greater fruitfulness in your family than you have ever known.”

“Mothers, this is your time to arise in new ways moving in My wisdom and revelation to see the greatest outpouring of My Spirit and breakthrough upon your children and family unit. The banner of My faithfulness is about to be lifted HIGH!!!!”

Please let me know if this has been helpful, I would love to hear how the Lord is moving in your homes.

May our children be taught by the Lord, and may they know great peace.

 

 

 

Miracles Still Happen

The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen. ~ G.K Chesterton

A few weeks ago, Miss K knocked her tooth on a wall and it started greying. She was rolling about in her bed and she bumped into the wall, and a few days later her tooth lost it’s resemblance to milk.

It helped that Ksena was able to articulate what had happened. There was no pain and no abscess it was just off-white in the beginning until it turned grey.

When we saw the doc and spoke to a dentist they both said, it’s not a big deal since it is a milk tooth. That was the good news, the bad news was that there was nothing that they could do, we were just going to have to embrace the grey until the milk tooth fell out.

For the next couple of days, we talked to Miss K about it and reassured her that her beauty wasn’t determined by her pearly whites. We told her what the doctor had said, that she would have to wait it out until her teeth started shaking. After considering that option, she purposed to pray for the tooth.

We stopped focusing on the tooth and experienced the peace that came from accepting the things that you cannot change. Our power was limited in this case, even our best intentions could not whiten the tooth.

About two weeks later, the tooth turned back to white, like nothing had happened. It is white. There are no hints of grey. It is back to normal. Praise be to God. When I told the dentist what had happened, she was overjoyed. She could see God’s footprints all over this.

I don’t know what grey situation you are facing, but even as you are in the midst of the storm, I urge you not to write God off. He is a miracle working God. Nothing is permanent unless He says so. He has power over the elements, the seasons and time. He is the only one that we should put our trust in.

My prayer is that my children will encounter the Lord from a tender age, that as we teach them about God’s word and the bible stories, that they will experience His power and see Him in their lives.

I believe in miracles.

This Present Darkness

I never imagined that sadness and joy could unite and leave such a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth.

One day, I stared at the curtains flapping as the fan swirled on the ceiling, and I yearned to fly away. I was overwhelmed. I loved my baby, but it was all too much. My hormone levels were spiked and dropped like a yo-yo and I felt out of control. The colic and sleep deprivation eroded my sanity.

I had no problems with milk production and my CS scar was healing well so the doctor gave me a clean bill of health. I looked fine, but I was crumbling, and strong emotions were welling up inside me.

Guilt ate me alive. Here I was, humbled to hold my baby in my arms, especially after my journey with Endometriosis. I felt guilty for not enjoying the process. My pictures at this time were not social media worthy, I looked tired, heavier on the scale, and one statement away from tears.

I craved sunshine.

I longed for the simple days, days that felt like the fairytale that I had hoped to live out – happy mama and happy baby.

Some days were good, especially when I slept and left the house. Cabin fever was not increasing my joy levels. In the thick of things, I prayed:

May the present darkness that I am experiencing, not dim the light in my child’s eyes.    

It got better, eventually, it did. When I look back at those days I shudder, I am grateful that life goes on. That’s the good thing and the not so good thing. There are no off days to figure things out. You just figure them out as you go. And, there is no immunity to things that could make you sad or make you feel like you’ve stumbled on a stone and are trying to find your balance.

God’s grace remains sufficient. My prayer for you is that God who sees all things and knows all things, will carry you and give you peace. And, that the darkness that threatens to overwhelm you will lift, and make way for His light.

Happy Mother’s day!!.

You are loved.

P.S if you’d like someone to talk to, please send me an email via bibi2bee@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

IMG-20180226-WA0012.jpg

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Cocktail of Balance

No two households are the same, that is what makes marriage a cocktail of balance, it is half-cup of what you love, a dash of what you both like and half-cup of what your spouse loves, sprinkled with some happiness. You and your spouse may have been raised in the same town, estate and even gone to the same school and church but once you shut the front door, the law of the house prevails. Your parents rule the empire.

When Peter and I were dating, we talked about pretty much everything under the sun, well, many things under the sun, the things we haven’t talked about I trust that we’ll have many more days by God’s grace to discuss. One of the ‘hot topics’ was birthdays, where I shared my expectations based on the culture in our home. His family didn’t use to celebrate birthdays, you could easily forget a birthday, while we in the Mbugua household used to countdown to birthdays, it was an annual excuse to binge on calories and get presents.

Our tradition in the K household has largely been influenced by my expectations, remember the cocktail of balance? This is the cocktail at work. Over the years, my expectations and traditions have changed. It’s become less of an outward celebration and a lot more of introspection, sort of like new years eve for many people. The eve or morning of my birthday is a time of quiet reflection where I thank God for the year that has been, start a new journal and set one goal for the year.

Last week as I ushered in a new year, my heart was filled with gratitude. Looking back at the year that was had me in tears, I was so overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness and sustenance. Part of my reflection was choosing contentment.

Over the last year, I have watched my contentment seep through my fingers because I’ve been too busy looking around me to really see what was in my hands. ‘Happiness is an inside job’, you can have ‘perfect’ conditions and still be unhappy, it’s a choice, a deeply personal decision to rejoice regardless of the circumstances.

‘Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?’ Prov 27:4

Many times I blame the devil for my discomfort, but to be honest, many times I am unhappy because I’ve brought it on myself. I chose to admire the grass over the fence instead of asking myself how I can best grow my grass.

I’ve adapted a verse for this year, ha! it sounds cliche, but let’s see how it goes, ask me next year, won’t ya?

My goal is to stay within the boundaries of God’s plan for me (adapted from 2 Corinthians 10:13b NLT)

Psalm 16 is one of my favorite Psalms, for me it embodies accepting God’s perfect will for my life, acknowledging that He loves me and cares for me while choosing to thrive where He has placed me.

I do not know what the new year holds, but I do know He who holds me.

Here’s to contentment by choice.

 

Broccoli

After an hour of being  frustrated by internet speeds and Survey Monkey that wanted to re-think every instruction that I keyed in, I was happy to see Ksena when she walked in.

“Ksena, can I serve you some lunch now?”

We exchanged pleasantries as she told me all about her day. The pink sticker on her arm made her particularly happy. On Tuesday she had a nappy-haired super hero who cheered her up despite being under the weather. Today she has a blonde princess whose great at tidying up.

“Ksena, can I serve you some lunch now?”

“Mama, no thanks! I want broccoli.”

“Sorry, what?” I asked as I looked up from the screen. “I want broccoli,” she responded with certainty in her voice.

“But what about the food I’ve made. You like Chapo…” I said as I looked at her, “Yes, but I’d like some broccoli, please.”

In all humility, I went and made broccoli for her and served the florets in a bowl, she ate them with such glee, drunk her water and said thank- you.

Hubs found it strange that I was so shocked about what she wanted to eat, but I was so confused by her ‘I only want broccoli’ food preference. I introduced Ksena to broccoli a few months after we started weaning and she’s loved the little trees since. Broccoli reminds me of veggie tales.

As I watched her eat the little trees it occurred to me that if you give your body healthy things it will crave healthy things. In the same way, if you feed your Spirit the things of God, your Spirit will yearn for those things.

Here’s to craving broccoli for the body and its equivalent for the Spirit.

 

I Shall Wait On You

As my day slowly comes to an end

When it seems my strength is gone
As the hours seem to pass by slowly
When all I try just seems so wrong

 

Within my heart I seek inspiring words
A psalm that will lift my spirit high
For so often when I feel this tired
Even on my bed I have no desire to lie

 

I reach within my soul for divine energy
I seek with my inner voice to deeply pray
Finding I have such a great need of You
For Your soothing spirit to come my way

 

And as I pray silently and so sweetly
While I also gently embrace Your name
I find I shall always wait on You Lord
Knowing my happiness I will again regain
For You are the great power which saves me
The blessed assurance my heart only knows
And happily Lord I will always wait on You
Because with all my heart I love You so.

 

Copyright © Wendell Brown | Year Posted 2015

The Waterfall

I put my nose on her head and took a deep breath, my lips curled into a smile as I took in a scent. The memories of our first weeks together flooded my memory, I cradled her in my arms as I thought about how little she was when she was born. “Esther, you have a baby girl. 3.2kgs” Daktari said as the tears cleansed my cheeks, they washed away the anxiety that I had been carrying around. Being pregnant was one miracle, a safe delivery for both mummy and baby was the other miracle.

That tear jerking moment was the first of many in our journey of getting to know each other. Our first few weeks were filled with awe of the Most High and sheer frustration, getting Ky to burp felt like squeezing toothpaste out of an empty tube, I rubbed the top of her back and the tail of the spine, sometimes I got a tiny burp other times there was nothing.

God forbid she did a proper burp, a waterfall of her milk followed, it drenched her clothes, my PJs, the sheets but it gave her relief. She would smile, and it would sort of melt the frustration away, that was until she got frustrated by my not-so-full boob that was the source of her milk. Night feeds were long, feeding every three hours was hectic and the reflux was discouraging.

As I carried her and enjoyed carrying a still version of her I realized that blessings don’t exempt you from struggles. When they come it’s good to remember that they won’t last forever. Now all I have are memories, we’ve outgrown the reflux and we are onto other struggles.

John 16:33 Amplified Bible (AMP)

33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world, you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

Suffering, distress, and tribulation come in different shapes and sizes but God’s peace and courage remain readily available.

 

Mommy Brain

The number of times that I walk into a room to get something and then walk out empty handed because I forgot my mission is too many to count. I feel like I have a double of Mommy brain; before I fully recovered from pregnancy absent-mindedness with Ksena, I was pregnant with Ky, so it’s been three-and-a-half years of not quite remembering everything that I set out to do.

 

mommybrain2

mommynotions.com/mushy-mommy-brain/

 

I have just endured a wailing session of thirty minutes and I survived thanks to Mommy ears which must be an extension of Mommy brain, no? Yes, I just coined that phrase, but seriously, before I became a mum I would be distracted by every little noise around me, I had cat-like ears that picked up sounds around me. Now, I surprise myself, I can hum a full song despite the screams around me. I do not ignore the serious cries, but when it’s time for ‘scream-because-I-am-a-threenager’, well, I talk then ignore and discipline.

The mountain-sized mole hill today was that it was hair day, every time I brought up my plans to undo-detangle-wash-treat-and plait the hair I was met by “Sorry mummy, I’m not yet ready, I’ll let you know when I am.” At first, I said “Okay” as I thought to myself that I should be a little flexible. But the third time, I set a time and said that I’d do her hair at that time. You can guess that she wasn’t ready at 1:40pm, but I know her, and I know that evenings are not a good time to start the hair routine, so we sat down at 1:40pm and started.

As I was half way through detangling, she started pulling her head to the front, inflicting pain on herself. We had a little tete-a-tete about it, and she settled down. Then she started screaming cum shouting “Mama” over and over again. The screams were like Rock music is for a Rock lover, powerful beats, a colorful noise. As I watched it all unfold beneath my nose, I reflected on how it is to be a child, you think you know what is best for you but you don’t. In my walk with God, there are times that I have pulled away from the circumstances, little wonder why I felt the pain of the strain. I have procrastinated and deflected, made excuses as to why I shouldn’t be doing what God has planned for me to do.

As I looked at her, I saw myself and I prayed, that the Lord would forgive me for the times that I have thrown adult version tantrums and pulled away from His will then come back to tell Him how much pain He inflicts on me.

When I finished detangling and sectioning her hair, I put her to bed to nap. Immediately she was free, the ‘sleep’ disappeared and she’s been quietly playing with her little robot since.

That’s the thing about life, sometimes you think you’d be better off somewhere else doing something else until you get out there and see that being where God needs you to be for your good.

Rushing Wind

After an hour of chaos – screams, squeals, and cries- silence fills the air. It almost feels foreign, sometimes I count down to bed time, and then when they are both in bed, I miss them. I know, I too shock myself. My feet lead me to their room to watch over them and pray for them, there is something so therapeutic about watching sleeping babies lay.

When I held Ky in my arms, my being slowed down and enjoyed the rhythm of her chest heaving and I started singing a song out of the blue.

 

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

(Hillsong -I Surrender)

Since we got back home a few weeks ago, the girls love to slow down where we are and fall asleep, there in the stillness, they find peace and are able to enter rest. A few days ago I realized that proximity brings safety. The verse, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” made a lot of sense.

As we draw closer to the Lord, we feed off His peace, His tempo becomes our tempo and His Spirit edifies our Spirits. Our hearts and beings can only truly find rest in Him.

Sometimes I don’t have the right words to say, but I know that all that He requires of me is to just come.

While I’m Waiting

“It is not like we are waiting on someone who doesn’t have a track record of perfection. God’s resume is good enough for us to wait on Him.” Travis Greene

This is a summary of what I have been telling my heart the last couple of days. There are seasons in life that God makes you wait, as you wait it is easy to get discouraged and wonder if God has moved.

Over the weekend, after trying to meet twice during the week and not being able to, I had a beautiful meeting with a friend. We’d not talked in length for months and it was nice to catch up over a cup of tea. I don’t take for granted the preservation of the Lord, tomorrow is not a guarantee, yet the Lord kept us long enough to share of His goodness. She shared with me how the Lord had moved in her life, as I sat on her couch my spirit leaped within me. Her testimony ignited something in me, I kept thinking to myself “That is my God! The one who moves mountains and causes walls to fall.”

Mid conversation tears rolled down my cheeks, they were a cocktail of emotions- hope, relief, and awe. She shared with me how the Lord had moved in her life, in a way that we agreed that it could only be God. Only He has a track record of doing the impossible, of moving mountains, of parting seas. It was such personal proof that God is still work in this day and age. My heart leaped within me as I was sunken on the couch, the weight of my thoughts and anxieties could not hold it down, a fire, a hope had been ignited in me. I kept thinking to myself “That is my God! The one who moves mountains and causes walls to fall.”

I’ve been reading Chronicles and Jeremiah and God is a force to reckon with, He is God, not a man that He should lie or walk in confusion. As I read it this time, the scenes played in my mind, and I kept telling myself, “Look at God!” and as I sat there, I saw the handprint of God.

My prayer has been Habbakuk 3:2 (NLT)

I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.

God is all powerful, there is nothing too difficult for Him! I believe and I will trust in Him. I still believe what my eyes can’t see.

This song by Travis and Chandler is on repeat, it is such an encouragement to me to keep waiting on the Lord and to trust in Him.

I know that I am not the only one whose faith falters. It is nice to read of the works of the Lord in the Bible, but sometimes you want someone to tell you what God has done for them in 2017. I would like to use this platform to encourage others, if you have a testimony that you would like to share with others, please send me an email via bibi2bee@gmail.com and I will publish it for the glory of His name.

For you who is waiting, I pray that this will be your testimony as you wait.

While I’m waiting I’m getting stronger
My faith is rising, and I will run on
While I’m waiting I’m lifting up on wings as eagles
I believe, I will trust in You

 

 

Choked

The lump in my throat felt like it had been chained to my molars, it didn’t budge no matter how hard I swallowed, the waves of water I drunk washed it but didn’t push it. It was stuck, and for once I was forced to confront it, see it for what it really was.

Earlier that day, I woke up to pray and I whispered a series of simple prayers, they weren’t seemingly ‘powerful’ command-the-morning, devil-you-are-defeated kind of prayers, though yes the devil is defeated. They were simple heartfelt whispered pleas said from a guarded but expectant heart.

“Babe, what happened to you?” hubs asked as we had our breakfast. “What do you mean?” I asked as I took a sip of my Moringa Hibiscus tea, “You used to pray a lot…you know you will stand and give an account for yourself as an individual,” immediately I heard these words the piece of sweet potato in my throat became harder, I felt like I was eating a sweet fibrous boulder.

“I am trying to get back there. I’ve been praying shorter prayers, but I am still at it.” I responded but the question lingered with me. As I went about my day, I sought the answer within, and I stopped when I realized what had really happened. I had been choked, to the point that I found myself gasping for air, sometimes my faith was even turning blue. It wasn’t because God or His word had changed, but I had shifted my focus. The worries of this world (that is soon passing away) had choked my desire, drive and resolve to pray passionately.

Motherhood has taught me that it is not only bad things that can choke you, even water and breast milk can choke a child, these are liquids that are meant to refresh. In the same way, the things that choke my faith are not necessarily bad things, in fact, some of them are the roles that I play as a mum and a wife, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. If anything it should be a reminder to always be sensitive enough to know when the balance shifts, to know when the water goes down the wrong pipe, to recognize the coughing spasms in my faith, the difficulty praying, and to ask for help.

Here’s to eating life with a big spoon, praying and not choking.

Blue Elephant

From the eyes of a child, the world is an exhilarating and sometimes scary place. Fear is sometimes triggered by the little things. During the last one week. Ky has been facing her fears and reservations towards the unknown. There is a little-stuffed cow that she’d not get close to, but one day she realized that it wasn’t so scary after all. The first day she went around it quickly and stopped one meter past it to see its reaction, it lay there helplessly. The second day she picked it up, tossed it to the side and zoomed past it, she knew that there was nothing that it could do, fear became a thing of the past.

This morning as we played on the floor she met a mummy and baby Elephant. Mama is pink and called Ellie while her litu one is blue and called Blue (I am taking suggestions for names for stuffed animals, some with a little flare.) Ky likes Ellie but she is terrified of little Blue, when I say terrified I mean, she will not let it get close to her and will shake if it tries. What I consider as a cute little blue Elephant seems scary to her.

That is the thing about fear, it’s deeply personal, it takes a different face as the seasons change. They may be little in the eyes of society but to you, they are huge and blue and they make your world come to a standstill. When you face them you shudder, you close your eyes so as to wish them away, and in that moment your grandeur means nothing because fear is raging within.

We often shy away from the pink Elephant in the room, but I think that we need to talk about the blue Ellie that’s in our minds, the one that makes us second guess ourselves and makes us shrink and retreat like a tortoise into its shell.

My prayer for Ky and myself is that our fears will not hold us, hostage, that we will be all that God created us to be. That we will take all the Blue Elephants into our hands, push them aside like she did to the cow, and zoom towards our destiny.

Here’s to fighting and winning the battles within because we know that greater is He who is in us than he who is against us.

Oh dear heart, take courage. Do not fear.

 

 

Play Dough

I made play dough on Saturday. I used strawberry-red food color and it turned out a shade closer to pink, but I am glad I made it anyway. As long as it is malleable, Ksena will be happy.

Ksena enjoys making tasty Chapatis when it is Chapo day, her rolling skills are improving with the practice she does on play dough. Maybe she will be the one who makes us tortillas when she is older; a mum can dream.

I’ve gotten really good at procrastinating. Overthinking has become a past time. Granted that it is good to think through what you are about to do, but what I’ve been doing is wearing my running shoes and then tying my laces together, little wonder that I fall down before I start to run. Then I quit.

Most of the play dough recipes require you to use Cream of Tartar (I know, it sounds like Tartar sauce). For the past year, I looked for Cream of Tartar in every supermarket in Mombasa, I even checked in Nairobi but it was nowhere to be found. So I opted not to try.

On Saturday, I decided to give it a try without the Cream of Tartar, it was evident that if I wait to find it I will never make it, also Ksena’s desire to mold isn’t going anywhere so I might as well get on with it. As I kneaded the play dough, the Holy Spirit prompted me to think of all the things that I have failed to do because I didn’t have perfect conditions, because I didn’t have the “Cream of Tartar”. I was humbled and embarrassed. The truth is I like having everything that I need and watching my ducks stand line quacking on key like a choir. But life doesn’t always work like that. Most times, I don’t have all my ducks in a row, in fact sometimes it looks like there is a chicken masquerading in the skein, clucking as the rest are quacking.

The truth is I like having everything that I need and watching my ducks stand line quacking on key like a choir. But life doesn’t always work like that. Most times, I don’t have all my ducks in a row, in fact sometimes it looks like there is a chicken masquerading in the skein, clucking as the rest are quacking.

Some of my obstacles seem silly, but I let them hold me back. I am reminded today to just do it, to chase the dream, to record those Vlogs, to write those books, to make the play dough without the Cream of Tartar and to always be malleable. Through it, God will be glorified.

You can follow my Vlog here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnmYUAAe-cc

Nap Time

Schedules are beautiful things. They make life predictable, and we all have something to look forward to. As a younger mum, I struggled to put Ksena on a strict schedule that had her in bed by 7:00 PM, it seemed like a dream. Three years later, 7:00 PM is still not happening, but we’ve found a time that works for her. Having a timetable of sorts helps us all manage our expectations.

Mornings are usually high energy, the girls wake up ready to play and squeal. It is the best time to have an activity. After lunch, when the post lunch fatigue sets in, a small scratch has them wailing, a friendly game ends in a torrent of tears. The cries are usually a good sign, it means that nap time has reached. Sometimes, I countdown to that hour where peace fills the air, where I can eat or read in quiet, but then I miss them when they sleep.

From time to time I think that maybe Ksena is ready to drop the afternoon nap, but deep within, I am glad that she still has it (on most days) because it is more for me than for her :). It helps her be less cranky in the evenings, but sometimes she is able to sail through without it. It gives me an opportunity to do what I want to do.

Initially, I used to sit in one spot as they napped and savor the silence, other days, I would run to bed and sleep. There is something so refreshing about naps. The other day, Ksena woke up and said, “Mama, I’ve not had my breakfast yet.” I looked at her very confused since it was 5:00 PM and the beautiful rays of the sun filled the room. “It’s evening, almost time for dinner. What do you mean?” I asked. “I’ve slept and woken up and Mr. sun is out, so it is time to eat breakfast. Mummy, I want porridge.” I chuckled as I followed her to the window where she pointed to the sun. I concluded that all naps should be like that, refreshing, rejuvenating just like a night full of sleep.

One of the things that I am hoping to do more of as they sleep is, write in their journals. I’ve kept a journal on and off for the last 18 years. Some I’ve destroyed, but the majority I have kept in a box. It’s amazing how far I’ve come, there are seasons where I’ve been more consistent and others where I’ve struggled to write altogether.  I know that I was born to write and as I use my time writing for other people, I have been challenged to write for my girls.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.~Psalm 145:4

I’ve been keeping their journals for a couple of months now and it has been a wonderful journey filling the pages. I cannot deny the Lord’s faithfulness as we are raising them. Sometimes I wish I could share the stories with them, but they can’t understand just yet. As we read them Bible stories I want to pass on personal stories of God’s faithfulness and how He has moved in our lives, to share the miracles and testimonies, and explain to them how the hand of God has carried and sustained us.

My prayer is that as I use my pen to tell stories to the world, that my girls will see, hear and understand how great our God is.

 

Finally At Home

I am intrigued by the people who completely unpack their clothes when they check in to a hotel. They literally make themselves at home, and put away their suitcases for maximum comfort. They operate with order and ease, always keeping tabs on where everything is. I am not one of those people, I like to live out of a suitcase, after all I am going home in a few days. When I travel with the girls, sometimes I make an effort to remove their clothes for easy access, but mine stay intact.

I’ve lived out of a suitcase, metaphorically speaking, in Mombasa for about four years. I have been operating with a hotel mentality in my home. Answering all the ‘ but when are you coming back to Nairobi?’ questions, with ‘Mombasa is home’. Yet to a large extent my clothes, dreams, hopes and ambitions have been packed in a suitcase, with those at the bottom often being forgotten.

Many people who meet me are shocked that I have been in Mombasa for six years, for starters Swahili is still not my first language, secondly my pace is still not as slow as the camel’s strides on the beach. But you can tell that I am not fresh from the capital city. I do not have the sense of urgency that Nairobi folk do. Nairobi folk are always in a hurry, everything is urgent and in a bid to get to their goal, sometimes the relational courtesies is overlooked. My first culture shock when I landed in Mombasa 6 years ago is how important greetings and courtesy were. A blanket greeting was often not en

My friend called me this morning at 8am, and I greeted her asking her why she was using the Nairobi clock. I rarely get calls from Mombasa folk at 8am. My ringer warms up at about 9:30am on a good day.

Trips to Nairobi remind why Mombasa is an ideal town, I pant from the worry I experience as I sit in traffic. I feel out of place when I am just relaxing in Nairobi. Life in Mombasa, reminds me of the conveniences and services that I miss in the city.

I started unpacking my suitcase about two years ago, when Miss K was two. Children have a way of changing your routine and the way you operate. For their comfort and experiences, you are forced to step out of your comfort zone, to make new friends and to venture into new spaces.

Mombasa is home, until the next assignment is revealed. I am learning to unpack my dreams and ambitions and lay them out into the cupboard, where they are easy to access. It is easy to miss out on the blessings that are within reach. It is not always a case of the glass either being half full or half empty. It is allowing yourself to see the season as the Lord does.

I’ll be sharing some of the gems I’ve found in Mombasa as I have unpacked my suitcase and gotten to know the place a little better.

Here’s to unpacking, putting away the suitcases, and enjoying our cups running over.

Blessings