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

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

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

There Are No Roller Skates In Heaven

I can’t rollerblade to save my life.

I tried, and balancing on a single file of wheels is just not for me. The last time I tried I fell on my back so hard my spine may have re-aligned.

Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know that there were three-wheeled skates. It’s like wearing a scooter on your feet, or rollerblading with training wheels on, pretty neat for any beginner.

The K girls love being in motion, they take after their daddy in that. I like to be in control of my movement, which is not the case when I am on blades, a whiff of wind feels like the wind o’er a stormy ocean.

A few days ago, Miss K declared that she wanted rollerskates. I told her that’s great, now we can pray for them.

Her response caught off guard.

“Mum, why do I need to pray yet there are no roller skates in heaven?”

I didn’t see that coming. It was funny but serious.

What hit very close to home is that the way I perceive God will determine if I go to Him for help.

I don’t know about rollerskates being in heaven, but what I do know is that the earth is the Lord’s and that we can present all of our needs to Him. There don’t need to be roller skates in heaven for Him to provide them.

What are you hoping for? Do you think that there are rollerskates in Heaven? Will you still go to Him even if there aren’t any in Heaven?

Have a lovely weekend!

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 🎨