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.

 

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.

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

Existence

If I got ten shillings for every question I answered in the last week I’d probably have more than one thousand shillings. A few months ago, Ksena started asking questions about everything and it was cute. Of late, she has been asking deep and heavy questions as she tries to make sense of the world around her. Sometimes the questions catch me by surprise.

Last week as I cleared the dinner dishes she asked me,” Mama, who made us?” my sleepy brain was not prepared for such a question. I knew that the answer was simple, but there would be questions to follow that I would have to answer.

“God,” I answered as I put away the sponge and wiped my hands and anticipated the next question.

“How did He make us?” she asked as she sat on a stool to listen to my answer. I silently prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom to speak to her in a way that she would understand as I stooped down to her level.

“God knit us in our mummy’s tummies, remember when Ky was in Mama’s tummy? God was knitting her and helping her grow in there until she was ready to be born. She started like a small seed and God helped her grow.”

“Why did He make us?” she asked with furrowed brows.

“For His glory, so that we could reflect His image on earth and have fellowship with Him,” I said as I was grateful that we had taught her The Grace, so she understood what the word fellowship was.

“Okay Mama, let’s go to bed,” she replied as walked towards her room. I switched off the lights and followed her smiling, happy that she was questioning and seeking to understand.

I wondered where the questions had come from, then I remembered my prayer. Every day when I pray for Ksena and Kyria I ask God to give them a hunger for Himself, and to teach them and that they will know great peace. Here I was seeing how God was answering my prayer and I marveled at who He is.

The following morning I read this verse during my quiet time:

1 Corinthians 8:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, [a]who is the source of all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things [that have been created], and we [believers exist and have life and have been redeemed] through Him.

It tugged on my heart and I began to memorize it so that I will always remember FOR whom and THROUGH whom I exist. It summarizes purpose.

In 2015, I run a series called 30 Days of Depth, where I posted every day in the month of September. This year I am back at it and pretty excited to share here every day. All that I do and all that I am is for God, it is Jesus Christ who enables me to do it For His glory.

Happy new month! I pray that you will encounter God in a new way this month.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

How Not To Be A Cranky Mama

Over the last couple of months, I’ve learnt to be a little selfish. To take care of myself a little more. When I was a new mum, I sacrificed a lot of things including my well being. I neglected nourishing myself because I thought that pouring out was more important. Boy, was I mistaken.

Motherhood is sacrifice. A mother is a living sacrifice. Motherhood has a way of revealing your doubts, truths and values. It forces you to walk down memory lane and examine what happened and how it made you feel. It’s like a dose of strong coffee that has your mind multitasking and analyzing. You suddenly become aware of things that could have missed your attention and you have to answer the difficult questions.

Over the years, I’ve cracked how to be a cranky and angry mama by 11am. It’s really simple, skip breakfast, postpone doing your quiet time and fail to get some rest. Try this for a couple of days and you will acquaint yourself with your mean side. And, there are not many nice things about your mean side. At least nothing you’d like to write home about.

My mean side is horrible. I’ve realized that pouring out of an empty cup is dangerous for everyone. First, for me the giver and second for the recipients around me. I replay some of the things that I’ve said when empty, the attitudes that I’ve had towards myself and the situations at hand, and I can’t help but shudder in disbelief. Hang my head in embarrassment. It was bad. I was bad, really bad. I was a mum turned monster. Which was never my end goal. The thing is I couldn’t tell when it is happening, it was like a slow fade that transformed me into a bad version of myself.

It matters to my family that I am nourished- physically and spiritually. I can only pour out of what I have. The verse ‘Man cannot live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. – Matthew 4:4’ reveals that I cannot survive on bread alone. To live well, we need to feed ourselves both physically and spiritually.

It is crucial that I have my breakfast (before lunch time) and spend time with God everyday. Sometimes I deceive myself that I am too busy or convince myself that the babies need me to hover around them. But the truth is that Miss K and Ky need me to be full.

They need me to be rested. I am a kinder and more patient mummy when I have had some rest. When I am sleep deprived, my fuse is short. It’s tempting to take out my frustrations on the people closest to me. I have learned that taking a nap makes me a better person.

Quiet time helps me to see my circumstances from God’s perspective. When I pray I invite the power of God in to every situation. Then I am able to walk with a spring in my step because I know that God’s got me. I am able to speak words of life,  to speak kindly, because I don’t carry any grudges and bitterness. I am able to be physically, spiritually and mentally present.

That’s the type of mama I want to be daily.

On that note, I’m off to hide and have my breakfast and quiet time because it is crucial for my sanity, blood sugar, faith, demeanor and the atmosphere in my home.

Blessings,

Bibi2be