Matthew 7:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
It has taken me a while to gather the courage to post this but i feel the urging within my soul to tell my story . I consider myself a writer and the best kind of writing is done when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open. No masks, no hiding behind the words ,there is a lot of freedom in expressing yourself truthfully. Here i am setting myself free and hopefully encouraging others on the same journey.
I have been a Christian since i was a child . I was raised as one, truthfully i have strayed from the path in my adulthood but i did find my way back and in the past five years i feel like i have grown to know God more than my whole life combined. The thing about this relationship is i didn’t really truly know what it meant to follow Christ until i understood what obedience was. I am finally on that journey .
Last year on October 26th 2015 i left employment. i was 8 months pregnant.There were layoffs happening at my place of work ,five people were to be cut from the department and so most of 2015 was spent in anxiety not knowing who or what was going to happen or even when. Finally in October we were informed that the jobs would be cut by the end of the month a few days later we were told that if anyone wanted to volunteer to be laid off there was going to be a severance/pension package available . I talked to my husband about it and we prayed and we felt like this was an answered prayer and i volunteered my name. It had been my desire to be a stay at home mum even before i met my husband i felt that this was what God wanted me to be and when i met George he felt the same way and we decided to keep praying about it until the right time.However we didn’t know how we were going to go about it sorting out all our bills and obligations. It never seemed like the right time for me to leave employment.Now here i was ,pregnant and an opportunity had arisen,with the package i was getting it would be like still receiving a salary and i could stay home for at least a year before thinking about pursuing other income generating activities. It was perfect, it was scary. You have to understand i have never been unemployed i didn’t know what it was not to have a salary, everything was always taken care off. Now after praying and hearing the go ahead God was asking me to trust him and go on journey of complete reliance on him.
So i took it. I took the leap. Most of the people in my life think i was mad to do it.I was bombarded with many statements.. How can you leave work? You are about to give birth! How can you leave your job and rely totally on your husband, men cant be trusted! It must be your pregnancy hormones, do not do it. ..Only a few encouraged me and prayed with me and understood that i was embarking on a journey of obedience.So the agreement was i would receive my severance the next month and my pension dues within 90 days.
The next week after leaving work my baby was born,yes she came a month early! How crazy is that..everything seemed to be aligned! My motherhood journey had began and now i could enjoy being with my baby with no pressure of worrying about having to go back to work. It has been so rewarding to see her everyday, to see every milestone .I have no regrets.
I did receive my severance but four months later i am still waiting for my pension dues. There have been delays with the processing and no amount of praying and phone calls or email correspondence has brought it forth and so i continue to wait. It has been financially difficult as the one income is quickly sucked into the vortex of bills and obligations. The past two months have been the hardest as we have basically been living day to day ,we have been blessed as we haven’t lacked a single thing and we continue to WAIT and pray.
So our wallets are empty right now but our hearts are happy and at peace. I continue to trust that eventually i will receive my dues sooner than expected . We both know that all things will work together for good and although some days we are sad and worry about what the next day will bring. We can trust that God has it all under control . So many may think we are crazy and stupid. I mean i should just GO and get another job right? It seems like the easiest option so that we are able to live a life of comfort and be able to acquire the things we desire. But that is not what i have been called to do right now. I have writing projects in the pipeline and they are not fueled by the need for money.I want to use my talents and my gifts to bless others and bring them closer to God.For my time on earth is short . So i pray for his strength to.. trust and obey , for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey! ( a song i learned as a child)
1 Corinthians 3:19New International Version (NIV)
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a];
James 4:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
I always have intentions to blog regularly but oh boy being a new mum has been a whirlwind of events. As she grows older it will be easier to find time to breath like right now. Our baby girl Taji is now four months old .I thought it would be a great idea to share the lessons i have learned as a first time parent. I love being a mum and i hope my lessons will help other first time parents as they figure out how to take care of their little human.
DISCLAIMER: every child is different so what works for Taji may not work for your baby.
- Poop is everything! I kid you not this is a subject that is discussed in descriptive detail in our household. The color, texture, smell and whether it is regular or not helps to determine the health of baby. Click on this link to further understand what your baby’s poop is telling you here
- Baby’s immunity is stronger than you think. We started leaving the house with Taji at 6 weeks and she was fine. Being confined to the house as a new parent can drive one crazy. So once you feel comfortable and brave enough (i am talking to you mums i know its hard not to be scared ) start with visits to your family and close friends.Avoid crowded places and ensure that everyone who handles your child has washed their hands.My husband and i have gotten the nasty cold going round and even a cough and Taji hasn’t been sick once .Thank you God!
- Babies understand a lot more than you think. We both talk to Taji like we would a normal person and as she continues to grow we noticed that she has found a way to respond.When we say something to her she coos in response and laughs and smiles just like a grown up would. Its a beautiful thing to see! Look baby directly in the eyes as you sing ,talk , read to and play with them. It will teach them how to communicate effectively when they begin to talk
- Their breathing patterns are weird. Since Taji was born we have heard all manner of sounds emanating from her little body. I used to panic in the earlier days thinking that my baby was having problems breathing. Everything from gasps,to growls to snorts. it may sound like a little monster has taken over your house. Trust me its normal .Read this link here for further information on what to expect when it comes to breathing sounds.
- Heat rash is real! If you are from Kenya like me, then you know that as a new parent you are advised to dress your baby up in layers of clothing and then wrap them in thick woollen shawls and add socks and a hat. *phew* I am sweating just imagining having to wear all that in this Nairobi heat! My poor baby was over dressed in the early days and developed heat rash . SO i learned as a rule of thumb to dress her in one extra layer of clothing and that was it. Whenever i would put a hat on her head she would develop a fever ! So no hats for her either, and when we are in the house Taji hangs around in a onesie and nothing else. So do not tell me to cover up my child, no she is not feeling cold. She is sweating just like you are . Bye! ( yes random strangers have attacked me in public with harsh words on how to cover her up).I check to see if she is too cold or too hot by touching her back ,that guides me on how to dress her. I will save the heavy clothing for the colder months in the year.
- Sleep deprivation is a way of life. Taji put herself on a schedule, yes i chose to follow a baby led schedule and it works perfectly for us. She mostly sleeps for 7 hours at night and if she does wake up its once for a feed and goes right back to sleep. However during her growth spurts she wont sleep as well especially during the day so i do not get a break. I got used to it though. On those days i walk around the house like a zombie with uncombed hair and sometimes forget to eat. One gummy smile from her and its all worth it. I will sleep one day..ha!
- Natural products are the best for baby’s delicate skin. When Taji was a newborn my midwife advised that if i couldn’t eat it i shouldn’t apply it on her. So my staple oils are Coconut oil and Olive oil. I had used Aveeno baby wash on her and it caused a rash to appear all over her body, so no thank you to Johnson and Johnson products. She will graduate to normal soaps and oils when she becomes a toddler. Speaking of rashes, when it comes to diapers i use Huggies Gold in the green packet. The Huggies dry are of cheaper quality and caused my baby’s skin to break out. So yes the the gold are pricier but for now they are the best for her.
- Music is life! Taji loves play time, everyday no matter how tired both of us are , we will sing and play with Taji. She responds to music immediately even if she was in a fussy mood. There are a lot of great music channels on YouTube that allow you to sing along. Our favourite channel especially during bath time is Little Baby Bum .They act as a teaching aid as well , by the time she learns to speak she will be able to learn numbers, colors, how to tie her shoes etc
- Car safety- In our part of the world it saddens me to see that child safety isn’t taken seriously . In most countries abroad when a new parent is leaving hospital it is a requirement to have a baby car seat. We started using one when Taji was days old and has gotten used to it. It’s for your baby’s safety if you are belted up why not protect your baby too? See this link for helpful information on the right type of car seats for your child here
- Take your time in choosing a good pediatrician, the kind of doctor who doesn’t cause panic . As a new parent i spent a lot of time worrying over every little change in our baby .Most days were spent calling the doctor or speaking to my midwife. It was helpful that i had a calm and experienced doctor who advised me on what to look out for. Prescribing medication isn’t the answer to every problem. Most problems are caused by an overactive brain like mine and GOOGLE! (hehehehe). So do your research before choosing a pediatrician and ask questions every time medicine is prescribed, if at all it is necessary. I also carry around a thermometer in my diaper bag in case i need to check my baby’s fever .
SO there you have it, that is all i have time for right now. Feel free to send any questions and we can discuss and find solutions together. Happy Parenting!