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It Is Well With My Soul

Homebirth/Stillbirth

For this particular post I can’t even come up with a ‘catchy’ opening line, no fancy introduction or glamorous first paragraph. It is a result of a post I read earlier on and I would like to say in retrospect, it was a privilege to read it even though I wish I never had to read anything like that. But truth of the matter is, it happens and it is life. Life sometimes hands you lemons as they say but it has to go on.

As a mother, it is hard to imagine what this woman felt like or has to live with on a daily basis. I remember labouring and quite honestly, in as much as you know that things can go terribly wrong, you kinda expect everything to turn out fine as if pregnancy comes with a guarantee. You expect that once your baby is delivered, they will put it on your chest and that it will spontaneously cry and you will just bond instantaneously. It happens very often so much that you forget that it is a precious blessing to have the privilege of holding a live baby in your arms. In some way, it displays the faith of a mother, the faith that makes you go out and buy all the baby’s clothes and basic necessities. You decorate the nursery and take months of work because you expect this baby to come. You expect that the little person inside of you is going to wear those clothes and sleep in that crib. You prepare yourself for the long sleepless nights and the constant crying, diaper changes, feeding, burping, settling etc. You know that motherhood in all its glory has its not so glamorous days, if they are any, but you know that holding that little one in your arms is more than enough reason to go through with it.

Well sadly there is the dark side of it. A community of women who have all those dreams in a matter of seconds. One minute they have all the above dreams and more but it only takes a second and their lives change for good. They  prepare themselves for long sleepless nights rocking the baby, feeding the baby, burping the baby but only there is no baby. Instead they have long sleepless nights thinking of what could have been, what they could have been doing, what did they do wrong, what did they do to deserve this, what could they have changed? The list of questions is endless and even the best of answers is not enough to quench their need for an answer. The torture is immeasurable. whilst other babies outgrow the sleepless nights and mom finally catches a break, these women continue to suffer and look for hope. They still wish they had been given just one day, one hour or even one minute. They feel trapped, they feel alone. Even though talking to other people who have gone through it may bring that feeling of not being alone, in the quiet of the night and the loneliness of their world it may not be so.

I just want to reach out to all moms who have had to go through such a terrible twist of fate. It does not necessarily take one losing a child to understand but just being a mother is enough. Being a mother evokes such emotions deep inside of you to the point you can share the grief of losing a child even if you haven’t lost one. Just imagining how it must feel is more than enough. My heart goes out to you. My heart breaks for you.

Reading the story linked in this post has made me look at my child differently. It has made me realize that each day I have had with her from the day she was born is a blessing I need to thank God for everyday. I didn’t do anything to deserve this blessing in my life just in the same way you didn’t do anything to deserve anything you are going through. We go through different tests and trials in life and some even senseless like the pain of losing a child, of having your dreams crashed in an instant or a series of unexplained adversities that come upon our lives. It is not your fault. Sadly humans are very quick to point fingers and judge people for their choices especially when things go wrong and yet don’t give credit when it is due. They need to find someone to blame and in this case, a mother who already has to deal with the grief of never having the chance to hold their baby alive. Sometimes people can be very cruel but in anything that goes wrong, there will always be those who like to twist the knife in. Even when things go right, there are those who still will want to make you feel bad for your choices!

It is not all lost. There is hope. There is healing. There is a God who had love so abundantly flowing He can heal every broken heart. When it gets too hard, just take it to the Lord in prayer. When there seems like no one is listening, He is right there with you. When you feel like you can’t go on, you can lean on Him. When you feel like crying, he can wipe those tears away. It is natural to feel grief, even Jesus Himself wept with grief when his friend Lazarus died. But remember to take it to the Lord in prayer. Recently I came across the story of Horatio Spafford. He is well-known for his composition for the song “It is well with my soul”. It is a song that has helped me deal with some difficult things in my life but after reading the story behind the song, it gave it a completely new deeper meaning to me. I sound like a broken record, I cannot refer enough people to read the story behind the song. He left behind a legacy that lives on today. He had such faith in God and even when faced with untold grief in his life, he managed to not only find peace in God but also set up a legacy to help other people even long after he has been gone.

I hope that you are comforted in your grief and that God’s mercies that are new every morning will renew your strength and help you to face another day and give you hope for the future. God bless you.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, 
“It is well, it is well with my soul!” 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, 
Let this blest assurance control, 
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, 
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought— 
My sin, not in part, but the whole, 
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more; 
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, 
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll 
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend – 
“Even so, it is well with my soul” 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live; 
If dark hours about me shall roll 
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life 
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. 

Composed by Horatio Spafford

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Lord Have Mercy!!

I have been away from my blog for a while, life has a funny way of taking over, sick child, sick husband, tired mommy, work, did I mention sick child and sick husband?

Anyway the past few weeks I have found myself with this unquenchable desire to find out more about God and what my purpose here on earth is? I wanted to know what His Divine Will is for my life.I cannot say I have found the answer but I can definitely feel a shift in my thinking, in my choices and in my beliefs. I know that I am a work in progress and that something is definitely happening inside me.

In my quest however I utilized Google to find some articles or specific verses that I knew existed but couldn’t locate them off my head. All I can say is after all that, LORD HAVE MERCY!! The amount of material out there written by Christians themselves, I am not even talking those who do not believe in God. I am talking of those who call themselves believers of the Gospel of Jesus. I couldn’t and still cannot believe how many different doctrines are being preached out there and just how convincing every article is. If you read any of the articles, they make sense. The arguments put forward make so much sense. But I am talking sense to the average human being, not in the spiritual sense.They quote the scriptures of the Bible to support their arguments and can I just say, impressive! I got curious and read some websites in detail and I could not help but think, this is the very reason why so many people turn away from Christianity. Too many contradicting opinions that can be so confusing to a new believer. Why is it that things have become this way? well to be honest I am a great believer in that nothing in this world happens by mistake, it is part of the great plan that God has for this world and I pray that we have our spiritual eyes opened to the things of God. That after reading everything you see on the internet you go back to the Bible to see if it is in line with God’s Word. I pray we do not just take the preacher’s word to be gospel but that we take time to research the Word and pray for divine revelation from God. The information out there is so dangerous to be honest (I am not saying all of it, but the contradictions of it). Some has been written to manipulate people into believing the authors opinion while some has much hidden agenda it is shocking. I am not here to point fingers at anyone and say who is wrong or who is right but rather to encourage you to always refer to the Word of God in all you do. That is where the answer lies. And second most importantly, pray for revelation that can come only from Him.

I hope you are blessed and that one day we shall meet in a world of no hunger, no poverty, no sickness, no worries and all the other discomforts this world has to offer. God bless you x

Just Smile And Wave Boys, Smile And Wave!

“Hear my cry Oh lord, attend unto my prayer. From the ends of the earth, will I cry unto Thee, for when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, that is higher than I”

This week has been one of those weeks where giving up seemed like a very lucrative option. You know when everything that can go wrong just seems to do just that. I’m talking taking days off work to relax as a family then my little angel and myself get sick, then the car got sick, then our pockets get sick and the rest is history. It was just so intense to the point where we were now laughing about it and finding it hilarious. For a moment you’d think we were in a think big prank and someone is going to pop up and say “ha ha, you’ve been punked!”. Nop, didn’t happen but thanks to the 4 quaky penguins in Madagascar, I got a motto that makes it easier to face these sort of situations, ‘Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave.’ It is the very same motto that got us through our wedding when things just didn’t work out but we had a ball. DJ was an absolute disaster to say the least, deco guys did a runner leaving the cake table bare, some uninvited guests pop up, the song the bridal team was meant to dance to could not be found and the laptop that had it which would have been our saving grace ran out of power. *Insert episode of bridezilla goes nuclear on the DJ?*…..wrong! *Insert bridal team standing on the dance floor and smiling and waving to each other all to the amusement of those unaware of the inside joke*. Sometimes you have to make light of these rather unpleasant situations because its pointless to stress. I know that is common knowledge but stressing about it will not better the situation. In fact it will make it worse and add some needless health problems, headaches, anxiety and stress disorders. Just laugh it off, deal with it and let it be gone.

But of course after all has been said and done, ask the Great Navigator for directions to the Rock that is Higher than yourself. This too shall come to pass.

Have a blessed week!

xxx

Bundle-of-Joy Shower

Well 2 days ago I had the blessed privilege of attending a baby shower for a beautiful friend, sister in Christ and deserving mom to be. As expected we played the games and one of them being you were not allowed to mention the word ‘baby’ at any point during the whole shower. So creative thinking set in and I replaced “baby shower” with the above title whenever I needed to mention it which made me feel like Einstein for a moment. Nevertheless I lost all my 4 pegs because I just couldn’t help saying baby. Blame it on the baby brain even though I’m not sure I still qualify for that excuse 18 months later.

Baby Boy Nappy Bike by KunaShe! Boutique

What I love about baby showers is just how every woman who has had a child suddenly is at the same level with every other mother. Be it you are 19 or 35, you suddenly share a common bond and you understand each other at a level no one can explain. Motherhood brings you new friendships and makes you look at life and people from a different set of lenses. A lot of things suddenly make sense and boy do you regret some of the remarks you made in your single-woman life!

So my favourite part came. Advice session. Our glowing mom to be was sitted in the middle of the room and everyone present had the opportunity to give their words of wisdom and finally prayed for her. What was so beautiful was feeling the baby kick as we prayed, priceless!!

The beauty of motherhood is it’s a never-ending education program. You keep on learning and the lessons learnt are so invaluable and will almost always be just as useful to any other mother. Even if you have 1 child or 10, you are bound to learn something new as you interact with other moms. So my mind got thinking, what advice do you give a mom to be especially a first time mom? I thought to share with you some advice that was shared and also a few more points of my own.

  • ENJOY! This word was emphasized so much it may as well have been a fitting theme for the evening. Everyone said different points but came back to the word enjoy. Why so much attention to it? Motherhood can be one of the most trying and challenging times in a woman’s life. There are days where one would wish you could put that baby back where it came from. No matter how much you love your child, it happens. But the key phrase that accompanies this word is “It does not last forever”. Yes those challenging times don’t last. Before you know it, its over. So why not make the most of it and just enjoy the ride. A friend once said to me as I whined about wanting the pregnancy to be over and done with, this was the closest I was ever going to be with my child. Once they are out they will keep going further and further away, first daycare, then kindie, primary school, high school, university and out of the nest :(. Enjoy the last trimester which is usually the hardest as you are absolutely tired of being pregnant because once its out its out.
  • Keep a positive state of mind. This point is very much intertwined with the first one. It does get hard, the waking up for nappy changes, feeds and comforting a crying baby has its toll. Add to the mix a tired sleep deprived mom, not easy. Just try to remain positive, the baby is not doing this to be spiteful. They need you and are completely reliant on you. Just remember that this too shall pass.
  • Acknowledge that you cannot do it all by yourself. We would all love to walk around with a cape and a nice costume with a big letter S printed on the chest but we are not those type of heroes. We get tired, we get worn out and we clearly need a break from time to time.Becoming a mom does not mean you stop being human so if every other human being out there needs a break at times why not you? Use all the help you can because a tired and frustrated mommy is not going to be as efficient as a well rested one. Or maybe I should say a ‘somewhat rested one’ as it is almost impossible to find a well rested mom any given day. Get your friends and family to bring food if possible, do the dishes, do the vacuuming or look after baby for a bit while you get some zzz especially those first weeks.
  • Pray for your child. This does not have to wait till the child is born or even conceived. When you start planning to have your babies, start praying for them for remember God knew you before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb. He knows your children before you do. Pray over your growing belly, start speaking positive words into their lives. When they grow up they will not depart from the word of the Lord. One thing I did was to use those night-time feed sessions to read the Bible and pray for my little girl. I had the Bible in the nursery and would get a couple of chapters in the peace of the night. I would pray for her and she nursed. It was a beautiful bonding time and actually gave me something to look forward to during those midnight feeds. It made them enjoyable.
  • Remember every baby is different. They do come with the same genetic code that will make them dirty their diapers as soon as you have changed them or wake up as soon as you lay them down after rocking for 2 hours. Well besides that they are different. Learn your child and don’t compare. Your child is unique to you and unique in their own way. Both of you are learning each other and soon will get to know what each other likes.
  • Labour lasts a couple of days at most, the baby lasts a lifetime so don’t be scared of labour. It is over before you know, invest your time in reading and finding information on how to look after your little one when they make their appearance. That is where the hard work lies.
  • Listen to your body. Do not be pressured by social norms. You need to be aware that not all children can be born naturally and you know what, what is important is a healthy mom and healthy baby. It would be nice if all of us could have a natural birth with no meds and breastfeed etc but it’s not always possible. If you can do that fantastic but as I was once told, there is no record of your birthing method, if you took the epidural or not or whether you breastfeed or formula feed on your child’s birth certificate so don’t get hung up on those issues. Do what is best for your baby and yourself period!
  • Look after your first child, yes your husband/partner. He was there first so don’t forget him. the baby came as a result of him being in your life so he needs to be attended to as well. This multitasking skill will become easier at time goes. Have date nights, tell him you love him, tell him when you feeling not so good, let him in, allow him to know what you are going through to make it easier for him to understand what you are going through. He is also going through the adjustment phase into parenthood. Allow him time to bond with the baby, you have had 9 months to bond while baby was inside of you so give him time to bond as well.
  • Look after yourself too! Rest, have a quick shower or long bath whenever the opportunity arises, eat well and get some fresh air. It improves your overall mood positively. And a very important point to remember is that we all want to love our children and live happily ever after but post partum depression happens. No one plans to get it but it can get the best of us. Recognize the symptoms and seek help sooner rather than later because there is help out there for you. It doesn’t make a bad mom, in fact it takes a good mother to acknowledge her weaknesses and seek help.
  • Above all, trust in God. The Lord is your strength, through Him you can do the impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask the desires of your heart. Do not underestimate the power of God and what He can do for you. Nothing is too big or too small for Him.
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35 weeks and ready to go, that's me 🙂

I wish you all the best in your journey into motherhood x

Mrs M

“Woman, you swear a lot”

This is a rather absurd headline but you will soon understand where I am coming from. Those 5 words changed my life for good. In the past 24 hours I have interacted with a lot of people but what struck me more than anything is the proportion of those people that felt the need to use vulgar language, yes there you have it. I have said it.  Well to be honest I used to swear, in fact a lot! I remember when I lived in the UK, it felt like the norm. It was uncomfortable at first but soon it was running in my veins like a substance I needed for survival. I swore casually, disregarding anyone around me. So I get it, I have done it myself.

One day that changed. I was in a car with my a dear friend of mine whom I had just met at Uni after moving to Australia. Conversation was flowing and I remember I was attracted to her because she was a Christian. But there I was talking and swearing like there was no tomorrow. I don’t even remember how many conversations I had had with her before this day but I know it wasn’t the first time. I cannot even recall what the conversation was all about but she said something that struck me. It took me by surprise and I was dumbfounded for a minute. “Woman, you swear a lot!” I was ashamed of myself to say the least but I tried to get out  it by responding, “Yeah, so what?” Deep down in my heart I knew something had to change. It was like a deep calling unto a deep. I knew it wasn’t right. I knew it wasn’t godly and yet I made it a part of me. I accepted it to be normal. 

But I thank God for His never ending mercies, His grace that surpasses all understanding and His love that is never ending. I was delivered from that curse upon my life and I am so grateful for my dearest “SP” as I affectionately call her, for those precious words. 

Now onto you, what are your thoughts on this subject? Why is it now so acceptable to society to drop a swear word as we call them in every sentence? Does it make the sentence much more meaningful? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a beautiful day, God bless you x

Mrs. Em

The Power of Prayer

Yesterday was an exciting day for me. Came home from working a night shift and was met by my husband and baby girl at the door. She had the biggest smile on her face, ah my heart just melted! But which mother’s heart wouldn’t? Anyway, waved goodbye to my husband as he headed out for work and within an hour I developed a sore throat. As a frequent flyer in tonsil infections I just knew it was another attack! But this time I got my phone and sent out a message to two of my dear friends. I asked them to pray for me as my tonsils were flaring up again. By this time swallowing was quite painful (I am one of those people that go from zero to a hundred in a space of a few minutes). I checked my throat and sure enough one side had already started to swell and was looking inflamed. Continued to play with my little girl waiting for nap time. 

After a few hours she was ready for her nap so we both went down for a nap and almost 3 hours later I woke up deep down expecting the worst. Usually by this time I can hardly talk and am in worlds of pain. Well I tried to swallow and…..no pain. I talked to my daughter……no pain. I made a phone call and yet again no pain. I could not believe it! I had been healed. I had no sign of pain whatsoever! I cannot even attribute it to any medication because I did not take any! See the God I believe in the same yesterday, today and forever! He is still very much in the healing business and He is still answering prayers. He is Jehovah Rapha my healer. If you have been getting discouraged, wondering if God hears your prayers, I want you to know that He definitely is, no matter how big or small. He takes His time and whenever He answers your prayers, it is in His perfect timing. Be it instantly as my situation yesterday or a week’s time, a month or even years. I just wanted to encourage you through this testimony. Don’t ever think there is a problem too big or too small for God. Don’t be fooled to believe that you can endure suffering because according to the world its “normal”. It doesn’t have to be like that. By His stripes we were healed and that means every sickness and every discomfort. I hope you have a blessed day!!

God bless you

xxx