I Think They are Siblings…

My two kids that is.

Actually, I know they are siblings, but they are so extremely different that sometimes I find it hard to believe.

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Lakenzie Ruth

I am the oldest of 6 kids, so when I had my first baby I thought I knew a bit about babies.

I was wrong.

First of all, Mom did a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work that I didn’t realize. Like getting up too many times to count those first nights.

Then there was also the part where my baby was nothing like Mom’s babies. Her babies ate, slept and cried only when necessary. 🙂 Ok, they weren’t quite that good but almost.

My baby…

Well, she didn’t sleep.

Ever.

but she cried…

ALL THE TIME!

 

From the very first day I could not get her to sleep and this only got worse, not better. Around 3 weeks old she cried every evening from about 4:30 to 7 or 8. Every. single. evening. Actually she screamed, till she was red in the face. We walked. We bounced. We tried everything.

NOTHING WORKED!

She took 10 minute naps, if I was really lucky she slept for 30 minutes which gave me so much free time I almost got bored.  Well… not quite but it was pretty amazing. I spent the biggest part of my day holding her. I bounced her on a big exercise ball, that was the one thing that calmed her down when nothing else would. ( and that didn’t always work either) So I bounced and I googled. I educated myself on crying babies:) I also tried many of the things I learned and they kinda worked but I didn’t find anything that dramatically  made a difference.

If you have a baby that just cries, call me, I have ALL the answers! I might not have the solution, but I’ve definitely got a lot of ideas. :-p

Around 11:00 PM she would finally fall asleep. I’d lay her down and crawl into bed absolutely exhausted. 10 or 20 minutes later just as I was hitting that ‘sleeping pretty good stage’ she would start crying… a couple times I was so mentally and physically exhausted that I joined her. I had no clue what to do with her anymore so I just cried with her.

Finally out of desperation for some sleep, I started sleeping on the recliner and just holding her. This way I got at least 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. After a week of this, however, my back couldn’t take sleeping on a chair anymore, so I did the one thing I said I would never do 🙂 I took my baby to bed with me. It was worth it. We both managed to get some sleep that way.

People tried to help…

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Maybe putting her on a schedule would help?

Yea, I actually liked that idea but how do you start a baby on a schedule if you can’t get her to sleep?

Did you try sleep training?

Seriously?! Remember the part where she doesn’t sleep? Besides you should have heard her the one time I put her in her crib and just left her cry. Her crying escalated till she held her breath at which point I got her and almost had a panic attack myself because I thought she was never going to breath again.

She did breath again. 🙂

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Eventually I came to the conclusion that she has a strong, aggressive personality and as a newborn her only way to exercise it was through crying. Her every evening drama ended around 3 months old. Also, with each new achievement such as sitting, crawling and then walking she could entertain herself more and also became a happier baby.

I have since learned that colic is often found in babies who had a complicated birth or were separated from their moms right after birth.

During my labor with her I had a slight fever so as soon as she was born they hurried her off to NICU where she stayed for 2 days with very little contact with me.

I have no way to prove this to be the case with Kenzie but I honestly think that had a lot to do with her screaming fits. Oh, I still think it was a lot her personality too:)

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Today, at 3 she’s still a mess if she doesn’t get enough sleep. The less she sleeps the harder it is for her too fall asleep. She runs, jumps, yells and sings at the top of her lungs all day long. I have seen her run out of energy only once. She was sick and just quietly lay on the couch. I was pretty worried about her because even being sick doesn’t usually slow her down much.

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Then there’s this adorable little guy.

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Kynaston Joash.

He doesn’t make much of a fuss about anything. He was 5 months old before his daddy heard his ‘ I’m serious about this and you’d better do something about it now!’ cry. He gives up very easily, and the few times he did try screaming ‘Kenzie style’ he ran out of steam before he even got started.

It’s funny, when he cries most times I know what he wants or whats wrong, with Kenzie half the time I was guessing.

We actually get to sleep at night. 🙂 We take sensible naps through the day too. 🙂

Kenzie yelled for no reason, but she also got over it as quickly as she started. Kynaston  was only a few weeks old when we discovered you could easily tell when he’s displeased about something.

Kenzie loved him dearly from the start but sometimes she got a bit rough. Kynaston would make this noise in his throat that sounded very similar to a growl:) Again, he didn’t make much of a fuss but he let her know she needed to back off:)

She’s got spunk and he’s got attitude but despite their differences, they totally adore each other already.

I’m excited to watch them grow up together. I imagine her running circles around him with all her crazy energy, and him calmly doing his own thing with a bit haughtiness directed at her ‘uncalmness’. 🙂

Will there different personalities make them best friends?

Or, will they have a hard time seeing eye to eye on things?

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They might have different personalities, but they are both mine, and I adore them like crazy. 🙂

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Recognizing Spiritual Warfare

Before DTS I didn’t really have an opinion on spiritual warfare.

Did I believe it existed?

Yea, maybe. Maybe not. I Just didn’t really know. It sounded creepy. Like maybe some far away creepy creatures fighting over your soul. It didn’t make much sense to me and I didn’t really like to think about it too much.

In DTS they explained it this way…

The little things in our everyday life, are a form of spiritual warfare. Like a bad attitude, gossiping, or discontentment. To name just a few.

For me this was eyeopening. The enemy waits and watches for the best opportunities. He knows our weaknesses. He knows which buttons to press. We, however, have Jesus on our side so we still have the upper hand.

Recognizing spiritual warfare for what it is gives us a head start 🙂 Realizing that bad attitude isn’t  just: “I’m tired because I had a really long day and just can’t deal with anything else!” Rather it is the enemy fighting for our souls!! Think about it. If we give in to thoughts like this once, its so much easier to think like this the next time. Soon it becomes a habit. He starts small and slowly gains ground if we let him.

I’ve discovered that raising children is a spiritual battlefield. Why wouldn’t it be? If he can distract us from spending time with our children, or get us to yell at them, hurt them or anything that keeps us from being a Christlike example to them he will do it.

Why?

Because if we have children he isn’t just after one soul but however many souls are in our care. He knows if we are raising them to live for Christ his fight will be impossible. So if he can stop us, their parents, from praying for them, taking them to church or raising them lovingly, then he has a fair chance.

After DTS sometimes it felt like we just couldn’t get ahead. For every step forward we seemed to take two steps back. Everything just felt hard. We had quite a few unexpected bills. We went through the process of finding a new church. It really wasn’t one big thing but rather many small things happening all at once. Many of our conversations were along the line of: “What should we do different?” or  ” Are we not where God wants us?” Every answer we found left us with a dozen more questions.

Then…

Someone shared a video on Facebook.

Yes. I said Facebook.

Of all places, imagine that! Maybe Facebook has some good in it after all 🙂

It was just a short three minute video but it had a powerful message. A message on spiritual warfare. The one line that caught our attention the most was…

The greatest spiritual battles come right after our greatest spiritual victories.

WHAT?!

YES! It all made sense. DTS to us was a huge spiritual accomplishment. We didn’t just learn facts about God, we found a deeper intimacy with him.  We found a confidence, a freedom in Christ that we hadn’t  experienced before.

Yes. This. This was spiritual warfare. Everything that went wrong? Everything that was complicated? Theres no doubt… The enemy was at work. He doesn’t care much about us as long as we are getting it wrong. But, if we get it right? Then he cares! And he will do everything in his power to make us doubt that we know what we are doing. Let me just say again though. With Jesus on our side we will still win these battles!

After I wrote Focus on God not Your Shortcomings, things went down hill fast. At the end of every single day I felt like I failed with Kenzie. It seemed no matter how much I tried, or how much I prayed. I just could not get ahead. Then God reminded me of this thing called spiritual warfare…

Not only had I learned a few things personally but I had dared post them publicly where they might help someone else. No, wonder the enemy went on the defense, because again we aren’t just talking about me, but God could use that post to touch the life of any person that read it. This obviously does not sit well with the enemy of our souls.

Funny thing is though. Every single time we recognized something as spiritual warfare. The intenseness of the battle stopped. I’m not sure if the enemy then gives up? Or if God then puts a stop to it? Let me know if you have an answer to that one. 🙂

The truth sets people free, therefore the enemy hates truth. So I have learned that if I sit down and right a random post about nothing in particular. He lets me go, because he really doesn’t care, but if I right a post that contains truth, if its a post that God can use touch even just one persons life…

Then. Then he cares!

So, if you are truly seeking after God but it seems as if you keep hitting brick walls or if your decision felt so right in the beginning but now seems all wrong…

Think about it…

Is it the enemy raging war against your soul?