Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life At The Beach

While to some it may seem extravagant, to me it is survival--a trip to the beach front for days of R & R. Being here gives me so many things I want to share with others, but don't know any better way than to post them in this blog. My husband is a pastor--he is busy writing articles, preparing messages, taking phone calls and studying his Bible so he can answer questions almost all the time. He is supportive of my life as a midwife and maintains two office buildings and helps in so many ways. And I'm a midwife who just had the busiest year of my life...all of this to say that we need a true "break" once in awhile.

A road trip to the beach means we laugh together more than usual, we are excited about the coming days of pleasure and rest, and we feel young again. Upon our arrival in Gulf Shores, AL we found that the condo that we had "down-sized" to in order to afford two weeks here rather than the originally budgeted for one week, is awesome and has the biggest balcony with the best view of God's endlessness we have ever experienced. I love it anytime of the day for reading, eating, sitting or even sleeping!

Yesterday I was down on the beach sunning and there were two or 3 other small groups of people some distance away--up and down the beach. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as a bright pink innertubed came rolling by, all alone, moving fast in the wind, sailing along the beach. Everyone was watching it and it came and came, then passed me, then kept going and going--way down the beach and up a sand dune and over it and then I couldn't see it, but saw others still watching it down the beach. It was awesome. After some time a little girl--10 or so--came jogging along in it's path and out of sight over the sand dune. A long time later she came back with it in tow. It was just a strange sight...

Today, I learned how to whistle--yep...all my life I have tried and tried to whistle and never could do more than blow air or spit. Today I actually got it and whistled on the beach and realized it is all in how I hold my upper lip that makes it happen. I'm thrilled, but not going to irritate my husband too much! Who knows what tomorrow will bring here on the beach...just like real life, we are so grateful to have the expectations of yet another day.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Patience and Trust

"Commit your heart and your life to patiently waiting on God. Be obedient to what He has called you to do right now, and do it with excellence. Ask God to show you the lessons He wants to teach you in order to be ready to assume the next position He is preparing you for. Do not run ahead of the Lord. Hurry is the death of trust." Zoe Elmore

A friend sent this to me at the bottom of a regular e-mail today...and it has given me much to think about and ponder in my heart. Autumn is my favorite time of year and so I've been enjoying the cooler weather, the falling leaves and the crunch of acorns under my feet as I walk in the woods. While doing this I've thought about the times that I've felt closest to God and it's been when I was committed to God in my heart and was content with whatever He was or was not doing in my life.

The part about being obedient...that really struck a cord as my newest and best so far way of motivating myself in the little things of life has been to ask myself several times a day--"what is the next right/best thing to do?" It has helped me with my walking, doing daily Bible Study, staying in touch with friends and family who need me, household chores, and just about every aspect of life. This little phrase has helped me prioritize, helps me stay focused and on track until the job is done and crossed off the list, and keeps me remembering that my time is really God's time anyway!

This type of "self-training" has truly felt like preparation for something and it's made me feel it was important to be doing whatever I needed to do. So the saying above comes to mean that we should remember that not only are we loved and special to God, but that there is a purpose for that incredible relationship He has with us. And if we remember that there is purpose to each day and to every task of the day, then it helps us where we are instead of thinking of the "what if's" and the "if only's" of life. It brings contentment and a desire to do even better at whatever He gives me to do tomorrow.

Finally, Zoe Elmore, says: "Hurry is the death of trust" and that spoke volumes to me. My heart is often impatient--I often feel in a hurry to get out the door, to contact a friend, to have a baby arrive, to get better things, or even to get in bed. I think it's fair to say that I'm more intense than patient; that I rush instead of enjoy and that I sometimes push those I love instead of supporting them where they are. While I do better with all of these characteristics as a midwife, it's because I so believe in the process of birth and a woman's body to know how and at what pace to birth her baby. I want to be a believer with trust in other situations too rather than impatient. So, when this impatience is compared to "the death of trust" I see it so clearly and think it will help me with the reality and heart's desire that I have to truly trust God--His timing, His way and His path and schedule for me. May it help you have the ability to clear your vision for Him in your life too.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Choices bring happiness...

I've always thought that life was better when I had some say-so about it, and I've believed that there are some things that you just need to do because it's the right thing to do! But lately, the importance of having choices and the privilege of making a choice has come home to me even more.

We just had a first time mother who had several occasions during her pregnancy to choose between kinds of care, where to go for that care and who would be her care-provider. She seemed to have a peace about her each time she made her "choice". After unproductive labor for hours and hours, she was 4 cm. and we all agreed the best "choice" was to go to the hospital. The on-call ob doctor did a very wise thing--she gave our client the option to go back home or to stay and have pitocin. She chose to stay and had her baby 8 hours later.

Why do I think this was so wise and good? Because it empowered her. It gave her opportunity to still be involved and strong in the birth of her baby. It gave her the option to dig deep and bring forth the best! And she did!

I have choices everyday. Some days I just feel grumpy for no good reason. Sometimes I get totally irritated about some little thing my husband did or where he put something. I used to let this stuff eat and me and nag me into a really big pit, but then Dr. Phil posed the question, "Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?" !!!!!! Duh! That helped me know that I have a choice about almost everything!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"I Want My Mommy"

How does one begin to describe that need in all of us for someone to care for us, to nurture us, to just be there when we need them? It's what being a mother is all about and while I'm a mother, and I work with many, many women who are also mothers, it has occurred to me that we all have times when "we just want our mommy!"

Women seem to be stronger than men and children when it comes to sickness, but even I who am seldom ill, just wish I had someone to totally take care of me once in awhile--usually when I'm home sick with a nasty cold, it's cold and gray outside, and I don't feel like doing anything and no one is around anyway! So, is this a selfish need? Is it a desire for attention?

When I'm sick, I often realize that my whole being is "on empty" and that this is one way to fill 'er up and get back where I can be of use to others. Since my mother passed away over 15 years ago and I can't even call her and sound pitiful, I instead search for other ways to get the feeling of love, warmth and care. I remember some of my favorite foods that nurtured me as a child--like tapioca pudding, chocolate no-bake cookies, and homemade vegetable soup. I curl up with a book to read, take warm baths and write in my journal. I do those things that Mother taught me to do as she did them for me or gave me permission years ago to do them.

And then, I have also learned that tidying up my surroundings will nurture me and somehow helps me regroup both physically and mentally. So, I straighten up, re-do my To Do lists, and clean my kitchen as soon as I feel I can manage that. And finally, when I have that keep inner longing for someone else to nurture me--I let them...the friends who are willing to do that for me. I call them or e-mail them and let them know that they sustain me and that their caring for me matters. Then I complete the circle of mothering by reaching out to others and putting into practice what sustains us all--being a mothering friend to those who are where I was. It's just another example of "what goes around, comes around" and being needy or nurturing--one can get you to the other.

For Mother's Everywhere.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

At the beginning...

As a midwife, I am blessed to see it over and over--the incredible love that bonds a mother and child together and that lasts forever. Sometimes it's astonishing how a young mother, with sweat, exhaustion, tears and even what appears to be despair will reach out to receive your babe as it emerges from her body and all of the recent trauma disappears in that instant.

And then, even like today, when a young woman gave birth to her third child, and we hear the sweetness in her voice and the incredible melting that happens when she first sees what it is that her body was so forcibly expelling--I am again reminded of what a mother's reason for being is all about and how little control we have over it's existence.

I love to write...I've been watching babies be born for over a quarter of a century and I've witnessed at least a thousand births. It has occurred to me that we all have a need to know that this love is there for us, for the children we produce and for those to come--all we have to do is nurture ourselves and let it happen. That is my desire for this writing place. Let it be a place you feel peaceful, inspired and flowing with reasons to reach out and receive what the day or night brings.