Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Blogger Little Miss Katie




Singing This Baby Into the World by Katie





Do you remember the birth story of Baby U? We sang this baby into the world. It is easily one of my top three births. If you didn't get to read it then you can click on the link below. Once you have read the birth story come on back and read baby Jake's big sister Kate's perspective of the birth. Our birth team just love this whole family. Katie is very special. Such a loving young lady who absolutely adores her baby brother.
http://gratituesday.blogspot.com/2013/06/singing-baby-into-world.html



Dear Miss Jill,

Here is my story of Jake's birth--

I was sleeping in my room when my grandma woke me up and told me that my mom was in labor. It was just light outside. I was really excited and I couldn't wait to see my baby brother. I didn't even think about breakfast. Right away, I was happy crying because my mom was having Jake.

I came into my dad and mom's room in my robe and pajamas. I apologized to Miss Wendy because I hadn't even gotten dressed or done my hair or even brushed my teeth!  I saw that my mom was in labor. I said, "Good morning!”, but she was too busy to reply.
I sat with my grandma then Miss Wendy came over and gave me plastic gloves and a newborn baby hat. She said that I could help!  I looked at my grandma in astonishment. I went over to my mom and I got my mom cool towels to put on her neck and head. I heard Miss Jill and my dad saying to her, “You can do it! You are strong! Christ is with you!” I stood by Miss Courtney and Miss Wendy. Everyone was singing and I sang too. I could see Jake’s head! I was overjoyed. I told everyone that I needed a “crying break” because I was so happy. I went over to my room and closed the door and sat on my chair and cried for a minute and thanked God, then I opened the door and went back to the parent’s room to finish the birth. When he came out, they put Jake on momma’s chest. I didn’t get to see him do the breast crawl because I was busy getting breakfast.

I was so happy that everyone was there. The midwives were all my friends. They love me and they hugged me whenever I needed a hug. I am so happy for my brother. I love him very much.

I want to thank Miss Jill for having me as a guest blogger. I love everyone who got to read this blog.
Katie, age 8 ½







Feel free to leave a comment for this new young blogger as encouragement.








Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Showers of Blessings


What a beautiful summer we have had here in Michigan. Typically we don't get rain or cool weather but this year we have gotten both. I am not a fan of 95 degrees with 95% humidity. But this year we got a lovely break from all that heat.

We have gotten liquid sunshine too. We were sitting in church Sunday morning and all the sudden I hear what sounded like heavy rain and sure enough it had poured. Several other days we have just had one downpour after another. The grass is green and the flowers are lovely. What an unexpected season in the middle of another season.

Speaking of season. Are you thankful for the season you are in right now? Or are you pining for the next one to hurry up and get here? It is SO easy to jump ahead and forget to embrace the season we are in. Newborns don't stay newborns very long. Those late night feedings end in the blink of an eye. Toddlers don't stay toddlers long either. Each season is a gift from God and so let's embrace right where we are at!

What are YOU thankful for today friend? I would love to know.
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Physical Hunger vs. Soul Hunger




This food thing is all in my head, seriously! I would venture to guess that if you are struggling with food issues it is probably all up in your head too. I'm not talking about people with serious thyroid issues here. I am talking to me and anyone else out there who eats for the wrong reasons.

Physical hunger is when our stomach rumbles telling us that the body needs food.  I have discovered that I get hungrier the more I eat. That probably has to do with the fact I have stretched my stomach out so it takes more food to make me feel full. The great news is that can be reversed and no I am not talking about surgery.

The old adage anything that goes up must come down might apply here. When we start eating more reasonable servings our stomach can go back to it's normal size, which means it wont take as much to make us feel full. So the question I was faced with today is this. If my stomach is not growling why am I eating? Great question.

I have always believed that each of us were created with a figurative hole in our heart. That hole can only be filled by God. Oh we try to fill it with other things. You see celebrity's crash and burn because of trying to fill their hearts using drugs, alcohol, sexual appetites outside of marriage and yes even food. We become self destructive.

When this food issue of mine reared it's ugly head I know now what I was doing. My life was so out of control with a broken hip, a husband in horrible pain 24/7, a wayward son that refused to be a part of the family, the loss of my husbands and my ministry, then the loss of our home. Anyway, you get the picture. My life was one big ball of grief.  It was really then that I started to use food to "self medicate". I don't know what got you were you are today but if you struggle with this issue like I do, we are using food to fill up a heart that seems empty and lacks satisfaction. As Mike Cleveland said, " We are attempting to nourish our souls by feeding our bodies."

Did you catch that? We are feeding our bodies in an attempt to nourish our souls. For believers we know that is not truth. Our souls can only be nourished by God. Let's read John 6:53-58

" Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. for my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."


Let' spend some time thinking about this verse and I will see you tomorrow.

Question 1 Did you feast at the LORD's table today?  Yes I have, I also plan on listening on tape some more today.

Question 2 Have you been disciplined in your eating habits since the last lesson? Yes but it was very hard. I wanted to eat chocolate before bed

Question 3 Did you exert your body in some way? Yes, I did the Ease into 5K this morning and the temperature (49) degrees surprised me.

Have a great day my friend




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Journey Days 2 and 3




I am reminded once again that I can not do this journey alone. It was a rough day yesterday. Of all times to get a truly awful sinus headache that would not let up. I sneezed through prenatal and postpartum visits. I can count on one hand the times I have had a real headache and yesterday was a doozy! On the way home I went through a drive through and got hot chocolate hoping the caffeine would help. It did not. All I wanted to do when I got home is put on my pajamas and vegetate.

Yesterday one of my colleagues and I were discussing midwifery. We have a tendency toward perfectionism. We want to not only know every skill but perform every skill perfectly. I know enough to know that it is not possible to achieve perfection even when you have been practicing midwifery or any other profession for a long time. At least not every time. We were talking about our training being a marathon and not a sprint. The same applies to just about every area of our lives.

If you look at raising children the same thing applies. It is a marathon that takes many years. This food addiction I have been struggling with for the last 5 or 6 years will not disappear in a day unless of course the LORD would want to miraculously take it away. What do you struggle with friend? Is it a food addiction or something else? Whatever it is, we are not in a sprint which is a good thing since I am not a sprinter at anything. Slow and steady wins the race?

The questions of the day are this;

1. Did you spend some time day at the Lord's table? Meaning, are we spending time in God's word. Feasting on his words. Today the answer to that question is yes. I have a very long commute with both of the midwives I am training under. So I decided to bring my Bible on tape. I meditated on the book of Matthew while driving yesterday.

2. Have you exercised? Yes I did. I got up very early which is the best time of the day for me and started a very gentle program called Ease into 5K. I am doing with my niece Kate and so we accomplished our first day.

3. Have you been disciplined in your eating habits today? NO I was not. I kept thinking if I put something else in my mouth it would help the headache. Plus hubby brought home chips and dip and I indulged. It is not a good look for me. Insert a sad face here.

4. Today was supposed to be a liquid day. That means I am to eat one normal meal and then the other two liquid meals. I have to do some research on the healthiest way for me to go about that.

So there you have it. I am not giving up because this is a journey, a long road that begins with just a step. Today my friend I take courage in the scripture that says, Be still and KNOW that I am God.

Let me know how you are doing on this journey.
In Christ Alone,





Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gratituesday




Good morning and happy Gratituesday! This is the day that is set aside each and every week to stop and be grateful. We all have been blessed no matter where we find ourselves. Stop and count your blessings today with me.

On my birthday two years ago I spent the day working at our congregations food bank and clothing store. I thought it was the coolest birthday gift to myself, serving people in need. There is a huge need here in Flint Michigan. It is a city riddled with murder, gangs, drugs and high unemployment. Our congregation is smack dab in the middle of it.

For two years I have served. I scheduled everything I did around that day. It was sacred and I let nothing except an actual birth come in the way of the ministry. I grew to love the people I served with. I  had the privilege to pray with many people who came through our doors. It was the highlight of my week. I say all that to say, last week I had to say good-bye to a ministry I have loved.

When I was hired by my first boss Wendy, she told me that in order to be a well rounded midwife I needed to work with multiple midwives. I didn't know how that would work since it is very difficult to find one midwife to take on a student let alone two or three. I prayed though and the LORD provided.

I am now apprenticing under not one but two very seasoned midwives in the surrounding area. Both have very busy practices. Of course my new boss has two days of office hours and wouldn't you know but Tuesday is one of those days. Some times choices are hard to make. I was hoping this day would not come where I had to say good-bye to the ministry I served. But now I get to serve in a new way.

My new boss Kate, has given me a 90 day trial apprenticeship with her. Last week I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with her. She has a sweet office in an old mansion that is beautiful. Kate was originally a childbirth educator so we spent several hours going over skills those first two days. Her clientel is as diverse as Wendy's which means there is never a dull moment.

I am so blessed to now get to work under two great midwives. The LORD continues to bless this journey I am on and for that I am truly grateful. Now I just have to figure out how to be at double the amount of births each month!


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The First Step on the Journey.....







Today is Day One for me. Remember me, I am the foodaholic. I know my spell check doesn't recognize that word but it's my blog so I guess I can write it. In my previous posts on food addictions I was overwhelmed with the responses I got privately. I am not the only one who struggles with eating for the right reasons.

Comfort food is just that, comfort. When I am stressed or bored or sad or happy I eat. That is going to stop right now. You see, I am all done with the yo-yo dieting, losing five pounds to then gain six pounds back. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. My temple is a little larger than it should be! So where do I go from here?

I have started a 60 day program that is geared towards people like me. It is called The Lord's Table, A Biblical Approach to Weight Management by Mike Cleveland. The authors approach is different from other programs I have tried. There is no counting of calories, no counting points. It is simply to start glorifying God in our bodies. How in the world do we do that.

My motivation before has been to look good, to fit in, to please my husband, to not look frumpy etc. etc. God's word tells us that whatever we do, whether it is eating or drinking or anything else we do, including what we feed our bodies need to be to the glory of God.  All of my reasons have been about me and not God. If I am going to be a woman of the Word then I need to trust that what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 is true.
Do ALL things to the glory of God!

So my memory verse for the week is "So, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 Feel free to memorize it with me.  So how I understand it is this, I have not been successful before because my motivation has been all wrong. If I change my motivation I will be successful in glorifying God.

Remember when Moses went on the mountain to be with God? WHen he came back down the mountain he had a veil because of the people. Paul tells us that we as Christians can come with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image as Christ. I want to be transformed, what about you?

So, do you want to follow me on this journey? Feel free to read the scriptures I share and follow the eating schedule. It is pretty simple.

Day 1 is Half Day--- that means you make up your plate to eat and then cut it in half. Only eat half. Now I don't know about you but this make me pause. Do I fill my plate as high as I can so when I do cut it in half it will be a really large half?  You mean that occurred to you too?  The simple answer is no, get a normal size helping and then cut it in half.

Day 2 Liquid Day is two meals using just liquid like V8 juice and then one meal normal. Can you do that? Sure you can. I doubt liquid would mean a strawberry frap from Starbucks!

Day 3 is a normal eating day.  Doesn't give you permission to munch non-stop from 6-11pm each night

Day 4 is Fasting. Yes fasting. On those days we will talk to God about our struggles and our desire to glorify God in ALL we do, including what we feed our bodies. It is 24 hours of fasting except coffee, tea or water

Day 5 is a normal eating day

Then we go back to day 1. Yes you can be flexible. The whole point is to start spending more time with the LORD and less time thinking about food.

I am going to ask a couple of questions each day. Here they are
1. Did you feast at the Lords Table today. In other words how did you enjoy God today? Did you sing, pray, study his word, worship, fellowship or witness to anyone? Remember, we are working on changing our motivation to glorifying the Lord and not ourselves.

2.  Have you been disciplines in your eating habits since the last lesson?

3. Have you exercised your body in some way since the last lesson? I am not talking about going to the gym everyday. I am talking about doing something with your body. How about walking for 15 minutes a day? Walk the dog, walk with a friend, walk and talk with the LORD, sing to the him while you walk.

Okay, there you have day 1. If you want to join I want you to just jump in right where you are. Pray that the LORD will guide your day today.

With fear and trembling, here we go.
In Christ Alone,



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gratituesday Family












Families, God blessed families. At first, there were just the four of us. Wendy, me, John and Robin. Now there are son in laws, daughter in laws, nieces, nephews and Uncles and Aunts and grandbabies. All blessed. What is really cool, we all love the LORD. On July 4th my sister Wendy hosts a big family bash at her place. This year I got to drive in for the festivities. This past year Wendy's family has grown from three daughters and one son in law to three daughters and three son in laws. Everyone was there. The highlight of the day was of course the "Brott Family" badminton game. In the picture above you can see just how serious the game is. The court is a regulation court, measured to perfection all in the side yard of the house. Who would want to miss the father in law versus the son in laws? The younger whipper snappers have age on their side but the father in laws and uncles have years of practice and wisdom on their side.  The grey haired guys won but boy did the younger guys give them a run for their money. All good fun. My siblings and I are so blessed.  God truly took beauty from ashes and today I could not be more thankful.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gratituesday July 2nd





I have been training for a run called the Crim in Detroit. It started out with a way for the gals I work with to have some fun. Well, fun is certainly not the word I would use since I run like an elephant. But I was up for the challenge and off I went.

I have been doing a lot of running out at a local Y on their track which is .4 miles around once. I usually have a work out buddy but she was basking in the sun of Alaska last week so I was running alone.

When I got to the track I was all ready to do 2 straight miles with no stops. I put on my little i-pod to play some good music and started out. It was early morning so the heat had not kicked in yet but the humidity sure did. I was beyond drenched after the first lap. I started feeling like I pulled a muscle in my groin and then my left hip felt like it had popped out of joint. I ended up doing more walking than jogging that day. I stretched later and thought nothing of it until the next day.

Baby W was born after multiple hours of pushing. By the time we were cleaning up my groin was killing me. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball. I took the next day off and slept and read. I should have gone to the chiropractor right away but it just didn't work out. I ended up going on Friday and my hip when lying down wasn't even on the table, I was a mess!

I crawled home and then spent the next 4 days icing and heating my lower back. I took pain meds that should have knocked me out and didn't. Through it all I rested the best I could. I did school work and am now one paper away from finishing my next unit.

It also gave me a new appreciation for my husband who is forced to sit, day after day, week after week,  month after month and year after year through this terrible disease and he doesn't complain. No pity parties for him. He just remains faithful to God and his plans. So today I am thankful for faithfulness. I am so grateful for a husband who is faithful no matter what.

What are you thankful for today? I would love to hear.



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, July 1, 2013

Do You See What I See?








One of my kindred spirits put up a really cool video on face book this morning. Over and over again there was video of someone who will be facing a life and death situation as people pass them by. You never know when you walk into an elevator at a hospital and stand next to someone who was just told they have cancer, or they just signed a do not resuscitate for a loved one. We just don't know.

A week ago I was jogging and felt something in my groin pull. I knew somehow I was twisted. That night we had another baby so I did doula work. The next day I was so sore I was downright uncomfortable and then on Friday I went to my chiropractor. My left hip was so high off the table it was ridiculous. At some point my lower back turned into one ball of spasm. I could not get up. When I finally got home Rich and Michael helped me to get out of the car and into the house. I spent 3 days in our twin recliners alternating between heat and ice.

What it really did was re convict me of just how strong my husband is. His will to live far exceeds anything I have seen. People at church will remark sometimes just how good he looks when he has just spent the worst week of this terrible ordeal. Unless you are up close and personal you have no clue. I am done with sitting on this recliner. It gets old, you get sick of TV, of reading and sleeping. The ability to get up and go is something I certainly take for granted.

How many people are like my husband? I met a single woman with two small children who was diagnosed recently with a life ended disease that has quickly put her in a wheel chair. By her smile you would never know how this disease is wearing down her faith. 

I remember one time I had gone through the grocery store line and witnessed the anger of the checker. No one was doing anything right in her book. At first I was judgemental thinking she should be displaying better customer service. Then it occurred to me, I just bet she is going through something really tough to be lashing out at the customers. When it was my turn I smiled and said, you must be having a really bad day, I am so sorry for what is going on in your life and I will pray your day gets better.

It took me looking through the eyes of Jesus to see the pain of this woman. Amy Grant wrote a song very early in her career called My Father's Eyes. That song has stayed with me. You never know what someone is going through just by seeing with human eyes. It takes eyes of our Father that helps us see the truth.

Something to think about today.
In Christ Alone,




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".