Thursday, February 20, 2014

Radical or Bodacious Christianity?

It's time to start writing about the practical lessons from my time in Haiti. Following Jesus wherever he wants to take us can seem at times radical. in fact, there are quite a few books about "radical" Christianity. The word seems to be overused in my opinion. Since I have a tendency to not follow the crowd I wanted to find a new word for radical. According to my hand thesaurus some words for radical are, profound, primitive,essential, organic and my favorite, meat and potatoes. None really grabbed me. I have always been a fan of the word bodacious so I looked it up. Some of the definitions for bodacious were, sassy, bold, cocky, spunky and plucky. None of those words really describes Jesus so back to the drawing board.

For now I will just use the word radical, at least until I find a better word. The word Christian has become for me a meaningless word. My intention is not to offend but millions of people call themselves Christians and I think it too is overused. People ask me at times what kind of Christian I am. I have come up with the word plain, just a plain old Christian. A Jesus follower who is just plain and simple. So what is so radical about that you might ask? 

It's hard in the 21st century to be plain and simple in anything! Our culture screams at us 24/7. Even McDonald's has multiple T.V.'s blaring at us. I went to a new gas station the other day and there was a T.V. at every single pump. We are bombarded everywhere we go. So just what messages are we being given?  We are not anybody unless we have _____ just fill in the blank. It could be a Disney vacation, a toothpaste, a credit card or my all time favorite, a purple little pill to cure ED. 

My life will not be meaningful unless I have more "stuff". I am here to tell you that more "stuff" only makes us more fat and hungry for more. We need the latest and the greatest and I don't care if it's a new kitchen tool or a new garden hose that doesn't kink. We need more and more and more. Does anyone feel like we are on a crazy merri-go-round? That merri-go-round gets faster and faster and faster. 

I remember a very wise king who decided to try everything this world has to offer. He got it all. He got the fast cars, the women, the gold and the worship and drugs to heighten the whole experience and he said it was ALL meaningless. Every drop meaningless. 

So want to know what I learned in Haiti? I learned once again that "stuff" does not satisfy. I want to spend the next couple of days looking at "stuff" and what it all means to us. 
Come join me as we take a look at radical and bodacious Christianity.
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, February 18, 2014

Grandma's Feather Bed Gratituesday

The very famous country music singer John Denver had this very cool song about his Grandma's feather bed. I loved that song when Rich and I were first married. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be the Grandma in the song!

With two of our grand girls spending the night to watch some Olympic glory we decided to not kick out son from his bed/ So the only other place was our bed. Since Rich has to sleep in his chair most nights for pain management I end up sleeping alone. So our 10 and 8 year old grand girls climb into our bed. They think the bed is pretty fun anyway since it has some remote controls to move the head and feet up and down. I could hear them giggling in there playing with the bed.

Then me, the grandma came to bed and try and wiggle into place. I tried to move the wiggly grand daughter to no use. I had no clue that this particular grand girl liked to swim in her sleep. Her legs go up and down just like doing the breaststroke in water. Who would have known?  How exactly did she kick me in the mouth? No clue. It was such an interesting night of sleep.

Now don't you think for a moment that I am complaining. You haven't lived till you have slept with a couple of grand children in your bed. Even in sleep they are full of energy and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I just love being that grandma in Grandma's feather bed!

What are you thankful for today? Would love to know.

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Being A Brave Woman

She walks the streets seeing with her hearts eyes, a hurting world. The masses are scurrying from one place to the next without seeing who stands near them. She lives in a world where the right thing to do is now wrong and the wrong thing to do is what is right. How could this have happened in such a short time?

Slowly over time one principle, one truth after another turns upside down. The culture makes this very slow shift like the frog in the water that gets turned up so slowly that it is too late by the time the frog knows what is going on.

But she notices and has noticed for a very long time and has days when she feels powerless to make a difference. The jeers for how she chooses to dress, so old fashioned. When everyone else wants to show as much skin as possible, even in church. When other women mock "those women" who chose to be obedient to God and His Word.

I think of the woman at the well. And the naked woman brought to Jesus found in the very act of adultery. The shame she must have felt. Then her shame turns into victory because it simply does not matter what others think. What matters is the LORD and Savior who bids her come in. To drop the destructive way of life and walk with Him. She is no longer invisible.

All this life offers is pain, heart ache and rejection. The rejection hurts no matter what your age. The mocking and the stares by other women go unnoticed to everyone else around but the invisible woman knows. The old mantra, "sticks and stones can broke my bones but words will never hurt me" is a lie. Words do hurt and they do have consequences.

Just how many women feel invisible? Who have days that feel the crush of rejection. Who just need the courage to stand up and be counted. It is those women that God has a tender heart for. Do not be afraid to be different. Do not be afraid to walk the path less taken. You may feel invisible but you are not. One person can make a difference because if you have the light inside of you it is very hard for others to not notice.  God sees and God knows.

So play to an audience of ONE. God promises that someday all tears will be wiped away. For that is the promise that brave women hold on to.

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, February 11, 2014

Gratituesday Sweet Rest

I knew at Christmas that January and February would be crazy busy. All but one snow storm found me out with laboring Mama's all hours of the night and then going right into the normal day of prenatals. Being a midwife is crazy wild and I love every moment of it. I am so blessed that I have a circle of support for this calling. There are times when I drag my supplies and weary body out of the car into the apartment that I giggle because I must look a little crazy at that point to someone watching me. I can't imagine doing anything else in the season of my life.

That said I also know that I have limits. Most women I work with are young enough to be my daughters yet I can keep up with them just fine. Okay, except when my hip gives out and I tumble down a set of icy steps right in front of them! Or when I get up from finally sleeping and every muscle in my body is shouting help me.

So six weeks into this crazy very busy cycle I attended a two day very intense seminar. By the end of the second day I was ready to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. When I got home I was asleep within minutes of sitting next to my hubby watching a movie. Monday morning rolled around and there was no baby call and no appointments. So I did what any sane person would do. I cancelled my cleaning job for the day and let me workout buddy that I was staying home and that is exactly what I did.

Rest, sweet rest. My brain needed a breath along with all my muscles. I am so thankful for a day of rest. I feel ready to go conquer the next wave of births. Thank you Lord for rest.

"Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matt. 11:28

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

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

What If?

The past month has been a huge blur. So many snow storms that bring babies, one after the other. So many prenatals and miles upon miles of driving. There has been almost no time to write. When I do get home I go to bed at a ridiculous hour in hopes of getting a few hours before going again. I knew January and February were going to be crazy and it has lived up to everything I had imagined!

That being said, I had the priviledge to attend a two day workshop this past weekend with two of the most well respected midwives in the United States. They are giants in our field. They travel all over the world giving their workshops. Saturday was all about the first hour of transition for a newborn and neonatal resuscitation. Transition for the newborn is a fascinating topic. Learning all about the physiology of the newborn at birth is such an amazing perfectly designed part of life. I consider it such a privilidge to witness that first hour of life. To me it is a holy time. The angels must be rejoicing at the birth of a new little gift to be cherished.

We had spent hours in class soaking up all the information when it was time to get on the floor with the newborn resuscitation dolls. The flashbacks started coursing through my brain from my time in Haiti. I lost babies in Haiti. Their lives were in my hands and I was unable to save them and my heart breaks. Life is so precious. Then I started the what if's. Did I really do the five inflation breaths first? Were my fingers positioned correctly? Did I count right? Like a bad movie the scenes played out in my brain. I felt like I was back in Haiti. Breathe Jill. Thankfully my partner Courtney was next to me. She saw the tears and understood, and held space for me.

It's those what ifs that can bite us in the behind. I have never been one to wallow in the what ifs. I like to process an event and then take the lessons and move on, no ruminating for me! This time though it came back in a tidal wave. What if I had stood to the side instead of the feet? Did I ventilate the lungs properly? Did I do everything within my power to bring this baby back to life? Sounds crazy I know. I take great comfort in knowing that those precious lives that hung in the balance those days went directly into the arms of our Perfect Father. I chose to praise God in that storm.

What about you? Do you have what if's in your life that are weighing you down? Do you have deep regrets that you marinate in? Whatever those regrets are may I suggest that you take them out, examine them and deal with the emotional baggage that comes with it and then bring it to the feet of the cross and walk away. Walk away dear one. There is nothing left to do. Hold tight to the lessons learned and then walk away stronger than you were when you started. Life is too short to be walking around with regret. It is at the foot of the cross that you leave those burdens.

In Christ Alone,

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

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pearls and Grace: The New Church Lady

Pearls and Grace: The New Church Lady

I ran across a blogger that really touched my heart and I wanted to share. Tomorrow I would like to share some thoughts.

till then, in Christ Alone

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