Be Still and Worship

I love being a wife, a mother.

First and foremost, I am a daughter; daughter of the Most High King.

My heart yearns to still in you.

A child’s distant cries peel my attention.

The needs of another divert my worship,

but am I not wholly surrendering when I, to my family, in service bow?

Paul said it would be easier to roam and seek God without familial obligations.

True.

How much more am I fulfilled for knowing them though?

Through parenthood and devotion as a spouse, I have encountered God in ways I might never known

and maybe I’m becoming more Christ-like in the only way I could have been and that comes with baby babble and a husband’s passion-filled requests.

So I’ll begrudgingly turn off the worship songs but gladly lend my worship to serving them, the two individuals who make my heavy heart light and life enjoyable.

I’ll run for them, trying to be still in God’s grace to accomplish the sacrificial way.

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Come O’ Come

Squatting in the stable,

no room to do so at the inn.

Church choirs sing silent night,

angel choirs sound the trumpets.

Mary wails, grunts, and breathes heavily.

Push, push, push.

God humbling himself to humanity

through a woman’s portal.

The strength of God entering innocently by the strength of a woman:

the strength of a sweat streaked brow, swollen ankles, stiff back due to riding a donkey into town but able to squeeze holiness through feeble flesh.

Mary’s lamb blood pools and washes dirt encrusted feet, relief from labor’s pain and the earth’s weeping bondage.

Heaving joy she wraps the fluid soaked babe in her arms as God redeems the world, wrapping people in glorious light for all time.

She kisses him.  God kisses tear stricken faces.

A woman rocked by labor rocks the world to freedom.

 

*needs some work but listening to Christmas songs my mind wandered and I needed to jot thoughts.*

 

Wanderlust

Staring at maps, US and globe.

Lusting to wander, not so much an idol sense.

Just a daydreamer trapped by 9-5.

Keys sending digital imprints to eternity and they wander so carelessly at times.  Why can’t my feet do the same?

Responsibility.  An American dream.  What dream is this?  You are bound by bills and appeasement.

It works for the routine-lover, but the nomad sighs and dies.

Dying to self because this sacrifice lets friends and family live their dreams.  Is this staying somehow holy? My soul thirsts and crushes.

If I were to venture, would I find the key’s hole and the secret to paradise on earth?

Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

What would heaven look like if reflected in earth’s pools, tears shed for neighbor, our joys, and our sorrows?  Could we in stretching our boundaries, stretch glory?

Then again, if I crossed to greener pastures would they be wet with morning dew or baked brown in the desert’s abyss?  Is trotting the globe really going to satisfy this duress?

In staying, I’m vulnerable.  Could the desire to roam be self-protective?  If so, is this edifying the body, the lamb?

I’ll never truly know.

To gallivant I’d have to forsake static and then I might miss the sweet aroma of family gathered at a holiday feast.

Perhaps it isn’t the other side of the world that my heart longs for, but the ebbing of turmoil this side of earth.

Maybe just maybe, I’m meant to always lust for the wander.  I’m not home yet and this world can’t offer that. In gratitude I’ll stay with this fellowship and seek how to best quench this yearning; and in silent moments utter thanks resembling contentment.

Growing up FeMALE

Iron Man?

Iron, without care, rusts.  It must be polished, treated with the utmost care so as not to flake and crumble, to the earth descend in red dust.  Such a thing of beauty will become tarnished with words of inferiority.  Why is such strength belittled because Adam finds it emasculating if this power vessel is molded to withstand tyranny?

Should I collect dust, decaying from idleness?  Am I too stubbornly wielded?  Should I be a docile sculpture in this metal made?  If ancient chalices had been capped, would the luster of current cups shine so brightly?

An institution houses FeMALES and males.  Too often, identity is found in the function rather than the Creator.  A crisis.  If identity is found in task rather than by the sculptor, a drunken stupor of superiority complexes will bury, scar, or shatter the gorgeous vessel.  Sadly, the institution often regards the beaming, fire-forged treasures as a threat to roles dueled out.

Why this waging battle?  Can’t a compromise be claimed?

Why does Adam feel shut-up if Eve is bold too?

Cellulose splattered with red ink dripping from a thorn quill commands iron vessels and those of “finer” metals to stand down.  All were molded gently in the Creator’s eye.  He breathed into both and gave a voice to all, neither one for a greater reason than the other.  Both are prisms for the kingdom’s call.   If this be so, then stop her tearing down.  Let her stand with you and further all the glory, not to herself or you, but always and forever to the Artist.

Belaboring Labor

Labor is such an intense, intimate, and memorable experience.  Some women have a positive experience and others are mortified.

My labor was amazing.  I didn’t fear whether Willow would come too late.  In fact, I was concerned that she might be a premature baby.  I don’t know why, but I always think of the worse case scenario and a premature child has less chance of survival than an “overdue” child.  [Speaking of which, please pray for a friend’s child who is currently fighting for her life.  Elina weighs 2 pounds currently and was born at 26 weeks, the week that life is generally considered viable outside the womb, one of the earliest weeks of possible life outside the womb.]  Willow wound up being a week early.

“Early vs. Late”

Sonograms.  A first world occupant’s favorite technological device, even though there is little evidence on the effects of sonograms.  (I like them as well so I can mentally prepare for a disabled child should we ever have one, of course not so we could euthanize it as is often the case with little girls (India & China) or children with Down Syndrome.)  Women have been drinking wine and having healthy pregnancies for years (and we know that over-consumption is never a good thing but I’m not concerned with that here), but we warn women to refrain from alcohol at all, even when you are stressed and the stress hormones could potentially be more damaging to your fetus’ life than a sip of wine.  I digress though.  My point: sonograms aren’t full proof.  Unless you know the date you ovulated and conceived, you won’t know your “due date”.  Sonograms can be off by up to two weeks!  That means if the sonogram says you are “due” on a particular day and we are inducing a week BEFORE ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) says you should (ACOG says you can wait two weeks after a due date before brain problems might arise), you could essentially be delivering a preemie.  As such, it is best to wait for an induction at least TWO weeks after a “due date” before inducing.  Each baby is individual, gestates (while anatomically alike) emotionally differently, each woman experiences pregnancy differently, and each woman labors differently.

If each woman labors differently, why are we prescribing treatment the same way each time?  Why are we having blanket medical practices rather than individual plans for each woman based on how her pregnancy is going?  Why intervene unless she really needs you too.

Disclaimer:  This post is not in any way intended to shame women who select a c-section.  This is intended to educate you about the risks and common things doctors say.  If you choose to have a c-section, that is your prerogative.  You should, however, understand the risks beforehand.  Also, understand trends that OBGYNs (and sadly even some midwives) will practice so you can make an educated choice with your provider.

Anyways.

Tests that might happen during pregnancy

Amnio—testing of your baby’s fluid sac to see if any diseases or life-threatening cases are present.  This should NOT be routine.  If you are high risk, by all means have this procedure done.  It can lead to miscarriage though.  Be careful.  This is extremely dangerous and should only be selected when a dire need shows you do.

Vaginal exams—some doctors will perform a vaginal exam at every appointment.  This shouldn’t happen.  The need for a vaginal exam is rare (even during labor…it shouldn’t be performed often if at all).  A vaginal exam introduces bacteria.

There are many more and I’m sure I could write about that later.  However, I have somewhere to be at 6 pm and these are the only tests I can think of.  Read and be educated on your own too.

Things to ask your doctor

-Induction rate (also when the doctor does it…day after “due date”, week after, two weeks, etc.)

 Episiotomy rate (slicing of your vagina to open the whole wider because the baby isn’t coming out “fast enough”)—The need to do this is RARE!!!!  Also, there is a proper way to do this and a particular angle of cutting that should be used.  Be very aware of these statistics.  NO ONE should be wanting to use scissors on your vagina without pause!

-C-section rate (when and how often).  If your doctor performs most c-sections between 9-5 pm, this is most often NOT an emergency.  They want their work day to end.  They want to go home too.  They don’t want to work holidays.  When you choose a profession in healthcare, you understand the choices you are making and the sacrifices.  A true health professional will care MORE about their patient’s needs than being home in time for dinner.

The c-section rates leads me to point out trends I see in so many friend’s births.

-Induced a week after “due”

-Labored for too long (which most labor is 17 hours…could be longer or shorter, you have 24 hours after being induced without your water breaking before another course of action needs to be taken; several doctors will say an emergency c-section is needed BEFORE this time frame).  Either the doctor will insist on doing a c-section or administering an epidural.  Frequently, if a woman was given pitocin (drug used for induction) she will have contractions that are extremely painful and want/need the epidural.

-Pitocin is KNOWN to cause contractions to be more intense.

-How far along you are dilated doesn’t mean a thing.  If a doctor expects you to be dilating 1 cm every hour, they are using general trends to you and you should be wary of them.  They are likely to be using a medical model of care that isn’t specific to you but general.

-Pitocin speeds up labor.  An epidural slows labor.  They counteract each other.  Often, a child’s heart rate will be erratic as such.  This is often when a doctor will say an emergency c-section is needed.

-Vomiting in labor isn’t uncommon.  Don’t be surprised there.

Oh and not moving in labor but being in a hospital bed stalls labor.  Going to a hospital can frequently stall labor.  C-section rates increase for women that arrive at the hospital before being 4 cm. dilated.  There is so many more tidbits to know.  I learned them and it helped.  Move, progress.  Transition is the worse part and this is when you want to rest.  Pushing can sometimes be slow and this is okay most of the time.

PLEASE, YOU ARE LOVED!  I WANT YOU TO HAVE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE THAT I DID.  I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND RISKS AND THAT A C-SECTION IS MAJOR SURGERY!!! TAKE CLASSES, READ BOOKS, WATCH MOVIES. BE INFORMED,  BE PREPARED.  IF YOU READ PREGNANCY BOOKS AND PARENTING BOOKS, WHY NOT LABOR AND BREAST-FEEDING BOOKS?

Recommended courses, literature, documentaries:

Movie- The business of being born 1& 2

Books by Ina May Gaskin

Class: Bradley birthing (12 weeks, in-depth)

DON’T JUST LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR OR EVEN ME!  YOU KNOW YOUR BODY, YOU’VE LIVED WITH IT FOR YOUR WHOLE LIFE!!!  TAKE BIRTHING CLASSES!  YOU SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID OF THIS.  WOMEN’S BODIES AREN’T DEFECTIVE AND ARE MADE TO DELIVER BABIES, CONTRARY TO MODERN MEDICINE MODELS FREQUENTLY OBSERVED TODAY. DON’T BE AFRAID, FACE YOUR FEAR WITH EDUCATING YOURSELF ON WHAT IS NORMAL AND WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

Alright, I should get going.  I have an infant tugging at my shirt and a party at 6 pm (which is ten minutes from now and a 20 min. car ride away).  I wanted to finish this because my heart is so heavy lately and I care about women, their deliveries, and their knowledge being in their ballpark, not a doctor’s who has seemingly more “knowledge” but is really trained in surgery and emergency scenarios, not NORMAL (95% or so of the time) births that women have had throughout centuries and in many other countries.  (Grammar poor because I really should get going.)

Please get educated, prepared, and conquer any fear you may have.  In all, pray.  You are beautifully, wonderfully, and fearfully made—you are woman, created in God’s image.  You are strong.  You can do this.  Don’t be told otherwise.  Yes, emergencies happen and there comes a time when you need intervention, BUT THIS SHOULD BE RARE and recent statistics show c-sections, epidurals, and pitocin are most certainly not being treated as such!

Out.

Following A Call

News of the terror still rings in my ears.

I can hear the scream of a confused francophone.

My heart leaps, wanting my legs to race towards a plane,

Paris bound.

Even years ago when twin towers fell my eyes rarely shed a tear.

With this slaughter, my face is carved with salty rivers.

I dare not test God, but I must obey if he is prompting this travel.

I’ll pray and discern, hopefully.

Some counsel received says that I must put my family first, as if this land holds any more promise of life than another.

“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.“-Matthew 10:37

When will faith become real?  When I pray, will I know whether I am hearing God or the megaphone of my emotions?  Do I trust God enough to protect me or to provide should I perish?  If I did go, how would I even begin to assist?

Here I am Lord, lead me.  I am willing and able.  Show me the way you want me to take here.  Would it further your purposes if I went or is this desire mere foolishness?

Will I be worthy of being his or assert myself and be an eternal orphan, a wandering pilgrim for all time?

“Retweet”; Press Words Deeper, Higher

Followers be few

but variance of praise

towards anyone, or anything, but a resurrected man

would strike my pride

and in an ego orgasm

be my ruin.

Let my life be a song to you, not unto myself.  Let my every word bring others bowing at your throne, giving you glory, not admiration of senseless opinion.

Amen.

Tomb of the Unknown Terror

Frantic fury,

they scramble.

Bombs and bullets blasting

crowding streets with panicked screams.

They grope for safety

but their hands clasp falling flesh instead.

Worlds away a flag is placed upon a face

to somehow remark remorse and offer condolence.

I, too, veil the flag upon my figure,

hoping it might resonate a stance of unity

and offer solace from this distant empathy.

I bend amiss, confused and broken.

I want to run and aid, but my leaking breast cements a stay.

My heart bleeds, voice bleats, and hands fold-

praying mercy far away.

From these ashes beauty will arise, but how? When?

Should the gate be locked and security preserved? Will a bolted door keep the people secure? Will it shut them in to fear, decaying far more than crushed bones?

Oh weaver of this fraying tapestry come mend; lend insight into providence, protection, and preservation for a remnant.

Red Cup of Truth

Sex-stained satin sheets hide the shamed children,

shoved in closets and basements,

toys for a master’s play.

Sand soaks the blood of beheaded faithfuls

as the tyranny of throne thirsty scoundrels continues to reign.

In the corner, a bruised woman shudders

as the drunken rage of her husband unleashes its fury.

A sweat stained boy hunches over the crops

at less than the cent he is worth.

In contrasted hues stands a girl with cherry lipstick, white tailored dress, and blue plastered nails.  She calmly blows to cool the steam of her murky, liquid addiction all while grumbling at the cup’s festive absence.

A chalice filled with the scorned Savior’s blood pours forgiveness on her ignorance and freedom to those in the bondage she cares to neglect.  The gracious cup of salvation is offered to all who turn to plead for his cover.  This cup grants hope, mercy, and truth.

All innocent lives split across the land receive a righteous reward when faithfulness directs their lips to embrace the red cup of God’s beckoning and accept the Savior’s sacrifice.

*Let’s remember what is important and the privilege we have in this country to possess disdain over a petty paper cup that tomorrow will lay waste in the consumer’s debris.*

Masking Injustice: Scales

I feel stuck.  Professionally stuck.

“Work as if you are working for the Lord.”  I notice so many individuals who say this are in fields that they enjoy.  Yes, I know in principle I should live all aspects of my life as I am essentially doing them for God.  However, is it wrong to want to thrive at work?  Is it wrong that I’d like to feel valued, innovative, challenged, and inspiring at work?

I know it is possible to be “cutting edge” when you start your own business.  I have and am trying to start my own business but I feel inept at this.  I’d like to work for an established company where training is done in person and then I can work from home while watching my daughter.

I recently started as a consultant for Usborne books.  It is a great company and I’m extremely passionate about education and empowering individuals.  At the same time, I’m not great at selling to friends, family, or strangers.  I’m comfortable selling products to a corporation or organization but not individuals.  I guess I don’t like feeling like I’m using friendships as contacts.  I don’t want my relationships to be about personal financial gain.

How, then, do I promote a business like this and succeed in it without objectifying my relationships?

I know there are companies with more recognized names, but I don’t want to promote weight loss or beauty products.  Our country is too obsessed with body image.  I struggled for years with body image.  When you deal for years battling bulimia, the last thing you want to sell is something that tells people they need to work out, drink/eat a diet item, or plaster make-up.  Can we remove our masks and be authentic?

I enjoy Halloween and I realize I’m a little scattered in my thought processes right now.

I want authenticity.  I want community.  I want vulnerable relationships; as much as I can cringe at that thought because then I’d have to be vulnerable too and that means I might get hurt.

I got into Usborne hoping that I could establish a business where I would be able to stay home with my daughter.  I would also be promoting something valuable like education rather than “health” vanity (does that even make sense).  I could impart value into Willow and not leave her in other people’s care.  (I know she is loved by her other providers, but it isn’t me and they don’t do things my way.  I have to let go of my controlling nature I guess.  I’d just like her home with one of her parents even if it isn’t me.)

Anyways, I keep feeling like a failure.  I am passionate, but feel overwhelmed when I read the volumes of material needed to work this business. I keep looking at friends who’ve made the weight loss or make up markets successful.  I could get their guidance and training, but I refuse to sell those products because I know my addictive behavior.  I struggle with approval addiction.  Is marketing not working for me in this independent sector because God has a fulfilling field that isn’t so tempting to my addiction? If so, what and when?  I’m feeling so lost, confused, and frustrated with my professional life.

Oh God grant peace, guidance, assurance, and acceptance of your truth over man’s ideals of success and beauty.  Remove my mask, flood me with your presence, and may I shine for you, your kingdom, and a purpose far greater than multi-level marketing.

(At the same time, help me discern what field I am called to, what being called looks like, and to have peace knowing I am in your will.)