Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Butter, Scraped Over Too Much Bread

"I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread."
~ B. Baggins

Isn't this a much more interesting way of saying, "I'm busy and tired"?
I thought so. :)

Right In Front of Us

Sometimes the very desire for action leads to the neglect of action. Looking for some wonderful opportunity to give oneself, to devote oneself, one forgets the humble brother close at hand who is waiting for a word of comfort, a saving gesture.

Let us not linger in contemplation of the road ahead; let us follow the narrow path. Let us not look too far or too high, but right in front of ourselves, right next to ourselves. The good to be done is perhaps there.

~ Elisabeth Leseur

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rainy Days at Home

I LOVE rainy days at home! I can't remember the last time when I've had a whole long rainy day to do nothing but sleep in, spend a long quiet time with Jesus, be with my family, make pizza from scratch for lunch, do a pile of laundry and work through my to-do list.

These are the days that keep me sane! :)

Thank you, God!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Joys of Email

2:00 am. I guess I should go to bed.

Eight hours of staring at my laptop this evening and the unread messages have been reduced from 3, 426 to 1980.

About 100 replies sent.

The flagged emails... well, there's still a couple thousand of those, but certainly most of them are too old to even answer at this point.

At least the pregnant women who requested initial client packets a full month ago finally received them. I'm sure they've hired other midwives by now, but hey... at least I finally did what I said I was going to - emailed them a packet of information!

I have a dream....... that some day I shall have an inbox that I can keep organized and enough time to reply to all the people who so badly want or need a reply.

I doubt that will ever happen, but it's kind of fun to imagine! :)

I'm going to bed with a good feeling that some of my unread emails have now been read and replied to. It's the little things in life, right?

Where Grace Is

Grace is found where there is brokenness.... mistakes;

through ugly things, through things swept away by others as useless and hopeless...

Grace is found in the One who justifies the ungodly at His own great cost.

Grace was most vividly illustrated when Jesus chose worthless, God-hating sinners

to make Holy and then called them His Friends. ♥

May I extend the same Grace ..

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God Said, "Well, She's Willing"

I wasn't God's first choice for what I've done for China.... I don't know who it was....

It must have been a man... a well-educated man.

I don't know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn't willing....

....and God looked down... and saw Gladys Aylward...

And God said - "Well, she's willing."

-- Gladys Aylward

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Long Lost Music

Playing the piano is so therapeutic. Why haven't I done it in years?

Maybe I should get back to trying to teach myself guitar again, too. I loaned my guitar to a friend years ago when lobbying took over my life, and apparently, it's gone. She probably sold it at a garage sale during her many moves. I need to get another one.

Or do I? I have no idea when I'd fit in even 15 minutes of piano or guitar, but I sat down at the piano one day last week and it was worth every second!

I'm glad that singing in the car and while washing dishes and working outside has always been an option!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Week of Grace

It's been quite a week!

It started with the transmission in my car going out on Sunday.
So, that meant that I've been begging cars off people to drive all week. My dad has been really generous and let me drive his old clunker on prenatal days. For some reason, all of our other nicer, newer vehicles break down and have problems at least occasionally. The old white beast that he bought at an auction ($300) for the younger kids to learn to drive in? It never, ever breaks down. The door handles don't work, and the windows don't roll up and down, and it's hard to start, and the gas tank is weird, and the speedometer doesn't work, and the lights and wipers take special talent to operate... BUT it runs, once you get it started. And it sure turns heads! You'd think I was a drug-dealer or something...

The Missouri State Medical Association seems to be pulling some fast tricks on us this week. I received a really bizarre email from their main lobbyist and several of the other ladies have been getting weird phone calls. Basically, they all decided overnight that they all love midwives and they want to expand our practice in Missouri, instead of encroach on it. They want us to all sit down and tell them what we dream of for the future so they can help us however they can.
Yeah, right. I wish it could be true. I so wish it was true.
In a way, it's a good thing to hear, coming from them because it means they're desperate and out of all tactics other than trying to be our friends. We just have to figure out how to respond. "Wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" has come to mind so many times today.
I just can't get away from politics...

Then there's been other things - lots of situations and stories and happenings. All in about a week's time, there have been two shootings or murders in the news - children murdering their own parents. And we've known the family, or close relatives of the family in both cases. It makes me pray for the hearts of each child in our family. And Japan's earthquake... it could have just as easily been us. Sometimes life is just tragic, ugly, uncomprehendable.... it is what sinners make of it. But God, who made life is always good, true, just, all together lovely.

Through the whole week of car problems, insincere politicians and lobbyists; unspeakable violence and tragedy, there's been Grace. I've thought about it all week. When my car broke down, I saw Grace in my dad handing me the keys to his car so freely and kindly. When I had a couple of nights of very little sleep, I saw Grace as my already over-worked mother came to my rescue and helped me pull some things together. I saw Grace as people were nice to me when I didn't deserve it. I saw Grace when someone I don't even know sent me a gift of money (just in time to pay a bill). I saw Grace when all of my breech babies turned back to head-down! I saw Grace all week, around every corner and under every stone in my path!

...Grace to cover all my sins, and grace to cover all the things I like and don't like. Grace to be cheerful and keep working and smiling when I am utterly exhausted. Grace to rest and know that it is God, not me that will accomplish that which He pleases in my life. Grace to trust that I'll have the money I need when I need it, and not waste energy fretting over unexpected big bills. Grace to believe that some of the most awful, shattered things could some day be a trophy of God's grace. Grace to believe that my God is always good, and to believe it enough that every day is a new morning of tender mercies and a reason to rejoice!

This could have been considered a "difficult" week... but instead I consider it a happy week ~ one full of Grace!

"When morning guilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, May Jesus Christ be praised!"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Week?

Has another week went by? For real?!?

I drove almost 1, 200 miles, two babies were born, I went to the Capitol twice, did numerous prenatal and postpartum visits, spent most of my nights sitting up typing up legislative reports and emails nearly til the sun came up and then I rushed off to appointments and meetings after a couple of hours of sleep. Tonight I worked furiously to try to pull together invoices for clients who have been asking for them for weeks... maybe months. I think some of them think their midwife is forgetful or a slacker or something. No, I just literally cannot keep up, even working 24 hours a day! And there's still a big pile of client charts on the table that need to be finished tonight. Several hours of charting. Stuff that would be pretty bad and pretty unprofessional not to have together. It's already after midnight. Hmm...

And tomorrow... well, Sundays are supposed to be my day off. But babies have gone breech (3 of them!) that are due right now. And their mothers are worrying and I need to see them tomorrow afternoon so that they can make appointments to do something about it on Monday if they're still breech... I have to wonder why God added this to my week? I thought He wanted me to get a little MORE sleep?!

I want to mop the dining room, reply to my friends' emails, talk to my mom, visit my sister, plan flower gardens, run, and do laundry.

I guess this week was meant to be politics, birth, and paperwork instead.

Now, back to the charting....