A Really Bad Hair Day

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“Why did I even start this?  Why? Why? Why?”

I was reprimanding my reflection in the mirror.  One third of my hair was curled and the rest was straight.  I looked at the curling iron in dismay.  I never did know how to use that thing!  That is why I rarely attempt to curl my hair.  Why did I think I should do it today, when I was already running late for the Women’s Encounter at church, the one time during the year that I can leave my busy household behind and seek God with hundreds of kindred spirits?

I had gotten my hair cut a few days ago…six inches of dry, damaged ends gone!  I felt like a new woman!  The hair dresser curled my hair and said, “This is the way they are styling it these days.”  I looked at myself in the mirror and thought the curls looked a little haphazard and choppy.

“I’ll go home and fix it the way I like it, and it will be fine,” I thought to myself.

But when I arrived home I got quite a reaction from my children.

“I like it!” my teenage daughter said, and she made me think that I certainly must look trendy!

“You look pretty, mommy,” my boys said, and they almost never comment on my appearance!

My husband also gave my compliments that night, so I felt that the curls must really be something special.

Before the Women’s Encounter I had washed my hair and dried it with a circular brush as usual.  It looked really nice that way, straight and shiny.  But was it as cute as the curls that had earned so much praise from my family?  Probably not!

So I began to try and recreate what the hairdresser had done.

Bad idea!

                I was doing a horrible job on my hair!  I was supposed to be at the church early to greet the women coming in the doors, and here I was, still at home with part of my hair in awful curls.  I had no time to wet it down and blow dry it out again.  I had to just finish the curling.

“Why, oh why did I start this mess?  My hair looked just fine before!”

I couldn’t stop, so I proceeded to curl and spray, curl and burn myself, curl and mutter and groan, curl and get mad at myself (and anyone else who entered the bathroom)…and curl some more.

Finally I had a head full of funky, crispy curls.  This was not “me” at all!  They looked weird, but I didn’t dare run my hand through them for fear of disrupting the delicate hold of the hairspray and make it worse.

I rushed to gather my things.  My family could tell I was grumpy and tried to encourage me, but I wasn’t having it!  I rushed into the van and drove the five minutes to church.  I didn’t get to participate in the preservice prayer that would have most certainly centered my thoughts on Jesus.  I should have been praying for all the women attending!  I should have been there early to greet some of them.  But I had been too vain and concerned about my appearance to listen to the voice of reason that said;

“Put the curling iron down!”

Because I arrived at the church so late, I couldn’t find a parking spot.  I had to park all the way in the overflow lot which was quite a hike from the church.  I slammed the van door and started trudging up the hill, mad at myself.  It was unseasonably cold that April night, but I had stubbornly worn my new flip-flops because I wanted to feel “comfortable.”  Now I was freezing my little pink toenails off!

I got halfway up the hill when I realized that I had left my phone in the van!  I had to walk all the way down and all the way back up again, madder than before.

Finally I got into the sanctuary. Worship had been going on for a half an hour already.  The room was darkened and the colored lights around the stage were flashing with the music. It was packed full of women from front to back.  Where was I going to sit?  Thankfully someone had saved me a seat up front.  I set all my stuff down and turned my heart to the Lord.

“I am so sorry that I am so imperfect!” I said to God.  My faults flashed in my mind, and I was getting ready to repent of them one by one when…

Whoose

I felt Jesus rush in and give me a hug!  I couldn’t even begin to list what I had done wrong before He said to me, “I am so glad that you are here!  I love you!  All that you are worried about doesn’t matter.”

What an amazing feeling to be so loved by the Creator of the universe!  I tried my best to quiet my thoughts and just soak in His embrace.  The worship team was singing about supernatural love, over and over again.  This was a supernatural love!  I marveled at this love that could allow a perfectly holy God to come down and embrace imperfect humanity.

How was He able to draw so close to me?  Then my thoughts turned towards something the pastor had said the Sunday before.  He was referring to a burial shroud traditionally thought to be the actual one that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body when He was laid in the tomb.  It showed that He had been covered with blood from head to toe; that precious blood that allowed God to come and dwell with and around and INSIDE of us!  If we believe in that blood and accept it, He no longer has to withhold Himself!

The blood of Jesus that had covered Him from head to foot now covers me from head to foot!  He has made me holy!  There is nothing I can do that His blood can’t cover if I will let it.

In the midst of a grumpy, “bad hair” day…or in the midst of a no-good, awful “from the pit of hell” day…the moment we do one little thing right and turn our hearts to worship God…

God rushes in to embrace us and fill us to overflowing with His beautiful presence.

I still don’t understand this.

It is simply supernatural love!    

You were created for Childbirth!

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My husband and I wrote this to help other couples looking forward to the big day – the day when their new baby will be born!  Our desire is that everyone can have the joyful, peaceful, amazing experience that God has for them on this wondrous day!

 

You were created for Childbirth!

 

Giving birth to eternal children of destiny is God’s gift and a sign of his great honor and favor toward you!  The labor experience is a privilege, NOT a curse!  Here are some tips to help make your labor experience a little (or a lot) easier.

Pain is a curse spoken over Eve in Gen.  All curses were broken at the cross.  Break the curse of multiplied pain in Jesus name and don’t let anyone talk you back into it!  Pain in labor is increased because of fear.  Our body’s normal response to pain is to release adrenaline to prepare our bodies for the “fight or flight” response.  Adrenaline stops the production of oxytocin and slows labor down.  We have to practice going against our normal instincts to resist pain and learn to relax in the pain.  With every contraction, find a comfortable position and relax every muscle of your body.  Don’t try to move or talk.  The more relaxed and at peace you are, the less pain you will feel.  Practice this before you are actually in labor. If you want to read more, get the book, Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth.

HUSBANDS AND WIVES;

    1. Pray and seek God about any issues He may want to address before you have a baby.  The closer you are to God, the more peace and forgiveness you have flowing through your life, the easier labor will be!
    2. Ask God for specific scriptures and promises for your labor and new baby.  Speak these out all the time!
    3. Ask God to give you His heart on any issues you might encounter such as an epidural, inducing labor, c-sections, and other interventions.  In the intensity of labor is not the time to develop a philosophy on these subjects.  God is the authority on labor, not your doctor.
    4. Speak to the mommy’s and baby’s bodies and prophecy before and during labor that they will quickly and easily and joyfully go through all of the stages of labor.  “Uterus; you will contract perfectly without multiplied pain!”  “Cervix; you will dilate perfectly and quickly.”  “Baby; you will descend into the birth canal at just the right time and turn in just the right way to be born quickly and easily.”
    5. Speak to the mom’s and baby’s spirits about the labor.  “Mom, you are able to give birth in peace and joy.  You are in God’s hands.  You are His beloved.”  “Baby we love you.  God gave you to us as a precious gift.  Come out and see us at just the right time.  We are so excited to see you!

HUSBANDS

    1. Pray, Pray, Pray!
    2. You are the authority over you wife, not your doctor or midwife.  Ask God about any options that are offered.  Don’t do anything you don’t feel at peace about.
    3. Sometimes you have to make decisions for your wife during labor.  She may not know what to do.  Don’t be afraid to direct the labor time.
    4. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage.  Use your words to help her, not distract her.

“You’re doing great!”  “Relax your muscles and breathe.” “It will be over soon!” Use a peaceful tone.

 

WIVES

  1. During your labor it is your job to RELAX, RELAX, RELAX!  Trust God and trust your husband.  Let them take care of everything and relax!  Enjoy the time between contractions.  Walk around, squat, pelvic tilt.  During contractions relax every muscle and rest!  A warm shower or bath does wonders!
  2. During your pregnancy, exercise often (walking, pregnancy Pilates, squatting, kegels) and eat as healthy as you can.  Eat 60-100 grams of protein a day.  Here is a link for a diet for pregnant and nursing mothers.
  3. Even if things don’t go as you had hoped, God has got you in his hands and He is never letting go!  He is in control!
  4. Don’t worry!  This birth thing was God’s idea and it really does work!

 

Wisdom from other moms

 

“I had two supernatural births without pain.  The difference between my first two and my second two was I had an encounter with the Father’s love to where I was able to completely surrender and trust in His love and protection for me.  I also read Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize and that really encouraged me.  The first two births I prayed in the spirit and the third and fourth Jason laid hands on my belly and prayed in the spirit during each contraction so I was free to completely surrender to it and rest and trust while he did all the work.  I also labored in a Jacuzzi during transition and took honey for energy.”  Cari Cash, mother of four

 

“A wonderful labor experience begins and ends without fear.  Figure out what it is you are afraid of and get the answers you need before labor.  Fear creates pain and makes what should be a wonderful experience terrifying.”   Katie Horst, mother of four

 

If I could only give one piece of advice to a woman going into labor I would say “The only thing you can expect is that it is not going to be as you expected.”

So in the middle of the labor or delivery when it seems you are being thrown off course by some unexpected event.  Ask yourself…”Is this what I expected?”

No… so be encouraged …this means you are right on track. 

You can then continue in strength and peace.

As Bill Johnson says – You only have authority over a storm when you have peace.

Anne Stock, former homebirth attendant and mother of two

 

 

 

 

 

Birth Story: Part 6 – Calvin, the One Who Brought the Angels!

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Two years after Cooper was born, the time had come for me to give birth again. Once again, my water broke during the night. I went to the bathroom and returned to bed to try to get some sleep before the contractions started. As I rolled over, I caught a glimpse of the shadowy corner of our bedroom. There was something unusual about it. A vision flashed into my mind, and I saw angels packed into our small room. There were so many angels in that dark corner that their wings were smashed and flatten into each other. The air felt electric with excitement! I realized that the angels had come to witness the birth of a human child, a child of destiny and purpose, a child who carried the very likeness of the Almighty God. I had the sense that almost nothing could thrill an angel more that witnessing the birth of such a one.

Well, I was filled with excited anticipation as well! If the angels were already here, the baby must be coming soon! How could I sleep under circumstances such as these? This labor must be destined to be the most supernatural and glorious one yet! I had heard of the book, Supernatural Childbirth, which told of women who had birthed babies with NO PAIN at all!!! I had personally met three women with virtually pain-free experiences, and I was convinced that this was possible. Perhaps this was my time for a supernatural labor!

The sun rose and I got up to eat breakfast. Slowly the rest of the world began to awaken as well. It was Father’s Day and the summer solstice and the longest day of sunlight of the entire year. I whispered into Chris’ ear to wake him up, “Happy Father’s Day. We are going to have a baby today!”

His eyes snapped open in shock and wonder.

“Really?!”

“Yep, my water broke!”

We walked around the block many times that morning in the beautiful June air. I was hoping that this baby could be born before noon so we could announce it to our friends before church let out. Yet the walking didn’t do much to bring the contractions, it just wore me out. By the time I got into the birthing pool in our bedroom, I was pretty tired. My normal position of kneeling in the water with my upper body leaning on the edge of the pool was no longer comfortable. My joints were all sore and my legs were trembling. Sitting in the pool wasn’t comfortable either. Lunch time came and went.

Finally, I just had to stand up in the water. All that remained submerged were my feet and calves, but nothing else felt good. I continued to watch the clock as the hours inched by. Never watch the clock when you are in labor! Bad Idea!

“Come on Baby! It is time to come out now!” I said in exhaustion. “Why is this baby taking so long?” I asked Chris and the midwife and anyone else who was present. I sounded very pitiful and whiny. This labor felt like a struggle. I was weary and in pain and the baby didn’t seem any closer to being born.

Struggle…that was a word that had perfectly described the entire pregnancy. I had felt sick and tired most of the time. I struggled to take care of the six children and keep the house running. Chris was struggling to keep his faith. He was working two jobs to pay off the huge burden of debt we had created during our time in Colorado. He was a diligent and hard worker at any job that he had. Yet still, many times we weren’t sure how we were going to buy food that week or keep the water running.

God had given me a name for this child that I had taken to be a prophetic word for our family. It was Ayani, a name from Africa which meant, “Victorious in the Struggle!” I was sure that this baby was a girl since all our girls had names that began with the letter “A.” Somehow God always provided everything that we needed and I knew that we would be victorious in paying off this debt. And sure enough, God had made it possible to pay of every cent of it…just three days ago! I knew that I would be victorious and eventually give birth to this baby…but right now it was a struggle!

Pretty soon I felt like I could no longer stand up, but I didn’t want to lie down. Chris plunged his feet into the birthing pool, put his strong arms around me, and held me up. I don’t know how long he did this, but it felt like an eternity! It was now supper time.

Finally I felt like I might need to push. Sure enough, there was the head! Oh Glory!!! A few more pushes and the head was born. I could hear the midwife instruct Chris on how to gently rotate the body in order to allow the shoulder to clear. Yet nothing was happening.

“Can’t you just pull her out?” I whined.

“You have to push,” the midwife said sweetly.

Yes, of course I had to push. My seventh baby and I had forgotten to push! One more push and the baby was born at 5:34! A healthy baby…boy!!! I couldn’t believe it was another boy!

He let out the tiniest cry and promptly fell back to sleep. He slept soundly for the rest of the day as the midwives where cleaning him and weighing him, as we were holding him and fawning over him. Chris was concerned.

“Are you sure he is alright? Shouldn’t he be crying?” he asked.

“Oh, he is fine,” they answered. He was such a peaceful baby. I had spent hours reading scriptures and loving affirmations to this baby while he was in the womb. I think this was why he was so tranquil. He felt totally loved and accepted by his God, his parents, and his world despite the turmoil that was all around him.

“That is why you took so long to be born,” I thought. “You were sleeping peacefully the whole time!”

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The next two days were very difficult for me. I was shocked that I had given birth to a boy. I thought God had spoken to me about the perfect name, and it was a girl’s name. I felt confused and wondered if I could hear God’s voice at all. I was so wiped out, that I didn’t leave my room for two days. I was tired deep in my bones, yet after-contractions racked my body every time the precious bundle would nurse, which was all the time! I had never had such painful after-contractions. They were much worse than labor, because they would go on and on and on…for days!

On the third day they began to subside. One the third day we also settled on a name for our prefect baby boy. The name that I thought was a girl’s name, Ayani, was actually masculine and we choose a variant of the name for his middle name, Ajani. We were victorious in the struggle! We chose Calvin for his first name because that had always been a favorite of ours. I realized that God had spoken to me about this child and his name; I just misunderstood some of it. Just when we think that we have our lives figured out, something unexpected happens. This is good for us, because it keeps us looking to God and not to our own understanding.

It wasn’t until days later that I remembered the angels! They had been there the whole time, I was sure of it. They had seen my pitiful performance which was neither glorious nor supernatural. And in the midst of my arduous toil, I had completely forgotten about my divine audience. I felt pathetic and disappointing. I hadn’t experienced supernatural childbirth.

Yet God began to show me that Calvin’s birth was supernatural and majestic. It had been held in awe by angelic beings, even though I had been totally unaware of the honor.

I thought of the most amazing and supernatural event of all time; when Jesus hung on the cross; naked and shamed, beaten and bloodied, rejected and despised. It didn’t seem supernatural or triumphant. Yet it changed the entire working of the universe. Jesus triumphed over sin and death once and for all in those agonizing moments before his death. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!!

Birthing a baby can be…shall we say, embarrassing, awkward, and humiliating to put it very mildly. A woman can find herself almost naked, not looking her best (maybe looking her worst), doing and saying things she would never normally do or say. She is being poked, prodded, stressed, and stretched in her most private parts. Yet God calls it beautiful and sacred. Birthing mother…you are stunning and graceful. You are veiled and guarded with glory.

Birth is always a promise that the work of Jesus can be manifested in another life.

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Mother, you make that promise possible. Birth is always a miracle, whether it is full of bliss or full of pain. It is a wonder, and angels never tire of the mystery.