Monday, November 26, 2012

Baby Wearing Joy

As you can see I love wearing my baby.  I prefer the sling wrap, such as the Maya wrap.  But when it is not available I will grab any large piece of fabric and tie it with the baby, in the manner of a rebozo.

While a Maya Wrap is quite spendy, from $45-80 from various sources, it is a high quality, comfortable, and efficient way to carry your baby.  When it is worn properly, your child is securely held against your chest in that wonderful froggy position that babies find soooooo comforting.  They can feel your warmth, hear your voice and heartbeat, all while cradled in a soothing womb-like setting.  And you almost get the full use of your two hands back!

I am really quite impressed that Maya Wrap also gives full directions how to sew your own sling wrap!  I really want to make a couple.  And not JUST because I love all the fabric choices!  I use my wrap everyday, even at home, to sooth my babe, give my arms a rest, try to get housework done, etc.  Having more than one would eliminate the possibility that I would have to go to town without it because my one and only wrap got dirty in a myriad of ways.

Other types of baby carriers are available as also.

Always check craigslist and eBay where gently used and sometimes brand new baby carriers can be found everyday.  It can save you a bundle.


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The Joy Of Birthing

I promised to write up my birth story.  It has been nearly four weeks, plenty of time for me to recuperate, rest and reflect.

Every time I think on my last birth... I laugh.

At first I thought that I needed to ponder more and come up with some deep knowledge or wisdom to share that I learned while entering that dark valley known as labor, being rent in twain and living to share about it.

But instead, I laugh.

My birth was joyous and hilarious to me.  While that may not be deep, I doubt many mothers find such joy in birth.

So I will share it with you, and pray that others are likewise blessed with laughter both now and when you least expect it.

My pregnancy went pretty easily.

I did experience nausea from about week six to week fourteen.  But overall I only puked a few times so I considered it 'mild'.

My exhaustion was intense!  But it also improved in my second trimester.  I was even able to convince my children to let me nap sometimes.

We had told the children immediately.  We are always tooooooo excited to keep such news to ourselves.  The older children were happy and eagerly offered names daily.  The youngest, not unexpectedly, was confused and noticeably more clingy.  I was not worried though.  I knew that when the baby arrived, jealousy would have no place, shoved out by sheer wonder at what God creates in that hidden darkness. Our family would grow, our love would grow, our hearts would grow, again.

My belly grew much larger than expected, quicker than expected. I grew excited thinking TWINS!!!  I researched twin birth, compared to single babies.  I was concerned that if it was twins, it was more likely that I would experience premature labor, creating a real need for the involvement of doctors or midwives.  I prayed for help with this situation.  I didn't want to go to OBGyn's after my first two
pregnancies.  I was unable to find a helpful midwife with my second pregnancy and was hesitant to go on that search again.

But my husband, being more social (read that as, 'he talks and talks and talks like a woman....') was encouraged by some local cashier or something to contact our local midwife, with the promise that she was different.

So I called her and we spoke a few times before scheduling an appointment.  I tried to maintain my pessimistic, hard shelled demeanor.  But she won me over immediately.  Outgoing, easy going,
natural and honest.

We met in her inviting home office, filled with newspaper clippings, announcement cards, and photos of some of her births.  The wall was lined with books and videos on pregnancy and birth.  Soothing (hippy) music was playing.  She led us into a bedroom with a queen sized bed, a couch and as jacuzzi tub (tempting.....).  She had me lay down, ran the ultrasound over my belly and determined quickly that the 'second baby' I was sure I felt was in fact my also beloved placenta laying on top of my single, healthy babe.  It was one of those moments where you are happy and sad at the same time. Twins would be hard.  But twins would be awesome!  LOL!

The midwife refused payment.  I cried explaining to her how much she blessed me, especially after my previous experiences.  I pray that God continues to bless her, as I could see He was certainly with her now.

Towards the end of my second trimester, I got ill.  I started feeling like I had a bladder infection.  Unable to buy cranberry juice immediately I looked for other remedies.  I read that blueberries would work just as well as cranberries.  I had plenty of blueberries and blended them with water a few times a day.  I felt a little better and was hopeful that it was working.

But then I suddenly developed a high fever and sever lower back pain. I had also read that if not treated a bladder infection will go to your kidneys and a pregnant woman's body will usually expel the child.

I was terrified.  I sobbed bitterly.  I was afraid of losing my child.  And I was afraid of going to the hospital.  I prayed for direction. And the Lord brought to mind our local midwife.  Oh if she could help!

I called her, still sobbing, and tripping over my words in my frantic state.  She laughed.  She calmly, happily advised me to take 1000mg of vitamin c three times a day with a LOT of water, and to call her if it did not quickly, dramatically improve.  I was calmed by her calm.  I quickly took my vitamin c and water and fell deeply asleep.  I awoke two hours later with no fever, minor muscle soreness and an urgent need to visit the bathroom. :). After a week I was fully recuperated.

My due date came and went.  This came as no surprise.  My first babe came seven days after and my third nine days after.  My second only came on her due date because I took castor oil.

So I patiently waited.  We got to seven days....eight....nine....
I stopped taking and making phone calls and ignored numerous emails at this point.  I was tired of the conversation.

Friend or family member:  Did you have the baby?
Me: No, not yet.  Soon. :)
Friend or family member: What?!  Why not?  Its so late? What's wrong?
When are you going to the doctor?  What if its too big to come out?
What if you have some '_________' condition?
Me: No, no. I'm fine really.  It will be any time now.

I had braxton hicks, contractions that don't start actual labor everyday, all day.  I took numerous baths, stayed up late watching Heroes or reading Surviving Off Off Grid, thinking it was 'time'.

Ten days, eleven, twelve.....
I was getting worried.  Yes, I admit it.  I took castor oil.  That accomplished.... Nothing.  I called the midwife for advice.  She welcomed me to stop in that night.  After my husband got off work we headed over.  Tonight I was particularly bummed as I wasn't even having fake contractions that whole day.  The midwife felt my belly, ensuring the babe was in position.  We both agreed that forty two
weeks was kind of a cut off point.  If your dates are right, which I was sure mine were, that baby simply must come out.  So she checked my cervix and immediately laughed.  "Oh girl! You are having this baby, tonight probably!"

I was glad and reassured, albeit a little skeptical.  I certainly didn't feel like I was going I to labor.  But we went home, tucked the children into bed, praying for a good birth.  I put on Heroes to keep
me entertained and did squats in the hopes that something, sometime soon might happen.  I felt.... Not much different.  Slowly over the next few hours the light braxton hicks contractions started up again.
I was still pretty skeptical.  If this was my labor, I could count myself highly blessed among women.  It wasn't really painful at all.

Now, I remind you.... I have had three previous babies.  And while my first was a c-section, that happened AFTER 26 hours of labor. So.... This just didn't feel like labor.  It felt the same as false labor really.  In the middle of the night, I grew tired.  I wanted this baby to get out NOW simply so I could sleep.  So.... I lay down and slept quite peacefully for a few hours.  When I woke at five I was
still able to dose in and out while my contractions got stronger.  I didn't realize that, yes, they were stronger until almost seven.  I drew a bath because I find the warm water seems to relieve pain and
quicken labor.  I got in, and it became clear that this was 'real' labor.  I began to cry.  It really hurt!  My previous thoughts of 'oooh this is easy' were gone.

My husband heard me crying and helped me out of the bath.  He calmly listened as I cried, "I don't think I can do this.". He helped me to the bed as I sobbed, "Please, listen, I don't want to do this ever
again.  I can't, I can't."

I pushed and screamed.  Oh God it hurt sooooooo much.
I pushed a few more times.  The kids, not bothered in the least,
happily come out of bed to enjoy their birth morning treat, pop tarts!

Then... I feel it engaged!  Yay!  This is it!  The pain is lessened, replaced with pressure, solid pressure.  It was described to me as a hot bowling ball, and that is a really good description of it.

I push and my water breaks, everywhere!  Yes, until then it did not break.  I apologize to my husband at this point because I am pretty sure he got doused.
I push and a head is out!
I push and shoulders are coming!
I push and the baby is here!!!!!!!  It was 7:58.

I pick up my babe, seeing that it is a perfect tiny (to me) baby boy.

I hold him to my chest and lay down, on my own bed.  My husband covers us and invites the children to meet their new brother.

I laugh.  Yes, at this point I was laughing.  My labor was so hilarious to me.  I laugh that I was so afraid and in pain that I actually asked my husband for no more beautiful, sweet, joyous blessings like this babe!  How ridiculous!

"Aaron, it was so quick!  Did you see how quick!"

Fortunately my husband knows my heart.  I would never be able to say no.  I love them so.  They bring so much joy to our lives, they bring so much clarity of purpose, sense of belonging, courage to do what is right, and delight in all things new.

Since then I have already dreamt twice about my next babe..... Yes, my next.  Not because this awesome child is not enough.

But because my love for him whets the appetite.

I love my babies.

Praise Yah!  Thank You for my beautiful, healthy, loving, smart children!  May they follow hard after You all the days of their lives!


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Thus says the Lord....

Jeremiah 17:5-8
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[a] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Guest Post - And Ye Shall Cry Out - by The Arctic Patriot

Arctic Patriot : And Ye Shall Cry Out...

It is obvious from all of the hand-wringing where the American Church has, on a very large scale, misguidedly chosen to place its faith.  The American Church has chosen the State, with its politics and man-as-saviour mentality.

American Christians used to say, "We have no governor but Christ."

Now they say, "We have no governor but Caesar, and anyone sporting a big shining "R" after his name.  If all else fails, we'll pray to God and see if He can help any."

Listen then, to the word of the Lord to those who in the past rejected God as King.

Action / consequence.  Math.


1 Samuel 8:1-10:
And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.  Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.  And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.  Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,  And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.  And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.  And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

Moving on to consequences...

1 Samuel 8:11-18:
(emphasis mine)

And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.  And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.  And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.  And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.  And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.  He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

Look at the results, as outlined by R. Rushdoony in The Institutes of Biblical Law.  Many of these are not as directly applicable to our society, until one considers the massive amount of taxes that go to fund our perpetual wars, and the virtual conscription (via tax and debt-slavery) of our young men and women...

- Military conscription.
- State service
- Conscription of young men, women, and even animals.
- Massive expropriation of property
- The expropriation of a tenth of the wealth- a direct parallel to the tithe- to the state.
- The people complain, although their hardship is merely the price of their sins, namely, the rejection of God as King, and the substitution of the State-as-king.

No doubt we should pray.  No doubt we shout be spending time in prayer and fasting. 

I do not hold out much hope for miraculous deliverance, however, as the American Church, the people of God, have already chosen their king. 

It may just now be left for us to suffer the price for that decision, and to demostrate true repentence by correcting this mistake.  Some might say this is Divine punishment.  I would say that it is a case of a Father correcting His people by giving them exactly what they have asked for.

What is a believer to do?

The same as they did in Rome, when the threat of being used as a garden torch for Caesar lingered over their heads.  The same as the prophets did in ancient Israel, when the kings and queens sought their blood for speaking the truth.

Pray that you endure to the end. 

Make preparations accordingly.

Whatever that might entail, brothers and sisters.

The results are God's.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Rock Cannot Be Shaken

I have been quiet lately, on Facebook and here.  Mostly I have been busy with my new baby, keeping my house, getting back on top of schooling.
Some of my silence is due to my pondering.
The election was just a few weeks ago.  Before the votes were counted up, anxiety was high among many.  Who would win?  Who would lose?  What did the future hold for us? Our families?  Our country?
I was not anxious.
My husband and I had thoroughly discussed our options, and the possible outcomes.
We had chosen the path we felt was right according to our understanding of the word, in light of world events and historical context.  We attacked the different angles, and when opposing viewpoints came to our attention, we accessed again and again if our perspective held its own.
As always, I believe the truth can stand up under any and all scrutiny.  The Lord does not turn away from a sincere seeker of truth.
So when election day came, we knew that we would not be voting.
When the news reported that Obama won a second term as president, we were not shaken.
But my friends and family... were.
Posts and conversations since have included their tears, fear, finger pointing, anger, and even threats and curses.
I was left wondering, why are they so shaken?
And why wasn't I?
Psalm 56:11 says, "In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Isaiah 36:6 says, "Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him."
Psalm 146:3 says"Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help."
My perspective of the world....played out.  The rigged system did exactly what was expected of it.  And for the first time, I didn't play along.
And I wasn't alone either.
50ish million voted for Romney.
60ish million voted for Obama.
200+ million.... Did not.
I built my perspective on the word, and on history... And the ground beneath my feet was not shaken, my foundations not shattered.
If yours was.... Maybe you need to reconsider where you are building your hope and future.
Psalm 118:8-9 says, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."
Because the political structures of this world are not solid ground, but crumbling and rotten, the playground of the enemy.
Luke 6:47-49 says, "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
Joshua 24:15 says, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Psalm 100 ~ Thanksgiving

Make a joyful noise unto YHVH, all ye lands.
Serve YHVH with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that YHVH he is ELOHIYM: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For YHVH is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.