We visited the Wichita Zoo with our daughter and granddaughter. We were delighted to see the new area, recently opened, that allows the elephants room to roam.
Occasionally an elephant was in fairly close view.
I was fascinated to see the elephants pick up sticks with their trunks and then strip the bark off with their mouth.
The lion had a royal spot on a rock.
The flamingos provided a colorful scene.
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground, according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25
It’s Friday and I am joining the community hosted by Kate Motaung. For five minutes we write fast and free. The prompt is: EMBRACE
Five minutes ends at this mark: //
Last week I was at the zoo with my daughter and granddaughter. At the gorilla house we saw two mama gorillas with their infants—one 7 months old and one 3 weeks old.
The mama gorillas were carrying their infants around as they swung from the ropes or as they sat. The 7 month old baby was allowed to be with one male gorilla but the other males were chased off. These female gorillas had embraced motherhood.
So I have been thinking about the human experience of transitioning to motherhood. In our fast paced culture we don’t give much support to the enormous changes that take place in a woman’s life when she makes the transition to motherhood. //
South Korea has begun establishing post partum care centers. An expectant mother can book a two-week stay at the center. Nurses will care for her infant and bring the babe to mom for feedings. Meals and special treatments like massage are provided for mom. You can read more about it here.
I am grateful that women from my church brought meals and even helped clean my house during the weeks after my twins were born. My mother and mother-in-law came for periods of time. New mothers need to be nurtured as they embrace motherhood.
How can we help the women in our circle of influence with the transition to motherhood?
Bring a nutritious and hearty meal or bring a frozen meal that she can have on hand.
Offer to help clean, do laundry
Listen to her as she processes her experience of childbirth
As women in the United States we can give thanks for the progress that has been made in women’s rights and opportunities. My maternal grandmother and paternal great-grandmothers immigrated to Michigan from Finland. With great effort they raised families while managing subsistence farms. My paternal grandmother wanted to go to elementary school but was needed at home.
I am thankful for these women!
My opportunities are much greater than theirs were. I have benefited from their sacrifices.
I recently finished reading I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull-House Girl*. Hilda Satt Polachek came to the United States from Poland as a child. Within two years her of family’s arrival, her father died. Hilda’s mother was faced with raising the family in a new country. Hilda went to work in a knitting factory at the age of thirteen to help support the family. She received help and encouragement from the Hull House women.
In the United States we have made great progress, and we need to acknowledge this. Women have equal rights and opportunities.
Currently more young women are going to college than young men. Click here for the research.
I am thankful for God’s word and the assurance that He loves me, a woman. Jesus demonstrated his respect, his concern and his equal treatment of women.
I am thankful for my church and the freedom to worship that we have in the United States. Many women in the world do not have this freedom or the same opportunities.
Gratitude leads to a sense of joy.
Psalm 34 has some verses of praise and thanksgiving.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be continually in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34: 1,4
What can you give thanks for?
*Hilda Satt Polacheck edited by Dena Polacheck Epstein, I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull-House Girl, University of Illinois Press, 1989
UPDATE 3/7/2020: As I give thanks for God’s love and design for women, I realize that many women are abused. The reality of human trafficking became clear as I read The Third Daughter by Talia Career. How can this evil be stopped? My review of this book is here.
At the beginning of the 19th century, in the city of Chicago, the health of young children was in perilous condition. The health of both women and children needed focused attention.
In 1916, for example, Chicago’s death rate for children under 2 years of age was 141.4 per 1,000 live births, as compared with 129.3 for Detroit, 88.3 for Philadelphia, 58.1 for New York and 49.4 for Boston.
“Enteritis under 2” remained as one of the top ten causes of death reported by the Illinois state Board of health each year from 1902 to 1913, and dramatic increases in childhood diarrheal diseases continued to be identified in the hot summer months.*
Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene contributed to the illness. Malnutrition was another factor. The educated women in Chicago responded to this health crisis. Women from Hull House, the Chicago Women’s Club, women physicians and social workers became involved.
A broad coalition of public health practitioners, social welfare advocates, and women’s rights supporters argued that a sound and democratic future depended on mother’s ability to produce and maintain a robust citizenry.**
Since that time improved sanitation, indoor plumbing, purified water, pasteurization of milk and improved hygiene have made a difference. Public health classes on infant care and nutrition have benefited young mothers.
In addition, the discovery of antibiotics to treat infections has saved lives. These wonderful medicines were eventually overused. Doctors have learned that not every ear infection should be treated with antibiotics. When antibiotics are overprescribed they lose their effectiveness: bacteria become resistant and increasingly difficult to treat.
Is the same thing happening with the heavy use of vaccines? Is the immune system—intricately designed by God—being impaired by too many vaccines?
Currently 1 in 68 children has been diagnosed with the autism spectrum. Children have more allergies and are being diagnosed with immune system disorders. It is shocking that research data indicating a relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism was destroyed. Click here for a news article.
The number of vaccines recommended for children by age six has dramatically increased. If you count up the doses of each type of vaccine, there are 39 to be administered by age six. Click here for the recommended vaccine schedule.
Each vaccine injection contains adjuvants. These are additions like mercury and aluminum, which stimulates the immune system to respond. What is the cumulative effect of these additives? We are concerned about mercury in the environment—and yet it is injected into the bodies of young children? Click here for an interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. regarding his research into mercury in vaccines.
Vaccines should be evaluated by their benefits and risks. Why does an infant need to receive a vaccine (hepatitis B) for a sexually transmitted disease? Click here for a school nurse’s concern about the hepatitis B vaccine.
A group of researchers, doctors and parents are working together for the robust health of children in the United States. A petition for vaccine safety is available on-line.
Click here to join the voices of many others who have concerns about vaccine safety.
*Lynne Curry, Modern Mothers in the heartland: Gender, Health and Progress in Illinois, 1900 – 1930, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1999. p. 19.