Meeting Life’s Challenges

In the past few weeks I have read a couple of books about women overcoming difficulties in life. Sue Detweiler’s book is about the value of prayer. My review of Women Who Move Mountains is here.

Mountain View

Kristina Cowan wrote about birth trauma and post partum depression. She has included research as well as her experience as a woman of faith walking through this most difficult time. The number of women experiencing birth trauma seems to be rising. My review of When Post Partum Packs a Punch is here.

When Postpartum Packs a Punch

Currently I am reading Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood. Our culture has so many mixed and confusing messages about sexuality. The author takes us through her own misconceptions and what she has learned. How do we recognize error? How do we guide the young women in our area of influence?

Julie Roys’ book is thought provoking and worthy of discussion. When I have finished the book I will write a review.

Every season of life has challenges. We can be victorious through prayer, study of God’s word and thoughtful discussion in the community of believers.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is OVERCOME.  Visit this writing community by clicking here.

Linking with Booknificent Thursday

My Third Trip to Grand Rapids

This past Monday I made my third trip to Grand Rapids in two weeks. I sat at my mother’s bedside in the hospital through the day and through the night. She has dementia and the hospital stay was traumatic and disorienting. I am thankful that she has been released from the hospital and is back at the nursing home. Questions remain about whether her condition will stabilize.

She was encouraged by the presence of my sisters and me. I was glad to pray and sing for her. Driving home I enjoyed seeing the beginning of fall colors along Michigan highways.

It is hard to deal with end of life issues. I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. When I arrived home I noticed the zinnias along the front walkway. They are continuing to bloom and have a certain majesty.

Majestic Zinnia

Beauty of creation and sorrow of approaching death. This is a great mystery that can only be resolved by God’s promises.

Then last night I sat on the floor with my 10-month-old grandson. He crawled around the family room eager to examine every item available to his touch. (Toys were not his first choice.)

I was delighted when he crawled over to me and smiled. As he tried to vocalize sounds I repeated what I heard. This brought joyful giggles. We were communicating and he was thrilled.

Zinnia

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is DISCOVERY.  Visit this writing community by clicking here.

The Midwife’s Story

A number of years ago I read an article about a Finnish midwife. In 1909 she had been at the center of a court case, determining the legality of midwifery in Massachusetts. She had been arrested a number of times (despite the fact that her statistics for live births were better than most doctors practicing in the area).

I was struck by her determination, her sisu, in serving childbearing women in Gardner, Massachusetts. Why did she persist after multiple court appearances and a three-month sentence in the House of Corrections?

Her persistence fascinated me. So I began researching her life. I visited Gardner, Massachusetts and found her burial place in the Crystal Lake Cemetery. During the trip that my husband and I made to Finland, I visited the parish where she lived. The church records listed the significant dates in her life.

The court cases that were brought against Hanna influenced the decline of midwifery in the first half of the twentieth century. I am in the process of writing her story.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is STORY.  Visit this writing community by clicking here.

High School Homecoming: Guidance for Our Daughters

This coming weekend is homecoming for a couple of local high schools. My grandson will be in the marching band for the homecoming parade and football game. It’s an exciting weekend for him.

I am remembering the years that my daughters participated in homecoming at their high school:  decorations for the dance, the flag team, powder puff football and the homecoming dance.

It was also a stretching experience for me as mom. When I was in high school I did not attend school dances and had limited participation in school activities. My family attended a fundamental Christian church that believed dancing was a sin.

My husband and I chose to guide our girls in school activities. Homecoming can be a memorable time in high school, learning about relationships. Some things I did well,  and some things I could have done better. Always learning.

The most important piece was communication, and more communication. I wanted to know about the plans and the boy escorting for the dance. My daughters weren’t always pleased all the questions and advice. But when I was driving my younger daughter to events she was stuck in the car. She couldn’t get away and had to listen to me.

Years later she has thanked me for the conversations and advice.

As homecoming approached we had to find dresses. We had some boundaries for price and modesty. It took lots of shopping to find suitable dresses.

My daughters always went to the dance with a group of couples. They took pictures together, had a meal together and then went to the dance. The group setting took pressure off the couple—they were just learning about dating.

Underlying all the advice, I hope I the message of loving concern love was clear. My husband and I set boundaries because we did not want them to be hurt. We let them know when we expected them home.

The final instruction that we gave them: if at anytime they were in an uncomfortable situation, they could call us. We would come to pick them up with no questions asked.

After my girls finished high school and went on to college I continued to learn about issues in our culture and the confusing messages about sexuality. (A parent never stops learning!) One daughter went to Marquette University and was introduced to the theology of the body—taught by Pope John Paul II. We discussed the theology of the body at home and the sacred bond between a man and a woman in marriage.

These discussions helped steer my daughter to a healthy marriage.

Through one of my daughter’s friends I became aware of a group that is pushing back against the policies that are harmful to women, Women Speak for Themselves. In 2016 I attended a conference in Washington D.C. I am convinced that Christian women need to have a voice about sexuality. We have a positive message as we share God’s design for men and women.

You can check out the website for Women Speak for Themselves here.