Midwife Musings

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Location: Sneads Ferry, NC, United States

I am a Certified Nurse Midwife. I am creating this blog as a way to journal my births - for my own personal and professional growth and to share the beauty of normal birth. My faith walk is very much tied up with midwifery. Midwifery has taught me just about everything I've learned about God. Update-now that it's been nearly 2 years since God allowed me to practice as a midwife, I have found that He reveals Himself in MANY ways if we seek Him. And he has been teaching me to seek Him, regardless of what work he calls me to. New update, I've been working as a "real" nurse midwife for a year and this blog has "morphed" into sharing my journey through life, whether it be from home, work, family. LIFE teaches us, not just our life work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons

I took Jerry to Ellis Airport tonight to begin our vacation to visit family for TWO WHOLE weeks! I leave tomorrow after work. So excited and so ready for a vacation.

Just enjoying a quiet evening of reflection as I'm alone in the apartment tonight. As an introvert, I sure havent had my usual quota of "alone time". Spent 3 days last week in Dallas to attend my cousin's son's funeral. Jared Newsom died at age 25. Saw some family members (including my brother and family) I hadn't seen in 3years! Can't believe that, but think it's true. We will spend 5 days in Kansas with Jerry's brother and his new wife we haven't yet met, and our daughter's, SIL and grandkids. Then Jerry Staci and I fly to N Idaho to spend 6 days with my parents, I attend a 1 day conference then back to Manhattan (Staci) and Jacksonville (Jer and me) So, I'm grateful for the "me" time tonight.

I've been here a year this month! What a year it has been. My Christian Midwives elist that I mostly lurk on anymore had a recent post asking for ideas of "labor songs" that help the Mama remember that God is her strength. As I read that post I felt this weird disconnect. I thought "I am so far removed from that world, I can almost no longer relate." It is so where I was a few years ago, but I am light years away from that "world" right now.

The pain of missing the grandkids living near us has dulled considerably, as we were told it would given enough time. Not sure how I feel about that. Relieved on the one hand. Sad on the other. Have I become resigned to it? Have I accepted it as inevitable? At any rate, life IS much easier without the raw GRIEF I carried around in my spirit for so many monhs. Maybe I am ready to pull out the book I bought by Carol Kent, "A New Kind of Normal". I wasn't ready to accept that there WAS a new normal when I first tried to read it. I think living here without them is finally starting to at least feel NORMAL rather than a terribly wrong, must be fixed, state.

I was thinking this morning about the truth that God isn't as interested in our comfort as he is our character. Therefore,He puts in motion those things that contribute to our growth rather than our comfort. So, I do feel that I have grownso much this past year. I am learning to let go and let Him be God I think.

I do miss my daughter. She is so busy. Just her stage of life, I know. And yet, I wish I could be a part of her life, even if it was just her sharing it with me. But she doesn't have the time and/or desire to connect by sharing her life/thoughts/feelings with me. This kind of sharing has never been a part of our relationship, but I was OK with that when I was "there" to witness her life and just watch it unfold. And now that I'm not, I feel that I hardly know her. As she told me shortly after I moved here, she doesn't have time to BOTH live her life and then turn around and tell me about it. I tell her I miss her but I don't think she knows what I mean. But, IT IS WHAT IT IS. My new motto lately. Seems so fitting for many of the circumstances I find myself in. Kinda the shortened version of the serenity prayer: Lord, give me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I find that when I just ACCEPT what is, the joy comes.

On that note, as I prepare for this next trip to Kansas (I think the 5th or 6th one in a year) I look forward to accepting what I cannot change-I am a long distance Nana. And as such, I can learn to enjoy a new kind of relationship with my grandkids-the "special" Nana rather than the "everyday" Nana. To put into practice some ideas for staying close even when far apart. I have my "Nana's magic bag" packed with gum, candy, stickers and other random goodies that everyday Nanas can't afford to hand out liberally. But long distance traveling Nana's can love LAVISHLY and LIBERALLY for a few days here and there :)

Here's to making lemonade!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When it Rains, It Pours

Worked nights this past weekend and we had a 33 weeker come in hoping to deliver. Can't give too many details, but the kicker came when she insisted it was OK if she had a premature baby, saying "That's why they have NICUs". The LPN deadpaned back "That's also why they have the short school bus." WAAAAA!

Well, I've been working here for 10 months now. Jerry joined me mid July. The day before granddaughter Clara was born, we left Topeka with a moving truck with the rest of our belongings. I had been in Gardner for 12 days, waiting for Clara to arrive. Shay went into labor the day after we left and Clara was born at the Topeka Birth and Women's Center July 13, 2010. "Picture perfect birth" were the words of her midwife Emily. I was devastated. Angry at God. Sad for me that I couldn't catch her like I had the other two. But it is just 1 of many circumstances I have had to come to accept as being part of God's perfect plan for all of us. I don't understand His ways. But I trust what His word says "As for God, his way is perfect. The word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him." 2 Sam.22:31. FLAWLESS. That leaves no room for improvement. It means that God's way can't be improved upon in any way. There is no circumstance that would make it better. Even if there are circumstances that I think would make it better. Guess this is why we are told to "lean not on our own understanding" and to "be transformed by the renewing of our minds."

Shayla turns 30 years old today. I am 1250 miles away. First time I haven't celebrated with her. But my mom and dad are with her right now, enjoying dinner out while the kids are at Awanas. It's raining here. For the 5th day in a row. >11 inches and counting. I miss fall in Kansas. The sunshine. The family times. Jerry's in the honeymoon stage in JAX, thinks 80 degrees in fall and 60 degrees in winter is perfect. It's so humid and dreary this week. I hope the rest of fall isn't like this.

We're taking it a day at a time. Jerry looking for work in what appears to be a hard place to find work if you aren't military. But he's still in "just retired" mode and not minding the extra time on his hands too much. I long to live in a house with a yard (instead of an apartment with a tiny balcony overlooking the parking lot) but neither of us want to buy a house. I would feel trapped. There are a LOT of homes for sale here, which makes us think it would be hard to sell if/when the time comes. We have found a church we really enjoy-First Baptist CHurch Jacksonville. www.fbcjax.net. (Hmm, can't figure out why I can't make that a link)

HAven't yet found friends. I long for a girlfriend who I can really share with. Haven't met any other women who I could pray with. So my life is mostly work, puttering around the apartment, taking excursions to local attractions with Jerry, planning trips "home" to visit the kids.

Still in limbo with my nursing license in Kansas. This has been going on for 5 years and there has been some activity on their part in the past 6 months, so we'll see if it is coming to an end. We'll stay here (probably) until that is resolved. I am learning many new skills in this job and gaining knowledge that I'm sure will serve me well anywhere I would go from here. I could stay here (at this job) until retirement if my family lived nearby. But now that Ashton is in school, and the kids are looking to buy a house in KC area that is looking less and less likely. God knows what's in store and he's trying to teach me to live in the present, not the past. Not the future.

We're looking forward to a 2 week trip to visit family in Kansas and Idaho over Thanksgiving. I'll be working Christmas. Guess that's all for now. Think I'll go look at airline ticket prices...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Time to Embrace

Last week was a killer. I worked 48 hours in L&D (24 hours night shift) and 16 in the clinic for a total of 64 INTENSE hours! IT is now Sunday nite and I have totally loved the weekend of rest and renewal, shopping yesterday and spending from 11:00A-3:35PM today at Topsail beach, reading a Karen Kingsbury novel A Time to Embrace. About another mid life couple entering a season of change and coming back together after drifting apart. I think both Jerry and I are approaching this move with hopes that it is part of God's plan to restore joy, love and passion to our own marriage. I know the season of being "single" here for 7 months has given me a desire to have a real life partner to be close to. The times of lonliness have given me a willingness to work on the relationship and it is my prayer that God will work a miracle in our relationship over these next few months as we focus on each other.

Tonight I got groceries and made Mom's Tuna Casserole to take to work for lunches this week. I missed Shayla and Clara's baby shower in Topeka this afternoon. While at the beach today I realized that as beautiful as the ocean is, it isn't really any better than being on Lake Perry in our boat with our kids. But it takes trying it out to see, I guess. Maybe someday we will (semi) retire to a house on a lake and again have fun family times in a boat.

As I told Jerry tonight on the phone, I am really hoping that after he gets here, we can get involved in a church and quickly find a small group to fellowship with. I have been torn splitting my time between work here and family there, not ever really making an effort to have a life outside of work HERE. But now that there will be the 2 of us, we obviously can't go flying back to Kansas every month. No, it is time to be a couple and live our life here while God has us here. My current existence of work and recover from work feels so meaningless. If the job isn't going to be something that is fulfilling, there has to be something else.

As I told him, the job is less than satisfying. I feel neutral about the work I'm doing and have yet to feel that I am really able to make much of a positive difference in the lives of my patients. Certainly, there is no passion for what I'm doing. But it is what God has provided to meet our needs financially probably at least until next Spring, when his pension starts. And I need to put in at least 2 years here to make me "marketable" to any other practice. Last but not least, until the KSBN case is behind me, I can't get any other state licenses besides my Kansas license. So, I think this is probably where we will stay until God finally allows resolution to that case, allowing me to apply and get licenses elsewhere. Or until there are other federal contrqact jobs such as this one, where I can work on my Kansas license, or until a Kansas job opens. I still find it incomprehensible that God would think it best for us to live far away from our grandchildren and not be a part of their lives. I am just having to trust that when the time is right, He will again allow me to find a job that is close to them.

I have been thinking more and more about missions work and how the time might be getting close to right. Again, I need to put in 2 years here, but maybe before we buy a house and while we are still "debt free" God will direct us to a cause we can both pour ourselves into and use the gifts we have each been given. Something to pray about. Reading a good book Love the Life you Live-very thought provoking read.

Staci is at CanIL-Canada Institute of linguistics for 13 hours of summer college courses. Shayla's baby Clara is due July 4 and I'm praying and hoping (but not with much faith) that she will wait for me to get there before she is born. But especially praying that Shay will have enough warning time to get the 1 hour down the road to Topeka before she is born, whether I am there or not. This work I have 5 8h days and the following week, 3 days before I leave to go to Kansas after work June 30. Glad no L&D for awhile. It's been SO busy!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Whoa! God Says MOVE in 2 weeks!

We suspected that when the time came for Jerry to sell the house and move, it would happen fast. Seems like our faith walk has been a lot of wait, trust, wait, believe, wait, depend, wait....now MOVE! Fortunately, Jerry has slowly but surely been throwing away "stuff" as he calls it, in an effort to prepare for an upcoming move.

We found out last month that the City of Topeka was offering an early retirement incentive for qualifying employees (Jerry is one) who would agree to retire by June 15, 2010. We had already decided that Jerry would do so at the end of June, or as soon as our house in Topeka was sold. Because of the incentive, we quickly got the house on the market, as he won't receive any pension benefits until April 2011. We were certain that it was God's plan all along on this journey for him to retire around June and join me here in Jacksonville. However, the mandatory leave date of June 15 was incentive to get the house on the market so we wouldn't be stuck with house payments with him not working. Like He is prone to do, God sold our house within 3 weeks of being listed, yet another confirmation that He knows our needs and cares about every little detail that concerns us. Jerry has 2 weeks to finish disposing of or storing the house contents before moving out. He will live with his mom and stepdad for a month while finishing up his job in Topeka.

Jerry, Shayla, Ashton and Sadie flew out here to JAX on April 24 and spent 8 wonderful days here with Staci and I. It was during this week that we got the signed contract on our house. How like God to see that the 4 of us adults could be together to share in that time of letting go of our home where both daughters were raised. While the past year has been one of slowly preparing and gradually letting go of that house and the season of life that it represents, I think Jerry and I at least are relieved at how quickly the house actually sold. We are ready to move on to a new place in our marriage, in our lives. The new "place" of Jacksonville is apparantly where God has chosen for that to occur. As I told Shayla last night as we sat at the park while the kids played, I hadn't realized how much "place" becomes a part of us. Just like people, places are integral parts of who we are. They are a big piece of the memories-maybe as much as the people-are. When I first moved here to take this job (which I felt I had no choice in, really) I had hoped the kids would choose to join us in this place if Aaron could get a job here. I still do, but now I understand how hard it is to leave a place.

This morning when we pulled up at the airport to say goodbye to our loved ones returning to Kansas, Sadie placed her baby doll, mouse and beep in the car and INSISTED that they stay there so they wouldn't get dirty on the plane. These are her "loveys" that she could never part with. I believe she did that so that they wouldn't have to leave, so they would have to come back to reclaim the loveys. As her grandpa said last night, that 2 year old is "smarter than the average bear."

It was as usual very hard for me to part ways again. Being with the children was an amazing reminder of how happy and free God intends for us to be. They are carefree and full of fun and giggles, which demonstrates complete trust. How I want to be childlike. what a blessing children are in our lives. Thank you, Abba Daddy for the precious babies you've given us to love. Thank you for allowing me to stay close to them during this season, even 1250 miles apart. Help me to put my hand in yours and walk beside you, full of confidence that you know what's best for me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Say What?

Heard in turnover report this morning: "GY is a 38 y/o G2P1 EDC today who presented to triage last night for a labor evaluation. She was contracting every 3-5 minutes, cervix 5cms. Her bag of water is intact, baby is looking good, no pregnancy complications. Medical hx significant for 11 year use of Zoloft. She does not want an epidural and has had 1 dose of Stadol. She is in active labor and plan is to manage expectantly." Ahh, I breath deeply and savor the moment. This means we are just GOING TO LEAVE HER ALONE, TO LABOR AND BIRTH IN PEACE.

Mind you, this is the ONLY patient on our board who is in spontaneous labor. i.e. no induction. Everybody else has real or imagined complications necessitating inducing their labor around 38 weeks, so of course are being actively managed. That is, doing everything we can to speed things up. (See last post) I am SICK of 38 week inductions for pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, too much amniotic fluid, not enough amniotic fluid, baby's too small, baby's too big. Not to forget the garden variety induction for "post dates" at 40+6 weeks. Actually, postdates is 42 weeks, but oh well, what's a week?

So, back to my educated 38 year old G2P1 who was lucky enough to drop through the induction cracks and manage to make it to her due date without being induced for any manner of flaws: being 38 years old, being overweight, taking Zoloft, having not 1 but 2 slightly elevated BPs (seriously, HOW did that happen?) While I am still feeling all warm and cozy that it looks like there will be at least 1 normal labor patient today I am stunned to hear Dr. S ask the resident "And why would you manage her expectantly?"

Oh my gosh, if it wasn't so SAD it would be so FUNNY! The OBs see normal so rarely, they really don't know how to manage it appropriately! And no, he wasn't trying to be funny. He doesn't know WHY you would want to let labor take it's natural course. I have to feel sorry for him and all the other OBs out there like him who have only experienced the outcome of meddlesome obstetrics. Without being aware that it was their meddling that CAUSED the outcomes: the fetal distress, crash sections, retained placentas, postpartum hemorrhages, infections, etc, that is part and parcel of OB practice. What is it they say..."Sucks to be you"?

Anyway, my day consisted of 1 nice quick labor and birth when GY pushed her baby out 2 hours later in 1 push sans epidural, amniotomy OR pitocin. Imagine that! THe rest of the day was spent doing my darndest to expain to the rest of the patients that cervical ripening and induction of labor takes 3 days. I'm sorry you're hungry. I'm sorry you're tired and hurting and swollen and sick of laying in bed. I'm sorry your baby is showing signs of being stressed. I am SO sorry. I wish you weren't here doing this to yourself or your baby. I wish you knew better. That while this is what your doctor recommended, it isn't what is best for you or your baby. I wish you had somehow known that an offer of induction is NOT a gift. It is a curse. It is a ticket to vaginal bypass surgery. But only after 3 days of trying to get your baby born in our timing and on our terms. Of course, you are blessedly grateful for the c-section by that time since you are fully convinced that your body was NEVER going to deliver on it's own.

I don't know. It's just so very sad. I left the labor deck tonight with 5 patients. All but 1 38 weeks, all inductions, all VERY far away (1 cm dilated) from delivery. All thinking that this is what they needed to do for the sake of their baby. I guess that's the 1 positive note to end on. Even though it is very sad that they DON'T have to have a terrible labor and birth experience for the wellbeing of their baby, they are willing to because they believe it is best for their baby. Mother love. Misguided in this case, but very powerful. It is amazing what a woman will do for love of her baby. But oh how tragic that they lay it all on the line and as it turns out, their greatest sacrifice ends up HURTING rather than helping their baby. What a pack of lies straight from the pit of hell modern obstetrics has bought into. And the women who blindly put their trust in obstetricians. Satan must really HATE life and therefore glorious, victorious, supernatural, powerful labor and birth how and when God does it. Of all the natural wonders I've ever seen, birth on God's terms gives Him GLORY GLORY GLORY! A person can't witness it without being blown away and knowing they have just been in the presence of God and seen the hand of God. I am so thankful for that one every now and then that I get to witness. I'm glad I'm a midwife. Even here. Because no matter how hard they try, there will always be the occasional, rogue woman who avoids the meddling long enuogh to have a "breakthrough labor" and I get the joy of just being there to see it and catch the baby. And give God glory.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Amniotomy Animosity

4 months in JAX, 4 months at NHCL in the strange new world of hospital midwifery. The trials and growth that goes along with working in a group of 9 CNMs and as many OB-GYNs-most of whom have never seen a truely normal, unmedicated, no interventions birth. And in their world, it has been made clear to me that is NOT acceptable practice. Everyone needs AROM'd (amniotomy), pitocin, epidurals,FSE, IUPC, amnioinfusion, O2, IV. And that's the lucky ones who manage to give birth before a c-section can be called. There is no place here for midwifery practice. There is not even an awareness or acceptance that there is midwifery knowledge. That there is "knowing" that comes by "being with woman". Even among the CNMs. The primary source of all "knowing" comes from the electronic fetal monitor. All decisions are based upon what the "strip" tells us. Never mind all other intuitive or other ways of knowing. The job has been much harder than I expected. OK, so far, I HATE it. That felt good to just say!

I knew this was what I was coming to. I knew I wasn't coming to change it. But I was coming to learn "medicine" and obstetrics in the hope that it would make me a better, more well rounded midwife. The jury is still out on that. I just hope and pray that it isn't "killing" the midwife in me. Tonight I started praying in earnest that not only will I get to take 2 weeks leave when Clara is due, but that in God's mercy, He will allow me to be Shay's midwife again.

About 6 weeks ago, Staci came to live here with me for awhile and be "my angel". God knew how desperate I was for Christian fellowship, companionship. Someone nearby who knows me and loves me-that I can come home to at the end of the day and receive strength and support from. It's no exageration to say that her presence here has saved me from depression and complete despondency. God is gracious and merciful, knowing just how much we can take. 4 weeks ago I was SOOO dreading coming home from KS and going back to work. Staci picked me up from the airport-smiled at me and said "Welcome to your assignment." AHH, JUST the perspective I needed! To know that God HAS called me here for a reason and a season. Not a life sentence. I don't know what it is (reason or season) but I do know that HE knows the plans HE has for me, plans to prosper me and NOT to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future. I DO know that He is loving, faithful, merciful and full of compassion. He is teaching me to TRUST Him. To KEEP waiting on him.

Still trying to figure out just why God called me here. I have asked Him to give me a reason for being here, to show me His purposes. I know the whole lonliness thing of missing my family has forced me to lean hard on Him as never before. So far, that's the only good I've seen in it. I don't feel like I am making a difference in the young women's lives. Of course, I'm making money finally, which Jerry and I both thought was a good thing. But I'm really wondering if this is right. I keep wondering if I should be closer to Ashton and Sadie (and soon Clara) so I can help Shayla with them, and help cultivate seeds of faith in them. I don't see how being here is helping anybody, really. But I haven't heard God say to leave yet. "So I wait for You, so I wait for you...I'm falling on my knees, offering all of me, Jesus , you're all this heart is living for."

IT's PMS time so I attribute most of my melancholy introspection to that. But as a wise counselor once told me, I should NOT discount the emotions felt during this time of my cycle simply because hormones are involved. She counseled me to embrace the increased level of intuition and insight that this time brings. That perhaps the heightened awareness of my feelings could bring with it truth that needs to be looked at and evaluated. So rather than being afraid of what the emotions mean, just accept that they are there to give me information that helps me know myself and my needs better. So, as Inga told me, "It sounds like you are learning what you DON'T want to be when you grow up. That's good." Yes, I think God is showing me that He has midwifery in store for me again someday. Just not right now.

I stayed "home" this weekend instead of taking my monthly 5 day trip to Kansas. It is so hard to leave everytime I have to come back to NC. (Especially at PMS time) I haven't yet found a friend like I've been praying for. Someone to hang out with and share my heart with. I haven't found a church family that I feel at "home" with. I haven't found fun activities, hobbies or interests here to enjoy doing when not working. I thought staying here on my days off would force me to get out and explore and have some fun, making NC feel more like home. If all I ever do here is work, and that has been less than gratifying, how am I going to give it a chance to see if we could make a life here? We've had beautiful weather and Staci and I have had some fun together. But knowing that this is my weekend to be in Kansas (and I'm not) has made me think of Shay and the grandkids a lot and feel very sad that we won't see each other for 2 full months this time.

Jerry, Shay and the kids will come visit the last week of April. I am planning to join a women's bible study at First Baptist Church on April 20, so hopefully that will provide an opportunity to find a "soul sister". In the meantime, I think I will bring out the 'Ole "Breaking Free" study and review it.

Calley, if you'e made it this far, thanks for your letter and picture and always kind and gracious words that lift my spirit and encourage me. You are one of God's precious gifts to me :) I am SO happy and delighted that God gave you a baby BOY to love. Sounds like you had an INTERESTING birth experience-but then, don't you always :) I have actually only attended 1 birth with Michelle-it was my first homebirth I ever saw and the one that inspired me to become a homebirth midwife. How sweet to hear that you were planning to give your baby my middle name as hers if you'd had a girl. I am blessed that my granddaughter to be born this summer is named Clara Elaine. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Midlife Crisis

Jacksonville, NC 50 degrees, cloudy. Sunday Morning. First day of 3 days "off" stretch and I'm staying in JAX. Much needed "down" time to reflect...

I've been here for 2 months and find that I am at another "crisis" point, if you will, in the journey. I've been able to go "home" to Topeka every 2-3 weeks since starting the job here. This has felt necessary for me to have that time of re-connecting with my loved ones during this time of transition. Everything in my life is changed. I have often felt that I must have traded lives with another person since being here. When I consider that, I ask myself if I am crazy-WHY have I done this thing? I miss my grandchildren more than I can express. I worry that my leaving them will cause lasting emotional scars and abandonment issues. We were very close for nearly 5 years. To use the word "were" instead of "are" is excruciating. But I must not lie to myself. It is the truth. We can't be "very close" 1250 miles apart. There's no way for a child's heart or mind to understand the ways of God (OK, there's no way for MY mind to understand it either). It just doesn't make any sense to me, so how can it to them? I stuggle with this daily because it has always been a painful reality for me that my own parents moved halfway across the country to live a life that didn't include their grandchildren. This has caused no small amount of hurt and resentment on my part. It is so ironic that I find myself in the same position now of doing the exact same thing for the same reason they gave-because they believed God was leading them there. I still believe that God opened this door and He continually in many small ways tells me "this is the way-walk in it." I have peace about it and yet I don't understand. I also have deep sorrow and grief in the separation. How can being apart from Ashton and Sadie be in his perfect will? I know God is good, all the time. I just can't believe that He doesn't want our family to be together. So, again, I am bringing it to Him, laying it at his feet, and trusting in His goodness to work all things together for our good.

I think one of my greatest fears is that Shayla, Ashton and Sadie will think I CHOOSE this. That it is easy for me to leave or that I am here because I value my career or money more than them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I loved being with them more than I love being a midwife. Actually, I'm not even being a midwife here, so that's another subject for another day. It's not so much that I feel that I would be disobeying God if I went home. I just feel that He is calling me to trust Him for more. To believe that He has good in store for all of us. That if I continue to follow where He leads, even if I can't see where He's taking me, I will reap so much more than if I tuck my tail between my legs and run home to what I already know. To believe Jer 29:11 and take Him at his word. To experience the great adventure of stepping out into the unknown walking with Him. So, I guess I am choosing. But I want my children and their children to know that I am choosing to know and believe and experience God even when it hurts. Because I love Him. I'm not choosing anything this world has to offer. Perhaps God is asking me to give up my kiddos as a test-for me to see where my true affections lie.

I have experienced for the first time in my life an appreciation for God's UNCHANGING nature. He is and has been the rock upon which I have placed my hope-for peace, sanity, abiding joy in the midst of difficult circumstances, companionship, competence at work, His plans to give me a hope and a future. I have found in this time that He IS a solid rock, when everything else is shifting and shaken. He can be depended on. He IS faithful to his word. He has provided all I have needed, morning by morning new mercies I see. Lam 3:22

Which brings me to the "crisis" point that started the post. I came home from Topeka last Wednesday sick with a cold and facing the truth that it is time to change my pattern. I cannot keep working 8 days on so that I can have 6 days off to go home. The goodbyes are painful for all of us. I'm struggling with trying to live a "dual" life and be in two places (emotionally and geographically) at one time of life. Here I am a worker bee and there I am Nana, cook, wife, daughter, mother, housekeeper. I am catching on to things at work enough that I am ALMOST enjoying my job. But then I leave and step into a world that isn't really mine anymore. I love it when I'm there but then I have to leave and step back into my current reality. Since this is where I live, I feel like I need to stay here more and "get a life" outside of work. It's time to live in the present, not in the past. To let go of the way things were in the past-to open my hands and release what I want to grasp onto tightly (my loved ones) so that they and I are free to go where God is taking us. To be open, willing vessels of God's love to those around us. To trust that God will help us stay connected in ways that meet all of our needs. To know that we are together in our hearts, will be together in eternity and God willing, will be reunited in sweet togetherness again soon.