Whoops! A baby in the bathtub (Jojo’s birth story)

Josephine Clare was born on a Tuesday at 4:20am, January 28th, 2014.

Two days prior, the electricity went out in our little apartment …. and I had a total meltdown. I will not forget the intense passion I was experiencing while sternly reprimanding Ben he needed to get that fixed and he needed to get that fixed ASAP.

Even though my due date was two weeks away, I needed to make sure things were safe. It was the middle of winter AND I have a 15 month old who needs light and warmth and food and all that good stuff that’s sorta dependent on ELECTRICTY.

And oh, you know, would if we had an emergency birth at home and we couldn’t see a darn thing? That would be traumatizing (Little did I know…)

Poor Ben! How tortured he was throughout that day. He was my dumping ground of all of my emotions and fears and exhaustion. Side note….I am SO thankful for a husband who takes the punches tenderly, leads me gently, and buys me Chinese in those less than fine moments. I don’t even remember what he did to get the electricity running again but I think it was something so simple like flipping a break switch… I know, sorta embarrassing when I look back on it.

The next day, a Monday, I remember being a little extra lazy while trying to plan our meals and the weeks activities. I wish I could remember what else I did that day but I just don’t.

But what I DO remember is that Monday night, after Luke (my son) was asleep, Ben and I snuggled up on the couch, watched a show, and ate popcorn. At one point I remember saying with a smile,

” wouldn’t it be so crazy if I went into labor TONIGHT?”

to which Ben replied so nonchalantly,

“yeah. but your due date is two weeks away, Ro. It will probably be at least another three before the new baby is here. Babies often come late.”

And I agreed. And we went to bed.

Now its 2am, and I wake up. And for about forty minutes or so I just laid there while what I thought I was experiencing Braxton hicks (fake labor pains).

But they didn’t go away. And that got me excited.

So much so that I began to wonder, ooooooo…..what if I actually am in labor???? So I got up, grabbed my laptop, and headed towards the living room to sit on the couch.

So at around 3 am, I am googling labor. But its 3 am guys, and I am also wondering if maybe its just a good idea to go back to sleep. I have a toddler to take care of in the morning, you know?

Looking back, I don’t know how it all happened so fast. At one point I went to the bathroom and had one of those major signs (and you veterans know what I’m talking about) that told me YES, I was definitely in labor.

So I woke up Ben.

“Hey Honey, I’m definitely in labor! But you can go back to sleep. Just wanted to let you know”

Than I texted my mother in law who promised to be there for childcare purposes so Ben and I could go to the hospital when it was time.

Than I sat back on the couch and it just came. Those really really REALLY bad LABOR PAINS. Enter curse words.

Ben came out of the bedroom and I was pretty happy because I was ready to tell him, “hey…this actually hurts pretty bad and they are sorta close together so maybe we should go to the hospital right about now

Ben was understanding. He made sure that his mom was on the way and told us we could start packing our things so we could be ready to go to the hospital when she arrived (she lived about 45 minutes away)

But as the minutes (or even seconds) went by, the pain was getting worse. It was the “I DO NOT THINK I CAN HANDLE THIS” type of pain. And I remember my midwife telling me a while back that when that pain is happening you are usually in transition.

But Ben didn’t think so. In his ‘trying to be understanding but a little frustrated’ voice, he said something like,

“Hey Honey, I think you just need to work through the pain and be patient. I think that if you are having a hard time now, you really are just making it harder on yourself for later. Try to relax, let’s pack”

But I couldn’t pack. I really couldn’t. I was laying in bed thinking this pain was totally unbearable. And I became in charge.

“Babe, we need to go NOW. LIKE, WE NEED TO GO NOW

For some reason I didn’t have pants on (I know, odd part of the story).

Ben was frustrated (it is the middle of the night, you guys)

But he pushed through it. There was a little back in forth in our bantering that yes you may be right that I’m in the beginning stages but also maybe the baby is coming right now and we need to get to the HOSPITAL NOW.

So Ben helped me put on pants and right after that I felt like I needed to go to the restroom. And as I sat down to go, my water broke.

“BABE. MY WATER BROKE. CALL 911”

I remember reaching down and feeling THE HEAD. And at that moment I just remember getting this overwhelming “let’s get this done” attitude. I hopped in the bath, turned on the water, and literally couldn’t help the urge to push.

Ben called 911.

7 minutes later, Josephine was born as Ben so carefully helped her out. Ben cried. I wanted to make sure she was alive. A few minutes later, a myriad of random firefighters/ems workers/and Ben’s mom! arrived.  It was hectic. It was snowing. We were rushed via ambulance to the hospital. And it was the most beautiful/surreal experience holding sweet Josephine in my arms and wondering, am I dreaming?

My labor lasted a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes. A few days later we received the tape to our 911 call. It’s probably my favorite 7 minutes of recording I’ve ever listened to.

 

So sweet Josephine, you wanted out. You wanted to make your presence known. You said, “HEY! I’M HERE!” and you’ve been that way ever since. You are passionate, and we are passionate about you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaining

As readers of the bible, how many of us get confused and angry towards the children of Israel for their complaining on route to the promised land? 

I mean, seriously! RIGHT after the red sea was miraculously split in TWO for them, they murmur about… a lack of food. “We’ll die” they say, “It was better to be a SLAVE” they say.

And yet they had just experienced GOD. Acting. On their behalf. And had the most dramatic exit out of slavery in human time, like, ever. 

I’ve listened to teachers that have told me we are similar to these people in Israel, but I just COULDN’T wrap my mind around that. Me? Being similar to those fools? No way. 

 And while I would nod my head in agreement to this statement and verbalize the same toward others,  I would think, 

“I would NEVER downplay such a miraculous event and distrust God if something like THAT happened in my life”

“How could they even complain about food? Could they really belittle God THAT much, and think he wouldn’t provide for that most basic need?”

But while I was driving my two little ones to story time this morning, my heart became pierced with the word of God that showed me how similar we really are to those people. 

Let me show you, friends. 

Colossians 1:13

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.

Do you know that in reading this sweet and simple verse, it shows us that we too were once under dominion?

Yea. Slaves. 

But here’s the catch, not just to people! Not just to a king of Egypt or an angry American. 

Slaves to sin. In a place of darkness where the devil STILL reigns and rules. 

And we were rescued dramatically. 

Yea I know, there were no “fireworks” that when off once we became Christians, but the devils hand HAD  to leave us and Christ filled that empty spot. He has literally translated our citizenship to a place where HE rules. I’d call that “camping in canaan’s land”, wouldn’t you?

And yet we may complain about not having “enough” (whatever that may be) Or we worry about tomorrow. We do feel sorry for ourselves, don’t we all? 

While our circumstances in the present may be VERY real and VERY trying, nothing is too big for our God, loved ones. If he can save us from the devils mark, he is certainly able to put food on our table. And if you know anything about our God, he does it in an abundant way. 

Let’s fight together and the next time we catch ourselves complaining, let’s stop and think about what God has done in our lives. I’ll leave you with the section in Colossians that inspired me to write. 

Colossians 1:9-14

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Self Esteem

Self Esteem. Terrible thing sometimes, isn’t it?

At one point in my life I had very, VERY low self esteem. I was scared to DEATH to hold a real conversation with anyone because they might see too far in. Why? Oh, so many reasons, friend.

 I was sin conscious, fat, and not funny. I hope this doesn’t come as a shock, because,

have you ever thought those things about yourself, too?

I thought FOR SURE others saw and said the same.

At my breaking point, my self esteem was SO low that I knew something needed to change. And in different words, I asked God to help me value myself. 

Have you ever heard the words, ‘In Christ?’ 

I did. My whole LIFE I heard those words. They sounded nice and made me feel better about myself in the moment. But I hadn’t really experienced the freedom that comes in knowing I was worth something because of Jesus. 

But after I had poured out my broken heart in broken prayer, God began to show me tenderly what it means to know that I am highly valued, loved, sought after, treasured, and worth it.


Where does your self worth come from? Have you thought about that before, consciously? Like, really thought about it?

In the following words  I want to bring to light where the enemy likes to place your self worth in. Will you stay with me?

Your Worth isn’t in your mistakes.

Your worth isn’t based off the number you see on the scale or in how well your clothes fit.

Your worth is not in your stretch marks, your smooth skin, your glowing face, or your yellow teeth.

Your worth isn’t based on your high profile job, or on your inability to get one.

Your worth isn’t in the money you make, the car you drive, or the status you have.

Your worth isn’t based off the square footage of your house, your zip code, or how well you keep house. 

Your worth isn’t based off of your bad breath, your funny jokes, your kind nature.

Your worth  isn’t based off your intelligence, in how well you can hold a conversation, or in how many friends you have.

Your worth isn’t based off of how much you smile, or how happy you are, or any emotion you might be feeling at the moment.

Your worth isn’t based off of how much you sin or how many people dislike you, or how many thoughts a day you have towards God.

Your worth isn’t based off of how spiritual or how carnal you act. 

Your worth isn’t in how other people view you, or even how you might view yourself. 

Your worth is in Jesus. In what He did, for you.

Please don’t slap him in the face when he is trying to tell you that he loves you.

Many others are hurting because they believe they are nothing. There are many, many others who think they are something apart from him.  
 John 1:12 (ESV)
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.
Romans 5:8 (ESV)
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Cor 6:11 (ESV)
And Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
 
1 Cor 3:16 (ESV)
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Friends, you are worth it. You were worth Christ giving up his life. 

 

Overwhelmed?

This morning was so rough that I thought that the world was coming to an end.  (It wasn’t, by the way…sleepless nights can make you feel terrible things! Young children, ya know!) 

But do you feel that way at times? , Where the fiery darts don’t seem to be slowing down, or where the “to do” list doesn’t seem to have an end? 


Psalm 69:1-2 ESV

Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me.

This morning I was feeling that way, and I was feeling like I was completely incapable of handling any and all ‘grown up’ stuff. I wanted to trade places with my 2 year old so I could just be little again… please, someone change MY dirty diaper, hug ME, and tell ME it’s all going to be OK. 

Than I had a minute somewhere in my whirlwind of a morning where I could pray.

When I prayed, I  sounded a LOT like a 1 year old who is just learning how to communicate.  

Whiny and unclear, with lots of one word sentences. (Gods OK with that, BTW…but that’s another post for another day!) 

It was in my prayer where God asked me to remember that I was HIS little kid. He gave me memories of when I was just so little. Memories of not yet walking, french kissing my dog, jumping in leaves and being burdened free. 

And he asked me to be little again. Little in my own eyes, little in my own strength, little in my own wisdom. And God reminded me that it’s in those moments of complete weakness where you can rest your weary head on his strong shoulders. 

And as the morning continued to demand of me, I became more burdened free. And then, it stopped being about ME, and became more about HIM. He gives strength without measure. He gives insight into your day. He asks us to come to him, no matter our state. 


Are you burdened? Take a minute and remember you are little. 

2 Corinthians 12:9

                               ESV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 

Lets run to God and call upon his name the next time we are feeling weak and overwhelmed. 

Psalm 18:10 ESV

The name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.

If Jesus Showed Up.

Have you ever been asked this question,

“Would Jesus approve if he showed up?”

My response used to be feelings of fear, guilt, and shame. Let me give you a short synopsis of my thoughts….

No.

He’d be so disappointed in me reading this tabloid magazine. I need to be reading the bible more.

He definitely wouldn’t approve of me browsing through facebook. I need to pray more.


He wouldn’t approve of me yelling at my kids. I need to be more patient.

He wouldn’t approve of what I talk about with my friends. I need to speak more of Gods word.

He wouldn’t approve of my tendency to be selfish. I need to give more.

He wouldn’t approve of how I use my time. I need to seek God first more.

He wouldn’t approve of my carnality. I need to walk in the spirit more.

I could go on and on and on.

In short, I’ve got the stamp of UNAPPROVAL.

Oh man. IF you say you haven’t been there, you’re lying.

Do you know how I know that?

This world is SO DESIGNED for you to KEEP WORKING at BEING GOOD ENOUGH. BE MORE. DO MORE. PRODUCE MORE.

This world is so designed at saying its OK to make mistakes, but THAN POINTING THE FINGER WHEN YOU MAKE THOSE MISTAKES.

But here’s the craziest thing EVER, Jesus says and will ALWAYS say, “I approve”

How? How is that even possible?

Did you know that if he showed up right now, in whatever you were doing at the moment, ( And even in your WORST MOST SELFISH MOMENTS, no joke) He’d want to reach out and show you his love?

He’d want to wrap his arms around you and give you a big hug?

He’d want to show you the nails in his hands and the thorns in his head that he got just for you?

He’d want to intercede for you and tell you ‘be not afraid, only believe?’

He’d want to spend time with you, show you God?

He’d want to show you how worth it you are to him?

He’d want to wipe away your dirtiness, and he’d wash your feet, kiss your face, hold you and not want to let go.

Friend. You are worth it. SO worth it. You are approved.


You are desired.

You are accepted.

You are worthy.



Romans 6:11 (NIV)

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.



I’d like to leave you a link to a host of verses that expound on you who are (not based on what you do)


http://mercyme.org/my-identity-in-jesus-chirst/