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“This is messy work. We cannot simply attend a meeting, carry a sign at a march, have our name listed in the minutes, make one or two follow-up phone calls, then give ourselves a pat on the back. Our efforts require experimentation, failure, learning curves, self-criticism, and the constant examination of new ideas. We cannot compartmentalize a little “civic corner” of our lives; rather, we have to examine every day how each of our actions can build a better, more nurturing society for everyone. And for the time being, until this new, life-serving economy is more fully developed, it may continue to go unnoticed, and it may receive a certain lack of respect. But true civic engagement is not about taking credit for a job well done. It is about making the world better for the next generation in an enduring way that honors our deepest beliefs and greatest hopes.” – Shannon Hayes (author of Radical Homemakers)
Witch: And you, my dear, what an unexpected pleasure. It’s so kind of you to visit me in my loneliness.
Dorothy: What are you gonna do with my dog? Give him back to me.
Witch: All in good time, my little pretty. All in good time.
Dorothy: Oh please give me back my dog.
Witch: Certainly, certainly, when you give me those slippers.
Dorothy: But the Good Witch of the North told me not to.
Witch: Very well. (To her winged-monkey captain) Throw that basket in the river and drown him.
Dorothy: No, no. Here, you can have your old slippers but give me back Toto.
Witch: That’s a good little girl. I knew you’d see reason.
– The Wizard of Oz (1939)
I’ve seen reason. But, as we all know, the witch loses in the end and so will frustration. My work here at home with these girls is radical world change in the making. Creating a lifestyle that presses boundaries, breaks walls, and reinvents the common experience, that is being the change. Every day I am being the change. Some days are better than others. But, each day we should strive for balance. Creator didn’t lead me down this path for naught. What I have recognized is that each and every step is important, and it isn’t always going to be as I envision, nor will it always be in my time frame. It isn’t going to look the same for me as it will others. Each day is new and has its own work. I have life and I have it abundantly. I’m never left without, and to struggle to gain something I haven’t lost in the first place is pointless.
I’m so excited to share with you an article that was published in The Daily Yonder last week! I wrote it! Closing Maternity Wards: Costly and Risky… click on the picture below to read the article.
The article was also picked up on www.kentucky.com! There has been some discussion on both sites. I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write this article for this publication. 🙂 I hope you will take a look if you get the time.
2010 proved to be a very trying year for us. I was almost glad to see it go. 2011 has already proved to bring with it great change. Not only in our lifestyle and goals, but for me – my very being. The end of 2010 had us reconsidering everything. Our bank account was hacked and we lost all our money. Ivy got really sick, and we found out we had E.Coli in our drinking water and coliforms in our well water. Ivy is still dealing with stomach issues because of that. I am taking the girls to my mother’s or John’s mother’s for their baths, and we are drinking store bought water now. We re-evaluated our money making efforts, and had made a plan when the Lord blessed us both with new more regular jobs! Mine being one I can do mostly from home.
It has been really hard promoting my birth work in that it takes great, constant effort. I get tired of the promoting part. I love the work, and am working on some decisions to make things a bit more clear for me goals wise. I have been so absorbed in getting my name out there, that I didn’t expect at all getting my first two (what I would consider larger scale) publications back to back earlier this year! It was an awesome surprise. It blessed my heart immensely.
So, what I am trying to say is… it is a time of cleaning out. Before I briefly ended the blog last summer, I had began a post called Wake Up and Prioritize. I don’t think I ever really did that then, and I forgot that realization all together, making summer a struggle for me. I’ve come back around now, and I think I’m at a place where I can actually act on that realization.
I’m looking at things with fresh eyes. Doing a lot of reading of some good philosophical and spiritual texts. I am learning what isn’t serving me or my family. Sometimes it is hard to let go of activities that you have pursued with great momentum. When I left the blog, I thought I’d spend less time on the computer – I spent more. It was mostly researching for my work and trying online advertising like – Facebook. Since being more active on Facebook, I have had trouble with mental chatter (though I know Facebook isn’t the only reason, and probably not the biggest). It’s kind of like the news feed on Facebook, except through my mind and my own thoughts (well, that’s arguable too… 🙂 ). I don’t know really how well being on Facebook has benefited me personally – business wise maybe somewhat, though I do value some of the business things/connections I do/have there greatly. A Facebook friend shared this link not too long ago – 30 Day Facebook Fast. I just read it today, and he makes some really, really good points. I had been thinking of pulling back before I read this, but I’m pretty sure I will now from my personal page. I will keep up with my business page and another responsibility, and see what changes. Then, I’ll look closer at any benefits having a regular business presence there has, and go from there.
I’m looking at this because balancing homelife (mothering, housekeeping, homesteading, and homeschooling) with a career life (birth business, advocacy, and writing) is hard. It is hard to prioritize those things. On one hand, you want to say homelife always comes first. On the other, if I don’t work very hard at the career life we might get wiped out again financially and with no health insurance, and some debt, that is not something that you easily recover from. Plus, I do like my “career” life. I think my work is important work. Something that brings fulfillment and enjoyment. That’s what I’ve always said is important when thinking about what you will do as a job the rest of your life. Not, how much money you can make. Then, my children will only be children once. My biggest responsibility is to them, their well-being (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) and their livelihood. I love them, and they deserve the best of me. I then come to the answer – a perfect balance.
Our lifestyle is a bit unique, but it fits John and I. We’ve never “conformed” all that well, and finding our place and what we can contribute has been a journey we’ve enjoyed. I’m thankful that I still live a life that leaves room to explore, begin new things, to change. I’m not stuck in any place.
So, on top of reconsidering the benefits of Facebook, I’ve been doing other things. Once again, cleaning out the cabin – except this time in a more drastic way. If we haven’t used it in a few years, or if it isn’t an heirloom – it’s out. Not selling, not trying to find homes for things, but just sending them away to a place where if someone needs them they can be obtained for free. I’m also writing out daily/weekly goals. Reading the Bible in a year. Recommiting to my role as wife and mother, and looking at what I hope for my birth work with self respect, needs of women, and the needs of my community in mind. For my work, that might mean changes in form or approach. For my mothering that means working hard to be fully present in the now. I’m feeling relieved. I think that is why I came back here. This is a thoughtful place.
The weather has given us a break, and the girls and I took a hike this past Saturday. It was lovely. We got home and both the girls fell asleep by 6:30 and didn’t wake up again until the next morning!
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
This week has been a rough one, but also one of joy. I was witness to another birth of a baby boy. 🙂 We celebrated Deladis’s fifth birthday (pictures to come), and I received my test results for my bloodwork. I haven’t had a lot of time, and this next week will be busy as well. I’m just trying my best to keep up.
The bloodwork says I have low blood sugar, my adrenals are shot, of course there’s my thyroid, and a few other minor things. The low blood sugar is a shocker. From what I understand it is connected to the function of the adrenals as well. So, one is causing the other, or one is the symptom of the other. I think the adrenals came first. Anyway, I have to see another doctor Wednesday that is about an hour away. I’m supposed to eat every two hours, which is going to be very difficult for me to do. I just don’t get hungry like that. I’m one that eats breakfast at 8am and doesn’t eat again sometimes until 2 or 3pm. I do have this shake stuff to drink in between meals to help regulate my blood sugar, so that will help.
The most depressing thing for me is that I have to be off of dairy for 3 weeks. I didn’t show an allergy, but she expects that I might be having some sensitivity to it because I’m not digesting well. Have I ever mentioned that I love dairy? I truly don’t know what I’m going to eat now. I live off of milk products. Now, this isn’t good from a traditional foods standpoint, because pastuerized and homogenized milk is so tampered with that it is hard for any human being to digest or utilize properly. I don’t have access to raw milk products, and that is one piece of eating traditional foods that I have never been able to adopt. Rather than go without dairy, I just ate conventional dairy. I have been pointed in the direction of the PETA website called Milk Sucks. I suppose I need to check it out. I know conventional dairies are cruel. I know these three weeks won’t kill me, but…. Did I mention I love dairy????
I have been having these episodes of dizziness and such that is related to my blood sugar, and I’m tired. I’m lifting my eyes to the mountains, and pushing onward. Whatever manifests in our body has its beginnings in our inner work. I believe that thoroughly. Healing is a time of inner work as much as it is getting well physically.
I posted a comment on Mama-Om and she was gracious enough to share with me some of her experiences with being a parent and not feeling well. I wanted to share them here. Sometimes I think us mothers tend to hide our pitfalls, and things that aren’t just so. There’s nothing to hide. Mothers are people afterall, and we all have work to do in this life.
I am so excited to announce that a radio documentary that I have been working on these last few months is going to air on this coming week’s edition of Mountain News and World Report on the local public radio station WMMT. The topic is cesarean awareness and how it affects the women of the Kentucky mountains and nationwide. We interviewed a local obstetrician, a certified nurse midwife, and a certified professional midwife on the topic, as well as a local mother whose daughter’s life was saved by cesarean surgery.
The airdate is August 1st (Sunday) at 10:30am EST and again on August 3rd (Tuesday) at 6pm EST. You can listen locally at WMMT 88.7 and also online at www.wmmt.org where you will find a link for listening live. The piece will also be available for download after the airdates if you click on the link for the Community Correspondence Core.
This issue is close to my heart and the piece is airing right after the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued revised guidelines that are more supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean. It also airs on the week that we will celebrate Deladis’s 5th birthday and my 5th year of motherhood. 🙂 I hope you will get to celebrate with us by listening to the piece.