20 July 2012

Night shift: catch #20

I had night shift last night. It was kind of lovely. I love walking to nightshift. In the tropical evenings. Its never really cold, even if its raining. But walking alone after dark feels wonderful. Its like, a moment where I can really feel the Lord with me. Mmm… 

So I made my way out of my neighborhood to the street to catch a jeepney. I guy stopped by and said the name of the street I was going to! Apparently he knows us already. His route is perfectly timed that he must often pick up the white girls going to night shift at our clinic. I hopped in, gave him my pesos, and sat there waiting to be dropped off at the corner by our clinic. 

I walked into the clinic to see all the midwives were not in sight in the normal area where we wait for stuff to happen, sit doing paperwork, eat between working, or sleep on night shift (on the couches). I was actually hoping for a little shut-eye myself. I went and changed into my scrubs and got into the birthroom to hear a little baby making his first cry after coming into the world! I asked what time the baby was out so I could write it up on our board. Baby out at 9:35pm… Something along those lines anyways. 

I sat down so we could talk about the patients who had given birth on the previous shift and learned that I was 2nd up to catch a baby (if we have a labor come in, she goes to the 1st up, and if a 2nd labor came in, she would be mine). 

An active labor came in around midnight. The midwife took care of her patient, I slept a bit. We had lots of help on our shift! Two births before mine (because a midwife who wasn’t on shift had a personal continuity patient deliver). Then my labor came in. 

She walked in smiling. But she had the look of experience about her. When she sat down, her uterus tensed up, changing shape, narrowed at the top, as it contracted strongly. The guard brought me her chart as I told her to go pee and wash in the restroom. G4. Alright. I took her to the bed and checked her vitals. All normal. IE: Fully dilated with slight amount of anterior cervix, IBOW (intact bag of waters), VERY bulgy, the head was low, coming. I asked my supervisor to recheck due to the cervix, and she was already fully. No more cervix. Her contraction pattern had already slowed down from strong contractions every 3 minutes lasting for one minute. I felt she was in resting phase. Her body was getting ready to push. I prepared the birth cart, got her husband to come in and sign the waiver, gloved up, and we waited. She quickly started spontaneously and naturally bearing down and pushing with her contractions. Slight opening, lots of BOW visible. My supervisor asked me to do AROM (artificial rupture of membranes). It broke easily with a little pinch of my fingers. Moderate meconium staining. A sign of distress for the kiddo. But my assist checked the fetal heart tones immediately. A little high… But this baby was coming. Head out less than one minute after AROM. Shoulders a little sticky, as I reached in and encouraged the mother to push again. Baby out. Baby boy! He was a little blue and floppy at first, but let out a little cry. We wiped his face. He perked up. And we gave a little free flow oxygen. Happy baby. Happy parents. Mama bled about 250cc right after birth. Nothing to crazy, at least not for what we are used to (the mom at my last birth had a 770cc hemorrhage). She was firm throughout the immediate postpartum period. Baby breastfed well (hallelujah!). All in all, a successful birth! Number 20. 

I walked home. A nice cool day in the tropics. Put some sheets over the windows. Crashed. I slept until 2:30pm! I never do that… Even after night shift. 

When I woke up, the day was ending on the other side of the world… Where I found out that, as the clock struck midnight, a friend of mine was having a birthday! I told him, since my baby was technically born on his birthday, it was in his honor. Someone is sharing his birthday with you now Scotty! An adorable little Filipino boy. And my hands were the first to touch him. How special. Bless him, and let him have a wonderful life. Let him live not of this world, but be of the kingdom of heaven. Let him love Jesus with all his heart, mind, and strength. Because thats all we have worth living for. 

Thats all. Goodnight loves.  

Also, some pictures for your enjoyment!

The baby of some friends' helper

 My first catch back! #19

 Checking the fetal heart tones (FHT) with my fetoscope

 How cute is she!?


Joyful (Joy) with a baby whose mother was transported to the hospital. 

Well, thats my life! 

17 July 2012

Back in the Phils! Baby catching year 2

Well, hey there! Its me here, Lindz. I've been back here in the Philippines for almost 3 weeks now. I have to say, as much as last year was a challenge for me, I am so please to be back here! It was really hard for me to leave home. It was really comfortable to be home with family and friends, and I cannot express how much joy it brought me to be with some of the most influential, loving, transparent, gospel loving people I have ever met! It was great being back in the fold of the Table Community for excellent church services, hugging friends babies, and feeling babies in the tummies of my dear friends!
It was awesome being exhorted, challenged, and encouraged by my friends and pastors. Being totally transparent about how I am and how my year was. I was for sure happy to be with some of my most favorite people and celebrate some weddings, graduations, and babies with you all!! I am only sad the time was so short. I wish it could have been longer, because I missed seeing some people that I really wanted to spend time with!

Well, transitioning on to the Philippines. The last three weeks have been really nice. Getting back into the groove has proven to be a pretty natural process. I mean, I by no means have graduated to being ready to midwife on my own or anything, BUT it feels good to be with women again, and catching their babies is of course, one of my all time favorite things to do! As far as school goes... Well uhh... Lets just say it has always been a challenge for me to hit the books. I am generally a last minute kind of girl, which so far has gotten me a little behind. Something I have been praying a lot about, asking God whats up with my attitude, and why is is SO hard for me to get a lot of work done until I am right up against a deadline! Well, He is working on it. Challenging me in that, among other things. So if you think about it, pray for me! I am definitely in need of support of that kind!

Aside from my continuing academic challenges, I feel like year two is shaping up to be a good year for me! I will be a 2nd year midwife here, and I feel like have really come through the most challenging aspects of cultural adjustments. I feel much more comfortable and at ease with getting around the city, with the language. Which, my Visayan is sucky at best but it can still get me through a prenatal, birth, and postpartum. In fact, I just recently learned the word for dewormer and I am pretty excited about it! Now I can effectively tell women why I am giving them the little white pill with one quick word, instead of a ton of other explaining and hand motions!! HAHA. Anyways, yes I am excited about this year. I am expectant for God to do amazing things in my life, and the lives of others!

This last Saturday was pretty fun! I caught my first baby since coming back to the Philippines! It was a sweet G5 mama and she had a beautiful little 6lbs 15oz girl! SO fun! The birth was kind of interesting. I've never been so nervous for a catch in my life actually! I was concerned maybe I would forget everything or something. But it was fine. She started to give birth in a side laying position, which was fine for when the head came out, until I had a heck-of-a-time trying to get the rest baby out that way, so she rolled onto her back and I got her out (I'll have to work on that maneuver later!). Then sweet little Rechelle was born! It was right around 2:15pm (the beginning of my shift), so I got to spend the rest of the evening taking care of them and then discharging her. She hemorrhaged around 700cc at birth, then continued bleeding for about an hour postpartum. We gave some pitocin in an IM (intramuscular injection) and then an IV of NS (normal saline) + 20 units of Pit incorporated to help to restore her fluid volume and contract her uterus to stop the bleeding. I really enjoyed the patient! She did great with breastfeeding, and even breastfed a baby whose mother was transported to the hospital for a bad hemorrhage! What a great mother :)

After that, I had prenatal clinic on Monday, where I took 2 continuity patients! I will do all their prenatal care from now until birth, be at the births (if all goes according to plan), and then provide postpartum care visits as well. One of the patients was a 15-year old G1 who speaks almost no Visayan and lots of English! The other patient was a G2 and happens to be the bookkeeper at our clinic. Super fun! I will probably get to see her way beyond her baby's birth!

Well with that, I should go and get some work done on my Intrapartum assignment! My studies await! Ciao!

Also, if you have a chance, please check out my tumblr! I posted some information about infant and maternal mortality, some things about midwifery, and some great pictures too!  Its kind of like a creative outlet for me, and also an educational tool for maternal and infant mortality, and why midwifery is such an important and growing job throughout the world! I hope you all enjoy it!

Midwife Life

02 June 2012

Ukay-Ukay, Filipino Love, and Travels to the Land of the Free

ukay-ukay: thrift store at the market or on the side of the road of give-away stuff for sale, or a pile of give-aways that nobody wants. aka: free pile

The last couple weeks has been nothing short of insane. Some highlights of the week include moving, 2 night shifts in a row, and some last minute homework.

Moving has actually been great! I will have to do lots more walking now which, hopefully will help me to lose my first-year-fifteen. I also ride jeepneys almost every day now, and the best part? I get to live in a house with less people that is surrounded by lovely green trees! It really helps me to forgive the fact that my new neighbors like to do cock-fighting and their rooster crows about 10 feet from my bedroom window. So after turning in our last assignment of the year and taking the test, moving (incredibly stressful) and then having my post-move breakdown (thanks for hugging me when I cried Brenda), I still had to find a way to fit in some last minute make-up homework, catching a baby, and 2 prenatal conts between my last 2 night shifts before break. I slept 4 hours in those two days. The good new is that I was also incredibly productive! By the grace of God! And I did it! So here I am now, on break, I guess my sleep is getting a little postponed (because of my flight being postponed), but its ok, because such is my life. Thank God for His incredible grace. And also... I get to sleep for a month now!!! WOO HOOO!!!

Ok so Dan... You were half right, my bag was over by 5 kilos. Which... Doesn't quite make it 67 lbs... But it definitely passed 50. ANYWAY... The nice man behind the counter told me that if I didn't move 5 kilos of my stuff from my big bag to the small one, he would have to charge me $150. SInce I haven't really seen dollars for a while, but I live in a country where you can go out for a nice meal for about $5 I was like, "Hmm... Let me think about that. NO WAY." So the guy helped me shift some stuff from one bag to the next. I was thinking though from the very beginning, there was NO chance that I was going to fit 5 kilos of extra stuff into my small rolling suitcase. So I did what any sensible person would do. I flung open the bottom portion of my suitcase, where I had put all of the stuff I hadn't really used much in the last year and was taking home to save on space (at my house and for my travels home next year) and I quickly picked all the items that I could live without, made a pile and yelled "UKAY-UKAY!!!" to the other passengers in line.
It was actually really fun! I though wow... I probably should have put this in the ukay-ukay pile at Mercy since I obviously didn't love all this stuff enough that I just HAD to keep it, but I'm kind of glad I didn't, because it was so fun to do it in the airport. They just ran up and swarmed around me, and I made sure everyone got something. The older gentleman grabbed a running jersey, the ladies loved my blouses and make up bag, and I even happened to have a small mens t-shirt that was the perfect size for the young boy with his dad. I even wound up giving away a tank that I may have otherwise kept because I wanted to make sure everyone that came got something!!
(Greta, if you are reading this it was a tank you gave me. I though you might like to know that I passed on the love)
Haha. I just loved it. And they all were so happy an appreciative. It made me feel a little convicted for how silly I can be for holding onto stuff I don't need. And also for just being wasteful and unappreciative for the things I have sometimes. I think most Americans wouldn't have looked twice at that pile. And I'd like you to sit there for a minute and imagine the looks you might get for doing the same thing in an American airport (not that that would have stopped me!). I love that about the Filipino people. They are so honoring and loving. I notice that there is always such a kindness and appreciative attitude for what they have. It seems like the less we have, the more content we are. I have seen that contentedness in the Filipino people on many occasions. I rarely hear a Filipino complain for what they don't have. As one of my supervisors said one day during our pre-prenatal clinic devotion, "We are just happy if we have rice!" SO true. And I am a stubborn American who doesn't even like rice that much.. Haha.

Well its things like this plus many others, that make me know I am going to miss the Philippines. Now, this time I know I will be back in a month. But I will really miss it when I go home. Those lovely Filipinos with their loud laughing and jokes, weird food, and funny english sayings. The birth room isn't the only thing I will miss. I also LOVE the look on the faces of the Filipinos when they learn that I can speak some Visayan. They are so amazed that a white person would take the time to do that. Unfortunately, that is very uncommon.

I honestly didn't think I would ever say this (about 6 months ago), but I adore the Philippines.

So next things, I was sitting in the Manila International Airport Terminal waiting for my direct flight to San Francisco. I got through security in Davao with no problems... Just made my quick ukay-ukay give away pile at the airport as I was checking my baggage.
So after getting through all that, I even got through immigration at the Manila without a hitch! I was a little concerned about the i-card line, because I have heard of it taking 45 minutes to an hour, and I had to catch my connecting flight only 1hr 50 minutes after arriving in Manila. Thankfully, there wasn't even a line and I even wound up paying less than I expected!
So I got into my terminal, grabbed a quick mirienda (snack), and headed through the extra security to wait for my flight to board to San Francisco. I wasn't able to get on the internet to message my mom and tell her I was alive, well, and everything was going off without a hitch, when I thought to myself,

"Wow, what could go wrong now? I'm here, I don't have anymore security stops, and my flight is boarding in 30 minutes!"

Well... You know its usually about the time when you think that that something goes down. For me, it was right about the time the airline attendant got on the intercom to inform everyone that due to a change in aircraft carriers, our NEW departure time was 12:20am instead of 10:20pm. Really!? Yeah ok... whatever. So this is the Filipino way. EVERONE groans audibly, then its quiet. The guy behind me goes, "Something must be wrong with the plane. Good thing they found it!" I think to myself for a second... Yeah, maybe... Ok 2 hours. Whatever. I've got this.

Patience will get you so far in this country.

So thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

17 April 2012

Defender of Life

Well, after taking a bit of a break from being in the birth room for the last 3 weeks, I have really missed it! I had day shift today, and I was first up!
I had a slightly nutzo birth... The patient was a G6 (as in it was her 6th baby). She was pretty funny... Sort of. Didn't exactly want to listen to me, or anyone for that matter.
Let me just say that I love ALL my patients very much, some just take a little more patience! This patient may be one of those... Lets just say that at one point, she made some pretty gnarly marks in my arm with her fingernails.
She didn't like our beds very much, because they are flat. She wanted a bed where she could put her feet up in the stirrups. But she didn't want to try any of the other labor positions I suggested that might help her. So she said she wanted to transfer to the hospital. As she cried out to go somewhere else, I encouraged her "Kayananimo! Kusgan kaayo ka!" or "You can do it! You are very strong!"
As she was in the middle of begging me to take her to the hospital (with a death grip on my thumb) all of the sudden her husband cried out! I scrambled to look down to see if the baby was coming and looked to see about 4cm of the head! Before I knew it, the baby's head had already popped out! (Gosh I hope nothing tore as that happened...) By the way... I was not prepared with gloves yet (because I had just checked her and she was only about 7cm dilated with a VERY thick cervix, which usually means it will be a bit). Then again G6... I should have known better and not ever have taken my gloves off!!
So anyway, Im sitting there, with one hand lifting up the cover sheet, looking down at the baby's head and the other hand trying to break free of this amazonlaborwoman deathgrip!!! As I screamed "ATE!!!! ATE SUUUUUS!!!!!" (Ate Susan was my supervisor)... This all happened in a matter of minutes or seconds... I'm not quite sure. SO as I reach into the pocket of my scrubs to grab a glove and somehow finagle my other hand free and slide a glove onto it (which I only got about halfway initially), some reinforcements came busting into the cubicle. I finished gloving up... Not without getting a small amount of amniotic fluid and blood on my hands... GROSS.
As I directed mom to push the body out, and I went to grab the shoulders of the baby, I realized it was going to be a little tight! So Ate Sus directed me in turning her sideways so her shoulders would fit through the pelvis. I turned her and pulled, turned and pulled... Then about 2 minutes (scary) after her head popped out, the rest of her little body made its debut into the world! Fantastic! THANKYOUJESUS. THEN, before the placenta was out, she started bleeding! Ate Sus reached in a manually removed the placenta, as I massaged her fundus (top of the uterus) to make it contract (so the bleeding would stop). I completely missed what was happening with the baby (who was doing just fine, and being watched by my assist), as we managed the hemorrhage. We had to work a bit to get her to stop bleeding, but thankfully (after 20 units Pitocin and an Methergine injection - fast acting drugs used to contract the uterus) she stopped at 700 ml/cc of estimated blood loss.
After she was so tired but I encouraged her how amazing she did, how I knew she could do it, and that was it! Its over now! She fell into the bed, and closed her eyes, breathing hard.
After I washed up, helped to clean up after the birth, and checked my patient's vital signs. She smiled huge and thanked me! I was not expecting that, but I was SO very pleased. I told her your very welcome, and thank you for being my patient! I'll see you tomorrow for your baby check-up!
I felt like this was a good birth... The complications were serious, but they were so easily and swiftly resolved. I love working with my supervisor Ate Susan, because she is always so in tuned with what is happening. Her instincts are so amazing, and they are so driven by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes she acts before something even happens and it turns out to be that she did exactly what she needed to. It was pretty cool too though... Because she allowed me to manage a lot of the birth and complications! She was very intuitive to knowing exactly what I could handle. This was one of the first times that MY instincts kicked in in the birth room though. There was no freaking out, no UH-OH what do I do!? Just my awesome teacher + adrenaline + the skills I have learned + intuition/holy spirit. Apparently all of that = defending life. Ate Sus was the supervisor I was working with when I saw my first "floppy baby" born. It was a pretty terrifying experience actually. But I learned from watching her in that moment that midwives are "Defenders of Life" and that thats what she was! When I told her that, she grabbed my hand and said, "You also will be a defender of life!" and then hugged me.

Someone recently told me that midwives are the female version of Navy SEALS... I'd have to agree.

That's a really scary thought honestly... I mean to be responsible for two lives and make decisions in quick moments that other people's lives are depending on!? Yeah... I don't want that kind of responsibility either. Its not as romantic or cool as it sounds.
But God wants me to have it, apparently. God trusts me. And I don't trust myself, but I trust Christ in me. So, I am so thankful that I am on my way... I am a sproutling, but I have begun the journey, and I have seen little glimpses of what is ahead. And I'm less scared now. I'm excited. I get to defend life. Which is the most precious thing to God.

12 March 2012

Still smiling

Well its been the mother of all intense weeks for me.

Not only have I been extremely busy, but I've had a few rough moments. I think I have some un-processed grief, shock, and stuff. I'm waiting for the floodgates to open... Probably once this next research project is finished and turned in. YUP. I'm stressed. So stressed, that I can't really process things normally. No I change my mind, I usually process by writing, so this is normal.

Well, in the last week I have found out that my closest friend here in the Philippines is leaving in less than 10 days (from today), had an intense birth, and an intense amount of pressure to complete a research project that I have been behind on. I took a test to measure my stress, and it told me that there is an 80% chance that I will develop a serious physical illness in the next 2 years. Haha. Ok, well I think there is some validity to the thing, and its definitely true that I don't think I could keep going like this forever, but I do have a MASSIVE amount of God's grace in my life. And I DO know that HE will bring me through to the other side of all my trials and tribulations and I will be stronger, more humbled by His love, and closer to Him.

Oh yes... and my sister is moving to Ohio! Really its awesome. She will be attending grad school and doing some research there as she works to get her PhD. I'm super proud of her. She has worked so hard to get to this point and now she is stepping out and going after her dream. Sadly though, it means more change. It means that when I get home, my sister won't be there. That will be a first for me. Something that definitely needs time to sink in! I miss my sister! I suppose our Skype relationship will just have to continue for the next several years.

Something that happened this week, right smack in the midst of my stress... I got a message from home telling me about the tragic death of someone I loved dearly. He was a man that went to my church. My mom and I were good friends with him and his wife. We often spent the holidays with them and numerous other occasions over the years. He was sweet, loving, and intelligent. Someone who was SO easy to love. I remember sitting with him talking about business or politics or him giggling like a giddy school girl over something silly I had done. I will miss my friend Rob SO SO much. I am so heartbroken by the way he felt he needed to end his own suffering. My hope is that his family will continue to praise God in the most hopeless and tragic of circumstances. "For we know that God uses ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28. My prayer is hope for the hopeless and God's light in the darkness.

This is something that I think won't entirely sink in until I get home... There are two friends I have lost since being here, and its weird. It usually sinks in for me when someone passes because I stop seeing them or there is some sort of closure, like a memorial. At some point, I will come home and everything will be different from how I left it. This isn't wrong, its just different. Something my dad always used to say is that, "You can never go home again." Meaning that things will never be the same as you used to remember them. The past is just that, its the past. So that being said, I am thankful that I know my God, and He is so powerful and mighty. I can be sure of my future and that what He has in it for me is good. Even if trials and chaos are all I will continue to experience here on Earth, my life is eternal and it will end. God is mighty and just, and He will make all wrongs right someday.

SO how you ask do I deal with stress? Well other than taking giant handfuls of vitamins and herbs, prayer, dancing around in my underwear, and acting like the crazy person I am, I write. Lots and lots. I write and write, until I have nothing left to write... Wait no. I aways have something to say. I write until I get tired. Yep, thats much more accurate.

The thing is, as I have been working to process I have counted so many unjust things going on around me. At some point, it might make a person hopeless. But I'm still smiling. Why? Because God is just and worthy and good and beautiful. He is SO worthy to be praised and glorified. Hey now, I've been to hell and back in my life, and I have seen the power of restoration and the miracles He is capable. It pains Him to see us suffer, but He uses it for His good. And I have seen evidence of that over and over again. I don't worry in the face of adversity, because I KNOW the God of the impossible. He's pretty rad by the way.

I want to tell a story about someone I know here in the Philippines. Her name is Rosalina. She is a Badjao woman. The Badjao are a people group that live in Southeast Asia. They are called "Sea Gypsies" by some people. Here in the Philippines, they are some of the poorest and most oppressed people. They rarely know their own age, how to read or write, and they have their own language. The typical Badjao follows some version of Islamic mysticism. However, Rosalina and her husband are a different. They are believers, and they are amazing. When I first got here, I met them when they came to our house to sell some pearls and various assorted jewelry-type things. I immediately fell in love with their sweet little family. Rosalina, her bana, and their little girl. At the time she was about 7 months pregnant. I saw her when she came to the clinic one day and she was just about due. I quickly asked Jesus "Please let me be there when Rosalina gives birth!" That very night, I was on night shift, and who walks in? Rosalina. We called her midwife, and she gave birth to a sweet little boy within an hour of getting to the clinic. Several weeks later, for whatever reason, her precious little boy became sick and died of pneumonia. Heartbreaking. Not ok. Not just.  I was so sad about what happened to this amazing family who is serving God and their people in the face of adversity! But something about this girl will stick with me forever, and that was watching what she did next.
She continued to bring the Badjao women to our clinic. I have seen her over and over. Still grieving, I saw her in the hallway one day as I was getting ready for prenatals that morning. As I hugged her and told her I love her, I felt her buckle a little in my arms. I told her I love her, and she responded with a sober, "I know." The other day she brought a Badjao girl to the clinic for a baby check-up. She was just radiant when I saw her holding her friend's baby. I looked at her from where I was sitting and I was struck by her courage in the face of pain. She brought these women who needed care to the clinic in spite of how she felt. She continues to do it over and over again. Something I see in her is a virtue that goes beyond earthly values. Rosalina is truly one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. I consider her to be a hero in the faith and am honored just to know her. Its funny how someone can touch your life so significantly when you don't even speak the same language. I am amazed every day as God shows me His kingdom being lived out here on earth.
                            My precious friend, Rosalina. A true Proverbs 31 woman.
Proverbs 31:30-31
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

So how the heck can I not be smiling when I know people like this!?

06 March 2012

laughter is the best medicine

It probably has to do with the massive amounts of stress that I am under all the time... Oh this weird/crazy life. But I find that laughing has become more and more important to me. I need to do it every day. Its not too hard to get my fix with all the insane and strange things that happen around my house... Lots of which, I probably shouldn't talk about here. Lets just suffice it to say, living with a lot of women who work a job where you have to talk about embarrassing things (such as sex, breastfeeding, women problems, etc) can get pretty darn interesting sometimes.

The lastest jokes might have to do with birth, whether it was a funny birth in a taxi, jeepny, tricycad, or CR (bathroom). The best part is the looks on the faces of the people who were not planning to be at the birth (taxi driver, jeepny passengers, etc.) Oh I think that birth can be SO funny.

I once had a patient who had a taxi birth. I asked her when she had felt the urge to push... She told me when the taxi driver took her to the local government hospital and that was where she first felt the need to push, then she told him. "NO, take me to that one (the one where I volunteer) clinic!!!!" She had her baby shortly after ( it was her third, so he just sort of slid out on the way to the clinic). They were super fun to take care of though! A sweetheart couple in love with each other and their baby!

There was another birth here a few days later. A lady had her baby on the jeepny. The best part? The other passengers were all nursing students! They just looked on and were terrified! Haha. Poor people...

Or maybe we laugh at some horrified bana's reaction to his wife giving birth for the first time (my favorite is when the bana threw up 6 times).

Yes its true... Lots of funny things happen around here. Some are appropriate to talk about, some aren't. But I think it is the much needed comedic relief for a life of such intensity. We are after all serving the poor, and sometimes sad things happen. Sometimes we are left slightly traumatized, and a really good or really funny birth is JUST what we need to move on. God knows right? He is great at sending the perfect comedic relief, or awesome patient at the perfect time. He is SO good. Because God knows, that sometimes we just need to laugh so hard that we shoot milk out of our nose... Even though we hadn't had milk for months.

04 March 2012

laughing at my fear

I have been learning lately how to take myself less seriously. I am most definitely on a journey with Jesus. Sometimes it has been intense and introspective, but mostly just wildly ridiculous. I have really been learning the importance of letting go of a lot of things... Including my fears. Namely, my fear of man. I was sitting with my pal Jesus one day, and we decided together that this one has really got to go. Its about time.

The thing is, most people would look at me and say... You don't seem very fearful. In fact... probably since I was a small child I have been a bit of a risk taker. I wanted to go on all the scariest rides, take my bike down the fastest hill, and climb the highest tree/jungle gym/house available. I guess somewhere along the line I got this idea that I wasn't supposed to be afraid of anything, and if I was then I was weak. And that being weak is bad. Well, I realize now that that is just not true. Being weak is actually good. Being wrong is ok too. Messing up is forgivable. These may seem like obvious revelations, but I have really spent my entire life believing the opposite of these truths. God has focused on this with me lately though, and shown me the truth of how when I am weak He is strong. When I feel like the worst screw-up of a missionary/Christian/person, He is actually doing something greater in me.

The thing is, when I preform at less that the "expected standard" I feel this overwhelming shame cover me. I hate it. But I seriously worry about what others think. If I am wrong or if I don't know everything about a topic, shame. And when I just straight drop the ball and don't do what I "should," massive shame. Shame on me. I am SUCH a loser.

Well, the truth is that yes, I need to (wo)man up, put on my big girl panties and get what I need to do done. I need to be the grown-up that I and others know I am capable of being. But I am also not called to live in shame and self condemnation when I fail. CHYA. I am called to stand in confidence with Christ and ask Him to help me. Because when I am weak, HE is strong. I can ask Him for motivation, clarity, strength, etc. I long ago accepted the fact that yes, I can be a little slow, no I don't know everything, and in spite of my greatest efforts I will never be perfect. I don't have to be at the top of my class, I don't have to compare myself to anyone else. I can just be me and do the best that I can do. If I am a passing (s*****) who is an amazing midwife, then I did exactly what I came here to do. If I mess up and drop the ball sometimes, thats ok too. I have freedom in Christ to FAIL. But the question is, what will I do next? Wallow in my shame and self pity, getting myself more and more behind? OR move on, (wo)man up, and get going (even if its hard). I would rather be the second person. Because I want to be a person of integrity and honor.

So as introspective and intense as that was... I guess this post is really about saying that I have decided to get more done, not be ashamed if I don't, and laugh my butt off every day. The End.