Archive for the ‘Just Me’ Category

Five Years

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Dear Dad,

I miss you still. Some days without you are harder than others. Most are lovely now, slipping away quietly in the everyday nothings, like pearls from a string. Each with its own soft shine. But there are some that still just hurt.

Lydia’s first choir concert last year made my heart ache until bursting. Remembering looking out from the risers myself, and seeing your beaming face next to Mom’s was everything to me. I always sang for you, Dad. The moment she spotted us in the audience, and that sweet grin broke across her face, I knew how you felt sitting in the audience all those years.

Audrey’s first volleyball game was another moment. Seeing the smallest kid on the court get a serve over the net brought to mind all of your coaching at my sisters’ games, and how proud you were of them no matter how the game went.

You know Durin surpassed me in height this year, right? Well, he did. And he is growing into a young man I know you would be proud of. He tries so very hard to do what’s right, and he is pretty unforgiving of himself when he makes the smallest mistakes. And I now know how hard it was for you to get us girls to really see ourselves as valuable, precious, and pleasing to God even in our struggles.

And then there’s Dain. My little boy who just wants to be with the ones he loves. He doesn’t care what the activity is. He just wants to be with me. LIke you. I see you in his love languages, Dad, and it makes me miss you. He is tender and sweet, and I think that someday he just might take after you in his ten

der lovingkindness. Right now, he’s a bit of a pill as a little boy, but I guess you probably were too. I wish I could send him down to the river with his dog and some army men. He really belongs in the country.

How did you do it, Dad? How did you set the bar so high for us, then show us that doing our best was enough, even if we didn’t quite reach the standard all the time? I wish you were here to guide me in raising my sons. I don’t know how boys become men, and I am doing my best. I wish so much that I could call you.

It’s been five years today, and I didn’t expect it to hurt this badly. But it does. It really, really hurts.

I love you, Daddy. And I miss being your Sunshine. But I am so grateful I got to know you as an adult. That we got to be friends before you left. Too many people don’t even have that. What a gift I was given in you, Dad. I don’t want to take it for granted or waste what you have given me. And I still desire, with every fiber of my being, to live up to the standards you set for me.

I find your words coming out of my mouth to my children all the time. Especially when I dust off a good old-fashioned lecture. (No. 42b, paragraph 7 is particularly effective. 😉 ) If I can be half the parent you were to me, my kids will be okay. And I wish you were here to help me.

I know you won’t see these words, Dad, but I can’t help but say them. Maybe God will pass on the message.

I love you still, Daddy.

Always Your Sunshine,

With Woman

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

It is anticipation, flutters and quickening.
Life and growth and unparalleled beauty.
It is squeals and coos, wriggles and dimples.
Hanging scales with tiny feet peeking through.

It is knowledge and wisdom, training and practice.
Books and research, instinct and reason.
It is squatting and reaching, twisting and folding,
meeting a mother and her baby right here.

It is a never-off cell phone, interruptions at dinner.
Put off vacations, and birthdays on hold.
It is seizing the moment, because you’re not at a birth,
keeping scrubs in the car and bags packed and ready.

It is saying the hard things, in compassion and grace.
Holding hands and “I’m sorry,” grieving and loss.
It is sitting and waiting, listening and presence.
Letting grief take its course in her heart slowly breaking.

It is business and money, budgets and forms.
Paperwork piles, contracts, and records.
It is hiding the headaches and ignoring the numbers,
Trusting provision will come someday soon.

It is building a village, stone by stone every day.
Community, relationship, and opening doors.
It is connecting her with new like-minded others,
Helping her realize she is in no way alone.

It is hands and heart in equal measure.
Richness and fullness and life as reward.
It is working in joy, frustration, and love.
Being with woman is far more than a job.

What does midwifery care mean to you? 

Faith, Family, Midwifery, and Such

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

I long for real community. A place where women and their families can come together to connect, support, and just do life together.

As I stood over my cutting board, processing 40 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts by myself, I thought how much more enjoyable the task would have been if I had had someone alongside me. I’m tired of being independent in everything. I want to lean on someone. I have no problem at all being alone, doing things on my own, because I can. Quite simply, I’m pretty good at just getting things done, and it rarely crosses my mind to ask anyone to come along.

I don’t want to anymore.

I want a friendly face beside me, just doing things together. Laundry. Bulk cooking. Spring cleaning. First my place, then hers. Like they did 150 years ago in rural areas, not because they liked each other so much, but because it enabled better survival and created a safety net of people who would rush to your aid when your barn was on fire.

I have so many ideas in my mind of how to make this happen. First of all is to invite others into my space and set the example. (So if anyone wants to split that 40 pound box of chicken next time, hit me up!)

Another idea is to use the NextDoor app to reach out to my literal neighbors, and host small gatherings. I’m actually thinking of making a ton of apple cider on Halloween/Reformation Day, and ladling out hot cups of it from my front porch and meeting my neighbors. Or starting a neighborhood Bible study, unconnected with any local church.

I have already done a freezer meal session with my best friend, and it was amazing! We managed to put together 11 meals for our families, and loved the time together! She used several of hers to bless other families in need by taking them dinner. So the ripple effect of our efforts touched far more than just our families. I love that.

I have also determined to ask for more help. After spending about five hours (at least) looking for a good deal on a winter coat for my eldest, I realized I could have just posted on Facebook to see if anyone had a hand-me-down. With how many clothes I pass on to smaller people, it makes sense to try and look for people who would be willing to pass down to my kids.

One of my favorite things to do is to call up a friend, find out what their plans for dinner are, and combine forces. Another of my best friends–I’m an extrovert, I have more than one best friend–and I used to do this all the time. We would combine her pasta with my veggies and a few random sides, and create dinner together for our families. Especially when it was near the end of the month, and we were both short on groceries and cash. The weird meals we made were not Pinterest-worthy, but they were appetite-worthy, and brought us together as families. Totally worth it.

Acitivies, events, and playdates are all great, but I want more. Because when you go home from the playdate, you still have 87 piles of laundry to do. You still have to cobble together dinner at the end of a long day of errands. You still have to be a decent human being to your spouse. And that can only happen in community.

So, that’s my heart. This is what I want to do here on this blog. Write about faith, family, and community. Midwifery, birth, and all that jazz are intimately connected to those topics. And I find that I cannot write about one without writing about the other.

Welcome to my renewed blog, where you get all of me! Not just the birthy me. I hope you find a comfortable place to pull up a chair and read!

How do you find yourself creating or participating in community?

Grace & Peace,

Thankful 30: Words

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

four fall leaves on an aged wood background with Thankful 30 header

Good morning, Colorado Springs! I know it has been a minute since I blogged, but I love that you are here anyway, checking out whatever it is I’m writing for you. I love that November feels like a reset to me, almost like a New Year, because of the Internet tradition of sharing gratitude all month long. So, here I am, beginning my very own Thankful 30 posts for 2016.

Today, I am thankful for Words.

When all else fails me, I can fall back on words.

Because actions speak louder than words, sometimes words aren’t good enough. This leads some to believe that words are never good enough.

Song lyrics.

Poetry.

Quotes.

Scripture.

Books.

All of these things and more speak to us. They touch a part of our souls that actions cannot. They open our hearts to receive comfort, help, reprimand, respect, love, and dignity. They train our minds to respond to hatred with love. To grief with comfort and empathy. To anger with gentleness. To despair with hope. To poverty with generosity.

Words teach us. They shape our minds and our hearts deeply, whatever the source.

Without words, there would not be action, because words have the power to move.

The power of life and death is in the tongue, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ~Patrick Rothfuss

What are you thankful for today?

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I Apologize.

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

A gift came my way
I was loathe to refuse,
though I knew
rage
would come.

I apologize?

I die to myself
over and over again,
though I know
I’m
not seen.

I apologize?

Walking on eggshells,
every encounter is fragile,
and I know
I
can’t win.

I apologize?

I hold my silence
when words are let loose
in a torrent
of
hard knocks.

I apologize?

When I fall short
of impossible standards,
never as good
as
even my past self.

I apologize?

Just when I think
everything’s going so well,
I am tripped
up,
I stumble again.

I apologize?

For being myself.
The only self I can be,
imperfect, but loving
I’m
not enough.

I apologize?!

Finished with doubt,
my friendship still holds,
not in the right image,
Does
it matter?

No more apologies.

It’s always my fault,
venting and craving
capitulation
and
pity.

No more apologies.

My heart beats a rhythm,
my stomach turns sour
waiting for honest
words
pouring out.

No more apologies.

I’ve suffered enough
under the tyranny of misery,
no more will I stand
the
object of scorn.

No more apologies.

There is pain, yes,
but I’m hurting too
every time flames are let loose
and
burn me.

No more apologies.

I’ll never forget some of Dad’s last words to me: “Never apologize when you’re trying to do something nice for someone. Don’t ever do that.”

Even when I know that I have done nothing wrong–not only that, but when I know that I have made every real effort to do and be what is kind and right–I will find a way to blame myself for any misunderstanding. Every time. I can always find something to apologize for, even when there is nothing. I actually tend to apologize for other people’s feelings.

No more.

I will continue to forgive, as many times as it takes. Not because I am such a great forgiver, but because I have no excuse to withhold forgiveness, when I think of what has been forgiven in me. But, forgiveness does not always lead to reconciliation. For the first time in my life, I might have to be okay with that.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about this in my close relationships, but there are some relationships deep in my past in which I carry scars and not-quite-healed wounds. These words stemmed partially from those experiences.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

My Greatest Fear

Monday, August 1st, 2016

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

My light does frighten me. I am afraid of center stage, where hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and pride can so easily take over. I am afraid to face those who would admire and look up to me simply because of what I do for a living. I am afraid to do too well, be too successful. I can deal with and accept my darkness. My flaws and failings are all too apparent, daily. Even hourly. There are glaring gaps in my character that scream at me to stay in a place of condemnation and false humility. I am more comfortable with my sins and flaws than I am with my strengths and giftings.

No more.

I am a midwife.

This is a truth I am trying with all my heart to embrace fully.

No, I have not achieved certification, and still have a ways to go before I do, but it is still the truth. A midwife is who I am. I say it not as a credential, but as an identifying characteristic, like being a wife and a mother.

I have played small up until now, deferring to others rather than stepping into the role for which I was created with confidence and humility.

No more.

From now on, I will serve the world. I will be brilliant. I choose to shine brightly and make manifest the glory of God, in whose image I am created.

I will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God as a midwife. Confident. Able. Strong. All to reflect his glory and his Name.

I will liberate others to shine, and to walk in the strengths God has given them. Only then can I overcome this weakness of false humility and hypocrisy. I am a child of God, and I will conduct myself as such.

I am a midwife, and I will not play small to fear any longer, by the power of the God who created me, called me, and equipped me.

I will trust in Him. I will not be afraid.

And I will not hide anymore.

Life is Good

Monday, July 18th, 2016

I do not have it all together. Not only that, but there is very little in my life that is truly “together.” If I have given you a different impression, I apologize.

My life is good, but good does not equate to easy, happy, fun, or perfect. Or even #blessed, as we say in Socialmedialand.

What do I mean by “good” then? I mean it in the same way someone says eating healthy or exercise or gardening or art is “good.” They really mean that it’s good for you. Meaning that it will do you some good. It will make you better somehow.

So, yes. My life is good.

Because it is hard.

But it’s not third world hard. Or inner city hard. Or being born black hard (#BlackLivesMatter).

It is refining fire hard.

“Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” –Psalm 66:8-12 (NIV)

As much as I want my life to be easy, it’s not. It’s quite easy enough, though, and I sometimes wonder when the other shoe will drop.

Until then, I will keep working.

Because life is good.

Totally Gross

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

This is a before and after shot of the top of my kitchen cabinets. I have battled that nasty greasy dust that settles in formidable layers and surrendered. I have tried so many things, and eventually kind of gave up. This year, when I decided to spring clean, I decided I would google it.

Why I haven’t done that before, I have no idea. Suffice it to say that the last time I actually attempted to get this clean, I hadn’t yet figured out Pinterest. That’s as close as I will come to telling you how many years of grease-dust were on my cabinets. *shudders*

Anyway. I would rather write about other things, but spring cleaning has consumed my life, so this is what you get. (Sorry for the potato-like quality of the image. Cell phones. What are you going to do?)
gross cabinet
How I did it:

I started with this link: How to Clean the Tops of Greasy Kitchen Cabinets. I then realized that my cabinets were far more gross than hers were. *shudders again*

So, I modified her process a tad. I used her natural method, because commercial cleaners are overrated in the vast majority of cases. I don’t care so much about the chemicals, it’s just like buying pancake mix. Why bother when you probably already have all the ingredients you need already, and it will be far cheaper and work better? Baking soda and vinegar, baby. Baking soda and vinegar.

In the spray bottle of vinegar, I added about 10 drops of orange essential oil, just because. Why not? I also found that sprinkling the baking soda, then spraying it, worked better than the other way around. I then scraped and scraped, as per her instructions. I couldn’t quite get every last layer, though. So, while I continued to sprinkle, spray, wait, and scrape, I thought.

We happen to have some Goo Gone (one of the few cleaners I really like for rare tough jobs). After I finished scraping each section, I sprayed it down with the stuff.

Last, but not least, I “mopped” the top of my cabinets.

There is really only one effective way to mop.

    1. Glop lots of soapy water on said area. Like, make a frigging puddle. Rinse the mop.
    2. Wring the bejeebers out of the mop, until it’s almost dry.
    3. Mop up all the glopped on water.

Look it up. It’s how I learned at McDonald’s, and it’s way more effective than any other method, ever.

Anyway, I applied the same principle with a rag and hot soapy water. Totally got that last thin layer of grease up. To finish, I lined the tops with waxed paper (the above blog post suggests any paper you can find), just to keep things easier in the future. I’m all about easy housekeeping.

There you go. How I cleaned that grossness.

Happy now?

Grace & Peace,
Tiff

All Board the Random Train

Friday, June 10th, 2016

When you are in need, ask for help. Seriously. Just ask. Somebody’s bound to say “Yes,” if you ask enough people. I’m pretty sure that this is the best use of Facebook, to reach out to help and to ask for help. This is second only to cat videos and inspirational quotes, of course.

I forgot how extroverted I am. Technically, I’m an ambivert that leans a little to the extroverted side. However, being constantly surrounded by people all day long has beaten my extrovert self practically senseless. Now that I have been deprived of four of my favorite people for almost two weeks, my introverted side has curled into a fetal position and shoved the extrovert forward. I am now a mess. I want to hang out, but I have eighty bajillion things to do while the kids are gone, so I stalk people on social media in between cleaning bouts and trips to the thrift store.

My nose gets very itchy this time of year. Dusting everything in the house doesn’t help.

Newspaper really does do wonders on windows. Who knew? Besides every grandmother, ever.

I don’t think I’ll ever get use to the night shift. It sucks. It is what it is, though, and we have made it work.

I had my first eye exam in about 25 years (give or take) yesterday. Absolutely perfect vision. So says the eye doctor lady at Costco. I did this so I can renew my driver’s license online. Because the eye exam sounds less torturous than the DMV, even though our DMV is pretty fast.

Aussie Bites are delicious and addictive.

I frigging miss my children, and half-regret letting them stay. Not because of anything in particular. It’s just hard to be apart from my amazing progeny. I just really really really love them a lot.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

Joyful Beginnings are Coming!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

joyfulbeginningsWEBwhite

I’m getting closer and closer to my new look, new website, new Twitter and more! Thank you so much for your patience as I work on designing my new place! Be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss the transition, sometime in early March!!!

A HUGE shout-out to Emily Fontes of Tiny Giant Marketing for the beautiful new logo and color profile! Go Like her page on Facebook, and check out what she might be able to do for your small business!