Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Breath & Wings: A Mother’s Day Post

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Breath & Wings

Her new wings are still unfurling, tender and delicate. A flutter here, another in a moment. Quiet! There she goes. Uncertain, her feet have left the ground anyway.

“Now is as good a time as any!” Her wings straighten and thrust her into open air.

Not yet soaring, she hops and jumps and keeps testing the strength of these wings. A little higher now, she catches a breath of wind! Just the tiniest movement of air that keeps her suspended in glorious flight for a time. He gently sets her back down, whispering assurances of his soon return to lift her to newfound heights.

“But, I want to fly now.” Forlorn, the wings droop for a time.

If flight is so hard, perhaps it’s better in the soft, sturdy turf. Her eyes lift, and catch the glint of light on other wings. Inspired, her wings twitch in anticipation. Yes, there is strength there, but not of her own stuff. It has come through gentle, slow healing and unfurling. A painful process, and one she has born with grace unfamiliar to her until this day. Grace she did not know she possessed, through the power of the Breath of Life.

The breath returns. Joyously, he lifts her up, carries her. HelpsĀ her use her wings in earnest!

Flight is exhausting and exhilarating! Joyful and hard, it takes more work than walking the turf had asked of her.

But flight is freedom, and she knows it full well. Still, she cannot fly forever just now. Not yet.

“Soon,” the wind promises her.

Her wings tire, and he gently gives her rest. “Lie still awhile. Take nourishment. Lasting strength will come.”

There is nectar here, and nesting places for tired wings. Another flight awaits, and sunrise always brings the breeze.

Keep going, Mom. You really can do it. I have never stopped believing in you. I have never stopped thanking God for you. You gave me life, by the grace of God. Without you, I would not be who I am. My wings have unfurled because of you. You are loved. You matter. And you are my favoritest Mommy ever!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Love, Sunshine!!!

Pain’s Message

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Photo from

“Labor will hurt. Probably a lot. But whether this is negative is another matter… A laboring woman can be in a great deal of pain, yet feel loved and supported and exhilarated by the creative forces flowing through her body and her ability to meet labor’s challenges.” ~ Henci Goer

Pain in general is not a good or bad thing, in and of itself.

Pain is simply a message from our body to our brain that something needs to change. It tells me when to move my hand away from a hot surface. Pain tells me to lie down and rest for awhile. It tells me to take a bath.

In labor, pain is part of that creative process moving through my body. It does more than just tell me to get moving.

It empowers me to take what control I can in an otherwise uncontrollable event; it places me squarely on the crest of each contraction wave, where I can ride it out in some measure of peace. It tells me to seek comfort – in a warm bath, in the arms of a loved one, outside in the sun, in a dimmed room with soft music, in the motion of walking, and even in the simplest relief of emptying my bladder.

Pain signals the release of huge amounts of endorphins, bringing me to the brink of ecstasy as I feel the baby slip out of my body and into my arms.

Pain experienced in loneliness or perceived isolation is excruciating. Pain experienced in an environment of peace, comfort, and perceived safety is empowering and moving. It is life-changing and educational. It is powerful, intense, and sometimes indescribable.

The pain of labor is not suffering.

In life, as well as in labor, I find that it is often only through pain that I can experience pleasure at its fullest.

The agony and the ecstasy of labor and birth often go hand-in-hand. They are experienced in the same moments. Even at the height of a contraction, there is knowledge in my mind and heart that I will soon forget my pain at the joy of my child being born into the world. In my face, one can see unbounded joy, awe, and underlying it all – the pain of motherhood that never really goes away. We carry it with us as we agonize over every mothering decision.

Motherhood and its inherent pain is a baptism unlike any other on earth.

Being immersed to a depth we did not know we had, to emerge in the clear air of a role we somehow know without being expressly taught.

Pain in labor is what teaches us, and proves to us beyond all doubt that we have what it takes. We can rise to any challenge.

“You can’t scare me. I’ve given birth!” is our rousing, unarguable cry!

The pain of labor and birth, no matter our experience of it, or how we choose to manage it, tells us in a voice of authority: “We CAN be mothers.”

Photo from

What is/was your experience with pain in your labor(s)? How did you use the various tools available to you (everything from natural methods to medication is welcome to be mentioned here) in order to meet the challenge of your labor pain? Would you change anything about how you managed your pain? Why or why not? Did you experience a painless birth?

Grace & Peace,


Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Photo from

You’ve heard it before: “We all make mistakes.”

Nowhere does this hit home quite as hard as it does in motherhood. When we finally, fully realize that we really are human. That we are not invincible after all. That we really don’t know everything. That, for the most part, our mothers were right about everything.

I cannot count the number of times I have collapsed, weeping, sure that I had ruined my children for life. Again. The number of times I’ve called my mother, apologizing for ever being three years old.

My mom is always quick to remind me that she didn’t live a mistake-free existence either. She just made different ones. Well, mostly different. I find myself making some of the same ones she did, and Mom is always the first to sympathize with me and point out the funny side.

We learn from our parents’ mistakes. We learn from their victories. We learn from those everyday moments we can’t quite recall, but make up the very foundation we end up standing on. We bring our own bricks to add to that foundation, both solid ones and ones that have a few chunks missing. Somehow, our kids seem to thrive and do well in spite of the gaps.

I’ve taken the opportunity to step back and take a look at that foundation as well as I can. To take it all in at once. I’ve noticed something.

There just aren’t as many gaps as I thought there were. I know for a fact that some of the bricks I’ve laid were positively crumbling apart. Yet, that’s not what I see.

By the grace of God and through the help of my own personal “village”, all those places I fall short have been filled in. The gaps are largely gone.

No, my children will not grow up to be perfect. But they’ll be pretty much okay. They have a safe place to land. A sturdy foundation to build their own families on, and a chance to see their own gaps filled in the same way mine have been. I hope they don’t make the same mistakes that I do, and I hope that their own, new mistakes are ones they can find forgiveness for easily.

I guess the point of this rambling post is this:

I have discovered that there is no shame in making the everyday mistakes of motherhood. No shame even in the bigger mistakes we often discover only through hindsight. There is only potential for continued growth and learning. Potential for others to come in and add to our good, covering over the places where our weaknesses have left holes. Potential for our children to learn from us.

Potential to do better, because we know better.

Grace & Peace,