Happy Mother's Day to all you moms making 8 snacks a day and filling up sippy cups every 20 minutes. Your work has more value than you know!
Happy Mother's Day to those of you answering the 1 am, 3 am, 5 am cries for milk. You're building an incredible start for your baby.
Happy Mother's Day to you geniuses at making a meager grocery budget stretch for 7 days. You're are stewarding well through the roughest seas.
Happy Mother's Day to you who are shuttling your children from one activity to the next. You're investing in a brighter future.
Happy Mother's Day to you mom's wearing a cloak of loneliness through the longest shortest years, remember your never alone and loved by the Creator of the world.
Happy Mother’s Day to you moms wondering if you’re in over your head. We all are. But are worries and struggles are no match for an unstoppable God.
Happy Mother's Day to you tired champions, working to provide for your children and giving it all, even when you're running on empty. Your sacrifices are more than enough.
Happy Mother's Day to you women facing greater struggles than your children can comprehend, in your weakness, there is One whose strength is more than sufficient.
Happy Mother's Day to you moms who stay up late each night, pouring your heart out in prayer for your child. Your prayers will not return void.
Happy Mother's Day to you tending to a broken heart in an endless sea of grief. May the Comforter guide you moment by moment.
Happy Mother's Day to you remember the moments when you're children were small and would slip their tiny hands into yours. Your love has built generations.
Happy Mother's Day to you who are reflecting on the passing of time. How can your child be a grandmother herself already? Your righteous influence will guide your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to seek the narrow path.
To moms young and old, near and far, have an incredible Mother's Day!
(Did I miss your the stage of life? Add your Happy Mother's Day statement in the comments!)
Back in the '90s, Jackie Mize coined the phrase 'supernatural childbirth' in her best selling book by the same title. The concept seemed unheard of until she shared of her miraculous conceptions and pain-free deliveries, which encouraged many Christians to believe for the miraculous in their pregnancies and births. Mize's book was a gateway into helping believers expect and receive more from their pregnancies and births.
I was given the book in my first pregnancy by a friend who was also expecting. She shared her faith and the miraculous birth stories her mom had and I was so intrigued. From the moment I found out I was expecting, I had been afraid of actually giving birth, but after reading supernatural childbirth and inspiring testimonies online, I started to actually look forward to my birth experience. (You can read that story here )
So why did I write Re:Birth and how is it different from Supernatural Childbirth?
God first put this book in my heart during my second pregnancy. I had been reading scripture and studying Biblical Theology at Regent University, and I started seeing some concepts in the Bible that appeared contrary to what I had read in Supernatural Childbirth. But, I had experienced an incredible birth so I wanted to search for truth. My journey and Scripture interpretation took me through the finished work of the Cross. For example, in Re:Birth, we address prophetic metaphors of women writhing in pain during birth- but in the New Testament, we witness the renewal and reversal of the same metaphor, how cool is that??
Another concept that was important to address in Re:Birth was the amount of woman who experienced a supernatural birth..."BUT..." I had read so many testimonies were filled with amazing, miraculous experiences turned to sorrow and dare I guilt as woman shared what God had done during their deliveries, and also how they somehow messed it up of 'stepped out of faith.' Those ideas frustrated me so much, because believe me, I've been there! I've felt the weight of disappointment after a birth, but it doesn't mean that God was any less present or any less capable! Birth looks and feels different, even with the same women, there are no two births that are exactly the same, but we want to CELEBRATE you amazing Mamas and the amazing God we serve!
Don't forget to send us your stories so we can encourage others!
I hope you all are having a fantastic week-
Love and Hope in Christ!
While writingBirth in Blantyre, I was able to connect with so many wonderful people and hear their stories, concerns, and victories. One mom took the time to share her three birth stories with me after learning about Re:Birth and felt that God had given her miraculously short labors. I love her birth stories because they break a "birth stereotype," where women feel like labor will be long... because it's labor!
That simply doesn't have to be the case. I've shared before about praying for a three hour labor with my first baby, and being 9 1/2 cm dilated after three hours! During my last birth, I only experienced 40 minutes of regular, peaceful, contractions!
Martha shared: On my first birth it took me about 6 hours after signs of labour. And the other 2 just within 5 minutes of going to the hospital.
"[In Malawi,] whenever we are at home we feel that we are in labour pains. We go to the maternity ward reception whereby the midwife gets our details and checks on the cervix. If they see that you are in the first level of your labour they admit you and they keep on checking you till you get to stage number 8 whereby they know that you are in the last stage of your labour. That is if you find a good midwife. Sometimes you find a midwife who is inconsiderate when she sees that you are on the early stages of your labour she can even ask you to go back home and come back when you are going to the last stage of labour.
I don't know what actually happened to me. It just happened that these two kids I feel it was by God's grace. I just felt my back sore around 7am and when I went to the toilet only to see that I am in labour. I told my husband that i was not feeling alright and he said ok as.he was getting prepared I could feel that It started to be very painful By the time he finished it was around 7:30am he took me to the hospital and while I was in the car I felt that the baby was already on its way.
I remembered the moment he stopped the car I was the first person to.get out of the car and I run to the maternity ward and get straight to bed. The midwife asked me to go.to the reception I told her that I feel the baby is on its way. She immediately got her gloves and checked me only to see that the bay was coming. And she just asked me to push then the baby was born by 8am.
And my last born daughters birth was also a very quick one. It was also in the morning around past 7 when my husband was getting ready to drop my boy at creche. I told him that I could feel a slight pain and he asked me if he could drop me to the hospital first I said no he can drop the boy to school. The moment he left I felt the pain was unbearable. I asked my sister to go to my neighbours house and ask if the neighbour can take me to the hospital. By then I was expecting my husband to come back from creche after an hour. The neighbour came and take me in his car. That time I couldn't sit upright because I could feel the baby was very close. When my husband came back he was told that we already left for the hospital. He just followed us to the hospital When we get to the hospital the hospital attendants run with the stretcher and let me lay there. The midwife asked me to sit upright when we got in the hospital i told her that I lt won't be possible since the baby is close Then she rushed to get the gloves to check only to see that the baby was really coming. She asked me to push again and immediately the baby was born. Thats how I experienced the labour. "
I love how Martha knew her births were "by Gods grace." Her words remind me of Eve's when she remarks, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." (Gen. 4:1). God is with us at every moment during labor and delivery. He already knows the next moment- so there's no reason to fear!
If you're looking for more positive birth stories of God's goodness, check out Re:Birth!
Blessings, my friends!
I first connected with Joanna May Chee when I was finishing up Re:Birth. She had shared her supernatural birth testimonies on her website, mumskidsjesus.com and she was kind enough to let me share them in Re:Birth as well!
Within our first few messages, it was clear that Joanna had an contagious love of Jesus and was passionate about encouraging women. Most recently, she's poured her love into a beautiful book called Forever Loved: Eve's Story. I was thrilled to be able to preview it before it's release.
The one word I would use to describe it is "stunning." Joanna captures readers hearts with her personal story and encountering the Father's love, and then whisks them away to Eden. I had planned to read the book over a rainy weekend, but instead I finished it in one sitting (which is a miracle in itself with three kids running about!)! As soon as I was finished, I wanted to jump back in and read it again.
Joanna creatively retells the story of Adam and Eve through the voice of Eve in a way that shares the infinite love of the Creator! I could feel God's love wash over me as I read and we ALL need more of that every single day!
I would highly recommend this book to all of our wonderful Re:Birth friends- it's a perfect encouragement for women at every stage in their journey!
This is a BIG week around here. I'm never ready for book launches, they sneak up on me while I'm still working on the nitty-gritty parts of publishing. Nonetheless, there is so much to be excited about!
Re:Birth has been out for a little bit over a year now, and I'll admit, nothing has gone as planned! The doors that I've knocked on never opened and my family found ourselves embarking on a turbulent and unplanned adventure. Re:Birth sat on my bookshelf with a mixture of hope and frustration.
Last October, I received an email from a journalist turned pastor in Malawi that had picked up our press release on christiannewswire.com, he asked for books and brochures to deliver to expecting women in Malawi. Part of our marketing plan has incorporated giving books back since day one (every three purchases provides a copy of Re:Birth to a women in need), so I was thrilled to have a new area to focus on. We sent a box of copies, and they never made it! So we went with plan B, and sent brochures with scripture and encouragement for moms-to-be in Malawi.
We loved seeing the fruit of this mission, but I still really wanted to do more to help these lovely women, I just wasn't sure how! I quickly began to realize that while the idea of supernatural births and pain-free deliveries was refreshing to these moms-to-be, they were more concerned with life or death complications during birth than pain.
This was a startling realization that we seldom face in America, but Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. I began researching and trying to understand just why this is. Edward Mikwamba began setting up interviews with doctors, teachers, nurses, and missionaries so that I could learn more about the factors impacting maternal mortality, and we compiled the information we found into Birth in Blantyre. Edward did a wonderful job providing photographs which help readers get a glimpse of life in Malawi and I'm so grateful for all of the help we've received on this project. It has blessed and encouraged me tremendously, and I'm looking forward to the launch on the 1st so that we can return the blessings to Malawi!
Every book will provide a box of latex gloves to hospitals in need.
I hope that you'll consider sharing about this book- these days, sharing really does mean caring because it helps us spread the word without paid advertising, which is crucial to this project!
Our first winter back in New England has been COLD! We’ve spent a great deal of time inside, and no one has taken it harder than my three-year-old. Every morning she wakes up and asks if we can go to the beach. When I explain it’s too cold for the beach, she asks if we can go to the playground, and I have to explain the playground is covered in snow. Then she asks if we can make cupcakes. And the answer is always, "not right now."
So today, she was taking a much needed nap and I decided to bake a batch of cupcakes as a special surprise. I pulled out a new Christmas gift from LetGoShop, silicone cupcake liners! I can’t keep the paper liners in stock so, I figured food grade silicone was a great alternative and eco-friendly.*
I made some cake batter and filled the cups 3/4 of the way, and baked them on a baking tray. I peeked in at about 20 minutes...
Clearly, I used too much batter. I felt so discouraged, I was trying to go the extra mile as a mom and the cupcake batter just wasn’t working with me!
Nevertheless, my daughter came down from her nap and was so excited that I had made cupcakes. She didn’t care if they looked as though they had been dropped a few times. Instead, she asked for a pink star cupcake with a sleepy grin. We all devoured the messy treat and my focus shifted from perfection to counting smiles.
The joy of motherhood is built upon looking for the silver lining and embracing the small victories. It’ s too easy to become wrapped up in the mess of dishes and the misbehaving toddlers. But, if I let that be my focus, I’ll miss the smiles, and the giggles, and sorting through my son's rock collections while my baby climbs on me link a jungle gym.
I have to continuously remind myself that amongst the clutter and the Pinterest fails are the victories which make childhood beautiful, and thankfully, that's what children focus on the most. They're not concerned with how organized the kitchen looks, instead, they thrive on the new experiences of banging on the pots and pans or stacking soup cans into towers.
When clean-up time comes, they're equally ready to put their little hands to work for a smile and a "thank you!" It's usually this mom who would rather do it myself than risk more impending messes, but I have to remind myself that, "love is patient." When I'm short on patience, it's really an indicator that I'm short on love. Luckily, God has an unending supply and He's always available to refuel a tired mama!
Have a wonderful week!
Re:Birth is almost one year old. We've heard and shared wonderful testimonies and I'm so thankful to be on this journey.
I have to say, I'm most thankful for what's going on in Malawi right now. Our friends Edward and Edna have been distributing brochures and sharing about Re:Birth with expecting women.
Birth is much different in Malawi than America. For starters, they have one of the highest maternal mortality rates. My heart has been to do more than just send books and brochures, but not fully understanding birth practices have made it difficult to put an action plan together.
Then, I realized I'm not the only one who doesn't understand birth in Malawi. Most of the western world is probably clueless to the struggles women face. So, I've asked our friends to start interviewing and documenting birth in Malawi from the perspective of women and birth professionals.
The results will be compiled in a book to help raise awareness and support. So far, the results have been stunning.
Please consider sharing about this project and purchasing the final book. 100% or the proceeds will go back to Malawi.
Dear New Mom,
Breathe in and breathe out. Don't worry about trying to make life perfect, that's an impossible job better left in the Hands of a Perfect God.
Instead, cherish the small moments, the snuggles and the smells of your soft newborn baby. Those small moments turn to big memories you will forever carry as a your first badge of motherhood.
Honor your body too. It's easy to critique your figure and the changes that may have taken place during pregnancy, but your body just participated in the miracle of life. Day by day, it will keep changing and returning to the way you remembered it. Don't forget, it took 9 months for those changes to take place and it'll take time and healthy practices to feel normal again.
When 3 am rolls around and your still holding a baby, longing for sleep. Let God wrap his arms around you and cherish you just the way you're loving your baby. God loves us through our lows and highs with a love that's multiplied beyond our human understanding. He's with you when your patience is gone, he's with you when your joy explodes, and he's always willing to provide the perfect amount of comfort and advice to his children as we care for our own.
The most important piece of advice I can give you is if you're ever feeling lost, lonely or unloved. Sit down in a quiet spot and don't get up until you feel God's presence. Sometimes it takes a simple prayer, asking God to let you feel his love, sometimes it takes surrendering your worries or fear, but it's a request that never comes back void and might carry you through the longest shortest years.
If you're planning to breastfeed or currently nursing, I'm sure you’ve checked out the various nursing pillows in the market. Most pillows are a life saver, or at least a back saver, once you find the right one. I've owned four different types, three of which I would recommend to a friend.
First off, we'll start with the bad. I grabbed a no name nursing pillow at a consignment sale. It came in the same half-circle shape as other nursing pillows, but was pure fluff with no support. I threw it in the back of my car for infrequent car nursing sessions, and eventually dropped it off at goodwill. Don't waste your time and money on no names pillows, because they leave you with no support!
The Boppy nursing pillow, My Breast Friend, and Ergo nursing pillow are far more worth your time and money.
Which nursing pillows have you used? How would you rate it?
December 14th is always my least favorite day of the year. Five years ago, our little town was shaken by horrible darkness. Today, God's light shines brighter than ever. To read my reflections on the Sandy Hook Shooting, head over to http://www.alexandrakulick.com/blog/good-keeps-going-a-lesson-from-sandy-hook and join us in prayer for the families and friends of those who were lost.
Is a wife, mother of four, author of Re:Birth, and lover of afternoon naps.