IMG_1713I was going to write a little more about Rose and Ned this week, but after finding myself in a conversation that left me troubled and thinking – and, actually, finding it the mirror of a previous conversation that left me troubled and thinking, I decided to write about something else instead.

I’ve decided this week to write about guts.

“I admire anybody who has the guts
to write anything at all.” E.B. White

I’ve been keeping a blog now for a whopping six months!  I have to admit, before September, it had never occurred to me to keep a blog – I mean, I didn’t even have a website!  Even through my move to Colorado, every last scrap of business I’ve enjoyed as a midwife has come my way by word-of-mouth.  But, when I learned that if I hoped to get the book I’d written published I had to have one, I got cracking at it.  And I’ve come to enjoy it.  I’ve come to enjoy it, and I’ve even begun to see it as a thing with the potential to stand on it’s own – published book or no published book.

As I wrote on my about page, “my life’s been filled with generous souls and some profoundly transformational moments.  Those generous souls, bubbling over with wisdom and knowledge and insight, launched me into my moments of transformation… I desire to pass what I’ve been given along.”

I’ve come to enjoy keeping this blog, I’ve come to see it as an opportunity to share the many gifts I’ve been given, and, recently, I’ve come to see it as an opportunity even for others to share the gifts they’ve been given.

I didn’t write a book because I’m a wonder among midwives.  I’m not keeping this blog because I’m a wonder among midwives.  There are so many amazing midwives among us!  Amazing women who’ve been attending births longer than I have, who’ve attended more births than I have, who know more than I know, who are more skilled than I am, and who have better stories than I do.

One of the things I’d like to do with this blog is introduce you to some of these amazing women.  With that in mind, I’ve begun sending invitations to my midwife friends to write a little about themselves, their routes into midwifery, and their practices, etc, for me to share here.

That’s when I had those two disturbing conversations.

They both went a little something like this:  “Wow.  You know, you really open yourself up to scrutiny when you write in public that way – you really open yourself up to some criticism.”

Yes.  Yes, I suppose that’s true.

But, so what?

It made me think of that EB White quote, “I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”

It made me think of Brene Brown’s Ted Talks and book, DARING GREATLY.

Brene launches her book with Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech:

“It isn’t the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who’s actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;     
who strives valiantly;
who errs,
who comes short again and again,
because there’s no effort without error and shortcoming;
but he who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement;
and who, at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Yes.  Maybe, likely, per writing this blog, per writing a book, per telling my story I’ll be scrutinized, I’ll be criticized.

But what of that?  I’ve done my best with what I’ve been given.  I’ve done my best with my life.  I’ve done my best with it and, guess what?  For all my good intentions and best efforts, I actually deserve a bit of critical scrutiny.  Who doesn’t?

I’ve been given a gift.  God’s given me this life to do my best with, and my efforts to do my best are my story, and my story stands to be the gift I give back to God.  My life and its story is my thank you gift to God.

And it, good, bad, ugly, and even worthy of a measure of scrutiny and criticism, is my gift to you as well.

Good, bad, and ugly, here’s my life!  Take it, and be entertained, be encouraged, be warned, be inspired, be enriched.

Then do your best with the gift you’ve been given, and, please!  Wax brave!
Share who you are!  Share what you’ve done!  Have some guts, and share your gift with us!

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

Homebirth: Commonly Asked Questions

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

20 thoughts on “Guts

  • What great insight. I just got an email today by one of my sweet sisters. She thanked me for being brave. I had to chuckle because this has been a discussion in my family over the years. I want my family and my friends to see inside of me to the depths of my soul. In order to do that you have to be courageous. Writing birth stories is the same way. I too was cautioned to be very careful. I want people to stretch beyond themselves and look at the situation they find themselves in and LEARN!!!! A teachable spirit is what I want to challenge people to become. Good job Kim

  • I continue to be amazed by my niece who has the courage to not only put her self out in the world but also write about it. Keep up the great work…and life. I am so proud of who you are.

  • Excellent word, Kim. We can hide our mistakes and all the times we struggle, and what we present is like the air-brushed model’s photograph rather than our authentic selves. Thank you for being real. That’s what encourages us. It’s what we so enjoy.

    • Thank you, Gerri. There’s a lot more where that came from I’m afraid, haha! Lots and lots and lots of real! But it’s amazing how God can transform something real into something really beautiful if we let Him.

  • Kim, your life, your story and your bravery to tell it are indeed a gift to me and to many! Thank you for courageously sharing your tales from the arena and inspiring those around you to do so as well! I love the pictures – your many journals, perhaps? A promise of many more stories to come!

  • Wow! So true, I am very grateful to have grown up with parents who truly lived! Who were not afraid to plunge in unconventionally, to take twenty teenagers to Mexico, by bus, when they were barely in their twenties themselves, and not leave their children behind! Parents who didn’t hesitate to camp in front of our nearly built house for months, late fall months. Parents who showed us the way, bravely
    Thank you Mom! You are incredible!

    • Daughter, thanks. You’ll know one day what it means to me as your mom to find you and Paul liked and benefited from your childhood, especially considering how your dad and I had scarcely a clue what we were doing! And I think you know how incredibly proud I am of you and all you’re doing – you’re an amazing person, Hannah – an amazing wife, an amazing mom, an amazing friend, an amazing midwife ♥

  • Kim you simply are the strongest, determined, resilient and accomplished person that I know. You have a warrior mindset and you fight fiercely for the families you serve and the sweetest of young lives that you gently usher into this world. You, more than any other person I am blessed to know, are all about guts.

  • You may or may not be a wonder among midwives, but you ARE a wonder among women. I look at your life and your life’s work with admiration and respect. Thank you for having the guts to live your life as you do, and to share it with all of us!

  • Our enemy would have us hide our shortcomings and challenges due to the fear of man, our Father would have us share them knowing we will be set free from our enemy’s prison and finally accomplish THAT which He created us to accomplish with Him.

    Keep up the good work honey, you are inspiring more and more of us to step out and write something here which will be the sprouts of great thing to come.

  • Thank you Kim! Thoughtful, encouraging, biblical… Goes along well with a biography of Theodore Roosevelt by George Grant that I recently read and reminds me of one of my favorite quotes… “Be brave, you too, so men in times to come will speak well of you.”
    Thank you for sharing…

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