Another little bit of
A Midwife in Amish Country
Celebrating God’s Gift of Life
“My journals from that period are overflowing with the triumphs and agonies of those exhilarating, frustrating, exhausting, potent years. My young heart was coming to life. The sense of who I was and what I was meant to do was maturing. With my hand squeezing the life out of Jesus’ hand, my struggle to alter my way of living, marked as it was with myriad messy missteps, began to have the effect I’d hoped for.
Reading through those old journal entries brings back all the hopes and fears and longings of that time. The woman I am now was a newborn babe then! The nuts and bolts of today’s daily life, the things I do without a second thought, then took such effort to achieve. And the accomplishments of my life to that point were yet germinal—fragile, vulnerable seedlings. I hear the echoes of my youthful, passionate heart as it cried out, straining to overcome, to rise victorious, and it makes the tears sting my eyes and the gooseflesh tickle along my arms.
Twenty-year-old scribblings: page after page filled with my burning to be and do everything God created me to be and do, plus all my worries I’d fall short. Our trips to Mexico always intensified my yearnings and returning to the humdrum of our daily lives increased my apprehensions.
Seeing to the never-ending tasks of wifing and mothering engulfed most of my time, energy, and motivation. Once I managed to get everybody up in the morning, fed, dressed, discipled, gentled, educated, entertained, trimmed, bathed, nurtured, and tucked back into bed at night intact and happy, there was little left for tending aspirations. More nights than not, Brent returned from work to find me snoozing beside the kids with some half-read storybook spread across my chest, my intention to study pushed off yet another night.
I loved what I was doing—I did! But I loved what I wanted to do, too, and every day that went by without hitting those books served to increase the nagging uneasiness I felt over my chances of accomplishing anything of significance beyond parenting.
I spent an evening opening my heart with all its desires and concerns to Brent, and I found him a tremendous encouragement. He was always such an encouragement. This is what I wrote the next morning.
I DON’T WANT TO WASTE MY LIFE! I was afraid it was getting wasted, both by my ineptitude and by the mundane, but Brent talked to me about how the Lord really is using me here and now in many ways, and that I shouldn’t worry. He reminded me I have to be faithful in little things first, letting the little tasks God’s given me to do now develop my character and prepare me for bigger jobs ahead. So, I don’t want to get distracted by looking too far into the future. I have to live here and now. I must pay attention to what the Lord is telling me today, to do my best with what He’s given me to do today. No task—not scrubbing a high chair or washing a dish or folding a shirt—should be considered meaningless. Certainly, not rearing Hannah and Paul, or being wife to Brent. Thanks for showing this to me, Lord. Show me how to live today with excellence.
My mom also was an encouragement, reminding me the most amazing accomplishments of any life are comprised of attendance to regular, daily tasks. I spent a while ruminating on that in my next quiet time.
Reading my Bible this morning—reading and thinking about Naomi and Ruth, reading and thinking about Hannah, reading and thinking about Esther, I realized these extraordinary women really were just as ordinary as I am.
They mostly lived simple lives, just like mine. They nursed babies and changed diapers, they cooked meals and washed dishes, they folded laundry and tidied messes, they trained their children and cared for their husbands. They struggled to rise mornings, failed to find anything flattering to wear, battled morning breath, and endured bad hair days. They worked hard and longed for a smidge of playtime—or at least a quick nap. They dropped, enervated into bed nights, then surely lay there awhile in the dark, waiting for sleep to come—or a frightened child, or an amorous spouse—wondering if they could possibly be making any kind of meaningful difference on the earth, hoping they were making a difference…
Then, amidst the tedium and ennui, God remembered the desires of their hearts and, right in the midst of their ordinariness, called them to life. He imparted vision, and He infused them with the strength and resources they needed to live lives of spectacular significance. And they went on to live lives recorded and remembered for years and years to come, probably amazing them even more than their lives and accomplishments amaze us, if they ever actually fully realized the amazing nature of their lives and accomplishments at all.
It’s kind of thrilling, though also rather sobering, to realize our lives will have an effect, will be remembered, will possibly even be recorded.”
Stasi Eldredge, NYT best-selling author of Captivating
Dr. Sara Wickham, author, midwifery lecturer and consultant, www.sarawickham.com
Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of The Midwife
Leslie Gould, #1 best-selling and Christy-award winning author of over twenty books, including The Amish Midwife
Rahima Baldwin Dancy, author of Special Delivery, childbirth activist, and midwife (retired)
Marie Monville, author of One Light Still Shines
Cindy Lambert, coauthor of One Light Still Shines
Elizabeth Davis, CPM, Co-Director of National Midwifery Institute, Inc., elizabethdavis.com, author of Heart & Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth and the international bestseller, Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Birth Experience
Serena B. Miller, award-winning author of More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting, serenabmiller.com
Eleanor Bertin, Lifelines and Pall of Silence
Sara Daigle, author of Women of Purpose and Dare to Love Your Husband Well
Beth Learn, founder of Fit2b.com
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author
Books by Kim: