Great with Child(ren)

Having two births imminent colors, textures and illuminates this Advent season. 

I have great respect for the complexity and fragility of human life, and never take a healthy birth for granted.  I’ve thought more this year of Mary, awkward with baby, traveling to Bethlehem.  There is no way she could find a comfortable position on or off a donkey.  Really, how would she even get on a donkey? Her first birth, away from family, in a strange place, questionable hygiene, Joseph at her side.  They were not what one would call, in the parlance of medical speak, favorable conditions.

My Oregon daughter-in-law has been in labor through the night.  I am waiting to hear an update. 

Today is her due date.  Tomorrow is my Washington daughter-in-law’s due date.  Deep, cleansing breaths!!

I love the Lutheran Book of Prayer with its section “Prayers for Special Occasions in the Family Circle or in the Life of the Individual.”  In this section is a prayer Of a Woman with Child

O Great God, heavenly Father,
Thou art Creator and Preserver of life.
Marvelous are Thy works.

I magnify Thy holy name for having blessed me.
In humility I appear before Thee
with petitions for my unborn child and myself.
Thou, O heavenly Counselor and Helper,
knowest our needs.
Keep away from us what might be harmful,
and daily bestow health and strength.
Guide me through Thy Holy Spirit
that I may constantly be mindful of my privilege
and my responsibility as a mother.

At all times let me place my trust in Thee
and Thy fatherly care,
knowing that from generation to generation
Thy mercy is upon those that fear Thee.
Grant that, relying on Jesus,
my dear Redeemer,
and His glorious sacrifice,
I may face the future calmly,
and in quiet happiness.
I ask all this in His name.


6 thoughts on “Great with Child(ren)

  1. Interesting.  Today is Danicca’s 4th birthday.  Just after Christmas 2003, my family gave up Christmas and the Deal tradition of family gathering and gift exchange on Christmas Eve.The next summer, i found out i was pregnant. I was outgrowing my clothes and feeling exceedingly tired for not a reason i thought i could readily explain.  I must have thought i’d like to rule one thing out, but my wife chuckled when she found the heartbeat.  Still nursing my son, I was already in my second trimester with my 5th child and hadn’t known it. OMG, i thought, how on earth am i to care to five children?  Still in denial, I broke out in a stress rash that lasted for three weeks.  Not knowing a due date, i trusted myself and my unborn baby to God and the skilled hands of my midwife the He gave to me.  It was a really tough time for me emotionally, my life wasn’t just being pregnant and already raising 4 children, it was a spiritual battle in a situation i would need to write another blog about.  I’ll spare you the bore today.Anyway, the roads were nasty on the night i realized i was truly in labor. I go fast.  I’m not kidding.  My last two births were 40 and 45 minutes of labor.  So i prayed REALLY HARD.  My midwife lives in John Day and i prayed for a way for her to make it to this birth.  Much to my comfort, she was in LaGrande with another laboring mother, a mother who was taking her very sweet time in her progression.  Sherry left her with her assistant and made it to me in plenty of time.  My doula held my hand and after two hours of labor, I gave birth, in our tub, to a tiny baby girl weighing just 5lbs 9ozs.  God, i felt delayed my labor to ensure that Sherry was there to give me the strength i needed.  And, on the day that we had given up the Christmas tradition for Him!  We named her Danicca Summer.  Yes, i said, SUMMER.  Outta spite mostly, because i really, REALLY don’t like winter.BTW: after Sherry left, and half a day later, she helped deliver another baby girl on Christmas day.  I believe they named her Chevelle, after their car.P.S. you do know that Jesus was not born on December 25, right?

  2. Merry Christmas, Carol!  Thanks for the reminder of the reality of Christmas.  Christ’s birth was Perfect, yet it wasn’t Hallmark.  Thinking on the suffering of that day and those years of Christ’s life on earth, well, that encourages us so much, doesn’t it, because of The hope and goodness – the resulting gift of redemption – joy.  

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