Light in Darkness

It is written, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter, till the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

In me and through me, your thirsty soul can drink. There’s much to be troubled about if you focus on the world. But shift your eyes to me, and you’ll find that there’s more cause for joyful celebrations. This was my intent for you all along, dear one. To rejoice, sing praises, and delight in my creation.

As the world around you grows darker, you grow brighter when you focus on me. The darker this world becomes, the more imperative it is that you remain in my light.

So, don’t let your heart be troubled. Don’t let your mind be distracted. Rejoice in my creations. Joyfully celebrate my existence and my imminent return. Arm yourself with my truth. Remember that you’re living in the midst of a spiritual battle, which I have already won. So don’t be afraid. Your troubles are temporary, but my glory is forever.

As you choose daily, to walk in the light of my presence, you will find much to rejoice over. And you will set an example to those around you of what it’s like to know me. 

Cease Striving

It is written, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) 

Why are you striving? Why do you entertain feelings of failure? Don’t you know that these are lies directly from your adversary? The one who wants to hold you back from all that I have planned for you… 

Your striving suggests that you do not yet know my approval. But beloved, my work is finished! My approval is yours! If you could truly grasp this, what more could you possibly need? 

When you find yourself struggling with feelings of failure, come into my presence. Bring these lies out of the darkness and into my loving light. So that I can shine my smile of approval on your life. So that you can bask in my loving warmth. 

Cease all striving and lay your concerns at my feet. I have commanded this of you and for good reason. I want you to live out the knowledge and understanding that I love you. That you already have my stamp of approval. That through Jesus Christ and the cross, it is finished. 

I Delight in You

It is written, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20)

My beloved child, I am the God of surprises. I delight in delighting you and I know what delights you on a cellular level. It makes me happy when you also delight in delighting me. 

Your gravest danger is forgetting who I am. Forgetting that I’m able to do wondrous things in your life. And even through your life, if you’ll let me. 

So don’t give up. Continue moving forward with your eyes fixated on me. Trusting in my good and perfect will. Rejoicing in who I am and all that I have done for you. 

Don’t discount the possibility of a miracle in your life. Expect one. I’ve been doing them since before the dawn of time. And I am unchanging. Whatever you’re hoping for, if it’s aligned with my will, will be done. So rejoice in me! I say it again, rejoice! 

I am Here

It is written, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

My precious child, why are you restless? Don’t you know I hold you by your right hand?

Don’t you know that I am near to you, even when you cannot sense me?

Perhaps the world is distracting you. No matter, I am here.

Perhaps time feels as though it’s speeding up, faster than you can keep pace. No matter, I am here.

I am here no matter your circumstances. No matter what’s going on in your relationships, at work, or at home. I am here.

When other people fail you, and they will, I am.

When you fail others, or yourself, and you will, I am.

Don’t you see, child? I am constant.
Nothing on Earth nor in heaven can separate you from My love. It’s all around you. It’s within you. It engulfs you and swallows you. Whether or not you take notice, it exists all the same.

I exist all the same. I am.

A Spiritual Refining Process

It is written, “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

My precious child, no one promised that life would be without suffering. In fact, in this fallen world, you can guarantee it.

Even my Son, God as Man, was a man of sorrows. So when you experience trials of any kind, don’t think that I’ve forgotten you. No, I am always near. Instead, choose to view your challenges for what they are – a spiritual refining process.

As my follower, you can rest assured that your suffering won’t last forever. This is your hope. That glory is just around the corner.

Resist the very human urge to escape your problems. In fact, if you can endure life’s blows with utter dependence on me, I can and will bring much good out of them. For it is written, “And we know that all things wok together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) How wonderful of news is that?!

My beloved, when you experience adversity and suffering, do not be dismayed and do not try to run and hide from it. Invite me into your suffering. I am very familiar with it. Then, you can sit back and marvel at my Holy Spirit at work within your circumstances.

Fear Mongering and Parenthood

I heard so much fear mongering about pregnancy before I ever became pregnant. “You’re going to be really anxious.” “You’re going to have insomnia.” “You’ll feel like crap all the time.” I was legitimately frightened about the prospect of it all. 

Turns out, none of those comments have been true for my experience. Not even one bit. Now do I feel as energetic and vibrant as I did before pregnancy? Of course not. Certainly not every day. But honestly, it’s like every other transition in life. You adapt. 

There’s definitely a difference between friends and family wanting to give advice, and the more generalized fear mongering comments regarding pregnancy and parenthood. I’m not referring to the former. And I like to think the latter are well intentioned, just perhaps not well thought out. 

The point is, every one’s experience of parenthood is so inherently unique, that we would be remiss to make any comments as if they were a one size fits all. Besides, fear mongering around parenthood doesn’t end with pregnancy. That’s half the problem. There’s always room for more. “Just wait until your first ER trip.” “Just wait until you have a raging toddler.” “You think this is hard? Try having two.” Etc.

It makes sense that people want to share their experiences. And historically, it’s easier to bond over negative ones. I’m all for the bonding. But we really should be careful with what I call our, “You’ll See” songs. 

Rather than share horror stories, why not share lessons? Maybe instead of, “You’ll never sleep again,” we could say something like, “If you’re struggling with lack of sleep when the baby gets here, feel free to reach out to me. I can share some tips that worked really well for us.” 

Remember, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7) When faced with the choice to spread a message of either love or fear, let’s choose love. Let’s always choose love.

Birth is an Invitation

“You are the only one who can make it happen for you. Others can support and encourage you, but you have to find the energy and power within in order to step into the center of your own life and take charge.” – Lynda Field

Birth is an invitation. During labor, time and space are no longer relevant. Minutes are hours and days and lifetimes…

You exist as a portal between two realms. The spiritual and the physical world unite within you. It’s always been this way. That power has always existed inside you.

As your body opens, everything shifts into alignment with your spirit. Everyone in the room can feel the energy change. They follow your lead as you guide the way into the deep. You are the trailblazer. Even though you’ve never been here before your body knows the way.

Birth brings us to the end of ourselves, to the bowels of our being. Not one of us discovers the depth of our soul in the same way. And when we think we’ve pushed ourselves as far as we can go, we dig just a little deeper. One last time. To that final place. Where we find the light within that no other person can show us. Where we literally birth ourselves anew.  

The Labor of Birth

The work of labor and delivery most simply put is to ‘open’ and to ‘let go’.

Labor is an opening and birth is a letting go. 

What makes this process so different for each woman is what they’re opening to and what they’re letting go of. I’ll give you a hint, it’s rarely the baby. By the time labor comes around, most women are well acquainted with the idea that their baby will soon be here. Instead, the baby acts as a tool or a catalyst as the mother grows into herself and prepares to be born anew.

Some mothers open to the unknown. Some open to receiving help. Some open to their own courage. Some even open to the reality that they’re not in control, no matter how bad they want to be. 

Similarly, mothers experience a letting go of exactly what is needed for their own birth to happen. Some let go of self limiting beliefs. Some let go of fear. Some let go of unhelpful but well-ingrained thought patterns. Some let go of the wheel…

Women labor and deliver not just in their bodies, but also in their minds, in their hearts, and in their souls.

A Poem about Birth

I came across this poem about birth on Instagram. If anyone knows the original author, please comment below and let me know! It’s so beautiful, I had to share…

“In case no one has told you…
the journey won’t make sense until you’re on the other side

While you’re walking the path
Doing the holy work of birth
Sweating and swaying and swearing
You’ll be so deep in it
So consumed by the sensations
That you won’t be able to see the end
Or even the progress you’ve made

You’ll feel lost at points
Desperate even
Grasping at some sense of linear time
At a roadmap you can follow
At a finish line you can see
And coming up empty handed

Minutes are hours are days are lifetimes are galaxies
Each contraction takes you deeper
And it’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel
When you are the tunnel
And the darkness 
And the whole entire planet
hurtling through space

And those electric candles and twinkly lights that you put up to set the mood
Seem so silly now
as you’re being tossed and turned 
Inside out
Moaning and panting your way through
celestial portals 

But then you’ll emerge
Unimaginable relief
Tidal waves of joy crashing over you 
Triumph and deliverance 
Pride and peace 
And a love so expansive 
Your heart will explode 

And it will all make sense
You will see how your journey
Was written in the stars
That you were never lost
Every contraction
Every moment when you thought you couldn’t go on
Was simply a stepping stone
On your way home 

You will see 
that your magic mirrored the universe
That you were one in the same
birthing new worlds
Power and beauty in ecstatic motion”

Birth is not only about making babies

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” 

—Barbara Katz Rothman

It’s important that we pay attention to what’s showing up for us during pregnancy and birth. Even while trying to conceive. The journey of motherhood is a spiritual one first and foremost. As we begin this journey, many things rise to the surface within us. Examples might include; finding our voice, setting boundaries, learning patience, trusting our gut, standing in our truth, surrendering, or receiving help. All things designed to better equip us for the other side of birth.

See, where there is birth there is also death. And as the Mother, you are no longer who you once were. You can never go back to your old self. That self has to die in order for this one to be born anew. And with that birth, everything shifts. Your perspective. Your priorities. Your relationships…

Resistance to this transformation can be painful. It’s better to honor and trust the cycles of life. To surrender to what is. More to come…