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Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! I have a lot to get done today! Urging my kids into motion after a call from a mom in early labor. I still have stockings to wrap, a house to clean, Advent parts to practice and food to finish in preparation for a growing group of people coming to Christmas Eve dinner. I woke with a foreboding hum in the back of my head but it hadn't turned into anything more than an annoyance by noon. A few hours later that annoyance was beginning to roar and all I wanted to do was sleep. Migraine. Why now? Do your shoes match? Put a clean shirt on! Lights! Camera! Action! Not quite, but the lights! Migraines and lights are known enemies and I am now praying my stomach will not rebel with the growing head pain. We survive the Advent reading and lighting the candle with no major mishaps. I quickly leave. Sulking in a dark room with ice on my head, I listen to the speaker pipe in my favorite service of the year. I head to bed as the guests begin to serve their Christmas Eve dinner plates. In the quiet, I beg God to know if not having a migraine Christmas Eve would really diminish His glory. No stockings will be wrapped for the first Christmas in 33 years. Surprised, I did get a fitful nights sleep when I was awakened with a 4:30 morning call to head to a birth. Not her first baby. Should be home this morning. Babies have their own schedules. Momma's bodies often take longer than expected. I pout as Matt sends a text about kids opening stockings. I mourn loosing another memory. While in the shadows of the quiet strength of this laboring mom, I rest. In the stillness, I feel His presence.

  • I am thankful for the church family that makes gathering together anticipated with joy.

  • I am thankful for the family that works together and cherishes our memories we build. A family that pulled together a dinner and a relationship that is built on more than one dinner. The laughter that echoed through the house. A family that embraced last minute strangers who had nowhere to go.

  • I am thankful for a few hours of headache free family time late Christmas Eve.

  • I am thankful for the children who didn't mind waiting for gifts or unwrapped stockings.

  • I am thankful for a migraine that went away before I went to bed and before I had to attend a birth.

  • I am thankful to spend time with a fellow midwife friend I haven’t seen in awhile.

  • I am thankful to watch a beautiful little girl take her first breath and place her into the arms of a tired, strong mom. I am humbled at this calling on my life.

As I pull into the driveway to children busting out the door, hugs and an air electric with excitement, I thank you, God, that Your glory involves shaping my heart. In the late afternoon, I watch the bustling activity of children opening their long awaited stockings. I cherish the memory I didn't miss and now treasure even more. Unless I am a birth defines my life. "Unless I am at a Birth" or could it just say "Unless God".

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