Musings from the Threshold

Monthly Archives: January 2008

Such a proud Aunt I am!

My nephew participated in a Science Fair this morning, and his presentation was so good that he gets to take it to the regional science fair in mid-February. Yay for Ethan!

If Blogger cooperates today and you can look at the full-size shots here, do so. The text is terrific, and so very Ethan.

A second tooth!

Our sweet friend Georgia was over this morning, and while checking out Stephen’s first tooth, she found another one had popped through. Go Stephen!

And while I haven’t captured a shot of the teeth, the kids did get some decent shots while I was feeding Stephen (one of the first couple of times…)

One of the fun things about waiting for solids until they have teeth is that they’re so ready to help. He loves to grab the spoon and help guide it to his mouth.

I think he likes it! 🙂

The God of all Comfort

The memory verse for church next week is 2 Corinthians 1.3, the first verse in the following passage…

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1.3-5

This is one of those passages that has been especially dear to me at many times over the years. Don’t you just love those passages that the Lord brings back to you over and over again?

My first memory of this passage is sitting in the waiting room with my Papa, while my precious Mama was in surgery having a radical mastectomy for breast cancer. It was the summer before my tenth grade year, and I was definitely feeling that world-turned-upside-down feeling. As we sat together, this is the passage that Papa shared with me. My recollection is of him sharing that no matter what happened, God wanted to use it. Both in our lives (“who comforts us in all our affliction”) and in the lives of others (“so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction”).

Everytime I read this passage now, I am challenged. Am I accepting His comfort? Am I comforting others with the comfort with which He has comforted me?

Some other precious lessons linked to this verse came from reading the book The God of All Comfort by Hannah Whitall Smith. It’s a terrific little book recommended to me by one of my favorite women, Kathy Staley. It goes through many of the names of God, and is an encouraging and challenging read. Check it out if you haven’t yet read it.

Article in the St. Louis newspaper

Michelle Munz of the Post Dispatch did a terrific job with this article about midwifery in Illinois and Missouri. I only wish they had an avenue for posting comments about the story on the website.

I’ll give first quote status to the opposition. After several paragraphs in which Munz has sumarized some of the extensive statistical evidence regarding the safety of planned homebirth with a certified professional midwife:

But such statistics can’t tell the whole story, said Dr. Gordon Goldman, the Missouri section chair of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”Most of the time, they are going to get away with” a midwife
birth, Goldman said. “But when (a death) happens — even if it’s one in 1,000 — it’s 100 percent for you and your baby.”

This quote amuses me in light of the fact that the informative sidebar states that the BMJ study showed an infant death rate of “1.7 per 1,000, consistent with low-risk births at hospitals.” The infant death rate itself is not amusing. It is a very sad fact of life that even in the best of circumstances, some babies don’t make it. What amuses me is Dr. Goldman’s double standard, and his random choice of a death rate that is actually lower than hospitals acheive for “low risk” births.

Some of my favorite quotes that resonate with what midwifery is all about:

Kris gets into the tub, equipped with a heater to keep the water warm. The temperature and buoyancy are soothing. About 15 minutes later, the midwife notices a twinge in Kris’ grunting.
“That sounded pushy. Are you feeling like you’re wanting to push?” the midwife says.
“Yes,” Kris answers, the first word she has spoken in hours.


It was a difficult birth, Jenny recalled. She pushed for nearly an hour.
The midwife felt the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck. She had
Jenny get on her hands and knees and lift one leg. That allowed the baby’s
shoulders to come loose and tumble out of its cord. The new mom scooped up her baby girl in the warm water. It was a joyous and peaceful moment, she said. It was exactly what she wanted.
“I felt like the bionic woman,” Jenny said. “I was completely exhausted, but I felt a sense of pride I never felt before.”


She spends two more hours at the house, cooking scrambled eggs, cleaning and completing her notes. She packs her equipment in a rolling suitcase. She leaves Kris with a list of things to look out for, like excessive bleeding or if Drew catches a fever.
The midwife hugs Kris and tells her how amazing she was. The midwife will be back tomorrow to check on the family.
As always, she has her cell phone in her pocket, waiting for the next call.

There is also a beautiful audio slideshow accompanying the article.

The chief end of man

“What is the chief end of man?”
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

So went the adapted catechism I learned growing up in Christian school.

Ellie Skee’s mom posted a wonderful post the other day about her memorial service, which I just got to read this morning. Here’s a clip…

Just before the service came to an end, we did the same thing that we did in Montana. We had the song “We Will Glorify” by Twila Paris play as the lights went out. In Montana we used candles, but here we used tiny flashlights to shine as the music played. This was something very personal to me. Looking back 15 months to when Ellie was diagnosed with cancer, the first couple of weeks are such a blur in my memory. But I remember that the grace of God covered me like a blanket when I had no strength of my own. And I remember that I didn’t pray that Ellie would be healed. I wanted her to be, but somehow I knew without asking that this journey would be about suffering, and that if Ellie was to be healed on this Earth that it would not be soon. I knew that there would be a long road ahead. I don’t know why I knew that… I just knew. So in those early days and weeks, the only prayer that would come out of my heart was “please, God, please – take glory for Yourself through this…” It was the only prayer that my heart knew how to form. And so, in both of Ellie’s memorial services, I turned around to look at the little lights shining all over the room. That light was, to me, the reflected glory of God Himself – shining from the people who loved my little girl. The people who were touched by Ellie’s light, which was not her light at all, but the incredible light of her Maker and Savior. I’m crying as I type this, because God answered my prayer. You see, with all due respect to my precious Ellie, she was just an ordinary little girl – just like every other child in the world. Yes, she was special – but no more and no less than every other child… your children… your grandchildren… We are ordinary parents. We don’t love our children any more than you love yours. We did not handle this situation any better than any other parent going through such a horrible situation. We simply have an unbelievably powerful God. That one fact has made all of the difference in our lives, and in Ellie’s life most of all. The little lights sparkled around the room as the song played… “… we will glorify the King of kings, we will glorify the Lord. We will glorify the Lord of lords, who is the great I AM.”

That is the only purpose this life has for me. It is the only reason that I will get out of bed every day. It is the only reason that I will survive the crushing pain that wants to sit on my chest when I realize that my daughter will never put her arms around my neck again. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not strong. I am the weakest human being that you will ever meet. But I have a God who carries me when I cannot walk. I only appear strong because I haven’t been able to walk for a very long time. And the only encouragement that I have for you is to stop trying so hard to walk on your own, when you and God both know that you can’t.

I was deeply challenged and encouraged by these thoughts. We all have circumstances which break us and render us unable to walk. Several weeks ago, I sat by myself in my van, sobbing on the phone to my dear friend Sue, struggling with “those circumstances” in my life. Sue told me she had this picture in her mind of me flat on the ground, and the Lord wanting to pick me up. I asked through my tears, “Why would I want Him to pick me up, if it’s only to do it all over again??”

This is why.

May God be glorified in and through me. Whatever it takes.


A Tooth!

At seven and a half months, 23.5 pounds, and completely Mama-fed so far, Stephen has broken through his first tooth. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, etc… here we come! It’s been a long time since I started a baby on solids, lol.

Hausmann Update

Praise the Lord, Anna was released from the hospital today.

Please pray for physical healing for Anna, Ethan, and Julia, comfort and emotional healing for the family, etc.

The return trip to Kansas is planned for Tuesday, with funeral services for Luke planned for Thursday. I’m reluctant to post details about the funeral, but if you’d like the information, feel free to email me (see sidebar).

2 Corinthians 1.3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.