No longer in the stage of life of having small children – with all the joys and tasks they create – I now have the blessing of grandchildren! This allows me time to think about the significance of motherhood and seek to encourage moms in the most important role they could every have. Seeking wisdom through the Bible daily, God sheds light in my heart and I desire to share this light with others.
Peter speaks directly to leaders in chapter five of his first letter, “Shepherd God’s flock. Not for the money, but eagerly.” These words powerfully impacted my heart one morning. Who are these words directed to? Leaders. Who is a leader? Parents are leaders. We are entrusted with the leadership of our children.
What does it mean to shepherd a flock? I’m no expert in sheep, but my guess is the obvious things – take care of them. Make sure they have safe food, a safe place to eat and protect them from forces that might attack and harm them. David is a great example of a committed shepherd. He tells us that he actively protected his sheep by killing a lion and a bear. He didn’t abandon his sheep. He didn’t expect anyone else to come in and do his work for him. He was ready. He was alert. He was practiced. He attacked the enemies that sought to attack his flock.
We also read many of David’s psalms and we know God asserted that David was “a man after God’s own heart.” David was certainly not perfect. He committed adultery and murder and sought to cover it up. He married many wives and didn’t have a great track record as a father. However, God continues to affirm that David’s heart was directed toward God. I believe part of this comes from his occupation during the boredom of looking after his sheep. Let’s face it, when you are looking after sheep, there are times of boredom – when everything seems to be going well. David used this time to exalt in God. He wrote down praises to God and he memorized them. He used his down time to extol God and bask in who God is.
As leaders we are to be prepared to actively protect our flock. We can also use the times of boredom to dig deeper into knowing God, knowing His word, memorizing His word and exalting God in our lives.
In 2017 we need to know exactly what dangers our sheep are facing. We need to have an awareness of the very real dangers in our world so that we can expose them and help our sheep avoid being consumed by the enemies they will encounter. I don’t believe we are called to push for a better world, or even hope that there will be a political solution to the evil we see around us. But, as a vigilant shepherd, we should seek to protect the sheep God has entrusted in our care and warn them of danger. An alert shepherd will investigate the potential of danger before advancing to a new area. Shepherds should be able to understand, point out, and explain the reason a particular path holds danger.
For me personally, as someone who has been blessed to get support and information that enabled me to have natural births and breastfeed the five children I was blessed by God to bear, the world of childbirth and early parenting are close to my heart. Knowing how empowering the act of giving birth naturally was for me, knowing how empowering the act of nurturing a baby exclusively at the breast is, and watching with delight as baby grows and thrives on breast milk alone is an unparalleled experience.
I believe the enemy wants to rob women of this empowering experience. Further, the enemy seeks to sow discord in the hearts of children and break the bonding process experienced easily through natural birth and breastfeeding. I am not trying to criticize anyone who has had a different experience, but the reality is, bonding is more difficult when there are complications in childbirth and when early breastfeeding is a struggle. These are not insurmountable challenges, but require much more effort and determination to get through. As a breastfeeding counselor for 23+ years I have seen women overcome incredible challenges to successfully breastfeed, but my heart aches to watch completely unnecessary complications develop because of lack of support, or poor recommendations to unsuspecting women.
I believe the medical establishment has so medicalized the childbirth experience that most women are deprived of the support necessary to watch their body give birth. For truly a woman was designed to give birth and her body is the most amazing part of the process. Our modern medical practices often unnecessarily complicate the process and serve to DISempower women of their biological strength. Again, this is not meant as a criticism to specific women, who generally do the best with the situation they face, but to the system. Medicalized births often lead to some trauma to both mom and baby and can make breastfeeding more difficult. Additionally, standard hospital practices and the advice given by staff can cause harm. Advice from medical personnel who are ignorant of breastfeeding creates many obstacles for a brand new mother trying to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
As a breastfeeding counselor nothing hurts my heart more than watching innocent, but ignorant, parents, blindly follow medical or cultural advice and end up actually harming their own child. They do not intend harm to their precious baby, but the system has ensnared them into decisions that are not in their baby’s best interests for lifelong health.
How? The list is long. Giving pregnant women vaccines which are known to harm the developing baby, repeated ultrasounds in pregnancy, routine birth practices designed with the doctor or hospital in mind but which put baby at greater risk of harm, vaccines given to baby, circumcision, allergy shots for children, Tylenol, screen time for babies and children (more addictive and damaging than some drugs), GMO food, processed foods, blindly trusting public schools or curriculum, Disney movies, etc.
I was once in darkness about most of these things. I didn’t know how harmful some of these things were. But, having researched and now understanding the danger, I can no longer blindly continue these harmful practices for myself. As an “older women” I can no longer stand idly by and watch younger women get sucked into very dangerous fields where the enemy stands ready to devour both them and their young lambs.
So, I must speak out and warn others, despite the risk of being dismissed as crazy, or ridiculed by what I point out. I am encouraged by Paul’s admission of craziness, “For if we are out of our mind (super crazy), it is for God, and if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels, us because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all died. And He died for all that those who live, no longer live for themselves, but for Him who for their sake, died, and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:13-14
Peter warns us that we need to ‘”Be serious. Be alert. Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
My mission: Love Jesus, Love the family He has blessed me with, Love others by wanting the best for them.
This is why I started this blog:
Not on my terms or conditions
For how can I impact or dictate
To the LIGHT?
I seek the totality of the pure LIGHT.
The LIGHT of truth.
The truth that brings healing; wholeness.
The truth that seeks good;
The truth that fully accepts.
The truth that does not conform
To my ideals or expectations.
I must conform and align
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by Matthew 5:14-16
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 8:12
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 8:44
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 14:6
I am a forgiven, cleansed sinner who seeks to walk closely to the LIGHT of Jesus Christ and seek truth every day.
This is a little bit of a personal background:
Everyday when I wake up I look forward to all the opportunities God will bring me to help others and to further grow into the person He desires me to be. I am discovering my passions and wiring, and combined with my years of life experiences, I hope my journey will be a blessing to you.
I grew up in the USA, but after meeting my husband John in South Africa in 1980, we spent 30 years raising our five children there, living in a few different locations, but finally making our home in Cape Town in 2001.
Our two oldest sons both married American girls in 2009, which meant two whole family trips overseas in one year! But they have provided me with two wonderful new daughters to love and so far, four grandchildren.
Our family journey has been about following God and being willing to take risks. After completing his Masters and PhD in science my husband was employed by the University of Natal as Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 2001 he resigned from this position to pursue his passion and serve as a Pastor of a church in Cape Town, South Africa. We loved serving God and others at Southpoint Church and were blessed in so many different ways. In May 2013 we disentangled ourselves from most of our earthly possessions to find ourselves with our three suitcases each, in Warner Robins, Georgia, to begin a brand new season of life where John is serving as Lead Pastor of Longleaf Church.
Sometimes God needs to extricate us from some things so that He can make us available for MORE. We continue to look for all the MORE He has for us and especially how we can be MORE effective in sharing the love of Christ with others.
For most of my adult life I have been wondering what I was going to do “when I grow up.” Raising five children and homeschooling them has been my primary focus for many years. Moving to the USA has caused me to begin seriously thinking about the next phase of life. With only two fairly independent children remaining at home, I have more discretionary time than ever before.
In examining my strengths and potential opportunities with many wise people, I was introduced to the field of Life Coaching and am completing courses and gaining experience towards becoming a Certified Professional Life Coach. I am enjoying all aspects of this endeavor: the learning, the peer coaching, and coaching actual clients. I am realizing that I have been doing coaching for many years in a variety of capacities and I love the privilege of working with clients to discover and achieve their goals.
I am looking forward to continuing my training and personal development through taking more classes while at the same time offering my services at a reduced rate to clients who are ready to make some thoughtful changes in different areas of their lives. I am currently coaching moms with children at home who want to improve family relationships; seasoned executives who want to make wise choices about nutrition and lifestyle so they can enjoy long life AND vitality; and business owners who just want to be better at everything. I continue to pursue my passion for health and wellness through on-line conferences and education and I always am blessed when I have opportunities to help others find practical economical ways to improve their health and enjoyment of life!
‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ is an approach to life that resonates well with me. I do like to get ready, but I like to get into motion and refine as I go. God has been getting me ready for coaching through:
35 years as a Christ follower, learning lessons daily;
35 years of progressive awareness of health and nutrition all built upon a Nutritional Chemistry Course taken at Vanderbilt University in 1979;
34 years married to John with all the learning and adapting marriage requires;
33 years of mothering five children through all their different developmental learning stages;
22+ years passionately coaching young moms towards mothering through breastfeeding with the incredible support of La Leche League South Africa and International;
19 years of homeschooling five different personalities and learning styles;
17 years of facilitating Communication workshops for small groups;
14 years as a Pastor’s wife;
6 years as a member of an amazing staff team at Southpoint Church seeking to create environments so people could come to know and love Jesus as we do!
So, as I look back I see that God has been preparing me and getting me ready for this phase of my life. I look ahead with anticipation to how He might use me to help others.
I imagine taking all that experience and using it to help and bless others in 2014 and beyond…
Help people learn healthier living options through my blog;
Help people navigate their life choices through personal one on one coaching via Skype or telephone;
Help groups of people realize their personal goals – whether in terms of nutrition, exercise, organization, relationships, communication etc. through group coaching interaction;
Help people by giving motivational/inspirational talks;
Help teams (especially church or non-profit staffs) with team building, communication and development.
I am completely open to any doors that God will guide me to, but these are some of the things that He has given me a burden for.
So I would value your prayers as I begin this new phase of life and I would also appreciate any referrals you may have if you or someone you know resonates with the type of help I am offering.
I was caught by surprise when Mark Sisson (Mark’s Daily Apple) shared his BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) in his first email of 2014: “Greetings, as many of you know, it’s my life goal to help 10 million people get healthy.”
Wow! My first thought was ‘I wonder how many people I can help?’ If I can help 10 thousand I think I will be accomplishing a lot! But I pray I may be available to truly help as many people as God sends my way! I praise Jesus Christ for all He has done for me and hope I can be a channel to share His blessing with others!
I am passionate about following Christ, helping others to know and follow Him, health and wellness, and family. Please use the contact form below if I can help you in any way.