Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Passed!!!

It's official - today I received my certificate in the mail naming me an ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator!!!  I passed my exam with a 90%!   This has been a 2 year process of reading, classes, evaluated teachings, attending births, and studying - a lot of work!  I am so excited that I can now sign my name: 
Jen Vawter, ICCE, CLD

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Redeeming Childbirth - book review

I just finished reading this excellent book.  If you are a Christian and pregnant you NEED to read this.  The author, Angie Tolpin, is not a birth professional, she's just a regular mom of 6 and God laid it on her heart to write this book.  

As a culture we tend to prepare mentally, and to some extent, physically for birth - but the spiritual aspect is mostly ignored.  Tolpin argues the case that birth, as in every aspect of the believers life, should be focused on God - inviting Him to be present, glorifying Him, surrendering to Him, and relying on His strength.   Birth IS a life changing and spiritual event, but as we have greatly medicalized it, we have taken Jesus out of it.  

Even though Tolpin focuses on an un-medicated birth, there is no judgement about how or where a woman chooses to birth.  She stresses the need for unity among sisters in the faith in regards to how we view birth - a positive, very spiritual, life event.  One that can have a hugely positive impact on marriages and family relationships.

I will be loaning this book, and the study guide that goes with it, to all my doula clients.  Check it out (click on the book pic above) and spread the word!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hawaii 2013!

Over the last week we spent 5 days in Maui with two other couples, the Ireland's and the Hobb's, celebrating our 10 year anniversary (coming up on June 7th!).   We had such a wonderful time!!

Some of our notable adventures included hunting for lesser known waterfalls on the road to Hana, the red sand beach that we didn't realize was a nudist beach!, Ono gelato in Paia EVERY night, the crazy cat lady in 1b (we rented a vacation house in Haiku, not knowing it was a hippy commune of sorts with others in the lower portion of the house! It was still great), church in Haiku, jeeping with Zac, dinner and shopping in Lahaina, getting a massage!, watching Zac and Greg surf, boat trip out to Molokini for snorkeling, dinner date in Paia with Zac, bananas off the tree every morning, SUN!, getting stuck in the airport in San Jose and sleeping on the floor - with Greg in a hammock! (we were flying non-rev and the flights were full, but we got home the next morning.  Can't beat flying for FREE!)  It was an awesome way to celebrate 10 years, and spend time with friends!  You can see more pictures HERE

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The No Brainer Wardrobe

I LOVED this ebook!!  It was a quick read, but the action points are what really made it great.  Some of these include purging your closet, analyzing your pinterst pins to figure out your own personal style, figuring out your body type, how to shop for great clothes, and my favorite - creating a "look book."  Below are some of my look book pictures. (low pic quality, sorry)

Basically, you gather you clothing items and make as many outfits as you can.  Since I am a "practical minimalist", I only have 35 items of clothing (not including under clothes and socks) - but I came up with about 60 outfits!  I plan to print the pictures and put them on a ring, flipping through in the morning if I need some inspiration.  This book was well worth the $8 it cost - read it today!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Live Where You Live

"Live where you live."  That was the title of the devotional today from Proverbs 31 Ministries this morning.  I was struck by this simple phrase.  The author of the devotional was using  Philippians 4:11 as the key verse: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

We had such a wonderful, relaxing Mother's Day weekend and I was reflecting this morning on the crazy amount of blessings in my life.  I am so thankful for all of them, and I want to live in the moment being content with where God has me right now.  

But at the same time, I don't ever want to be content with my spiritual growth.  I want to be always growing, always moving closer to Jesus.  Doing nothing is drifting away.  

Therefore, I will spend this day investing in the people around me, not worrying or planning for the future, not dwelling on the past.  I will spend this day with my eyes fixed on Jesus and with His help I will "live where I live."

Some Monday morning thoughts while I sip my tea. ;)  Have a blessed week!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Self Control


This seems to be an issue of struggle in our house lately.  With Kyla it takes the form of throwing crying fits when she doesn't get her way.  With Keanan it is stopping whatever he is doing/playing to take a restroom break in time.  And with me, it's blasted Facebook.

I have lately found myself getting sucked in, wanting to stay up to date with the latest posts or information from the number of groups I am a part of.  The result was wasted time.  Time not spent engaged with my kids.  Time not spent on a number of things on my to-do list, and therefore feeling defeated by my lack of self-control at the end of the day.  It was so bad the other day I called a friend threatening to delete my account and needed her to talk me down!

I'm not saying Facebook is all bad.  I've had great conversations, a number of which have resulted in face to face conversations.  It is also my main resource for keeping up with the local birth community.  The bad part is how I am using it, or it's using me rather.

Therefore, upon my request, my helpful husband has gladly blocked Facebook on our computers - only to be un-blocked on Saturdays (we Sabbath from technology, as much as possible, on Sundays).  So, once again, this blog will be my main form of communication with the world.

Now I am off to better engage my children and, with the Lord's help, tackle their self-control issues of the day ;)

Also, if you think of my tomorrow (Saturday the 11th), please pray for wisdom and favor as I will be taking my exam for certification as a childbirth educator!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's My Birthday! Will You Get Me A Present?

In honor of celebrating 32 blessed years of life on May 3rd, I am asking family, friends, random blog readers, strangers... to please consider a gift of $32 to Care Net of Thurston County on my behalf!  I'm not one for material gifts, but this type of gift will change lives in my community.

I have been privileged to volunteer at Care Net over the last few years, and it is becoming a bigger part of my life and ministry.  Care Net is saving lives, both now and for eternity.  They offer pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, parenting classes, childbirth/ breastfeeding/ newborn classes (I teach those!), post abortion recovery classes, lists of community resources, love, grace, and Truth - all for FREE!  I see the hope they are instilling in the lives of the families that come there - hope for their pregnancy and hope for the future.  Care Net is reaching women and families where they are - they are being Jesus.

SO, will you get me a birthday present??  I would be honored if $32 was given to Care Net in my name.  And if not $32, then whatever amount your heart desires!  Click the link below to donate, and thank you for giving a gift that will save/change lives!