Saturday, September 16, 2023


My wife is strange…not the sitting in a dark closet by herself secretly eating trail mix kind of strange…that’s more my cup of tea…though I did catch her once.  But rather, strange in the way where she has repeatedly stated, “I love birthing babies.”  That phrase in of itself is ludicrous.  Though I have never experienced the act of birthing firsthand, I have been present for this crowning event four times.  I have watched the pain.  I have heard the screaming.  I have endured the chaos.  I have massaged my wife’s back and neck tirelessly trying to help her relax in this birthing process.  I have suffered clawing fingernails embedded into my biceps, of which scars may still be visible. 

I remember the first time I heard my wife say those words. 

“Oh Ryan, I just love birthing babies…I want to have another baby.”

“What did you say?”

“I want to have another baby.”

“No…before that.”

“Oh Ryan?”

“No after that.”

“I love birthing babies?”


“What about it?”

“Were you THERE? Do you remember the event? Do you remember the stress and the noise and the pain?”


“That’s weird.”

This conversation has been repeated two additional times resulting in a total of 4 children.  I seem to recall her beginning the phrase since then, but I usually run screaming from the house before she can finish her sentence. 

Perhaps what is most strange…is that despite the challenges that my wife faced during all four of these child birth events…she meant what she said.  This leaves me to conclude that not only is she strange…she is also resilient. 

I remember when our first child was born.  Sarah had been laboring for over 30 hours and she was exhausted.  I was at a loss as to how to encourage her.  “Push!” I said.

“Stop saying that!”

“Oh…um…ok…um…you are doing good…and stuff.”

“Ugh…just be quiet!”

The nurse was also lecturing me… “Step it up man! You are her coach! Help her through this.”

“Umm…ok…ummm…looks like there is another contraction coming…hold on!”

“Zip your lip!!! Why would I want to know when another contraction is coming!”


“Why are you not telling me when the contractions are coming!?”


After Sarah had been pushing for 3 hours…I fell asleep in a chair.  While I slept, she began to slip into a hyperventilating panic.  In hindsight, I really feel that she could have learned something if she had just looked at her calm husband sleeping in the chair next to her. 

The nurse woke me up and barked, “SHE NEEDS TO BREATHE!!”

“Oh…ok…breathe Sarah…”


The nurse shoved me out of the way…grabbed my wife’s face with her right hand…squeezed her cheeks and looked her straight in the eyes. “Breathe with me Sarah,” she asserted, while taking deep measured breaths.

Our daughter was born a few minutes later…blue and screaming.  I came to realize that there is nothing easy about birthing babies, yet the reward of the hard work and perseverance is immeasurable. 

Likewise, the Christian walk is also difficult, and yet promises even greater rewards than childbirth.  Additionally, the Christian walk is also not meant to be walked alone.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:15-3:5, we find Paul praying and asking for prayer.  His prayers are prayers of encouragement and endurance. 

I can’t help but be reminded of Moses standing on the hill while the Israelites fought against the Amalekites.  Moses’ arms grew tired Aaron and Hur were there to encourage him and even help keep his arms raised as the Lord brought victory to the Israelites. 

The Christian walk is difficult, but take heart and be encouraged, the victory in the Lord is sweet!

May you come to faithfully follow the faithful God.

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