A few times in our lives, truly course altering opportunities knock quietly and wait patiently–just to see if we will notice them. Often times, these opportunities come in the form of, well, work–and if not back breakingly hard work, at least work that we feel (and possibly are) completely ill equipped to handle. Now that I’m more comfortable opening the door, I can’t help but wonder how many blessings I turned away. Maybe they took a long walk and then came to knock again when I was ready. But really, I don’t think we always get a second chance.
I sat writing on a Sunday afternoon. Whether perfect timing or distraction, an e-mail alert stole my attention. Essentially, the message read:
God said you should edit my mom’s book. What do you think?
And what I thought was, “Yeah, like I have time for that!” Thankfully, what I wrote was, “Tell her to send it right over!”
I told her to send it right over because, to me, her mom is my mom, too. I’ve been blessed with just a couple bonus moms in my lifetime, and I hope my kids will someday find that same gift. I haven’t seen this bonus family since I was in my early twenties, but family never stops being family–especially not when you join them of your own free will.
My first day in the Stein home was a whirlwind of activity. I didn’t have time to unpack my bags until very late that first night. I was nineteen, still painfully shy, and the reality of what I’d gotten myself into hit me as I sat on my new bed and flipped open midwifery textbooks. I turned off the light and sat still in darkened silence, tears welling in my eyes. This was stupid. I can’t do this. I should just pack up my car and leave now. Then, I heard laughter. And not just any laughter. If your run of the mill breed of laughter works like a medicine, laughter in the Stein home behaves more like wine.
The midwife I would be training under had two daughters still living at home–one older than I and one younger. I never did ask them the question I’d wondered as I sat in the darkness that night, “What on earth was so funny?!” Because, as I would soon find out, pretty much everything was. I’d lost my joy; but I found it again, among many other things, in the Stein home.
There were a few times over the past several months when I tried to back out of this editing project. Times when my work and my time crawled back to the top of my priority list. I shudder to think what I would have missed, what you would have missed, if I hadn’t seen through to publication a book that far exceeds the importance of anything I’ve ever written. If I’d failed to swing open the door to this opportunity, I wouldn’t have seen that what was veiled in a tremendous amount of work (on my part and of course on the part of the author herself) was not so much a chance for me to serve. It was an invitation for me to change–and one of the most important invitations of my life. How could I not share that with all of you?
Everything Old is New Again: A Jewish Midwife’s Look into Pregnancy and the Feasts of Israel is making it’s Kindle debut today. And for the next five days (through 3/18) you can download it for FREE. Let me encourage you, please, this is not a book to simply add to your someday collection. This is a book to read. Tonight. I’ve asked Renee to answer a few questions, and I hope her answers will woo you to dive heart first into this incredible invitation she has hand engraved especially for today, and especially for you.
In Colorado, the first nudge was a word which just would not go away. That word is release. Release is the word used for the emancipation of Hebrews from captivity (known as Passover), and release is the word for the beginning as a human egg is released from the fallopian tube during mothers’ ovulation. I kept seeing that parallel for a very long time. Then, at a birth in Colorado, which was just before Chanukah which is the Feast of Light-Chanukah celebrates victory over darkness. I suddenly saw this baby as being ’born into the light”, and I made a mental note to find out more. The revelation of this book came in pieces. Many years later I made Aliyah to Israel, and there I found more answers as I was immersed in Judaism. I became drenched in the Feasts of the Torah and realized this was all part of the plan of G-d for this little book.
I’m not sure if there is an ole wives tale or not, but the people in general told me spiritual things do come easier in Israel as nothing in Israel distracts from the Torah. When there is a holiday in Israel, all things come to a halt. They even turn off the TV nationally. No distractions. All things being Torah seems to lead to an open heaven for those who seek Hashem.
For many, the topic seems too complicated to follow, and people are busy. How could one be as crazy to make the Holy Feasts line up with the act of childbirth? The two side by side become a controversy. The Holy Feasts and the growth of the preborn become unsettling to rabbis, and rabbis do not want much to do with childbirth. But once you get past all the complexities, both the Holy Convocations, or the Feasts, do align with the growth spurts of a preborn baby! I believe both are relevant today and are perhaps a timeline which may be understood now because our time is so short.
What would you say to someone who might think, “So, I celebrated the Feasts in the womb? Why should that affect my life now?”
I would say to someone who may be skeptical that each one of us is so very special, and even our savior experienced the Feasts as do each one of us. If it’s good enough for Him, then it’s something I want to consider for myself. For Believers, this knowledge should be extremely validating. For those who may not get it, (that each of us has had the opportunity to experience something of the Holy Feasts), the facts I have presented should help move them into a more ‘believing’ position and certainly a deeper understanding of the secret place.
I hope everyone will read this book, but this book may not be for everyone. I do think that it will speak to those who have an interest in Torah or a deeper walk with the L-rd. I also think teachers, pastors, and anyone in the Birthing Theater (midwives, doulas, birthing assistants, childbirth educators, etc.) would benefit from this information.
And there you have it. Buy it, gift it, download it…but please read it. And for the next five days, I am also offering you another opportunity to claim your free Kindle copy of 31 Days to Lovely! Grab both today!