Sixteen Graduations in One Family

Brendan and I set off for Scotland from Belfast City Airport on Thurday. We arrived on good time for our Flybe flight. I was looking forward to spending the afternoon with our son who was picking us up from the Glasgow airport.

We checked our flight on the screen. It was rescheduled for a hour later. That was fine. We relaxed in the lounge. Our flight was called but we were told to wait in the lounge. Time passed. We missed our flight! A big shock! Brendan comforted me but I was shaken. An attendant arranged for us to get the next flight at six thirty without any further expense. That eased the pain. We missed seeing our son. More waiting.

Today, Friday, 7/7/17, our daughter Angela graduated from Edinburgh university. We were with her to see her receive her award along with over a hundred other students. It was a colourful and jubilant occasion.

Angela is the last of our fourteen children. All sixteen of us have received a degree from university. It is forty five years since I graduated from university. Today’s celebration was worth the waiting.

I have lived to see all my children graduate after having cancer in 2010. God is good. He is faithful to keep his promise that he will bless my children. Exodus 20. Brendan was at each birth of our children and at each graduation. That must be a record. He is a great husband, dad and grand dad.

God and his angels rejoice when we were born on the earth. God and his angels are rejoicing over us today.

When God gives a promise nothing can stop it coming about. Our own mistakes, difficulties, even missing a flight will not stop what God plans to bring about.

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My blog published on www.birthdebate.com

I was invited to write about my experience giving birth to children for wwwbirthdebate.com.

B!RTH is an international theatre festival developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and The Oglesby Charitable Trust to provoke debate on a global scale and question one of the key issues of our time, the vast inequality in healthcare across the world. The Royal Exchange Theatre has commissioned seven leading female playwrights from across the globe (Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Syria, UK and USA) to explore this issue through their country’s approach to childbirth.

Here is the article that has been published.

I have had 14 children
Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?
Northern Ireland

Can you describe where your/the birth was?

I have had 14 children, all of whom were born in maternity centres in Northern Ireland.

Who was present at your/the birth?
My husband and a midwife.

Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?
I am a mother who has given birth to fourteen healthy children. I have the blessing of living in Northern Ireland, where family is valued and we have free health care. When I went into labour with all of my children I attended the local maternity unit. I was always so glad when my labour pains started. I trusted the experienced midwives to look after me. I had faith each time and knew it would not be long until I would nursed my new infant. I always enjoyed my stay in the maternity centre. I remember that the staff were kind and that I and my new baby were well cared for. It was like a holiday and rest for me every time! Oh, how I enjoyed the tea and toast the midwife rewarded me with after I gave birth. I then enjoyed a long sleep, relieved that all was well with me and baby. I stayed in hospital as long as I could.

I only asked for gas and air to help me with the labour pains near the delivery. Thankfully I did not need any epidural pain relief or need to delivery any of my babies by Caesarean Section. I did not have any stitches for thirteen of my fourteen children and my wonderful and supportive husband was at my side for every delivery. Each delivery of the new baby was a special time for us both.

My babies ranged in size from seven pounds to twelve pounds and there were no complications with any deliveries. I breast fed thirteen of my fourteen children, most for up to twelve months. I recovered well from each delivery without complications.

During my labours I did not have any monitors attached to me. The midwives just listened to the heart beat every other minute or so. I felt secure that my baby was going to be well. I believe my faith in God kept me safe in childbirth. However, I also appreciate and so thankful for the skilled doctors and midwives that took good care of me during my labours.

My daughter Mary, who is a doctor,  has published three blogs on the same website.  Also my daughter Hannah who is a midwife.

The Power of Touch

Yes I believe there is power in touch.

Power is transmitted by touch from one person to an other.  Love is transmitted by touch.  Warmth is transmitted by touch.  Care is transmitted by the touch of a hand.  Reassurance is transmitted by touch.  Welcome and greeting are transmitted by a hand shake.  Healing is transmitted by touch.  Comfort is transmitted by touch.  We keep warm by touch.  Touch brings peace, stillness and rest.

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An embrace demonstrates inclusiveness, the opposite of rejection.  A pet, whether it is a cat, chicken, dog or horse responds to the touch of his owners hand.  They are reassured that they are important to their owner.

Christian marriage vows include the words, “Do you take (name) to be your wife to have and to hold from this day forth. Having someone to hold or touch is necessary for people.  God said it was not good for man to be alone.  Marriage is important for companionship.  Ecclesiastes says Two are better than one.  When they lie down they keep warm.  This is so true as we approach winter.

I want to give you some examples of the power of touch.

A new born baby was revived when he lay on his mother’s breast.  The mum spoke to her lifeless child while she and her husband lovingly touched him.  Another new born baby was placed on his mother’s chest as she lay in a coma.  Her heart responded to the baby’s cry.  The mother made a full recovery.

Life and healing flow through touch.  How comforting for each of my babies to be held in their father’s big hands.  My husband was at the birth of each child and held each one and welcomed him into the world with his voice and reassuring touch.

When I held each of my new born babies in my arms love flowed from my heart to the baby.  The baby automatically began to suckle when he touched my breast.  My body responded to my baby’s touch by producing milk for the baby.  In the early years of a child’s life he will feel his dad and mum’s touch often.  It is in the family that we learn about touch.  In public people keep their boundaries and don’t often touch.

Jesus broke that protocol.  He and his disciples touched people outside of family to impart healing.

In the Bible, the first mention of Jesus touching anyone happens when he lays hands on the little children. The women wanted Jesus to lay hands on their children and pray.

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭7, 13-15‬ NIV)

He touched a little girl and heals her.

Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭22-23‬ NIV)

It was important for Jesus to touch people to impart healing.

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”(‭Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭40‬ KJV)

A woman with a issue of blood for twelve years believed if she touched Jesus’ garment she would be healed.

Just then a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the hem of his cloak.  Jesus turned to her and said Your faith has made you whole.”

He instructed his disciples to do the same.

They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (‭Mark‬ ‭6‬:‭13‬ NIV)

They will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

Jesus told his followers to touch people and they would receive the Holy Spirit.

They laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭17‬ KJV)

The personal touch is important to Jesus.  Through one touching another with his hands healing is imparted as Jesus taught us.  When each of my family prayed and laid hands on me for my healing I felt heat coming into my body from his hands.  The power of God is transmitted though touch.  Like power comes into the battery of an iPhone through the charger, power comes from one person to another when we pray in Jesus name.

Reach out and touch someone today.  You will bring change.  People are too busy rushing and working starved of love.

https://daily post.wordpress.com/prompts/the-power-of-touch/

 

 

 

The Power of a Mother’s Love

Mother’s Day is approaching.  I was impacked by a video I watched this morning.  A mother had given birth to twins, a boy and a girl prematurely.  There is always a risk a baby will not make it when born prematurely.  This was so with the little boy.  The doctor gave the “dead” baby into the mothers arms and left her alone with her husband.  The mother laid the baby on her heart, the father put his arms around him keeping him warm with their body heat.  The mother spoke to her baby and told him how much he was loved and about all his extended family that he belonged to.  She continued speaking lovingly and tenderly.  The baby began to breathe and move.  The doctor said “No, he is dead.”  But the little boy lived and is now a healthy five year old.  There was life in the words the mother spoke over her lifeless child.  God is love and as we show love and speak love it brings life.  This speaks to me of a saying that love is stronger than death.

Love is expressed through touch.  When a baby is born he has to go through the squeeze to be born, comes from a cosy, warm place into a cooler room and has to gasp for breath?  Surely it must be stressed, poor thing.  My daughter is an Obstetrician surgeon.  He helps some mothers give birth.  Her hands are the first hands that hold those new borns.  She speaks life over the mother and baby.  Another daughter is a Mid Wife sister.  Her hands too are the first that hold many newly born babies.  

There is a song that goes “Love lifted me” by Kenny Rodgers.  I think of it today.

When my husband and family learned I had cancer their love lifted me and helped me heal and live.  Others showed their love by visiting me and bringing gifts.
Mother Teresa lifted people who were dying from the gutter.  She and her nurses held them and comforted them.  Many widows and widowers enjoy going to the hairdresser.  The hairdresser’s hands may be the only ones that touch them all week.  When a marriage breaks down or one is bereaved the one thing people have told me is they miss being touched.

We make a promise “To have and to hold from this day forward, till death do us part.”  When I made those vows I did not know how important having someone to hold was.  The love between a couple grows into holding a child.  Love grows and brings life and increase.  

Jesus said, “they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭18‬ NIV)

Holding someone who is sick brings comfort and love and makes them better.  The power of God is in love and touch.  Nurses do a great job.  When I was in hospital, having children, with a broken arm or with cancer the nurses comforted me, reassured me and drove away my fears.

DAVID’S BIRTHDAY part two

My daughter got in touch with Brendan at the airport.  The information desk paged him on the intercom.  He was soon to board his flight to London.  He returned home to be with me at the hospital.  Our baby was well on its way when Brendan arrived.  I was delighted to see him.  The labour progressed.  Brendan brought me extra courage and strength.  David was born, a healthy baby boy of ten pounds with a strong pair of lungs.

I have always been excited when I started in labour.  I know the waiting is over and my baby will be born soon.  I had no fear for my well being or my child’s health.  I believe in God’s promise that “Children are a gift from God”Psalm 127 v 3 and “He will keep me safe in childbearing.” 1 Timothy 2 verse 1.

Children wait in anticipation for a Christmas present from parents, or “Santa Claus” and do not be disappointed.  Before Christmas I see parents going around franticly looking for their children’s presents, greeting stressed out and spending much money.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:11-13 NLT)

Brendan and I decided many years ago to delete Santa Claus out of our family.  We had many reasons.

1.  Santa Claus is a lie. If we as parents tell our children lies when they are young, then how will they trust us  to believe important things we tell them later in life.

2.  This lie is mixed in with an important event in the Christian calendar, Christmas, the birth of Jesus, a gift from God the Father.   It is good to give gifts to one another at this time to celebrate God’s gift to us.  But let us be truthful about it. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

3.  One can live within ones means.  Many people get into debt at Christmas time.  The consumer society makes most profit at this time.  How come Santa does not go to the poor countries of Africa?

4.  One does not have to get stressed out living up to expectations of having to buy presents, Christmas tree, turkey, make big meals, celebrating.  Christmas Day is the most stressful day of the year when family tensions run high.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:31-34 NLT)

5.  Many people want the fun, fellowship and feasting but do not acknowledge the One that Christmas is all about.

It turned out that eight of our children were born around the Christmas season.  Our children were gifts from God to us.

I was very comfortable in the maternity unit I was transferred to.  It was a home from home.  Twenty five years ago mothers were happy to stay in hospital to get help with their babies. One could get a good night’s sleep.  The night nurses fed the babies.  Now because of financial cuts and mother’s choice the stay in hospital is one or two days after the baby is delivered.

I was happy for Brendan to go to the conference.  I would stay in hospital and enjoy the care, until his return.  I got plenty of rest, good food, and had time to bond with my beautiful new son.
I had no care for tomorrow.

David is a bright, handsome young man.  He has a heart to work with disadvantaged people.  He has already worked in Nicaragua and India.  He is overcoming difficulties to get into his destiny that God had planned for him before he was born. May God bless him this year.

It is also the twenty fifth anniversary of the Keg Worth aircraft crash today. On the night of David,s birth, when Brendan was on his way from Belfast to London, a flight from London to Belfast crashed with 114 people on board.  Forty seven people died.  It is a sad day for many.  I will not forget David’s birthday.

David’s Birthday

On the  eighth of January my son David will be twenty five.  He is my tenth child and fifth son.  That made my family up to five boys and five girls, a nice round figure and an equal number of boys and girls.

When I was expecting  David we had the opportunity to get some renovations done in our home.  We were blessed to move to a house big enough for all of us while the work was going on.  Aine was our live in Nannie at the time.  She was with us for two years and was a great blessing, helping with my work of rearing children.

Different events happened to us in that year. Brendan had a smart little black sports car.  He was driving past a building in Coleraine when a bomb went off.  The car windows smashed, debris reigned down on the car and Brendan was pretty shaken.  I think the loud blast affected his ears.  But Praise God Brendan was able to drive home.  The car was restored.  Life went on as if nothing happened in the Mc Cauley household.  Brendan did not have time to think he was injured.

I was learning to drive.  I was enjoying my new freedom driving out in the country with the driving instructor.  No children to look after for a while.  One day Brendan suggested I apply to do my test.  The instructor was happy to drive me around as long as I was paying.  So a driving test was arranged.

I had a dream while I was expecting David, that I will never forget.  I saw these scorpion / horse like demons.  They were coming to get me.  I was frightened of them but I remember saying to them “I am going to tell Brendan on you.”  They all ran away.  What the dream was telling me, if I come under attack from any demons, all I have to do is tell Brendan and he will deal with them.  My husband has the authority to protect me.  When I had cancer Brendan was able to take his authority over me and drive away the demons that were trying to kill me.

We spent Christmas in our temporary home and got ready for David’s arrival in the New Year.  A friend sent us a Christmas card with a family of rabbits on the front.  Ha Ha. It did not bother me what friends thought about me having a big family.

Brendan had booked to go to England for a conference in January.  We thought our baby would have been born before Brendan was due to leave.  My babies tended to come late and David was no exception.  I was happy Brendan went ahead to the conference in England.  I hoped our baby would wait a little longer.

We all waved to Brendan as he headed off to the the airport with his friends.  I reassured him I would be okay.  About an hour later my waters broke, which is the beginning of being in labour.  I sent one of the children across the road to my friend, who sent me the card with the rabbits, to ring the airport to try and contact Brendan.  We did not have mobile phones or i Pads then!

Brendan had been to the birth of all my children.  He was always a great support to me at the births, comforting and praying for me.  Would we be able to get in touch with Brendan before his flight left, and return to be with me for the arrival of our son?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/weekly-writing-challenge-cliffhanger/