Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Christmas 2010 – loving greetings from our family.

As another year draws to a close, Noel and I are very thankful to God for the health and strength, and the wonderful family with which we have been blessed.

As is clear from this photo (which has the photographer’s watermark on it), taken 11 December, we have welcomed another son-in-law into our family. We had a joyful time celebrating the marriage of Miriam, to Neville, in Sydney. As is also clear from this photo, we have welcomed two beautiful grand children in May this year.

As I have reflected on the highs (and lows) of this year 2010, my mind has returned consistently to the two new babies. The wonder and beauty of new life is powerful enough to keep me going for as long as I have energy to think and write. Like ripples in a pond, my thoughts have then moved to our other precious grand-daughter Poppy, and the terrain these children will need to navigate as they grow up. It is a different world from those experienced by previous generations.

In my musings about our grand-children, and our children, my thoughts moved to the story of a baby, in Exodus 2. "The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months." (verse 2) Another version says he was "a goodly child".

The story is well known. After three months the mother made a little basket of papyrus, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch to make it water-proof, and set it in the shallow reedy part of the Nile River where the princess would come to wash. She set her daughter Miriam as the onlooker, ready to offer practical assistance of a Hebrew 'wet nurse', the baby's own loving mother, when the princess also saw that he was a fine baby, and decided to keep him. This decision saved the life of that baby boy.

When the birth of a child is welcomed by a mother who sees that this is "a goodly child", and that mother does all in her power to protect and nurture the child, even in the most adverse circumstances, there is hope for the future. It was no miracle that the mother of the child saw that he was "a goodly child", and defied the government of the day in the most strategic way in looking after him. The miracle was that the princess shared in the vision of "a goodly child". She knew exactly what the mother intended, and she agreed with the mother's plan to save that child's life.

We are confident as we face the year ahead that we can trust God for strength and courage in all situations.

This past year I have continued in private midwifery practice, and am pleased to say that although there is still no indemnity insurance available for home birth, private midwifery is still legal. I am privileged to be a teacher and mentor to other midwives, and welcome many readers to my professional blogs. I have published an e-book, Midwifery from my heart, which I am happy to send as a .pdf file to those who request it.

Noel’s work distributing water treatment products to primary producers continues in a small way. Noel is also fully committed to the work of our church, which takes a large proportion of his time. Noel’s mother, Lily Johnston, is very frail, and is being cared for in a nursing home.

May God's blessing be on you as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
With love
Noel and Joy