Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials" James 1:2

I came to this birth, not just as a photographer, but as a friend. I came to this birth as full circle. I missed my friend's last birth, we had been pregnant together, and though our angel went to heaven, I had looked forward to rejoicing in her long awaited baby. There is so much I could say here about this friend, how we grew up states away, only a half hour from each other so we have this cultural understanding as Midwest gals, how she is an amazing mother of six children, how she has a heart for orphans and has listened to that call, has acted on that call. But mostly I want you to know her peace. Not just someone who is calm, she is that; but someone who understands peace on the level I believe God wants us to know. Someone who I'm sure secretly works at it as we all have to, but who has let it flow over her, whose embracing of God's peace and love and suffering and joy are palpable. 

As I left this birth, which had some unexpected seriousness, as I let it wash over me throughout the next few days, these scriptures rang through my mind. As God seeks to flow through us, as he offers us this peace, this peace that is not just the absence of trouble, of trials, and fear, but is the peace. The peace that calms our fears, collects us, centers into our very being; so as your new baby struggles to breathe it flows out of you, calming all present. For you are sure, you are sure of God's hands, of His love, His peace.

This friend, this doula, this mother and wife, shows me this peace. And I am grateful to her and so blessed to have been there for this new blessing, this gift. Baby Charis came fast after a beautiful dance with her mother in a candlelit room serenaded with soft guitar strumming by her father. Charis, Greek for Eucharist, came to all of us this Holy Week, so perfect, as we rejoice in the Resurrection, in the new life to come. 

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Collossians 3:15.

Charis Katherine, 7 lbs 15 ounces, born at 5:44 am was attended by an amazing midwife and her apprentices.