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I would like to introduce you to my amazing sister-in-law, Danielle. Danielle has the biggest heart and I think you will find that the words she has written pour out from the big heart. I am so excited that she will be my first guest to write a post on What Inspires You Wednesday.


Providing hope is something that inspires me. I left a job that was comfortable. Something I truly thought my heart was calling me to do my entire life to become a postpartum doula. After hearing prompts from God, I decided to let Him lead me. Lead me in a path that can provide hope for women and families.

After having our baby boy a year ago, I experienced postpartum depression. I feared the night time, I feared him not getting enough to eat, I feared not getting any sleep, and I cried. ALL. THE. TIME. I shook at night and would be freezing cold and unable to eat anything during the day. My mind would be racing. I would be telling myself I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t cut out for this.

Why was this happening to me? Why was I experiencing all of this? I learned all about this during my postpartum doula training.

I believe I experienced this so I could love and serve women more authentically. I struggled with breastfeeding but now I can help women on their breastfeeding journey. More importantly I struggled with figuring out this new role as a Mom. I was giving to my baby when all I wanted was to get wrapped up and told everything was going to be okay and life would get easier. I wanted this title of “Mom” for so long and the guilt that I was experiencing was outweighing the joy I truly wanted to celebrate during this time.

Thankfully, hope was provided in the form of hugs, Starbucks, breakfast, meals, listening ears,and friends taking time with the baby so I could shower and take a bath. Hope came in the form of essential oils, providing natural solutions for my physical and emotional healing. And now, as a postpartum doula and wellness advocate, I get to provide women with that. I get to provide hope.

To the new mama out there or the mama in a season of challenges, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You were made for this. God created you to be the mama to your babies. He doesn’t call us to be perfect in parenting. He calls us to love HIM and love your family.

Maybe you just lost your job. Maybe you just graduated college. Maybe you were just given a medical diagnosis that would impact your whole family. Maybe you can’t make ends meet. Maybe you are a new mom who is questioning her abilities. Hope isn’t just for the weak or the weary. It doesn’t discriminate. There is hope. You might not be able to see it, but it’s there.
Reach out to someone. Blessings can come from vulnerability. Tell someone you need help. They may just hold the key to that hope that is right around the corner.

Danielle Martens

A note from Danielle:
If you are looking for postpartum care or just want to learn what a postpartum doula does please visit my facebook page here.I partner with an amazing life affirming organization called Guiding Star Cedar Valley. Check them out too!If you are looking for natural solutions for you and your family, you can email me at and I can chat with you about your healthcare options. If you want to check out doTERRA click here.

Can you relate to what inspires Danielle? Comment below and tell us! I would love to hear more about it, too. I am looking for guests to blog on the topic of What Inspires You. Email me at if you are interested

We are surviving! We are in lots of layers, but we are surviving. Tonight when I went out to do chores I wore Under Armor long underwear, flannel lined Carhartt jeans, Charhartt bibs, a Carhartt coat, neck and face cover, stocking cap, Thinsulate work gloves, cotton gloves underneath and Muck boots. 🙂

Just like clockwork on her due date our heifer went into labor. (What first time mom doesn't dream of going on her due date?) We are so blessed that my parents allowed us to move the heifers into their horse barn for this cold snap. We have a barn, but nothing that would keep them as warm as the horse barn.

I noticed yesterday afternoon that the heifer was acting just a little "off." Yesterday evening we started cleaning out the stalls and getting them some fresh bedding. Within moments of throwing just a little clean straw in her pen she laid down. I knew right away that she was going to be calving because that is just not her normal personality. We finished bedding and went into eat supper. We started to see feet around 9:00, but she was working real hard to get the calf delivered. Around 10:30 we made the decision that she needed just a little assistance. She was one very tired momma, but out came a healthy bull calf that has a beautiful blaze on his face.

We decided to name this little bull calf, Chilly Willy. We thought that was the perfect name to a baby born during this Polar Vortex. He was up this morning nursing like a champ!

It is getting colder and colder by the minute here in the Midwest and I ask that you continue to pray for those out in the elements. I just read a bit ago that the United States Postal Service is suspending delivery in many areas and read another funny meme that Iowa is closed. HA HA

The girls did get 14 minutes of snow play time in yesterday. 14 minutes? Exactly 14, I timed them because I didn't think they would last long. 🙂

And in all of the grumbles of the cold and yucky weather, we get blessed with a reminder of just how beautiful nature is with the sun dogs in the picture above. This photo doesn't do justice for what they really looked like in person (even though it was -17* when I took the photo.)

Stay warm friends, it sounds like the worst of it is coming tomorrow! How do you plan to keep warm? Do you have to report to your regularly scheduled work day?

From The Gravel Road-


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