I’ve been remembering your first few weeks of life lately. I remember how you were cuddly and soft and tiny.
I remember how you cried.
Oh, sweet baby. You cried. You did NOT like being here. You were perfectly content in the womb. Content to stay put until the last possible minute.
I remember night after night of propped up dozing in the bed with you on my chest and whispered prayers for you to be safe. For you to be healthy. For you to sleep.
I remember the way you would scream like someone was torturing you if we set you down in your bed. You came out of the womb like that. That first night at the hospital, before I could use any scheduling tricks, any eat, play, sleep routines, you made it clear that you were here but you were not going to like it.
Some days it seems like you still don’t.
Some days I feel like I’ve been carrying you for about seventeen months straight. Almost ten in my belly and nearly seven outside. And I wonder how I can possibly breathe thanksgiving for the gift of carrying you while shedding tears for the way my back and my arms are aching.
In light of the way motherhood came to me and because of the way Jesus talks about children, I’ve made it my mission to distill beauty from the commonplace. To keep these eyes wide open for grace, even at 2 am; to hunt and peck these memories out with my left hand because you’re sure to wake if my right moves from your back. To strap that baby carrier on and get those dishes done, just to have some sense of accomplishment in a day where it feels like all I do is carry.
But some days, sweet baby, it’s just so hard. Some days I’m changing diapers and holding you while you cry and I’m asking and asking. Where IS IT? WHERE IS THE GRACE?
And even with pizza ordered for dinner and a husband who lets me fall into bed the second he walks in the door and a relatively smooth bedtime routine and the promise of a restful tomorrow with family, 8:30pm still finds me in my bed with chores undone and a big bowl of ice cream.
And I think back to how today in my Bible study, while someone else held you for a few hours so that my arms could be strengthened? We asked the question why.
And I didn’t have words for an answer, but I had pictures. A picture of me, of you, of our family, soaked and drowning in a sea, then grabbing ahold of and clinging to an anchor that will never move.
A picture of us huddled in a field while a fierce bad storm rips its way around us, and truth is our home. The roof over us. The walls on either side of us. Stable. Sturdy. Remaining. The place we live.
This is our home, our anchor: Truth that isn’t going anywhere and that doesn’t need our circumstances to define it.
And I don’t beat myself up because I’m not grateful enough or I’m not loving enough or I’m not patient enough.
I just sit here, sweet baby, with my hands open and I say
And even in these moments, these hard days where I come right up against my brokenness, my frailty, my humanity, I breathe that “thank you.”
And I don’t rewrite today in my mind, and I don’t sigh to myself that tomorrow will be better. tomorrow has to be better.
I simply sit. And listen. And know.
That Jesus will still be here tomorrow.
And that he will always be enough. For both of us.
And that maybe, possibly, probably the best thing I can do for you as your momma is show you what it’s like for a broken woman to keep making her home in Jesus, in the truth that abides with us and will be with us forever.