Thursday, January 14, 2016
Living Softly in an Untamed Land
The other night I was driving home, Olivia keeping me company. Since she and I had been together all afternoon, we were content to be quiet. And I could look out at the night. Rolling empty hills, blanketed under a covering of snow. The sky still tinged with pink where the sun had went it's way beneath the horizon. A perfect sliver of the moon, hanging like an ornament in the star studded sky. The prairie. I was struck in my heart by its aching, lonely beauty. Yes, it is beautiful but in a aloof and untamed way.
I wonder, will I ever be a friend of the prairie? Will I ever find my way to its heart? Blue-eyes grew up underneath these skies. His little childish mind and heart were formed in the wind and sun and blowing grasses. The frigid winter, glistening and harsh, the sun dogs and heavy frozen fog, that leaves everything sheathed in ice, were there all along. Viewed through the innocent, friendly eyes of a child. How differently than me he must feel here!
And now in a few weeks, our little baby will be born. Of all our children, this one alone will share that with him. It will be, from the beginning, a child of the prairie. And I wonder, will birthing a child here in our parsonage house give me a new level of attachment to this place? Perhaps.
Now we have a few weeks to quiet our souls and minds before the Lord and prepare to receive this new life. Change, no matter how wonderful, is always difficult for me, so I wanted to set aside this last month to reflect, pray, and just be home together. We have our layette and diapers, organic and biodegradable, of course. We'll switch to cloth after a couple months. Our infant car seat arrived last week and the midwife gave Blue-eyes everything he'll need, should the baby arrive while she's en route.
Lord willing, Isabelle and Annika are hoping to witness their newest little sibling enter the world. We promised Isaac and Moses that if it happens to be a new brother, after Dad and me, they can hold him first.
I'm remembering again how fearing that the new baby, in all reality, was in danger of being loved to death, Meredith and Lucille spent most of their infancy secured to my heart in a wrap. I'm glad I hung on to my favorite two, a newborn sling and a wrap for when they were a bit bigger. Even though the older girls accused me of "hogging the baby", I absolutely love baby wearing. I reminded them that since I had carried this child in my womb for nine months and gave birth to it, I actually had a right to "hog the baby". They were, after all, my babies. And they can remember that when they have their own babies some day;).
One of the nice things about being pregnant, is that during the last trimester, I get a big dose of creativity. I hadn't done anything at all in our bedroom, besides paint, since we moved here. But now I've had this desire to create a beautiful, inspiring place to give birth to my baby, and to spend the first week or so of this child's life. I am very happy with the results.
Our three little girls were all born at home in our Washington house, and I so cherish those memories! Blue-eyes was able to take a week or so off from work and will this time, as well, Lord willing, to take care of us and enjoy those lovely first days of bonding.
Oh, have I mentioned before how being pregnant and giving birth and having a new baby makes me fall in love with Blue-eyes all over again? It does, every time, without fail. Something about me being "great with child" brings out his gentlest, sweetest self. And watching a man fall in love with his newborn baby is the most romantic and charming masculinity of all.
So here I am, in the midst of winter, in this untamed land, stepping softly, living softly. And truly, like Mary, the mother of my Lord, I am blessed among women. 1 Timothy 2:15 says, "women shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." I've thought a lot about this verse and what it might mean. I've heard it explained that we are saved through childbearing because our Savior was born of a woman, which of course is true. But I think there's more to it than that. I think bearing children has the ability, like few other experiences ever could, to give us the gift of having a servant's heart. Carrying the baby for nine months, labor, nourishing and nurturing a newborn baby at our breast night and day. In a way, taking a piece of our heart out of our body and allowing it to live independent from us, yet tied to us,
forever. So that always what this child does has the power to give us great joy or sorrow. It allows us in a small way to have the heart of Christ.
If you think of us in the next few weeks, we covet your prayers for a safe delivery and a healthy, strong baby. Blessings to you other mamas, especially those of you who are also awaiting the birth of a new little soul.
"He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arms and carry them in His blossom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11