The Sleepy Blur of Babyhood
"Well, there goes another one."
It's been my thought for weeks... another day come and gone in which I've been sure that I could get to this glowing screen and blinking cursor and pour my heart out into words somehow.But the days just come and go, time slipping sweetly away into the happy blur of Michael's babyhood.
I'm so often sitting in the corner of our room as I cradle and nurse this darling baby boy. If I'm not on my phone (which I try not to do but do anyways) then I'm just staring at him and out the window and thinking.
First of all, breastfeeding exhausts me. I've read that there's actually a chemical release of some sort that causes drowsiness while nursing, but I also think its just the sudden STOP of activity that forces me to feel how tired I am. (Working mamas, I do not know how you do it.) And breastfeeding has been hard, too... which is an understatement that probably deserves a strongly felt expletive somewhere in there. But I'm thankful that I can do it, and I'm also thankful for the slew of prescription meds that has made it bearable.
Michael is still the most easy, smiley baby I've ever known... which basically means he is more easy and smiley than Annika was. We watched some videos of her when she was 8-9 weeks old and it was crazy to see that they are truly different little people. She was more expressive, more beautiful, and full of noises. Michael is less vocal, less emotional, but he lights up like a light bulb when we look at him.
That kid... he smiles with his entire body.
Sometimes, though... Sometimes I hold him or watch him sleep and the love I feel is so big that suddenly (and strangely) I am painfully overwhelmed with the unfairness of life. I think of mothers that have lost their little babies or suffered through infertility or who might hold their sweet baby now and yet still fear for his life because of war or poverty or sickness. And yet here is this baby, this beautiful, alive-and-well-baby in my arms, a miracle baby after all those miscarriages, and I hardly know how to handle it. Its too precious. How could I ever grasp what a gift he is? Me, who deserves him no more than any other.
The blessing of him almost burns.
And part of me hesitates to even get into all that... all the weird, heavy stuff... but it's daily there right along with the sweetness. The happiness is tinged with sorrow. I almost welcome it, though, because it leaves me with a deeply thankful feeling that doesn't take his life lightly - and doesn't assume that tomorrow is promised to us.
It makes me want to cry out to God with joy and fear and gratitude.
And I'm also just really tired, which in the end just makes me want to collapse into Him in a weary, giant surrender of everything that is too big to feel or understand.
If anything, this blurry season is making me to see how real God is despite my lack of energy or passion towards him. My devotion in the past months has been less than fervent (read: tired and lazy) and yet... there he always is. In the silence of 3 a.m. when my mind drifts into these things, in the very moment that I open my Bible to the Psalms and they wash over me like a balm, in the community of believers with lifted hands on Sunday morning - proclaiming "no power of hell nor scheme of man could ever pluck me from his hand."
There God always is.
So I guess what I'm learning is this...
When I - instead of being a disciplined, Bible-reading, praying, blogging, passionate Christian woman - am instead a weary, spiritually uncertain, coffee-dependent mama who is doing good to spend five minutes with an online devotional - When I can still come to God and feel him accepting me in that same sweet and winsome way, then I can finally start to understand how little his affection for me depends on my own good behavior.
I have no idea how to punctuate that sentence.
Basically, grace. And mercy. And Jesus.
I can press my tired back deep into the rocking chair at 3 a.m. and be comforted that Jesus loves me in that moment. I can trace the curve of Michael's fat cheeks (inherited from me) and trust that Jesus loves him, too.
And I can know that when I finally open my Bible or lift my hands in worship and feel that warm press of an awakening Spirit inside me, its not because of some emotional "high." (Seriously, I have negative amounts emotional energy for creating my own exaggerated, spiritual dramatics.) And it's not because of some habitual routine that has trained my brain to feel these things... because my habits in the last month or so have been more about binge-watching Orange is the New Black while I breastfeed than any kind of spiritual discipline.
But - when I drag my eyes away from the worldly, away from the habits and the flesh, and surrender yet again my tired, un-righteous heart... there he always is.