i’ve spent this morning writing with a sleeping babe nestled on my shoulder, my one hand holding him close while working with the other. his face is nuzzled against my neck, and he breathes heavily, his tiny body rising and falling in the throes of a deep sleep. he feels safe here and i, for this moment, give thanks. for this moment, he knows nothing of the hardships this world will surely bring one day. for this moment, all my son knows is the warmth of my body, the steady beat of my heart, the closeness of my embrace, the lingering scent of soap on my skin. for some reason, it makes me think of the ninety-first psalm::
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (NLT)
i’ve read these words countless times before, always taking comfort in them whenever i was sad or afraid. this morning, however, they take on a new meaning within me. up until now i have always read these verses from the perspective of the one seeking solace, the one looking for refuge in the shadow of his wings. but this morning, i caught a glimpse of the other side.
i think of words written by sarah bessey, fellow jesus feminist and mother of tinies, an eshet chayil who seems so much a kindred, though we’ve never met. “…what if we see God through the metaphor of a mother with a newborn babe?” she writes. “What do we see instead? After all, the metaphors for God’s love are diverse throughout Scripture but I’m often reminded in these tender days just after giving birth and caring for a newborn that I’m part of that metaphor, too, with my labour and my pain, with my ferocious protectiveness and my consuming love.”
there is no better feeling than when the babe curls up against me, snuggling himself to sleep upon my chest. he trusts me enough to make me his refuge, and he knows that i will watch over him while he slumbers. “My entire body yearns for my child, watch us in these early days how we curl into each other, how I protect [him], nourish [him], comfort [him], even how I delight in [him] – you’re seeing a glimpse of something divine here, I believe. Isn’t this one of the great gifts God has given us? A glimpse into how God loves us, a share of the joy, a sign and a foretaste of the Kingdom among us already. God in his goodness, sharing with us what it means to love so selflessly, so unconditionally, so completely.” (Sarah Bessey)
i cannot tell you how fierce my love for him is in this moment.
and so this begs the question: how much more must be the delight of God when one of us, his sons and his daughters, come to him in the very same way? does it not move his heart? does it not make him glad when we, his beloved, make our home and rest in him?
i, of course, would never have known this had i not birthed Atticus, my own flesh and blood. or, more accurately perhaps, i would have known it as head-knowledge alone. it’s funny how God teaches us things, isn’t it?
finding faith is a short collection of vignettes that i am writing this fall as i live out marriage, motherhood, + my relationship with Jesus and reflect on what i’ve learned through it all. if you missed part i, you can read it here.
you may also want to join me on instagram for my #diaryofaSAHM (stay-at-home-mama) photo project. whether you stay at home or go back to your career, motherhood is a hard and holy work. as for me, this is where i find myself, so i am #takingbacktheSAHM narrative.