Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 days :: motherhood

i've started a new journey this month. i've become a mother. and there is such a risk in motherhood, i've learned, even with only fourteen days to my credit.

there is a risk of retreating when i should be warring, a risk of withdrawing when i should be clinging. of all the times in my life, this is the time to be seeking Him with fire in my veins and passion in my soul.

this is the time to seek the sacred, to walk the path of the King closer than ever before.

and so i'm undertaking my first 31 Days.

:: thirty-one days of sacred, seeking motherhood ::

i'm not sure what i'll find, or what i'll become, or what i'll uncover while i undertake this. i will not shut out the Light in the time i need illumination the most. 

i cannot live without Him in the best of times and in the easiest of moments...oh, how i grasp Him now. 

:: my ship is in unfamiliar seas ::
:: my Anchor is my salvation :: 

and so with Marian in my arms and the Lion's breath at my back, i'm inhaling life. 

// i'm uncovering sacred in motherhood //
// i'm seeking Him in everything //

:: day one :: day two ::

little girl loved // two weeks

{taken the day of her birth, bare minutes old}
my daughter is two weeks old today.

and i've been resisting the urge to blog endlessly about her for fear of turning into one of those moms who can't exist outside their children.

but she's so new, and so precious, and i can't help but fall in love with her all over again every single time i look into her tiny face and see those blue eyes staring back at me and see that tiny mouth curl up into a pouting smile that illumines me.

the first days of her life are a mental blur for me, a blur of morphine and hospital blue and white stripped blankets. and now they are a different sort of blur, an exhausted new mommy blur of sleeping sometimes but not all the time.

clocks have stopped having a meaning for me. 3am and 12 noon and 4:15pm have all become times to curl my body around my newborn child and feed her from my own body and inhale her sweet indescribable infant aroma.

and though she be but little
she is fierce 
:: william shakespeare ::

{two weeks old in Daddy's arms, already so much different}
there is a strange fierceness about this tiny creature that came from my body. the way she demands attention with the loudness of her wails, the wildness of her intense blue eyes. 

there is no secret that she will be a warioress, 
// and she already is, in a way. 

at two weeks old, she is already little girl loved, small fairy-child treasured. and now she sleeps on my husband's chest curled in a soft pink daisy-patterned blanket with her rosebud mouth partially open and an arm tucked beneath her head. 

and i'm overwhelmed with the fierceness of this small one, of Aslan's newest and smallest daughter, currently a cub but a strong lioness in the making. 

i'm mad with love, with a fire i did not know i could ever possess. 

i'm mother, more than i ever was before. 

and i am two weeks mother to a lioness. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

arrival // Marian Abigail

she is here. 
my bug, my angel, my soul-wailing warrioress. 
:: Marian Abigail ::
9 lbs, 6 oz, 21 1/2 long

my labour was induced on the 15th at 7pm. i laboured for 24 hours with no change, breathing my way through contraction after contraction, praying for strength as they grew and then faded and then grew again.

but then her heart began to struggle as i contracted. oxygen found my nose and fluids found my veins and we watched and waited and prayed. 

doctors came and my mother held one hand, my mother-in-law held the other, and my husband stood at my head while i wept in fear and whispered

please God...

labour was too hard on her, they said. and she was big, bigger than they had ever imagined my body could produce and bear for so long. and the time had come, the appointed time, for this child to enter the world. 

they bound my husband up in baby blue scrubs and clad us both in green mesh caps and numbed my body from breasts to toes. and i laid on the table, arms spread wide and shaking like a leaf with whispered words into my ear and his hand clutching mine, and His hands holding all three of us. 

and they pulled her from me, this child of the strong lungs and dark hair that covers her head like the softest duckling feathers.

 in a rush of blood and life-giving fluid, my daughter was born and laid at my cheek so our skin touched. 

and i heard her wail, and i wept. 

and now she lays against my side, curled in pink and white blankets as my body heals among the IVs and foam cups with ice chips. we're a tiny family here. 

my strong little miracle. my heart outside my body. 
my Marian. 
my daughter. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

jumble // tomorrow

{via pinterest}
i'm all over the place right now.

bag packed, clothing washed...did i remember everything? do i need one more blanket, another outfit, just in case? am i overplanning, under-doing?

i'm excited. i'm so, so excited.
oh Lord, i'm so scared. 

:: tomorrow is the day ::

i've been counting down for this day for 41 weeks and 3 days that have seemed to stretch endless in front of me. and now this is the end, no more waiting.

i'm being induced tomorrow, the stroke of noon is where this pumpkin starts to transform from me to Mommy. it could be hours, it could be days. i don't like this unknown where i sit right now, this not knowing.

but this i do know.
He is greater. He is in control.
He is God. i am not.

so pray for me, would you please? because i'm so very small, and this seems so very big. and i need peace to do this big thing, this foreign and beautiful and frightening thing.

i'm bringing life through blood. it's sacred, a reminder of Him, really. the Stone Table broke when blood was spilled, and my body might break in this pursuit of motherhood. i'm ready to be carried, lifted up and held.

tomorrow is begin.
tomorrow is the start.

and He is greater.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Narnian almost-newborn

{via pinterest}
i am Reepicheep.
a mouse who must be held back from attempting combat with a dragon.

i'm marveling at the grace and joy that this life brings, to inhale and exhale courage that never seems to let up these days.

there is a kind of happiness and wonder 
that makes you serious. 
it is too good to waste on jokes. 
:: the last battle  // c.s. lewis

and that is where i am right now, right on the cusp of so many things, so much change. and i am breathless with excitement.

i understand that Narnian wonder again...i think i had forgotten what this feels like. it used to be my passion, to leap into the pools and come up to the tune of Lion's breath and steel growing alive from the ground.

because that's what this time is for me, a transition from summer to autumn, the time when the earth comes so alive and grace overflows so that the earth brings life from nothing.

{via pinterest}
it's hot cinnamon apple cider and burning leaves coupled with soft pink sheets and hand-crocheted booties in purple and mauve.

it's mustard yellow sweaters and chunky knit scarves with fresh-printed books by candlelight...Goodnight Moon and I'll Love You Forever take up the shelves where Austen and Bronte used to reside.

this is where it starts. this is the begin.
she is four days late, but i know she will arrive.

and then we will tip over the wave and catch our first glimpse of Aslan's county in her newborn eyes.

and i will teach her to being a roaring lamb
a dragon-fighting mouse.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

being imperfect mommy

{my family, May 2011}
me, my mommy, my daddy, my sister
your mother is so amazing
you have a fantastic father. 

these are words i hear often, frequently filling my ears from the lips of those who encounter the people that raised me. not just church people, not just family people, but strangers too, sometimes, who know me through them.

my father is the life of the party, loud and wild with a whistle and a laugh that both boom and echo so loud that they can be heard in the front of the church where i sit, compared to the back where he sits with my mother, always just that one second after the joke when the rest of the laughter has died away.

but he has these eyes, my father, the eyes that draw men to speak and share their hearts when most would rather withdraw and be quiet. he was good to his girls, my dad, my mom and sister and me, and soon his granddaughter too. most men wouldn't have cared. my daddy did.

and then there's my mom. this red-haired, coffee-carafe toting powerhouse who often starts her sentences with i'm not perfect or only by the grace of God am i here. and she's right, of course, because it takes God and only God. but mommy needs to give herself some credit too. because she spends hours with women, holding their hands and weeping with the broken. she gives of herself endless and endless to teenage girls who love her and call her mom like i do, and it's amazing.

and women tell me that listening to my mom is like listening at the feet of Jesus. and it is, because she raised me when she could have said no, and adopted me when she could have been content to give to others who didn't hold corners of her flesh in their fists. but she chose a daughter, and then another. and gave even more of herself -- the most bits of herself -- to us, my sister and me.

and i'm going to be a mom soon, any day now. and i sit and press my hands to my swollen stomach where my daughter, due tomorrow and stubbornly waiting beneath my skin where she seems to be quite comfortable in her silent liquid world. but wouldn't you be too?

i want to be the kind of mom that has people come to my little girl and say your mom is doing good. your mom is amazing. 

{via pinterest}
and i fear i won't be that kind of woman for her. i fear i'll live in flesh and in self, and not in the Jesus-shawl that my mother drapes over her shoulders when the world brings her to her knees. and i fear that i'll chose my own feet instead of kneeling on the sheepskin that my father has used for prayer since i was a little girl.

i have big shoes to fill, these ones of sacred parenting that were emulated for me by the two most amazing people i have ever encountered. and sometimes i call my mom crying, and tell her that i don't feel good enough to mother like she mothered.

and then i remember that He fathered her, and me, and my dad, and my husband. and fall is coming, a death and a life all at the same time. and my little one is coming to make me a mommy, and to make my husband a daddy.

and we won't be perfect parents. but we will be parents who love. i won't be my mom. but i'll be me, and that'll be okay, won't it?

and she'll love me for me, those tiny flailing arms and fluffy little cheeks and big still-unseen eyes of an unknown colour and hair to match, also still unknown.

but He died to make me worthy to hold this tiny one in my arms and call her my child, and made me worthy to be called mommy. He didn't die to make me perfect, to make me supermom, to make me anything but me.

He died to make me whole.

and i'm who she'll call mommy
imperfect mommy who loves Jesus
loving mommy who tries
her mommy. 
who loves her forever & always 

{linking my imperfection with dear emily and her community today. join us?}