Thursday, October 25, 2012

inked :: redeux

{songbird for joy, flower for feminine, branch for strength}
two days before 2012, i crossed an item off my bucket list with ink of permanence on my skin.

four days ago, i did it again.

and now my shoulder bears the reminder of the best thing i have ever done. this is a memorial of her birth in the most perfect of ways. pain and blood that results in beauty, and this is what birth is and this is what i will bear on my skin for all eternity.

but it's more than that.

and these stones shall stand as a memorial...
for when your children ask
what does this mean?  
:: joshua 4

one day she will touch the mark on my shoulder, and the one on my wrist, and the ones that i have yet to get but will soon bear. and she will ask, what does this mean?

and i will tell her our story. i will tell her how i wrestled with God the day she was born, and how i was humbled, and how He was victorious. and how she was pulled from me like Moses from the water and laid in my arms. and she is my ultimate memorial to His grace. 
{via pinterest}

and that i am marked on my shoulder, and that i am marked from hip to hip, because i love her. 

and then i will point to the cross and tell her of the One who gave her to me. 

i will tell her that He is marked, too, because He loved her, too. because He loved her most. and that His Father has her name engraved on His heart, and that He wrote love in blood.

some people glace at my skin and wrinkle their noses. 

that's permanent, you know.
 even when you're old. 

and i smile. because i never want to forget, and i never want them to disappear. i'm proud of them, my story. my tattoos are my stones in the water, stacked high to remind the children of God from where they have come and where they are going instead.  

and i want to remember always what my Lord has done. 

and so i am inked. 

{linking imperfect with emily today. won't you join us there?}

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

and yet she sleeps

i have the future of the world in my arms.

and she's sleeping with little mouth open and tiny eyes shut. she makes the tiniest little snuffling noises and wiggles slightly against my chest. i wear her these days, or else i get nothing done, wrapped in green cloth as i pace the floor, browning ground beef and singing it is well with my soul, to remind me as much as to soothe her.

and she's a drop in the next generation, one grain of sand that could form a pearl in the mouth of the universe if she just gets under their skin enough.

and she's my daughter, and so i know she will be. this is not a child born to be silent.

and she's sleeping.

so often i take these times to stare at her face, to memorize her every feature and dimple, the tiny roll of her chin and the long flutters of her dark lashes. it makes my heart clench, to know that she is a month old today, and i will blink and it will be twelve and she'll not be a baby any more.

always my baby, not always a baby.
and my mountain-mover will grow up and hold the world in her tiny fingers grown long and feminine and womanly., not yet.

:: for now, i will let her sleep ::
:: for when she wakes, she will move mountains :: 

my word for 2012 was brave. it was my plan, my goal to start my new year with a new measure of something i struggled to possess. and then twelve days later, i received word that my world was changing, and nine months from that, my gift was delivered into my arms wailing as loud as my heart.

{via pinterest}
they say your child is your heart born around outside your body. and with a wild child that already sings of bravery at one month old, she is truly my heart. my wolf-child and my dove girl, still a puppy, still a fledgling with down for feathers.

and she wakes with the sun and coos in my ear and gazes with wide eyes at the world around. and i think...this is the future of the world. and i hold her now, and she sleeps now in my arms wrapped in green and pink and softness all over.

a lioness in training, still a cub but with a roar of her own.

Aslan's daughter, the weaver of her own dreams who holds the hand of the One who holds the loom that bears her one-of-a-kind pattern.

my woven warrioress.
my brave little girl.
my sleeping shaker who teaches me with every snuffling breath...

...she teaches me to be brave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

sprouting branches : day five/ten

i'm learning to sprout extra branches these days.

two hands used to be enough for cell phone and coffee and driving down the road with too much on my mind all at the same time. but now i have precious cargo in the backseat, and so now i drive ten miles slower than i used to with sneaky sips of coffee to stay alive. 

and i'm growing extra branches and blossoming here, because i'm seeing what's important. i'm slowing down and savouring these moments, because i looked at her this morning and saw a growing flower in my garden. 

my seed is already sprouting a little bud with hints of pink petals, signs of life of her own. she's brushed off all that dirt from her shoulders and reaching up fingers all on her own toward the light. she's seeing more, knowing more. 

it's already almost been a month. 
can you believe it?

so everyone in my house is growing as the world starts to hibernate. i'm getting the hang of juggling little girl on my hip while i do the banking with one hand and raise the other toward the sky with a whispered prayer of

can You send me an extra whisper of strength today?
not too much, just enough...

{via pinterest}
and i'm resonating with the leaves that fall on the ground in this season, but i don't have the time to fall. i can't fall down until she's tucked up asleep with little lips open and curving into a sleepy smile from mysterious baby dreams.  

and then maybe i can crumble for a moment into strong man arms and cry for just a second from overwhelming moments of emotion and the realization that my branches are extending, and growing pains hurt after all. 

but i have a Daddy to carry me in the moments when the ground seems very far away, and i'm being parented while i parent by the ultimate Father who gets it all. 

and so i'm taking a breath, and tying on a babywearing wrap of fabric and facing life like i used to...just with a few more blossoming branches.

carved on one is mother
and another says woman
and yet another speaks warrioress

some are new. some are old. some are rediscovered. 
but all are my branches. 
and He's tending them all. 

{being imperfect with emily today}

Thursday, October 4, 2012

humble communion :: day three/four

{via pinterest}
being a parent is a lesson in humility. this i have learned already.

i've started in with the litany of stammered apologies at the state of my house to any guest that might stop by, and the blushing shame that lingers even when they assure me that they understand. because part of me thinks they don't, and they simply cling to polite courteosy as a way to make the frazzled new mom feel better.

and then today my mom came by with a box of things from home, and the stammering began. could she come upstairs? house is a mess...i'm so sorry for the mess...

and then my mama started in with her love. she held my daughter while i showered, and when the tiny warrioress slipped to slumber, she started in on my dishes. and dishes turned to floors and sinks and the toilet and tub and the messy stack of haphazard books and welcome your new baby cards in every shade of possible pastel.

and i again started with the i'm sorry you're seeing my house like this...and my mother lifted her head up and looked into my eyes and spoke words that melted my soul like wax.

:: that's the devil's lie

i wept in secret as i fed my daughter and my precious mother scrubbed the limescale from my tub. and  i felt my pride starting to fold in on itself.

because i was living in pride, in this dark land of messy dishes and unvacuumed floors that were crushing me from the outside in and bringing me to this place of overwhelmed confusion. and He was giving me a thousand outs, a thousand chances to rest and breathe again, and i was tossing them back in His face.

i am enough. i can handle this. 
i don't need You. 

{yesterday, me and my daughter) 
and then i broke. and i sat in the armchair while my mama brushed my hair and twisted it into a French braid out of my face and told me that i was radiant in my new motherhood. and we washed and dried dishes and laughed while my infant heart-clinger slept in her basket nearby.

we shared communion without the bread and wine, but with our mother-daugher-granddaughter hearts all meshed together. and i know He sent her to melt me down and restore me whole again.

even if it was just a shower and a tidied house and no more stammering apologies.

i need others. and i need Him.
there's no surviving without Him.

i'm inhaling His breath. and i'm loving my baby and letting the pillows fall where they may for now. no more pride, just on bended knee between the notes of the Lion's eternal song.

no more devil-lies. i'd rather share communion with my mama.
with my baby.
with my Jesus.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

not mine but Thine :: day two

{via pinterest}
the day of my first baby shower, my mom gave me a book to read.

sacred parenting :: gary thomas

and i've read little pieces here and there, snippets when i hold her while she sleeps and passages as she nurses and looks up into my eyes with her baby blue pools that whisper of the future.

i'm learning why parenting is sacred in a way i've never seen before. i've been told more than once that not everything can be sacred. but parenting...the only way i could survive this journey is by relying on the ultimate Father.

the relationship between Father and Son grips my soul freshly now, this way that Father loves enough to surrender His Son from glory to earth, and this way Son loves enough to surrender His life and will.

not Mine
but Thine.

and i want to love like that, though i know it might destroy me in the moment when she comes home and cries into my shoulder and whispers, how i wish i hadn't done that, momma. my mom did that for me, this thing of loving me enough to let me fail and let me chose.

can i do this? can i let her fail sometimes?
can i love her enough to let her learn for herself?

can i love her enough to let Him guide her steps instead of me tying her shoelaces together and the ends to the belt-loop in my jeans?

i prayed for this child on knees with choking sobs of longing, and she is here now in my arms, tiny and sweet and more precious than my heart can bear. but she is mine only for a time, but she is His for always.

{first moments with my Marian}
so i'm holding her up to Him and saying

not mine. 
but Thine. 

nothing i need to remind Him of, but a reminder to my mother's possessive heart.

i prayed for this child on knees with choking sobs of longing, and she is here now in my arms, tiny and sweet and more precious than my heart can bear.

but this daughter of my body and blood is His creation, of Lion's breath and Lion's song and earth so fresh and new that even iron and steal springs to life from within.

and the song continues from the tips of her toes and the ends of her fingers, and in the night as i hold her and kiss her sleeping face and whisper

not mine.
but Thine.

your children are not your children.
they are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
they come through you but not from you.
and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
:: kahlil gibran ::

Monday, October 1, 2012

holy intentions :: day one

{via pinterest}
the birth of my daughter was not what i planned.

i had the best of intentions, the most carefully orchestrated of plans. i would labour without meds, without intervention unless needed. it would be natural, it would be private, it would be beautiful.

but the day before i was induced, i wrote this post.
and i wrote this phrase:

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.

and indeed, my body did break. but not in the way i anticipated, nor in the way i wanted. 

but it wasn't about what i wanted. because i gave this child to Him the moment i knew of her presence within my body. it was His job to bring her here, and He did. His way in His time. 

she was late on my timeline, but not on His. nothing about that day surprised Him or alarmed Him. i was afraid to the point of shaking, but there was that whispered voice in my ear that breathed

{pure awe upon gazing at my child's face}
:: courage, dearheart, for I have already overcome :: 

and i let go. and she was lifted from my body like Moses from the water, like a flower from the soil of earth. and her life began in His time, and not in mine. 

and oh, how precious His intentions are. how precious is this child. 

everything about this motherhood journey is going to be foreign, anticipations that may not line with a perfect world in which i would rather dwell. 

because parenthood is laying down me to better her, being Him to her innocent eyes. i am mother to this roaring lamb, this tiny warioress. but i am still learning to be a warioress myself, still learning how to stand and fight while letting Him guide my feet. 

it's a dance, this thing of holy intentions and sacred parenting. a dance of standing strong and letting go, the act of exhaling

You are God. 
i am not.