I feel time barging in like an unwelcome guest these days, now more than ever. My son currently fits square on my chest. Perched, bird-like, between my hips with his feathered hair close enough to brush my cheek. My throat throbs and, suddenly, the ability to swallow is taking all my concentration. My eyes are shimmering with fading memories and I'm choking on the realization of time gone by.
Has it been a year already?
365 days of him earth-side. 365 days of trying to find my footing as a mama. 365 days of..."This. "Made from love, to love."
It's no secret that I love baby wearing. To me, there's something magical about he & I sharing little adventures in this way. Maybe it's that it reminds of pregnancy, maybe it's that I know this place near my heart is where he feels safest. I just know for sure that all the hours we've spent wrapped up, dancing in our own way together, will forever be embedded in the secret garden of my heart.
These images of he and I like this; the symbolism of it isn't lost on me. I can see it now. I've worn him and he's worn me out and we've worn this year thin, stretched wide, by the grace of God. I can feel the weight of it now, how it falls on my shoulder-skin. The way Jesus works, how did He say? "…give, and will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap…" Luke 6:38.
I've given more of myself this year than I ever have and I feel the good weight that. It's a solemn sort of joy, this being a gifted a child. A helpless human has been placed in your arms. He has your chin and your husband's lips and a soul burning-hungry to be filled with God. Suddenly, you're life isn't yours anymore (it never really was, you know). But you find yourself bowing your heart and begging Jesus to please, please just show you how to carry all of this without a hopeless shattering of an outcome.
And Jesus whispers, "He was born shattered. You all were."
So, you don't have to worry about not ever breaking something that's already been busted. You just have to take it to the only Person who can really repair the whole mess of it in the first place.
I keep trying to sum up first year with Behr. I write and re-write, fumbling around, until I realize there's no way to fully do it justice. I can say that it hasn't been the year I pictured it might be. I thought he'd be sleeping through the night by three months. I thought being a mama would feel more natural. I thought that the sleep deprivation wouldn't get to me. I thought I wouldn't react so selfishly. It's easy for me to look back and not see all the victories. But my God is the God of hope. He redeems. I can rest on that simple truth and embrace the fact that I didn't do everything just right.
"Yeah – there are weeds and disappointments and seeming failures. There are days that tear out still-beating chunks of your bare heart, whole seasons that feel like every breath is through burning smoke. There is always hope. The real essence of the universe is endless grace – which is the theological term for surprises. As long as there is still time —there will be surprises. Apparent failures can be the way your Father births a successful faith." -Ann Voskamp
Yes, that's it. One year ago, I birthed a baby. But really what we welcomed into our lives was a daily reminder of our great need for Jesus-grace. We have a son now, but what we really have is a deeper faith in how God works. It's a joy to be a parent, I wouldn't trade this year and the wonder of it for anything. There are many reason I can say this, but ultimately I mean it because I see, over and over, how it holds us close to the beating heart of Jesus.
"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and save." Isaiah 46:4
Thanks to my sweet love, Jonathan for crafting these beautiful images of me and Behr. And, as always, you can find daily glimpses of our life over on my Instagram account @breabird.
ps. this wrap is the Navy Shibori from Solly Baby.