spiritual practices with newborn: beholding

He gazes at me, steel blue eyes searching. He gazes. And gazes. Sometimes so intently, for so long, that I have to work to hold my own gaze steady, to meet his eyes with mine. This is part of the (happy) work of having a newborn. Watching them. Watching them change in front of your…

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spiritual practices with newborns: accepting help

I thought I knew something about accepting help when a newborn arrives. But then last Sunday’s I wonder why my stomach hurts… turned into maybe we should go to urgent care? to that appendix needs to come out stat and the surgeon is waiting for you in the operating room. Nothing like an emergency appendectomy…

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spiritual practices with newborns: comforting

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you… Isaiah 66:13 The poor babe is sick. Gift of a cold from his big brothers, generously passed along a week after they finished hacking and sniffling and crying for us all night long. Neither of them were ever sick so small, and it breaks…

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spiritual practices with newborns: cleaning

Yellow-stained diapers are hanging outside on the deck, bleaching in the sun. Pump parts are drying on the kitchen counter. A rolled heap of wet mattress cover and crib sheet waits on the floor in front of the washing machine. Burp cloths are draped across couches and chairs. (And as I type this one-handed while…

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spiritual practices with newborns: feeding

With a summer baby we slip into bed while the sun is setting behind the hill and we wake up when the sky is already bathed with light. And still we haven’t slept a solid stretch. Because all night he is nursing. All day and all night and all the hours in what feels like…

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spiritual practices with newborns: a new series

Here we go again! Settling into Newborn Land… It’s a strange place to live. Everyone keeps odd hours. Crying is common. Spit-up and strange smells are expected. Nothing is ever clean. But it’s a sweet place to stay, too. Newborn neck nuzzles and curled froggy legs. Milky breath and fuzzy fine hair. Sleepy smiles and…

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seeing stars in sunlight

“The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision…He brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (from…

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Mary of the Third Trimester

statue of pregnant Mary

I wonder how she felt in the final weeks. Whether she was tired of carrying, exhausted from the extra weight and the swollen ankles and the restless nights and the ceaseless kicks. Or whether she loved wondering about the mystery of this babe, watching the strange, sudden stretch of skin across her stomach, limbs pushing…

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the jesus of the cry room

Ironically, they’re the easiest scenes in the Gospels for me to skip over. Yesterday at church we heard the version from Mark. Arguing disciples, who’s the greatest, elbowing each other on the road to Capernaum like bickering brothers: nuh-uh, I’m the favorite. Exasperated Jesus, here’s the least, plunking down the kid in the middle like…

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40 weeks: God’s womb & mine

The baby is nine and a half months old. I could say I don’t know where the time flew, but I do. Newborn blur, life with two littles, the months when he stopped sleeping, the months when we started moving. Since his arrival on this spinning planet, we’ve been whirling fast. But the nine month…

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prayers for anxiety in pregnancy

One of the best things about blogging is seeing what brings perfect strangers to your writing. Everyday I can see the list of searches that bring people here. What brings more visitors here than anything else? Prayers for pregnancy. Over time many of these searches were phrased in ways that broke my heart, that found me wondering about the back stories, even…

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