Grace

I’ve been meaning to write a post about nursing, but obviously that requires two hands and lately those have been in short supply. Though it’s getter better! But I have five minutes and I need to remember–

last night was rough, starting with both my husband and I forgetting our ID cards and having to drive to the literal other end of post and then pray I could get on (as I forgot my license as well–I know, rookie mistake). It started looking up when baby girl (I have a baby girl! have I mentioned that? she is six weeks old as of yesterday) went a full four hours between nursing sessions, thus allowing me about three and a half hours of sleep! But then she latched on poorly and all my attempts to fix it were in vain, so I gave up and played Candy Crush, figuring it couldn’t possibly be that bad–

and then I lay in bed for an hour and a half in agony, unable to sleep, miserable–

so finally I took a shower and then fed her again and passed her off to my husband and got about thirty minutes of glorious repose–

only to be rudely awakened when he set the baby down to get ready for PT and she woke up–

and reader, I cried.

(Not one of my better moments, but I was exhausted.) (Hysterical.) (There’s nothing like dripping tears onto your baby’s head to make you feel like a winner.) (Also when you’re kicking your heels like a toddler when your husband tries to hand you your child.) (It was Not Pretty.)

And then it was time to feed her again anyway, so at six-thirty-ish I latched her on (better this time)

(my husband is snort-laughing at the baby right now I assume everything is okay)

and then I considered playing Candy Crush, but decided it was the source of my problems

(ah he was squishing her cheeks)

and so instead I turned on the podcast of this morning’s Morning Prayer, so I could at least lightly pray while nursing.

“Liturgy” means “work of the people,” as I’ve been taught, and sometimes when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours I’m not really feeling it, and I figure I’m praying it for someone else, someone who needs the work of praying done but can’t do it themselves.

This morning was not one of those mornings. This morning, as I sat there sniffling, with tears drying on my cheeks, I was–

graced.

the hymn was “How Great Thou Art,” one of my favorites. The first antiphon? “At daybreak, be merciful to me, O Lord.” The psalm?
Lord, listen to my prayer:
turn your ear to my appeal.

(As I’d sat there crying out to him about how hard life was and how tired I was and how I didn’t feel like I could keep going even though I knew I would.)

You are faithful, you are just; give answer.
Do not call your servant to judgment
for no one is just in your sight.

(As I’d unjustly condemned my husband for having to go to PT. Look, like I said, not one of my finer moments.)

The enemy pursues my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead, long forgotten.
Therefore my spirit fails;
my heart is numb within me. …

Lord, make haste and answer;
for my spirit fails within me.

(So. Tired.)

In the morning let me know your love
for I put my trust in you.

(Done.)

I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will
for you, O Lord, are my God.
Let your good spirit guide me
in ways that are level and smooth.

For your name’s sake, Lord, save my life;
in your justice save my soul from distress.

(Done.)

But that wasn’t all. The psalmist’s cry echoing the cry of my heart, the reminder of the Lord’s love and care and guidance, already setting my day back on track, were followed by this canticle:

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!

Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!

For thus says the Lord:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.

As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her son,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
and your bodies flourish like the grass.

Look at it LOOK AT IT. I was sitting there nursing my daughter and like I said I want to write more about it but there, right there, that imagery, a reminder of all I’m doing for my child (teaching her to love and trust me, teaching her what love looks like, so that she may one day understand the love of God), a reminder that the hard work I’m putting in–the Lord does all this for me, and so tenderly and joyfully, and without all my complaining, and just–LOOK AT IT. LOOK.

and as I’m sitting there too tired for words of my own we get to the NEXT PSALM

Praise the Lord for he is good;
sing to our God for he is loving:
to him our praise is due.

and then the READING

The sufferings of the present are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.

a humble reminder of my ridiculous focus on right now but also GLORY, GLORY TO COME

and the responsory

In the early hours of the morning, I think of you, O Lord.
— In the early hours of the morning, I think of you, O Lord.

Always you are there to help me,
— I think of you, O Lord.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
— In the early hours of the morning, I think of you, O Lord.

And then the intercessions and I just. It has been a long time since any proscribed prayer has so perfectly matched my soul and just–

God is good. God is SO good, if you will just let him be good to you, if you will just turn to him and take the precious few moments to sit and listen.

Today has been wonderful ever since, a respite from all the exhaustion and–I have to go pick up my baby girl but I just–wanted to let you know. Wanted to praise and give credit where credit is due.

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Categories: family, motherhood, Scripture | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Grace

  1. Just beautiful – just like you and that baby – and that husband of yours. We are all graced!
    XXOO

  2. Amen, cousin! I love reading your thoughts on things, especially from a Catholic perspective which I haven’t studied much but seems like a somewhat different world from evangelical worship styles. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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