17 June 2015

I know that full well

Been thinking a lot. It's surprising, even when you have two young daughters-- one of whom puts the Energizer Bunny to shame, the other of whom is, thankfully, a mellow melon of a baby-- even when you have a house and garden to tend, and friends to see and errands to run and emails to answer, even when you never come close to being bored, how much you can still think.

Deleting my Facebook account helped a lot with that. I stopped trying to think about everybody else's life, and like magic, discovered that I had time (and brain space) to reflect on my own.

Right now I am sitting at the dining room table, with a bowl full of zucchini noodles tossed in peanut butter and soy sauce (very good), a clementine, a half-empty water bottle, and rare naptime quiet enveloping the house. Quiet except for the air conditioners. Humidity plasters our neighborhood every day now. Our valiant lettuce rows wilt a little in the afternoon sun, and I wilt a lot every time I need to step outside.

One truth weaving its way through my head is my girls' beauty and intricacy. I don't have in mind their inward intricacy, though of course I could spend years writing about that: about how Ellie drinks up reality like a milkshake, how Zoe concentrates her entire self on understanding the world, Ellie's comedy and creativity, Zoe's startlingly deep emotions. I just mean their physical being. They are made perfectly. They know it, too. You can see the innocent delight they take in their own meticulously crafted bodies. Zoe rolls over, flaps her arms joyously, and stuffs her toes into her mouth: "Look, I have a foot! And I can grab it! Isn't that marvelous?" Ellie learns new things about her body every day: "Look, I can kick the ball! I can jump like a frog! Isn't that marvelous?"
You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14
We have been beyond fortunate with our daughters' health; even in this first-world country I see many children struggling physically, on medication for chronic conditions or in the hospital for surgery. It breaks my heart. And in the rest of the world, children like mine-- rarely ill, never hungry-- are a hopeless dream for so many mothers. Sometimes I just grab Ellie and Zoe and squeeze them as hard as I can. They are lively, strong, resilient. I could not design anything better.

I would like to be as grateful for my own body as I am for theirs. Usually, if I think about my body, it's in negative terms. When I pray with Ellie before bedtime I thank God for creating her, but I don't often thank Him for creating me. I am more prone to complain. I grumble about my wide face (not feminine enough), my eczema (it's unfair that I have to deal with this), the gap in my abdominal muscles (a souvenir from my giant offspring).

God did create me, though! Not only that, he was so kind as to make almost everything work correctly. I hardly ever get sick. I have plenty of energy for life. I recovered really well from my pregnancies. In fact, I'm pretty dang healthy, and that is not as common as I assume. So when I scoop Zoe up from her crib, I'd like to take a moment before rushing on with my day, and think Look, my hands can grab my baby securely, my arms can lift her, we can spin around and laugh together and make big silly grins in the mirror. Isn't that marvelous?

Speaking of which, I hear her wriggling upstairs, so I need to scoot.


  1. FYI, it's Lori Heitland!!

  2. Rebekah Daphne27 June, 2015 16:10

    Thank you Lori... I need to remind myself too. :)