Friday, August 2, 2013

Theology of Baby

Today we had a great time on our first day post-Bar exam.
A huge weight has been lifted and I got to spend the whole day with my babe AND my husband - oh the luxury! We went to the Tampa Aquarium, spent some time at their water park, then back to the hotel for naps, and then to a friend's house for dinner with a whole group of awesome people. 

The diver show at the Aquarium. 

Zuzu was NOT paying attention to the divers and NOT wanting to sit still in the stroller! 

Ducks perched RIGHT on the railing! 

While taking an after-dinner walk, I fell into conversation with a FOCUS missionary who is a friend of Kristin's dad. I was asking him about life as a missionary, whether he was allowed to be married, what sort of life there is in that. As we were walking and chatting, Zuzu decided her stroller was not good enough - she wanted to be held. It was hot, even in the evening shade, and I did not want to carry her and try to maneuver the stroller over the old sidewalk too. But I picked her up and rather without thinking, said "God the Father holds me whenever I ask, so I'll do the same for you."

"Mama, what do you have?"

"Let me come see..."

"I want to have it!!" 

"How could you resist my bald head?"

As the walk continued, I had the chance to reflect on that thought. It's come to my mind often during these nine months of parenthood, but it feels revolutionary every time: my husband and I's job, as parents, is to model for our child the love of God. It causes me to think about how God deals with me - the extravagant way in which he loves me, and how I am to pour that out on Zuzu in return. It is such an awesome, and terrifying, responsibility - to show her that such love is possible.

Sitting pretty at the water park area

Blinded by the light...after repeatedly tearing her sun hat off...

Zuzu's love, too, is inspiring. In any fear or slightest upset, she turns to me. If she is unsure, she wants to feel me there, behind her, before she sets off on a new and uncertain task. Before she ventures too far, she checks to see where that I am there and watching, approving. If she is frightened, hungry, cold, hot, or lonely, she asks for me. Such confidence - such holy boldness! She is my model for how I should go to my Heavenly Father, to show him plainly my needs and ask him to meet each and every one.

Lots of bath time at the end of the night since we had to wear a ton of sunscreen AND bug spray! 

God is so immeasurably generous to me. He is endlessly patient, loving, and kind. No request is ever too small or too big; he is always ready to listen, to correct, to teach. Calling this to mind frequently makes my life beautiful - it is easier to avoid feeling overwhelmed by her insatiable need for me. Every nighttime waking, fear of something that she loved ten seconds before, cranky crying, hating the stroller   - I see in it her deeper desire every moment for me. I observe in the world a constant frustration that children are not satisfied by what we give to them: many parents are at their wits end that their children refuse to be happy with a toy, a game, a snack, a ride, a stroller ride, a television show. But children's needs were created to be met by people - by their parents, their siblings, their family. Children, unlike adults, refuse to be satisfied with the quick-fixes of the world. They refuse to feel loved, soothed, or fulfilled by material things - instead, they cry out like Christ "Abba! Father!" (or whatever the Hebrew equivalent of 'mama' is!).

It won't always be like this. I'll have my moments, like we all do. But right now, I'm so grateful for this needy baby - because it is so good to be able to satisfy all her needs. 


  1. "But I picked her up and rather without thinking, said "God the Father holds me whenever I ask, so I'll do the same for you."

    I love this line, Martha. This is so true. So many times you hear not to pick babies up too much, or they need to "get used to" their stroller or crib or whatever...but it so true that God does hold us whenever we ask,

    1. Thank you! It's hard to love this way...takes a lot. But I find it gives me more too - more grace, more patience, more love. If my default setting is expecting her to need me, then I'm calmer when she does!


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