|Tiny Child at 20 weeks. He's a squirmy one.|
I'm not even gonna try to play catch up. The most important thing and the reason I'm even here to write today is this...
At this point, we are 24 1/2 weeks along, with a little boy who, for now, is going by names like Tiny Child, Little Dude, and Baby Boy Ford. We are still trying to come up with just the right name, but likely he won't actually receive a name until we've had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him for a few seconds, minutes, hours...whatever it takes. We're also guarding all of our potentials as though they were the crown jewels, so don't bother asking. :)
We are planning a home birth, with our incredible midwife, Fawn, attending. We could not be more thrilled at the prospect of welcoming this Tiny Child into our lives while in our own home. I believe with all my heart that this is one of the most sacred moments we will ever experience, a thin place, a moment where the veil between heaven and earth will be lifted just for a moment, and I want to do everything in my power to mark it and protect it from anything that might interrupt or tarnish it. For us, this is the right thing. I'm happy to talk about it more, so you CAN ask about that.
As you might imagine, I've had lots of time to think about and talk about what parenting for me, for Mr. Ford and I, might look like. After a conversation with my mother the other day, I realized the two marks by which I will consider myself having successfully parented.
1. That my child(ren) have instilled in them, even now while still in the womb, that they carry with them the Imago Dei by mere virtue of their existence. Because they take breath on this earth, they are marked with the Image of God and thereby are LOVED, and WORTHY to be loved, fiercely and madly by the God who created them and the parents that God allowed to play a role in that creation. Full stop. They are loved, and fully worthy of that love, no conditions, no matter what, because they carry Imago Dei.
2. Because of the truth of number one, they need not give into what I believe is Satan's greatest tool and greatest lie - shame. If my child(ren) know intrinsically that they are enough because of their identity as an image-bearer of God, they will be more able to resist the lies of shame that tell them they are not worthy or not enough or, even, too much. A life clouded in shame does not have to be their story. They can live free of it and if I do my job well, they will grow up with a strong resistance to shame.
My prayer and my hope is that their Father and I can begin, even now, to impress upon our child(ren) these two truths; that they are Image-Bearers of the God of the Universe, thus making them loved and worthy of love, and that because of that identity they can know that shame is NEVER from God and ALWAYS from the Great Deceiver, regardless of whose mouth is speaking that shame. I pray that I can practice my own shame resilience, my own consistent, "Get behind me Satan" when he sends his shame gremlins to attack, in such a way that I can impart and teach my child(ren) their own shame resilience. If I can accomplish these things, than I will know I have been successful at having parented.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord.
PS - Even posting today is me practicing shame resilience...it's been so long since I blogged, it'd be easy to let myself start down a shame spiral about it. But I refuse to. I hope you're paying attention, Tiny Child. :)