Friday, June 8, 2012

Be Still and Know

I intended to write my son a letter every month on his birthday. I started one...but I was too exhausted to finish it. I think this is the theme of motherhood. Exhaustion mixed with good intentions. And the sheer resolve to get something done once in awhile.

This month went by quickly, in some ways. The days go fast. The nights...not so much. But I try to stay positive, even at 3am when he's been up for two hours alternating between eating, filling diapers, and crying. My short temper and desire for control get us nowhere fast so I'm learning to just let it go. Let it be.

When I wrote the post about Dayton's birth I left out one huge important detail. When I realized it several hours, maybe even a day later, I was surprised. But we'll blame it on the exhaustion.

Curtis and I weren't able to take the childbirth classes because of our work schedules, so I didn't have any Lamaze training. We got a DVD out from the library but it was a video-taped seminar from approximately 1981 so we mostly laughed at it and got nothing out of it. My mom was a big fan of Lamaze so she talked to me some about breathing and having a focal point. Years ago she had told me that she used Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me) to get through her labor with me. So I thought a little bit about these things in the days before being induced, but I didn't have a plan. Surprising, isn't it?

Well..I suppose that isn't exactly accurate. My plan was to have my mom there with me. Curtis' job was to hold my hand and let me yell at him, if necessary. My mom's job was to tell me how and when to breathe. Neither of these happened. Like I said in the other post, I was surrounded by nurses so Curtis' couldn't get near me. And they had me hold my own legs instead of using stirrups so I wasn't able to hold anyone's hand anyway. And by the time my mom got to the hospital I had gotten my epidural and felt nothing. Because labor started earlier than expected and the worst of my contractions happened in the middle of the night, my mom wasn't there to tell me how to breathe. I just tried to inhale and exhale deeply. I did hold Curtis' hand for that part, so I suppose...his job was partially fulfilled.

I remember thinking that I didn't want to use Philippians 4:13 for my focal point. It didn't feel right, it wasn't the source of comfort that I wanted. I don't know why, it just felt that way. But somewhere in the midst of my contractions, through the fog of my sleeping pill haze, a song came back to me. A song I had learned in show choir my junior year. Be Still and Know That I Am God. I have to be honest, I can't even remember all of the lyrics, and I had completely forgotten the first part of the song until days after delivery, but the bit I had in my mind, I repeated over and over and over again.

Be still and know
That I am God
Though the mountains may fall
To the heart of the sea
Tho' the Earth
May Give Way
Tho' the....(mind goes blank)
The mountains may quake,
Be Still, Be Still,
Be Still and Know

Come see the works of the Lord,
Come see the works of the Lord!

I turned these words over and over in my mind. Through the contractions, through the haze, through the worry. Be still and know that I am God.

My junior year of high school was 2001. We learned this song after the attacks on September 11th. We must've sung it a hundred times that year. My choir teacher retired that spring and we sang it at her last Pops concert. This song has always been riddled with emotion for me, and now there's one more layer. A layer of beauty and celebration...a layer about life and beginnings, instead of endings.

And last week when we took Dayton to church for the first time....the verse which was read before the worship set...

“Be still, and know that I am God; 

    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this song, it's one of my favorites that I also learned in high school! I'm trying to find it online right now :)

    For the line your mind goes blank on, I think it goes "Though the waters may roar, its mountains may quake...etc!"


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