Parenting, Spiritual Growth, The Motherhood Chapters

Rocking Chair Hymns

Rocking Chair Hymns

It’s 2:14am.

I sit in the nursery rocking. Back and forth. Back and forth. The chair squeaks in cadence to the rhythmic movement. A half asleep son is in my arms. He slept so well during months two and three, but I’m finding myself having these middle of the night rocking sessions once again in month four.

Thump. Thump. Thump. My hand pats his bottom as I rock. Back and forth. Back and forth.

The room is dark, except for the illumination of a lone nightlight in the hall radiating shadows throughout the room. I peak down – his eyes blink heavy.

Back and forth, I go. Back and forth.

The sleepiness and sluggishness of the dark early morning have crossed over to the soul. Sleepy and sluggish, my prayer life. Journal pages empty. With the squeaks of the back and forth and the thump, thump, thump – were these – please sleep, please sleep, please sleep. Those have been my chanting prayers, the extent of my spiritual commune with God these past few months.

He turns his face into my chest and lets out a sigh. Snuggling close, finding warmth. I gently kiss his forehead. This precious man child of mine – created in the image of God Himself – and I get to hold His glory in my very own arms. My humanity has never felt so great. How weak, how feeble, how inadequate am I? God used this earthly vessel and allowed me the gift of co-creating life. Such honor. Such glory. And all I can seem to muster is please sleep, please sleep, please sleep.

Yet, there is grace. Even in the lackluster. Even in the mundane. And yes, even in the back and forth.

I slowly stop rocking, he squirms.

Back and forth, I go. Back and forth.

Let us go to His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool. – Psalm 132:7

And I think in the dark early morning hours, can this too be worship? The back and forth, thump, thumping lullaby? The squeaking rocking hymn of praise? Can this too be my altar? The rocking chair motioning me into His footstool of grace? Can I commune with Him here? In the back and forth rhythms?

Worship: shachah | prostate oneself, profound reverence, bow down, fall upon the knees

This rocking, propelling me to Him. Finding His glory, His Presence in the midst of these challenges of new motherhood, in the middle of the ordinary, boring, seemingly insignificant acts. This rocking, my altar of sacrifice. This rocking, my psalm of thanksgiving. This rocking, my mission. This rocking, my calling.

I appeal to you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. – Romans 12:1

A living sacrifice, is this. The breathing, active will to offer up oneself to God’s mercies.

Back and forth, I go. Back and forth.

In the rocking, I find the Father of Mercies. In the rocking, I find the living water to satisfy my parched soul. In the rocking, I find my soul awake to His Presence again. In back and forth, I learn to trust. I learn to love. I learn to appreciate the Giver, not just the Giver’s gifts.

He falls limp. His full weight in my arms. Asleep. Content. So innocent. So trusting. Isn’t that belief too? Resting the full weight of oneself on the Lord. I hold my child, and He holds me. I feed my child, and He feeds me. I sing to my child, and He sings to me. I tend to my child, and He tends to me. I rock my child, and He rocks me.

His breath slows and deepens.

Slowly, I get up to join my baby in rest.

Until the next rocking chair hymn.

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