In the Early Hours We Remember {On Gratitude}

by Andrea Kolber


My fingers are itching to write. It feels like it's been forever, although I know it hasn't. I suppose creating has become a form of beauty my soul now needs. 

As I sit and nurse my babe, so many thoughts come to mind. I see how loud the world is lately and angry too. I feel torn between wanting to be a change maker in the world, but knowing I'm called first to do it in my home. Again and again, I feel as though when I become overwhelmed with all the hurt and pain in our culture, God gently asks me to lean into my moments rather than the big picture. What a helpful reminder, as I’m too tired to handle much more than making sure tiny people are alive at the end of the day.

As I sit in the almost dark of early dawn, I hear Jude drinking deeply and I look forward to laying him down. For a moment though, I snuggle his cheeks and breathe in his scent. My eyes are heavy now, but I try to take a moment to remember we’ve been waiting to meet him for years.

As I hold him, I can feel how he needs me, but I remember my fiery daughter does too. Parenting is a weighty calling, certainly. As I supposed before his birth, it feels surreal how our hearts expand. I already miss the solo connection with Tia girl--and yet it feels like God allows our love to multiply too. Still, adding a life is a transition, even with heaps of love added in.

Mostly now, in my quiet moments through the day, I'm pondering how much has happened in such a short time. I’m chewing on the humility it requires to love little people well, and really, anyone well. Even now at 7 weeks postpartum, I’m still amazed at the miracle that took place bringing our little Jude into the world and how much support I need to be the parent I would like. For a personality like me, this is something I constantly need to be reminded of: I don’t have to do it alone.

As with my daughter, I'm confronted with how difficult parenting can be. And I'm faced again with the enormity of my limits and my strength. I don't mean those words with a shred of pity or arrogance. Rather, I feel grateful for the resources God has given me for this time--mostly himself.

But, also a husband who loves me well in the midst of raging postpartum hormones and little sleep. I’ve watched my mom and in-laws with their willingness to love us in this transition, and it has been a balm. We’ve experienced sweet friends who know my story--my vulnerabilities--and they check in with me often.  We’ve had folks love us through meals and gifts and presence. We’re so grateful. 

All these things keep me rooted as we navigate the hard beautiful of parenting. And so tonight, we will do it again. When my body feels weary or my heart is tired; I will call these things to mind. I will remember how I’m loved, how we’re loved.