Monday, October 4, 2010

Snug As a Bug in a Rug

This snugly baby looks just like our first child, Katie.
She could also be me in the bed at 6 AM this morning, that is, if I had a cat face and whiskers and Tanner the Slobber Dog pinning down my legs.

It turned deliciously cold last night and I woke this morning under piles of quilts and a dog, only my face exposed to the chill.
I so love fall. Don't you?
I love the chance to wrap myself in a patchwork cocoon, feel the weight of the layers over me, my legs and arms completely relaxed, as if I were a swaddled babe.

If you have kids, did you swaddle them?
I didn't do it that much with Ben and Sarah, but by the time Sam came along, swaddling was a big deal.
"It's good to make it tight," they told me in the hospital. Since tummy sleeping had been banned by Those Who Know, we were putting him down on his back. The startle reflex was freaking the little guy out, as well as his parents. We remembered how swaddling kept Sarah and Ben from startling, and the doctor was all for it. "Why not give him a fourth trimester?" my doctor said. "Make him feel that security of the womb he left."
So we swaddled.
As I wrapped Baby Sam tight in his blanket, I looked at his sweet nine pounds, fifteen ounces self, and all that emotion and post pregnancy hormones overflowed into tears. I'd swaddled him in a blanket, yes, but also in my love, my hopes and gratitude for his little life.
Baby Sam was happy, we were happy, and he slept. Hurray for swaddling!

We can't go through life swaddled up tight, wiggling around like an inchworm, wrapped in our covers, but it's a nice way to start out, don't you think?

I remember the swaddling, the tears and the deep rivers of emotion--of hope and thankfulness--and I think of our God who wraps us in his love.
Have you ever felt absolutely swaddled in it?

I can think of a few times. When babies are born.
When family gathers.
In bed on a chilly Saturday morning, knowing all my chicks are back in the nest, hearing them laugh with each other, smelling the coffee from the kitchen.
When a child says something that touches me, time stops, and my gratitude to God overwhelms me.
At moments of true worship.

I might wish I could go through my life feeling the joy, the security of God's womb, but I know that to grow into the mature Christian I'm meant to be, I need my arms and hands and feet unbound.
I need to be free to express who God made me to be through my work.
I need to be free to swaddle others or hold hands or just make dinner for a hungry family.

When have you felt swaddled by God? I'd love to hear about it!

Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky

Cat photo by jek in the box, creative commons
Swaddled babe photo by Sean Dreilinger, creative commons


Mark Smith said...

One morning last January I was lying in bed until it was time for me to get up, while my wife showered in the bathroom. She'd gotten up so I was semi-awake.

While lying there, I got the sense that I was standing next to my bed. And that standing next to me was God. I experienced it as kind of an orangish haze. At the time I KNEW that one of two different things was happening (or maybe both at the same time). One was that I was looking out into the world and God was standing there looking in the same direction quietly. The other was that I was looking into the world and God was next to me facing me, screaming at the top of His lungs and gesturing and I wasn't getting any of it.

It ended as briefly as it came. It had that eerie feeling of calm and peace and all-is-right that others have described during encounters with God.

More recently I've felt the swaddling care of God in a twitter and in-person friend. When I'm going through a difficult time she uncannily knows to check in. She does this even when I know that there are no outward signs of my distress.

❦TattingChic said...

That's sweet! I remember when I was about 7 my sister was teasing me and wrapped me up in quilt like a baby and it felt so comforting! Was always trying to get her to do it again! She never would, but I know what you mean... LOL!
It's important to seek God's love and comfort!

Oh, I finally did a blog post after months and months of nothing!!! I am sharing my antique tatting shuttles from the Victorian Era! Come have a looksee! :D
~TattingChic ♥

Paula Clare said...

Hi Beck,
Such endearing topics: swaddling and the love of God! I swaddled my kids in my arms (BEFORE the benefits of fabric swaddling was being touted). My first son never slept more than an hour at a time for the first year of his life...he was like my own little cuckoo clock. I walked the floors with him swaddled in my arms...crying and praying (as young moms will) for God to help him sleep and give us BOTH some much needed rest!

With my second son, he slept all night from the first night home (NOTE: I said HE slept all night? *I* was up every hour checking on him! HA! I finally got my prayers answered yet I behaved as I did when I had the night owl!

I feel God's swaddling love for me
24/7...His unconditional love makes all I do a joy!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm an awful mom--I honestly felt that after being cooped up in-utero for so long, my kids would be happier FREE! I am happier when I'm not confined. I imagine they spent infancy quite terrified--and that's probably why I had to hold them SO much--so they could feel swaddled.

Terri Tiffany said...

I have felt swaddled by him just last week when we found out our unemployment would continue:))

lotusgirl said...

I love fall, too. I hunker down in the toasty down comforter on my bed and bask in the warmth reflecting on all my blessings like a nice place to sleep.

Kat said...

My oldest did NOT like his arms swaddled but my others did. I called them my burrito babies. :)

I think much of last year I felt swaddled by God. It was such a hard, stressful year, but I really felt taken care of. Amazing. And wonderful. :)

Mompriest said...

I think I swaddled both my kids for some of those early new born days....but I'm not sure I've felt that in my life, swaddled in God's love. I have felt surrounded in prayer by friends and colleagues, though.

(word verification - "bless")

Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ said...

like Paula, i'm always 'swaddled' in His Love..
like eph 3.19, i have come to know His love by experience - which definitely IS better than 'mere knowledge' without experience! as the amplified so thoroughly states it! and thankful? you bet!
tea & Cake is on at FHC - birthday tea party & you're invited :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Beautiful stories, y'all. It's an honor to hear about encounters with God and God's love and care--directly or through people that love us. Thank goodness for others who can be God's swaddling arms!

Amy Sullivan said...

God swaddling me? Yes, I can think of one time, a dark moment in my life when all I wanted to do is throw myself around, screaming and crying (not really, but you know what I mean!). God surrounded me and everywhere I turned he was there holding me tightly.

This is such a good picture to hold in my head.

Angie Muresan said...

Now. Today. I have been so overwhelmed with work lately. Tired, moody, you name it. Today I just gave it all up. I sat for a few minutes in complete silence, my thoughts forming a prayer I wasn't even aware of. And then suddenly the feeling of His love. Beautiful. It was so beautiful tears just streamed down my face.

Kristin T. (@kt_writes) said...

I love how you write—especially how your stories so perfectly encapsulate moments and emotions I've experienced.

I swaddled my babies. I could tell it made them feel safe and secure. (When they were swaddled, we called them our little burrito babies.) But you're absolutely right about our eventual need for some freedom: "I need to be free to express who God made me to be through my work.
I need to be free to swaddle others or hold hands or just make dinner for a hungry family."

H. Gillham said...

The verb "swaddled" makes me think of Jesus any way -- but I like how you took this as God's love that surrounds us, binds us in His protection, and keeps us close.

*le sigh*

Fall makes us cocoon -- and I love it that my cats return to the bed to sleep with me when it gets cool -- and they love a swaddle.


Laura said...

This is just lovely, Becky!! I've been so busy all week, I've hardly visited at all, and now I'm sorry.

I'm all for swaddling -- always have been. And Baby Aiden is benefiting from it, too.

Yes, there have been those wonderful moments of feeling blessedly swaddled, and I cherish them. You're so right -- we have to break out sometimes and use those hands and feet to express His life in us. Loved this!