Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life Lessons from a Cricket

" suis tout petit et tres noir..."
It's September, and for the first time in my life ever, I'm not in school! Ever since I entered preschool at three years of age, September has been "back to school" month. Even after college, I immediately assumed  a substitute teaching role for a woman on maternity leave. The following year, I had my own third grade classroom. I'm so used to the hustle and bustle of the classroom where we accomplish four or five curricular subjects every day in addition to "specials" like physical education, music, or art class. This September is very different.

Life with a newborn is like living in slow motion for me. I feel really accomplished if I get to take a shower (double points if it happens in the morning). Yesterday, I managed to do a load of regular laundry and a load of cloth diapers. And I did the dishes. I bragged about my day to Jon when he got home.

So far, this change of pace is nice. A season of simplicity is probably just what I need, especially considering I so often get caught up in feeling good about myself because of what I can do. There's nothing glorious about my life these days. No positive reviews from a supervisor or principal. No "thank you" emails from parents on how I handle discipline situations. No handfuls of dandelions, fresh from recess, because I'm the "best teacher ever."

The slowest parts of the day seems to happen when I nurse Jadon. I have no choice but to simply sit and enjoy the passing moments with my son. Usually, I make sure I have a book or my computer nearby to entertain myself if he's particularly hungry. Yesterday, the closest book within reach was a collection of poems titled Prayers from the Ark. They were first written and published by a french woman named Carmen Bernos de Gasztol in 1947, and later translated in to English in 1962 by Rumer Godden. Each poem is written from the perspective of an animal on Noah's ark as they pray to their Creator.

"The Prayer of the Cricket" really stood out to me:
O God,
I am little and very black,
but I thank you
for having shed
Your warm sun
and the quivering of your golden corn
on my humble life.
Then take - but be forbearing, Lord -
this little impulse of my love:
this note of music
You have set thrilling in my heart.
The cricket's life seems so uncomplicated and undistinguished, like my own right now. He recognizes God's simple gifts in his life, the sun and the corn. In seeing the blessings, he can't help but offer a humble song of praise.

It made me reflect on my own life right now. I am happy with my new "mom" routine, but am I really crediting God with the simple gifts He has given me in this season? I don't want to take these things for granted. Rather, I want to give God my own little "note of music" from my grateful heart.

Thank you, God, for unhurried time with Jadon, for hot meals delivered to my door, and for friends who will clean my kitchen for me while I recover. Thank you for sparing me from infection and complications with my c-section. Thank you that the Moby Wrap puts Jadon to sleep. Thank you for a washer and dryer right in our apartment so that cloth diapers can be easily washed. Thank you for maternity pants that still look good on me post-pregnancy. Thank you for the internet that allows me to stay in touch with dear friends and family that are distant. Thank you for a carpet that hides dirt so well. Thank you for all the days Jon was able to take off of work when Jadon first arrived. Thank you for meeting all my needs.

"My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts..."
Isaiah 65:14

1 comment:

  1. Alison, how beautiful! I've just been catching up on your blog and enjoying glimpses of all your new creations, inspiring as ever. But perhaps most inspiring is this post, a kind of inner ark, from which to call out the joy of your heart. Lovely!