April 10, 2018
The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
It's Spring here. Finally.
After months of death and dull gray, the earth is warming. Everything is waking up. We're all blinking in the sun.
We make a visit to one of our favorite places, a local greenhouse. I sling her to my chest. I want her right next to my heart for this, for always. We meander together, she reaches for the new blossoms, a fresh bud herself. Joy shimmers like mountain streams around her when she smiles. She has my eyes.
My girl. Our daughter.
Does she know of the brightness she's poured into our world?
One of her middle names is Lucy. It bears the meaning of “light”. We named her after the quiet faithfulness of stars and the hope that breathes out from a long-awaited sunrise.
What we didn't understand was how her arrival would also lighten the heaviness we'd been smothered underneath long before we met her.
“The test came back positive. You’re pregnant.”
Two Winters ago, I watched those words leave the midwife’s mouth, expanding into the room like an ocean swell.
I gasped as the weight of that sentence washed over me. My emotions were at once both cold and warm; delighted and terrified. I staggered, drunken with the glorious weight of adding another. Our lives were now forever changed. Again.
What followed was a season of bleakness and frail enduring. Oh, we were grateful to have been given another baby--so grateful! But the sickness and depression and anxiety hung like weights on our feet.
We almost went under.
By the time this entry is published, we’ll be 20 days away from flying out to the West Coast for a twenty-one day vacation. It’s the biggest trip we've ever taken; our extravagant celebration of braving the darkness and--because of God's tender mercies-- discovering we could overcome it.
When trying to decide where we would go, I told my husband, "I just want to see the ocean."
After spending so much time treading waves, I need to go somewhere and re-discover al the wild beauty in them, in me.
For the past two years, nearly all of our vacation time and money has been sucked away by a constant stream of take-out meals and Jonathan requesting off work to be home due to my panic attacks. It's been some of the worst years we’ve known as a family.
We've emerged from that season steadier and stronger. We're healing now.
She's here and we're learning to breathe again.
One day, I'll tell her of the fear that once loomed cloud-like over us, how it threatened to break open and break us to pieces right along with it. And then I'll tell her, how she came and we discovered that we could laugh joyfully--louder than any thundering storm--despite it. That really, no enemy this earth presents us with will ever be victorious.
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." -Romans 8:37
We finish our walk among the blooms. Curious sunbeams peer in overhead as we take in the impossible beauty of new life. The seeds planted in the dark are lifting their hands in praise.
She chuckles loudly at her brother and waves at her Daddy. I kiss her flower-petal skin and exhale thankfulness. Jesus has brought us so far.
Later, a thought emerges like a shoot unfurling in my heart. Through the Jesus sent gift of our daughter's life, I've discovered that in order to grow again after the Winter--for renewal to come gently and courageously at once--all you need is a little light.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." -John 1:1-5
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