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 strange to write about love in the thick of Winter.
Thinking of love usually conjures images of warmth and greenery--visible signs of life. As I tap these words out from the keyboard, I look outside our home and see the opposite of that. The frigid winds scrapes against the hills. Every branch and blade of grass has been sheathed in a glittering bonds of ice. It's been that way for days.
We live in the Northernmost corner of Kentucky. Winters here are harsh and biting. The grass turns to dull yellow, a sickly skin covering the earth. Everything is lifeless, barely clinging on until Spring.
Surviving not thriving.
Some days, our marriage feels like that too.
If you were to ask my husband and I how we’re doing right this minute, our answer would be: “We’re tired.”
He provides for our family through an intense job with weird, long hours. I stay home with our three year old son and eight month old daughter, so my role has the same description.
Sleep is elusive and inconsistent in our life. Because of that, I feel like our marriage gets buried under exhaustion like a forgotten seed.
Just this morning, I took our son for a walk to show him how the naked trees had become encased in ice. He wanted to bring a sparkling twig inside to show Daddy. I obliged him by snapping the end of a branch off for him to hold. I was immediately shocked.
There was green underneath.
In fact, the branch didn’t snap at all, it bent.
The brown exterior gave way to fresh green peeking out. Underneath the oppressive grip of Winter, that tree was still very much alive.
From the outside--or even from my tired perspective--it feels like our marriage is weighted down, lacking warmth, or barely showing signs of vibrancy.
But it’s there. I can feel it.
At the end of the day, my eyelids are involuntarily pulling down like weighted window shades. He’s already exhausted over the fact that he has to leave for a twelve hour shift at 4:30am the following day.
We collapse beside one another in bed.
He reaches for my hand, finds it. I squeeze back. I turn the curve of my back into the hollow of his side. I listen to his breathing in and out, the sound of his oxygen tide. He wraps an arm around my body, his embrace securely locking us in our own world, even if it's just for a moment.
I do know this: we will always, always find each other.
The truth is, we are tired (mind-numbingly so). This level of exhaustion effects everything. Our marriage most of all.
But not in the ways most would think.
Just like the sun slowly brings forth the seeds from the earth after Winter, so this season of life is breaking us open and lifting us up.
We are seeds with fatigue pressing in like dark earth on us. Our babies, they are the sun--the soft, relentless warmth we need to grow, to become something else entirely.
Long before we met and married, Jesus whispered in our hearts the dream of building a family tree. Right now--in these intense, precious, beautiful years--we're unfurling our roots. We're reaching out in the dark to grab hold of one another, to bind ourselves into the foundation our family needs to thrive.
After all, every tree was once just a seed buried in the dark.
This is what it looks like to love regardless.
I wouldn't want to endure glory-change like this with anyone else but him.
Thank you God, for a gift of a life lived buried so You can grow in us.
"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19