…He Shall Gently Lead Those Who Are With Young

I’m writing this on Saturday night. I’ll wait to publish it on Sunday morning. In case it’s just too embarrassingly sappy and emotional due to sleeplessness and my first glass of wine. Yes. I said first, because I plan on a second glass, having a bath, watching a chickflick and then sleeping. All by 8:00. Except for the one of Josh and I which Abby took, the pictures are all from my phone as I forgot to take my camera with me (can you believe it!?)!

I spent Friday night at Josh and Abby’s. When they asked if I could, I was honored and humbled. I was also thrilled to spend time with them and Evelyn and to be able to do whatever they needed me to so they could enjoy taking care of their new baby.

Sometime between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am I had the thought, “what on earth was God thinking?”

‘You take two people, who in many cases, have not known each other more than a couple years, grow a completely separate person inside one of them, and POOF! You expect them to know what to do with that person once he or she comes out?
Seriously??
Really!?
Ludicrous!
How is a young adventure seeking, mountain climbing, outdoors guide, and a young masters in teaching student who would rather explore the world on her own for a couple years than anything else, know ANYthing about what to do with a brand new 100% dependent human being!? Really, Lord? Come on. Get real.’

Kids having kids. I shake my head and have to wonder at the wisdom of the Almighty.

Evie cries. They jostle. Nurse. Jostle some more.

Actually…if I’m being honest…they look like pros. Josh takes Evie’s vitals and then Abby’s every 4 hours as instructed. He keeps track of their urine and poop output, their temps, their heart rates. He analyzes each recording against the previous ones.
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Abby coos at her baby as she teaches her to nurse, she goes about the tasks of diapering and dressing gently and tenderly, and you can tell she is taking in each moment, studying her baby and treasuring it all in her heart.

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Sometime in the night, around 1:30 or 2:00, after they’d taken turns bouncing and walking Evie, and I could tell he was beyond exhausted, I asked Josh if I could try.

We bounced.

We walked.

We sang.

“He shall lead
His flock like a shepherd.
He shall gather
the lambs
in his arms,
And carry them
On His bossom…
He shall gently lead those who are with young”

This is familiar. I’ve done this before. I’ve walked and bounced, jostled and sung this lullaby before.

My breath catches as I see my son finally sleeping on the sofa as I snuggle his daughter and sing the sweet little ditty I sang to him when he was this age. I catch the lump in my throat and swallow it down, take a deep breath and start the lullaby over. It’s from Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:11. At some point Josh is able to go to bed where his young wife is finally sleeping. I hold this baby and sooth her, she stays asleep for three hours as I doze in and out, and remind myself that it’s only Friday night/Saturday morning and I have all weekend to catch up. I can only think of three couples I would willingly give up hours of sleep for.

In the morning after Rick and Caleb and Hannah and Nora have come and had breakfast together and it’s time to think about leaving, I’m washing the breakfast dishes and find myself crying. Because although I’m desperate for sleep, I don’t want to say goodbye.

And I have to thank God that we are only ten miles away from them.

I also thank God for the idea to take two young people without a shred of experience and plant a baby between them, and instead of then standing back to see what they do with it, He draws near and instructs, and gives them grace and patience and love.

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7 thoughts on “…He Shall Gently Lead Those Who Are With Young

  1. This is a beautiful post Linda. Your words touch my heart, and I wonder and revel in what God does with his children. GRACE! I had to chuckle a bit when I read about Josh taking vitals. When my children were newborns, we nursed, made sure diapers were full and changed, but vitals??? How come my pediatrician never told me to do that? And how did we make it without???? GRACE!!! that’s all I can say is GRACE!!! Young families these days have so much more to offer their newborns in the way of information. Hope you have a chance to catch up on your sleep.
    Aloha!

    1. Paula, Josh and Abby had Evie at the Bellingham Birthing Center with a midwife and went home that same evening. Josh was charged with all the post partum care that nurses in the hospital would normally give.

  2. this is the most beautiful post linda. congrats grandma! your new little grand daughter looks perfect and so tiny!! i am going to google this lullabye. really beautiful.

    1. Thank you Erinn. I had googled it too, hoping to find the melody so I could post it, but all I can find is the portion of Handel’s Messiah with this scripture. The tune I learned is quite different. I’ll sing it to you if I run into you in town! 🙂

  3. Beautiful, Linda. What grace is God’s gift of you to them and them to you. Our pastor read this verse this morning as well… being one that needs that gentle leading, I am so thankful for it.

  4. Linda this reminded me of the nights I spent at sarah’s house with Jackson asleep on my chest on the couch so sarah and shawn could get some much needed rest. There is nothing like bonding with your grand babies!! I think when you have somewhat successful survived parenting your own infants it is a sweet sweet blessing to do it all again with your kid’s kids!! blessing to you and them….and speaking of young and inexperienced Bill and I pretty much had that one covered and look how our kids turned out….oh wait maybe that’s not the BEST example 🙂

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