I stood on the front porch late the other night in the most spectacular lightning display I’ve ever seen. That’s saying something for a Florida girl who grew up scant miles from the lightning strike capital of the world. One thought reverberated with the thunder: “God is so big and I am so small.” Ever since, I’ve been humming a line from my favorite Christian artist: “Let me not forget to tremble.” The complete lyrics are worth sharing. 

Have I come too casually?
Because it seems to me
There’s something I’ve neglected
How does one approach a Deity
with informality
And still protect the Sacred?

‘Cause you came and chose to wear the skin of all of us
And it’s easy to forget You left a throne

And the line gets blurry all the time
Between daily and Divine
And it’s hard to know the difference

Oh, let me not forget to tremble
Oh, let me not forget to tremble
Face down on the ground do I dare
To take the liberty to stare at you
Oh, let me not,
Oh, let me not forget to tremble

What a shame to think that I’d appear 
Even slightly cavalier
In the matter of salvation
Do I claim this gift You freely gave
As if it were mine to take
With such little hesitation?

‘Cause you came and stood among the very least of us
And it’s easy to forget you left a throne

Oh, let me not forget to tremble
Oh, let me not forget to tremble
Face down on the ground do I dare
To take the liberty to stare at you
Oh, let me not
Oh, let me not forget to tremble

The cradle of the grave could not contain Your Divinity
Neither can I oversimplify this love

Oh, let me not forget to tremble

Face down on the ground do I dare 
To take the liberty to stare at you
Oh, let me 
Oh, let me not forget to tremble

Tremble, Nichole Nordeman

A part of me

Have you seen this post on the long-term presence of fetal cells in the mother’s body? This, my friends, is wild and woolly stuff.

I read through some of the research linked from the article, and the more I read, the more incredible it seemed. There is real poetry here, as the author of the blog post points out. As an embryo adoption mom, it nearly brought me to tears.

This precious baby I carry is biologically unrelated to me, but as I write, her cells are crossing the placenta into my body, becoming a permanent part of my physiology, and perhaps even preparing to someday help me fight illness or injury. Already, we are linked in a bond utterly unique to mother and child.

I know the quiet joy I feel as her little fists pound and her feet jab, that connection that has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the role of nurturing a tiny life into existence. But I always suspected perhaps there was more happening in the neonatal processes. I wondered: How much do these nine months of intimate connection influence my baby? Beyond the emotional connection, does the physical bond of pregnancy make us a tangible part of each other? I love that at least in this one way, I can know the answer is a solid “Yes.”

Dog days of 27 weeks

For your entertainment, here’s an exchange I had with another mother after story time at the library this week.

Her: Looking pointedly at my belly, “So how much longer do you have?”

Me: “Longer than it looks like. I’m due October 4.”

Her: Eyes bulging, mouth hanging open, “Oh my. Do you have big babies?”

Me: “Well, Corin was born a little early and weighed 6 lb. 13 oz., so no, not really. I just get big.”

Her: Mumbling, eyes still bulging, “I mean, you look great. I’m just sure you’ll be uncomfortable.”

Me: Smiling as graciously as possible while steering Corin toward the door, “Yes, it will be a long three months.”

Really, I didn’t need this well-meaning mother to confirm that I have hit another growth spurt. Aside from surprising glances in the mirror, the increase in exhaustion and general discomfort has all but assured me: I am getting big. And the third trimester doesn’t even officially start until next week. Maybe I can at least hope it will coincide with a break in the unrelenting triple-digit temps gripping this section of the country.

27 weeks

But there’s plenty of good news. Baby girl is very active, we’ve made some progress on names, and I finished painting the crib this week. I will say this about hand-painting a jenny lind crib: I recommend a sprayer. (Disclaimer: I’ve never actually used one. But I have to assume it would be easier than the pain-staking process of hand coating 52 spindles in one coat of primer and two layers of paint. And it might prevent those couple of drips husband says I should leave but I know are going to eternally bug me.)

newly-painted crib

At last, something to show for all those hours in the garage!