365 days with Evie

A video scrapbook from the crazy paths of parenthood…

A year ago yesterday we were returning home from Barnet hospital, little flakes of light snow falling outside. In our arms was a bundle of wonder, an amazing gift from our loving Father God.

A few weeks before Evie’s birth someone had challenged me to take a second of video from each day of her first year. Being a sucker for a moving montage, I couldn’t resist, and a year on here’s the result.

We called her Evangeline because it comes from the word ‘gospel’, meaning ‘really good news’ – and she is -, and then Sunshine because, well, it’s a bit fun. I guess there’s always the deed poll option…

Together those words are a daily(ish) reminder for Zoe & me of a phrase from a Christian writer called Richard Sibbes. Let me explain. We’re convinced that at the heart of Christianity is the reality that God is outrageously full of ‘grace’, i.e. undeserved and incredible love. Stunningly he became a human, Jesus, the Christ, and embodied that ‘good news’. Another baby, but this time one that came on a rescue mission, dying in place of people like us, giving what we really need, a loving relationship with our Maker.

10245416_10100782334063673_756937273072586781_nOur hearts are so often cold, dark places, but as Sibbes said, we can “warm our frozen hearts in the sunshine of the gospel“. There’s a load of misconceptions out there about Christianity – but it isn’t about rules and trying to earn a spot in God’s good books. Instead it’s about rejoicing in God’s stunning love for us and letting that change everything.

Who knows what the next year will bring. Looking back we’re very aware that each of these past 365 days was laden with God’s grace. Full of poop, feeds, and tiredness, yes, but his sustaining hand too. And what joys amidst it all. And so at the end of year one we’re thankful to God for this gift.

Watching the film and looking back on each day also makes us grateful for family, friends, church, and our community at college. There’s that (apparently African) proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ and it feels like we’ve already had a glimpse of that in this first year. And a substantial part of that ‘raising a child’ has been just helping-her-parents-keep-going…

And no offence if you didn’t make it into the video; we’re realising there’s some pretty key players who are barely in it! (If one goes by frequency of appearances, one might get the impression that Evie’s father is actually her Uncle David!).

And fear not, I’m gonna be (a little) less trigger happy with the iPhone now that Evie’s first year is done. (Until #2 arrives).