– cody james vermillion
So we got a baby this past weekend…
We didn’t, like, pick one up from the store or anything. That’d be weird.
What actually happened is that my super hero of a wife, Jen, gave birth to our second kiddo, Jovi Belle. And because everyone seems interested in a baby’s weight more than anything, I’ll share: 6lbs, 6oz. Not a big baby. But having a baby is always a big deal. The sheer terror, mixed with concern, mixed with anticipation, mixed with joy was overwhelming to say the least.
I don’t remember much, but I will never forget when one nurse looked at Jen and said assuringly “The pain will stop when you have your baby in your arms… all you will feel is joy.”
And she was right.
Jen pushed. Jovi came. Joy ensued.
It can’t be a coincidence that God led us to the name Jovi, which is derived from Jovial (But her name is just Jovi, okay? Okay.) And she has been living up to that name! I’m convinced that nothing brings more joy to life than bringing new life into the world.
“Bringing new life” isn’t just about having kids. We can bring life to this world in a lot of ways. In fact, at Uncommon [good] we believe it is the job of every Jesus follower to bring life to the world. But that’s a different post 😉
Back to babies. Babies bring joy. Sure, they cry and poop and puke and deprive you of sleep. But the incomparable joy that they bring kinda makes it all worth it. And the proof of that was in our first day home with Jovi. From day one the dynamics in our house couldn’t have been more joyful. Even Auggie, our dog, is in love with Jovi. And since day one, Hunter has been smitten with his sister. He wants to hold her all the time and he can’t stop kissing her and rubbing her hair and saying sweet things to her. It’s enough to make your heart explode.
See? Your heart exploded, right?
Now, I’m not so naive to think that there won’t be challenging days ahead. I don’t actually know if I’ve really slept at all. It’s all a bit of a blur. But right now our home and family is filled with a love and a joy that is palpable. It’s in these moments where I can’t help but be grateful to Jesus. See, cause I think that experiencing joy of any kind is actually a little taste of heaven. And that Jesus has this amazing way of taking our human experiences and producing a joy that is way beyond anything we could drum up on our own. Peter puts it this way:
“Though you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”
~ 1 Peter 1:8
Inexpressible and glorious joy. Yeah, I get that.
I feel that joy in our midst these days. And that’s a big deal, I think. Because, like you, I have experienced some pretty rough stuff in my life. But joy always seems to find its way through. And I know it has to be from knowing Jesus, cause there’s no way I could find it on my own. I remember early on in my faith when I had just started cracking open my leather-bound teen study bible, some verses stood out to me:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
~ James 1:2-4
When I read this, it had only been a couple of years since my dad had passed, and I was still in a dark place. It felt like my whole life for those years had been one big trial. So those verses hit hard. “I can have joy in… this?” Yep! There it was. Joy in the midst of struggle. Pain. Trials. So I took the challenge to “consider it pure joy” and just started looking for it in my life. And do you know what happens when you start looking for joy? You find it! Even in the hard times.
You find it in the sunrise. In your favorite song. In the cup of coffee you need to get going. The hilarious group text with your closest friends. The customer who wasn’t a jerk. The great conversation with the nice old lady you meet in Target who is looking at the same end table (yeah, that happened to us yesterday). It’s everywhere.
It would be so easy for Jen and I to live in the pain, sleeplessness, and stress of having a newborn while also managing to raise a three year old. But by His grace, we are able to experience that inexpressible joy. And we aren’t gonna waste it.
God has given our family a new season. We are going to seize this time. We are going to have fun and enjoy life even when we are exhausted. Because joy is what I want to choose. Joy is what I want to impart to my kids. And now I have written it in a post that will be kicking around the interwebs forever… so I have to do it, right? 😉
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
– Romans 5:13
While we are on the subject of parenting…
We wanted to invite you to an Uncommonly [good] talk on parenting for moms of young kids. Uncommoners, Dawn Neldon and Maren Nelson are hosting Raising Unicorns at Maren’s house in Poway, March 27th, @ 9:30 – 11 AM
Join us for mimosas and mom-spiration as Dawn shares about growing kids who stand out in a world that tells them to fit in.
There are only 40 spots – click the red button to register!
You are loved and valued.
Thank you and God Bless!