Boden James Birkey

Boden James Birkey arrived early on June 6th, 2020; for us a bright ray of joy in troubled times.

His name means shelter or sheltered (or a whole list of other things depending on which baby name site you choose.) He is certainly being sheltered in his new home and family and he is reminding us of where we need to put our hope–in the God who offers us shelter “under his wings.” Psalm 91.

We have been so grateful for our home, our shelter-in-place venue for the last four months. We recognized the privilege that we’ve experienced to be able to stay home and feel protected. We know it has been much more difficult for others and the recent protests have made that even more evident. How do we appreciate all the good without ignoring injustice and compassion?

Not that everything is peaceful and sweet here within the walls of our home. We have allowed Johnny to shelter with us, which has been mostly a good thing, but not easy. There is a sense of taking two steps backwards in all the progress of the last year as he hasn’t been able to work during this time, a factor that normally gives structure and stability to his life. He hasn’t been particularly problematic, but he has slipped downward into increased depression, which is difficult to watch–and live with. Lizi has experienced more anxiety, missing the structure of work in her life as well. Cancer symptoms and treatment have added stress, worry and a lot of questions.

Still, we are sheltered, protected, and for the most part, we are trusting God as our Sovereign Lord over all the details of life. It’s just that there are so many details!

Like so many other grandparents, being “sheltered” away from our children and grandchildren has been an added sorrow. During the first few months, we had the local grandkids over a couple times to play (or swim) in our backyard, socially distancing with them from our high deck while they played in the yard. Sometimes they showed up on our doorstep with the groceries their parents faithfully delivered to us. Facetime phone calls to New Zealand have continued as always, but it is a hard to not know when we will be able to see them again.

When Taylor called us in the early morning hours of Boden’s birthday, we went to stay with the kids while Mom and Dad were at the hospital. Upon awakening, the kids snuggled up to us–our first hugs in 3 months–to await news of the baby’s birth. While we still are cautious when visiting their home and holding little Boden, his arrival opened up that part of our lives again. What a relief! For now, I’m focusing on being with my family and just a few close friends (outdoor deck dates or walks in the outdoor air.)

While sheltering, I’ve focused on quilting, genealogy, and completing a family scrapbook. I finished a bed quilt for Simee, who turned two this week, and a baby quilt for Boden. For once I dug into my quilt stash and decided to make a “bee” quilt out of fabric that I had previously bought to make a quilt for their “Bee School” homeschool several years ago. I kept telling Laura that they should name the baby with a “B” name to go with my quilt, never imagining that they were already thinking Boden. (She enjoyed chuckling over my suggestions.) The quilt also features six pieced bees–one for each of the Birkeys. Small things, but coincidences that make me happy 🙂

I really love his name for its meaning in the midst of a hard season of life (for practicably everybody.) I like that his middle names is James and that he was born on our James’ birthday. And I like my B/bee quilt for all the above reasons. But what I really enjoy are those moments of holding our sweet baby boy and resting with him in my arms.

9 thoughts on “Boden James Birkey

  1. Congratulations, Chris, on the birth of your precious new grandson! He is adorable! Thank you for the update on how you and the rest of your family are doing. Sending my love and praying for you, dear friend.

  2. Beautiful family photo, lovely quilt, amazingly long baby legs and arms. But best of all was grandma snuggling with Boden

    • Exactly!! Those were the things that stood out to me too. You are blessed, Chris, and are also a blessing to many others.

  3. He is a handsome little guy–for that matter, ALL of your grandchildren are beautiful! So glad you’re able to find joy in the everyday occurrences (although perhaps no so everyday these days!) amidst everything else, which is plenty. I know you love hot, so you have to be happy b/c it is definitely hot right now.

  4. What a gorgeous quilt! How precious are those times of sheltering that baby in your arms!!! I always love to read your writings about life, Chris. I SO enjoyed seeing you at Cheryl’s. We are learning to treasure moments together more and more! Hugs and love and prayers!!!

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