Saturday, December 17, 2011


Here I sit. In a quiet house. Tears in my eyes and a babe at my breast. The tree is lit and half of the presents remain under it. New toys scattered across the floor with the smell of cinnamon and coffee in the air. It's Christmas morning, at least at our house.

I'm totally overwhelmed at the story of Christmas this year. I am a mother now. I relate to Mary on a whole new level this year. I am in awe of her strength and her courage. I relate to the experience of labor and the birth of your firstborn son. The moment that you claimed your victory, pushed through pain, and bore a child all your own. Now, what if you were birthing the Lord, the one sent to save all of humanity?

These things have been heavy on my heart and mind and were greatly influenced by a blogpost my sister linked to her facebook page. Please take the time to read it, here.

"Women can tell this part of the story this Christmas, the glimpse behind the veil, the life lived in the in-between of the stuff of God. There is a story on your lips, isn’t there, mama? of how you saw the face of God in the midst of fear or pain or joy and understood, really understood, Mary, not kneeling chastely beside a clean manger refraining from touching her babe, just moments after birth but instead, sore and exhilarated, weary and pressing a sleepy, wrinkled newborn to her breasts, treasuring every moment in her heart, marvelling not only at his very presence but at her own strength, how surrender and letting go is true work, tucking every sight and smell and smack of his lips into her own marrow."
-Sarah Styles Bessey

Why have I never thought of such things before? Is it because I have never been a mother this time of year before? Is it like she says? Men simply cannot understand what it feels like to be the one to birth your child? (Even though they are present, coaching us on and marveling alongside us at our birth, they aren't the one actually birthing.) Why do we picture Mary and Joseph staring down at the Lord instead of taking in the moment and holding Christ tightly in their arms, sweaty, exhausted, exhilarated, alive, and at peace?

I wish we could see pictures of Mary and Jesus just after his birth. We have done a great job of Americanizing the emotionless Mary and the clean, quiet baby Jesus. I can't wait to relate with Mary about birth one day. Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son to save a world so lost.

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