The day after. Christmas is over – until next year. This morning, I am finding my thoughts turning to Mary…..
I will always remember the miracle of birth. Giving birth to my daughter, my first born, shook me to my core. After the activity settled down and everyone left my room, I was alone with this child and I truly had no idea what I was to do with her. In the stillness of the night, I unwrapped her swaddling and looked at her hands and arms; legs and feet and toes – checking out what they looked like. I marveled at the perfection of this tiny body. All the body parts in the right place, perfectly formed.
And the tears began to flow.
I remember wrapping her back up and apologizing to her. I shook with fear as the enormity of her birth fully hit me. I knew I was not ready to be a mom and now, well now, there was no time to get ready. In the stillness, I did the only thing I could do, that I knew I HAD to do – pray. That first night, I begged God to help me to be a mom. How does an imperfect woman, full of flaws, raise a child to be healthy and functioning? How does a woman, yet struggling in her own walk with God, raise a child that will want to know Him? That will come to know Him? That will love Him?
Fast forward seven years to the birth of my second born. Surely this will be easier.
In fact, it was harder. I had seven years to get comfortable in my role as a mom to a daughter. I didn’t say she was easy, but at least I felt I was handling my responsibilities.
And God knew to knock me back to my knees …. He gave me a son. Again, I felt overwhelmed. How does a mom raise a boy to love God, to be a balance of manliness and gentleness?
This morning, I found myself reminiscing on all of this and thought …..
What were Mary’s thoughts and feelings that morning after?
Was she overwhelmed to think that she had just given birth to the Savior? The Messiah? The Holy One? Did she shake with fear as she held the baby whose “kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:33)?
Mary was a young woman herself. This was her first born. A son. A son to raise and yet, in many ways, He was never hers at all.
Returning to the familiar Scriptures in Luke, I found some clues to Mary’s mothering ….
- Humble obedience. Eight days after giving birth, Mary brought her son to be circumcised. It was at that time the baby received His Name – Jesus. Mary obeyed that which the angel had spoken and gave her son, the Name.
- Sacrificial obedience. When the time of purification was completed for a woman following childbirth, a male child was to be dedicated to the Lord. Mary and Joseph offered the sacrifice of the poor – two young pigeons – in sacrificial obedience.
- Preparative obedience. “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast.” (Luke 2:31, NLT). As parents, they took Jesus to the feasts and to the Temple for Him to learn and to be about His Father’s work.
Mothering – a responsibility that can overwhelm. It will surely require an obedience on our part that is also humble and sacrificial and preparative. As a mom, and now a Mimi, my influence will have the most impact as I spend time before God, letting Him tend to my soul.
The #1 clue to Mary’s mothering?
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19).
May we also treasure and ponder His Word in our hearts.