many years during the Christmas season my thoughts turn to mary, the mother of Jesus. now, this year having my own sweet babe, i feel my thoughts focus on mary more than ever before.
i think about what it must have been like for her to be pregnant. she received a sacred visit from an angel and was told she would conceive a child as a virgin. and not just any child, she would carry in her womb The Son of God. what an amazing example of great faith in God and His plan she was. i wonder if she worried what joseph would think? i imagine she trusted enough in God's plan to know Joseph would show the same faith. i marvel at the righteousness mary possessed to be chosen.
i think about what it must have been like for mary to travel to bethlehem. she had to worry about where she was going to give birth to her son. i feel selfish for being stressed about what my hospital experience would be like, and dreading the thought of having to share a room with someone in the mother baby unit. and mary, journeyed on a donkey and was continuously rejected a room in an inn. i remember how uncomfortable it was for me to sit in the car for any longer than ten minutes, and she rode on a donkey. she did not have a comfortable bed with clean sheets and nurses and doctors to help her with her labor. she gave birth in a manger, among the animals, lying in the hay.
i think about what it must have been like for mary to hold her son for the first time. she held The Son of God in her arms. she knew He was here to save the world from sin. that thought overwhelms me completely. and yet, i'm sure mary, with her unwavering faith, trusted in God's plan.
i feel pressure and stress as i worry about raising my sweet girl. i want to teach her and love her. i want her to be smart and righteous. i want her to be kind and compassionate. i worry about all the trials she will face in her lifetime and want to protect her from experiencing pain or suffering. i can't imagine the pressure mary must have felt to know she was raising The Son of God. and yet, with her faith in God, maybe she didn't feel any pressure or stress.
most of all, i think of the love mary had. not just the love for her baby, but her love of God. she showed incredible love by her obedience and faith. as i've been pondering her example i've been compelled to show more love. to show more love to my sweet husband and daughter. to show more love to my friends and family. to show more love to the strangers i pass on the street. i believe as i do that, i will show more love to God. and that is the gift i would like to give this Christmas, more love. because this world could use it and my heart can always find more to give.
as i gaze into my sweet baby's eyes, i imagine what it must have been like for mary to look into Christ's eyes, to kiss his cheeks and cradle his tiny body. i am filled with peace and warmth as gracie's little blue eyes sparkle back at me. every time i kiss her cheeks i smile with great joy to have her in my life. and when i hold her little body against mine, my heart overflows with gratitude for the precious gift i've been given to be her mother.
what a wonderful gift for mary, to be Christ's mother. but more so, what a wonderful gift she bore for each of us. each time i hold my little one, i will thank my Heavenly Father for not only sending her into my life, but also for the gift of His Son.