I can't believe it's Monday already; time to start a brand new week and prepare for New Years! Don't the holidays just seem to sneak up on you? Then before you know it, they've come and gone, quick as a groundhog's shadow...
While it's still fresh in my mind, though, here's a pic of my daughter, Ava, and I on Christmas morning.
(Please ignore the bed head, blurry eyes, and jammies, if you can. :) )
It was so much fun sharing our first Christmas together and, for me, experiencing things once again through the wonder of a child's perspective.
Becoming a mom this past January, has also awakened a new appreciation for what Mary must have felt carrying and giving birth to Jesus. All the uncertainty, fear, excitement, and hope you pour into your little one. The dreams you instantly start building toward their future...
Then knowing your child will grow up to be scorned, reviled, betrayed, and ultimately sacrificed for the transgressions of others; a heart breaking thought for any mother. Especially when that little boy is perfect, sinless, and completely undeserving of his pre-determined fate.
Our natural instinct is to shield and protect our offspring, but Mary had to endure these injustices for her son's sake and, as he matured, watch him suffer torment after torment.
What grace and courage God the father must have bestowed upon this woman, when choosing her above all others, to be the earthly mother for his precious son. Obviously she wasn't a saint, but a normal person, yet she retains an almost mystical figure status; somehow too lofty for us mere mortals to relate with.
However, if I think of her as a mother who loved her child, who just happened to be the Lord of the universe, it doesn't seem like such a stretch picturing myself in her shoes.
Even if I'll never understand all she went through during those harrowing times, I can connect with her on a basic emotional level the shared experience of motherhood brings.
She was a human, like me, who God chose for the greatest task imaginable. He used one of us to give birth to the very child that would one day redeem us. He could have sent Jesus, fully formed, ready to be sacrificed, but instead allowed him the experience of life here so his son could know us, his creation.
Because He wants to have a relationship with us. He wants to work through us to accomplish His will. He believes in us, despite our imperfections.
That gives me hope.
And that hope is the gift Christmas represents to each of us.