So far today I’ve: had my clothes licked by a toddler, had my hair combed with a toothbrush, was trampled while pretending to be a digger, lost my patience, was sass-mouthed by a kindergartner and have changed too many dirty diapers to count. Another day gone by wondering if I messed up the kids in any way and hoping for more sleep tonight than I got last night. Sigh. But it’s the Christmas season and the tree lights invite me to sit close and be hopeful. It’s funny how Christmas lights do that. Over the last several days as we’ve been getting into the holiday spirit I’ve spent some time really thinking about Jesus’s birth and especially Mary. This may sound simple, but it’s amazing to me that God sent his Son, Jesus, to us in the form of a baby. Of all the ways He could have introduced Jesus into our lives, He chose a baby. A helpless infant born to poor parents in a stable of all places. Humble beginnings. And then there’s Mary. Just a girl who said yes to God. Did she even comprehend what was about to happen? Does it even matter? What’s so precious is that she said yes to God. Yes, she was afraid when the angel appeared (Luke 1: 29-30), but was told that she was “highly favored” (verse 28) by God. Her character speaks of humility, selflessness, obedience and a willingness to serve God. I want to be like that. I want to be like Mary.
How can I be like Mary in my everyday life? My everyday life seems so mundane at times, messy, imperfect and plain. How could I, this working-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three “all-boy” boys possibly be like Mary? There’s something about Mary’s willingness to follow God and His plan despite what others may have thought and despite the unknown. Her yes was a precious answer of love and obedience towards her Heavenly Father. Luke 1:38 contains Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel: Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. She really must have trusted God, right? Despite her fears, she trusted that God’s plan was bigger than her fears and trusted God’s goodness. I’m no biblical scholar… in fact, being in God’s Word is relatively new for me, but just by reading this verse of Mary’s response gives me a glimpse at her heart!
As I was rocking my youngest son tonight at bedtime I imagined Mary rocking baby Jesus in her arms, kissing his forehead and imagining who he’d become. And in a way Mary and I are alike. We both share a mother’s heart and the unsurpassed love that a mother has for her child. The love that keeps us going, keeps us hopeful and makes the mundane meaningful.
But I still want to be more like Mary. I want to give God a full yes in my own life, trusting Him and His plan, despite my fears of the unknown and despite my weaknesses. I want to remember Mary’s story all year long, not just during the Christmas season. And I want to learn from Mary and the qualities she displayed by saying yes to God.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the Christmas season, for cozy Christmas lights, for hope and for Mary and the example she set. Help us, Father, to be more obedient to you, to have a willing heart and a humble spirit. Help us to be willing to say yes to you, even when we’re afraid. In Jesus’ name. Amen.