That wonderful or perhaps not so wonderful (depending upon the eyes you look through) time of the year is once again upon us.   In my younger days with a young family, and a career, I would be stressed to the max during the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  It ALL had to be perfect---or so I thought.  Decorating, gifts, how we looked, attending all the required holiday doings, baking & candy making, and all that went along with the season would leave me exhausted by the time December 25 was over.    Today- I do not get so stressed--I do not live under the illusion anything has to be perfect--and I feel no pressure to keep up with the trappings of what society now says is a perfect celebration.  I find Christmas much more enjoyable and perhaps most importantly, I take the time to reflect on exactly what happened that very first Christmas.

My first thought this season of advent is of Mary---Mother of Jesus.

This image, though beautiful, is not very accurate.   I doubt very seriously Jesus was a blue eyed, blonde with ringlets.  And Mary---well after traveling by donkey for mile upon mile ready to birth at any moment, and then having a baby in a barn---I cannot imagine she would look quite like this.  One of my children was born in a birthing suite at the hospital.  The boys came to see their sister soon after she arrived--and the room had not been cleaned yet.  To quote, "GROSS, MOM!" was the first thing out of one of their mouths.  Birthing babies can be a messy business.  BUT THERE SHE WAS--miles from home---probably quite young---and delivering a baby in a barn.

What about when that angel who showed up to tell Mary what was about to happen.  Today we would sweep her off to the nearest padded room.  Who is this person--am I dreaming--should I run from the room screaming?  Is this true, can this really happen--why me?      And then fast forward nine months, can you imagine the rolling eyes when she shows up with a baby before her marriage had been consummated?  Mary knew, Joseph knew---but would anyone else believe their story?  Her one credible witness, Elizabeth did not live close by--so who would stand up for her?  I could not help but wonder when reading the scripture if Mary's mother and father sent her to the hill country to hide her away from gossiping tongues.  Though the scripture does not address it, I am pretty certain there was a huge cost for Mary when Jesus arrived.

And yet--still Mary sings her song of praise ~"The Magnificat", after Elizabeth exclaims over the baby growing in Mary's womb.   She got it---she trusted what Gabriel told her and she was willing to be obedient whatever the cost.  The story of the birth of Jesus is a sweet story we tell and retell every Christmas.  Perhaps Mary's willingness to believe and be used is one of the most poignant parts of the beautiful story.

As we prepare our hearts---this Advent Season---pause and consider how willing you are to be used by God---even knowing----the cost of obedience can be high.    In the midst of all the tinsel, frivolity, and excess, remember the great pain of a young woman--a virgin who, in obedience, birthed the very Son of God.  God uses the unexpected--and in this case it was a young, but willing girl.  Mary, Mother of Jesus, knew before His birth all future generations would call her blessed.  Mary knew---even after the painful birth of the baby--Mary knew her favor came with a huge price.  Mary knew--and still was obedient.

"I am the Lord's servant.

May your word to be me fulfilled."

Luke 1:38


  1. I have often wondered to myself if I would have had Mary's courage to obey God no matter what the cost to me. If I'm honest with myself, I don't know that I would. She is to be highly regarded and admired for her willingness to obey God and His promise.
    Blessings, Lulu!

  2. Mary…there is so much about Mary that I love. Her story never grows old, and your message is spot on. ❤️

  3. I’ve often thought about how scared Mary must have been, but she did what God asked. I also think about all the times that God used “average” people. He could have chosen a queen or a rich lady, but he didn’t because Jesus needed to be born in those humble circumstances. If God can use Mary and Joseph to bring Jesus into the world, think about how he can use the rest of us “average joes.” My favorite Christmas song is “Mary Did You Know?”


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!