Today I want to talk about MOTHERHOOD…
This time of year seems to always cause me to reflect on this subject for several reasons.
The first is because of the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As I look at the pictures of the Nativity, I can’t help but wonder what was going through her mind as she looked into the eyes of her newborn baby. He was simultaneously her infant child, and the God of Creation.
What an overwhelming realization that must have been for her.
The other reason that this time of year causes me to reflect on motherhood is because of the worldly aspect of the season.
As a single mother of four, this year brings with it almost more stress and pressure than I can handle.
My job as the Custodian provides me with just enough money to barely pay the bills…nothing more!
So when I have months like this one where my children need extra things, I have no choice but to work myself to death. To literally push my body to the very brink of exhaustion, to earn the extra money required to purchase the items on their “WISH LISTS”
I wake up each morning around 3am so that I can clean the house before I get ready for work. Then after working my 8hr shift at the school, I come home and get dinner started, and do the homework for the day with the kids. Then my second job begins. I usually paint late into the night so that I can complete the projects that have been ordered on time. Most nights I crawl into bed around 10:30pm, so tired that I can barely hold up my own head. Get a few hours of rest so that I can wake up and start it all over again…
What is it about motherhood that allows us to possess the strength of body and mind to push ourselves this hard?
When I ask myself this question, it is usually followed by another question which is, “If it is this stressful to raise my children, what was it like for Mary?”
I can’t help but think of Mary and her child.
What was she like?
What were her talents and passions?
Who was the woman who God chose to be the earthly mother of his only begotten child?
The woman who gave birth to, and reared day by day, the One who would open the gate of salvation to humankind.
Mary stands out during this time of the year in many Christmas Nativity decorations. She is seen looking into the manger together with the privileged few who witnessed the Lord’s first hours. Something in me believes this is how she would have wanted it.
When my babies were born, I was only comfortable with a few people at a time around my infant. This makes me imagine how much more threatened she would have felt had there been a large crowd gathered around instead of just the small one that came.
I am positive that the size of the crowd was directly a result of God protecting the feelings of the woman he had chosen for this miraculous birth. He knew the thoughts in her heart and I am positive he was protecting her as well as her child.
When I became a mother, I began to appreciate the child more, by appreciating his mother… an idea that is both biblical and Christlike.
No doubt Jesus was a loving son who held his mother in high regard.
Isn’t is curious that some Christians choose to do otherwise?
As I was looking at images of art on the internet the other day, I came across a very beautiful picture of Mary and her small baby. It was almost like a candid picture that you would find in a yearbook. The painting was painted by a French artist by the name of Luc-Olivier Merson.
In the painting Mary balances the baby Jesus in her arms, as she herself leans against a stone wall. She stares off into the distance vacantly an expression that any woman who has ever experienced late nights with her infant can completely relate to and understand. There is absolutely nothing ceremonious about her depictions no angels in attendance, no gathered assembly kneeling before her.
So what did I find so extraordinary about this painting?
The thing that struck me was how ordinary the scene was. It could have easily been any young mother and her child. And yet, it isn’t. It is the Son of God and the woman chosen to contain in her womb the one who cannot be contained.
As I ponder this, I’m meditating on the loftiness of the nativity, but also on the Earthiness of the day. That Christ was taught to eat, speak, pray, and worship in the context of an ordinary human relationship.
This simple fact reminds me as a mother, that the family unit, the responsibilities of motherhood, are so precious to God, that he sent his Only Begotten Son to Earth to live and be protected, loved and supported by the family unit…by a mother!
For some time now, I’ve noted a peculiar effect on my perceptions of my friends AFTER I meet their parents. Somehow, after you meet someones parents, that person becomes more whole to you. I am able to see new dimensions of their lives that were previously hidden from me. Aspects of their personality finally have an origin. They just seem to make more sense to you after you meet their parents.
The same is true of Jesus!
We get to know him best by spending one-on-one time in his presence.
you can also learn something by “meeting” his mother.
Scripture offers us the opportunity to look again at that scene under a starry sky-the manger child, yes, but also his mother. You’ll know her when you see her. She will be the one standing quietly nearby, with a beautiful expression of adoration covering her entire countenance. The look of adoration that ONLY a mother can have.
So, I guess the answer to my earlier question of how is it possible for a mother to muster the strength necessary to provide for the many needs of her children, is a simple answer…
We get our SUPER HERO POWER from the most basic place…the love in our hearts!
So this year during the Christmas Season, let’s make sure to remember the Mother who made the season possible. The woman who was so faithful, that she was trusted to raise our Savior to be the man who would eventually provide us with Salvation.
Lets also remember the women in our lives, our own mothers, our friends mothers, our mother-in-laws, etc, all the women in our lives who have shaped us into the people we are. This year, tell them how much they mean to you. Thank them for their sacrifices. Just give them a hug…thats what every mother really wants!