/**/ The Purposeful Wife: Mary Didn't Get to "Nest"

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mary Didn't Get to "Nest"

This Christmas I've had Mary on my mind a bit more than usual.

I gave birth only two months ago, and I can't help remembering all of the preparations, and nesting, and freezer cooking, and laundry... and on and on, that I happily poured out in expectation of little E's birth.

I had this frantic urge to make everything "just so." It feels good to bring order, to exert our control when life and babies and motherhood can otherwise be so chaotic.

Not so with Mary.

At the end of her long nine months- nine months of typical pregnancy discomforts, sneers and gossip over her unique situation, and what I can only assume was a roller coaster of spiritual and emotional highs and lows- she gets onto a donkey {ouch!}, rides to Bethlehem {double ouch!}, and gives birth in a barn {afterbirth in the hay?! no thank you!}.

I'm just going to venture out on a limb here and take a wild guess that no woman's ideal birth plan includes a barn.

Before having children, I marveled at Christ's humble entry to the world. What Divine condescension! And I marvel at it still.

But now- now that I've experienced the agonies of unmedicated childbirth, endured the trials of the postpartum body, and lived through many a sleepless night- now I can't help but contemplate Mary's situation in a brand new light.

The sacrifice was real. Mary humbly gave up her reputation with a "let it be to me according to your word" {Luke 1}, and nine months later gave up all of her worldly comforts and experienced the fears and pains of labor without family, homeless, in the cold and filth of an inn keeper's stable.

Does it really matter if my birth was an unpleasant experience? Do I really need to have the perfect nursery, the perfect layette, a neat and tidy perfect life, to offer my newborn and to content myself?

The answer should be obvious.

How much better to emulate Mary's contented, meek, and obedient spirit. "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart" {Luke 2:19}. How much better to submit myself to whatever God brings into my life- financial difficulties, family conflicts, a not-so-perfect Christmas. To simply trust and obey Him, to attempt joy and to learn and grow however I can in whatever circumstances He's placed me in.

Obviously, Mary is not the most important part of the Christmas story. The God-Man coming to earth as a baby, living a sinless life, and growing up to die on a cross and redeem a people for Himself, completely triumphs over the sacrifices of one fallen woman.

But thinking about her this holiday season has quieted my heart and brought some much needed perspective, for which I am grateful.

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