It’s Christmas Eve and it just does not feel like Christmas at all this year. I used to think this feeling only came on years when the temperatures never dropped and hot coco might make me sweat. But if my Texas childhood taught me anything, it taught me White Christmases are a lie and approximately every other year you should expect to wear shorts and t-shirts on December 25th. So if it’s not this mild weather, what is it?
Maybe it’s because my mom is gone and she is the one who turned our lives into a Winter Wonderland each year no matter the weather. Maybe it’s because this is the first year I won’t be at my parent’s house on Christmas morning. Or maybe it’s because all these years I’ve been celebrating all wrong and now I really get it.
This year is different, as we prepare to sell almost all of our possessions and move half way around the world. You want to know what my kids got for Christmas this year? New water bottles (Really, they’re sippy cups, but don’t tell them that). They have Mickey Mouse on them so the kids think they are the coolest beverage holders in town.
Anyway, things are different this year, but in a pretty healthy way. One thing that hasn’t changed is my dislike of Christmas music. Go ahead, call me Scrooge. Christmas music is maybe acceptable on the 24th and the 25th but other than that–NO THANKS. However, I’ve found ONE exception this year. “Mary, Did You Know?”
Y’all. If you’ve never had a kid and/or if you don’t love Jesus, you may have no idea where I’m coming from on this one, but if you have, dream with me for a minute.
Moms–do you remember when you pushed your first baby out of your body?! Do you remember the hours of contractions? The fear of the unknown? The nervous shakes? The time you threw up right before Transition? Do you remember all of the preparation that went into that day? The nights you couldn’t sleep while baby was kicking and instead you envisioned how this day was going to go. Would everything be okay? Could I really do this without pain meds? But before you knew it (yeah right), it was time to push. Do you remember pushing? And pushing? Were you ever afraid this would never end? And then it did. You held your baby. And if you’re like me, you cried. And your heart was full–from that moment on and forever getting fuller and fuller.
Now think of Mary. Not the cartoon cutout from Sunday School and your kids’ Advent crafts, and not the Mary from your Precious Moments nativity scene. Think of Mary, just like you and me. Huge pregnant, butt hurts from sitting on a donkey all day WHILE IN LABOR, so unsure how the next few hours will play out because she’s never had a baby before and there is not even a place to stay for the night (can you imagine getting to the hospital and they tell you, “Sorry ma’am, we’re out of beds, but you can try the loading/unloading zone in the back of the hospital–don’t think we’re getting any more shipments tonight so you should be good.”?!?). Mary finally buckles down, no time for anymore nerves because everything inside of her is screaming PUSH. She pushes and labors pushes and sweats and pushes and there He was. Finally. He is here. She cries. It’s a boy. She did it. Thank you, God.
But wait. HE IS GOD! Did she know? Did she have any idea at all the significance of what God just did through her? That child that you delivered, will soon deliver you. Guys, I have chills when I hear that line! Mary, did you know?! You just delivered that baby boy. He came out of your body. You held that slimy little guy, you kept him warm, you’ll never forget that feeling of his little body the first time it hit the outside of your tummy. You delivered that baby. But HE will deliver YOU.
What incredible imagery. Remember what you went through for him? Guess what He is going to do for you?! That sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am.
Mary, did you know?? Because if you did you would cry. Face down, hands up, ugly crying, total worship.
Now that I’m a mom, this is where I let myself go during Christmas time. I put myself in Mary’s shoes. I let myself remember what it’s like to deliver a baby. A real life baby. Jesus was ACTUALLY HERE! In the flesh. A real baby with a real mom with real emotions just like me and you. Mary, did you know when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?
Holy, holy, holy!