Friday, December 20, 2013

Birthing a Savior in the Beautiful Mess

Let’s be honest: Christmas is hard work for mamas. There’s cleaning and baking and wrapping. There are family photos to arrange, cards to write, school and church programs to attend, those elf and Santa traditions to keep straight. There’s the organizing, the crafting, the hiding of gifts and dressing of trees. Not to mention all the awkward family dynamics, the carting of kids from one house to the next, the sugar highs and then crashes.

In the midst of all that work, where does a mama meet the Savior? Where can we possibly find a silent night for just meditating on His birth?

I don’t know about you but sometimes I find myself just waiting for “that perfect moment.” I dream about the house being clean and quiet. I fantasize about our family sitting on the couch blissfully reading an Advent devotional before the twinkling lights of our tree. I long for that perfect Christmas moment to meet God. 

The reality is that “perfect” moment may never come for busy mamas of preschool and elementary-aged kids. I was reminded today that Mary didn’t have “that perfect moment” either.
I am sure that the mother of God had some plans and dreams forming in heart before she birthed the Son. I imagine as she and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem that she fantasized about the ideal place to birth that baby. Maybe she even prayed in her spirit for God to provide the perfect place for birthing with a comfortable bed, the right music and the best midwife to help her along.
She had none of these.
A stinky, loud, cold stable. A bed of straw. Her legs spread out before the world. That was the God-chosen perfect moment for birthing the God-child. It’s pretty miraculous to think about. Jesus, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Almighty, the Light of the world, was born in a messy stable. 
A beautiful, messy stable.
And that stable, that manger where He laid His holy head, has become a symbol of Christmas, a picture of peace. It’s ironic. Ann Voskamp says, “Simplicity is a matter of focus, not circumstances.”
This Christmas as you are facing your mile-long to-do list, your family drama, I urge you to press in face-to-face with the Savior. I invite you to unwrap the simple, yet most profound gift of the season. The baby. Hold him close. Rock him in your mama heart.

Even as the holiday mess swirls around you, seek Him.
**The above is re-posted from The Bridge MOPS Blog, where I share stories and encouragement for mothers twice a month.

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