I have been a bit too busy lately. Part of the busy is the necessary grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. Part of the busy has to do with vital, but less straight-forward tasks like making decisions about Aubrey’s education/school and working on adoption stuff. The last part of the busy is fun stuff that I love to do, but stay up way too late doing (more on that fun stuff in another post soon).
When I feel too busy, I try to drop things off my list, but I looked over the list today, and most of it actually needs to get done. I will never rest if I wait until I check off everything on the list. I must discipline myself to rest in Jesus while I “do.” Or take a break from doing, and spend time resting at the feet of the Lord. And really prepare my heart for Advent.
Dan and I haven’t missed the coincidence in preparing our adoption paperwork during Advent time. It has been a special time for us, and we feel like we are connecting with Advent in a new way this year. The longing, the anticipation is almost palpable.
Tonight as I was praying, asking Jesus to slow me down, and help me be more still and more present, an image came to mind…
Dan took this photo right after Thatcher was born. If ever there is a time when the world stops turning, when time of day, and to-do’s mean nothing, it is after a child enters your life. I look at myself here, and I see complete peace. A glimpse of heaven on earth, a gift of the image of God in my arms.
What must Mary have felt that night Jesus was born? The very Image of God in her arms? The Gift of salvation for all mankind resting on her chest? The Bible tells us she treasured these moments in her heart. I wonder how often she looked back on those treasured moments as time passed… Did she think on them when she was tending to her children, cooking dinner for her family, and keeping the home in order? Did God gently remind her of the first Christmas when she worried? Surely she clung to those precious memories when Jesus hung on the cross, and her baby boy gave up his life for the world.
When I think about preparing for a baby, I think about “nesting.” Getting everything in the home and nursery ready, safe, and cute. The weeks leading up to Thatcher’s due date, I literally wanted to put Dan, Aubrey, and my home on lockdown. No one was leaving until I went to the hospital. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Of course, that wasn’t what happened, but my hormones were telling me that it should. Mary was doing the exact opposite as Jesus’s due date approached. She was leaving everyone and everything familiar. With only what could be carried by a donkey. She put her faith in God, and allowed Joseph to lead her to Bethlehem.
My favorite Christmas image is the star. I love that God actually put a star in the sky above Jesus. It is a symbol of searching for, and finding new life. It just occurred to me tonight that Mary didn’t have a star to follow. She wasn’t watching the sky to show her where to go. She was just trusting. And that most wonderful and mysterious night, a star shone in the sky because a baby was cradled in her arms… The Bright and Morning Star.