I’ve been bouncing a screaming newborn for a solid 2 hours, my hair hasn’t been washed in 4 days, my outfit has served as pajamas and day clothes more days then I would like to admit, and I’m trying to survive trying to soak up these moments of Motherhood & not curse them away.

My husband and I tend to have life fall into complete and utter craziness when we have children. Over the years jobs have been lost, family members diagnosed with cancer, we’ve lost loved ones, restored a home, lived out of a suit case, had medical problems with no insurance, and because of it all my hopes for what life would be like have never matched up with my reality. Truth be told mothering can be so terribly lonely have it be the late nights of feeding children while daddy works long hours, the 3am wake up calls due to some unnamed bodily fluids, or simply being stretched so thin you function on nerves alone.

The days can be lonely, chillingly silent despite the whirl of noise.

Despite that I walk with arms filled, have it be with children or laundry, I can’t help but feel very alone at times. At times I wonder if anyone feels alone despite the constant chatter of social media connectedness. I remind myself of how blessed I am and remind myself of how selfish it is to even consider my problems problems but in the deepest part of my heart, a little bit of me confesses, “I don’t know if I am cut out for this, someone else could do this better, this circumstance is too much. Lord do you see me? I can’t do this all alone.”

My hearts wanderings were comforted by the story of Mary. I felt relief in knowing her start to motherhood was not so calm and bright like the old christmas carol said,

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace

I imagine the mother of Jesus had moments where she felt like I have in this stage of life-likely much more so. She faced being stoned to death as a pregnant unmarried woman, her fiance was going to divorce her, she had to move in the weeks leading up to her delivery, she had to deliver her baby in a stable overflowing with animals and livestock, she fled from King Herod to keep baby Jesus safe all while trusting her new husbands leading, and she lived in a time of major political unrest.

Blessed is the one who preserves under trial, because having stood the test that person will receive the crown of life, that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Honestly, can you imagine what her expectations would have been versus what her reality was? To think the angel said, “You are highly favored by the Lord” and Elizabeth said, “Blessed are you among women.” If I was Mary I would have been tapping my toe saying, “Blessing and favor you can show up now! Where is my pottery barn crib and ensemble, a husband who has 12 weeks paid paternity leave, a body that bounces back immediately after birth, and a newborn who really was always calm and mild?” But Gods plans were different, they were perfect, & if nothing else it prepared Mary for what was to come, it made her seek Him more fully, and it speaks to the story of motherhood and the call to sacrifice. 

[…] let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

The glimpses we see of Mary parenting are far from what we may consider perfect & yet she was the woman chosen to raise the son of God. From losing Jesus at the temple for days Luke 2:41-51, to her own sons doubting that Jesus was the Savior John 7:5, and ultimately the unbearable heartache of her son being put to death on a cross Mathew 15:1-40. We see her humanity we may even see ourselves if we look closely.

Mary Did you know? A beautiful song I’m soaking in this rainy afternoon.

In many ways Mary’s story is the story of motherhood, the story of facing something bigger then ourselves, surrendering to God’s will and pushing out fear and doubt that can so early creep into our hearts and cling to the hope and peace God offers to those who love him. I’m praying today that myself and others will let the warmth of God’s truth wash over their weary souls knowing that todays struggles may be blessings after all.

Very Merrily,

Ashleigh Harris

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