Sunday, December 17, 2006

Glorious humility

My first baby will be celebrating a birthday this week. Before I had her, I thought I knew most everything about babies. But, as we mothers all know, the more children you have, the more you learn this is not true, and you are served a big slice of humble pie.

She was 16 hours of labor, a third degree tear, and colicky. This was not my sweet angel baby I had imagined. She did not want to snuggle against me, instead, as I held her in the cradle hold, she would arch her back. I had to hold her down in my arms to get her to sleep.

I remember being in the hospital, after the birth; tired, and sore, and feeling not willing or able to care for this baby who lay beside me in the hospital crib. I remember thinking: "I want her back in there!"

Thankfully, I had a husband who was willing and able to be hands-on with the care of this baby. I don't know if I could have done it without him those first three months. I also learned more about the power of leaning on Him for strength in this mothering thing. I made more room for Him in my heart.

Today, this same daughter is my sweet soul. She is quiet, sensitive, kind, content, and helpful. She is a gem, a pearl of mine.

A few months after I had gotten settled into this mothering thing, this mothering thing of being a mother to a baby, and feeling more comfortable, I was watching Jesus of Nazareth with my husband.

The story of His birth became the most real to me as it had ever become.

I watched Mary, the mother of the King, ride on a donkey, in labor. Can you imagine?

What? No room in the inn? It's insulting that no one would make room for this heavily pregnant woman, traveling this long way with a tired husband. And this baby is the Son of God! He is God! Shouldn't God have perfect circumstances? Shouldn't Mary's labor be easy, shouldn't Jesus have the best birth accomodations? It seems ridiculous that there was no room at the inn. Shouldn't God have planned better? (You know, like I did. Baby care classes, natural birth classes, I was going to have the BEST baby and birth!)

But He did. He planned very well. He showed up in the glory of humility. And I learned it too, through the birth of my baby. I wouldn't have planned it any other way.

I am reminded of something Katherine wrote a few days ago: " God enjoys showing up when circumstances are less than ideal."

God is there, even when there seems like no room. Even when circumstances are not what you planned. He humbles, and that is the best way. It's always good to be humbled. Especially in parenting.

Today was our Christmas pageant at our church. My darling daughter shone like the angel she is and portrayed. I fixed her hair like the little girl in this picture. (I saw the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" last night.) She sang her heart out, she glowed, she was brilliant.

"Joy to the World! The Lord is come! Let Earth receive Her King! Let every Heart prepare Him room! And Heaven and Nature sing! And Heaven and Nature sing! And Heh-eh-eh-eh-eh-ven Na-Chure Sing!"


Miriam said...

This is so beautiful, Andrea...and it ministered to my heart today.

Anonymous said...

When you were born, I completely understood what God's Great Love for his children was all about.

I wish I could have been there with you to cry with joy at seeing our Sweet Baby dressed appropriately.


tonia said...

~warm smile~


Elise said...

It's undeniable, this humbling parenting thing, is it not?
I did not ask to be taken down a notch or two. Perhaps that is why He took me down so many thousands.
And He was there waiting at the bottom.
Always lovely, always thought-provoking.

bluemountainmama said...

beautiful post...i remember relating to mary a lot b/c my son was due on christmas day, and i was heavily pregnant those months leading up to christmas. plus sept.11 happened during my pregnancy. so it was a very reflective christmas for me.....and oh did i eat my humble pie when i had my son! you think you know how to be a great parent before you have kids and everything is going to be cozy and sunshiny all the time.... :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the honesty. I am so understanding this concept of when God shows up in my life. Great thoughts for the holidays.