Thursday, December 09, 2010

Glorious humility

My first baby will be celebrating a birthday next 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!"

(reposted from archives, December 2006)


Christine said...

I've been thinking along these same lines- just started a post about it this morning. I'd like to link to this when I'm done.

My oldest was a tough labor and delivery, colicky, and I was completely unprepared for what he brought to his first 6 months. I too planned and took classes, made a birth plan, and read every book out there. But God used him as a refining force in my life. Motherhood came like a bulldozer with that one! :)

Linda said...

Oh I love the truth of this Andrea. I was touched by the same thought when I watched The Nativity Story. The Father could certainly have made the circumstances of His Son's birth a bit more comfortable. Instead He chose the humility you so beautiful write about. It makes me both joyful and sorrowful. Such love.

Anonymous said...

Andrea, I was so touched all the way through that - and then I got to the part about the Christmas pageant. I completely panicked! I was thinking, "Wait, I'm positive that it was supposed to be the 17th...I can't believe I made 4 kids miss their roles in the Christmas pageant!" I was quickly spiraling into a total state of confusion, when I saw the note on the bottom that this was a REPOST! LOL I cannot believe how freaked out I was! Whew! So, now I can fully appreciate the message you intended. It's a message I have been struggling with for a while now. Thanks for sharing. :-) ~L

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