I’ve been thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus today. I was thinking about her as an expectant mom, forced to travel from home by the government, in her ninth month of pregnancy.

Was she miserable? Sure she was!

Was she scared? You betcha!

Did she complain with every unganely step of the rocking donkey? No doubt!

Did her mind race to the worst case scenario of giving birth who knows where whithout her posse of female relatives to help? Of course it did!

Was her face awash with a mixture of tears and dust from the road? Definitely!

I bet she had grousing, nagging thoughts like, “that angel better show up again at just the right time and place!”

Let’s juxtapose and visualize a minute the traditional, beatific madonna next to the scared, bedraggled, teenage mom-to-be. Which vision is the most realistic?

I see myself in Mary as I prepare in this last month before we celebrate her son’s majestic birthday. I alternate between joyful bliss and perturbed anxiousness as I anticipate the gathering of family. I’m giddy about the prospect of grandchildren opening their presents and then wipe my tears, praying that the ones separated from me by distance, will still feel that tug of grandmotherly love.

I’ll accept the duality of joy and sadness, and feast on the love that no matter what, my personal angel will show up and speak reassuring “tidings of great joy.”

How is the anticipation of Christmas hitting you?

But Mary treasured up all these things in her heart and pondered over them.

Luke 2:19

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