On Mary and Getting Ready

It’s coming on christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace.

Joni Mitchell’s been singing those lyrics in my brain today.

It’s coming on Christmas…

and we’re in “getting ready mode”.

John’s been gone at meetings in Houston so I’ve been using the time to get the house ready for Christmas.

And, as I wrote last week, our daughter Maggie got engaged and would like an early summer wedding, so we’re getting ready for that which means constant g-chats and texts with the girls in D.C., and phone calls to check dates with…well, everyone.

And then over the weekend the “to do’s” of Christmas hit me.  You know, like when you’ve noticed that it started snowing but then you don’t look outside for awhile and when you look again you can’t believe how it’s piled up.  There’s a lot that I’ve promised to do that has snuck up on me like a silent snow drift.

And I’m grateful for a full life, but I need to get ready for all of it.

This morning, in between doing all this getting ready stuff there were several distinct moments of silence and solitude when it felt like God said, “Hold it.  Shhhh.  I’m here.”

And in those moments I wondered what getting ready for Christmas really looks like.

 When Mary learned that Christmas was coming, how  overwhelmed…scared…inadequate did she feel?

But she got ready by paying attention to everything she knew about God.

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! (not “my perfect life” :))

 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful…”

Her “to do” list seemed to be full of what God had done and does and is.

What if this is God’s invitation to us?  To get ready by paying attention to the ways He’s already here.

Emmanuel.  God with us.  Faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

This whisper from God today was a reminder of another one that came when Katy was just under 2 years old.

We were visiting my parents who had their nativity – the painted one they got at Woolworths like a million years ago that’s still my favorite – set up on the hearth by the fireplace as always.

Katy, in her pink footy pj’s, took me by the hand and dragged me over to Mary and Joseph, shepherds, wise men.  And Jesus.

Not taking her eyes off the figures, she plopped down cross-legged and patted the floor next to her, indicating that I should join her.

She wasn’t talking much, but the three words she said I’ve never forgotten.




Are there ways you’re making space for silence, solitude, and paying attention to “God with us” this season?  I’d love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “On Mary and Getting Ready

  1. The Lord “whispered” to me this past week.. or rather shouted, ” I MISS YOU..put me first before all others, things, responsibilities, roles, deeds, etc (add your words here).”

    Mathew 6:33 came to my mind first, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Then I felt “called out” when thinking about what the Bible tells me in Mathew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    My reminder that sometimes doing “good roles” and putting others first doesn’t equal focusing on putting HIM first and focusing on the miracle of what this season represents… Thank you Lord for your Grace. –


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