Born In Me

  In preparation for Christmas, I have been trying to keep my posts Holiday centered this week.  Today, I want to share with you, a very well done video of a BEAUTIFUL song called, “Born In Me” {Mary} by Francesca Battistelli.  Please take a moment to watch!

I know I have been sharing a lot from the archives for this countdown to Christmas week, and I hope that doesn’t bother you. Sometimes, you just can’t say it better than the first time! 🙂

May Jesus be real to you today, as you prepare to celebrate His birth in the coming days….

Hugs, T

From the Christmas archives:

One Family, One Journey. One Child who would change the world forever.

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Have you seen the movie: The Nativity Story?

It was so good for me to emotionally go on that journey with Mary & Joseph. It made things very real to me.

I mean, can you imagine how difficult it was for Mary, an unwed teen, to be scoffed by her friends who think she’s nuts, when she says she has never been with a man, but is pregnant anyways? Or how about having to tell her parents the big news: Did she wait until she was showing, or tell them right away?

How about feeling the threat of DEATH by stoning looming over her head, should Joseph choose to file charges against her?! I wonder, since her parents choose Joseph as her betrothed, does she even know him that well at this point?

Or love him?

Does she know enough about him to think he’ll believe her story? How scary to not know what will happen next!

Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement, totally acceptable in that day, he treated Mary with such kindness. What a gentleman! He didn’t want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. I am so glad God chose to send an angel to Joseph in a dream, to verify Mary’s story, that way, he could be reassured that his marriage to her WAS God’s will after all.

When the angel explained that the child within Mary was indeed conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us, did he freak out!? Did he sit in wonder and awe? Don’t you think he lay awake the rest of the night, thinking of what his life with Mary was going to be like?

 Parents of THE MESSIAH?

That is some heavy thinking for the middle of the night! He willingly took Mary to be his wife, knowing they were being looked down upon in their town. Maybe this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus.

And later, as they are married and traveling to Bethlehem, I was shocked to see footage of Joseph’s bloody, calloused feet. I had never thought of this before, but why wouldn’t they be? They walked the approximately 60-90 miles to Bethlehem, where the census was taken.

Poor Mary, riding or walking that long journey, big and pregnant. I bet her baby pressed on her bladder, making them stop often, I bet the heat was unbearable at times, I bet nights were spent in discomfort, sleeping on the hard ground.

How about going into labor in a town far away from her mother and all things familiar? A newly married young woman, who had never been intimate with a man, giving birth to her first child, who also just happens to be the Savior of the world!!!!

Do you remember that feeling, as you realized you were about to give birth to your first-born? I mean actually bring them into the world.  Those emotions you felt, as you anticipated, yet dreaded the labor part. Did sweet Mary cry for her momma? Did she squeeze Joseph’s hand as hard as she could as she contracted? Was he a good coach? Did she trust him to help safely deliver this precious child in a stable, or was she afraid even though the angel said, “fear not”?

Nativity

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Oh, the joy she must have felt, as she lifted that precious child in her arms, counted his ten tiny fingers and toes, and marveled at all that had just occurred.

How overwhelmed she must have been, as she looked around their humble dwelling, wondering what she had to offer the King of Kings?

Wondering about this babe, who would grow into a toddler full of questions:When would they know, that he knew, He was the King of Kings? A look in his eye? The words from his mouth? Did she wonder what kind of challenges that would create?

And what about when all those stinky Shepherds showed up? Exhausted and emotional, what was she feeling as they came and touched her new baby? You know how protective first time moms are! Did she wish she could have them wash up first?

As the shepherds left, they were still praising and glorifying God, but sweet Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. Don’t you think at that moment, it must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the precious child she had just worked so hard to bring into the world—was the Savior of the World. Wow!

How real everything becomes, as you watch in this movie, and see those precious little lives lost, as Herod in fear of the newborn King, commands all the baby boys under the age of 2 to be killed. Oh, the heartache of those mothers, screaming as their baby sons were ripped from their arms and slain, I just wept and wept.  Such mourning happened in those towns in the months to follow, as broken-hearted mothers put back the pieces of their shattered lives.

I have to wonder, as Mary and Joseph were told by the angel to flee in the night to safety, how old was Jesus at the time? A little boy full of questions? Or still a newborn babe?  Did Mary’s pumping adrenaline kick in?  Did those ‘mother bear’ instincts get her through? Or was she paralyzed with fear, and have to be prompted by Joseph to, “Stop crying and pack!” so they could get going? How did she manage? I can’t imagine what she was feeling, still in a foreign land, far from home, now fleeing to Egypt to be refugees there!!  And wait, Mary’s journey isn’t done yet, still later, another dream tells them to return back home, FINALLY!  Who knows how many years later this occurred?! What a STRONG woman!

Watching this movie was eye-opening to say the least!  It is my hope, that this Christmas, you will celebrate the humble beginnings of our Lord and King. and remember, just how real this was to a newlywed couple in Bethlehem, who experienced a life changing, WORLD changing moment…..as they held our Lord and Savior in their arms and kissed his sweet head.

 

Dear Abby,

This is post 2 for today, be sure to head back one post for Bacon & Swiss Salad, a MUST HAVE at all our Family Holiday Functions!

From the archives:

Dear Abby,

Everything in my life is going wrong! What seemed like the ideal dream has become an unending nightmare. Only a few weeks ago everything seemed perfect: I had just graduated from school with honors. My girlfriend and I got engaged the same day my father made me a full partner in his construction business. I was so pumped . . . and definitely in love. Life seemed complete. Even my faith was at an all‑time high.

It all started falling apart one Friday when my fiancée met me after work. She looked like something was wrong . . . but I couldn’t get her to talk about it. So we went to a basketball game that evening, but my head wasn’t in it. My imagination was running wild.

Didn’t she love me anymore? Did she want to call off the wedding? Did she have cancer?

The questions kept coming. I was a nervous wreck. Afterward, we went out for dessert. She didn’t say anything for a long time. Finally, she whispered the words I hadn’t even dared to think:

“I’m pregnant!”

Then she burst into tears. I was stunned.

“You? But we haven’t even . . .”

A wave of nausea hit me as I realized the horrible truth: Since it wasn’t me, it had to be someone else.

“Who was he?” I forced myself to ask.   I couldn’t decide if I really wanted to know.

She looked down, “I can’t tell you,” she said, “You wouldn’t understand. I just want you to know I still love you and want to be your wife!”

If you loved me you wouldn’t be in the condition you’re in,” I snapped.

I couldn’t help seeing the love in that face I’d come to cherish. Abby, I knew I still loved her with my heart, that’s why I hurt so much. How could I continue to love someone who slept around? I was too shocked to say anything the rest of the evening. I paid the bill, took her home, and drove away.

Although I’ve never been very emotional, I cried myself to sleep. I woke up early the next morning angry & full of questions.

How could she do this to me? Didn’t she love me? Hadn’t we promised to save ourselves for each other? Who was he? How long had they been sleeping together? How could they manage to see each other without me even suspecting? Didn’t she believe in the standard God had set for relationships?

I went all week without seeing or calling her. I just couldn’t. My heart ached. My stomach burned. My head pounded nonstop. Then she showed up today just as I was closing shop.

 ”I’ve made arrangements to leave town for a while,” she said. “I think it’s best for you & me & for our families. I’ll be staying at my cousin’s place downstate.”

I must have been frowning because she added, “Don’t worry, my love, I’ll be in good hands.”

She handed me a piece of paper with a phone number where I could reach her & then left. I haven’t heard from her since, and that was 3 months ago.

Abby, what should I do now? I can’t imagine going ahead with the engagement. My trust in her has been destroyed. Still, the thought of walking away leaves me even more confused. The shame and embarrassment of being pregnant and not married in our small town would make her the target of endless harassment.

On the other hand, if I stand by her & pretend that the child is mine, I’d destroy my reputation . . . something I don’t think I’m willing to risk to cover her selfish mistake.

My gut feeling is to break off the engagement & try to forget what happened. I care too much for her to make an ugly scene. Maybe I could tell our friends that it was my idea to break up & she had to get out-of-town to escape the pain of my decision?

Abby, I want to do the right thing. But I just can’t decide. Should I stay with her regardless of what others think? Or should I quietly break off the engagement and try to get on with my life?

Signed,

A Devastated Boyfriend

And then came the reply:

Dear Devastated Boyfriend,

Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. What’s conceived in her is from Holy Spirit, Christ is in her. You’ll see. Just open the door of your heart to Mary, you’ll begin to experience the wonder of Christ’s presence firsthand.

Signed,

Abby

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Do you ever really stop to think about Mary as a real person?!  A real teenager with a REAL dilemma on her hands.  This “Dear Abby” letter brought everything home for me, I got it.

We know the last chapter of this story, but poor Mary didn’t.  She feared for her very life, as she could be STONED for her “indiscretion”!  Would you, as her parents, have believed her?  Do you know how HARD that must’ve been for all of them?

As we approach the Christmas season, remember the reason we celebrate, remember a young unwed mother, great with child making a journey to a land not her own, away from her mom and everything familiar.  Remember her FAITH, even though she didn’t know the Happily FOREVER After was to come for all of us.

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Blessed be the name of the Lord,

~T