The sense of the joy - just around the corner - is flooding me right now! It's a week away.... Christmas! After you get through the oppressive To Do List..... can you wrap your head around what it would be like if you KNEW that Jesus was going to arrive in a week? I can't fathom what I would do :-)
I think about Jesus' mother Mary today. I LOVE to think about Mary - partly because I am Catholic and that is what we do. But when I think that the mother of Jesus was "just a mom"..... like me, it brings me to a sacred realization about my role. (Have you ever noticed that SACRED can easily get twisted around to SCARED? That sounds like another topic :-)
I describe myself as "just a mom"..... and that sounds like a put-down. But I don't mean it that way. It's what I want.... it's how I operate.... it's what I chose (and still choose) to do with my life.
But "just a mom" seems ordinary, doesn't it? I mean, there are millions of us. Imagine, millions of people nurturing others... content NOT to be in the limelight but to bolster and support. We cook, we clean, we patch up boo-boos, we make you laugh. We are the ones who are in the background cheering on the ones who are getting the attention.
Mary elevates that description even more! I mean... there is nothing in history that tells us of any yearnings that she might have had.... or her special skills.... like baking the best bread in Nazareth... or was she well-educated for a poor girl.... or was she ambitious before all this started? What did she do with her free time? She had to be special. God chose her. What we know of Mary is that she was chosen by God to be Jesus' "just a mom". But we also know that however special the person is, "just a mom" does not get much notice in history books :-) Even in sacred Scripture, what we read is not everything that happened. It is what we need to live our lives well. So sometimes we need to fill in the holes with our sacred every day experiences.
All the joys and fears I have experienced with my own family (and often friends), remind me about what Mary must have faced. When my toddler granddaughter recently did a ski-type slide down my indoor stairs and I heard her scream, my heart stopped and I felt that horrible adrenalin flow and then the intense joy when I realized that she was fine. It was horribly frightening and I felt terrible that I didn't protect her.
But these things do happen to all of us... right before our eyes! I cannot even imagine how I would feel - if I were trying to raise God's son! Oh my..... it increases my admiration for her - and brings my every day experience to a higher plane.
Mary is the one who watched over the child Jesus and helped him grow to be a man.
Mary is the one with the heart-stopping experience of watching him learn to walk and run and hit his thumb with Joseph's hammer.
Mary is the one who agreed to be the person standing in the background assisting Jesus in his human journey to adulthood. She even shows me how to let go! (The hole in the story that I must fill in now is what happens next. Mary had a long productive life after her child grew up. She was active in Jesus' ministry so she must have had skills that she continued to use and develop!)
Mary teaches me that what I do every day.... every time I serve - food, advice, cleaning, driving, whatever... is important. She teaches me how to watch over but not smother.... I can imagine how her heart broke when she ushered in his ministry at the Cana wedding. Did she know then that, as His ultimate prophet and disciple, she helped him begin the fulfillment of his personal destiny?
"Just a mom" She raised her child so he could leave her and live his own life. By her example, she brings "holy" into my everyday "mom-ness".
She said YES to God and became "just a mom."
Like me...... and like you.