Tag Archives: mother

Not so Holy Feeling

The remnants of sand and dirt felt crusty on Mary’s face from the long day’s journey and the ebb and flow of pain and sweat. The hard pain – the overwhelming stench – the crowds.  An hour from town there are tribes setting up camp everywhere.  How many more are crammed into this small town, Bethlehem?  The noise pounding in her head – the pains coming closer and closer. Oh, to just lie down.

Mary waited outside the inn for what seemed an eternity for Joseph to return.  His demeanor screamed as loud as Mary’s pain that he had failed.  There were no rooms.  The best he could provide was the privacy of the innkeeper’s barn.  A gentle touch on the shoulder from Joseph reminded Mary that he had done his best and was sorry it wasn’t better.  He wasn’t in charge of how the events of this night were unfolding.  The final steps to their accommodations were the worst on Mary’s swollen feet.

Joseph slid the barn door open only to gag from the disgusting odor.  Seems the barn was as full as the streets with visitors.  Asking one final thing of Mary, to wait in the fresher air outside while he found some straw and made bedding for her.  She submitted to her betrothed.  He didn’t sign up for this, but he certainly stepped up.

Together they slowly and gingerly walked in out of the cool night.  As he helped Mary lie down, she let out a scream from the pain.  Finally, free to let out the truth and anguish she felt.  The animals rustled and made noises like an out of tune orchestra.  Upon noticing their unexpected human guest, as if they knew who they were hosting, they laid down and became still.  As she settled in and became accustomed to the smells, sights and sounds.  She prayed.  God, we wanted better for your son.

It was a long and unfamiliar night for both Mary and Joseph; Mary too young to know much about birthing a child and Joseph too innocent.  Men didn’t get involved when a baby was coming.  But tonight was not about tradition or decorum – it was about changing the world – it was about hope and eternity colliding with all that humans thought was “normal”.  A new covenant squeezed into this night.

His birth wasn’t pretty.  Jesus joined humanity as a wiggly, slippery baby.  Mary was scared but led by what came instinctive and natural.  Joseph was awkwardly doing his best to provide blankets and a towel to wash the boy who would return the favor someday.

This night didn’t feel very holy, but it was real.  No airs or regal greeting parties for the King of Kings.  His mother felt the pains, his earthly father the helplessness, him the trauma every human baby in history feels during birth.  It was the heavenly Father who felt joy knowing He sent an invitation through Jesus. He knew he would get his son back and when He did, Jesus would bring all of the rest of His children.

The night was finally silent.  Mary could breathe without pain.  Joseph settled in next to his family. Mary-Film-The-Holy-Family For the first time since Genesis the world would be still and rest in the hope of Him who came to love, serve and save.

May every night of your coming days bring stillness, hope and peace in Jesus Christ.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

KK

6 Things I’m grateful for – One at a Time – Number 1

sqeasy vegetable soupThanksgiving Soup

I’ve been thinking a lot about what todays grateful item would be.  Reading over the previous five I am hopeful that much more of what I’m thankful for has been woven throughout.  I didn’t want today’s post to be the typical things like faith, family and friends.  You did read those things into the other posts, right?  If not, here they are; I am very thankful for my faith the holds me steady, my family that always stands firm with me, and my friends who encourage me and add so much to my life.

Today’s post is what I like to call Thanksgiving soup – a bunch of little things that are full of goodness and laughter that come together to give great flavor to my world.  It’s the simplest of things and people I encounter each day.  Times and encounters that can’t be plan, Fate brings them together.  We need to be paying attention to catch them.

This morning I got up to watch the Macy’s Day Parade – a Thanksgiving tradition of mine for many years.  Jay got up with me and we enjoyed a cup of hot tea, the Rockettes, and marching bands from all over the country.  About half way through, Cole got up and joined us.  There the three of us snuggled on the couch, laughing and playfully enjoying some fun.   It is these moments I have grown old enough and wise enough to cherish in my heart.  You can’t trade them.

I won’t bore you with the hundreds of other examples of the simple pleasures in life for which I am thankful.  But I will encourage you to slow down enough to enjoy a few for yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving.

All the best,

KK

6 Things I’m grateful for – One at a Time – Number 2

Today I am thankful to be both a mother and a wife.  I have a teenage son who is becoming an outstanding young man.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments where I have to stop, take a deep breath and realize he will grow out of some of the typical teenage attitudes.  But for the most part it brings me great joy and great challenge to raise him.

There hasn’t been a stage of raising Cole that I have liked better than the other.  I loved cuddling and caring for him as an infant.  As a toddler and small child he was all smiles.  The worst part of my day was leaving him at daycare every morning, but the best part of my day was picking him up in the evening.  He was into super heroes for many years, so I never had to fear danger because Spiderman or Buzz Lightyear was never far away.  Elementary years were when things got a little challenging because his questions got bigger.  I realized I needed some wisdom to help him begin to enter the bigger boy world of friends, sports, and building character.   Every stage has been enlightening and has driven me to my knees more than once.  Next year we head into high school; I’ll keep you posted.

Believe it or not, I sometimes feel less equipped to be a good and Godly wife than I do a mother.  Five years ago I married a wonderfully Godly man who loves me and Cole with all of his heart.  There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for either of us.  Getting remarried in my forties, I found myself older and smarter about how to do marriage right.  First of all, I know Jay needs to know I respect him.  I appreciate all of his hard work to provide for us.  I love his personal convictions and character.  Secondly, we work together equally.  If I need Jay’s help, he is available and willing.  Just about every morning I ask him if there is something I can do for him.  He is a very independent sort and he may not ask me if there is something I can help with.  The other reason I am mindful to ask him is that I know it’s easy for me to get lost in my own to-do list and not consider others.  Cole teases us because he’s never heard us fight.  We don’t.  We love each other and work very hard to think of the other person first.  With both of us doing this, it really makes being a wife a joy.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when one of us has hurt the other’s feelings.  In those times a little communication goes a long way.  The hurt doesn’t stew, we talk about it and each of us is quick to apologize.

These two men make it very easy to serve them as mother and wife.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to do so every day of my life.

All the best,

KK

A Child Being Mistreated

sad childOk, what would you do? I was sitting in a fast food drive-thru, had paid for my food and was waiting. Just as they passed in front of me the “mother” grabbed the little girl by the back of her head and yanked her hair clearly mad at her for something. The little girl screamed and began to cry. I almost came out of my car to grab the mother’s hair to see how she liked it. The scene hurt me to the core. The mother let go and went into the restaurant with the “grandmother” and the son. I still wanted to go after the mother, but decided all that would do would cause a fight with the woman not resolving her heart issue.

I said a prayer of protection over the children and for God to deal with the mother. I watched as the father comforted the child and she settled down. As they walked in I noticed on the girl’s t-shirt the saying, “God is on our side.” May she always know that saying as true.

What would you have done?

KK

Consider Mary

starConsider Mary; young, outcast, weary of nine months of whispers as she passed the other women rather than motherly advice from her elders.  Did the hormonal swings make her think she was crazy?  With no book, What to Expect when Expecting to guide her, she prepared for her baby and our king.  Did she know how to count the weeks and months until the birth?  In her third trimester did she understand Braxton Hicks contractions?  Joseph had come back ready to love her through this, did she wonder if he would change his mind?  Knowing they would be traveling to Bethlehem, did she do any “nesting” like most mothers, preparing space and blankets for wrapping her new born?

Each year at Christmas as a mother, I am drawn to Mary and her point of view.  Nine months pregnant, more than likely swollen and uncomfortable riding on the back of a lumpy donkey, did she weep with fear of giving birth?

Or in her discomfort, fear and pain, did the God who chose her, carry her.  Did she find peace in the silence and feel His strength and confidence surround her?

Jesus didn’t just feel his humanity when he was older and being tempted in the desert, even during birth the babe experienced the trauma of the birth canal and his first sounds were that of his mother’s scream during delivery.  No doubt Jesus immediately felt the dramatic contrast from the warmth of a mother’s womb to the coldness of the world.

All births are miracles, if you are a mother, you can imagine Mary holding her child close to nestle him in the warmth of her arms.  While we may have held our children in wonder about who this little person is and what they will be when they are grown.  Mary held her son knowing his purpose but not fully understanding his impact.

Recovering from giving birth, Mary lay resting with her child snuggled close and a loving but shell-shocked Joseph trying very hard to make their surroundings more comfortable.

Taking a deep breath of contentment, the young mother, forgetting the nine-confusing months rested under the star that made the silent announcement that her son had arrived and the world would forever be changed.

Gardening in the spiritual sense

Many times on Sunday afternoon after church and our family lunch, Jay will retire to a nap, Cole to the couch for relaxing with some TV and I head for the yard.  Some might call what I do, “yard work”, but for someone like me who works in a professional setting, climate controlled office 40+ hours a week, it’s much, much more than that; even though I end up hot, sweaty and very dirty.

I like plants and flowers and have garden areas in the front and back of our home.  It’s still absolutely amazing to me to plant a seed or small flower and watch it grow.  Isn’t that amazing?  Most of the time while pulling weeds or trimming I think about the sermon from that morning, our Creator and this earth He gave us that we so readily consume without a second thought.  Sometimes I think about all my questions for God, like “are weeds that bloom really weeds or just misplaced flowers?”  Today, I planted mums (.88 cents at Home Depot) and my trees from the Arbor Foundation (www.arborday.org).   Today I thought about the legacy of gardening I’ve inherited.  Family legend has it that my MaMaw Bray could poke a hole in the ground with her finger, put a stick in it and grow a tree.  My mother is a gardener and gave me something close to a stick with roots last spring assuring me if I put it in the ground I will have a Butterfly bush.  I did what I was told and sure enough there grew a Butterfly bush that was very busy this afternoon.

Being outside trimming and cleaning up the garden reminds me of how we should constantly be aware of how God nips and prunes us to become the beautiful person He sees when He looks at us.  At the end of my time outside I usually turn on the hose and give all the flowers a drink, hose down the sidewalk and my feet.  What a wonderful site and fresh smell; completely natural.

Ok, so to top it off, I like to mow also.  In fact, I’m a little sad that my son is getting old enough and motivated (by the pay) to want to mow.  It’s like getting a haircut.  You start out a little unkempt and in an hour you have a clean, well-manicured look and feel.  The same holds true for your lawn.  Within a short time (and even when you don’t edge) you have a tidy looking yard.  To make mowing really appealing in today’s vernacular; it’s pretty much instant gratification.  There, I said it.

Coming in from the garden I am sticky, dirty, and if I’ve worn a cap it’s pretty much sweat-plastered to my head until I’m safely in the bathroom where no one can see the mess of my hair.  I always feel my cleanest after a post-gardening shower.  From a dirty mess to clean and fresh, huh, pretty much the point the pastor was trying to make.

Think about it,

KK