Merry 4th Day of Christmas, friends! I’m glad we don’t have to stop celebrating Christmas quite yet, even if the 25th is now past. I love the old English tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, carrying us right up to Epiphany on the 6th of January. Sometimes I enjoy the days after Christmas even more than the busy days leading up to it, since the pace tends to be a bit slower, with time to relax together and just be. And to still enjoy Christmas lights and Christmas music, and the sweet reminders of how Immanuel came to be with us 2,000 years ago.
When it comes to Christmas music, I’m rather an old-fashioned girl…my favorite albums are traditionally-flavored, if perhaps less-known, like Colonial Christmas, Celtic Christmas, English Country Christmas, and Christmas with the Trapp Family. And of course Michael Card’s The Promise—you may know how dear that is to my heart from this post last year —and Peter, Paul, and Mary’s holiday album too.
In recent years, I’ve also come to love some more contemporary Christian Christmas songs, like “Breath of Heaven” and “Mary, Did You Know?”—or the lovely “Strange Way to Save the World.” But one that often kept running through my mind this Christmas season has been “Getting Ready for a Baby.”
I discovered this song a few years ago when we were preparing to do our first staged reading of my script for The Promise, and I shared it with some of our cast then because the words seemed so perfect for the story and characters we were portraying. But this year, the lyrics have been on my mind and heart for a different reason…because this year, though in very different circumstances than Mary and Joseph long ago, Anthony and I too are getting ready for a baby.
We found out in early September that this little one was on the way, but it has been a rather tumultuous fall with several episodes of bleeding, two emergency room visits, and finally a full month of bed rest to try and heal the subchorionic (new word for me!) hemorrhage that was causing all this trouble and prayerfully keep our baby growing safe inside. It hasn’t been easy, but we are so thankful for all the family and friends who have surrounded us with prayers and support, and for the Lord’s hand of grace and protection over our little one. I’m grateful for a supportive school who made it possible for me take four weeks off from teaching five grade levels in the middle of the semester, and for my amazing husband, who uncomplainingly took on laundry, cleaning, shopping, and caring for me on top of his fulltime job—not to mention starting another one taking over teaching karate classes, as his Sensei just retired. And so thankful our last ultrasound showed that the hemorrhage has healed and our baby seems to be doing well.
It’s funny…I’ve wanted to be a mommy as long as I can remember, and as a single young woman a dozen years ago I felt quite ready to take on wife and motherhood with confidence. Now, I often don’t feel so sure. It feels an awesome responsibility to be entrusted with a tiny human life with an eternal soul, and I frequently don’t feel quite up to the task. But as I was reminded with stark clarity each time I found myself lying on a hospital emergency room bed, our lives aren’t in our hands. We aren’t up to the task…but God is. And the more I remember than we are not in control, nor are we adequate—but He is—the more I can rest, and trust that as He has carried us through all the unexpecteds this fall, He will continue to see us through whatever we will face in the months and years to come as we enter this new season.
And so I’ve thought of Mary and Joseph, in this Christmas time—of how, if Anthony and I feel often overwhelmed and inadequate in getting ready for this baby, how much more so they must have in getting ready to receive the newborn Son of God. Of the manifold unexpecteds they faced—an unmarried pregnancy, misunderstandings, angelic visits, an imperial decree and difficult journey, birth in less-than-ideal circumstances—and yet how God was with them.
And how, by His grace and because of that long-ago coming to save us from our sins, He is with us too.
I will hope to post a bit more frequently now, to share our journey with you over these next few months leading up to our “Baby Roo’s” expected arrival in early May (since we have decided not to find out the gender till our baby’s birth, and in honor of our love for Winnie the Pooh, we have christened this little one “Roo” for now). And to catch you up on the past few months also—including some writing news, for I was blessed to have one of my manuscripts win another Genesis Award at the ACFW Conference in September
But in the meantime, may you have a blessed rest of this holiday season, with moments to slow and ponder yet again the wonder of His coming, of His love for you, and His continuing Light in the darkness of our world.
Merry Christmas, friends! We’ve still got eight days of it to go. 🙂