And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
– Luke 2:19, NAB
Every once in a while, I gaze upon my children in wonder.
I wonder at the people they are becoming. Their kind and gentle ways. Their warm and giving hearts. Their open and receptive minds. His strong, quiet leadership. Her grace and beauty and laughter. His creative mind while he works.
And I wonder where did you come from? How did you get here?
But, of course, I know.
I was there for every bit of it.
I was there when the idea of them began forming in my mind even when I was only a very small girl, playing dolls, playing house. Mimicking and practicing the role of mother, long before I knew how a girl even became one.
I was there dreaming and wishing as a young woman about my Mr. Right. Scribbling his name and mine together over and over again. Trying them on for size. Spending every free moment with each other, but never getting our fill. Waiting and hoping and dreaming until finally two became one.
I was there as the thread of my old life was picked up and sown into the fabric of a new one. In this new life together, strengths and weaknesses could be measured and balanced. Neither had to bear all the weight of any burden alone, and joys and blessings were multiplied because not only one felt it, but two.
I was there when this love for our life together could not contain itself. When he and I gave of ourselves so much to each other that our love grew, right within me, into a life all its own.
I was there when that love spilled out of me and gazed right back at us with its own two eyes, not once, not twice but three times. Him and him and her. Lives of love themselves, born into love, and creating love anew.
All of this I know as I gaze at my three children, each one of them a miracle of our life and love—my husband’s and mine.
I was there for every bit of it, and still I look at them and wonder where did you come from?
While my children are my most profound and miraculous birth stories, they are not, however, my only birth stories.
In my life I have also given birth to other ideas and dreams that have manifested themselves in other ways: faith formation programs and presentations, this blog, handmade gifts and goodies for family and friends just to name a few. Simpler, sure, but nonetheless ideas of love birthed into being.
Even if only to a few people.
Even if only for a short time.
Yesterday, as I sat in church I listened as our deacon reminded us that Mary is not “just” the mother of Jesus. She is the Mother of God. She is The God-Bearer, fully human.
And, like the old song, I wondered did she know? I like to think she didn’t know–at least not fully–what the miracle of her child meant for the world. I like to think she only had a hunch sometimes, or caught a glimpse here and there, limited, in her own humanness because it makes her more relatable. I like to think she doesn’t mind my doing so.
And I wondered how else I might be like her. How we all might be. And I thought about all of these things as I’ve told you.
And I’ve ended up with this: Mary allowed God to enter into her and create in her so that she could bear God into the world for all to know Him and see Him anew.
As we start a new year, may we all take some time to gaze back upon the miracles in our lives–big and small–that God has created in us over the past year or years. Like Mary, may we “keep all these things, reflecting on them” in our hearts, staying open to the possibility that God is still working in us creating life anew—even long after our child-bearing years– so that we may continue to bring Him forth to others.
Reflect: What do I consider the biggest miracles in my life? How/when have I been the face or hands of God to others? What is the one big miracle growing within me right now? How might that miracle be made manifest to others?
Pray: God, thank you for the miracles in my life. Thank you for making me part of your divine plan. Help me see and celebrate the ways you’ve created things through me. Help me stay open to your plans for me. Take me. Enter me. Create in me. Bear yourself to others through me. I am yours.