My first Christmas as Mom, I exhaustedly rocked a chunky newborn boy who was stuffed like a Butterball turkey in cutesy reindeer pajamas. I stared at the hypnotizing lights of the Christmas tree, hardly breathed for fear he’d wake, and I knew my life would never be the same. I prayed a prayer of thanks for this beautiful child, one for wisdom that I may have some clue how to keep him alive, and a request that I may be granted just a bit more sleep (side note: that one wasn’t granted for a couple of years).
As I have come into my own as a mother of two energetic boys and jumped head on into the culture of motherhood, I realize I was correct…my life is not the same. I also couldn’t disagree more with what society is telling the modern mother and moms-to-be concerning that life….The Mom Life. Christian women: there is an attack on you that has been going on since Mother #1 –Eve.
We don’t walk amongst The Garden in active-leisure pants made of leaves. No, now we are busy in the professional world, expected to work forty-hours a week and still manage and provide for the needs of a family. Generations ago, married couples had children purposefully for help on the farm, for companionship, and to carry-on the family name. Today, society tells us there are options. Birth control and abortion–hot topics, yes–but still: children are a “choice” and not the inevitable outcome of sexual relations. Now, society tells us that IF we decide to have children, we will undoubtedly lose our fit bodies, all of our time, privacy, and money. We gain an intermittently adorable booger-eating money-pit.
God, the creator the universe, tell us differently. The birth of our savior was proclaimed as joyful news (Luke 2:10-11). According to Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life, “Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfillment of joy at every child born into the world (John 16:21).” Pope John Paul II is saying that God’s answer to mankind, Satan, and the eternal destination for souls started with birth…Christ’s birth!—which is our Great Joy. There are only three eternal things in this world: (1) God, (2) His Holy Word, and (3) the souls of mankind… and those are brought into this world from a woman’s womb.
A woman’s genius (that which is unique to only females) is that she may bring life to the world. This is why we should never, ever make light of or devalue to role of motherhood. There is nothing more precious than a new soul. There is nothing that compares to a life. It is to be celebrated and never overlooked. It is not flippant or coincidence.
When asking a mother in all seriousness about the lies society tries to sell (think of joking videos or memes or sitcoms), I pray she wholeheartedly disagrees. You may lose your “Me-Time” now, but I don’t know a mother with grown children that wouldn’t beg for a glimpse of the old-times with her babies. And that yoga body that’s so long gone? I’d never hesitate to lose my trim physique—or my whole life, for that matter—for either of my children. That makes any stretch marks seem like glitter compared to what I would be willing to go through for them.
I think about Mary and how she gave birth to baby Jesus in a barn. She probably didn’t know the suffering that was to come to her first born on the cross. As she saw her son beaten, tortured, and mocked thirty-some years later, I can only imagine her prayers. She probably didn’t think about how she had been so tired, hadn’t had a manicure or girls-night in months, and that her former beach-body was now more relatable to a beached porpoise. No, I’m certain Mary never thought about any of that. Knowing of Mary’s humble heart, she was probably praying for others—probably mostly for her son, and for those who loved Him, and for those who had put Him on that cross, and I bet she asked for strength to be the woman God needed her to be.
To say the least, my children aren’t angels, much less are they Heaven’s Darling. Yet I can still relate to Mary, as I know I’ve been given gifts from God. I’ve been entrusted with the sacred role of motherhood and with that comes a lot of responsibility (Matthew 18:6). Yes, being a mother is hard. I’m blessed with family that I rely heavily upon when I’m at my wits end. I realize not everyone is as fortunate to have such. I’ve also created my own little community comprised of church folk, fellow-moms, and friends and, if you’re reading this, you have the resources to do the same and build up your own support system. We all need them.
I’ve lost myself in becoming “Mom”—the old Neena is gone. And I couldn’t be happier. I pray that God gives me the strength to be the woman He intended me to be. I pray for my children, mostly that they know and love Christ, and for those that love them, and for those that won’t. I also pray that God opens our eyes to the lies Satan has long whispered to society and that we begin to value mothers—along with fathers, children, the family, and human dignity.
Prepare your heart this Christmas season. Never let the busyness of this time of year pull you away from reflecting and being grateful for the most perfect and precious gift. Think about Mary, try to be more like Jesus, and hold your sweet babies tightly. Merry Christmas.
- But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (NASB)
- A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16:21 (NIV)
- “But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me–it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea!” Matthew 18:6 (HCSB)