Monday, December 24, 2012

Excited Anticipation

Unfortunately, I thought that not working full-time would entail a whole lot of catching up on blogging... I was wrong. It seems that the month of December (okay, the entirety of Fall) has flown by and I haven't even stopped to write about what has been on my heart. Well, this morning I would like to share a few thoughts from the past month about the anticipation of the arrival of our son. 

First, let me start by saying that this pregnancy has been wonderful. I have had little pain, no complications, and was sick for only a short period of time. I have experienced the best of pregnancy and I hope that all the rest of my pregnancies are just like this one! Another thing that has been wonderful about this pregnancy, is the amount of support and love that Chance and I have received from our family, friends, and church body. The overwhelming generosity of so many people has truly abounded in the last few months and we are astounded at God's goodness to us through all of you. Last month, two of my sweet friends (with the help of a lot more sweet people!) threw a baby shower for me. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, gift opening, game-playing, and prayer. It was a joy, and I hope that both of the hostesses know how much they are appreciated and loved. In addition, my mother, mother-in-law, aunt, and one of my best childhood friends were all able to come to Dallas to celebrate! What a joy! It truly was an unforgettable experience. Hudson now has more clothes than his mommy and daddy... combined. No joke. 

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, life did not slow down. Instead of perusing the stores at the mall for gifts, Chance and I spent our time packing up boxes. Last weekend we moved into a new apartment on the campus of Dallas Theological Seminary (where Chance is pursuing a Master's degree in Theology) and began to prepare for the arrival of Hudson. I've been organizing and re-organizing, putting things in closets and decorating. It has been a hectic month of preparation, both on the homefront and in the books. Chance finished his semester last week and we settled into our new abode just in time for Christmas.

So, as we've been counting down the days until our son's "estimated arrival date", I have been contemplating what it must have been like for another mother anticipating the birth of her child. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also pregnant at Christmas time, waiting for the arrival of her firstborn son. She was young and unprepared, yet humbly accepted God's will for her life without reservation. I can only imagine what is must have been like for Mary to travel some 70 miles to the town of Bethlehem with a man she probably knew very little, in order to begin her new life as a mother and a wife. But Mary was not just another woman about to give birth to a son, she was going to give birth to the Savior. Her anticipation of the baby about to be born to her was of something greater than the rearing of a son, but of the raising up of the Savior of the world. You can't exactly prepare to give birth to a Savior! The Scriptures portray Mary as one who thought of herself as a "the servant of the Lord..." (Luke 1:38) who viewed herself as being of a "humble estate" (Luke 1:48). When she heard what was spoken to her by the angel, and what was said of her son by the shepherds, she often contemplated quietly within herself these things that were taking place. I imagine that Mary attempted to make sense of everything that was happening around her, and probably asked God many times to help her understand who it was that this baby would be. 

Although I am not welcoming a Savior King into the world in just a few short weeks, I am preparing to welcome our firstborn son into the world. I, like Mary, am fearful and uncertain about what life will look like once he gets here. I have doubts and worries about how I will take care of him and if I will be a good mother. But also like Mary, I echo her poetic prayer, "And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. "(Luke 1:46-7, 49) I hope in God, the one who has given me the gift of this child. I am confident that he will be my help and my strength. As many as are the cares of my heart, God's consolations cheer my soul (Ps. 94:19). My hope for this new journey that Chance and I are about to enter into is that we would trust in our loving, sovereign God who has seen fit to give us a baby boy. We look forward to the day when we will be able to hold him in our arms and the wait will be over!
As exciting as Hudson's birth day will be, however, I know that nothing rivals the day that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). On that day, hope arrived into the world. Our anticipation of Hudson's coming should point us to the "firstborn of all creation" (Col. 1:15) whose life and death and resurrection fulfill the promise of eternal life. Tomorrow, we celebrate the first coming of the Savior, and every day after that we look forward to Christ's second coming when he will come in glory to make all things new. Oh what a day that will be.