Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mary did you know?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you've delivered
 Will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?

Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And when you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God.

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you're holding is the Great I Am.
 Lyrics written by Mark  Lowry

This song has been weighing heavily on my mind the last few years.  Being pregnant at Christmas time, I felt a close kinship to Mary.  Christmas, 2 years ago, I was 8 months pregnant with our third boy (doodlebug).  I was big.  I was uncomfortable.  And I was scared.  Much as I think Mary may have been around that same time roughly 2000 years ago.  I imagine that getting ready for that trip to Bethlehem, so very far along in her pregnancy was quite scary.  I also imagine that she did her best to try to turn those anxieties over to God.  Much as I was learning to do that year.  Being new to the faith, I was still floundering around and getting my footing.  I felt very unsure of myself.  In many ways.  Not just the faith, but in parenting 3 kids.  
  • What had we done???  
  • Would the Lord provide the means to support our family?  
  • Would I be able to get through the day, dealing with the demands of the kids and still come out with my sanity?  
  • What would this one be like? 
These were all questions that kept going through my mind a hundred times a day.  I was desperately trying to turn over my anxieties and "Trust in the Lord with all your (my) heart".  And for the most part it worked.

I often wonder(ed) how much Mary knew about that miraculous baby she was carrying.  Did she know it was the Son of God?  Or did she just think that God had put a "normal" baby in her?  How much of the Scriptures did she know?  Did Mary connect the prophesies with her and her baby?  Did she remember the writings about His death?  Did any of these things occur to her before she said that single word?  "Yes".  So much was carried in that one little. tiny. word.  Did Mary know what she was getting herself into?  I know I didn't.

As I'm sure she did, I've learned a lot about God's strength and that it's there for us.  Just for the asking.  How incredibly amazing is that???

You see, I'm a fairly recent convert to the Catholic faith.  During 2006, thanks to my brother-in-law's influence, we started listening to Dave Ramsey, a Christian financial counselor.  A lot of his precepts are based on Scripture and he often quotes various passages.  I guess the Holy Spirit was using Dave's show to lead me to Him.   Around September '06, I started feeling like there was something missing in my life.  I was working part-time, had 2 beautiful healthy kids and a husband that worked all the time.  I figured maybe the kids needed some organized structure in their days, a class or regular play date or something.  We were considering home schooling at the time so I figured maybe we should give it a try and see.  Well, that wasn't it.

Then I figured that maybe I needed something for myself.  A class or something.  Couldn't really find anything I liked, could afford and could fit into our schedule.  So I kept floundering.

Then came Thanksgiving of that year.  As my mother-in-law said the blessing, a ton of bricks fell on my head.  Not literally of course, but that was how it felt.  I could barely breathe.  That something missing.  That hole in my life.  That sense of incompleteness.  God.  God was what was missing from my life.  Once I formed the thought in my head, once I said the thought to myself, I could breathe and the weight I had been carrying around was lifted.  Now, how to go about filling in the hole ;)

At the time, my tradition was to set out Thanksgiving night and set-up the tree.  The following weekend was an all-out frenzy to get the house decorated for Christmas.  And that year was no different.  However, once the decorations were up it struck me that maybe, just maybe, this year should be a bit different.  Seeing as how I had just found God and all that.  So after pondering where to start, I decided to ask my sister-in-law for some advise.  I told her I was looking for some good kids books to introduce the real reason we have Christmas.  I wasn't ready to "come out" about my developing conversion yet.  I'm sure she about fell out of her chair when she read my email though.

So I spent the "Christmas season" (Advent) learning about God and His wonderful Son.  I got a bible, daily email devotions, read some books.  Keep in mind I told NOONE about this, not even hubby (who was raised Catholic and left the Church when he was 18.  He was away from the Church for ~18 years and was away at this time).  I was really liking what I was reading/learning and I had developed a bit of a prayer life.  I thought "hey, this is pretty neat!  Should I find a church?"  I had never understood the purpose of organized religion.  Why should you have to go to a certain place to talk to God?  Isn't He supposed to be everywhere???  So, no, I didn't feel that I needed to find a church.  I had found God, and that was enough for now, thank you very much.

Shortly after the New Year (2007), hubby and I talked and we found we were both in the same place.  I was open to God.  Listening to Dave had led him to become open again.  And he was ready to go back to Church.  He asked if I was, "no".  He asked if I minded him asking around about  local Catholic churches and him going.  "I don't mind" I told him.  So he asked around, and he went by himself one Sunday.  He asked me later that day if we could go as a family next Sunday.  I said I would think about it, but I didn't think so.  Come Saturday night I ask him what time we're going to church on Sunday.  He couldn't have been happier.

That first Mass was so awkward.  Velcro Boy had hurt his foot, and I spent the whole Mass trying to keep he and The Professor quiet.  All I heard was "In the name of" and "the Mass has ended..." (and lovelier words they couldn't have been at the time).  However, with all that I was willing to go again.  And then I was hooked.  It just felt so much like the right place to be, and it still does.  Now that I've been in several different churches, I've realized it's not the building, nor the congregation that makes it feel that way.  It's my Father's house, and that's where I belong.

Fast forward a bit (OK, a lot), we had the kids baptized, attended Mass regularly and I joined RCIA (October 2007).  Doodlebug was born Jan 2008 and I was received into the Church at the Easter vigil March 22, 2008.  He was baptized the following Sunday.  Ironically enough, all of our kids were baptized on Divine Mercy Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Good that you were able to find something to fill that void in your life. Since you've been listening to Dave Ramsey, I assume finances are a little tight for you, so please beware that the Catholic church is a huge business enterprise with many tactics to get inside your wallet. It would be a shame to see the church's business interests put your family's finances in jeopardy.


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