Mary and Motherhood


I’ve been struggling lately. It’s this inner battle I fight with myself. I’ve been able to keep it to myself for a while but it’s starting to bubble to the surface. It’s a lie. But it feels so true sometimes.

I’m not enough. I have nothing to offer.

I feel it at the end of the day when the kids are finally asleep and I’m barely awake myself. I look around and it’s a disaster. Little this-and-thats all over. Dishes in the sink. Coffee grounds still untouched from so very early this morning. I hear my husband’s words in my head to my own voice, “why is there crap everywhere? Why can’t you just clean up as you go?”
I don’t know, I guess I’m just not enough.
I hear it again when I look at my newsfeed and see friends getting together and going to events. I feel a pang of guilt about my absence. I can’t go to those things. I can’t meet you for lunch and bring my two kids. I bet they think I could but I know what would happen. My baby would hate the commotion, refuse to nurse and then would fuss the whole time. My daughter would whine and interrupt a lot. She would get have to pee right when the food comes out and I wouldn’t even touch my food because I forgot to order something I could eat with one hand and a fussing baby in my lap. You deserve more of my attention. You deserve a better friend. I’m not enough. I have nothing to offer.
I feel it pretty heavily this time of year. The season of giving. I love giving gifts. I love surprises. I love it all. But my wallet isn’t as big as my heart. At least not in this stage of my life. There are so many incredible people in my life. I want to give them so much. I want to show them my gratitude and my love for them. But I have nothing to offer. I’m not enough.
See how easy the lie is to swallow? It goes down smooth and seamlessly; undetected.

Something about motherhood has intensified the story of Jesus’ birth for me. Maybe it’s because of how I got here. I’ve felt the judging glares burn red on the back of my neck after I pass. I’ve heard the whispers and felt the cold abandonment of those who used to be so close.
I was pregnant before marriage in a religious community. I can hardly imagine how Mary felt back then. I can hear the lies in her head, “Nobody is going to believe me. I’m just another girl. How can I be enough? I have nothing to offer.”

I can see her in the early months of motherhood, still healing. Still in a haze from the impact of it all. Doubting herself. “Why would God choose me? How can I possibly be enough? I have nothing to offer.”

Then, I hear Gods voice. True. Strong. Pure.
“I didn’t make a mistake. I chose you because of who you are in Me. You are enough. Others may not understand what I’ve called you for. They may not believe what I’ve told you, but you are who I have chosen.”

When she was isolated. When she was poor, with nothing but a stable over her head, God chose her to mother the Immanuel. She would rock the savior to sleep, late in the night. She would hold his little hands and help him learn to walk on his own. She would feed him, bathe him and raise Him who would save us all. Oh, the weight and importance of it.

The message God sends us all in the story of Christ’s birth is profound.

“I came as a nobody to save everybody.”

You don’t have to have money or power. You don’t have to be perfect or even ready. I even hear a message to mothers. That our job is important. We are raising children who can grow to change the world. We are enough and have plenty to offer. 

Merry Christmas, my friends. I pray that this one hits home. That the message of Christ’s birth is made new in your heart. Be well. You’re enough.


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