5:15 am

My sweet little girl has her first cold.  She woke up at 5:15, just wanting her mama to hold her.  I held her to my chest and sang to her and she immediately relaxed into a deep sleep.

I rocked her on that glider a few minutes longer, looking at her sleeping face and thinking, you are my daughter.

And then I couldn’t go back to sleep.  My little girl might need me again.

It’s amazing how fast that instinct hits you—that I would do anything for you, give up anything for you, jump in front of a moving truck to push you out of the way, sacrifice my sleep in case you wake up sniffling and want some comfort, give you my energy and body and love and time and EVERYTHING instinct.

For women who physically deliver, that connection with your baby and that mothering instinct is aided (some would say “directed”) by hormones.  I won’t downplay the real and loving choices there—hormones only lead you so far.  But I will admit that I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t feel that overpowering love and connection with Zoe right away.  I thought that I might need to work at it a little.

God is good.  My instinct began here: the moment she was placed into my arms.

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I couldn’t stop looking at her beautiful dark eyes, which were staring up at me, wondering who I was and what this bright place was.  I couldn’t stop kissing her sweet little face.  I couldn’t stop smiling and cooing and talking to her saying, “your mama is here” and “I love you.”

I understood Mary’s joyful song, “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.  His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things…”  (Luke 1:47-53a)

This Christmas I celebrate Mary’s story in a different way, understanding her emotions of joy and awe and amazement a little more fully than I have before.  God chose US for this amazing job.  It’s surprising and wonderful and all I can do is say “thank you”…and stay up to comfort her when she needs it.

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