The Annunciation by Francisco de Goya
Image from Art.com
Today, the Catholic church recognizes the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary and her willingness to accept that which she surely didn't fully understand. The readings of the day are carefully chosen to reflect this day - The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord:
Isaiah 7 & 8 (parts only here):
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:Psalm 40:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.Luke 1: 26-38 (parts only here):
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
I heard these readings during women's Bible Study this morning and found myself revisiting the words and messages throughout my day. I met a great friend for coffee and long overdue conversation. I spoke with my own mother and shared funny vignettes from our home's last few days. During all of the little parts of my normal "mothering" today, I reflected on this great event, this young woman's willingness to be mother for us all.
I also let the idea of mother remind me of the wonderful mothers I know: my own (of course), my mother-in-law (hysterical), my sister, and fabulous friends. All these inspirational women that make my own mothering journey more fun, more sensible, more loving, and more palatable (just being honest). Women my own age who are in the same stages of mothering adventures and women who have "been there, done that" and offer valuable hindsight thoughts; women who love this crazy adventure as much as I do and are as thankful to the Lord for the opportunity.
Many years ago, while hugely pregnant with my third child (Jazz), I reluctantly rolled (literally) out of bed and dressed for Mass. I was tired, achy, hurting some, and not wanting to leave the comfort of my bed and my fuzzy jammies. As I left Mass, a wonderful member of our congregation stopped me to offer words of encouragement. With eight children of her own, she had much encouragement to offer! I just remember her holding my hands and reminding me that my state of pregnancy just meant that, like Mary, I'd said YES and allowed the Lord to create something of his own within me. For just a brief period of time (although those nine months don't always seem brief), we turn ourselves over for His use and become something wonderful in the process - mothers.
I let that and other encouraging memories of conversations had and experiences shared color my day and make it more joyful. I made cookies with the four year old "just because" and skipped more laundry loads in favor of downloading silly music and dancing up and down the hallways with my girls. We danced to the LEGO movie's Everything is Awesome, some Bruno Mars favorites to remind us that we're great Just the Way you Are, a few Frozen movie themes, and Katie Perry's Roar. Because sometimes a mother roars. Sometimes a lot.
And we danced. Badly. And laughed. Loudly. And rejoiced that motherhood gave me all this.
Celebrate your motherhood today!
Today's post title from Hail Mary: Gentle Woman by Carey Landry