Holy icicles, Batman – Charlotte is COLD today! I was shocked when I woke up and saw all the Facebook updates about 16 degree weather. (I realize it’s pathetic that I get my weather updates from a social networking site, but hey – y’all are more accurate than the meteorologists!!) I guess if it wasn’t cold, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas, right?
Great things are happening this month – Next Level Church finished up the Fireproof series and kicked off the new series, A Christmas Carol. I LOVE when December hits and we get to hear Christmas music at church. It makes me so happy! Friday night, we had another successful and hilarious Girls Night Out – over 50 women came out and had a great time getting to know each other. While there, I talked a little bit about one of my favorite parts of the bible, and since it happens to be fitting for Christmas time, I thought I’d share it with you here. If you were at Girls Night Out, there will be a test at the end of this blog to see if you were paying attention. Just kidding – you can skip over it!
Someone who plays a huge part of the Christmas story is of course, Mary. In Luke 1 vs 46, Mary begins what is called her song of praise. This is one of my favorite passages in the bible, because it reminds me how strong and courageous Mary was. She was young but wise beyond her years. She was humble and faithful and it is so inspiring to read her words of praise. These next few verses are called the Magnificat – which also happens to be one of my new favorite Christmas songs. Do yourself a favor and listen to the song today:
It reminds me that no matter what God asks of me, nothing can even begin to compare to the responsibility Mary was given. She was looked down upon for being young, unwed and pregnant. She gave birth to the Savior of the world, and she would watch her son grow and be mistreated, misunderstood and tortured. And someday, he would die a horrible death – what Mary so graciously agreed to do is breathtaking. And she didn’t tell God she’d do it with conditions. She didn’t grumble and complain and ask why me – she moved forward with faith. The angel told her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” And the bible tells us that IMMEDIATELY, Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
It is a humbling response. It makes me think back on times God has called me or pushed me to do something that didn’t make sense. That may have been strange or uncomfortable. How did I respond, and how will I respond in the future? In times of doubt or feelings of uncertainty, I try to remember this prayer. And I know that I can handle whatever God asks of me.
Today, read through Mary’s song of praise and think about what it means to you:
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
And of course, just for fun – some baby updates!
How far along? 18 weeks (my midwife changed my due date based on how the baby was measuring at the very first ultrasound)
Total weight gain: Today the scale says 6 lbs
How am I feeling? Other than being zombie like in my constant fog of exhaustion, pretty good 🙂
Maternity clothes? Depends on the day. Today I’m wearing regular clothes.
Sleep: Nighttime sleeping is going much better! Not so much waking up at night
Movement: Yep! I’m feeling a lot of popping and rolling and poking around in there!
Gender: Not sure, but we’ll know in about a week!
Belly Button in or out? In
What I miss: Buying cute fall/winter clothes! I am seeing so many adorable things in the stores!
What I am looking forward to: Finding out if we will be buying pink or blue!
Cravings? I have been craving a lot of fruit mostly – but today at lunch I had an overwhelming desire for a peanut butter, jelly and pickle sandwich. Yes, I made it. Yes, I ate it. And yes, I know how gross it sounds. But it was awesome 😉