This year for Christmas stockings, the kids wanted to draw names and each fill another person’s stocking. They were most enthused about this idea, wanting to draw pictures and make crafts to fill them up. All month I have been gathering little knickknacks to help subsidize in case anyone’s stocking ended up a bit anemic. And just today I had each kid come to the laundry room where I gave them oranges and cuties to fill the stocking toes and then a few additional items.
Alden came in and I asked, “now who do you have?”
“Oh great! That will be so fun! Now, do you have anything to put in my stocking?”
“Oh, okay, well let’s see here.” (I scan the room quickly. I hadn’t collected knickknacks for myself!) “Oh perfect. I have my tea I make! I love my tea!”
“Ya, perfect, that’s good.”
“Oh, and the goat milk soap I make. Let’s put a couple bars of that in.” Alden looks super pleased. And I’m totally amused at this situation. “Oh, you know what I love?!! Our Maple Syrup.”
“Put some in!”
“And I love oranges, so let’s fill this stocking!”
His joy was palpable as he put each item into my stocking, and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Tomorrow morning, when I unpack each item, I’ll act surprised, but still be grateful, remembering that happy moment when he was filled with the joy of giving, feeling no insecurities of whether it is enough or not.
I have been reading an Advent devotional this month, and the first two days have stuck with me every day since. The first day was about the humility of God to bend so low, to come to earth. We are also called to be humble, but we will never be humble like God. God’s humility comes in reaching down to earth to save us.
The next day talked about the humility of Mary and Elizabeth. Mary responds, “May it be unto me…” Elizabeth responds, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to visit me?”
The author wrote of how when God scanned the earth, he chose these two women, both of whom were not positioning themselves, looking for accolades, and even when chosen still displayed total humility and meekness. It felt like such a hopeful word to me right then. Because motherhood is simply not full of external affirmations. There are no pay raises, promotions, incentive vacations, year-end bonuses or even a paycheck. The work of motherhood is largely unseen, quiet, with a steady discipline to faithfully do the same work day after day after day.
And it’s totally worth it. I believe in it with my whole heart. I’m just saying that to read of Mary and Elizabeth and their quiet obedience, and how God saw it and esteemed it, felt like really good news for mothers.