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Advent Devotions for Moms

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,[and then spent three months with Elizabeth and then returned]  before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1: 18-21

This is a very common passage. It’s Joseph’s awakening (he was asleep, so that’s a fair term) to Mary’s calling.

But did you ever consider what would have happened if Joseph put Mary away?

Joseph wondered.

I bet for days and weeks. I bet he prayed, fasted, and asked God, “Now what?” What if he doesn’t go through with being step-dad to God’s son?

He would have missed many blessings – fatherhood, husband to Mary, step-dad to Jesus.

But what about Mary? What would have happened to her?  God would have stepped in, so it’s not an interesting question.

A more interesting question is, “what happened to Mary while Joseph was wrestling?”

I would like to propose the unthinkable:         she felt Joy.

Her openness to receive a holy calling, which every calling is, because she was “favored” placed her in a position of confidence. She could let go and watch God show up for her, while also making the choices she needed to make to take care of herself and the baby. Joseph wasn’t her “problem”. She didn’t need to talk him into anything out of fear. She didn’t need to manipulate him to make him stay, nor lie to him that he was the father, nor act in any way contrary to what her soul knew to be true.

Because her soul deeply rooted in holy identity, purpose and calling.

Her soul didn’t need a man, plans, fixing things, or controlling anything to live in joy.

And that is really the essence of joy – needing nothing but God’s purpose and calling in the depths, where He gives strength as it gives us strength.

This is best described for those of us who are creatives (and we all are):

“…joy is her life’s blood, spirit-food, and soul-life all in one. …

Joy is the kind of feeling a woman has when she lays the words down on the paper just so, or hits the notes al punto, right on the head, the first time.

Whew. Unbelieveable.

It is the kind of feeling a woman has when she finds she is pregnant and wants to be.

It is the kind of joy a woman feels when she looks at people she loves enjoying themselves.

It is the kind of joy a woman feels when she has done something that she feels dogged about, that she feels intense about, something that took risk, something that made her stretch, best herself and succeed – maybe gracefully, maybe not, but she did it, created the something, the someone, the art, the battle, the moment; her life.

That’s a woman’s natural and instinctive state of being…. she emanates up through that kind of joy. That sort of soulful situation summons her by name.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run With the Wolves, pg. 222-223

This is the emanating joy we can bring to our children, our calling, our family, our lives – the joy of God in us, that needs no outer circumstance to go our way to remain joyful. No one has to act, behave, buy or do for us so we can love them, be happy with them, or make the holiday perfect.

Find the spark God placed in you for this season, your calling, your identity, your holy depth where joy is the bottomless cup in the soul’s cafe. (If you need more because you just figured out you aren’t done Christmas shopping and you thought you were: Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in in your presence; he will rescue, he will rejoice over you with joy,… he will joy over you with singing.)

That. Means. You.

Surrender to this Joy.

In Joy, Vikki

Advent Devotions for Moms