The Clean &
Cozy Home Journal
A Mary Christmas
Before I write more
I want to
point out that I didnt misspell the above greetingJ.
I want to give
you something to consider and reflect on as you are making memories with your husband,
children, family, friends, and any one who crosses your path.
Mary --- the precious mother of Jesus
--- didnt celebrate Christmas as we do. Some might say she didnt celebrate
Christmas at all but she lived Christmas and the reason for it was more real for her than
any of us can begin to imagine.
The night this lovely lady went
through labor and delivered a precious Son was one she would always remember. Any one of
us who has ever held a newborn child ---from our own body or by the blessing of another
woman --- knows this feeling. This knowledge that her life is changed forever the instant
---that very precise moment --- when her baby makes his/her way into the world.
Mary had even more to consider because
her Son was the Son of her God. This Son was born a Savior. A King. A Lord.
Can we imagine the depth of the scene? Can we
possibly press our minds --- our hearts within --- deeply enough to capture even a tiny
glimpse of this mother and her newborn child? Are we able to picture the earthly
fathers part and the exact thoughts of GOD HIMSELF the moment Jesus Christ entered
this world? It is almost too much
it IS too much!
Mary held her newborn Son close to her heart and gazed
upon His perfect face. She felt His warm breath against her cheek. She must have let His
tiny fingers wrap around her finger as she held the dear little hand inside her own.
Tears form just with the picture of it
We can only marvel at her thoughts as she tenderly drew
Him to her breast and nourished Him. We can only dream about how it was for this young,
loving mother in her caring for the tiny bundle --- truly sent from Heavens splendor
to her arms.
We can only wonder
at her thoughts as she cared for this tiny One. Even though she knew that He was
everything the angel told her He was
she didnt know the extent of how His life
would be. As she touched the soft hair on his head she didnt know there would be
thorns shoved into the softness she was caressing. As he grew and she washed His toddler
hands and fingers
she didnt know that one day they would have nails driven
through them. As she helped him put on His little clothes she didnt know that one
day people would take his clothes away and sell them as He suffered.
We can only guess at how she mothered Him as he grew from
an infant to a toddler and on to a little boy. We can imagine her calling Him in to eat
and drink not realizing that one day there would be a supper to represent His broken body.
Mary was with Jesus each year from His birth and through His childhood
came each year just as Christmas does now and we have to wonder if she ever thought His
birthday would be what it is? And what is it? How many times during this holiday do we
proclaim that we know the reason for the season
just to get as caught up
as the next one in the many activities until the birthday we are supposed to be
celebrating and honoring is in the background of everything else?
May we think that through the teenage years of Jesus that
his mother ever felt inadequate? Did she ever worry that she hadnt taught enough,
held enough, or loved enough? Did she ever look at her growing Son and reflect on how time
seemed to take Him so quickly from a place on her lap to the tall half grown man sleeping
as she looked on? Did she ever long for one more day to hold Him closer to her heart? We
know that when He was 12 and stayed behind at the temple and it took five days to find Him
(one days traveling before they noticed Him gone
one day to travel back
and three once they returned there) that His mother said to Him: Son, why have You
treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.
(Luke 2:48 NASB). Joseph and Mary didnt understand His answer of having to be in His
Fathers house. He did go back with them and remained under their authority and His
mother was treasuring these things in her heart.
Mary watched Jesus do things that no other boys His age were doing but she also
watched Him through being a real kid and a real teen
a real Son. She was there when
He performed His first miracle
what complete pride she must have felt for Him! What a difference her life must have been for her when
He left home to go do the work of God. How she must have missed His smile
ways of making her laugh
His very perfect presence in her life.
This Son grew into a great man and a busy One. A mother
had given the years since His birth to caring for Him and she could only hope and pray she
followed God so that her job was enough.
If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of Mary
could we have handled it with such grace? Could we have withstood watching our child
---our dear and beloved child --- experience the things Mary saw her Son go through? Jesus
was not her only Child. She had other sons and daughters and she had to take care of them.
She took them with her to go see Jesus
when He had been out preaching, healing, and giving instructions to His disciples. Did she
understand when He kept on preaching and shared the truth to those listening about anyone
who listened to His Father being His mother and His brothers? Maybe she did at first and
maybe she didnt but we can trust that if she didnt right away
it came to
her at some point. She had to consider those emotions and deal with them. What would we
have done in the exact same circumstances?
We have to wonder how it felt to Joseph and Mary when they found out the town they
had lived in and raised Jesus in had thrown Him out! They knew the family well enough to
ask --- when Jesus had spoken in the synagogue --- is this not Josephs
Son? (Luke 4:22 NASB). How that could have hurt these parents
to hear that the
very people they had known and lived around for all the years had thrown their own Son OUT
from where He had been raised! It didnt stop Marys Son
stop the Son of God. He kept on doing the will of His Father.
Mary was there. Mary was there at the cross when her Son --- her beloved Son ---
was nailed. He saw her and He saw His beloved disciple. He gave His mother to be
Johns mother and John to be her son. He didnt say more to them by what I have
read of this story. He went on to say He was thirsty and that it is finished
before bowing His head and giving up His Spirit.
Oh, Mary. What thoughts ran through your mind? Did you see the infant swaddled in
your arms so soon after birth with hair so soft and eyes so dear? Did you remember the
the warm breath from his sweet sleeping sighs on your face? Were you
remembering His tiny fingers clasped around your one or the feel of His tiny hand held
closely inside of yours? Did you go back in time to wiping clean His upturned face
His learning how to dress Himself
His running fast in play? Did you play through
your mind His every smile
His every word said to you
His every expression?
Oh, Mary, did you cry? Did you cry ---not because He
followed God as you always knew He would --- but because you missed Him desperately? Did
you trace back in your memory every single moment you had with Him from His life changing
Sweet Mary, did you know? Did you know that years and
years later people would be celebrating the birth of that Son with Christmas? If you saw
the festive time in December
would it mean as much as the birthdays you beheld?
Would you shed a tear every time you saw an X in place of Christ in Christmas
and every time a home was filled with Santas and snowmen but no baby Jesus?
May we change the Merry into Mary
and remember her role in the life of Jesus during this Christmas. May we think of Him at
the time of His birth and the difference it made in the world the very moment He was born.
That day a Savior was born
a King arrived
a LORD rested warmly in the arms of
His mother. Let us think on this when we celebrate His birthday.
you are holding that newborn baby
savor the warm breath, the soft skin, and the
curled up fingers and think about Mary doing the same with baby Jesus. When you are wiping
the upturned face of that little one you call your own
picture Jesus looking up to
Mary. While you are brushing hair of your growing girl
remember the soft hair Jesus
had and how the thorns cut into the precious head of Jesus. If your teenager is doing or
saying things you dont understand
remember that even Jesus had parents that
didnt understand everythingJ. Know that anyone with
a child 33 or under can take anything they do with that child/those children and wonder at
Mary doing the same with Jesus.
sure that somewhere amidst all your reindeer decorations, bows, gifts, and lights there is
a baby Jesus to look upon.
your husband, watch your children of any and all ages sleeping and wonder if Mary
and Joseph ever did the same.
in your Bible about the birth and life of Jesus. Journal your thoughts. Meditate on the
entire story with every free moment.
the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind.
Candy Cane Cocoa
Make this homemade hot cocoa for your
family and gifts. Include a hand written or printed meaning of the candy cane (something
like: white for the purity of Jesus, red for the blood He shed, and the shape of the cane
being a Shepherds stick).
Peppermint Powder (I make this
using one HUGE stick of peppermint now but for years I bought the individual candy canes
or discs). Place candy canes/discs into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and place that into
another Ziploc bag. Use a sledgehammer, hammer, meat tenderizer, or something and smash
the peppermint until it is to the desired texture. I make sure to have a very fine powder
as well as some visible crushed up/broken pieces.
Hot Cocoa Mix
like you find in the stores. This one is optionalJ.
I dont have
exact amounts because Ive made it so many years that I just mix until it is how we
like it. You only want a small amount of hot cocoa mix. Use a lot of cocoa and half of
that in equal amounts of the creamer, milk, and sugar.
I swirl my powdered sugar, creamer,
and powdered milk in a food processor with the dried mint. DO NOT PUT PEPPERMINT in a food
processor, blender or anything else. You might quickly lose even the best appliances this
way. Mix everything up and have the family taste test and add ingredients until it taste
how you desire it. I always stir my peppermint powder in LAST. This must stay covered in
an air tight container to avoid hardening or the peppermint collecting moisture.
I put a couple of heaping scoops per
cup but you might want to adjust this to fit your tastes.
For gifts: I like tying red and white bows
around the neck with two candy canes tied into the middle of the bows.
Quick labels can be made using address labels for the
computer on just about any program where you can make basic address labels.
Have a WONDERFUL week
Mary Christmas! SandyJ