Mary’s Baby Bring Joy

Christmas is a time of miracles and for families. As I prepare for it this year my mind continues to gravitate back to that first Christmas. As a mother, grandmother, and aunt it makes me wonder what the women of Mary’s family thought about her and her baby, God’s Son. Did they throw her a shower or babysit Him?  Did they offer advice and help?  Who was expected to attend Mary at the baby’s delivery?

In our family a baby is a big deal.  Phone start buzzing as soon as the couple see the positive on that little stick.  Grandparents-to-be are over the moon excited as are aunts and uncles. IMG_0054 Siblings and cousins eagerly await the new one, also.  Funny, adorable pictures are sent or put on Facebook to let everyone know a new member will be added to the family.  There are showers to flood the family with all kinds of things for the baby.  Several of my friends have had Grammy showers.

There is not much information on the women in her family or Joseph’s. Some data can be found on the men but not women. Women were not mentioned much in biblical times, mostly just men.  Mary was an only child. I remember that from church and readings. It was indicated that she was a devoted daughter and very good.  Greek scrolls list Mary’s parents as Anne or Anna and Eli. They do not name grandparents. Joseph had siblings so Jesus had aunts, uncles, and cousins.  When studying about His family it is very controversial about if He had siblings.  I am not well versed enough to comment or debate this.  You will need to study up on it yourself and then please let me know your thoughts.

Confusing and emotional to think that God’s Son had a literal earthly family. Don’t you wonder what they thought? Mary announced she was untouched and having a baby.  Joseph backed her up. Wait a minute, she was pregnant and they were just betrothed.  Mary claimed she hadn’t been unfaithful nor had Joseph known her.  Did his family urge Joseph to stone or divorce her? Did Mary’s family make fun of her and think her mentally ill or promiscuous?  What would we do if one of our family members announced something miraculous and could only come from God, had happened to them? Would we believe them? Be envious or skeptical? Maybe happy? Excited? Would we want to hear the tale of this blessing and revelation from God Himself? Maybe we would yearn to know every detail of what Abba said and how His voice sounded.  We might believe them.  Perhaps or perhaps not. Humans are curious by nature but hard to convince.

Can you imagine how her parents felt when young teenage Mary left on a donkey in the late stages of pregnancy to go with Joseph to Bethlehem for the census? This mama here would have been climbing the walls if my daughter had done something like that. From that first step of the donkey until the first glimpse of her return, Mary’s mother was probably walking the floor. IMG_0052Mary left pregnant and came back a mother. The journey took a while to make, too, with no way to get news to her family.  Oh my! Mary had her baby without her mother or other family there. Did she return and announce “here is Jesus, our Savior.” Probably not. Mary most likely had to keep that bit of knowledge to herself.  Treasuring that blessing and holding it deep within her.  However, I would think Mary’s family gathered around to see her new bouncing baby boy when she and Joseph returned from Bethlehem. Families are universal and a baby unites them. He brings hope and joy. Everyone smiles around a baby. Happiness abounds when an infant is nearby. Women want to hold him. Children want to see his toes. Men turn into a pile of mush and say sing-songy things in a funny voice. Babies bring families together.

The same happened with Mary’s baby. God came to Earth as an infant, part man and God, as Jesus. He experienced things as we do. The advice and counsel we get is really from an “I’ve been there myself” viewpoint. Jesus understands. He gets it. He was scorned, beaten, harassed, bullied, and crucified. You name it and it was probably done to our Redeemer. True to scripture Jesus fulfilled prophecy proving He is God’s son. He unites all mankind and invites us to join His family, God’s family. He offers peace, hope, and happiness. He offers love and forgiveness.  He offers joy. Joy to the world.IMG_0053


Read a Book Monday: “Lincoln’s Table” Book Review

Facebook, twitter, and the news are full of presidential talk. I hate it. Don’t you? Let me ask you, if you had to choose five favorite past presidents beginning with our first President George Washington, would one of your choices be our 16th President Abraham Lincoln? Many people polled have him on their favorites list. Some people place His as their favorite. If you are a Lincoln lover, and aren’t we all, I have a book you need to see: “Lincoln’s Table: A President’s Culinary Journey from Cabin to Cosmopolitan.” Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

“Lincoln’s Table: A President’s Culinary Journey From Cabin to Cosmopolitan” by author Donna D. McCreary is an historical delight. This 182 page hard cover book is chocked full of recipes, illustrations, pictures, and information about the Lincoln family. It is a veritable treasure trove.

Author McCreary has not only listed some historical versions of recipes, such as Beaten Biscuits on page 42, but she followed it up with the modern version on the next page. The same goes for Election Cake and other recipes. Not only was I able to read how the recipe was written and made, but I could also make it in my modern kitchen. Genius!

Pictures are sprinkled throughout this lovely cookbook. You will see the Lincoln Home in Springfield, the beautiful tea set of Asian-style florals they used, china and crystal from the White House during the Lincoln administration, and Mary Todd Lincoln in her fashionable dresses. You will read menus, poems, and so much information you will be begging for more. The author is an expert on the Lincoln, and it is apparent by this wonderful book.

Epilogue, acknowledgements, bibliography, index of the book, and index of recipes are the ending pages after a plethora of Lincoln recipes, pictures, tips, and information. Did you ever wonder what sorghum is? It is explained in this book. Need tips on cast iron cooking? They’re in the book, too. Mary Todd’s Courting Cake recipe is included. How about White House recipes. Check! I could go on and on and on.

Do yourself a favor and get this book. I absolutely love it. The author has written a well planned, well organized, knowledgeable book that is interesting for cooks and readers alike. It is much more than a cookbook. This gem is an excellent, fascinating book on the Lincoln family. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. It would make a terrific gift, cooking club book, or treat for oneself. Pick one up by contacting me. I will give the author your contact information.

Historians tell us that President Lincoln grew up in a strict Baptist household. Later after he married, he was said to read the Bible daily, pray, and attend Protestant church regularly, but he never joined church. There have been many debates over his religious beliefs. What about your beliefs. Will people know or debate if you are a Christian?

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31