About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Jen,
    I love the ponderings of Mary. I can’t even imagine being in her place…young and scared…yet in awe and on board with God’s plan. The wooden feeding trough that cradled Jesus would soon enough be the rough timbers that held him crucified. Why? Because He loves us that much. May the reality of this truth sink into my heart this Advent season. Loved this!!

    • It’s impossible to imagine, isn’t it? To think of all that we feel with our own children and yet it’s nothing compared to the weight she carried. Blessings to you , sweet Bev. 🙂

  2. Beautiful, I can’t even begin to describe what she must have went through as a young mother, as a woman watching your Son mocked, ridiculed, crucified. I like the old movies, but some of them are so silly compared to the true meaning of Christmas. And if you look at mangers in Israel, they are made of stone, I admit the tears came flooding at the thought that the little Lord Jesus may have been asleep on the hay, in something that resembled a little tomb.

    • I am right there with you, Rebecca. As I was writing and trying to put myself in her spot, tears were streaming too.

  3. Jen,
    Great post!! Such a fresh way to look at the Christmas story!!!! I can’t imagine being in Mary’s shoes–unwed and pregnant such shame! Thankfully Joseph got on board with her!! So hard to imagine riding a donkey pregnant and then having him out in the open air & only a feeding trough to place him in! I never really thought that Christ was born to die!!
    Blessings 🙂

  4. Oh, my – what lovely words. Hearing them spoken was powerful, as well. And, although we often speak of the discomfort Mary must have experienced on the journey and at Jesus’s birth, I have always believed that we cannot imagine the anguish she must have felt at his crucifixion. I just can’t… Thank you so much for including the “…and then…” part of this remarkable story. Merry Christmas…xoxox

    • Nancy –

      My post was getting too long to share it all here, but I kept going as I pondered her life through the crucifixion. You are so right – the anguish doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was blubbering as I attempted to put myself at the scene. I don’t think I could have done it.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing Jen! Truly touched my heart. God bless and Merry Christmas to you and your family! Xo

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful inspirational message from Mary’s viewpoint, I have been blessed and moved by your words and then reminder again of Mary’s willing response to the Angel. I ask myself the question do I willing respond to Gods leading and I have to say not always. Lord make me a more willing servant of yours at this Christmas and always.

  7. So beautiful… in the years that I have been pregnant at Christmas, I often found myself really pondering Mary and all of her emotions. It can be so easy to gloss over it all without truly digging in, so glad you shared this to inspire us to dig in!

  8. I loved your perspective from Mary’s eyes. Yes the astonishment Mary must have had, of how can this be? And knowing the ridicule she would have to endure, the undeserving shame that wasn’t even true, the whispers in the marketplace and so on… I had been given a little different twist on the birth of our Lord and Savior this season. From God’s perspective of why God chose Mary to bring Jesus into the world. We understand that she was obedient to God, she was humble, but I often, lets face it, I always thought of Mary as lowly in confidence, and did not see her as a strong woman, but God revealed to me this season, that Mary had great strength. She had strength and everything else she needed in God, relying on Him continually, she had confidence through Him. Because she had to endure as you stated the ridicule of friends, the shunning from her parents and Josephs parents and every other member of her family and friends. Even to go to the marketplace she had to be strong in the Lord God to hold her head up high and not want to run away and hide until Jesus was born. We have been given strong women as role models in the Bible like Easter and Ruth, Deborah, and Abigail, and others, but for some reason I never saw Mary as a strong woman of the Bible (just me I guess) maybe others did see her as a strong woman, I just didn’t. But God revealed to me that being strong is not about my ability to keep going in my storms but about relying on Him in my storms. This had to be a huge storm in Mary’s life, unwed mother, not to mention, the Angel of the Lord speaking to her. This all in a time when being stoned to death would have been common, yet there is no mention of the turmoil other than Mary hurried and when to visit Elizabeth, soon to be mother of John the Baptist. Was this a “get out of town so people don’t talk” storm, sparing her life, We don’t really know, but it might be… Anyway, knowing that your soon to be son was the perfect gift that God gave ‘us’ His children because He wanted and needed a way for us to be reconciled to Him… and then that gift is fulfilled in that Jesus remains obedient to the Father and Jesus chooses to love us more than we could ever image and be obedient to God and suffer be crucifixion so that we would have relationship with Jesus and the Father. For me your story was another beautiful piece of God’s story and how our lives really are about Him. I am sure I have not said this well, but your post and God’s revelation to me this Christmas season about the best gift that any father could give his children has really sealed this Christmas for me. What gift and what a love that is, that God would give His only son to die on a cross that you and I can live and have relationship with Him. It is so overwhelming. Thank you for a great post. P.