The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe demonstrates the tenderness and thoughtfulness of Our Blessed Mother! Today's guest post by Amy is a lovely reminder that Mary sees us, too. I hope it inspires you to look for the ways that Mary visits you this Advent!
In December, we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. These miraculous sightings of Mary occurred in Mexico in 1531.
She appeared to a poor peasant, Juan Diego, as one of his own kind - not as a rich lady, or the local Spanish nobility. She spoke to him in words of his own native language. And she met him, not in a busy shop or a church he had to seek out - but on a desert hilltop on his way home. She found him. She sought him out. She approached him.
She SAW him for who he was and met him there.
Earlier this month, a sweet 4 year old handed me a bouquet of bright yellow flowers (a welcome contrast to the gray sky outside), while her beautiful mother enveloped me in a hug. Life & circumstances had kept us apart for the better part of the last 2 years, and it was such a joy to see them again!
This sweet friend had texted weeks earlier to set up a coffee date. A fellow mom and past homeschooler, she knew how hard it was to schedule things like this. Typically, our day times are for school, afternoons for dinner prep & kid extra-curriculars, and evenings for family time & shuttling little ones to bed.
Daytime coffee dates aren’t usually an option and meeting up with mom friends often falls to the wayside. It’s one of those things that got sacrificed when we chose this path of homeschooling.
And even if something DOES get on the calendar, rescheduling (b/c of illness, kid activities, unexpected life happenings) happens a lot. A predictable daily/weekly/monthly schedule is one of those things that got sacrificed with motherhood.
There are sacrifices inherent in every choice, every vocation. And after more than a decade of this path, I’ve accepted these particular challenges (mostly). But - I’m still human. It IS still hard to feel left out or left behind from what “everyone else” is doing, even when you feel you’re making the best decision for your family right now. It is still hard seeing old friends meeting up for lunch midday on a school day, or having a moms-only coffee date that you can’t attend b/c you’re not available at lunchtime, your little one still needs a nap midday, and you’re not kid-free…well, pretty much ever.
And, while humans are made for community - sometimes having a kid-only-community just doesn’t quite cut it. We need other moms, other adults, too.
So, this lovely mom texting ahead of time to ask what worked best for our schedule, my preference for a “special drink” and showing up with a festive cup and even a snack for the kids…I can’t tell you how happy it made me. Her thoughtfulness was such a kindness.
I felt seen.
The coffee was hot, the kids played together, and the conversation was a welcome respite from math and physics, literature and composition - if only for a couple of hours.
On this day, this friend was a Mary to me. She came to us, she met us in the midst of our daily path (& she even spoke our language: coffee! and food!). She brought comfort and rest.
I hope you all have an opportunity to be met by Mary this Advent - in person or in spirit. I hope you feel seen for who you are.
And, perhaps, amid holiday preparations, you may even have an opportunity to bring comfort and rest - to be a Mary - to someone else.