My family and I had a beautiful moment yesterday: our fourth child’s sonogram! It was truly worshipful to see all those fearfully and wonderfully formed little parts. The baby’s head is only 4.5 cm wide, so I could only imagine how small all those itty-bitty bones were in the spine, or the little feet kicking around in there, the little hand raised to the face. It’s so fun to see a face and imagine who you’ll be meeting in a few months. And guess what?

It’s a boy.

I am a little overwhelmed by this.

Even as the specialist typed in those truly blessed words—”Male; no abnormalities seen”—the prospective energy level/intensity/groceries/testosterone coursing through my future household is a lot to imagine. Honestly, the idea of four children aged four and under has me gulping for a little extra air. Now I’m adding a little extra rambunctiousness, a bit higher volume level. There is a healthy dose of fear involved.

And then, this morning, I thought of Mary. The more I encounter life, the more I am transfixed by her reply to Gabriel, who has just described how Mary’s life, her reputation, and (as far as she knew) her marriage would be altered by the most unexpected pregnancy. Here’s her response from Luke 1:38:

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”


I was convicted this morning that there’s a whole lot of maturity wrapped up in that little verse. What if my response to fear, unexpected turns—or anything God sovereignly throws my way—was marked by that depth of faith, that depth of submission? Abraham had that kind of faith, and God built a nation on that; Noah had that kind of faith, and God saved his family from the world’s destruction. Seems that faith has a pretty high value with God.

Christmas can somehow accentuate the things that aren’t going as planned, as joyful, as peaceful as we wished they were. But from my vantage point, I think I could camp on this verse this season and discover a lot about the kind of heart that is “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28,30).