“When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2.10-11)
Epiphany for me always feels like the official start of the new year. Yes, there is something about counting down the last few seconds of the last year, but Epiphany for me signifies Christmas is over and a new season has started. I was hoping to ease into 2012 but already my calendar seems stretched all the way to April. Even now, I am sitting at an airport ready to board a flight to my second PCUSA type church-related meeting of the year.
I’m thankful as a pastor/mother to have a wonderful pastor/father as a husband. Not only is he starting his first day serving another church in addition to the one he serves now, but the kids get to tag along with him. It’s times like these I wish we lived closer to family, had the financial resources for a lived-in nanny, or our dog Chewy would be one of those super dogs that could take care of children.
After following the star, the wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus, each gift having their own significance and meaning, related to who Jesus is and what Jesus will do. I can’t help but wonder if Mary felt the weight of the world on her shoulders being the mother of God’s son. While it is nothing compared to the weight that Mary felt, I feel tremendous weight on my shoulders as I begin the year as moderator of my presbytery. There are so many exciting and challenging changes that will happen this year. Just thinking about it makes me tired because already I know that there will be more meetings for my kids to go to, more meetings that take me away from spending family time with them, and also meetings where I will be both moderator and mom at the same time, doing the best I can.
It is challenging as a woman who is a pastor and a mother to remind myself that I am not superwoman and to rely on the gifts that God has given me. More importantly, I need to rely on the gifts that people bring as well. Like the gifts of the wise men, the gift of others carries a lot of significance and meaning to who I am and what I can and will do. I am thankful for my pastor colleagues who are also uncles and aunties and grandparents to my kids. I am thankful for the grace that is extended to me at church and in meetings when I get distracted because my daughter beckons my attention. I am also thankful for an incredibly support spouse who has perfected the art of preaching while my daughter circles around him.
Before I left this morning for my trip, my baby girl gave me a great gift. She woke up to give me big hugs and kisses. When we kissed, she got my lipstick on her lips. She said, “Mommy, I got lipstick on just like you.” I do see a lot of myself in her and I hope as she grows up, she will recognize and claim all the wonderful God-given gifts that she has.