great (or small) with child

I don’t know that Jesus was actually born on December 25, but let’s suppose He was. That means that many, many years ago on this date, Mary was just about three months away from her due date.

Can you picture her figure? She was probably a young girl, so I’m thinking she was slender.

Can you imagine her emotions, her thought processes? I’m thinking she had a sense of peace, but I’ll bet she had lots of questions, fears, and maybe some sadness due to the abrupt disappearance of her girlhood.

She was a woman now. Three short months away from motherhood.

I know another Mary about to become a mama for the first time. One month away from meeting baby Jake. This Mary found out her baby was a boy with a newfangled technology they call an ultrasound. Jesus’ mama got her news straight from the mouth of an angel.

Another sweet gal I know and love is pregnant with her first–and exactly halfway to her due date. For 20 weeks, she’s been convinced that the baby in her belly was a b-o-y. And yesterday she found out otherwise. Congratulations to my sister Stephanie and her hubby Daniel! I can’t wait to meet my NIECE in February!! Now, both of my sisters and both of my sisters-in-law each have at least one little girl. So much fun!

But we sure do love Ethan, Gavin and Tanner and will gladly welcome any and all boys God decides to add to our family in the coming years. And by “our family,” I mean my sisters, not me.

My sisters and I all had a girl first. My mom had a girl first. My grandma had a girl first. And my great-grandma had a girl first. And Mom’s going to see if she can find out about the great-greats and the great-great-greats.

Anyway.

Speaking of expecting babies, I’ve gotten a few e-mails lately about my Expecting book that say generally the same thing. This one was especially sweet.

My mom and I live 100 or so miles away from one another, and every Saturday, when I mark the start of a new week in my pregnancy, we each read that week’s devotion in Expecting. My mother-in-law does the same! It’s been such a gift to be able to share this experience with them in that way, so they have context to know how big our son is (32 weeks now!), what he’s doing, what I’m feeling and what’s to come.

As friends have become pregnant in recent months, we’ve been able to share this book with them and (particularly for my mom) with the grandmother-to-be too. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected, to focus on what’s truly important (speaking lovely words instead of worrying about LOOKING lovely at this point) and to give voice to prayers that are almost to emotional to vocalize.

In the beginning, particularly, I was so overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude that I could barely read a page through my tears. Now I can stay grounded in God’s plans for my son and focus less on the physical, which so many pregnancy books stress entirely. Thank you, thank you for putting this book together.

Can I just tell you how much I love this idea? I get warm fuzzies just thinking about an expectant mama and two grandmas agreeing in prayer for a precious little one yet to be born. Talk about a baby getting off on the right foot in life right off the bat. Wow.

I’d love to see generations coming together and praying in unity over unborn children. I can only imagine what an impact it would have. If you know of a mom-or-grandma-to-be who might want to pray together for a little one, you can order a signed copy of the book here or a cheaper copy here.

I have a really special story to share in a couple weeks–along with a way you can get involved in impacting a little life. Very exciting.

Drawing the winner of Touching Wonder tomorrow (Friday) at noon. There’s still time to enter!

And if I could ask for your help on this lovely Thursday–since my sister was completely convinced she was carrying a man-child, she didn’t have a girl’s name at the ready. Can you help her? Her last name is Basham, and there is already an Olivia, an Anna, two Avas, an Emma, a Nina, and an Isabelle in her family, so those are out.

Who has the perfect name for my niece?

24 thoughts on “great (or small) with child

  1. Crissy

    I love the thought of focusing on Mary as a person rather than just a character in the Christmas story. I have had the opportunity to speak on this very subject at a couple of woman’s Christmas functions. I like to think of what Mary was going through, the amazing faith she must have had, (if only I were half as faithful) and what in the world was going through her mind as she traveled on a donkey in her condition!!! I mean really, and I thought riding in a mini van to the hospital was a rough ride! What an amazing woman she must have been.

  2. Stephanie your sister

    These are such great names! I’m adding a bunch of them to our girl name list. How fun to be the subject of your question of the day!

    Love you! Baby girl loves you too. 🙂

    And the top girl name we’ve come up with in the past 48 hours since discovering her gender is one of Bethany’s suggestions! Maybe it’s a sign…

  3. Nadine

    My hubby really likes the name Elizabeth. I’m not a big fan of it, but like several of the variations, so we compromised. 🙂 We have a Lauren Elise (called “Elise”) and an Elizabeth Hosanna (called “Betsy”). When we were debating our second girl’s name, we also considered Elizabeth Laine. I thought “Betsy Laine” would have sounded cute.

    Marla, thank you for your thoughts today on Mary. I almost mentioned pregnancy yesterday in response to your question about making Christmas memorable this year. In the past, I have been very newly pregnant twice around the Christmas holiday. In fact, one time I don’t even think I knew it yet. This year, I will be just beginning the 3rd trimester. Not as “great” with child as if I were about to deliver, but in my 4th pregnancy in about as many years, we all know that I’ll be looking and feeling quite motherly by that point. I’m sure I will be able to relate to Mary a little bit better this year in that regard.

    Thank you, also, for mentioning your new book and the idea of expectant moms and grandmothers praying together. Somehow I missed that it is a devotional/prayer guide. (I’m a mess these days!) Even though I’m on my 4th pregnancy, I know there’s always something new to learn, so of course now I HAVE to get it. 🙂 As a mom of a child with special needs, I can definitely relate to praying over all areas of your child’s development and growth. I think about Mary and wonder about all the different emotions she must have experienced, knowing her child would be the perfect Son of God. No worries about the effects of the Fall on that Child, but talk about pressure as a parent! I know that a lot of moms talk about mother’s intuition, but there is so much to be said for how our Counselor prepares us as mothers as well, especially when you spend time really praying over the baby. I experienced this in a profound way with our first child, John.

    I clearly remember about the middle of that pregnancy having people ask me if we had found out yet if we were having a girl or boy. At that point we did not know, but we were hoping for a boy. Most people would respond with a common statement, something along the lines of, “Well, as long as the baby’s healthy, that’s all that matters.” At that time, I could not explain the bristling reaction I had in my spirit in response to those comments. In fact, I’m sure I had said the same thing to other expectant moms in the past. But for some reason this time it was different. Very different. I expressed this frustration and confusing inner reaction to my husband; he tried to reassure me that they didn‘t mean anything by it, but to me, it was suddenly a big deal. I couldn’t really explain why, except that this time it was my child we were talking about. Every time I heard that comment, my spirit inside wanted to scream out loud, “No, it’s NOT all that matters. What matters is that God has created this little life, healthy or not, this child has a purpose and is special to God and to us. THAT’S what matters!”

    At about the usual 18-20 week ultrasound, we did find out that yes, we were indeed having a boy. We were ecstatic…the first boy after 9 granddaughters on Steve’s side of the family (and incidentally, still the only boy. He now has two little sisters.) It wasn’t until 32 weeks that another ultrasound revealed a severe, life-threatening birth defect that would require newborn surgery and a projected minimum of 2 very tentative months in NICU. At that point I understood that bristling reaction I had inside. It was the clearly the Holy Spirit preparing me for what we were about to face as parents of a special needs child. The journey still continues with our precious son John, who is turning 4 next week. My desperate mom prayers for his physical needs began something like, “Lord, please heal our baby!” and have progressed to “Lord, thank you for letting us watch you heal and grow your baby.” God is so gracious and is still growing us all.

  4. O

    I like to put a twist on a common name…..
    For my oldest daughter I loved the name Gabrielle, but I didn’t like the “b” so I changed it to a “v”…..
    My second daughter…instead of Yvonne, she is Evonne.
    So my advice is to pick some names you love and see if you can make them more unique by changing a letter or two.

  5. Mary

    Well I think the obvious choice here is Mary. Mary Elizabeth Basham 🙂

    I love Lauren, Kathryn, Marla Jr, and Taryn. I have a hard time with girl names though. Maybe that’s why I’m having a boy!!

  6. Meredith

    I like Mary-Cate. Or Mary-Margaret. Or Joy. Or Callie. And of course, there’s always Meredith! 😉

    My friend just found out she’s having a girl after being convinced it was a boy too! So funny.

  7. Bethany your sis

    I love girl names, too! Here are a few on my list that Stew vetoed:
    Lila, Charlotte, Sophia/Sophie

    And then some names I couldn’t pick because I already have nieces with these names, but Stephi isn’t related to:
    Tessa, Ella, Meg, Ivy

    And then some others that are just fun:
    Isla (pronounced eye-la), Fiona, Mia, Myla, Lucy, Jubilee

    I’m looking forward to going through your Expecting book sometime. Hopefully soon, but not TOO soon. 🙂 Whatever God decides is good. I’m praying that I’ll agree. 😉

  8. deanna

    Baby names…what fun!

    What about Sophie? Harley? Macy? Rylee? Avery? Landry?

    Do you see a pattern with the “E” sound here? HA HA!

  9. Jessica

    Yay for baby girls!! how about Ivy 😉
    I bet that trip for the census was dusty. Mary probably sneezed. And we all know what happens when a pregnant woman sneezes!

  10. jess

    this made me tear up. i’m not quite sure why. and it wasn’t even the part about Mary carrying Jesus (that always gets me). It was the one about the moms & mom-to-be reading your book together. That’s SO special.

  11. Kelli

    Emily Caroline Basham
    Caroline Grace Basham (That’s not my C’s middle name, but I like it!)
    Kennedy Marie Basham
    Aubrey Grace Basham
    Ashlynn Kate Basham

    HELLO THIS IS THE MOST FUN POST EVER! I could have written a million fun name combos! I love girly names!

  12. Ali

    Wouldn’t you like to know what symptoms Mary endured? Acid reflux? Sore breasts? Sciatic nerve pain? Roller-coaster of emotions? Morning sickness?
    And what about her baby – Did Jesus move around a lot in the womb? Did he jump on her bladder? Did he kick her in the ribs?
    I can’t wait to ask her in Heaven. I want the scoop!

  13. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Oh, you do not want to get me started on girls’ names. Before deciding on our two (Dacey and Aliza Joy), Kyle and I went through entire baby names books – discussing, debating, and negotiating. I could throw DOZENS out there.

    My number one favorite that I wanted for both girls but Kyle just would not agree to is Erin. I love that name so much. It’s classic yet unique.

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