I loved the hospital where I delivered Leah.
Beautiful mountain views; comfortable queen bed so that Casey could stay with me; surprisingly yummy meals brought to me in bed; excellent care by the doctors and nurses - it was all I could have ever asked for.
I've been thinking a lot about how very different an extra special birth was 2000 years ago.
How terrified Mary must have been. To be pregnant generally in a time before hospitals and doctors and anesthetic and sterilization, but how much more so to be pregnant with none other than the son of God. To find that there was not even room at the inn; to know that the King of Kings - and her baby boy - would be born in a manger next to donkeys and cattle.
I have always had a hard time conceptualizing God's love for His creation. It is just so big and so vast - it's like trying to imagine the scope of the universe. I can't quite wrap my mind around it.
It is easier for me to imagine and relate to Mary looking down at her baby, and the infinite love she felt for him. From that perspective, God's love is a lot easier to pin down; the love of a Father who has numbered even the very hairs on my head. A love that is limitless and unchanging. A love that desires to watch me grow and flourish and asks very little of me in return.
This year, I can relate to that a little better.
I feel a great kinship toward Mary. Not because I experienced hardship in giving birth. Not because of the world-altering significance of the baby I bore (to anyone besides myself, that is.) But because I am convinced that the experience of motherhood, and looking into the sweet face of a newborn is as close as we can get on this Earth to looking into the face of God.