The Road May Not Be What You Want

Today is Christmas Eve, and I’ve thought about it being the day before Christmas. As a child, that meant the day before Santa came and delivered presents. It was filled with lots of excitement and anticipation. I knew it was the day everyone celebrated Jesus’s birth, but Santa won out in my young heart.

As I got older, I realized that nothing in Santa’s bag could ever compare to the gift of Jesus being born. Christmas Eve now has a different meaning; it is still filled with excitement and anticipation, but I’ve recently started thinking about this night from Mary’s point of view.

We know that Mary and Joseph made the long journey to Bethlehem because the emperor, Caesar Augustus, had decreed a census, and Joseph was required to go to Bethlehem, the city of his ancient ancestor, King David, to register. Mary was extremely pregnant and could probably have stayed behind because of that, but she decided to go with Joseph.

“How much longer until we get there?” If you’ve ever taken a trip with a small child, you will have heard that phrase a few hundred times. Children have no concept of time, and a few hours can seem like forever. I used to tell my children how long the trip would be in terms they might understand. Full House was one of their favorite shows, and since it was 30 minutes long, I would say, “It will be 2 Full Houses” if we were an hour away.

Kids can get bored sitting in a car for hours. Most kids have iPads or phones to watch and play to pass the time away, but they still get whiny and hungry and have to stop to use the bathroom every few miles. They sit in a comfy seat, surrounded by a closed cabin with climate control heat and air, so they should be content. I’m not sure if the trip seems longer for them or the parents. 🙄

Mary and Jospeh’s trip was around 80 miles, which would only be 3 Full Houses by car, but Mary wasn’t traveling by car. She was sitting side saddle on a donkey on a rocky, dusty road/path. There were no paved roads or McDonald’s to drive through for a quick snack or bathroom break. She was not sitting in a nice, comfy seat, and I’m sure the donkey was hot, sweaty, and stinky. If you’ve been pregnant, you know that there is no position you can sit or lie and be comfortable.

I love the song Mary, Did You Know; it is one of my favorite songs. I’ve often wondered what was going through Mary’s mind so many times. She had an angel appear to her and tell her she would be the mother of God’s child. Just let that sink in for a minute. Can you imagine the disbelief, awe, wonder, responsibility, joy, and honor of being chosen for this incredible task?

When the reality of everything started to set in, did she panic? Did she second-guess her decision? Joseph thought she had been unfaithful, and I’m sure everyone she knew thought the same thing. She had to be the subject of all the local gossip, and even though she knew the truth, could she hold her head up high?

Mary was probably like all new mothers. She might have been nervous about bringing a child into the world, and I’m sure she had envisioned the whole thing in her mind. I doubt she ever thought she would have her baby without her family and friends to support her. The idea of having the baby in a stable far away from where she lived would never have crossed her mind. But God had a different plan.

Micah 5:2

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The Book of Micah prophesied that around 700 years before the birth of Jesus, His birthplace would be in Bethlehem. You might be traveling down a road like Mary and unhappy about the circumstances. Your path might be rocky, filled with danger, and you might ask the Lord, “How much longer.”

Psalm 31:24

24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Take heart: you may not know what is around the bend or what the future holds, but the one true God does! He alone knows how many more Full Houses there are before you get where you are going.

To GOD Goes The Glory!

Have A Blessed Day!

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  1. Susan Wiley Grim says:

    This Christmas seems so scary and almost unjustified because of all the suffering in Israel . Let us pray for peace in Jesus name.

  2. Dori Boger says:

    Merry Christmas! I really enjoy your Sunday posts.

  3. Such a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing and Christmas Blessings to you and your family.

  4. Thank u very much for this meaningful message!

  5. Julie Lozano says:

    God Bless and Merry Christmas! You look fabulous. 😀 Have a great 2024 and thank you for your inspiration.

  6. Claudette says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for all you do.

  7. Today’s message of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, strikes a chord within my soul. The need to know or understand should not overwhelm my conscious thoughts. God chooses my path, therefore I reap his Blessings.
    Merry Christmas, Tania & Family!

  8. Judy Deas says:

    Thank you for this post. It painted a great picture in my mind. Merry Christmas Tania!

  9. At 9 months pregnant, it was an ordeal to waddle down the hall from my easy chair to my comfy bed. I never considered going 80 miles riding a donkey but I’m sure grateful Mary said yes to God’s plan!

  10. Love the story of The Road May Not Be What You Want.

  11. This is me. I lost my husband in February and am at a crossroads in my life. I am working hard to be patient and have faith that the Lord will show me His path. Thanks for the reminder. Many blessings to you.

    1. Donna, I’m sorry that you are going through a rough time. I pray that the Lord shows you His path soon.

    2. I lost my husband in March so I understand . . . .such a different year but still celebrating he is with our Lord and Savior. There are always triggers that bring tears, but I would be selfish in wanting him to return from Glory where he is with Jesus. I, also, begin each day in asking to be a light for the Lord in the midst of pain and uncertainty. He is our stronghold and as we move forward without our spouses, may we hold onto the hem of His garment.

      1. Kathie, I’m so sorry you had such a trying year. Someone once told me that everything we have is only on loan from the Lord. We are to be thankful for the time we were allowed with those we love. However, it is never easy to let go of someone we love.

  12. Peggy Muncy says:

    What an interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing this with us. Merry Christmas to you and all your family!

  13. Becky Massicci says:

    Beautiful 🌟❣️
    Merry Christmas 🎄❤️

  14. Ginger Hiller says:

    Thank you Tania! Merry Christmas!

  15. God bless! Thank you for your message!

  16. Roeli Lutz (Canadian) says:

    Beautiful message.
    Merry Christmas Tania, Joe and family from our
    house in Canada to yours in the USA.

    Keep your eyes on Jesus, HE knows all and will always lead you right!
    Lean not unto your own understanding, it could lead you wrong.
    Blessings to all who read these messages.

  17. Enjoyed you blog today. Many truths are there. Both Christian & none Christian. Both are very prevalent at this time of the year. This Christmas my husband is in hospital but we will have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Yvonne, I hope that he is getting the care he needs and will be able to go home soon.

  18. Mary Carol says:

    Love this message.
    Merry Christmas to you!! 🎄

  19. Glada St Clair says:

    How wonderfully said. Merry and blessed Christmas to you.

  20. Mary Kinard says:

    May you and your family have a safe, blessed, and merry Christmas!

  21. Cindy Kline says:

    Such a lovely post! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  22. Thanks for the message.

  23. I was introduced to “Mary, did you know ” a few years ago and it has become a favorite. I still get excited about presents but know the joy of knowing and loving God.

  24. cindy Cooper says:

    Jesus is the ultimate gift of joy. Thank you for sharing your faith with us.

  25. Jan Rayner says:

    Thank you, Tania, for this compelling reminder. My only child was born on December 27, so every Christmas since I was pregnant, I think about Mary’s pregnancy and all that she must have experienced and endured to give birth to our Savior. It increases my awe for the miracle of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Jan, one of my sons was born on Dec. 30th, so I know what it is like to be pregnant at Christmas time too.

  26. This message is just what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you for helping to start my day in the right frame of mind. Merry Christmas!

  27. Christina says:

    Dear Tania,
    Have a blessed day as well.
    I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with health and happiness.
    Thank you for sharing your insights and thoughts with me every day. It means so much.

  28. Jenniffer Groski says:

    We participated in a simulcast with Kristi Mclelland who explained to us what the scene would’ve looked like in the Middle East at that time. Mary and Joseph were in an area under a house where people kept the animals safe at night. Bethlehem was filled with all the relatives who also came to participate in the census so they had lots of family around them. This made my heart so happy to that they weren’t alone!!! God is good! Merry Christmas!

  29. You are a gifted writer and this was a beautiful message. Thank you for doing this for your readers.

  30. What a beautiful message and reminder of what our Blessed Mother had to endure ❤️ Hail Mary full of grace ❤️ Thank you Tania! Merry Christmas Eve🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  31. WOW! Thank you for sharing the video! I felt that in my soul!

  32. Thank you for sharing the video! I felt that in my soul!

  33. Beautiful message Tania! Thank you for sharing your faith. I know you are touching many heart with God’s love.

  34. Thank you for your message and song. One of my favorites too and I so enjoy the group Pentatonix. A very talented group.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  35. Leslie Bizzell says:

    Thank you for this sweet reminder of the message of Christmas and that it is the best gift to us all!

    Merry Christmas 🎄

  36. Katherine Chavez says:

    Tania, God works in mysterious ways for sure. This exactly what I needed this morning! Blessings to you and your family Nd Merry Christmas 🤶 🎄

  37. Katherine says:

    Tania, God works in mysterious ways for sure. This exactly what I needed this morning! Blessings to you and your family Nd Merry Christmas 🤶 🎄

  38. Janice Nagle says:

    Thank you for the encouragement today. I appreciate the old testament verses. Knowing Jesus fulfilled prophecy that He or no person could have manipulated always strengthen my belief that He is who He says He is.
    My thouhts….Joseph was also chosen. He was a Godly, obedient man. While not His father, Joseph was the earthly father who raised Him.

  39. What a wonderful perspective. I never thought about what Mary was thinking. But Gos was with her and also with us throughout our journeys. Merry Christmas.

  40. Denisa Duggan Temples says:

    Perfectly said- I’m a former military spouse and sometimes our Christmases were spent without my husband by our sides. He has been retired for 10 years and I am enjoying every second of him being home with us. There were many times with moves, etc.., I was a nervous wreck. However- the quote- “bloom where you are planted “ always rang through. I’m thankful for a Savior that saw me through many difficult and lonely times. I pray you and your family have the most glorious CHRISTmas.

    1. That is a wonderful reminder, Bloom Where You Are Planted!

  41. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  42. Good message. Merry Christmas.

  43. Thank you for your thoughts on this special day when the secular crowds out so much of what this season really means . To God be the glory for what He has done!

  44. God bless you and your family, have a very Merry Christmas!

  45. Linda Shearer says:

    Beautiful post. I love Mary did you know too! Merry Christmas!

  46. Jacque Abell says:

    I have been through a hard couple of weeks. Prayer has helped me endure. I hope that God will show me soon his path. Thank you for your insight.

  47. Laura Parise says:

    Thank you Tania, for inserting Pentatonix video. It was just what I needed to hear.
    Merry Christmas!

  48. What a beautiful reminder of what Mary went through. She is truly the mother of all mothers! Thanks for this very timely message today, Tania.

  49. Merikay Piette says:

    Thank you for this post. I always think of Christmas Eve and Mary’s Joy upon Jesus’ birth. But not the hardship she had to endure;. physically, emotionally and socially.
    She truly was amazing.
    Have a Blessed Christmas with your family.

  50. This is a thoughtful take on Mary’s journey (and my own). I’m as glad to read your devotional thoughts as I am about your thoughts on fashion.

    Merry Christmas, Tania!

  51. This post was sent from heaven! Thank you so much for being obedient to God and writing it! My family has covid and we had to cancel Christmas for the first time in our lives. Some of our children we see only twice a year and we miss them dearly. I keep asking God how much longer….

    1. Sickness has hit some in our family too, so we won’t all be together this year. I hope your family recovers soon and you can celebrate later.

  52. Cathy Carter says:

    Beautiful to read early on the Christmas Eve morning. Hoping you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

  53. Donna Wood says:

    Traffic is awful in Florida this time of year, so I’m grateful our kids are less than one Full House away….LOL! Wishing you and your family a very blessed, peaceful Christmas, Tania.