Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Empty Nest: Through Her Eyes

Mary’s experience as a mother was not unlike the lives of mothers today. Despite her faith, as Jesus grew older, her fear and uncertainty became tangible.

“While writing in my journal today, tears fill my eyes as I slowly scan my house full of children. Everyone is here except Elizabeth. She is home with her husband and two little boys who are the delight of our lives. Thankfully, Elizabeth and Amos live close enough to visit often. It is heart warming to have young children in the house again.

Simon and his wife, Leah, have already reclined into the room Joseph and I shared for many years. Leah joined our family a few months ago and has already taken over many of the household tasks. She has been a blessing for me and my sons. My heart grows warm as I watch them enjoy each other’s company. By the gentle way they touch each other, I know they are as much in love as Joseph and I were.

Judas is here now, but he may leave any minute. He enjoys visiting his friends and only God knows what they are doing. I pray a lot for him. Every time he leaves the house, I utter a simple prayer for God to please bring him back safely.

My miracle child, Sarah, is sitting at the doorway hoping Joel may come for a visit any moment. Since she met the young boy at the well on his return trip to his hometown, Cana, she has done nothing but talk and think about him. Reminds me of my first encounter with Joseph.

I look around and see a house full of children, yet my heart feels empty. There is one missing. My first born son, Jesus, is not here. Physically, he is sitting outside under the big tree with a little bird perched on his shoulder, but he is no longer in my house. Since cousin John came to visit a few months ago to tell Jesus of the angel’s visit, Jesus has been with him. John said he was going to the Jordan to prepare the way for our Messiah. Since the first day I visited Elizabeth and her baby leaped in her womb, I knew this day would come, but never did I expect it to be so difficult.

Jesus has been my child for 30 years. Did my Lord really expect me to let him go like I never knew him? God should know it is impossible for a mother to ever stop loving a child.
God’s plan is for children to leave their mothers. Elizabeth left my house to live with a loving husband and the hope of a new and glorious life as a wife and mother. Jesus will be leaving with… well, I don’t know what.

I know the angel Gabriel promised me Jesus would inherit the throne of David and a kingdom. Joseph did not get to witness the kingdom we anticipated for our entire married life. I fear I may.

Dear God, the fulfillment of Your promise is my desire. I fear it is near and I must prepare my family for what is to be. Please give me the strength and wisdom I need. My dear God, You know I will comply with any plan You have for my life, but do You realize how hard it will be for me to give him back? For 30 years I have witnessed him grow in stature and in favor with all men, and in wisdom beyond man’s comprehension. 

Only You know what will happen to him. I pray I will be able to follow him in his journey and continue to record my version of his life. As always, I remain your bond servant to do your will.”

Mary Bailey is the author of “Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life.” For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Story: Through Mary's Eyes

What do the 145 verses found in Matthew and Luke really tell us about the true Christmas story?
An in-depth look at Matthew’s story reveals facts Joseph would know:

·      Mary and Joseph were betrothed.
·      Mary was found to be with child.
·      Joseph planned to send her away secretly.
·      The angel appeared to Joseph.
·      He awoke and took Mary as his wife.
·      Jesus was born.
·      The Eastern Magi visit the couple.
·      An angel appears to Joseph who immediately takes his family to Egypt.
·      The family returned to Nazareth.

An in-depth look at Luke’s story reveals facts Mary would know:

·      Gabriel visited Zachariah announcing the birth of John the Baptist.
·      Gabriel visited Mary.
·      Mary hurried to visit Elizabeth.
·      John the Baptist was born.
·      Jesus was born.
·      The shepherds visited the stable.
·      Jesus was presented in the temple.
·      The family returned to Nazareth.

Are these men writing about the same birth? Aside from the family’s return to Nazareth, the only event that is the same is the birth of Christ,

Many educated men and organizations have tried to take this fact out of the reason for the Christmas season. But even the scripture shows us that all the other celebrations and events leading up to that miraculous event are not important. If we take the birth of Christ out of Christmas, we have no reason to celebrate. There is no holiday.

In the form of a tiny human baby, Mary gave us the greatest gift. Because of this gift, God gives us the ultimate gift of eternity.

When you receive gifts, do you leave them lying around unopened? Do they sit under the tree for years before you rip into the paper to see what is inside? So why do we not open the greatest gift we could possibly receive in our lifetime?

When we open the gift God wants to give us, we receive a new life; a life filled with peace and joy. The turmoil and anxiety created by the commercialization of the season disappear.

Because of Mary’s willingness to serve her Lord, this gift is always available. All we have to do is open it.

I pray you have a very blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with all the blessings God wants to give you.


Mary Bailey is the author of “Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life.” For more information, visit

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jewish Customs: Through Mary's Eyes

Through her journal, Mary brings readers on a journey as she, Joseph and baby Jesus take part in many of the Jewish customs and ceremonies of today. As parents living under the Law of Moses, Mary and Joseph were required to perform certain ceremonies. Although Jesus was God’s son, Mary never assumed her son might be exempt from these requirements:

“Evidently God wants His son to go through the same experiences and emotions as every other boy. Until I am aware of the requirements of a Messiah, I must treat him as an ordinary child.”

According to Jewish law, a male baby must be circumcised eight days after the birth. Since Mary would be considered unclean until after her purification ceremony, she could not participate, but could only imagine the scene:

“I can picture the priest taking Joseph’s strong steady hand and skillfully guiding it until the first few drops of precious blood were shed. The first tears of pain were also. At that time Joseph told the priest his name is Jesus… Today Jesus became an infant Jew; a son of the family of David.”

No more than 33 days after the circumcision, Jewish women must be purified from their bleeding through a cleansing ceremony in the temple:

“I dropped my offering into the huge trumpets… the incense floated into the blue morning sky. I am considered Levitically clean from my flow of blood; free of stain. What a wonderful feeling.”

After Mary’s cleansing, Jesus was presented in the temple for the redemption ceremony:

“The first-born child is, according to the Law of Moses, God’s property… the father must offer the male son to God.”

By the Law of Moses, the first-born male must be bought back from God through a sacrifice of an unblemished lamb. If the family could not afford a lamb, two doves would be acceptable. The entire day, Mary anticipated a more worthy sacrifice than the two doves they could afford.

“The unblemished lamb I had hoped would miraculously appear did not. With our 16 shekels we purchased two turtledoves… Apparently God did not agree with the importance I had placed on the item to be sacrificed.”

She and Joseph walked to the door of the Court of Women where, by law, Mary had to wait as Joseph took Jesus to the Gate of the Firstborn in the Court of Priests to present Jesus for the redemption ceremony:

“The priest examined our child and found him to be free of bodily blemishes. Joseph redeemed him with five shekels and two doves. Watching from a distance, I could only imagine the relief and pride on Joseph’s face.”

Mary obediently followed the Jewish customs because they were required by God. Although Jesus may have helped write most of these commands, Mary realized God expected his son to be treated as all other Jewish children. As an earthly son, Jesus participated in the same life experiences as children today.

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus’ life in Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary's Early Motherhood: Through Her Eyes

Today, mothers usually learn from a doctor or through a home pregnancy test that they have conceived a baby - but not Mary. Through her journal, readers can join her on her journey and experience the emotion she felt when she learned from an angel that she was going to become a mother - and not just any mother:

“You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

The long awaited Messiah was going to be born in Nazareth to a humble, peasant girl. She had no reason for worry, yet like most mothers, she was still anxious:        

“Why am I worried? I am carrying the son of God. Joseph and my parents will be as delighted as I am, won’t they?”

Mary looked forward to becoming a mother, but because of Joseph’s disbelief, her future was uncertain. She never doubted her ability to be a good mother. Her only concern was that she would be unable to give this child back to his heavenly father when he called for him:

“He will take nourishment from my body for nine months. He will drink from my breast for two years. How can I bear to give him back to You?”

When the time came for Mary’s child to be delivered, she was frantic to find a suitable place. She struggled with the thought of becoming a mother in a stable full of animals. She thought that God would certainly provide a more worthy place for the birth of his son, but it wasn’t to be:

“I wanted to insist we travel further, but my mind finally surrendered to the demands of my body. It didn’t seem to matter to this precious little baby whether we were in a mansion or a stable.”

Reaching motherhood in a dark, dusty stable surrounded by God’s creatures was not how Mary had dreamed this miraculous event would happen. Although alone, she had her heavenly father to guide her.

“The voice of the midwife who attended Elizabeth echoed in my mind. I obeyed her command and pushed as hard as I could until my son finally arrived.”

In one of the lowliest places in the city, Mary became the mother of God’s son. She cuddled her baby, felt his breath on her cheeks and fell in love as only a mother can.

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus' life through Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mary's Faith: Through Her Eyes

Why did God choose Mary above all the other young virgin girls? Through her journal, readers can join her on her journey through faith, and experience the doubt, frustration and excitement that we all experience as we develop our faith. In the beginning, we can only assume that God looked at Mary’s heart and also saw something special in her faith:

            “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

God had given Mary a direct request. As a young teenager, she did not say, “Wait a minute. I’m not quite ready. I’m too young. I need more time.” Her simple answer is a lesson for all:

            “All I could say was, ‘Behold, the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’”

Mary’s faith allowed her to readily accept the Lord’s wish, but did she ever question her eagerness to accept this invitation to serve her Lord, and like so many of us, did she ever have doubts?

            “Why was I so willing when the angel appeared to me? I should have asked more questions, but my mind was racing so fast I didn’t have time to think.”

            “My dear God, how can I do this? Why me? I love you with all my heart, but I am still afraid. Never in my wildest dreams, did I expect to be blessed like this. Though I am having mixed feelings about calling it blessed.”
Things didn’t happen quite like Mary thought they would. Joseph struggled in the beginning, and God did not make things easy for her. But through the trying times, Mary knew her faith would help her overcome any problems she might encounter:
            “I should be afraid, but when I think of the events that brought me to this point, my fears disappear. If God trusted me enough to carry His son, I am confident He will show me where to go and will take care of me wherever that path may lead.”

For 30 years, Mary watched her precious baby grow into the man God said he would. While constantly anticipating that throne of David that God had promised, did Mary’s faith dwindle? Mary’s final prayer before Jesus prepares to join John tells it all:

            “Dear God, give me the wisdom I need to know what I must do. Although he is yours, he is also mine. Please don’t forget I have had him for 30 years. To give him up will cause me much pain. Help me accept and do what you are requiring of me. Your humble servant I will strive to remain.”

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus' life through Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mary's Pregnancy: Through Her Eyes

Was Mary's pregnancy different from those of women today? Through her journal, readers can experience the pain, fear and joy that Jesus' mother felt as she was beginning her journey, not unlike those of many mothers today.

In her journal, Mary describes her feelings when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she became pregnant:

"When Your Spirit overshadowed me, I felt Your presence, but there was no physical interaction. My body seemed to float on a sea of radiant light as the power of the Most High overshadowed me and I received the seed of Your Holy Spirit. I awoke this morning knowing my body had conceived the beginning of the baby of Gabriel’s announcement. My Lord, You chose me for the ultimate blessing among women, but I am beginning to have second thoughts about this blessed journey."

Who can blame Mary for having second thoughts? How can anyone experience the presence of the Holy Spirit and not be afraid? She also feared the reaction of the people when they heard she was carrying the Messiah, the son of God, the redeemer of the Jews. She certainly did not foresee Joseph’s reaction:

"'How can this be? Are you no longer a virgin?' he asked as his big strong hands stroked his thin scraggly beard and… he turned away."

Joseph knew Mary had conceived a child by someone other than himself, her fiancĂ©. By Jewish law, he could have her stoned, put her away privately or marry her. Without some form of divine intervention, the average person would not believe that the Messiah would be born from a humble peasant girl. 

Mary did carry Jesus for a full nine months, but she wasn't sure what to expect:

"From what I understand, I won’t be having any kind of monthly woman’s times for about nine months. I think this will be a typical pregnancy. Since God is in charge, He can do anything."

When Mary visited Elizabeth, she realized God was not going to spare her any of the pain or discomfort from the symptoms that accompany carrying a child:

"God could take away all the pain and discomfort with this pregnancy, but evidently it is going to be normal. My symptoms of morning sickness, nausea, and increase in appetite have been the same ones Elizabeth had. God sent me here to realize that. No matter what happens, I truly know God is in control."

Why did God send Mary to visit Elizabeth? God knew where Mary was going to be when she gave birth to His son. He wanted her to be as prepared as possible for the experience. Mary not only needed to learn all she could about the birthing process, she also needed the encouragement from the unrelenting faith of Zechariah and Elizabeth. When Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb and Mary was filled with her song of praise, any doubt she may have had vanished. She realized this visit was a part of God’s plan:

"They gave me the strength I need to get through this pregnancy. The experience of watching John’s birth taught me more than anyone could have told me about childbirth. I know this knowledge will help me in about six months. Who knows? I may be in some desolate place without anyone to help."

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus' life through Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inspiration behind Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life

God lit a spark in my heart for the idea of this book in 2002 on Mother’s Day. I tried many times to let that spark die a normal death, but God would not allow it. He fueled the fire with sermons and magazines, enlightening study of the scriptures and even television shows. Every time I needed an answer to an obstacle in my writing, God provided the solution. It wasn’t long until I was consumed by what felt like a giant forest fire, bursting with information that needed to be shared.

That spark was the result of looking at the events of the redemption ceremony through Mary’s eyes. When Joseph held that precious baby boy, our Messiah, the Redeemer of the Jews in his arms, and redeemed him with two turtle doves, the sacrifice of the poor, how did Mary feel? What was going through her mind? How many other times during those first 30 years of Jesus' life did Mary wonder, “Is this how it is going to be? Is this really the way the Messiah of my people is going to live? Gabriel mentioned my son would inherit the throne of David. When will this come about?”

Looking at events of the birth through a mother’s eyes, I wanted Mary to be able to express her innermost thoughts without the stigma that existed during those days. I wanted readers to learn of the Jewish customs and how Jesus might have lived—the games he played, the food he ate, the clothes he wore, the chores he had to perform. What was it like for his earthly family living with Jesus in his first 30 years? Thus, the journal idea was born.

Through her journal entries, we learn of her heartfelt emotions as she watched her little boy, God’s son, mature into the man God intended him to be. All that time, Mary anticipated her son would soon inherit the throne of David. Through Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life, readers walk the streets of Nazareth. They live in the humble abode shared by Jesus’ brothers and sisters. They join Joseph and Mary as they celebrate the same milestones we celebrate today—a first tooth, first word, first step, first day of school and many more. By viewing Jesus as a loving son, our relationship with him grows as we feel Mary’s astonishment and her pain.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mary’s View
Mary’s view is a look at the written scripture through the eyes of Jesus’ mother. Does this view change the meaning of the recorded scripture? No, but it does offer a fresh perspective of some very old stories. The stories of Jesus’ life written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have a slightly different interpretation when viewed through the eyes of a loving, caring mother.
When writing Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life, I had to create a valid timeline of Jesus’ life for Mary to record in her journal. It was impossible to create this timeline using only the sequence of events as recorded by the four gospels. Some events had to be added or shifted to compile a complete picture of Jesus’ life. The stories are not contradictory; they only tell the story from that particular writer’s knowledge.
For example, the story of Jesus’ birth can only be found in Matthew and Luke. According to Matthew, Joseph was betrothed to Mary, Mary was found to be with child, Joseph planned to send her away secretly, the angel appeared to Joseph, they got married, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Magi appear, they were forced to flee to Egypt and then they returned to Nazareth. According to Luke, Mary was visited by Gabriel, Mary then hurried to the hill country to visit Elizabeth for three months, she returned to Nazareth, then Joseph and his betrothed were required to go to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, the shepherds visited, Jesus was circumcised, he was presented in the temple where Anna and Simeon greeted them, and then they returned to their own city of Nazareth. Are these writers even talking about the same story?
At some point, all four gospels have Jesus and his group of followers in one place one day and in a place ninety miles away the next day. Does this mean the writings are wrong or contradictory? Not necessarily. When viewed through the eyes of Mary, most of the events can be pieced together to form a logical timeline of Jesus’ life. When reading these stories in the different books, we don’t think about the timeline. These discrepancies can only be seen when trying to create a daily walk of Jesus’ life as Mary does in her journal.
Questions often asked of Jesus’ life can be explained through Mary’s view. Many of the answers are ones that only a mother would know. Some questions Mary answers are:
• How did the four gospels acquire information for the particular events they recorded?
• Did Jesus perform miracles while living with His earthly family?
• Why did Mary hurry to Elizabeth’s right after she had been greeted by Gabriel?
• Why did the angel wait until after Mary told Joseph of her pregnancy to appear to him?
• Why didn’t people believe the shepherd’s story?
• Where did Luke obtain the smallest details of his story of the birth?
• Where did Matthew obtain his details of the birth story?
• When did the Magi appear to Mary and Joseph?
• Why did Herod kill all males two years of age and under if Jesus was a baby?
• Why did Jesus wait until He was thirty to begin His ministry?
• How was Jesus such a close friend to Lazarus?
• Did Jesus know any of His followers prior to choosing them?
• How did Jesus know so much about the lives of the fishermen and the farmers He used in His parables if he followed in His father’s footsteps as a carpenter?
• Why is John the only one who writes about many of the stories often repeated, but doesn’t even mention the forty days of Jesus’ temptation?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finding My Dream

I just finished reading the Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkerson. A friend at church, Anna Adams, gave it to me.
If you, like me, have a dream, it is a must read. Since writing Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Life, I have been through every one of the perils in that story. There are so many ups and downs to writing a book.
The important thing is to remember that God gives us the dream and we must learn to let Him lead our path.
There is so much to learn about the process, it can be overwhelming. Around every turn, the devil is waiting to take you down and stop your progress. It is important to remember that God gives us those bad times right along with the good ones. How dull would our life be if everything we did turned out perfect?
During the bad times we need to rely on God even more. Let Him carry us through these times so we can run in the sand again.
Thank you Lord for all the blessings You have given me through family and friends.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to the blog for my new book, Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life. This is my first blogging attempt, so if any of you veterans can offer any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.
I have been working on this book for many years. Last year about this time, I enrolled in the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference eager to meet with a publisher to pitch my story. Due to a glich (really, it was all in God's hands) in the registration process, my appoitment with a publisher fell through and, at the last minute, I was assigned to Virginia Smith.
God does work in very mysterious ways. I had never heard of Virginia Smith, but was pleasantly surprised when I met her and realized she lives only 5 miles from my house.
To make a long story short, I hired Ginny as my editor. She not only became my editor, but she also became my friend. She introduced me to a group of wonderful writers who call themselves the Kentucky Christian Writers Group.
If God had not directed me to "Ginny" last year, I don't think my book would be published today. With her help and guidance, I have a published book that I am very proud to show people and say, "Look what God helped me do."
I am anxious to attend the conference again this year and hear Ginny as the keynote speaker. My prayer is for all current or wanna-be writers to seriously consider attending this conference where you will be uplifted and encouraged by the awe-inspiring devotions, workshops, and appointments.
Since starting this project, I have learned that if you let God have His way and patiently wait for His time, He will bless you far more than you ever thought possible.