Being pregnant during this wonderful time, I have had a bit more empathy for Mary than I ever thought I could or would.
As tradition has it, Mary rode on a donkey with Joseph at the lead, looking for a place to stay for the night. She, being very much with child, probably rode on this donkey for hours. This is a task I can't even imagine doing. It's hard even sitting still while having a contraction, let alone sitting atop a donkey while trying to get past the minute of contraction every so often. I think so much about how courageous she had to be, not knowing where they would land for the night, but having faith that Heavenly Father would provide for them. Then having to give birth to a baby boy: a boy who would change the world. The Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. I think she knew a little bit of what her baby would become, just as mothers now can see the potential in each of their children. I could guess that every mother has empathy for what Mary has been through, but being a first time mother during the Christmas season, it has moved me in a way I never expected. I'm so thankful she did what she did. That she took the mockery of the world, having consumed a child without ever knowing her husband. That Joseph took her, and loved her anyway. That she traveled great distances to find a place of birth. That she gave birth in the humblest of circumstances. That she gave up her Son, so He could save the world. She must have been one special woman, chosen to endure such things, but I'm thankful she did so we could have a Savior. I hope that even through the bustle of holiday spectacular, we don't forget the true meaning of Christmas, Christ's birth.
Watch this video if you get the chance. It's great, promise.