A Mary Moment Monday post

Having a son has made me look differently at my husband. It’s also made me consider St. Joseph in a new light, too. Granted, my little guy’s a Joseph himself. And my husband has long been a model to me of the hard-working ethos and love-through-providing that St. Joseph must have embodied.

But there’s something–even this early into it–about having a son. Already my husband has a little smile when he thinks of construction toys (and he and his older brother, the one with the real-life construction equipment, are already plotting). He will hold the baby and watch basketball and I hear a little commentary.

Strangely, this commentary doesn’t involve purple ponies or hair bows. It is, in fact, very alien commentary in my house of girls, girls who own their father (and know it) and who convince him to play talking horses (though he insists to me that when you play with toys they do NOT have to TALK).

Mary knows; she understands. She had a son and a husband. She must have watched Joseph teaching Jesus how to use the tools and bear with gentle frustration the getting-into and “borrowing” that I imagine must have occurred.

Did Jesus take things apart and examine them? Did he build, even as he was toddling around the house?

Mary was also right in the middle of the disciples, which I picture as a bunch of rough-looking, gentle giants. She was surrounded by men, even as she was holding hands with a host of women. Those men were looking to her, the Mother, and listening to her after her son had ascended.

I grew up with brothers, and I have always felt an affinity for males. I have nothing against women, mind you. It’s just that there’s something about boys.

I have laughed that I have two daughters. I shoulda had boys, I think to myself. And then I see the beauty of my girls and their daddy, and I get a glimpse–just a tiny look–at what makes God smile. Every man deserves a daughter.

As I hold my little man, whose gaze at me seems so different than his sisters’ did, and as I watch my husband go all boy on me, I have to just pause and thank God.

The feast of St. Joseph is March 19, which is Saturday. I think I may think of something special for my husband, in honor of a patron who has done so much for our family.

I love that this feast falls during Lent, and it ties in nicely with an initiative Heidi Hess Saxton (whose writing has inspired raving on my part before) called The 40 Day Challenge. She introduces it here, and she has updates going to the 40 Day Challenge Facebook page.

St. Joseph has long been someone I turn to for my marriage, and using the 40 days of Lent to work on my marriage is a challenge I am going to embrace.

If your marriage is perfect, all the more reason to improve it to super-perfect. But if there’s even one tiny annoyance you have, why not use this season and give it to God? No matter what your faith background, Heidi’s reflections and prompts will give you food for thought and meat for your marriage. Start where you are, at whatever day you begin (though if you’re motivated, you could go back and start at the beginning…for me, though, that’s the kind of obsessive thing that makes something like this impossible!).

If we are to improve the world, we must start in our own homes. For those of us who are married, there is no vocation more important than that of our marriage. If you aren’t married, maybe you can use this as an opportunity to pray for the marriage of someone you know, especially if you see them struggling.

Here are links to the first couple of posts in Heidi’s series, though you can click through to the Facebook page or her blog and find them all: