The Beauty of the Manger


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My fourth child was due to arrive just before Christmas. We were building a home at the time and it was not ready for occupancy. I remember feeling anxious about bringing a newborn home to our temporary living situation–a large, open room over my brother-in-law’s garage. With two young boys and another young family within earshot, I feared the sleepless nights would be a problem for the whole house. 


Every mom wants her nest in order–beautifully decorated and sanitized–before her new baby arrives. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

Imagine how Mother Mary felt ridding a donkey across the country during the “nesting stage” of her first pregnancy.

I wasn’t able to prepare a beautiful lil’ nursery for Victoria’s arrival, but we did have a safe, warm, clean and comfortable place to live and I will be forever grateful to my in-laws for sharing their home during that time. 

When Almighty God sent His only Son to a far less beautiful environment, it was not because of His lack of preparation. 

Luke 2:12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Having a baby is a dream come true for most women. Dreams are pretty and perfect in every way and when they come to fruition, it can be painfully disappointing if our reality is full of flaws. 

Or foul stenches.

Devine planing

Why did God allow His child to be delivered into such a nasty environment under such humiliating circumstances? Why did Jesus’ unwed, virgin mother delivered Him in a barn? 

Maybe Mary had time to sterilize that manger. Maybe, just maybe, Joseph found a corner with some privacy and made a comfortable bed of hay for her labor, but more than likely the fruition of her childhood dream of becoming a mother was full of difficulty and disappointments. 

Christmas can be like that for many of us. 

Maybe, just maybe, the nasty environment was part of God’s plan to give us hope and relationship with Him.

Matthew 1:23  
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
 She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
 which means ‘God is with us.’”

You are not alone

If you are struggling with difficulties and disappointments this Christmas, I encourage you to look to the manger. It may seem as if your dreams have fallen apart and there is no hope, but God does have a plan and He cares deeply about the details of your life. Sometimes it’s the messy, smelly circumstances that form us most and bring forth the most beautiful stories. It’s hard to see the beauty when you’re in the barn, but let’s learn from Mary’s calm, expectant demeanor and watch in wonder, knowing that no matter how hard it was, God is still good. Mary made the choice to trust Him. Will you? 

Luke 2:19 (NLT)
but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.


As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become  part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter,  Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads  or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit for more information.

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