What if Mary Said “No”?


“What if Mary had said no?”

This was the question Liz Curtis Higgs posed to me this morning. Not over a breakfast coffee, although I would have loved that. But in her Advent book “The Women of Christmas.”

Liz reminds us of the wisdom of God, “That’s why the Lord chose Mary. He knew she would say yes. God did not have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. Mary was The Plan.”

Liz’s words take me back to my own direction changing story. The season was coming to an end. I was done with school and had no idea what God had for me next. I had tried to open a door, only to have it quickly slammed shut. Now what? Sharing my dilemma with my counselor, she asked me if I had prayed about it. Why, of course I had prayed about it! The problem wasn’t me , God simply wasn’t talking. Then she said these wise words, redirecting my focus:

“When you reach the point, that no matter what God says, the answer is “yes”, you’ll hear Him.”

That’s what God knew about Mary.

Her answer would be “yes”. Mary made it about God; not about Mary.

With each character in the Christmas story, Liz does the same. Not even a moment does she allow the spotlight to stay on the female character in the story. She always redirects back to our Savior. “Mary was full of God’s grace simply because God chose to bless her. We have no description of her being holy or pious or deserving. She was a virgin, yes, but not perfect, not without sin. For Jesus to be fully the Son of Man, his mother had to be fully human.”

Maybe like me, you need a little redirecting this holiday season. The focus back on the Savior. Let “The Women of Christmas” lend a hand.

Be sure to take a moment to take in the many FREE resources Liz offers, bringing us to the manger, at www.LizCurtisHiggs.com including “How to Have a Sane and Sacred Christmas”. 

Women_of_Christmas_large     The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary and Anna is available everywhere books are sold, including your favorite local bookstores and these online booksellers: Amazon.comBooksaMillion.com


Liz is so generous to be giving away a signed copy of this beautiful book. For your chance to win, please enter a comment below sharing one tip for getting our focus on the Savior in the days ahead. If time is short, just say “I’m In!”  I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday on my “Wednesday Wisdom Tip”.

The winner of Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture is Susan who posted at 2014/11/20 at 10:26 pm. I will send you an email Susan. Please send me your full name and address and I’ll get it sent right out! 





  1. Last year I did a dailt devotional for Advent that really helped me keep focus on the Savior. I also had a cd reading of the story of Jesus’ birth in my car. I listened to it often before turning on music.

  2. When I was a child, my parents found an Advent calendar that had a small Christian ornament with a related Scripture verse behind each day’s door. It was lost in one of our many Army-transfer moves, and I haven’t been able to find one for my own children. If anyone knows where I might get one, please share! In our family, we talk a lot about the joy of giving without expecting a gift in return just as God gave his son to us. We participate as a family in the Christmas shoe boxes, backpacks for children in Appalachia, etc. and talk about the good feeling of being able to do for others. (Might have to create an Advent calendar myself!)

  3. nancys1128 says:

    Daily reading and reflecting on the story of Jesus – the who, what, when, where why and how – from not only the bible but various commentaries. It’s a more scholarly focus, but may provide blank-filling information to make the story come to life not just for us but in us.

  4. For the Lord your God is a God of Loving-pity. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the agreement He promised to your Fathers, Deuteronomy 7:9

    I often think of Mary and her faithfulness, courage & Love of God. , I know the bible says that Mary heard that and kept it close to her heart ,when I was reading proverbs 15:15 ” All the days of the suffering are hard, But a Glad heart has a special supper all the time . I thought of Mary how she would be singing and praising the Lord in her Heart and mind, yet know the suffering she and more so Joseph will have to endure. Praise God for giving us the strength needed to always show his glory shinning through us!!!

  5. I like putting our nativity scene together one piece per day along with a scripture reading, adding Jesus to it on
    Christmas day. A daily reminder of what it’s all about.

  6. I have often wondered what would happen if Mary had said no. But, then i remember that she feared the Lord and was waiting for a Messiah. It could not have been easy but she probably was overwhelmed at the time. I don’t know what i would have done. She had many challenges as a single, betrothed young woman. Could she add this to her list. Only God’s grace and the soft words of the angel Gabriel gave her clarity and she could not say No. I have come across this book on my nook and would love to read it. Quite honestly, money is very tight in my life so i weigh my options and decide at a time when some funds are freed up to buy books on my wishlist. I am an avid reader and have some advent devos that i am reading or shall i say absorbing. I would love to add this one to my list. That is how i keep my focus on Jesus and keep the stress of the season away.
    Thanks for the post. It has blessed me and given me something to contemplate.
    Bless you.

  7. Sandra H. says:

    Thank you so much for the contest. I enjoy the advent season.

  8. My family has an advent calendar and devotional that we will use to stay focused on Jesus. Also, when we give a gift this year, we are going to place gift tags on each that say, “May this gift be a reminder to you of the greatest gift that God has given us through His son Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas!”

  9. Our family does a Jesse Tree each year during the Advent season to help us stay focused on Jesus.

  10. sharon walker says:

    You are so kind to offer this contest – thankyou I crochet/knit items for those in need. I feel that is so important .To show love to others in all ways.
    Bible verses are read and discussed more. Praying for Love and Peace in our world

    Blessings to you

  11. Thank you Liz! I saw you at the Women of Faith conference in Indiana. For the past year or so, I’ve been reading only Biblical/historical novels. This book would be a great study. I would start my day out listening to “Walk With Me” by Jesus Culture and other encouraging Christian music. Doing our Advent Book (Jack & Kathy Stockman) & devotional with the kids. Keep things simple, no stressing out.

  12. You don’t know how much I needed this today. I was having such an ugly day. I was yelling at God telling Him how I should never be a mom. I wasn’t built for this. that I should of just stayed on the road (carnival) and never had kids. That if I had to do it all over again I don’t think I would. Mothering is hard. Physically, emotionally and mentally. An specially spiritually. I feel the closer I get to God the more these children tear me from Him. I think I need to bookmark this particular post for if and when this day ever shows its ugly head again…. Thanks so much. words can’t express enough. now I need to go apologize to God for my behavior and to my kids….

    1. Melissa K. says:

      Oh, Amy! I am so glad you shared this. I sometimes feel like I am the only one who feels these exact same way. Many times I’ve said that I was not made to be a mother. He keeps strengthening me and bringing me back in line with his will. Praying for a fellow mother! I don’t feel alone!

  13. Jennifer D. says:

    The last few years we have gone through the Jesse tree devotionals as a family. This allows us to daily focus on the reason for the season. This year we are going to do Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift” as a family. I’m looking forward to focusing together on Christ this season.

  14. At least once a day , sit in quietness at base of our well lit Christmas tree and simply thank Him for coming so humbly for a wretch like me.

  15. Lynn, I have always loved Mary’s “YES” to God! And when I partipated in the “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” OBS…well, her yes seemed so much more beautiful! I stay focused on Jesus during Advent by turning my quiet time each day into a day in the journey of Mary, Joseph and most of all Jesus…from the moment Gabriel came to Mary through the birth of our Savior…Immanuel…God with us!

  16. Melissa K. says:

    I am reading all these posts and getting great ideas for centering my young family’s Christmas around Christ. Thank you to all who are sharing.

  17. especially during this week of thanksgiving I love the idea of a thankfulness note book. Its so easy and really changes the perspective of the entire day.

  18. I always find it helpful (and calming) to listen to music that lifts Him up.. Especially when I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed. It just brings my mind and heart back into focus on what is most important – Him.

  19. Michelle Silva says:

    im in because I as sick in tired of the enemy
    Having victory over my life since my moms murder.
    I’m demanding my life back from the pits of hell

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Jesus, we agree with Michelle. Bring victory over her home and an end to the devil’s schemes. Move in a mighty way that brings You glory! Amen

  20. Bonnie Taylor says:

    I’m in!!!!!Thank you!!!!

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