Treasure and Ponder

Luke 2:19 tells us,  “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Do you know the context of this verse? Was it after the visitation from the angel? No. Was it after Anna and Simeon confirmed this was indeed the Savior and praised God with at the temple? No. Was it after she delivered the child… in a stable with her betrothed (not her legal husband)... when strange men appeared to meet her baby?...

Yes. It was then. I had my second son while being wheeled on an ambulance stretcher by strangers (kind strangers, but strangers nonetheless). A rushed delivery in a location you didn’t plan are hardly an occasion to celebrate in my book. “Ponder” and “treasure” would not be the verbs I would use to describe my heart’s response at that moment. There is probably very little in Mary’s experience that she would have chosen, yet her response is beautiful. It reveals more of why God chose this young woman for this glorious role… and it convicts me to rejoice when life isn’t going as I planned.

As I heard this verse again this morning, I was struck once more by how different our Christmas celebrations are from that first Christmas. The battle of wanting to make the holiday special for my children is confronted by my conviction to teach them it’s not all about them! If my entire to-do list is accomplished this holiday season, my boys will have a great time but what will be the fruit in their hearts… and in mine? I want to pose to you this question: What does a godly mom do at Christmas?

The answer is not on Pinterest.

It’s not in a toy store.

It most likely won’t be found by surveying the other mothers’ Facebook posts.

You will find the answer in The Word of God. Mary is a humbling, striking example of the mother we are to be. The most powerful thing we can do is treasure and ponder the birth of our Savior. When our children see us engaged and worshipping the humble, newborn king, they will better understand what Christmas is truly about. Give yourself the freedom to scale down the celebrations if it’s too much for you to prepare. You can bring on the presents, the baked goods, the traveling, the movies, the carols, the Christmas lights. Have a wonderful celebration! But please make time to treasure your Savior in front of (and with) your kids.

Please hear my heart on this one: I am trying to release you from expectations, not add a burden. If a few presents show up under the tree in brown paper bags, it’s okay. If you need to make a frozen meal or two, it’s okay. If those handmade ornaments of your children’s photos don’t come to fruition and get to the grandparents, it’s okay. Enjoy your Savior! Enjoy your family!

With that said, here is an “Entrusted Challenge” for your Christmas break:

  1. Let you kids see you worshipping. It may be a Christmas song or a non-holiday tune. It may be in the car on the way to the grocery store, but stop and listen to the lyrics for a moment and let them renew you! Tell your kids what moved you and why it is important.
  2. Treasure each child the Lord has given you. Spend some focused time with each child. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. In the Tips section of the Entrusted with a Child’s Heart study, Betsy recommends “Hours.” This is a tradition Betsy’s mom began. She would spend one hour each week with each of her children. They would do whatever activity the child requested. It just had to be free and at home. Your children may not be at an age to handle a full hour, so adjust as needed. Try to use your holiday break to really enjoy and invest in your children, not just cross off items on your to-do list… and try to leave your phone where it won’t distract you. :)
  3. Let your kids see you reading God’s Word. They can be playing on the floor right in front of you. Just aim to show them your devotion to the Lord. Perhaps they’ll crawl up next to you and ask you to read to them and a memory will be created.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite Christmas traditions: having birthday cake for Jesus! I love kicking off the holiday by reminding everyone why we celebrate. We read a sweet picture book about the nativity, sing “Happy Birthday,” and enjoyed the cake together. As we blew out the candles tonight and my two-year-old jumped up and down yelling, “Yay Jesus!!!” I knew it was time well spent.

Merry Christmas!

Posted on December 23, 2015 and filed under Building Your Faith.