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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Take Time to Ponder

As we are almost to Christmas Day, I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the real reason for the season--the birth of Jesus. In the Bible, the most familiar account of the birth of Jesus is found in Luke 2. In verses 1-20 it says:  
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.  
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
I've spent some time this Christmas season thinking about Mary and the part where she treasured these things and pondered them in her heart. I've pondered this and have worked to make the season one that isn't full of so much hustle and bustle and instead have tried to focus on the treasure. I may not have succeeded fully, but we were able to do quite a bit of things as a family. We didn't get everything done and had to take a few things off our list. But, we were able to laugh together and play games and spend time together as a family. That's something I treasure in my heart.

I may not know what it's like to be the mother of the Savior of the world, but I know what it's like to be the mother of Andrew, Nathan and Rebekah. I've spent extra time marveling at the treasure they are in my life and this Christmas, I have pondered these things in my heart. I ponder at the miracles they are and how each one has grown and changed this year. And, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, each one has shown such a different "Ah-ha" moment that I treasure. Each one has done selfless acts that may not be recorded in history books, but are recorded in my heart. As they grow, I ponder the people they are becoming. I pray they will keep living out their faith and that they will always know the reason for the season. 

I've been introspective this year. I've pondered a lot. And like Mary, I too have treasures stored in my heart. As we draw near to Christmas morning, I hope you'll spend a little time pondering the treasure and the blessings of your life in your own heart.

Merry Christmas!

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