I encountered my most favorite sentence of the season on Sunday, when it was read during the lighting of the Advent candle:

“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

Here’s the entire passage:

“When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” Luke 2:15-20

In all that was happening around Mary at the moment, she paused. She treasured. She pondered. All in her heart.

This is my favorite verse of the season because I love what this amazing mom modeled for me. She had a lot going on around her…she had given birth (in a barn!), some shepherds had just rushed in and were talking, making known what had been told to them, and in all this she took the time to tuck the moment away. To treasure it and ponder it in her heart.

If Mary could do this under these happenings, could I do it too?

I’ve challenged myself this season to be diligent about treasuring moments & pondering them in my heart to keep my focus on what Mary was treasuring and pondering in her heart.

IMG_3030.jpgLast weekend, my family decorated our tree. As I unwrapped my favorite ornament, a church I had painted in middle school, I could see Jesus. God’s church (the people, not the building), has meant so much to me throughout my life. Then, when I watched as my children hung ornaments on the tree representing moments in their life, I could see Jesus. Those of you who know our journey to parenthood, know this to be true. I tucked it all away. Treasuring it. Pondering it in my heart.

Our Children’s Minister hosted a Christmas party at her house this past weekend. There, I paused and pondered about all these amazing harvesters for the Kingdom of God, thanking the Lord for them. As I looked around her home at all the people mingling, eating, servant hearts refilling delicious goodies, I could see Jesus in all of it. I tucked it away. Treasuring it. Pondering it in my heart.

Last night, we had our Church Weekday Preschool Christmas party at a restaurant. As I sat around the long table with the 13 other ladies I have the privilege of working with, hearing their laughter, telling memorable stories from years’ past, sharing a meal together, I could see Jesus. I could see Him on their faces, and especially in their laughter. I tucked it away. Treasuring it. Pondering it in my heart.

It only takes a moment for me to stop and treasure “these things”, to ponder them in my heart, as Mary did. After all, if Mary could do it recovering from giving birth, in a barn, amongst a group of talking shepherds, couldn’t I do it in my surroundings?

Let’s treasure all “these things” this Christmas season, all the moments we see Jesus. Let’s ponder them in our heart. Let’s tuck them away. Let’s take the time to be intentional about meditating on this amazing gift that God has given us. A gift that takes the punishment of our sin. A gift that grants eternal life. All we have to do is receive it. How awesome is that?!

“Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Born. For. YOU!!!