Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Bite #12 And Mary kept all these things...

and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

My son told me a secret yesterday. In one of those sweet moments of motherhood, he opened up his innermost self and told me something very special. I will say no more about it (and that has nothing to do with the fact that he reads this blog so if I blab it to the world he will know .... and never trust me again). I will hold this secret close to my heart because of the great privilege he gave me when he trusted me enough to share what was important to him. I am honored.

As I was reminded of the above verse I was drawn in 2 directions in relation to today's Holiday Bite. The first has to do with secrets. This time of year, there always seem to be a good number of secrets in our house as each one tries to come up with gift ideas for each other. Growing up, my grandmother (God bless her!) was notorious for innocently spilling the beans and ruining someone's surprise on Christmas day. Sometimes she managed to keep the secret right up to the moment of unwrapping the present, but, because she was legally blind, she might ask you (as you were starting to open the present) what you thought of the beautiful blouse so & so gave you. It was comical at times, and a bit frustrating for the poor gift givers who were hoping for a surprise. You might not be able to do large extravagant gifts this year, but can you think of a wonderful surprise for your loved ones? Can you plan a special activity to do together during the Christmas school break? Can you create something special that lets that person know how much you love him or her? One year I purchased inexpensive small photo albums (the kind with slip in pockets) and gave one to each child. Then we spent a few nights going through old photo envelopes looking at pictures of them as babies and on old family vacations. As we pulled out doubles each child could add some of the doubles to their own personal photo album. (This was about the time that I gave up on my unrealistic plan to create elaborate scrapbooking albums chronicalling their every milestone in life). Think of a "secret" gift and get busy working on it if it is something that is going to take some planning or crafting.
The second part of this verse talks about pondering these things in her heart. What an incredible experience Mary had as she gave birth to God's Son. Just imagine the thoughts that were rolling around in her head as she travelled to Bethlehem and then gave birth in a dirty cave surrounded by animals. And then all that she and Joseph went through as the shepherds came and worshipped the newborn, as Anna and Simeon recognized her son as the promised Messiah, the visit by the wise men and their escape to Egypt. Don't you ever wonder what that young mother was thinking at those times? What do I think about during the hustle and bustle of this season? Today, pull out your Bibles and read Luke 2. Carve out some time to ponder the Christmas story and make a plan to stop often, even daily, to ponder the wonder of God becoming man and all that means. If that doesn't make you thankful and get you ready to share your blessings with others then I don't know what will.