Written by my friend Tracey
This time of year always gets so busy. As I write this, it’s hard not to let the thoughts creep in of everything I need to get done today and over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. We no sooner take our last bites of Thanksgiving dinner (ok, Halloween candy!), when the bells start ringing on the street corners and radio, heralding what lies ahead. Thankfully, I came across this picture and reminder recently of a time when all was hurried, yet very still.
As I read the following passage leading up to Christmas, I knew it deep in my heart. I lived it in my own way and, in some sense, still thankfully experience glimpses of it now.
Luke 2:19 says “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Joseph and Mary went from a couple to a family of three. They were met with a true miracle and great responsibility before them like no one had ever known. People were moving in and around that nativity scene joyful and, I’m sure at times, loud and celebratory. They all seemed to know just what to do and why they were there, and Mary took it all in…pondering the moment in her heart.
When my daughter was born, I remember all of the buzz around me. The time leading up to her birth was filled with a lot of excitement, but also terrifying. We also went from a couple to a family of three in what seemed like moments, and I felt woefully unprepared for our own little miracle and responsibility. And after she took her first breaths, everything around me seemed to move at a dizzying pace. People were coming in and out of our room, smiling and joyful and sometimes loud and celebratory. They all seemed to know exactly what to do, while I sat there and tried to take in what had just occurred and the flurry of activity this tiny being drew to her very existence. In the eye of the newborn hurricane, I knew great peace and stillness.
Fast forward to the end of a hectic day yesterday, as I was sifting through emails and trying to finish up some online shopping. My mind was mush, and it seemed like I was shoveling against an unending tide. Then I heard words that made me stop everything and focus on what’s truly important. It forced me to be quiet and still. My daughter…this seems-like-only-yesterday baby who now sparkles and shines with possibilities and promise as a beautiful teenager…asked me to pray for her. Through welling tears and a big lump in my throat, I did. I will always. And I’ll never stop gathering those moments when the world seems to stand still and God reminds me who I am and whose I am.
Amongst the bright lights and noise and busyness of these days, gather the moments. Take them all in and ponder them. Use them as touchstones, even oxygen, when it all seems overwhelming and clanging and insurmountable. Be still, pensive, and quiet. Remember.