As Mother’s Day nears I am struck by the unique qualities of the many Mamas I have come to know. This whole new adventure in writing and speaking has gifted me with incredible conversations with new Mamas, seasoned Mamas and Mamas so many times over they now are Grandmas and Great-Grandmas. Every one of these women is working hard and doing a beautiful thing from their own design. And, every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of one of their unique qualities and think, “I’m taking that tip with me!”
One of those Mamas is on my heart today. She has a thing about her that I have never quite been able to capture. Something I have desired since long before having children. And it is by writing about her that I hope some miracle will occur and that quality she had will infuse itself into the very fiber of my Mamahood.
It’s Mary. Yep, that Mary. I’m a bit of a fangirl.
Let’s take a moment and set the scene in Luke 2. Mary and Joseph have traveled to Bethlehem for the census. With nowhere to stay, Mary goes into labor, giving birth to Jesus in a manger. Some shepherds are nearby watching sheep when an angel shows up, freaks them all out, and tells them that the Savior has been born. Then a whole bunch more angels show up, praise God for a while, and then they all disappear. The shepherds hustle over to Bethlehem, visit the Holy Family in the manger and then take off again to tell anyone who will listen. Angels and humans alike were bustling about, excited to announce the incredible news of the Savior. God tells us about so many people who were talking. And then He gets very specific about one person who was not.
Mary. What an interesting detail for Him to reveal.
After the hustle and bustle of the announcement of Christ’s birth and the proclamations by people and heaven alike, the text then specifically sets her reaction apart. It reads, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (NIV)
After giving birth to the Savior of the world, Mary simply sits and gathers the moment into her soul and thinks about it. She doesn’t hurry to the next task. She doesn’t seek counsel with other people. She doesn’t start making a list of what to do next. She doesn’t start worrying about all that is to come in the days, months, and years ahead. She just treasures up “all these things” and ponders.
Pondering has a Greek translation of “azan” meaning to weigh, test or prove. Pondering is the place where we stop and breathe long enough to consider the entire picture before panic, worry, move on or take action because then at least we are doing “something.”
Pondering is the act of sitting in a moment long enough for God to join you there.
Mary is an incredible example of what it looks like to be a “mindful Mama.” There are so many times when taking even a few moments to “ponder and treasure” things in our hearts can lead us to memories, calm, and presence of self that we may not have had otherwise. Learning how to ponder as Mary did may give God just enough time to show up in our minds before we go racing off again.
We are wise to consider that God gives us some moments that may be meant just for us. Treasure. Ponder. Remember to pause and see what the picture looks like when He joins you in it. I invite you to join me in learning to practice a little “Mary mindfulness.” You won’t regret it.