In 2010, I became a mom for the first time. Amid the fog of early morning feedings, the Holy Spirit brought Luke 2:19 to my mind: "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." I saw this previously neatly-packaged Christmas story ripped open and laid before me in a new raw intensity and humble vulnerability.
Staring at my own newborn son, I was overcome with the urgency to drink in every precious, fleeting moment. Though weary and overwhelmed, I wanted to press this soft-skinned new life against my body, as if to leave an indelible impression in my chest so as not to forget those precious, irreplacable moments. And so I treasured...and I pondered.
You see, Luke 2:19 is preceded by Luke 2:18: "And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them." The word wonder means to admire or marvel. Many saw or heard of this Word made flesh, this preeminent King who condescended to clothe himself with mortal skin. And they admired Him...or maybe even marveled.
But Mary treasured these things, meaning she guarded them, preserved them, and kept them close. Even more, she considered them in her heart long after the shepherds returned to their fields and the buzz in Bethlehem had quieted.
In those first few days and weeks of motherhood, treasuring and pondering for me was to find joy and satisfaction in the mundane and routine, knowing it would pass far too quickly. It was changing another diaper, stumbling out of bed for another feeding, or stealing another tender kiss while trying to be completely present, because the Holy Spirit kept whispering, Treasure this. It will be gone quickly.
And now pondering has become an act of my will. A choice to set my mind on things above, a choice to reflect on the grace and goodness of my Father, a choice to slow down and breathe more deeply, a choice to think carefully before I speak, a choice to meditate on the treasure of Scripture, a choice to rest, a choice to find the holy in the routine, a choice to think more highly of others than myself...a choice to live as I have never lived before.
The more I ponder, the more I find that the things I treasure and ponder, when my heart is rightly aligned with His, are all grace gifts. Whether a beam of sunlight casting shadows on the hardwood floors or the heart of a young college student thirsting for knowledge and truth, the tender embrace of my husband or the gentle but firm grasp of tiny fingers around mine, these objects of my ponderings are all wrapped in grace.