I wasn’t sure why the words spoke to me, so I invited them to tumble around my mind the entire day. This Monday I make them my muse and offer them a soft place to land.
I’ve read the Gospel of Luke many times, especially this passage, but the words never spoke to me with this magnitude - until yesterday.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
It still feels powerful.
For me, the words exemplify the inner workings of being a mother; the worry, the hopes, the wanting to hold on to precious moments. But what speaks to me most is the waiting it implies.
Mary stored moments of Jesus’s life and pondered them in her heart. She did not rush in to parent him, rather she made a note and kept her heart open for God’s guidance.
I’ve always been more of an observer than a reactor and believe much of my parenting came to life in the sleepless hours of the night when I lay in bed recounting the day. I confess my intent wasn’t a purposeful waiting for God’s guidance, it was more the way I process life. But, I believe I recognized in these early hours, when the world around me was quiet, I could hear God’s voice.
I can’t know Mary’s intentions or if they mirror my own, but there is one thing I know we as mothers, and especially foster and adoptive mothers, share with Mary. We said yes to God’s calling.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and give birth to a child out of wedlock and as a virgin, fear of the unknowing rose in her, but she still said yes. As mothers or caretakers, as women who lean into foster care or adopt a child with special needs, we, too, move into the abyss of unknowing. Yet, we say yes.
I see Mary teaching us to listen and observe our children and to treasure in our hearts what we see and hear.
To ponder with the desire to find treasures
When we observe our children with the desire to find treasures in what we see and hear, we open our hearts to the holy beauty of the child. This can be very hard when a child acts out, causes harm, and seems unreachable. But, each child is made in the image of God and no child is too broken that we cannot find a reflection of Him within. As you pause and wonder ask yourself, “What does this mean for the man or woman my child will eventually become?”
To ponder with the wanting to partner with God
The ability to notice and ponder the moments that make us say “hmmm” instead of reacting to them, is to open our hearts before God and allow him to show us the path to take. Sometimes we see it quickly, sometimes it takes years for the pieces to come together, but they do. Allow the tiny moments you tuck into your heart to teach you. And, listen.
To ponder and store away for when we mourn
I can’t help but wonder if the treasures Mary stored in her heart brought her comfort when she witnessed the suffering of her son? I'm not sure of this truth for myself either, but I do know, in the midst of trials and in mourning, the treasures always bring hope.
What are the treasures you ponder in your heart?