How many times do you get to the end of a crazy, full week and can’t recall what all took place? Or go on a family vacation and on the way home have a hard time remembering all the things you did. Or take the time to do a Bible reading and hours later can’t recall what you read? Or drive somewhere and not remember the roads you took to get there?
Our lives are so full and fast-paced that we forget to slow down and reflect. We run nonstop and don’t take time to be still and sit and think. I think we could all learn a little from Mary in Luke 2:19 NIV - “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
This verse comes right after Jesus was born in a manger and the shepherds arrive to see this child that an angel had told them about. Mary takes notice of all that is going on around her and thinks about it. Mary pondered.
Pondered means to think about carefully. Mary weighed them in her mind wondering what it might indicate for her child. Can you imagine all that ran through her mind as she analyzed and processed the birth of the Savior and thought about having to raise the Son of God?! She begins to realize she was in the presence of a miracle.
I’m sure her mind went back to reflect on what the angel had told her about having a son that would be the Savior of the world and His name would be Jesus. Or thinking about what happened to her cousin Elizabeth that was barren for so long but then became miraculously pregnant in her older years. Or thinking about the shepherds coming to the manger to see Jesus and leaving rejoicing about what they had just seen.
The angel's song was true!
Then one day this precious child would grow into a man that would choose to give his body over to be crucified for you and me and Mary would be there pondering that moment too. So many extraordinary things Mary had now been a part of and she began to understand the mission of her son. In each of these powerful moments Mary “committed these things to memory and considered them carefully.” Luke 2:19 CEB
Moms are known for this, treasuring special moments! Moments such as the birth of children, or the first time laying eyes on an adopted child. Or moments such as watching a child walk or ride a bike or drive a car for the first time. Or moments when children are baptized or win a special award. There are many moments throughout our children’s lives that we commit to memory.
One moment in my daughter's story that I remember very clearly is when we were visiting the place where she lived for the first 18 months of her life. Due to a beautiful God coincidence, we got to meet her foster mom. We were able to have wonderful conversations with her that showed us the love our daughter had received while she was in this lady's care. We also got to see some precious pictures that she shared with us of our daughter at a younger age. That moment in time I will always treasure in my heart and ponder God’s goodness to allow us to meet.
There are other times in my life that I want to commit to memory but fail to because of being too busy, or rushed, or not completely present.
Here are 5 ways to get better at pondering and being intentional in moments we don’t want to forget:
Be fully present! When around people put away distractions such as phones so we are fully present to be a part of these special moments.
Keep a journal, either on your phone or written, of moments you don’t want to forget. Check out Day One Journal (app for phone).
Take pictures to capture important memories. Make photo books to reflect on.
Don’t rush. Take the time to be still and ponder and treasure instead of rushing through.
Meditate (think about what you're thinking about). Do this as you read God’s word. After reading something that speaks to you, write it down on a sticky note or notecard, or take a screenshot and think about it throughout the day.
Joshua 1:8 NLT - “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”