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19 December

Surviving Christmas . . . Mary’s Way

As I look over my list of things to do for our upcoming Holiday Women’s Ministry event my soul is already yearning for January. For in January the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over and I can just settle in and rest.

But rest is not on today’s agenda. With Andy Williams singing throughout the day that this is the most wonderful time of the year (and he croons it out eight times in the popular Christmas song) all I can think of is this is the most hectic time of the year.

Whether your husband ministers to a large congregation or small, there are so many demands and expectations put on us as minister’s wives. In a large church there are more events to help with and attend, and in a small church . . . well, we just about do everything.

So how can we get through the Christmas season without wishing it was January already? By following Mary’s example: treasure and ponder.

A lot had happened in this young women’s life. It started with a visit from a real angel telling her she would have a baby, without ever being with a man, and not just any baby, but one who would “be great and will be called the Son of the Most High,” (Luke 1:32).

You know the story. Mary travels with Joseph to Bethlehem, has the baby in a manger, shepherds come and visit and tell her about the angel that visited them and then how the skies were filled with angels as they sang, “Glory to God in the highest,. . .” and then how they followed a star to Bethlehem and found her and the baby.

I don’t know if they barged in after running to see what the angel said was true or not, or if they gently pushed open the door with reverence to see the Holy child, but one thing is for sure, they probably became very animated and excited as they retold their story to Joseph and Mary.

When Mary heard all of this the scripture says she “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart,” (Luke 2:19).

I think that is the key to surviving a busy Christmas season. We need to take time to ponder the things we have treasured in our hearts concerning Jesus and His birth.

I’m sure we all have our own personal reactions to the Christmas story found in Luke 2. Being a prodigal daughter, and coming back home to the Lord in the fall of the year, the next couple of weeks were unexplainable as I experienced the birth of Christ in new heart-felt way as I made Jesus not only Savior but Lord of my life. The story was more meaningful and continues to be to this day. I treasure my salvation and the fact that God came to earth in the form of a man to live on earth and then die for me. I ponder what all He went through, what He did, and now how He continues to be with me.

What have you treasured in your heart concerning Jesus? Take time to ponder on these things this Christmas season. Mary did. She had much to treasure. And as children of God, the One who sent Jesus from His home in heaven to this earth to live and die for us, we too should have much treasured in our hearts.

Yes, January is coming, but I’m not going to wait until then to settle in and rest. In the midst of the busiest time of the year, I’m going to make it a point to be settled and rest in the fact that Jesus really is the reason for this busy season and that it is because of God’s love I am His child.

Now that is a lot to ponder . . .

About the Author:

The hats I wear are many but with each one brings an opportunity to share heart, humor, and hope. My day job is with a ministry in Greenville, SC but my other hours I fill with writing, speaking, teaching Bible Studies, leading our women's ministry, designing landscape/gardens, rowing at Greenville Indoor Rowing and answering to Beth, mama, and grandmommy. Serving alongside my husband, who is a pastor, for over twenty years, I can say without a doubt that as difficult as it is at times, it's also a great honor. They say that with age comes wisdom, I'm not sure about the wisdom part, but I do know that with age comes the realization that no matter what I go through God is always there with His overwhelming love and grace. 

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