A couple weeks later, I heard this Bible verse from Luke at a worship gathering. "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." I've heard the Christmas story dozens of times. Here's the SparkNotes version: An angel appears to tell Mary she is with child. Her husband Joseph is confused (especially, the whole part about him not being the father.) Joseph and Mary make the trek to Bethlehem and Jesus is born. Despite hearing that story countless times, something about the verse stayed with me. After Mary (a teenager by the way) gives birth to Jesus, the shepherds come to admire the baby boy. Afterwards, they can't help but want to spread the good news to everyone: the Savior of the world is born. But, Mary does something different after giving birth. She treasures it. This once-in-a-lifetime moment and the ones leading up to it. These precious memories she'll never get to relive again. She holds them in her heart.
That verse set the tone for my holiday season. It made me look around at all of the moments I experienced a little differently. It made me take in every face around the table at a Cheesecake Factory brunch I had with friends from church, the women who prayed for me and encouraged me all year long. It made me want to go to Julep twice in one weekend, because why not? It made me cry at my cousin's wedding as my 91-year-old grandmother walked down the aisle, in awe that this brave and beautiful woman got on a plane from Mississippi to participate. It made me slow down. It made me take deeper breaths during the harder, less cheerful moments that we all experience during the holidays.
The holidays bring up so many feelings. Nostalgia and reminiscing from the past. Our hopes and dreams for the future. There are so many different things we can treasure in this season. We can treasure having a perfect Christmas, where nothing goes wrong. Ha. We can treasure other people's lives on social media, wishing our Christmas looked like there's, or we can treasure our own lives and all they have to offer. We can treasure it all--- the good, the hard and the in-between. I want to be like Mary. I want to hold tight to these little moments happening right now that I'll never get back. I want to settle the right truths in my heart and never let them go, even after the holidays are over.