A Treasure Pressed Deep

Words from my heart on a day when words and emotion overflow and mingle…

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” Luke 2:19

Pressed deeply in her heart. Moments. Sacred moments.

We sense in our soul the magnitude and attempt in our limited ability to capture it. What is seen, heard, felt, communicated, experienced. Each detail noted… treasured.

Mary knew. She did not let the moment escape. She treasured it. She pondered it. She embraced the gift. Aware of the significance yet not fully aware of the eternal magnitude.

Mary had the advantage of being visited by an angel who told her in no uncertain terms the significance of the child in her womb. She knew this was a moment not to be missed. The moment, however, was far from calm. In the midst of all that was happening… all the stress of giving birth in a stable, learning how to mother a newborn, and navigating a not quite formalized marriage while surrounded by animals, angelic announcements, a celestial show, unfamiliar visitors, unwanted smells, and an unknown future… Mary paused. Scripture tells us that she took time to treasure the moment and ponder it in her heart. Yes, this was the Savior of the world but He was also her son. A whisper in her soul said this was a moment not to be forgotten. Details that needed to be remembered always!

Tonight I am unpacking treasured moments. Moments I have pressed deeply in my heart. Knowing that there are many that have slipped by, I cherish those that I purpose to keep alive in my heart.

365 days ago I hugged my father at the curb of the airport having no idea it would be the last earthly hug we would share. I remember his words, the longer than normal embrace, the look in his eyes… the glimmer of a tear and the love reflected in them. The leaving always hurt. I remember yearning for a picture of the moment or wishing the moment did not have to end as I pulled myself away from him. One last look and deep love exchanged in a glance as he told me to “come home again soon”. I walked away with a tear in my eye thinking how exceptionally tender the moment had been. I knew this was a moment to treasure. I am thankful I heard the whisper. I pondered it in my heart and pressed it deep. I would not know the magnitude of the moment until the following day when so unexpectedly he left us for his heavenly home. The moment captured in my heart became so much more. That tender good bye became a gift of great worth. Though bittersweet, I have treasured it for these 365 days. I cling to it; pull it out and ponder it. For even in the ache of it there is love and joy and beauty. It is a treasure.

There are other heart treasures. Some bring tears. Some bring laughter. There is new love, vows exchanged, holidays gathered together, holidays spent apart, hard good byes, joyous hellos, the last words of my mother and her fingers in my hair, the birth of my children, milestones as they have grown, prayers shared, leaving homes, fresh starts, hard endings, honest words, and love expressed. The list and details could fill pages. Each moment a treasure.

I find myself also keenly aware of the moments I missed. Moments lost in the fullness of my days. Moments just as tender that I cannot revisit or recreate. Wishing now that I had been still enough, aware enough to hear that whisper that alerts me to the significant. Moments remembered yet not treasured. Sounds, sights, smells that fade with time. Reminders to my soul to pause… be still… treasure and ponder.

So today, I pull out the treasure of that last moment with my dad. I remember. I ponder it once again and I purpose to hold it as the treasure it is. Thankful for the gift and the Giver of the moment. With that treasured moment, many others tumble out with it. While tears do flow because sadness is intertwined with the memories, there is joy too. Joy over a life of treasures. Treasures shared. Treasures pondered and pressed deep in my heart. Those treasures bring peace and fill my heart with a love. Love that is a balm when the hearts hurts. Thankful.

I love you Daddy!

 

 

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Just Take A Step

Just take a step.

Would you laugh if I told you that it seems too hard…too big?

It feels hard when you don’t know where that step will lead you.

How do I even know where to step? What does that first step feel like, look like?

What if I step in the wrong direction? What if I step on someone’s toes because they are already going there? What if there are so many people there already that there is no room for me? What if the step does not take me anywhere but in circles?

How can I take a step when there is more I need to know? The road map or GPS with step by step directions has not yet arrived.

Questions loom…. emotions rage… doubt assails. Each whirling, pressing, pounding on my mind. Each screaming their own warning or doubt. Adequate answers do not seem to come.

Just take a step.

Paralyzed. Unsure. Yet convinced that there is a step to be taken. Heart pounding, spirit pulsing sure there is a move to be made. Mind vs. Heart. Emotion vs. Spirit.

Doubt and fear are powerful roadblocks. They have the power to keep us… to keep me… frozen. Stuck in a place that is not “bad” yet is not the “fullness” of His will for me. A place that feels familiar and in that it feels strangely “good”. I am not moving but I am safe. Comfortable.

“Do not be afraid…” (Isaiah 4:10 ) But I am!

“…only believe.” (Mark 5:36) I want to but…!

“Press on…” (Phil 3:14) I am too tired!

“…move on.” (Ex. 14:15 ) It looks to scary!

“Follow me…” (Matt. 4:19) I don’t know where that will take me!

Walk forward… (Isaiah 43:18-19) The other direction is familiar!

I do hear You! I do believe You! My doubts and inaction betray these best intentions. Day after day, I sit and cry out “Show me, Lord”. Day after day you lovingly remind me…

Just take a step.

Obedience is hard. Pressing on, moving, following, walking forward…. hard.

Today though I choose them over sitting, doubting, questioning, and fearing. They have stolen too many hours…too many days… too many years.

“I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. If you had listened all along to what I told you, your life would have flowed full like a river…” (Isaiah 48:17-18 The Message)

“…peace flowing like a gentle river” (Isaiah 48:18 NLT) What a difference that would be from the relentless restlessness in this “comfortable place”.

I told my sweet girl once… “the first is the hardest”. I remind my own heart of that today. I choose hard and am promised peace… exchanging comfort for peace. Hmmm… As I begin to move, I feel it. Peace feels good. My little world is still very much the same but my perspective has changed. I am still sitting in my favorite chair but I am seeing all that is around me and within me from “a new place”. The first step changes me!

Taking a step… starting the journey. I have no idea where this will lead. I am so glad that He does!

Now on to the next step!

Lord, I do not know where you are leading. I am unsure how to move forward into what feels very unknown. I am thankful though for these truths: You know! You will equip me! You alone will order my steps! And, best of all, You go with me! When I fumble or fail, your grace will cover me, pick me back up, and place me back on your path. Those truths alone demolish the roadblocks of fear & doubt. I am so glad You are bigger and that you love me so much. Thank you, precious heavenly father. May this first small step make you smile! Your will be done. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Let me ask you, my friends…
Is He asking you to take a step?
What is keeping you from moving?
What small thing can you do to move?
What promises does He give you in response to His call?

Let’s Ponder Together ~

Margaret

Hello world!

World? Is that really who I am greeting? The computer generated title seems to tell me so.

I am not sure I am quite ready to say hello to the world! World seems awful big! World seems too large…too impersonal.

I wonder if the few sets of eyes that will actually read this can constitute a “world”?  A very small world.  A simple world.  An intimate world.

A world consisting of friends. Friends gathering together to ponder. Yes…This feels a bit more comfortable.

Friends gathering together to ponder the deep Truths that He presses on our hearts. That’s the kind of world that inspires me!

A world that can fit around a table, look each other in the eyes, and be real…honest…vulnerable. That type of world is life changing and life giving!

We are scattered though. You and me… all of us… in so many different places… different seasons…different circumstances.

We are busy!

We have lists!

We have lives!

We have hurts!

We have fears!

Can we find a way to gather together anyway? If not around a table then maybe in our hearts?

Can we find a way to create a place… a space… a moment to allow our worlds to connect? Can we find a way to allow our hearts to connect? Can we find a way to change our little world right in front of us?

The title says “Hello World” yet my heart cries “Hello Friend”!

As I say hello, I am not sure where this gathering of words will lead. I am not sure how The Lord can use an offering of words. I trust Him though. He is faithful. He gives so that we can in response give back. He has given me words… lots of words! So in this place, I will place some of these words. Not because they are profound or important but simply because He gave them and in response… I am giving them back.

So… “Hello World!”… “Hello Friend!”

Let’s ponder together!

~ Margaret