Friday, July 4, 2014

Christmas in July?

Across from the wooden bobsled ride and beside the shooting gallery is one my favorite shops in Knoebel's Amusement Park . . . Santa's Workshop.  It's a little shop with all manner of Christmas items, complete with the North Pole (a real frozen pole!) out front.  I always stop in on our annual visit to the park - this year being no exception.  As I entered, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sign on the door that said, "6 Months Until Christmas!"

How can it be?

And then, with a hint of divine serendipity, this week in my devotions I began the book of Luke.  And, of course, Luke 2 - Linus' favorite - has me thinking of cold mornings and festive days.  It felt a little odd to be reading the Christmas story at the height of summer, but somehow it seemed to just pop.  I guess because it's not buried amongst Christmas trees and candy canes and piles of gifts.

Every year during Advent, I intentionally ask the Lord to reveal something about His birth story that I hadn't seen before, a new perspective, a new angle.  And every year He's faithful to do it.  I decided to whisper that prayer on a hot summer morning as I read through the familiar chapters.  And again, He was faithful.

My eyes (and heart) focused on these verses:

And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  (Luke 2:18-19)

Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.  (Luke 2:51)

Maybe those verses stood out to me because I'm at a very pensive season of motherhood.  My boys are growing into men with lives of their own.  It's a dance to know how to parent young adults who are just on the verge of taking off on their own.  I've spent a lot of time pondering, a lot less time speaking.  A friend told me that she's learned wisdom in talking less and praying more during this season of motherhood.  I've found it to be good advice.

And though Mary was just beginning her ponderings as a mother - it seems, if I may be so bold, that she and I have a lot in common.  For it takes a quiet heart, a thoughtful mind, and a lot of faith to raise sons.


Vicki said...

As a mother of 3 sons, one who is 19 and considering his options for the future, this post really spoke to me. Thank-you for sharing it, Julie.

Julie said...

You're quite welcome, Vicki. I love, love having 3 boys. Though at one time, I wondered about God's decision to give me sons. I grew up without a dad or brothers and knew very little about boys. A friend told me that, perhaps, God gave me boys because I had no pre-conceived notions about them and would raise them as I thought they should be. I think there's some truth in that!