But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
After not celebrating Christmas for four years, I have struggled over the last few years to truly celebrate the birth of Christ. But being a mother has changed that. I find myself relating to the Christmas story more and more with each passing Christmas and each passing year of motherhood.
How can you not celebrate the birth of a baby…and the birth of a new mother?!?
I think that motherhood has changed me far more than any other experience I have gone through. And it continues to change me with each passing day. Any time I see a new mother, or think of one, I sit and wonder what their lives will be like in six months, a year, or five years.
Mary is no exception.
I wonder how motherhood changed her. I wonder what things she struggled with in being a brand-new mother, not to mention with the whole Mother of the Messiah thing going on.
Blogging has played a very important role in my life as a mother. It helps me process things that I’m struggling with in my mind…helps me bring them together in a way that makes sense to me. I process AS I write.
The verse above makes me wonder if Mary were an introvert. It appears that she processed things internally…in her heart.
The word kept is defined as to preserve (a thing from perishing or being lost) or to keep within one’s self, keep in mind (a thing, lest it be forgotten). (Blue Letter Bible iPhone app)
That’s one of the things I do with my blog when it comes to parenting. I want to keep these memories, no matter how hard, to keep them from being forgotten…to see how far I’ve come.
The word ponder means to throw together, to bring together…to bring together in one’s mind, confer with one’s self. (Blue Letter Bible iPhone app) I think the words I like to use are to process and to think through.
I do this through writing. Through blogging. Through being alone.
And so I wonder…
What if Mary had been a mommy blogger?
What if Mary had had the opportunity to process things via a keyboard and computer screen? What if she didn’t have to keep everything inside? What if she could have shared her thoughts with the cyber world?
What were all these things that she pondered?
A few years ago there was a video that circulated the web that made an attempt to visualize the Christmas story, if it were to happen today, via the medium of Facebook. It’s heartwarming and touching.
What if Mary had kept a blog? Would there have been “bumpdates”? Would she have chronicled her journey to see Elizabeth? Would there have been a post about her conception by the Holy Ghost, and what it felt like to be with child by His power? Would she have shared how it felt to have the Son of God within her womb? To feel his kicks and rolls?
What would her Pinterest boards have looked like? Certainly there wouldn’t have been a stable or manger pinned to her “Stuff for the Baby” board. I doubt that there was any gold, frankincense, or myrrh on her baby gift registry either.
Was she nervous? Is any new mother NOT nervous? Would she have researched breastfeeding and childcare tips?
I can imagine her post about the census. We just got the news…a long trip is ahead of us as we head to Bethlehem. And I’m as big as this donkey I’m riding on. I’m so uncomfortable! I’ll update when I get there. (posted from my iPhone)
What about her “Jesus’ Birth Story” post? How did she handle the disappointments of a less-than-optimal birth environment? Did she grieve that things didn’t go the way she expected in her birth plan? Or was she simply too full of joy that her son was finally born?
Did she get ever get overwhelmed with all the visitors…all the worshippers? Had she expected this? Or did she ever just want to be left alone to hold her baby and keep Him for herself?
And then there would have been silence as all her social media platforms died. She would go off the grid to protect the life of her son for two long, lonely years. Would she have missed all the friends she had made through the online community? All the support she had gained? Or maybe she hadn’t gotten any. Maybe people thought she was so crazy, so blasphemous, that they shunned her and judged her…even over the internet.
What would her posts have been like had she been able to keep a blog during the toddler years? Did Jesus ever make messes or throw her shoes in the trash can? What were His first words? His first sentences?
There is so much that we could learn had this technology existed at the time. But it didn’t. And God did that purposely, I suppose. So we can be filled with wonder and amazement at the endless questions that we have surrounding the birth of Christ.
Mary wasn’t a mommy blogger. She had no iPhone, no Twitter followers, and no Facebook friends. She had no social media outlets that she could use to process her overwhelming thoughts of motherhood…of mothering the Christ-child, the Savior of the World.
And so, she pondered. She treasured. She kept everything inside. In her heart.
I think that, in this day of technology where we document our children’s first, second, or fifteenth Christmases through our Instagram feeds and blog posts–where we pin Christmas craft ideas and cookie recipes–where we send our our Christmas cards via Facebook…that we could do good to look to Mary’s example.
To set aside the social media for a few moments and simply ponder. To simply keep the memories we are making in our hearts, rather than our iPhones. To celebrate the birth of the Christ-child and think about how HE has impacted our journeys of Motherhood.
To keep…to ponder… Like Mary.