When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I wonder about the kind of woman Mary must have been. Periodically I'll pick up on little things in scripture that give glimpses into her personality and disposition. As a young woman called to such a overwhelming role, I am sure that she couldn't possibly see all that laid ahead for her. She couldn't know the true nature of the role this child would play in the history of time. She was human, like me, a woman called of God and chosen for such a time. So I love that Luke recorded these words: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Many times, Mary must have watched things come to pass, knowing they were of great significance, but not understanding the true impact of these events. It was at times like this that she collected these things in her heart, to consider and meditate on them cumulatively. I find myself doing this as we continue to walk through Kristina's adjustment. Lately she and Hannah have been at each other's throats; they cannot seem to reconcile the tension between themselves. A portion of this can be contributed to being in a strange environment and out of our normal routine, but things have been intense lately and it gets me to thinking . . . and pondering.
Some of you may remember two summers ago when Kristina first came to visit. It didn't take long for us to learn that she has a fierce competitive streak and is a poor loser. We've been passing time by playing cards quite a bit lately. Kristina has a really hard time with this. She outwardly revels when someone else loses. She is ungenerous and makes excuses when she loses. She huffs and slaps her cards down on the table when things are not going her way. Plain and simple, its bad manners.
When one of the other kids tries to point these things out, that just agitates her further. After talking to her for the twentieth time about her attitude, a thought crossed my mind. Things would be much easier for Kristina if she had been adopted by a couple with no other children. She could have had the undivided attention of a mom and dad and eased into a life in a different culture.
And then it hit me, since when do any of us "ease" into life? God placed Kristina in this family because we are the perfect fit for her. Now, I didn't say WE were perfect. This chaotic, loud family is exactly what she needed. She needed to be a part of something that wasn't all about her, because she struggles with pride. She needed to have a mom and dad that don't let even the smallest things go, because she fights authority. She needed to have a sister that goes toe to toe with her, because she needs to learn that when love is shared its not divided, its multiplied. She needed to have three annoying brothers, because . . . well . . . she needs to develop patience.
While we are far from perfect, we are perfect together. My weaknesses are challenged through my relationship with the man and five children that God has entrusted to me. When we hit these little speed bumps in life, I ponder the outworking of these things and know that God weaves our lives together for our good and His glory.