“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain


Living by Grace
Welcome to the combined Monday Manna with Living By Grace (click here for this new Facebook community). The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either here or at my dear friend Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Mr. Linky  gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another.

AND now, we'll also be discussing the devotional - and thoughts about it - at Living By Grace.

I'm hosting today - and here's the verse:
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
 Looking forward to your thoughts. Mine are below.



If you know me more than just in passing, that's the response you're most likely to get from me if you ask me how I am. (otherwise, the answer is "fine. How are you?") And not just today - or during the Christmas season. With two kids in elementary school, a husband on disability, writing jobs and projects and ministries here there and everywhere, and the other stuff I'm not remembering at the moment, my life is full.

And I know I'm not the only one. In today's society, relaxation is abnormal, and free time is an anomaly. If we aren't busy all the time, we obviously haven't taken on quite enough.

But, besides the exhaustion and burnout that come from trying to move at the speed of light (especially this time of year!), there is another huge problem with running about like a chicken with your head cut off.

There's no time to reflect.

God wants us to "be still." We often won't hear His voice unless we are. Remember - when God spoke to Elijah, it wasn't in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. He was in a gentle whisper - and we have to be still and QUIET if we want to hear.

But maybe we CAN find time, even in our busyness.

Look at Mary. She'd spend days riding (and not in a car, folks) from Nazareth to Galilee. That's eighty miles. And she was pregnant. VERY pregnant. Her mind had to have been spinning. And then, when it was time to give birth? She wasn't in a comfortable hospital - or even a bed. She was outdoors. Her baby had to rest in a manger instead of a bed.

And when she was done giving birth, did she get some peace or solitude? Nope - the shepherds came and interrupted any quiet she might have had.

But still, in the midst of it, she took the time to reflect, to put the busyness aside and contemplate all that was going on. She "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Can't you do the same? All the gifts. The family. God's birth as a baby. Even your struggles. They are ALL from the Lord. Treasure them and ponder them in your heart. You won't be sorry you did - and you may even get a message - or a blessing.


Thanks for reading. Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts - and stop over at Living By Grace to join the discussion!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength


  1. You helped me see this passage in a different way Joanne. Great passage.

  2. This is so important. We get caught up in all kinds of stuff that isn't essential (though society would tell us it is) and miss the "pondering" part of the season. It takes effort to ponder but it's worth it!

    Great post, Joanne.

  3. Yes, we get too busy this time of year. We need to be like Mary.

    My link to Monday Manna is http://mybackdoorministry.blogspot.com

  4. Wise words! I try to ponder on all the events in my life and if I allow God, He typically shows me His fingerprints on all of them. :) Great post, Joanne!

  5. How AMAZING is it that I had NO idea what you were posting over here and it is so perfectly in sync with my post! Friend we are seeking the same things this season...being still, and paying attention...LOVE you and LOVE your heart!!
    xoxo lori


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

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