I have read the Christmas story many times over the years, and each time, God reveals something new. Throughout the Bible, there are two references to Mary pondering something in her heart.
I imagine she was in quite a quandary over the news that she was expecting. When our “normal” is interrupted, whether good or bad, that causes us to ponder deeply our circumstances. What does ponder mean? I always think of sleepless nights—tossing and turning, trying to solve things in my mind. I flip pillows, switch from side to side, check the clock, and sometimes get up and go to my favorite chair. Well, maybe this is considered fretting.
Pondering is a profound consideration of things that are deep in our souls. It is an analysis of all the facts and how it affects us personally. In Mary’s situation, she was carrying the Savior. How do you begin to ponder that? To be chosen for this royal appointment is an enormous calling, and yet, in her time, it was met with great concern. What will people think? How will Joseph react? Will I become an outcast or be removed from my family?
This is often how we approach surprising circumstances in our lives. When things happen unexpectedly, our default might be creating a laundry list of worries. But, let’s ponder this instead: There is a divine plan for our lives, and that truth never changes, even when circumstances do.
The little baby that broke the silence in the night changed everything. And he still does today. I love Christmas Eve because it makes me stop and reflect on the life-changing event that occurred thousands of years ago in a humble stable to a young girl who was chosen by God. It changed my life, and for this, I celebrate the beautiful season of Christmas with great gratitude. Merry Christmas, dear friends!
Please feel free to share anything new that you have learned from reading the story of Jesus’ birth!
This wonderful time of the year helps us keep the true meaning of life alive. Jesus, the God/Man born to save souls from sin. The Creator God has given us a beautiful planet of color, sound and air upon which we day by day live and enjoy but the greatest gift was His Son Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Phyllis for being open and bold in uplifting the name of Jesus. As more people spurn the message of our Savior and his detractors grow in expressions of ugliness and rancor, we as Christians are being drawn closer and closer to each other. We are told that we are identified as Christians by how we love one another.
Your leading by many examples of beautiful ways in which to show love bind hearts across the nation and even though we aren’t all able to practice many of the demonstrated arts we are very much heartened by the Christian love shown by others as they respond to your Ribbon.
God bless you and all of your dearest loves this Christmas
and God bless us every one.
Thank you Phyllis for your beautiful thoughts. I admire you for sharing your Christian faith so often. May this Christmas be abundantly blessed for you and your family.
My favorite sentence in the Christmas Story is Mary’s response to the Angel, “Be it unto me according to thy Word.”
Oh, to live in absolute obedience to our Heavenly Father and watch every promise He has made to us unfold as we come into agreement with Him.
Blessings to us all!
To ponder and to give thanks to God for giving us His only Son knowing that His entire life would be a sacrifice for the salvation of souls and so few would would be saved because the world was more attractive and inticing to our five senses.
Today it is worse than my more than 85 years have every seen when Christmas and its deep meaning is so ridiculed or ignored that men are truly blind that this is only a short time and that Heaven is the true goal of Christmas which means Mary (the mother of God) Christ (His birthday) Mass (where we worship Him)! Yes it is truly a time to ponder and to ponder what we give our live and ti,e to: only two options: Heaven or Hell!?!
Happy and Holy New Year in the year of our Lord 2019. Keep the Faith and keep Christ in Christmas- May all be richly blessed.
The year I left home and was on my own I started my own Christmas tradition. I honor Jesus with a special Birthday Cake after a special Christmas eve dinner I serve. Every year I pick a special Birthday Cake to bake and as a matter of fact I have used some of your recipe’s over the past years. Yes Phyllis thank you for sharing! Sometimes over the years when I have had lots of guests over I’ve ordered a large sheet cake with a special design on top the bakeries that I have ordered from always say more people should do this. Many of my friends and family have started doing a Birthday cake of Christmas eve too they let me know know in their Christmas cards. It always makes me feel good when I am told sometimes I just cry. My favorite Christmas song is “Mary did you know?”, “Hallelujah” and Charlie Brown Christmas music. I play them over and over and never tire rejoicing in the Christmas season!
Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones this holiday season..
Phyllis, God has blessed you to bless others. Each publication and each Ribbon post is another opportunity for you to share your heart with friends known and unknown. I am blessed by your words, as well as the comments of other ladies. These are blessed assurances that God is alive and well in this fallen world.
To ponder is to allow our hearts and minds to be saturated and changed.
Mary had peace about the situation she was in, because she had trust in the God of the situation. With trust comes peace.
Trusting God’s peace and blessings on all of you today and in the coming year.
Beautifully written and thought-provoking.
When I fret, I am reminded of the words of Ruth Bell Graham: “I take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible!”
Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year!
Thank you for sharing your faith in such beautiful ways. I think the word “ponder” took on new meaning for me. I think ponder also means to hold something close to your heart as you think about it. Mary pondered things because she had a Godly heart. My prayer for myself is to do this. Many times I fret and things get bigger. Life changes, we lose dear ones, and we can get side swiped by life but we have a Savior and Comforter Who dwells among us. Praise His Holy Name!
Beautiful post Phyllis. Thank you for sharing your faith so gently, it encourages me to try to do the same. (I am getting bolder as I get older). Merry Christmas to you and your family and to all who read this blog. May God Bless us all in 2019.
What a blessing it is to open The Ribbon in My Journal and see faith in Christ declared gently, powerfully, prayerfully, with depth and simplicity, shared with respect and dignity for each reader. Thank you. I’m pondering . . . .
Beautiful encouragement offered up by a Sister in Christ. Thank you for sharing your special gift of writing in expressing your Christian faith. That Dear Sister is the most wonderful gift you could give to your readers. It takes a special person like you to stand grounded in their faith and to write proudly about such a divine miracle and birth.
Even though those of us living in the desert of Arizona never see snow or very cold weather, as pictured on most of the Christmas cards, we can still rejoice during this precious season as we stop, read the wonderful story of Christ’s birth, and let His love and forgiveness speak peace to our hearts. The message of Christ is especially needed in our world today that is torn by hatred, strife and wars. The Bible states, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…(Colossians 3:15) May this be so, especially at this precious time of the year.
Beautiful post Phyllis…just when we need it most.
Merry Christmas to all!
How wonderful as well as such a blessing it is to have a sister-in-Christ at the helm of my favorite magazine. For many years I have gone through numerous crushing trials. My God has been ever faithful to me, being there with me. Sort of like in the fiery furnance. Not taking me out but being next to me, helping me endure. A very pleasant distraction to pain and a stress reliever is my Victoria. Letting me appreciate God’s creation and experience the unique and delightful, lovely businesses, places and creations of other people and places. A true delight to my soul and many times a soothing balm. Thank you for making my small world larger and the statements of your faith. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. God is good all the time no matter the outcome. Immanuel—God with us!
Amen! Thank you for sharing thouhjts from your heart
God has blessed us this last year and led us through difficult times. It is so good to have beautiful magazines and internet sites from HM to help remind us of all of God’s graces and goodness.
Your publications help us extend the spirit of Christ through our kindness to those who come into our lives and our homes. May this be a wonderful Christmas for all the HM family of creative people and your readers.
The notion that Mary was probably about fifteen years old points to a life of following God. She knew the scriptures that revealed God’s plan but as the song, “Mary Did You Know?”, points out did she have any clue of all the ways He would rock her world! I am grateful for all the beautiful ideas you share with us but most of all, the love of Christ you demonstrate everyday!
Thank you dear sister in Christ for your faith. I pray that you and your family will have a Blessed Christmas.
Thank you, Phylis for reminding us to take time to slow down and ponder when it is so easy to fret! We just moved from the state where we lived for 49 years to the state of our birth, though not our home town. The decision came quickly and years before we thought this would happen. I know we could not have done this in the short span of 3 months had not God taken charge. Many things fell into place paving the way for this challenging event. We love our new home and being closer to our adult children. What a reminder that our plans and God’s plans do not always come together at the same time but God’s plan is the better one! A blessed Christmas to all!
When God gives you an assignment He makes a way for you to carry it out. I have found this to be true each time He asks me to do something. A pastor taught me this saying and I live by it, “Obey God and leave all the consequences up to Him”. At times I’ve thought I couldn’t possibly do what He asked but I did it reminding Him that He promised He would take care of anything that came up. It’s wonderful how smooth everything went. God is good, God is faithful to keep ALL His promises. Mary was visited by the angel of the lord. Pondering but I believe not worrying because she knew her God was in control.
One of things about the Christmas story that has always amazed me is Mary’s sense of peace. Once she gets past the initial shock, she is at peace with her situation. I think of how many times that I have let the peace that God wants to bestow upon me slip away to be replaced by worry.
Merry Christmas to you and may you have a blessed 2019.
Thank You, Phyllis for this beautiful post. The more we read the Christmas Story the more we appreciate Mary’s blessing from God and how Joseph was a truly blessed and Godly man. He accepted this precious child to love and raise. Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and a Happy,Healthy and Peaceful 2019.
Joan,Marion and Marilyn
I’ve always been one to ponder, rather like another Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. And I love to ponder, as I’ve been all during this lovely Advent season, wondering what the Lord has planned for me. That plan will unfold in His own time. I can rest in that.
Wow—this one really got me. How often have I fretted this year, tossing and turning as you described? More than I care to admit. My favorite takeaway from this post: “There is a divine plan for our lives, and that truth never changes, even when circumstances do.” I need to remember that, and rest in His peace and purpose. Thank you for sharing this. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Indeed God does have a plan,Mary’s faith is something for us to ponder,saying yes to His plan even when we know it will be hard. May we follow her example. Merry Christmas, in the truest sense of the word. May God bless each one of us in the coming year to respond to His will.
I appreciate more and more my Christian friends who are open about sharing their hearts and their faith. Thank you, Phyllis, for doing just that! Merry Christmas!