Luke 2:19 (AMP) But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.

Have you ever just sat down and thought about how far you have come? My husband and I like to do this together sometimes. We will sit down and talk about all the people we have met, the things we have done with our family, and the home we have made. We will talk about the moment we met and if we could have ever imagined sitting there together twenty seven years later. We will talk about our church and the changes that have happened. We will encourage each other, because there are times when we think they are set backs, but there are exactly where God want us to be. We talk about our growing moments.

I have started doing this with our sons. I will tell them a story about how far we have come. We have raised them to not have to struggle. That has been a blessing, but it also is not completely beneficial. They will be out on their own soon and they need to grow on their own. Mom and dad want to protect them, but we need to point them in the direction of who their true source really is. So I tell them about us trusting God and that we are where we are because of our faith in His promises. It is not magic, it is principles of the Kingdom at work. At the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I chose to put God first in all things. There is only one Savior and His Name is Jesus.

Our Christmas tree is already up. It may be early to some. We did have the tradition of putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, but as the kids are now teenage boys, they are off doing other activities. My husband has been at me to buy a new tree for a few years now. Why? Because of the shedding issue. Piles and piles of needles shed off every year. Finally, this year, it had to be done. The branches were broken, snapped while put in storage last year. On our way to pick out a new tree, I was telling my youngest about when we bought the old one. It was the year 2003 and I was expecting his older brother in just two more months. We had put a tree on lay away to use for his first Christmas. It was pre-lit with white lights. We had bought real trees before then, but our cats would drink the water and they would dry out (which is dangerous). My oldest will be turning 19 in a few months, so it did not quite make it twenty years. That is a long time to hold onto something.

The best part is holding onto the memories we made, and will continue to make. It was a great time to share about priorities and how far God has brought us. We talked about sacrifice on our way to pick up the new tree and what it means to be a good steward. We looked for opportunities to be a blessing to someone. We did not rush in and get the one item and then rush home. We watched out for others and allowed them to go first. I pray these moments we spend with them will be pondered later on. I treasure them and hope they do too.

Can you see how far you have come in your walk with the Lord? Can you look back and see all of the many ways that He has blessed your life? Can you look back and think of the majesty of it all? I sure can.

Father, I thank you for the person reading this right now. Let them know that they are loved and seen by you. We stand in awe of you. Your majesty is to be treasured. We are thankful for the life that you have laid out before us. May we take advantage of the moments to share your glory. We ask you to heal any broken area in our lives. We give it freely back to you. We have tried to fix things on our own or hold onto things too long, and it is time to let it go. Thank you for the growing moments. We thank you for putting people in our lives to grow us and for us to help grow. We are not called to do this alone. We thank you for placing us in the ministry of reconciliation. Help us see the way that you see. Help us love the way you love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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