Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I love reading the second chapter of Luke, a wonderful recording of the Christ's birth. Recently, as I reread the chapter, I was particularly touched by one verse: The shepherds, having received the news of the Christ's birth by an angel, traveled to Bethlehem and let all know what was told to them. All that heard marveled "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
Imagine Mary...a new husband, an unfamiliar city, physically exhausted from childbirth, and her newborn -- her firstborn -- lying in a container from which horses feed. All this and yet here she was taking time to ponder things in her heart. The example of Mary reminded me of a term coined by Karen Andreola, called Mother Culture. Simply put, Mother Culture is a time of necessary refreshing and revitalization for mother. In her book, A Charlotte Mason Companion, Karen encourages us to keep ourselves out of the motherly rut of self-sacrifice and to simplify and organize our lives so that we may have time for uninterrupted prayer, reflection, reading and pursuing our own interests. She concludes the chapter with a quote from Billy Graham, "Mothers should cultivate their souls, that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children."
Luke's gospel so poignantly focuses on Christ's humanity that his description of Mary stirred in me that desire to safeguard my own time of "soul cultivation." I have begun spending quiet time outside, in my snowshoes if need be, where I am free from the distractions of household duties. I also pursue my interest in watercolor with "lessons" using the Klutz book, Watercolor for the Artistically Undiscovered. Not only do I benefit from this time of refreshing but my family reaps the rewards of a mother who has time to "ponder in her heart as well".