Friday, October 5, 2012

Pondering Things in my Heart

On the way to my six month appointment two weeks ago.

I was reading the different gospel birth narratives the other day, trying to find a beautiful Advent-related passage to use on our Christmas card this year, when I came across a familiar phrase that filled me with an unfamiliar regret and longing. I've never had that reaction to the birth narratives before. But at six months pregnant, reading how Mary, "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart," I can't help but wish I'd taken more time to do better treasuring and pondering of my own.

The best record I have right now of the last six months is the gaping silence on this blog. It's been such a full, busy, rich, and sometimes stressful time. I've been so busy living, and laughing, and just trying to keep up. It's been one of the happiest and most exciting periods of my life, and yet, all that thrill and adventure leaves little time for pondering. For treasuring.

Where are the accounts of hours spent on a bus every day, rolling through European country-side, with a queasy tummy and the secret knowledge of a tiny life thriving and sparking inside me? Where are the gasp-inducing descriptions of centuries-old cathedrals? The ably-recorded antics of a zany tour guide interacting with wide-eyed college students? The humbled reflections on the history of our faith, the vastness of God's goodness, the action-spurring lives of the saints before us? Where the stunning vistas from lake-sides and cliff-tops and castle turrets and covered bridges? They all hurtled past in a blink and were gone. And I never stretched out even a tiny little finger to try to stay their passage or to ponder them in my heart.

The same goes for a summer spent working and planning and traveling, hoping against hope that I would manage a balance between getting it all done and getting the rest and care that this baby and I both desperately needed. And in the midst of it all there have been girls weekends with family, and long talks with dear friends, and delicious dinners prepared collaboratively, and walks, and sunsets, and love, and grace upon grace. A few months, several teary nights, and more plane rides than I can count later, baby and I both seem to have survived, but there's no tangible trace of the struggle or the solace left behind.

Today I leave for two more weeks of whirlwind travel and adventure and fun and learning. I'll be in Texas for a week celebrating a wedding and seeing wonderful friends and having two baby showers! And then I'll be in Indiana for a week attending a marketing seminar. And I want, truly, to resolve right now that I will capture the time this time, that I will make the space and create the moments to ponder and treasure and fill my heart, properly, with all the good things that are rushing past.

And yet, I make no promises. Life is wild and wide and good and we all do the best we can. It's the most any of us can resolve, to put one foot in front of the other day after day, to fill our lungs with the next breath and the next, to open up and embrace all that comes to us with willing hearts and eager arms. And to live and laugh and just try to keep up.