Most of the time, I like my coffee hot, dark, and black. I like my tea iced or hot, and my favorites are Herbaly (LINK), green jasmine, and I enjoy a strong cup of stevia-sweet (10 drops per teacup) Earl Grey almost every day. Now and then, a little stevia in my coffee is dessert. A cup of chamomile/lavender before bed is sometimes my last treat of the day.
I’m a heavy drinker. Add in the 40 to 60 ounces of water per day I take in each day, and you can imagine the workout my kidneys get!
When these beverages are in lovely cups or mugs that match the sweater I’m wearing, it’s even better. It’s good when all of my accessories match my outfit.
Today’s accessorized options.
Sometimes I read while I drink but most often, the scents and taste invite me to pause and ponder.
If you come here often, you know I use the word ponder a lot. Here’s why this word matters so much to me . . .
After I came to Christ as a teenager, I read part of the Christmas story from Luke 2 in our church program. The moments Mary shared with the angel touched me when I realized God sent him to her when she was around my age. Since she was engaged, I’d always believed she was older, but things were done very differently back in Mary’s day. The words in verse 19 caught my attention then and hold it to this day.
“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Grandma Joy and Me – That Christmas
Ponder Defined: To consider quietly, soberly, deeply, carefully, deliberately, and attentively. To examine with focused, prolonged thought before making a decision or coming to a conclusion.
Looking back at the years between then and now, I cannot say I always pondered well. Sometimes I still don’t. But when I do, no matter what is going on in my life, it’s good – so very good. And as time passes, I’m faster to go to pondering than ever before.
Faster as in about the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee or fix a cup of tea. I hurry to the One who already knows my thoughts (even before I think them!) and still wants to hear me say them to Him. My gut-level, no holding back, out loud, wide open-heart moments sustain my faith, increase it, and bring peace that cannot be explained.
Again – so that you understand – I am not 100% at this. It wasn’t even my idea. The God of Christmas planted this desire in my heart about 47 years ago! I am drawn to pondering by God’s love, grace, and Spirit.
Today, fidgeting in my brain long and hard about the chaos that so easily disquiets, discourages, depresses, distracts, and dismays me, I stopped to bring all these things to Almighty God. It took me a while because God is asking me to do something that rubs me the wrong way. He wants me to pray for those who want to deceitfully use me and love those who are my enemies. See Matthew 5:43-48 KJV. (ADD LINK)
This is like taking a bitter medicine I once had to ingest as a little girl of maybe five years old. It was an awful color that reminded me of vomit – likely because I was so sick, and sometimes I threw it up. It smelled horrible and tasted worse. There were no grape, cherry, or bubblegum flavored meds back then. When it was time to swallow it, I sobbed. But, taking it was my only option for getting better. I remember looking into Mama’s eyes as she held the spoon for me. What I saw stopped me in my red-faced, runny-nosed tracks. She had tears in her eyes too.
Swallowing that vile stuff became easier because she loved me.
Remembering, I was right back in that kitchen with her when another detail returned. We stood by the sink, where a cup of water sat. A cold cup of relief poured to help wash down the putrid (yes, it was that bad!) medicine.
A tender help from a loving parent.
Today, it took me a long time to let God use His Word and illustrate it gently with a moment in life I rarely think about. He let me take all the time I need. When I got there, I realized the small amount of tea in my lovely cup was cold. I wondered if the strong Earl Grey would be bitter – it’s not one I drink iced. I considered tossing it but changed my mind.
And guess what?
That last sip was the sweetest one of all. At that moment, I felt the tender help from my eternal loving Parent fill my spirit. So, I will love my enemies in prayer even when it feels impossible because all things are possible with God. The Bible tells me so.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NKJV
Until Next Time,