{Artist: Pietro Annigoni – Cristina I}

I have spent much of 2019 trying to tune in to the messages Heaven has brought to me. After a significant spiritual experience in November of 2018, I chose to be as still as possible in December. January has come in and I vacillate between wanting to get my rear in gear and seize the day and desiring to turn everything off in order to hear the Spirit that seems way too quiet sometimes.

Sometimes the world is too noisy and full of so many distractions that it is hard to connect to the Spirit. It sometimes seems like I get the slightest taste of Peace and Joy that can only come from Him and then the moment floats away and it is back to reality.  Without deliberate consciousness and intention, I can go days or weeks without truly connecting to His Light. And yet, my soul craves to savor those sweet moments of communication and revelation. I yearn to understand what is unfolding in my life and want to be present enough to see all that can be seen and learned from my experiences.

After carrying and delivering the Savior of the world, Mary might have felt that same pull. Do we focus on the day to day needs or step back and truly take in LIFE and the learning available if we will simply sit still?  Mary chose to be still, to tune in, to allow the Spirit to teach her more. Mary pondered.

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Tremendous experiences had unfolded and Mary tucked all those moments and memories inside her heart and started pondering them.  She didn’t just sit back, she actively sought to understand the miracles taking place. Mary models a beautiful example for us and I think all women will benefit from pondering more! Pondering means to carefully consider something. Pondering has given me key knowledge, wisdom, strength, understanding and peace over the years. Pondering is critical for me to learn more from the Savior and I love the time I spend thinking with the Spirit teaching me.

What types of things can we ponder? Anything! I often ponder scriptures, phrases, personal spiritual experiences, stories others have shared or experienced, events, experiences with my children, books, movies, nature’s mysteries.

Why do we ponder? Pondering allows us to more fully understand Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Pondering allows us to imprint lessons upon our souls so we can use them to help others. Pondering allows us to come to more gratitude and wisdom.

How do we ponder? There is not one right way to ponder. For me personally, I have found I ponder best when I give myself permission to dive in and spend time thinking. Pondering can happen anytime but I have found that the early hours before my household wakes up, drive time, walks, yoga class all allow me to dive in and truly ponder.

As a productive mom and entrepreneur, there are always things demanding my attention and it is easy for me to not spend time pondering.  I have learned that pondering, though I don’t appear to be producing anything, is key to my personal development and growth. I need that quiet time to sort through my experiences and pick out the golden nuggets that God has for me at this time.  Here are some key tips to help you learn to ponder:

  • Meditate daily. Communicate with your heart and with Heaven. Sit still and focus only on one single thought.  If you are like me, my brain takes me on twists and turns even if I try to meditate for only five minutes!  That’s okay.  Remind yourself to only focus on the single thought you are meditating upon.
  • Journal your thoughts. Write down all you can.  I often open a Google doc or use the Notes app on my phone though I also use random notebooks.  I note what I am learning, what has happened, and my thoughts about whatever I am pondering. I also like to journal prayers and write letters back and forth with Heavenly Father.
  • Step back from your day to day activities. Revelation can unfold when we let go of our normal activities and create sacred time blocks in our day. I have felt weird to not be on social media as much and to put my plane on airplane mode, but it is necessary at times for me to really tune in and ponder things.
  • Study it out in your mind. Often I like to dive deep into a spiritual principle. I will study scriptures and talks about a particular topic and as my mind learns more, I am able to more deeply think about the ins and outs of what I am pondering.

What are you pondering in your heart? What will it take for you to spend more time with those important thoughts? What gifts will unfold as you allow your spirit to dive deeper and ponder?