Day 8 of Holiday Traditions // Andi McClurkin

A Time for Pondering

My mom has a heart for all things festive. In the 90s, she even used to sport an all-holiday sweater. Every month featured a holiday on that sweater. If you looked closely, you could see that February was misspelled. Can you just picture it??? This was the source of many jokes and much laughter. Fortunately, a strong trait in our family is our ability to laugh at ourselves. Watching my grandmother, Granny Hannie, and mom cheerfully carry on with love and humility after an overdone dish set off the smoke alarm, gives me freedom to laugh when we open our own home and things are far from perfect. If you are opening your home or serving others there will most certainly be mess-ups.

One of our own favorite holiday traditions is having our parents and any available family members join us for Christmas brunch and for Christmas night dinner. I absolutely love preparing the table and food, hearing the kids present the Christmas story, and serving our families who love us so well. I wish I could say it is always stress free; it is not.

As a young mom I learned that even though there were traditions I loved, it was okay to let some things go that didn’t work during a particular stage of life. For instance, I loved baking cookies to share with friends. However, with three young boys in the house, there came a time when I had to lay it down. I couldn’t feel bound by a tradition that had become a distraction to our family. If I am seeking to make Him known and to present Christ through serving others, there will be an active need to ponder His work in my own life in order for my own heart to be kept in check and not make it about a to-do list/performance or production. I love Colossians 1:17, where we are told, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

One December day many years ago, while our boys were napping, I remember reading, “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) I felt time halt and I worshipped. In the busy days of mothering, carrying on traditions, maintaining the everyday, Mary contemplated all that was taking place, pondering them in her heart..

My mom has often commented her favorite part of decorating was the joy on my face when I woke from my nap to find visible evidence of Christmas all around. The work that does go on behind the scenes is ALL worth it when our little ones’ (and our big ones’) delight in discovering the everyday completely transformed.

And that is what God can do for us. He can transform our everyday into something wonderful. It can be way too easy to focus on what we want to do and forget to ponder the work He has done for us. How I desired on that December day then and desire now to ponder what Christ has done in my life! This means slowing down and, as Mary did, to treasure Him and ponder His truths in my heart.

  • What are you doing personally to prepare your heart to worship Him?
  • How will we intentionally serve and open our homes to others this season?
  • How will we keep our hearts focused on what matters as we do this?

Please share your response in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen

// Andi

Granny Hannie's No Peeky Roast Beefy

prime rib (have butcher cut the size needed)
garlic salt
lemon pepper

Preheat oven to 325°. Let meat stand at room temperature for one hour. Rub garlic salt and lemon pepper all over prime rib. Cook on broiler pan for 1 hour. Then, leave meat in oven and turn off oven for at least two hours. Next, heat oven to 375° and cook 30 minutes (for rare, 40 minutes of you want it more done). Take meat out of oven and let stand 5-10 minutes.

Granny's instructions say that it's very important to not open the door at all during cooking or standing time, hence the name, No Peeky Roast Beefy. Although, as a mom juggling, I have had to open the door to the oven and even throw another dish in to cook and it's come out just fine. You can also slice the meat after cooking and grill it a minute or two if you wish. Enjoy!

Andi and Ben have been married for fifteen years and apart from her relationship with Christ, she would say Ben is the best thing that has ever happened to her. They have three sons Ben (14), Luke (12.5), and David (10). She is so thankful for their three arrows and finds parenting to be very humbling, lots of fun, and an amazing adventure that reminds her of her dependence on her heavenly Father who has parenting all figured out. She is a teacher at Providence Christian School and finds education to be an amazing calling which she is passionate about and thankful to be a part of. Ben and Andi are active members at First Presbyterian Church. Andi enjoys leading Bible studies and loves walking with other women as they journey through life together.