Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mary Moments

Sometimes you can get overwhelmed with good things.  At least,  I know  I can.  There are things that "have" to be done, and things I am "wanting" to get done, and things  "others are wanting" me to do, and all of them can be good.  But when I start feeling, frustrated and annoyed,  I realize that too many "good things are overwhelming and I am becoming just like Martha.  I understand  Martha.  I mean,  think about it; there she was, serving the Lord, and trying to do what needed to be done, she was preparing food for  Jesus and the disciples.... what better thing  could someone be doing?   Well, apparently there was something better, and Mary had chosen it.  Martha's tasks brought her into the state where she was overwhelmed, frustrated and annoyed.  Jesus used the words "...worried and bothered (or upset) about many things." to describe her.   I realize how easy it is to become that way.  We think it is right, even righteous to "be busy"... involved in this, taking care of that,  serving here, cleaning there... it is all very important isn't it?   "Who am I anyway, if not the sum of all these things". When those thoughts want to pop into my head, or I find myself saying "I have to", "I need to", "I ought to" or "I wish I had...", and start feeling that pressure, guilt,  failure  and annoyance rising up, I realize I am in a "Martha Rut".

As homemakers, sometimes, we can find our identity in conflict.  The enemy can assail us with Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and we get stuck between the desire to live according to Titus 2 ..."be busy at home", and Luke 10:38   "... only a few things are needed and indeed only one,  Mary has chosen it and it will not be taken away from her."  So,  in as much as I understand Martha, and as much as I agree with Paul saying "be busy at home",  my greatest desire,  is to hear Jesus affirm me like He did Mary.  In my heart I am Mary... I love to sit at His feet, be with Him, listen to Him, realize who He is, realize that He loves me very much (more than I can really comprehend), realize that He loves all people, realize that He enjoys my company, realize that He even sticks up for me when someone speaks unjustly of me.  He is awesome.

So I shake it off.  I shake off the "push, push, push" to do so many things with the wrong motivation.  I stop.  I find rest and peace with Jesus.  A real relationship of love and friendship with my own precious Savior.  What is it that He is saying to me?  What is the next step He wants me to take?  Clear all those other things away and listen.  Listen to Him. Let His love well up inside, let it overflow.  Move in His Spirit and none other.  His answer is always love.  To love and be loved by Him, first, and then to love others... everything else flows from that.  He said it Himself didn't He?  The greatest commandments are summed up in two. Love the Father, Love others.  If we don't have that... it is all meaningless.  Perhaps Martha's motivation in this instance wasn't love, perhaps it was duty, pride, a need to be important,  a need to be affirmed by people's praise, I'm sure there may even have been jealousy at work; perhaps she could see Mary enjoying  the Lord's presence, and here she was doing all this work and getting no credit for it;  then came self pity because she couldn't  get anyone to pay attention to her sacrifice and she is overwhelmed.

Families must be fed, dishes and laundry must be washed.   I don't believe that Jesus  meant that we were to refrain from taking care of our families, or doing tasks, of creating cozy homes and "doing" all that must be done.  But when I choose those things over being in His presence, and I find that I am doing those things in a spirit other than His, when I find that my work is not motivated by love, then I need to stop; pull the plug, regroup, have a Mary Moment with Him.

Today after I started feeling that "overwhelmed" feeling with a dozen things I needed to do, and a dozen things I wanted to do, and an imagination bursting with ideas of a dozen thing I could possibly do later, I decided  to stop, put the tea kettle on and get quiet with Him.  Oh such peace.  I felt order restore.  I felt peace take over.  I have had a hard time all week getting things done.  I think because I hadn't been well, and was a little slow to get my energy back.  But I have felt restful and peaceful in it until today;  today I felt strong, so I was going to catch up and then some.   I think the Lord is teaching me to go about things differently.  What in the world is all the rush for any way?  Am I in a race with someone?  I don't need to affirm myself with good works, I want to affirm myself by loving Him.  All the rest will work itself out, because "....only a few things are necessary, and really only one..."

Afterwards, I  put together a couple of lists;  A " To Do"  List, and a "Get to do List".  I can tackle them in a Spirit of peace; one by one or two by two... however He gives me the strength, the delight, the instruction or the provision to do it.   I  can brain storm, write down ideas, and tuck them away for the right time, and I can carry on.  No need to wrestle, no need to struggle, He will take me where I need to go if I just stop to take a hold of His hand.  He gave me gifts.  I get to use them.  He gave me blessings, I get to enjoy them; Even in my work,
I can take pleasure;
but I don't want any of it without Him.  I want to be like Mary.

Luke 10:38

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  


  1. Dear Friend,
    I agree with this post from the bottom of my heart!!
    You have written the cry of a so many women's heart! I also want to do all things in His peace and strength. I will never get all I want to do in this earthly life , that is why I look forward to eternity! Your words are precious and a balm for a homemakers love of life. As I must sit at HIS feet, or I have no strength and my motive turns earthly.
    Amen and Thank you for your Wisdom!
    Blessings, Roxy

  2. Thank you, Pam, for such a lovely encouraging post!
    Such a good mind set to take in to the day!

  3. a good reminder to take the time to be still! thanks for sharing I found it very encouraging Love Heather

  4. I love what you said "He will take me where I need to go"

    Soo true!! If I just slow down and ask HIM, after all, HE is driving ;-)

    Such a great reminder to let the Holy Spirit rule and our "self" follow.

    A nice cup of tea and some time in prayer are always a great way to restore a sense of calmness and thankfulness.


  5. Oh Pam! This is so good. I think you spoke right to my heart on this one as well. Who are we really running that race with? Sometimes I think it's my flesh vs. my spirit vs. the world! There is no need in racing until your head spins. God is our strength! I want him to take the lead and walk me to my next stop.

    I also love the scripture:
    "Be Still And Know that I am God"

    I always find comfort in that and know that God has always got my best interest at heart.

    He is truly awesome! Rejoice and soak in his presence.

    Love you so much Pam!

  6. I was able to have a moment and sit and rest and I thought, "I am going to read Mom's post now" I am sitting here and had the most wonderful peace.

    Just reading your thoughts on this subject has given me such a release of burden. I easily see myself acting like Martha whenever I have people coming over to my house and I am cooking. I want my house to be clean and my food to be yummy, but I turn out to be a big grouch to my family Ha!

    This is the post that I am going to read when I find myself worked up about many things like Martha.
    Thanks so much Mom for posting this and sharing your thoughts! It is so beautiful!
    ~ Marie