Luke 10:38-42 (amplified version): Now while they were on their way. Jesus entered a village (called Bethany), and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to his teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to you that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part (that which is to her advantage), which will not be taken away from her.”
This scripture hits straight to the very core of me, especially in the season of life that I am currently in. I am a new mother! My daughter is almost 6 months old and I have admittedly spoiled her. She likes to be held and have constant interaction and I absolutely love it because I know there will be a time when she doesn’t want me to bother her while she explores. But because of the way things are right now while she is awake there is only a certain amount of things that I can get done. So even though I miss her, her naps are my only “Free Time” which means that is my opportunity to get stuff done.
In my head when you are a mom that stays home you should be able to keep the house spotless, get all the laundry done, make all of the food and so on and fit in any of the part time work you may have (for me that is Photography & Editing). And maybe you can if you’re not holding a playful and squirmy baby all day, but that is just not my reality. So even though I feel extremely fortunate to be staying at home with my daughter during the day, I began to feel like I was failing and didn’t really feel like I was “MOMing So Hard”.
So I would plan nap time out and while simultaneously trying to be as quiet as possible I would run around like an absolutely insane person. And I would get a lot of stuff done. Baby would wake up and before I knew it I had spent a couple of hours and had accomplished almost all of my to do list. I would pick baby up out of her swing and turn around and suddenly this sinking feeling would hit me because my house still looked like a jungle.
Then I am all like “ what the heck did you do while the baby slept” and I am off in my head trying to plan out the next naptime so that I could get the next task tackled.
And this seems like an ok way to live, because this is a “season” and seasons change right? The only problem is that my busyness left no room for the most important relationship in my life. I would tell myself that because I woke up a little bit before my daughter did that day and I did my devotional that I was good to go. But on the inside my well began to get a little bit dry and there was this coolness to my relationship with God. And for some this kind of transactional relationship with God is all that they know and it’s just what they are used to but for me, I need heat. I need the fire of my Jesus in my bones. I need to hear him and feel him throughout my day because without that I am lost.
So I took notice of that and I looked at my day. I began to ask myself where could I allow more time for God? I have to take care of my daughter and I believe that is high on the priority list and God understands that but then I have all of these other things that I also need to get done because you know God doesn’t like clutter and cleanliness is next to Godliness. And really what it came down to is that everything that I was trying to do to keep things in order was less for me and more of an act of service to my husband and my daughter but the crazy thing is that my husband doesn’t care what the house looks like and my daughter looks around with excitement on her jungle gym that she will soon conquer.
So who I am I really doing this for? And then it hits me….. I try to keep up appearances because I want people to think that I have got it all together. That I am just organized and clean my house is a peaceful and beautiful dwelling place. I read this scripture and I realized that I am Martha. I was doing things with good intentions to impress and be a good host, a good wife, a good mom but all the while Jesus was thoroughly unimpressed. And because I sought less water than I began to have to endure my day with a slight thirst.
God began to speak to my heart and say that you have the time that you need to quench your thirst but you waste it trying to appear like you have it all together but the longer you continue to do this the more that you will fall apart. Spend some of that time with me and let the house be & even though there will be stacks of laundry that don’t get put away for a week and your floor isn’t squeaky clean you will have more of me. More of me means that you will have something that no one can take away. When in all reality all the laundry done and put away gives you this sense of accomplishment but then even your daughter can take that away when you change her diaper and it’s a blow out and then all of a sudden there is another pile and no matter how tiny it is, it will get bigger.
So how does this apply to you especially if you aren’t in the same situation? Maybe you work full time in an office, maybe you don’t even have kids yet. This scripture can apply to you wherever you are at right now in life. If you are distracted, busy and anxious about all of your responsibilities than you are Martha. You could even be doing a ton of things that are in service for the Kingdom of God and because of that you think that you are good. But no amount of service makes up for a lack of relationship. You could get mad at all of the Mary’s of the world that seem to have all of this time to sit down with a cup of coffee to read and be in prayer and ask yourself don’t they have anything they need to do. You can be jealous of their seemingly simple and peaceful life or you can just realize a very simple concept. Mary wasn’t unaware that there were things that needed to be taken care of, she wasn’t blind but when Jesus walked into the room all of that become obsolete. Nothing else mattered more than sitting at his feet and hearing what he had to say.
Martha could have done the same thing but she was more worried about appearances and making sure that everything got done. It is noble to serve Jesus but in all reality she could have brought an empty bowl to the table and he could have filled it and that would be that. Instead she chose to be the one fulfilling and became bitter when she realized when all of this would come to an end she would be as she was before he arrived, empty; Mary on the other hand chose to be and empty bowl sitting at the feet of Jesus waiting to be filled.
Mary wasn’t lazy, she knew what was most important and she knew what would benefit her long time and was willing to put everything on hold while she received that.
Martha, CHILL OUT! Sit down, and soak in the presence of God today, do this first and do it daily. Don’t be afraid, you will in turn find that you will still get done all of the things that are essential and you will do it without thirst.