Familiar Ways…

I’ve always been a Martha…

You know the Martha that swept the floor, baked a cake and set the table complete with place cards all at the same time…and got a bit crabby at a certain floor dweller.

Despite dreams of living a cloistered life as a young girl, I have not often been characterized as a Mary.

The  last few years, I have wanted to be Mary…needed and longed to be Mary…wanting to rise above what I perceived as urgent to run and linger at what is vital…life giving…life changing…eternal…to sit at His feet and allow all the cares of this world to cease to matter…no longer existing in His presence.

My beloved parents came to visit for a quick overnight stay..and I slipped into the familiar…I am not sure I even blinked…I became the Helen that swept, vacuumed, dusted, rearranged and fluffing pillows all at the same time…until I fell into my bed exhausted…not before being a bit crabby.

There was a flash…a moment…where I whispered to myself…how did you get to this place…again…and I did lay some tasks aside…but not everything…

I also became the Helen that did not get up the next morning to meet with her Savior…the Helen that needed a nap when the all too soon goodbyes came.

Would my parents’ love for me diminish if they tripped over toy cars and laundry as they crossed my threshold…I can confidently say no…in fact, they would probably start folding and find the nearest toy box.

Does my Heavenly Father’s love and affection for me rise and fall on the basis of how presentable my house is?  No…I believe He would much rather me to present my heart…my mind…my life to Him…

The people in my life need more of me and less of the stuff that I think makes me worthy to be loved…Jesus needs just me…as easily as I can type that and  know it to be true…my ingrained beliefs seem to outscream the truth.

Today I surrender the comfort of the familiar to embrace the new frontier of abandonment to Jesus.  I am so weary of me…weary of my attempts to be proven acceptable…today I choose to believe what He says instead…Jesus loved Mary and Martha both…there may always be a bit of Martha in me but I want Mary to reside in me as well…balance…sweet balance.

Martha…you have helped me get a lot of things done…but Mary…help me to be undone…

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Luke 10: 38-42 (MSG)

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Romans 12: 1-2 (MSG)

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11 thoughts on “Familiar Ways…

  1. I so needed this today. I really needed this a few days ago…!

    Thank you so much. Your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. I am SO a Martha.
    Especially this week. As I’ve worried about getting everything “done” and not worried
    so much about stopping to focus on Him, everything has been off kilter. Thanks again.
    Have a wonderful, undone day!

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  2. caffeevino says:

    I love this entry! My mom is a martha and I’m a Mary (I’d like to say it’s because I’m laying at the feet of my Savior but in reality I think I am a bit lazy haha). Anyway, I never could understand why my mom would go into freak cleaning mode whenever anyone came over…until I started hosting parties/get togethers myself! Now at times I turn into to Martha, especially when I am around my guy friends and they always have to tell me to stop trying to be the mom.

    Also, thanks for the encouraging words about writing!

    In him,
    kate

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  3. Being a Martha (or rather trying not to be) is something I have wrestled with for many years – so I can relate to the plumping up, dusting, vacuuming and feeling too tired next day kind of thing.

    I am seeing victories, but it is a daily choice for me (usually worse when I feel ‘hormonal’ and NEED everything just so for a certain week!)

    Thank you for sharing, I so needed this timely reminder (again and again I need it, it seems)
    xx

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  4. Oh Helen, I think we’re two peas in a pod on this. It’s so easy to slip into old patterns instead of letting God have His work and will done, isn’t it? I hope your visit with your dear mom and dad was a bit restful too.

    I’m “hosting” Easter dinner after church this year and will be doing a bit of getting ready for that. I hope and pray that this time around I will let my relationship with the Lord guide my heart and attitude in getting prepared so I can truly relax and enjoy the day.

    Much love to you my friend! 🙂

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  5. Alright ladies…is it time for an intervention or maybe we all need a support group…HA!

    There are so many ways in our lives that it is easy to slip back into comfortable habits…and not just being a Martha…

    I guess this is just another time where we realize that we have to take every detail of our lives even housecleaning to the Lord and let Him aid and guide us…we really do need His touch and intervention in everything, don’t we?!

    Oh and Susan, I did have restful time with my parents despite my hustling and bustling and mostly because they KNOW me…it’s a blessing to be loved warts and all…how much more does the Lord know our struggles and want to help us find a new way…I will pray that Easter dinner will be a day to celebrate and relax…and ask for help where you need it…that may help you relax as well…

    Thanks ladies for all your comments!

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  6. Cher says:

    Helen,

    What an amazing post! I am encouraged by your writings and the comments of others that prove that I am not the only one who struggles with being ‘undone’. What a joy it would be to one day, feel as if the balance has shifted into Mary mode. With God, all things are possible!

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  7. I have a tad bit of Martha as well so I feel your pain. I do have an attention for details that if not watched can get me into trouble but I do feel for the Martha story. I believe we can learn from it but also see that;s not the only story of Martha.
    Poor Martha. Although my blog name would appear that it’s after the Bible Martha it’s really after the TV one (not all that different though). I do have to say that I believe Martha did learn from that experience. in John 11:18-27 Martha came to meet the Lord and Mary stayed home. Martha says reg Lazarus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. BUT I KNOW that even now God will give you whatever I ask. Jesus said “Your brother will rise” Jesus asked if she believed this and she said “I believe that you are the Christ”. When Mary got to the Lord it just says that she said “If you had been here my brother would not have died. ” No buts after that.
    Blessings,
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

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  8. Cher…we are definitely not alone although there is one that would like us to believe that we are just poor pitiful creature so far beyond redemption from our repeated flub ups…yes…I can’t wait to be more balanced and with God…the impossible becomes possible and probable.

    Debbie…Thank you for your insight on Martha and it is so encouraging to think that farther down the road so to speak…she moved along in her dependence and belief in Christ…I love that! Thanks for taking the time to write those verses out…that is so helpful and thought provoking…

    I love the name of your blog…I know I have come across your name before but I am heading over to check you out!

    Helen

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  9. Bo says:

    I’m the one who uses Bible study as an excuse to not clean my house and then ends up playing minesweeper on my computer…which one is that?

    Like

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