Tag Archives: Mary and Martha

DO I WANT TO BE WEIRD?

Since I am away in Poland I am reposting one of the top posts. Hope you enjoy.

Do I Want to Be Weird?

Weird, because my Normal wasn’t working

Is your “normal” working for you? I am searching for a better way – God’s way.

Before I turned to Jesus whole-heartedly I was very much a Martha, a control-driven, have-to-keep-busy person. I am still a Martha, but I have found my Mary, too.

When I was given an assignment to “sit still for five minutes and listen to God” – I failed, miserably. My mind could not slow down. I kept thinking, “I have to do… such and such.” and my mind kept going.

Then the dog barked. That was the end of my first attempt.

What did I do? I tried again the next morning, and the morning after that. Finally I decided that I needed absolute stillness – not a sound, not a chance of interruption. I needed to wake up earlier.

My mentor in Christ suggested that I ask God to wake me up. And I did – and He did. I will tell you that story in another post. I did as Jesus did.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIVUK).

Now I didn’t leave my house as Jesus did, but I did find a solitary spot and in my quiet place I sat and waited. I tried that day after day – making myself sit for five minutes.

One day it happened – as I sat still I felt a peace, God’s hands on my shoulders. My shoulders relaxed – this was heaven. He was there!

When did you last “shut down” to the world and experience God?

Come on this journey as we try to find Him in the stillness. You will like it and God will like it too.

The idea for the title of this post came from a new book by Craig Groeschel called Weird, when your Normal isn’t Working. I found out yesterday I won one of 100 books that were given away on Michael Hyatt’s blog. I can’t wait to read his book and will tell you everything I find out.

Here is another site with a post on the same theme, called Vacate.

ARE YOU A MARY-KILLING MARTHA?

Are You a Mary-Killing Martha?

by Jennifer Slattery (reprinted with permission, June 21, 2012)

Mary or Martha?

Are you a Mary or Martha?

Most of us are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha. If asked, I suspect many would readily admit we have much more Martha in us than we’d like.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Martha and Mary were sisters in ancient Palestine. They were close friends with Jesus. More than friends–they adored Him. One day, Jesus came for a visit, and Martha went frantic. (Luke 10:38-42 NIV.) As would I.

Can you imagine the Creator of the universe stepping inside your kitchen? Drinking from your water-stained glasses? Or am I the only one with dusty furniture, buggy light fixtures, and cobwebs hanging in corners?

Like Martha, when I get on a cleaning-doing-rampage, I expect everyone to join me. For truly, how could anyone possibly sit while so much needs to be done? But in my dolling out tasks and responsibilities, I need to be careful I don’t rob my loved ones of God’s “better.”

It takes a lot of strength … patience … surrender, to sit at Jesus’ feet. We’ve all got to do lists, ambitions, and obligations that threaten to sap our time. Add in a frenzied Martha condemning our efforts, and how many of us can continue to abide?

It’s so hard to be a Mary in a Martha world! For us and our loved ones, which is why we need to be careful not to kill their Mary through over-scheduling.

Each day, I must ask myself–what am I training in my daughter? Am I cultivating an atmosphere that encourages divine-connections, where it’s okay to be a Mary? Do I actively adjust our schedule in order to leave time for God’s best? And what do I praise most, her commitment to Christ or her earthly achievements?

This is a hard one–especially when raising a teen. We want to teach responsibility, service, hard-work ethics. We want to expose our kids to the world. And there’s always so much that needs to be done! That can be done.

To find the balance, I believe we need to continually pare things back to the basics–training our child/encouraging our loved ones to know Christ and make Him known. If their lives, our families, center around that, everything else will fall into place.

This summer has been fairly easy for us. Our schedule leaves plenty of time for family discussions and Bible reading. My challenge will come this fall when sports, classes, and activities threaten to crowd out those family-bonding, spiritually-nurturing times. I pray, when our schedule balloons, God will provide a dose of Mary to balance my Martha, giving me the wisdom to differentiate the must-dos from the can-dos.

Moms and Grandmas, which woman do you relate to today? Are you a Martha, running around ragged, wishing others would help you? Or maybe you’re surrounded by a thousand want-tos–those blessings like amusement parks, sports teams, and gatherings with friends. Be careful your to-do and want-to-do lists don’t rob your children and grandchildren of their time with God.

Maybe you’re a Mary desperately needing time with Jesus, but the obligations of others weigh you down. Today I encourage you to close your ears to the voice of man and tune them instead to Jesus, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one” (Luke 10:41b-42a NIV).

And invite your kids to do the same. Each day show them what it means to abide.

Some things to try:

1. Read a Bible passage after dinner and, instead of teaching, invite each family member to share how God spoke to them through the passage.

2. Create a family quiet time with no tv, soft praise music playing, attractive journals for family members to write in.

3. Take your family on a prayer walk/hike.

Do you have any ideas to share? How have you encouraged your children to draw near to Christ? How have you modeled a vibrant, abiding faith? What are some ways you’ve tackled the schedule monster, and what were the results? What’s *one thing* you can and will do this week to foster an atmosphere of abiding?

Before you begin your busy day, pause to soak in, to rest in, Jesus words, spoken in John 15:4

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (NLT)

Life’s tough. You can’t do it alone. Neither can our kids. Let’s teach them how to tap into and remain connected to their power source.

Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about ways to train up Marys in a Martha world.

Living By Grace

Living By Grace

GUEST POST – Are you a Mary or a Martha?

Are You a Mary or a Martha?

by Laura Davis reprinted with permission

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 only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

When you read the above verse what is your first impression of Martha? Do you think of her as a complainer, a worrier, or both?

Have you ever considered that Martha’s worry and fret was something more? Jesus said she was “worried and upset about many things.” Let’s think about this for a moment. Martha cared about the same things we do. If Jesus was coming to your house for dinner what would run through your head? Would it be, “What shall I make? What would He like? Is the house clean? Does He prefer fish over chicken? Should I get a place setting for the table?” Or would it be, “I can’t wait till Jesus gets here. I’m going to sit at His feet all night and listen adoringly to every word He speaks. If He gets hungry we’ll deal with that when it comes up. But tonight – I’m taking a break from the cooking and welcoming my honoured guest by giving Him my full attention.”

Be honest now, which person are you? If you chose Martha, it really wouldn’t be a bad thing. Her way of caring for the Lord, of showing her love for Him, was in her service to Him and she falsely believed that Mary’s act of love should be the same as hers. So she complained. But Jesus wanted Martha to know that He wasn’t the type of person who demanded a lot of fuss. In fact, I’m willing to bet that if He did come to my house today, or yours, he would be content to order from Pizza Hut and carry on with the evening.

Yes, Mary knew what was better and while Jesus appreciated all Martha was doing, He wanted her to know that it wasn’t necessary. Sometimes, we just need to stop doing “things” for the Lord and sit back and rest in Him.

Today, spend time with your Saviour. Put on some worship music, pray, read your bible. Think about how you can honour Him. Most of all, be still and know that He is the better choice.