Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My inner Martha


"I'm no Martha," we say, "but look what I made!" Or, if we really want to compliment someone, we'll exclaim, "You're a regular Martha!" or "Martha would be proud!"

Surely Martha Stewart is to be congratulated for inspiring and empowering women to embrace the domestic arts. Thousands upon thousands of us look to her for ideas and inspiration.



In the midst of all my efforts as a wannabe Martha, though, I was reminded of another Martha--the Martha who must certainly have been a homemaker par excellence, and a wonderful, faithful woman into the bargain. Martha of Bethany, friend of Jesus, busied herself and bustled around to make her home welcoming to Jesus. What a great woman! Her sister Mary, on the other hand, seems to have languished a bit when it came to homemaking, preferring to sit and listen to Jesus talk and leave the lion's share of the work to Martha.

Truth be told, I've always felt a lot of sympathy for Martha.

And I think Jesus probably felt a good bit of sympathy for Martha, too. Martha must have felt awfully comfortable with Jesus to be able to voice her concerns to him. Luke 10 tells us that Martha said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work all by myself? Tell her to help me!"

She was right, wasn't she? There was work to be done. Jesus needed a meal, and that meal wasn't going to prepare itself. Many hands make light work, Mary. Chop chop.


Jesus's answer is very tender, but it gets right to the root of the problem. "Martha, Martha," he says, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."

Ouch.

Quite frankly, I want to be a Martha. I want to have cool projects to blog about. I want people to ooh and ahh over my creations.

Let's be honest: Mary doesn't produce page views. She doesn't get retweeted. Her hanging out with Jesus doesn't produce pictures that will be pinned to Pinterest.

Yet Mary is the one who has chosen the better part. Even at a busy time, she chooses to spend time with Jesus, and the Lord of Lords says that she has her priorities straight.

And so, this Christmas season, while I really want to be a Martha, I'm going to try to be more of a Mary. Maybe, just maybe, I need a little less Christmas--

and a little more Christ.

I'm grateful to be called back to what's important by sharing Tuesdays Unwrapped with Emily at Chatting at the Sky. And I'm joyfully joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading.


28 comments:

At The Picket Fence said...

I SO needed this today Richella...truly, I feel like it was meant just for me (I'm definitely a Martha). :-) I couldn't fall asleep last night because I was so anxious about all that needed to get done and yet everything within me was crying out for rest and peace and time with Him! Thank you so much for this very timely reminder my friend!
Vanessa

fleurcottage said...

love this post & am aboard w/you on it. our pastor used the 'sitting at the feet of Jesus' to challenge us to do just that - it was an awesome worship experience that morning! have a blessed Christmas!

Heather @CommonplaceBeauty said...

ahhh yes. I am so a Martha and I need to be so much more like a Mary. Thanks for the reminder!

Trish Greenfield said...

What a beautiful and challenging "devotional"! Thank you for reminding me to work hard at being a Mary when being a Martha comes so easily for me.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Beau-ti-ful post, Richella. Was just having a pity party today over the slow traffic I've had lately, despite a cool series and extra posts. BUT, I have to remind myself of what is important this month and what is not. What is not important is how many people click over to see my latest craft. Excellent food for thought!

Rhonda @ Abide at Home said...

Richella - thanks for the reminder, or rather, a call to INaction!! :) I feel the same way about having kind of felt sorry for Martha on occasion....I'm not necessarily always a busy bee, but when there's work to be done, well, it's nice to have help to accomplish it. I need to remember that sometimes there ISN'T work to be done - sometimes I'm just creating things to do that make me feel better. (Do I really HAVE to scour the guest tub today?? No guests are coming....) Anyway, thanks for the reminder!

Stefanie Brown said...

Beautiful writing with amazing pictures!! I love how you ended your post:

And so, this Christmas season, while I really want to be a Martha, I'm going to try to be more of a Mary. Maybe, just maybe, I need a little less Christmas--and a little more Christ.

My hand is raised while on my tipped toes, loudly repeating "me, too! me, too!"

Leslie said...

Amen. Lord, make me like Mary.

Leslie said...

P.S. and give me more of You while You're at it.

Jenny said...

Wow, what a thoughtful post, Richella! This was needed today. :-)

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the reminder. I am stumbling this post, tweeting it and sharing on my facebook too. We ALL need this reminder.

Maggie @ Midwestern {Sewing} Girl said...

Bravo...I needed this...thank you so much.

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Wonderful post. I am too much of a Martha. However, I have yet to decorate the inside of my house. Instead, I am enjoying the season. Hopefully, I will get the tree up soon.

At The Picket Fence said...

amen. amen. amen.

Heather

Ashley said...

I think you and I are a lot alike! Great thoughts... so true even if it is hard live out.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Amen. Yes.

Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger said...

This is my first time reading your blog and I love it!! Wow, you are right on. I couldn't agree more. I strive to find this and that to do, but in the end, my priorities are askew. I have been blogging about this lately...convicted much? Enjoyed my visit - and i will be back :)

Barbara Jean said...

This is great, and has been something I have struggled with for a long time. after all, if we are all Mary's who does fix the food, and clean?

Well, now my heart is so that of Mary's. I love to sit at Jesus feet, and be focused n Him. I am of no use when it comes to home cleaning, shopping and so on.
We'll see how long that will be allowed.

balance, it seems, but must come.

blessings
barbara jean

Dawn said...

oh gosh... this was so great. less christmas! you are a smart one!!! and if we ever need more Christ, it is now. i think i needed your reminder, as i mix christmas & fiesta prep all together, i am missing Christ... and candle-light and advent.
xoxo

my3littlebirds said...

Reading this was a great way to start my day. Thank you!

Bonita said...

I love this perspective because I am the non-domestic, the one who doesn't make pretty page views, get re-tweeted or have my pictures pinned to Pinterest. I've always considered this to be lacking, but your post helps me see it a little differently.

P.S. I watched Martha Stewart for the first time the other day. Aren't you proud of me?

Gina said...

Oh so true. This seems to be a theme today with others. I have learned it is better to be a Mary during Christmas too. It's not always easy but oh so worth it. :)

Sheila said...

Very good post, Richella. As women it seems we tend to get caught up in the making everything just so, especially during the holidays instead of focusing on what is needed and most important. Thanks for the reminder.

Marcia said...

Great post, Richeall, but from the looks of your impecable and gorgeous decorations, I think you and me along with you are just gonna have to knock Martha out with an iron pan. ;)
Beautiful and inpiring post.
Blessings.

Blue Cotton Memory said...

Everytime we have a family event, I find myself in the kitchen working (well, what do you expect with 5 sons - LOL) - but I need to bump up the Mary in my life, to sit, share, enjoy the good stuff, too! BTW - I adore your front porch!!!

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Wow. This was very powerful. You hit the nail on the head!

I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. :)

Buttercup Bliss said...

I think so many of us needed this beautiful post today!!! Thanks so much for reminding us of what is really important! May we all strive to be a little more like Mary.... My Martha moments keep awake at night too!

Thanks again!! Your blog is ALWAYS an inspiration to me!!

Merry Christmas!

Lisa

Redo 101 said...

Well said. For months after starting my blog, I was just addicted to blogging and I blogged constantly. Recently I realized I had completely left the Lord out of blogging, so I began praying about my blog, talking things over with Him - after all, He is the Greatest CREATE-or. Now I'm really enjoying my blog because I know He's in it. Thanks for the reminder, which I could probably use twice a week :)

Mary

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