Saturday, April 6, 2013

Too much like Martha...

My Good Morning Girls group just finished Luke 10. In Luke 10: 25-27 we read of Martha and Mary.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I am often a Martha. 

It is so hard to admit.

More than just a regular Martha, I am a stubborn and angry Martha. I am a nagging and frustrated Martha!

This weekend is the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While I may have started the day as a correctly-prioritized Mary, my day soon spiraled into the world of a Martha. 

My brother is here in town. He was going to help us move (that is a different story) but instead ended up coming for a visit. He is a low maintenance guest, it is not as if he is demanding or needy. However, I am a horrible hostess. What once seemed like a tidy enough space somehow morphs (in my mind) to something utterly inhabitable. What usually seems like a few dishes in the sink becomes (again, in my mind) a pile of dishes the size of Alaska. What usually seems like average behavior for the kids (in my mind, yet again) becomes the most obnoxious and horrible behavior known to man. I want things perfect. I find myself working hard and losing sight of what is important. I become Martha! 

Rather than take it slow and savor my brother's company, I tend to put my shoulder to the wheel and press on- only with an even faster and more furious pace than usual. Rather than prioritize and realize that between Brian and my much-adored (and highly important!) General Conference, I start to freak out about checklists and chores. Not only do I make myself work hard, but I ask my family to pick up their pace too. The boys and I do dishes while Kurt tidies up the house (Fina was asleep), and this all leaves Brian with no one to talk to, and nothing to do. Is this what Brian would want? Is this what I really want? Is this what the kids really want? Is this what is most important? Is this what Jesus would want me to do?

Jesus did not demand Martha to sit by his side and listen. Jesus allowed Martha to set her priorities and push herself hard. It was only when Martha came to him to ask that he have Mary help her that Jesus reminded her of what is needful: Him. Jesus reminds Martha of what the priorities should be, and then makes it clear that he will not be sending Mary away to help. Spiritual needs should come first.

I didn't read my scriptures until after 10pm. I didn't get a chance to sit back, sip cocoa, and ponder more about some of the amazing talks from Conference. I did not get a chance to breathe and enjoy my funny and quirky little brother. Instead, I sorta freaked out all day, and rushed from thing to thing to thing. Why? Because I allowed my Martha tendencies to take hold and run.

There are only so many hours in the day, and while Martha's serving was important, it was not what was necessary. While it is important to do the dishes, sweep the floor, and run the laundry, today it was not what was necessary.

I am so glad that I figured this out now, so that I can enjoy the rest of General Conference tomorrow, and spend more quality time with my brother before he leaves Tuesday!

To the other Marthas: JOIN ME! Let us work on this together! Housework and daily duties are very important, but they must come after the needs of our spirits! How often do we start our days before prayer? How often do we start our workday before we have read our scriptures? No- let us step back, and take this lesson to heart. Let us put what is needed first.

1 comment:

  1. I become that angry, harried Martha, too - and am slowly learning to back away, sit down, savor - things will keep:) It's a tough lesson - the letting go of those things - but a necessary one:) Thanks for sharing - we sound a lot alike:)