Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Having a Mary Heart

Luke 10:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away
from her.”

It was a snowy Friday morning. As I searched for some cartoons for my kiddos, I noticed Hudson, my 7 year old little boy, emerge from the kitchen with two of my kitchen sponges. I just bought them a couple of days ago. They weren't that great, because they were soft instead of scratchy. They came in a package of 10 with all sorts of different colors. I can totally understand why the kids would enjoy something so bright and colorful. He was holding one in each hand and flapping delightfully. He circled around me, and the Martha kicked in.

For those who aren't familiar with the story, in the gospel of Luke, verses 38-42, Jesus comes to the homes of two sisters. Their names are Mary and Martha. The sisters opened their home to Jesus. Martha immediately began setting up. She was working hard to make sure all provisions were met to prepare their home for their guests. In the meantime, Mary found herself sitting at the feet of Jesus, just listening to him. Martha saw her sister and became frustrated. In her frustration, she asks, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me." I'm certain Martha expected Jesus to reprimand her sister for not helping. To her surprise, Jesus answers, "Martha, Martha. You are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."

When the Martha kicked in, I knew that I may need those sponges for dishes, and they could not be used to clean dishes if they were in the floor. I snapped at Hudson, "Put those back in the kitchen."

It's amazing how our words, if not used carefully, can sting. Hudsons' demeanor went from being happy and cheerful to being hurt. His lip pouted, and tears immediately streamed from his face. As he handed me the two sponges, he turned to go in his room with the saddest thing I've heard in awhile...

"But Mom! You took my wings!"

Aren’t we all guilty of being Martha? I feel like it has to be done, and done now. ... Sometimes I go overboard with wanting perfection, and expecting perfection.

I cut short devotions to do laundry.

I yell when juice is spilled on the floor.

I get angry when the bed is not made to my standards...

But worst of all, today, I failed to see that two sponges, ten of which cost $1.00, were the perfect pair of wings.

I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit that lives inside of me beckons me to be more than I am. That I can be shaped by the amazing God who lives inside of me. That he can speak to my heart, speak past my flesh, and tell me how to live a more calm, peaceful life. One that realizes that the hearts of my children are more important than a spotless home, or two cheap sponges. I'm not that person. I'm

not a Mary. I am a Martha.. but thanks to the Holy spirit, sometimes I choose to be Mary. I choose God. I choose peace. I choose the greater portion. The greater portion being a closer, more obedient relationship with God. The one that puts away worldly things to reach for a child's heart. The one that creates in us a humble heart. The one that beckons us to rest at his feet, and learn to be more Christlike.

With a heavy heart, I sank beside my little boy on the bed and held him. His tears dried up, and he hugged me back. I handed him two sponges, told him I loved his wings. He smiled at me, and told me they were red and blue. I ran my fingers across them and told him they were so soft, and that Mommy was sorry, that Mommies sometimes say things they don't mean to say, and that I should not have taken his wings away. He forgave me, instantly.. and 'flew' away.

For us this time at Fruitland has been a time of close proximity. In this campus housing our family of four is in a tiny space. We gave up spacious homes to come to this place of spiritual growth for our families to learn to serve. We all gave our time and space to learn to serve God in this capacity. I’m thankful for this time and for the things he has taught me during my time here. Being in close proximity can be hard for a family, but it can also teach us to have this unbreakable bond that will help hold us together tightly as we travel through this world of ministry together. Also, it can teach us to put the ‘perfection’ behind us, hide our Martha attitudes, and learn to be more like Mary.

Most of the time I'm a Martha.. but occasionally, I find a way to be a Mary in this Martha world.


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