Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Choose and Keep...

 "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."

Luke 10:38-42, KJV

How many times have I heard sermons taken from this text throughout my life?  How many ladies meetings have I sat through, even been a part of, with these Scriptures as the theme?  How many times have I read these verses casually, or even carefully?  Many, many times.

As I was praying Monday night, the familiar Scriptures above came to my mind.  I picked up a Bible and searched, it didn't take me very long to find the reference.  I read the verses, then I reread them, then I read them again.  Something kept compelling me to read it over and over until I finally saw something that may seem quite simple to you, dear readers.  But I needed to see it.

Martha, as we all know, was being a woman at her "best"... busy.  As a wife and mother, I feel that I am not worth anything unless I'm up doing something.  I feel downright guilty for sitting down in the middle of the day, when my kitchen is calling to me, my laundry room is screaming at me, and the rest of my house is roaring at me for my time and attention.  So many days recently I have battled with severe headaches, unexplained fatigue, and and overall feeling of just plain horrible.  My body has forced me to sit, even *gasp* nap when I can.  And I always, always feel guilty for it.  I feel lazy, worthless, and usually wake up from a fretful tossing and turning "sleep" feeling even worse than when I laid down.  My brain will NOT turn off, long after my body has tried.  Sometimes I just want to cry about it.  There is this organized, amazing, Martha Stewart meets Betty Crocker woman that I desperately want to be.  I can try, pitifully, but I mostly fail.  I end up not being productive, but just being busy, seemingly spinning my wheels.  Like Martha, I am careful... very careful, mind you... about many things.  And it just leads to being troubled.

I can just see it in my mind... Martha pouring over recipes until she finds just the right ones, gathering all the needed food, making lists, going to the market, coming home, prepping, cutting, preparing it all.  Her mind racing ahead to the next few hours and all that needs to be made ready.  And that's just the kitchen... what about the rest of the house?  Is it clean?  Is everything not just presentable but perfect for this great man about to enter her home, the place that represents her very self?  Where is Mary?!  Where is my help?!  Do I have to do EVERYTHING by myself?!  I have so much to do, so little time...

And she looks in the next room, ready to snap, every nerve on fire... and there is her sister.  SITTING DOWN.  Listening to this man speak... she gets to hear the sermon!  I can't listen to the sermon, I'm too busy doing everything else!  Why can't I get to be a part of that?  I invited Him to my home, and I'm stuck in my kitchen while she soaks up the benefits!  This won't do...

She was so upset, He had to say her name twice.  Twice.  Think about that!  As a mother of three small children, that means a great deal to me.  Yes, He saw that she was being careful, but He also saw her trouble.  Funny how those words are back to back.

So many things pull us in so many different directions.  We become so wrapped up in going and doing, giving everything we have until we fall into an exhausted, restless sleep late at night.  We lay there, minds racing, until the minutes turn to hours, yes... hours.  Feelings of never being good enough plague our minds.  We compare ourselves and everything we have or don't have with every other woman we meet.  No wonder women these days are walking around with plastic smiles, keeping things bottled up until we literally break. 

But Mary... she had "chosen the good part".  First of all, the word "chosen"... whoa!  She had a choice?!  That's a sermon in itself!  And what good part?  She "sat at His feet, and heard His word".  My, my... in order to hear what He was saying, she had to be still for just a minute.  And that's not all... the Lord also said, "...which shall not be taken away from her."  That stood out to me for the very first time, as beautiful as a red tulip against green blades of grass...

It can't be taken away.

Lord, help me to rest at Your feet.  However possible, in whatever way, help me to MAKE THE TIME for You. 

Help me to listen to Your words.  Help me be quiet.  Help me be still. 

Help me to choose and keep that good part.  Like picking out what piece of cake I wanted as a child... like choosing the cutest puppy or kitten in the litter... like shopping in the produce section, picking up, smelling, feeling for the freshest and best... help me to choose the good part.  And most of all, help me to hold on to it.  Just like Ellie clung to me the first time she was ever in a pool, may I grasp it... and hold on for dear life.  


  1. My wonderful daughter who has never quite allowed herself the credit she deserves. My girl who has the stamina of Martha and the spirit of Mary. These beautiful posts whisper to us of the time you've sepnt at the feet of Jesus. Thank you.

  2. By the way...Martha Stewart did time in prison and Betty Crocker wasn't a real person.

  3. Thank you, Daddy. I like to think my writing talent is inherited. ;)