The last few days the story of Mary and Martha have been on my mind. The story that celebrates Mary for sitting at our Master’s feet and giving him all her time and attention.
In my current state of life, this story just makes me feel like crap. I have a picture of how ideal this looks. Time to sit, listen, invest, listen, hear, think, listen, be in an uninhibited relationship with Christ where nothing else matters. Honestly, as a mother of three small children and running a household, this seems nearly impossible for most of my day when my kids are awake. I force myself to take time before they are up and moving non-stop, and after they are in bed, I collapse in exhaustion. I get it; if I don’t have time to spend with God, then I am doing too much. I must force myself to correct my priorities for my faith and relationship with God to thrive.
However, my family needs to eat. They need clothes to wear. My daughter will continue to eat food off the floor from last week if I don’t clean. Diapers don’t change themselves. Kids don’t wipe themselves till their older. Dishes don’t wash themselves. Children don’t discipline themselves. Food doesn’t grow without some attention. Bills need to get paid, food needs to be bought, you know the drill. The list goes on and on. There are necessary daily living tasks that you absolutely have to attend to.
It’s called living.
So how do you balance it all? Balancing the Mary with the Martha.
Yesterday I was preparing for my son and daughter’s birthday party, while at the same time trying to also get the guest room ready for my parents visit. The list of things to accomplish was at an all time high. In one day, I went to Rainbow for double coupon day, Walgreens because I had free Walgreen money, Cub for the Leg of Lamb for Easter, Target for a new shower curtain liner (ours was going to walk away by itself soon), the bank, and Aldi for cheap strawberries to make homemade ice cream for the party. It was a crazy day. And the kids were with me. So we made up lots of songs. We played lots of car games. I gave them each an item to remember in the store and that was their job.
Then when we got home, each kid got to make something special with me in the kitchen to prepare for the party. It was amazing time with each kid. Noah got to cut up all the strawberries while I made hummus. We talked about the day. We laughed and told jokes. We were discussing Easter and all sorts of great questions about the Bible and death. Caleb and I did the same thing while we made bean dip.
So how do you balance Mary and Martha?
For me in life right now, it’s fighting for the Mary moments, but more than anything I want to bring Mary into the Martha moments of living life. Life responsibilities have to happen, but I can focus on relationships while I work.
I believe that when it comes down to it, I believe God cares most about our relationship with him. Are we looking for him, including him, loving him, trying to please him? Do we care about what he thinks and search him for truth and power? He longs for a relationship with us. The relationship is the key. Cooking in the kitchen with each of my boys separately deepened my relationship with them and the Lord. We got intentional time and it was a project we got to do together. Time spent investing in one another. Maybe not direct time with the Creator, but time with his beloved created, my kids. Spending time with His creation is a form of spending time with Him. And that’s what it’s about right? Deepening the relationship. Creating space for love. Making memories. Tightening our bond.
Love. It's about love in relationship.
My Martha responsibilities created the space for our Mary moments yesterday and for that I am thankful.