Sunday, February 20, 2011

I want to be Mary only I'm so totally Martha.

If you are like me you could be in any one of twenty places right now.   Okay, so maybe that is an exaggeration but you know what I mean.  I had to decide what to do first, write my blog or fold the laundry, fold the laundry or answer my e-mail, answer my e-mail or go visit a friend that could use some cheering up, etc., etc.  I've already mentally prepared my to do list for tomorrow and will write it down before bed time but as soon as I do I will begin the process of thinking about the rest of what I have to get done this week.  It is a never ending tornado of thoughts, to do's, should do's, could do's, want to do's.  I know I'm not alone in this storm because so many of my girlfriends talk about how busy they are and how much they have to do.

So, where is this never ending journey of not being able to manage our time coming from and why can't we seem to win the battle and be done with it?  For me it seems to be that I have a hard time saying no. I want to be like Mary and be able to sit at Jesus feet and just "be".  Although over the years I've gotten much better at saying no and being still, I wouldn't say that I have mastered the art of doing either well.  I still feel guilty when I can't be everything to everyone and fill everyone's needs bucket.  I still feel "less than" when I can't get it all done.  Just ask my poor husband whom I make weary just by his having to watch me flitter around trying to do it all.

Many times I have been able to slow way down and feel really good about  it. I have time to enjoy my Bible study and not rush through it. I have time to sit and have coffee with a friend, snuggle with my husband while watching a movie, have lunch with one of my children and really be present.   But then very slowly the busyness creeps back in, I say yes to more people, yes to more responsibility at work or church or volunteer activities and before I know it I'm right back in the midst of the tornado, spinning out of control.  I'm accomplishing everything that is on the TO DO list but I'm not engaged or enjoying any of it because I am too busy thinking about the next item on the TO DO list.  And then I have to figure out what to let go, who to let down by saying, "I'm sorry but no, that just won't work for me and my family right now."  And then the guilt  kicks in and after I am over the guilt I will be okay for a while, until the process starts over again.

Two weeks ago I went on a trip with my husband and a group from our church on a marriage retreat.  Then this past Friday night I met my husband for a quick overnight stay in New Orleans.  Now, I'm behind on my need to's, supposed to's and should do's.   You guessed it, I'm feeling overwelmed and guilty for not being able to do it all.  And the really hard part and is that it's all really good stuff.  Most all of my list of to do's are things I really care about and things I really want to be able to do, only I can't there just aren't enough hours in the day.

So what about you.  Do you find yourself in this same situation?  Write me and tell me your struggles.  I would love to hear them.

Luke 10:  38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”    41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


  1. I can relate, Jen. I think it's really important for us to frequently take stock of our lives and see where and how we're spending our time and energy. How am I using the 24 hours I have each day? Lists are important for keeping us organized, but we must prioritize the things that get on the list. I'm currently reading Radical by David Platt. He says too many of us have bought into the "American Dream" ideal where we can have it all, and it's all about us. In trying to live this way, we become self-centered which only leads to emptiness. If we will become more God-centered and others-centered, we'll find more contentment and meaning in life. I want that!

  2. Jen, I'm so proud of you! I just found your blog! Thanks for the reminder to just be.