I don’t know about y’all, but I feel like my life lately has been a poorly played game of catch-up. My daily tasks keep rolling over to the next day, and my summer projects have become fall projects (and will probably turn into winter projects). I had a whole bunch of things to check off my list before classes started back up (like finishing this blog post… oops), but the time seemed to slip out of my hands.
Anyone who knows me can tell you I struggle with people-pleasing. I have a hard time saying no to anything, because I feel like I would be letting someone down. I take on every single task (even if no one asked me to), which becomes a problem when I know I don’t have the time for it. Soon I forget how to prioritize and end up stressed out. There are days when the bed isn’t made, dirty dishes are in the sink, laundry is piled high (trust me, these all drive me nuts), and my to-do list is a mile long. We’ve all been there. Maybe we’re both there right now.
We live in a world that glorifies “busy.” It’s the norm to be juggling ten million things at once. When you ask people how they’re doing, the first word to come out of their mouth is usually, “busy,” because we tend to fill our days with commitments until our plate is full. However, things can get messy when we let “busy” take control of our lives.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is about how a woman’s servant-heartedness leads her to become too anxious and distracted to pay attention to Jesus (who just so happens to be in her home).
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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.” – Luke 10:38-42
Martha is so busy trying to be hospitable that Jesus calls her out! Sometimes He desires for us to just rest at his feet and find comfort in Him. God values our attention, and when we take all the weight of worldly commitments off our shoulders, we are able to hear Him more clearly.
Have you ever done something you thought was right but it actually wasn’t? Martha really thought she needed to make all these preparations to show Jesus that she loved Him, but He just wanted her attention. Maybe she was trying to make her house perfectly neat and tidy for Jesus to visit (I know I would), but Jesus will meet us wherever we’re at – and that may be in the middle of an imperfect, messy home.
One of my best friends gifted us the sign in the picture above at our engagement party, and now it hangs on the wall directly in front of the entryway. It has the verse “For where two or three gather in my name I am with them,” from Matthew 18 written on it to remind us that Jesus is always present and welcomed in our home. We don’t need to have our house perfectly organized or our lives completely figured out in order for Jesus to work through us. Heck, we don’t even need our THOUGHTS figured out, because He already knows them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33
Now don’t get me wrong, we should all strive to be the kind of hospitable servant Martha was, but we need to learn to prioritize like Mary. We must let the Holy Spirit fill up our cup BEFORE we start taking on the world.
Next time someone asks how your week is going, why don’t you set your to-do list aside for a second, and ask God to straighten our your priorities. What if instead of responding with, “I’m so busy,” we count the number of times The Lord has blessed us that week?
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October 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Another well written and well thought out article, Sis.
October 25, 2017 at 7:26 pm
October 26, 2017 at 11:37 am
So it’s ok to slow down and appreciate what we already have… Thanks for the reminder!!
October 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm
Sydney! This is a beautiful post! I love that story and I many times feel like Martha! I get so preoccupied with all I have to do and I need to remind myself to sit and rest in Jesus. He so many times gets very little of my day and this is something I know I want to work on. Hope you have a beautiful and blessed weekend!
October 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm
Absolutely, I feel like this is something we can always work on! I hope you have a great weekend as well! Thanks for reading 🙂
October 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm
Such an amazing reminder!!
October 28, 2017 at 11:23 pm
Wow Sydney, just the reminder I need this week. It speaks the truth and it is so important to not allow the busyness of life not take over. Counting your blessings works every single time.
October 29, 2017 at 11:55 am
As usual, you have written one more great article. Thanks for sharing. It will help for self improvement. Bookmarked your blog.
October 30, 2017 at 11:20 am
Thanks so much for reading!
October 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm
This was so beautifully written and has such a powerful message. Thank you for this reminder to be the “Mary”.
October 31, 2017 at 3:39 pm
One time I read a quote that made me feel defensive: “If Satan can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.” I wrestled with it for awhile and then realized it’s kind of true. Extreme busyness takes our eyes off Christ, our families, our souls, etc. Welcome to the world of blogging, Sydney!
October 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm
I’ve never heard that before, but I can definitely see how the enemy could do that. Thanks for stopping by!
November 1, 2017 at 8:42 am
Ah, such a great reminder for me as we enter the Holiday craze… I am most definitely a doer, a people pleaser, and I tend to measure my worth on my productivity. Shame. I’m such a Martha. To the bone.
I am forever challenged and inspired and convicted to be a Mary.
Today, this day, I will shift my to do list and embrace my thankfuls and read God’s Word and be quiet in prayer.
November 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm
I’m so glad this post encouraged you! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
November 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm
Yes. Yes. YESSSS! So much, this! Blessings!
November 1, 2017 at 4:37 pm
I struggle to balance the Mary with the Martha personalities. This post was great motivation. Thank you!
November 1, 2017 at 6:56 pm
“We live in a world that glorifies ‘busy’.” Amen, Sister! Beautifully written! Thank you for this reminder as I head into my Thursday with a list a mile long! (and it keeps getting longer)
November 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm
You and me both! Praying God gives you rest tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
November 2, 2017 at 1:48 am
This was a great reminder! I needed it. I love studying this story of Mary and Martha, both women loving Jesus in the best way they knew how. Sometimes I think we try to love Jesus the way that we want to be loved, for example, our love language. He has already told us how to show our love to him. Time with him, acts of service (not necessary for salvation) to serve his other children, words of affirmation and so on. God doesn’t want us putting him on a back burner. Mary is the perfect example of this. It took a lot of bravery to do what she did (rules of that time) and Jesus made sure she knew she had made the right choice. Love this!
November 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm
I’m so glad this spoke to you! You bring up a good point – that we should love Jesus differently than we want to be loved. That’s definitely something I am going to work on. Thanks for reading!
November 2, 2017 at 5:00 am
A message that connects with the heart. our body, spirit and soul is also where christ is welcome too. Christ can clean and make the impure very pure again.
November 2, 2017 at 10:22 am
I wrote a message to my mops group last week about being Mary’s. I find it funny that the one of the world’s biggest influences in stylized decor, place settings, and elaborate gatherings is Martha Stewart.
November 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm
That’s so ironic, I never thought of that! Thanks for sharing.
November 2, 2017 at 11:00 am
If we can slow down and begin from a place of rest, yielding to Christ each moment, we would be less likely to look so frenzied in our lives.
November 2, 2017 at 11:09 am
It is so true that the world glorifies busy. Sometimes we need to take a step back and see what is truly throughout our day.
November 3, 2017 at 1:39 am
Great reminder of the story <3 loved reading
February 8, 2018 at 11:14 am
[…] quick prayer. I want to read God’s word and follow His will more intently. I want to take time to sit and rest at His feet when I’m feeling rushed. I want to learn from Him and listen to Him. Am I truly seeking God’s […]