Monthly Archives: May 2015

The One Thing

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The One Thing

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Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”
~ Luke 10:41-42 (VOICE)

I’ve read this story countless times now, trying to understand just what the Lord meant when He bluntly told me, Don’t be a Martha. Every time I do, the final verse intrigues me.

Mary has chosen that One Thing…”

It makes me think of the movie “City Slickers”. (You’ll have to pardon the gross use of movie analogies here lately. Sadly, my Mommy-Brain is reduced to operating via old song lyrics and movie quotes.)

Remember when Curly tells Mitch what the secret to life is? He holds up his finger and says, “One Thing.”

“What’s The One Thing?”

“That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”

That’s how I feel every time I read this verse. What’s The One Thing, Lord?

I’ve always felt living my life for Jesus was The One Thing. Unashamed-of-The-Gospel, Do-the-Right-Thing, This-Little-Light-of-Mine living. Gimme a list of Do’s and Don’ts for Jesus and I’m good to go.

Maybe this comes from my missionary baptist heritage or maybe Talking and Doing are just my nature. Regardless, these are my comfort zones; they give me a sense of accomplishment and control.

But The Lord has recently given me some very conflicting directives.

Talk less.
Do less.
Pray more.

The most uncomfortable things for me?

NOT TALKING AND NOT DOING.

Not being the first to volunteer feels wrong on so many levels. Not sharing my thoughts or testimony is almost painful.

I mean, you don’t hear a lot of preachers spouting from the pulpit, “Clam up and do nothing!” So how can this be right?

Indeed, obedience and good works and love with action are hallmarks of my faith, but I’m learning they are not The One Thing to which Jesus referred.

In Mark 10, we meet a young rich man who also wanted to know The One Thing.

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
[Jesus replied] “…You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” ~Mark 10:17-21

What’s The One Thing he lacked?

Sacrifice? Faith? Love?

I’ve scratched my head over the past weeks, prayed, devoured commentaries and searched God’s Word for the answer. But one morning when I wasn’t even looking, I came to this…

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 6:21 (NIV)

I read these familiar words and asked myself, “Where is your treasure? What do you value most?”

Like all good Christian girls, I know The Right Answers:
-My relationship with God
-My family
-Advancing The Kingdom

I can honestly say I treasure these things because they each are extremely important to me; I do indeed value them. I even do The Deeds to prove it. But when I read this verse in The Message, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”~Matthew 6:21 (MSG)

What The Rich Man lacked was Heart.

In an unforeseen twist, The Lord flipped my well-meaning self-evaluation. “Jessie, where are you? Where is your HEART?”

Tears filled my eyes as the answer flooded my mind. I don’t know anymore, Lord.

It feels like my heart is everywhere and nowhere right now. I’m still SAYING The Right Things and DOING lots of things that are Right, but He has shown me I’m operating more out of obligation than passion. My Heart just isn’t in it anymore.

Maybe that’s what Martha was doing, too.

In Martha’s day, “hospitality was not merely a question of good manners, but a moral institution…which developed into a highly esteemed virtue in Jewish tradition.”

Martha was not simply trying to host an impressive meal for Jesus; according to The Law, she was obligated to. In some teachings, hospitality was considered even more important than prayer!

Martha was no doubt mortified by her sister’s failure to Do The Right Thing according their upbringing. Mary was being rebellious and immoral in front of a Rabbi; what was she thinking?!

As a Jew, Jesus was familiar with this tradition, too. He knew the importance of opening one’s home to serve travelers and strangers. He understood Martha’s tizzy–and her heart.

In that moment of distraction, Martha’s heart was in obeying The Law, Doing The Right Thing.

The young rich man had done The Right Thing all his life, obeyed every letter of The Law. He wanted to secure his seat, but Jesus wanted to secure his heart.

Doing The Right Thing isn’t The One Thing.

“Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!”~Galatians 6:15 (MSG)

Jesus came to fulfill The Law (Matt. 5:17) so we could live life free from The Law! So our hearts could be fixed on HIM, not The Right Thing.

Mary sat because she understood this.

Anyone can muster up the willpower to obey, do good deeds, or be kind and moral–even non-believers. But only those who treasure Jesus can Stop Doing or Sell Everything just to sit on the floor and listen to His voice.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” ~Psalm 27:4

Martha was Talking; Mary was Seeking.

Martha was Doing; Mary was Dwelling.

Martha was Busy; Mary was Praying.

Obedience, good works and love with action are necessary, but like Martha, Jesus has shown me they are not The One Thing because they do not satisfy our hearts.

Mary’s heart was in The Right Place and Jesus said she found The One Thing that mattered–The Good Portion–and it would not be taken from her.

Jesus is The Good Portion. Literally, He is whole. Solid. Filling. Mary was satisfied.

So what’s The One Thing?

A Heart that’s in The Right Place…

At the feet of Jesus.

Jesus, You are The One Thing I need. Help me want You more than anything else, to drop everything to sit at Your feet and gaze upon Your beauty. Show me what to stop doing. Tell me when to stop talking. Meet me in prayer that I may be satisfied. In Jesus’ Name I ask these things.  Amen.

Jessie

To start at the beginning of this Martha-thon, see these posts:

Don’t Be A Martha!

You Might Be A Martha…

Hooked On A Feeling

Hooked On A Feeling

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“Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him teach. Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Jesus: Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”

~Luke 10:38-42 (VOICE)
Okay! I’m treading water now and holding my breath as I discover what it means to Be A Martha with the Heart of A Mary. Just like swimming, this is a lesson I’ll never forget.
Today, I’m pondering Martha’s motivation. Why did she invite Jesus to her house?
Like Martha, I love to play Hostess. Throwing parties with all The Details is so much fun for me. Even the planning and organizing and shopping is exciting. (I know, I have a problem.)
Whatever the venue, I sincerely enjoy making people happy; I am a Pleaser at heart.
I’ve always thought delivering flowers to be one of the best jobs in the world. The surprise; the smile; the sentiment. What a joy knowing you’ve left someone feeling loved.
Reminds me of the movie “Bed of Roses” with Christian Slater. (SO good but seriously a tear-jerker.) His character, Lewis, loves arranging and delivering flowers to unsuspecting recipients and then watching their faces; so much so, he buys a flower shop and devotes his life to it.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m no florist. So for me, delivering a hot meal is the next best thing. I love making a comforting supper, taking it right to someone’s doorstep and seeing them smile. The feeling that follows is addictive.
It feels good to do good deeds, doesn’t it? Knowing I’ve made some kind of a difference is satisfying. Rewarding. It’s a Win-Win all the way around.
As Believers, it is our calling. We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves; to be Salt and Light in the world. But if I’m brutally honest–which, unfortunately I am–sometimes The Martha in me enjoys The Deed and The Feeling more than The One I’m doing it for. 
I like tangible, Look-At-What-I-Did accomplishments. Donating clothes from my own closet. Making and serving a Pretty Coffee. Redecorating a room at the church. It’s gratifying to SEE the fruits of my labor and watch the joy others feel from my efforts.
The truth is, it’s harder to be satisfied by what I cannot see. 
Sometimes, just Jesus isn’t enough. (I cry as I type those words.) It’s so much easier to be satisfied by what I’ve done for Him than by what He’s done for me. I prefer the joy I can see Here and Now over that which is promised to come.
Like Martha, I get so caught up trying to be Salt and Light, I forget what that even means.
Jesus said I am the salt of the earth so that others may taste and see that He is good; He said I am the Light of the world so others may give glory to Him.
 
The more I really grasp this, the more I realize I don’t have to TRY at all; I AM because He is in me and He is Good!
And the more time I spend with Him in His word and in prayer, the saltier and brighter I become. Suddenly I’m no longer trying, I’m simply seasoning and reflecting.
Now I know:  When I walk away from some good deed feeling like I Made It Happen, that’s me trying. But when I walk away going How Did That Just Happen?, that’s Him giving me flavor and brilliance.
Sometimes I think I crave that Good Feeling because it makes me forget my own troubles. If I’m busy helping others there’s less time to face my own heart issues and sin.
Spoiler Alert: That’s why Lewis bought a flower shop. 
He had been a successful business man but lost his wife and baby during childbirth. His deep pain and sorrow prompted him to find a job that made him feel good. Living vicariously through others’ joy helped him forget his own worries and woes.
Doing good deeds and bringing joy in Jesus’ name is NOT wrong. It’s when I find healing through The Feeling more than through The Savior that I have a problem. 
Only Jesus can satisfy my longings. No matter how great, no good deed is good enough; no good feeling will ever match the warmth and joy I find in His presence. He is Good and He wants Good for us, but mostly, He just wants Us. 
Martha gave Him her deeds; Mary gave Him herself.
And Jesus said she found what is Good.
Lord, I want to give you Me today. Not my Deeds or Best Efforts, just Me. I want to find joy in Your presence alone. Please help the Martha in me to be hooked on You and not a feeling. In Jesus’ Name I ask this. Amen. 
 
~Jessie
“We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags…” ~Isaiah 64:6 (MSG)
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:13a,14-16 (MSG)

Grace I Call A House

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I take my house for granted,
These walls that I call Home.
Too often I complain of it;
Its labor I bemoan.

I fuss about the cabinet space,
The small size of our rooms;
The doors that stick and floors that creak.
One day we will improve.

I dream of bigger, better things
Instead of what I need.
I forget this place shelters me
From wind and rain and sleet.

It feels so strong, so sure and firm,
Like it could never leave.
Yet as I watch my neighbors’ plight
I hang my head and weep.

My sink, my bed, my comfy chair,
My favorite place to rest;
This house, my home, is only mine
A moment; I am blessed.

So as I lay me down to sleep
I’ll pray for those without;
And I will thank the Lord above
For grace I call A House.

~Jessie Prestridge

This poem occurred to me as I slumped into bed tonight, heartbroken for the families and residents of Van, Texas. This rural community near my home was devastated by a tornado last night. Many were injured, some are still missing and there have been fatalities. Please pray for my small corner of the world.

God is still in control and in love with His people. May we cling to Him rather than question His providence. His mercies will still be new in the morning, even as the sun rises over a barren slab of concrete.

“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.” ~Lamentations 3:22-24

~Jessie

What I’ve Learned About God In The Hood

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There’s been a lot of hype lately about The Mother Hood.  I’m sure you know how things roll there or at least have seen a commercial or YouTube video about it. So here’s my flow…

In the last year, my Hood has seen

Long days, short nights; lots of caffeine.

Tantrums. Messes. Sleep deprivation.

The Greatest Potty Training Rebellion in the nation. 

Lessons and practice and places to go;

And don’t forget the endless school-paper-flow.

Exhaustion is my homey and Rest is my foe.

My kids stopped nappin’ so it’s been real, yo!
From the trenches, I confess my shades tend to tilt toward the negative. But as Mother’s Day approaches, I’m reminded there are sunny days in The Hood; those shining moments when I’m overcome by joy and contentment and can’t imagine my life in any other place. 
I can’t help but giggle and smile when I think of all I love about The Hood…
I love holding my babies and getting “Cubby” hugs from them.
I love listening to them sing and hearing them laugh.
I love being with them in still, quiet moments.
I love seeing myself in them (most of the time).
I love teaching them new things and watching them finally Get It.
I love being my kids’ mom–not just A mom–their mom.  Not because they’re perfect but because they are mine.
You know, God probably enjoys the same things about His children.
Being a mom has taught me so much about God. That’s not to say I didn’t know anything before I was a mom; it’s just His heart for His children is so much clearer from this vantage point. His desires for us make more sense now, because I realize I want the same things for my kids that He wants for His.
He may be our Father, but I see similarities between my Mommy Heart and His.

God loves to hold us.

I have always loved holding my babies. With my first-born, people warned me not to hold her too much, but I couldn’t resist. I wanted to hold her, cuddle her, be as close as I possibly could. She was part of me, my heart wrapped in a pink blanket. 

She will be eight soon and I am sad to say it is almost impossible for me to carry her to bed–but I still try!
Unlike me, my Father’s arms never need a break. I will never be too big for Him to lift. When I raise my arms up to Him, He will always pick me up. (James 4:10)
And when this Mommy gets weary and just wants to hide in a blanket-tent and color, I can. He’s still my Father and I can enjoy the freedom of being His child. He is still in control, even if my tent now requires a mortgage. (Psalm 4:8)
God loves being with us. 
My son just turned three, so he’s still the perfect size to hold and cuddle and carry.  He says, “Momma! Sit wi’t me in ‘da Night-Night Chair!” That’s our spot.
Our mornings are routine; we watch Peter Rabbit over milk and coffee and cuddles. It is our time together and I cherish it every single day, much like I imagine The Lord enjoys His time with me. 
My daughter and I had a similar routine, only it was Jack’s Big Music Show and Nilla’s with milk. But once Baby Brother came along and school started, our routine had to change. Gone were the days of quiet, slow mornings. Sigh…
Now we have to purposely find time to be alone, and what we do together looks different than it did when she was two. The time I spend with The Lord has changed, too, and as I’ve shared, that’s okay with Him.
Same goes for time with my own Momma. The rhythm of our lives has changed, but our love and desire to spend time together hasn’t.

God Loves to hear our voices.

Young or old, near or far, all moms love the sound of their kids’ voices. (Side Note–don’t forget to call your mom on Mother’s Day!)  Granted, there are times I want those little voices to desist, especially after hearing MOMMY! 4,518 times in a row; but I’d go crazy without them.

My favorite are those tender, quiet moments when the world is still; lying in bed, listening to them think back over their day.  The way they whisper secret thoughts with sleepy voices between yawns, even though I already know what they are thinking…

These are the moments I wish would never end, ones I savor for nights they’re down the hall in their own room.  They are intimate and sweet and so precious to my heart.  They are the moments I most understand how much God delights in me.

Like the night my son prayed…
Gee-Zus, T’ank you for apples, my pillow, my jammies, pickles, my horse, Sissy, Sissy’s school, Daddy, Momma, Gramz…
I have no doubt Jesus grinned through that whole prayer, just like I did.  It was music to His ears and mine.
God loves seeing Himself in us.
It’s an awesomely weird feeling when your child makes a face or movement and suddenly, you see yourself.  It feels good to have someone say, “They look just like you!”  But acting like you? Well, that depends.
Sometimes that’s a cute thing, like this morning as my daughter tried to kill a bug in the backseat. I warned, “Don’t break the window!” to which she quipped, “I’m trying to break the bug!”  Yep, she’s mine.
Other times are not so cute, like disciplining your child for being bossy–which they totally learned from you. Such a humbling moment.

Fortunately, God wants to teach us His ways because they are always Good. 

I love it when I see the light come on over my kids’ heads.  The moment they learn to snap their fingers or tie their shoes–or use the potty–is just The Best.  Their little minds grow right before my eyes, proving all my efforts aren’t in vain.
Thankfully, God waits patiently for the moment when we Get It. The moment we realize we are made in His image to reflect Him. The moment we grasp the depth and width and height of His love for us.
God truly loves being our Father.
Motherhood is the perfect paradox.  One minute I want to lock myself in the bathroom to get away from The Minions, but then I don’t want them out of my sight.  I’m stoked for a Mom’s Night Out, but then I’m teary-eyed when I leave. What is that?
For every moment my kids make me feel like a crazy person, there are triple the moments I feel blessed. I think God feels me.
Even though we are sinners, God loves each of us even more than I love my babies (if that’s even possible). He loves us with a before-you-were-born, everlasting-to-everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)  
We are His and no matter what we may say or do, how we may misunderstand or falsely reason, He promises to never abandon us. His resources will never dry up. He will always care, always provide, always give us the best.(Isaiah 54:10)

God doesn’t want to punish us.

I think my least favorite corner of The Mother Hood is The Naughty Step, yet I am forced to take my kids there.  If ever there were a doubt as to whether God’s word is true, Psalm 51:5 is proof it’s legit.  We don’t have to be taught how to sin.

God hates sin. He is Just and He must punish it.  Yet, He loves us so stinkin’ much.

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23

Oh, I understand this in my deepest soul now.  When a three-year-old pushes the limits of his tantrum by spitting at me, justice comes natural.  Yet when that same precious one cries tears of remorse and sobs, “Mommy, I sowwy,” Mercy takes over.  Grace is the balance.

In His Mercy, God doesn’t give us what His Justice says we deserve.  By Grace, He gives us something we do not–Forgiveness.

The longer I live in The Hood, the more I realize becoming a parent is to become more like God; to feel His heartbeat, see His view, and have His desires. 

We want the best for our children.  We pray for them, nurture them; protect and direct them. We provide for their Needs and graciously give their Wants when possible.  We see their true worth and have hope for their future. Sound familiar?

Our heavenly Father wants Good for us so much, He actually gave His one and only Son to be killed in our place.

As a mom, that is the one thing about God I don’t think I’ll ever fathom. I could never give my child over to be killed for anyone, much less someone guilty of a crime.
Yet, that is precisely what The Father did. He accepted full payment for our sin debt from His very own perfect Son in order to offer us forgiveness.
When we accept this amazing offer, He gives us the free gift of eternal life. From that moment on, The Father begins parenting us to become just like His sinless, first-born Son.
We all think our kids are pretty awesome, but His really was.  And He took the spanking we deserved.  Like my C-section scar, His wounds gave us life.

As moms, we’ll never move out of The Mother Hood but one day our peeps will find cribs of their own (we hope). The frenzy will settle and we will no doubt pine for the good ol’ days.

That day will be here before we know it, so let’s do our best to enjoy our place in The Hood today.

Peace out and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

~Jessie

Check out these videos for some fun Mother Hood laughs…

You Might Be A Martha…

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Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him teach. Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Jesus: Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”

~Luke 10:38-42 (VOICE)

Welcome to the shallow end; glad you could join me!  I’m still here, dangling my toes off the steps, testing the waters with questions like…

Lord, what does it mean to Be A Martha? 

How does a girl to go from hospitable to hostile in less than 60? 

If I am in fact a Martha, didn’t You create me this way for a reason?

Although I still don’t have all the answers, I’ve confirmed I am without a doubt A Martha. And ironically, I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart is A Martha, too.

Perhaps you’re unsure as to your Martha-ness?  Like a good “You Might Be A Redneck” joke, let’s use a few simple questions and find out. C’mon, this will be fun!

You Might Be A Martha If…

You over-commit and then force–ahem–recruit your family or friends to help?

You over-achieve and find yourself working during the wee hours?

You over-react and freak out on your family?

If you’re female and answered Yes to at least one of these questions, You Might Be A Martha!

You Might Be A Martha If You Over-commit.

Martha asked Jesus and His posse over for supper, y’all. How much bigger of an event could you host?

Over-committing is probably the easiest Martha-misstep because There Is Just So Much. All Of The Time. Married or single, mother or not; balancing our commitments is tricky. Even before becoming a mother of two, I struggled to keep my schedule from being overloaded.

Host a party at my house? Okay!

Add another class to my schedule? Sure!

Take on extra hours at work? Great!

With so many Good Things to do, Yes slides out before I really have time to determine how More will affect my Must. I can handle a lot, but even Nutella isn’t worth anything if it’s spread too thin.

You Might Be A Martha If You Overachieve.

This little number may be advertised a First-born, Type-A issue only, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say most of us girls struggle with this.

Exhibit A: Pinterest.

Not only do I overbook myself, but I plan to bring my Pinterest Best to every single thing I commit to. Visions of sugarplums dance in my head and fill my Boards.

I can make that! And maybe a couple of those! Oh and that’s cute, too!

Unfortunately, my overachieving ways usually leave me with two parting gifts: An over-extended budget and an under-accomplished list.

Exhibit B: Pinterest Fail.

You Might Be A Martha If You Over-react.

Hello, my name is Jessie and I am The Drama Queen Who Never Sits.

I’m always Up. Doing. Fixing. Planning. Everyone needs to be hugged and welcomed and cared for. No one goes unnoticed or hungry–not on my watch!

I overwork myself and then, like Martha, I get in a tizzy. I believe the lie that I’m The Only One Who Cares and I’m Doing Everything, forgetting I volunteered for all of it.

I get all worked up and before you know it, I’m interrupting Jesus, questioning His level of concern and telling Him what to do.

(This is the scene where the party music screeches to a halt.)

Martha was a spaz. Mary was calm. How’d she do that, Lord?

As I discussed the things I’m learning with my husband, he asked a legit question: Do you feel you worship as much as you work?

(That Stevie-P is one smart cookie.)

I know work is a form of worship but like any good Drama Queen, I operate in extremes. I’m guessing Martha probably did, too. The challenge is finding the balance between work and worship; knowing when to love with action and when to be still and let God be God.

But Lord, how do I “Be Still” when there’s SO much to do?

They say the devil is in the details and for Martha and me–yes, he is. I call it “attention to details”; Jesus called it “anxious and concerned” over things that don’t really matter.

Touche.

Hospitality is a spiritual gift FROM THE LORD. God gave me both the desire and ability to serve in this capacity, but I don’t have to do All The Things.

Wanting to host parties and tend to details is not wrong. It’s when my worship becomes busy-work that I need to slow my roll.

I believe that is exactly what Jesus wanted Martha to do.

Be still and sit with Me.

Don’t worry about your List.

Don’t think about what’s Next.

Just sit. Listen. Worship.

That’s what Mary did and Jesus said she found what is Good.

Jessie, it’s okay to be A Martha as long as you have the heart of A Mary. 

Thank you, Lord!

Now, to find A Mary heart…

If you’re still debating your Martha-standing, watch this video. If you can relate, You Might Be A Martha.😉

~Jessie

Don’t Be A Martha!

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Jesus continued from there toward Jerusalem and came to another village. Martha, a resident of that village, welcomed Jesus into her home. Her sister, Mary, went and sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him teach. Meanwhile Martha was anxious about all the hospitality arrangements.

Martha (interrupting Jesus): Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.

Jesus: Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”

~Luke 10:38-42 (VOICE)

As a girl raised in church, the story of Mary and Martha is one I’ve heard a gazillion times.

I get it. Martha was a Doer; Mary was a Sitter. Martha was a spaz; Mary was calm.

I’m a Martha. (Big shock, I know.)

Recently, I met up with a close friend/fellow Martha.  We talked about our jam-packed schedules, the frustration of  “doing all the work,” and our paradoxical desire to do more for Jesus.

By the time we finished our coffee we had solved all the world’s problems; found a cure for cancer and ended hunger. But something still felt unresolved. As we parted, the same strange thought occurred to us.

Don’t be a Martha!

Though we weren’t clear on specifics, we both knew what The Spirit was saying. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we were totally being a couple of Martha’s.

Since then, we’ve been seeking to understand and mend our Martha ways.  I’ve revisited her story again and again, pushing aside the fog of familiarity for fresh insight. So many questions have come to mind…

Why did Martha invite Jesus to her home? What was her motive?

Was she the only one willing to invite Him over or was she just the first to volunteer?

Did she realize Who Jesus was, Who she was serving?

How did the story end? Did she ever sit down and listen to Him?

Why is this story even mentioned in Scripture? What is it God wants us girls to take from it?

Martha is now on my Official List of Bible Characters to Meet In Heaven.

It’s been a few weeks since the “Don’t Be A Martha” memo was delivered, so I’ve by NO means learned to swim these waters–imagine me sitting on the steps wearing floaties. The lesson has just begun and frankly, it’s a bit scary.

Over the next few posts I want to share what He’s teaching me. If you’re a Martha, too, I hope you’ll hold my hand as we wade deeper into the water and ask,

Lord, what do You mean, “Don’t Be A Martha”?

~Jessie