Oh man. 2 posts in a week??!! What is happening?
Before I start on this week, a friend of mine commented on the last post I made about self-care. He reminded me of the scriptures that talk about Jesus going away by himself to pray. What a perfect example!! Jesus is modeling self-care. He is stepping away from all the people and doing something that fills and heals his heart. Awesome.
Okay, here we go:
Hi. My name is Sarah… and I’m a Martha. There. I’ve said it. I like to do things. I like to stay active. I like to feel accomplished at the end of the day. It’s where I find my value. I like to do everything (because I enjoy it) and then silently hold it over people in my head. After things have been done, I’m the one sitting in the corner thinking, “I did literally EVERYTHING today and you’re complaining about (insert thing here).” It’s a horrible character trait and I want to change it.
However, I don’t want to change being a Martha. Marthas are planners. We are movers. We keep the world running. We are the people in your staff meeting that are ready to say, “okay. I’ve heard the problem. Let’s sit down and start planning and get to it. Let’s fix this problem to make this work more efficiently.” Marthas rarely go to their bosses with problems that they don’t already have a fix for and IF … big IF they go at all, they go because it’s their last resort. Marthas dislike complainers. Stop complaining about it and DO something. If you’re not willing to do something, then you have no right to complain. (Not saying it’s right… just putting my thoughts down.”)
It’s that way for me at least. I don’t like coming across as a complainer so if I go to someone with a problem… I probably have an answer, too… because I want you to know that I’ve already figured it out, or that I’ve tried and I’m not just coming to you with a problem. It’s pride. It’s selfish. It’s low-confidence at its core. It’s needing validation through people. And it’s wrong.
I often find myself bitter about all the things I’ve done in a day… like I’m mad because I think I’m the only one that has worked hard? My train of thought is something like … if I get all these things done, then at the end of the day I’ll truly be able to sit down and relax. I’ll be able to enjoy time with friends and family. I’ll be able to enjoy worship on Sunday because I can come home to a clean house. I’ll be able to really just breathe because I can’t turn my brain off unless these things are finished. I won’t be able to see the beauty of my life UNTIL I have checked all the boxes. That. Is. A. Lie. And I know exactly where/who that’s coming from.
That is a lie, a non-truth, bull, twisted words, that has been planted in my soul that I have to struggle DAILY to dig out. It is SO HARD for me to do that, but it’s worth it. How could I possibly believe that my life will be more relaxing, more worth-living, more beautiful if all of the chores are done? I mean… have you seen this face …
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) says that Martha was DISTRACTED and wanting VALIDATION. (Oh, hello me.) She asked Jesus… are you kidding me? I’m in here doing all of this by myself. Can you PLEASE tell Mary to come here? And what does Jesus say? (Obviously a paraphrase)
“Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
Dang. First the double name. I usually dislike when people put a tone on Jesus’ words or a facial expression, but sometimes it just pops into your head and you can’t shake it. For me, I hear a small smile and a gentle shake of the head when Jesus says, “Martha, Martha.” Then he says that Mary has chosen the more important thing and says this phrase … “it will not be taken away from her.”
Let me tell you what I think of every time I read that phrase. At night before I go to bed, I try to wash dishes and put Selah’s toys away. Doesn’t always happen, but I try. I get up the next morning and leave the house, come back home and what has happened? The sink is full and Baby Girl’s toys are out. AGAIN. How did that happen?!?
That sense of calm and importance and validation (there’s that word again) is completely gone and I have to clean it all up again. When I read “it will not be taken away from her” I am reminded of the scripture of the woman at the well and Jesus telling her that HIS water will quench her thirst forever. That she is searching for her worth and for satisfaction all in the wrong places. I am reminded that when I search for my worth in anyone or anything other than Jesus, then any satisfaction I have received from that will be taken from me. It will disappear because the source is not an eternal source. It will disappear and I will have to keep working to get it back again.
I pray that, as a Martha, I will be able to see those moments, hours, and days of worship that Jesus has laid out for me. That I will learn to use my drive to get things done for the benefit of others and not myself. That I will learn to let Jesus control that drive. And, finally, when I feel something or someone tugging on my heart, that I will have the strength… or maybe submission… to put down the toys or dishes and turn and open my eyes, ears and heart to them.
Love and Peace.