Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mary or Martha--Your Choice!

It has been several days since I posted! I could give you a list of reasons as to why the blog has been silent...but you already know them! It's that wonderful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior! It's also that time of the year when we frantically run all over town trying to get everything ready for the season! I feel like Martha instead of Mary! Y'all!!! That is NOT the way it's supposed to be.

When I think of all that is coming up--all of it good stuff--I am just silently shaking my head wondering how it will all get done! I am not at my older son's church basketball game tonight because I just spent the past 2 hours--seemed liked 20!--trying to upload, select quantity and size, and order prints from Shutterfly(which I love!) These are gifts for the senior members in my family who have all that they need and simply want pictures of my family from the previous year! Sounds simple--but it's time consuming! Anybody know where I'm coming from?

Tonight, if I can get to bed by 10 instead of the 11:00 hour like last night, I want to spend time in the Word (without falling asleep while reading!) I especially need to really ponder and pray about the story of Mary and Martha. I want to be more like Mary, but until that last present is purchased or crafted, I am running around the house like Martha! I want His Holy Spirit to settle my heart so I can truly focus on this beautiful holiday season.

See if you can choose the correct answer!

1) Martha would scrub the toilets, sweep away the dust bunnies, and mop the kitchen floor while Mary would:

A) Fold five loads of laundry while talking on the phone to plan the Sunday School Christmas party.
B) See how many stores she can zoom to on Woodruff Road (the busiest road in our town) before it's time for middle school carpool and high school carpool.
C) Get up before Martha and Lazarus and spend time in solitude--praying and reading God's Holy Word.
D) Simply stop in the middle of her day to pray and reflect on the precious meaning of Christmas.

So, which one(s) did you choose? Who will you be this holiday season? I know who I want to be like...but am I willing to truly do it and let some things slide? Who's going to know if the decorations are new or are the same old ones from last year(besides me!) Who's going to remember if I bake a delicious dessert using a new recipe or if I simply run by the deli and pick up cheese and crackers? I want to truly celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, and for me to do so, I am going to have to slow things down a bit at our home and change my mindset. I know that I can't do it alone, but I have a wonderful Savior who can help me if I will only ask! do you!

How do you focus on keeping Christ in Christmas at your house? I will share some of the ways our family does this and some of our traditions in later posts--whether I get all of my shopping done or not!!! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Many Blessings,
Martha--uh, Susan!!


Edie said...

Hi Susan! I can relate. I keep thinking I can slow down and then all of a sudden I feel like I have fallen waay behind again and need to hurry, hurry, hurry. I want and need to be a Mary. Sitting at the feet of my Savior, staring into His face, and learning from Him.

Carol said...

Hi Susan,

Haven't been buy in a while, but God must have wanted me to read this. I have had all these wants and got tos, and not enough time.

But it's true do I really need to make cards for everyone that'll end up in the trash, no I'm just going to get a box of them and send a photo.

This year we are going to try something new and put our worries, concerns, and sins under the tree and give them to Jesus, then pray together as a family after we come back from our Christmas Eve service.

The rest is just details that no one really remembers.

I too need to be Mary.


Yolanda said...

I learned this several years ago, but I pray for those that I am receiving cards from in the mail. And then when I take down the decorations, I cut their names out of their cards, place in a pretty tea cup to easily access through out the year.

Love to you!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

You're cute, Martha, I mean Susan.

I know what you mean about Shutterfly. I've never used Shutterfly but I had my first experience with (Walgreens) online. I made a photo book of my neices for my brother and a calendar for my dad with multiple family pics and birthday dates. It is very time consuming but I'm excited to see their face upon receiving them.

Don't we all need to be Mary regardless of what those Martha things are that consume us and our time.
Love ya,

Kimberly said...

Hi, sweet Susan!

We really do have to be so careful this time of year. There is so much that can demand our time that "looks" good, but then it just wears us out. I have had to start asking myself why I am doing certain it truly because it is what God would have me do? Am I just trying to please or impress someone? Asking myself some questions has already changed some plans and even gift buying this year!

I pray you and your family have a joyous Christmas with tons of Mary moments at His feet!

Chatty Kelly said...

I have a 4 yr old. I can't focus on anything! :D And we all know I'm not good at being Martha (although I try) LOL!!

Actually, Christmas "stuff" is something I was able to let go of many years ago when I was going through a trying time. I was seeing a counselor and was so upset that I didn't want to decor. She said "are you decorating for YOU?" In other words, if I wasn't finding joy in doing all the work, let it slide. Christmas isn't the time to impress my neighbors with my lights, window wreaths, or excellent baking. If all I could do is sit in the middle of the floor and cry otu to God, that was more honoring to him, than a wreath on the window. And since that time, I only do what I want to bring my and my family joy. Not to impress the Joneses. It is SO freeing.

But, I still don't get to spend the time with God I want too, because of normal life stuff that must get done, cooking, cleaning, laundry and a FOUR YEAR OLD.

Sorry for the long post.

Joyful said...

Well, guessing you're not called, "Runner Mom" for nothing! HAHA! You sound like your life certainly is a race during this busy season. Praying you'll have time to slow down, walk and enjoy the view.

Wishing you a "Mary" Chrsitmas!
Love, hugs and prayers,
PS. I'd share some Christmas traditions, except I too need to make choices today and one of them is writing my Christmas devotional for my Christmas cards that MUST be mailed Monday!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Oh, ye Martha do-er with a Mary heart...

right there with you. I won't even tell you how my schedule reads. Martha is an important aspect to our now; after all, who's going to wrap those gifts for the kids and do the grocery shopping and send the cards? But Mary, she is our heart cry and the one that will salvage us at the end of our weary.

I happen to think we can do both. Be Mary in our Martha moments. We just need to learn what Brother Lawrence called "practicing the presence of God." (great read by the way from the 1600's, if you can read through the language of the day!).

Keep pressing on and pressing in all the more. God has planned many Bethlehem moments for you in your busy. Simply pause to receive his wonder, even in the most unlikely moments and ways.

peace to you and yours this Sunday~elaine

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Have you heard of the book titled "How to be a Mary in a Martha World"? I am a Mary-Wanna-Be...actually I'd like to be a balance.

My quiet time in the morning with the Lord is what keeps me steady. I love in Luke where it says "Mary has chosen the better part, and it can't be taken away." Our time with His is ours forever!

And I like Martha, too. She opened her home to the Lord.

And this time of year, we need to remember to be still before Him. Did you like the devotion in Jesus Calling the other day where it said "Hurry is not in My nature." That made me pause!

Love this post! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

Hugs to you!
Sharon :)

Wendy said...

Oh Susan, how I can relate...I'm sure all women can. What a struggle it is to take off the Martha hat and put on the bonnet of Mary.
I have been building moments into my days, just to thank the Lord (if nothing else) and pray (even if it is the checkout line at Wal-Mart)...sing Christmas carols constantly...bake when I can, if not have something to give our guests (amazingly there is never left of the store bought stuff...and all this time I thought it was my delicious cooking they licked the plate for!!)...and I am teaching myself to stop. Literally just stop. Soak up the nativity scenes or the Christmas tree...or my sweet kiddos faces. Find Him in these moments...even the hurried ones He's right there. And as you work toward being Mary all the time, you can find God, even in the bustling Martha moments.

Love ya dear!

Kimberly said...

Hey, Susan!
I just wanted you to know I FINALLY put up our picture from our fun lunch together!
K :)

Shanita Waters said...

Hi Susan...I truly understand what you're going through. Sometimes we just have to steal a moment for ourselves on implulse. I've found that whenever I've tried to "plan" "me time" I've always been unsuccessful. I guess you realize that I chose option D. I think Mary would just drop whatever it ws she was preoccupied with whenever she felt led to and enter into the Presence of the Lord.


Lora said...

Greetings Martha Susan! I'm stopping by from Kimberely's blog and her link to you. So very nice to meet you.
It is all about choices and then acting on them.
We only buy 3 gifts for our children. They can put anything they want on the list though! I have one teen that just listed 3 items this year...sweet! And one that has a page full and is still adding to! We have so much to be thankful for, simple everyday blessings of eating a meal together, dancing in the kitchen, discussing a book. I'm really trying to put everything I do before Him and ask Him what He wants me to do.
Blessings to you. And may yours days be Mary like too!