When I was in teenager (or even in college) and I heard the story of Mary and Martha, I could NEVER relate to Martha. I was not the teenager who was in the kitchen, preparing meals for my family, volunteering to clean up or keep my room perfectly tidy, or even ever hang up my clean laundry. I wasn’t a slave to my to-do list with “working” just flowing out of me at all times. Of course I would be at the feet of Jesus, in the middle of the people, listening to the story! As an extrovert I couldn’t even imagine myself anywhere else besides socializing with the people, being with Jesus, and being enthralled by what was happening in front of my eyes.
But now I’m a mom. Martha is me.
I spend my whole day thinking about a never-ending list of things that need to get done. Do the dishes, wash the laundry, fold the laundry, meal plan, run to the grocery store, make meals three times a day + snacks. Create activities for my toddlers, plan an outing everyday, pick out & sign up for enrichment programs. My brain runs all day – I wonder if my children are watching too much TV, if I should be more intentional with projects & activities, what curriculum we are going to do for homeschool, and how I’m supposed to fit in all my chores and all my house projects with the never-ending demands of toddlers and an infant who dislikes sleep. I also think about my freelance business. It used to be a large part of my life but I don’t have the time for anymore. Should I be trying to work on the side? Does my family need me to help wit the budget? Can I be satisfied without the extra income and free perks that come with being an “influencer”?
I literally can wake up marthaing, Martha all day long, and still feel discouraged and overwhelmed at the end of the day because this Martha didn’t accomplish it all.
In Martha mode it doesn’t matter how many things I got done, I still never finish. It’s impossible.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listed to what he said. But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10: 38-42 NET
Oh Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things but only ONE is needed. Do you know what I neglect to do every time I find myself in Martha mode? I neglect to sit at the feet of Jesus, I do not take the time to rest in his presence, I don’t leave my to do list to focus on truth, and I miss out on abiding, peace, and relationship.
“Martha mode” spends her day chasing the idols of a beautiful home and well-behaved children. She runs on her strength trying to prove that she can do it all and be it all for everyone in her life. Her day is all about herself and her self importance in creating the home and life she thinks she needs and deserves. And it makes her stressed and complainy with the ones she loves thinking Jesus will side with her.
But the only answer to a busy, distracted, overwhelmed, snappy heart is Jesus.
But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33 NET
The Lord is our provider and when we seek the Lord, we lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10) Choosing Jesus is choosing the best part. And the things in life will still be going on – the laundry will still need to be cleaned, the meals will still need to be made, but the priorities will be straightened, our hearts will be rooted, and the Lord’s grace will fill the gaps.
I just got a new Bible. It is the Abide Bible by Thomas Nelson. It is a new version for me (NET instead of ESV) but I enjoy it just as much! The New English Translation is a completely new translation that provides accuracy and transparency in Scripture. The Abide Bible takes the command Abide in Me (found in John 15:4) and incorporates ways to do that through your daily reading.
“The Abide Bible is designed to help you experience the peace, hope, and growth that comes from encountering the voice and presence of God in Scripture. Every feature in Abide is designed to teach and develop Scripture-engagement habits that help you know the power and spiritual nourishment of abiding in Christ.”Thomas Nelson
They do this by including sections called: Praying Scripture, Picture It, Journaling, Engage Through Art, and Contemplate. This Bible is a great way to get into the Word and sit at the feet of Jesus. To chose him over the business of our lives. Right now they are offering a FREE video devotion called The Abide Experience: 21 Days in John. You don’t need the Abide Bible to do it, they will provide everything for you! Just sign up here.
And because I know there is another busy mama, overworked boss lady, sister, mother, brother, father, or friend out there who would be blessed by a new Bible, we are giving away a copy of the Abide Bible right here!
Giveaway Details: Be entered to win by signing up for my newsletter here. If you already get it, still sign up through this link to register your entry! The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends December 3rd at Midnight. Good Luck!
PS: Please always feel free to pass these posts onto a friend if they resonate with you! I’m not only social media anymore and don’t spend time “marketing” but always appreciate new eyes on my writing 🙂 Also, this one is a great one to share because of the giveaway! So if you know a friend who would love a new Bible, spread the news 😉
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Bibles for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
Rebecca Dye says
I couldn’t agree more. Becoming a mom has made me more like Martha too. Love you sweet sister! May we both choose better 💕
Elizabeth Mayberry says
Love you too!
Love the part where you say, “& the Lord’s grace will fill the gaps.” Amen. I want to be more of the Mary I used to be, even though my plate is fuller now. Thank you again for such encouragement!
Katie Cook says
I LOVE your reflections! I am exactly the same as you…didn’t resonate with Martha until I became a mama! Love what you shared, and am excited to look into this Bible!! xoxo Katie
Loved this post, and really resonated – especially since I’m working on a post about the importance of slowing down and abiding in the Word. Love this – and what a beautiful bible!
Elizabeth Mayberry says
Amanda! Thank you! Yes! And slowing down in the holidays is even more counter cultural!
Chelsea Eubank says
Love this, E. I can relate!
Elizabeth Mayberry says
Thanks so much!