We all know the story of Martha and Mary, but how often do we apply that lesson to our own lives? Martha chose busyness & Mary chose a relationship with Christ. Which path are you choosing each day? The path of Mary or Martha? Creation or Christ? Is it possible to shift your lifestyle from that of Martha to Mary’s instead? What can you do to make the Martha and Mary in you just get along?
Identifying the Struggle Between Martha and Mary
I’m going to be vulnerable and honest with y’all for a second here… I am a mirror image of Martha. I love to busy myself with housework, planning, writing, business building, and other things that I find “productive”. My life becomes so full of this busyness that I pass right over Jesus. My devotionals are skipped, my Bible gathers dust, and my kids only hear quick prayers from me at bedtime as I rush off to clean up more. One night-when I actually took the time to read a devotional passage to my kids- God stepped on my toes little…
” “But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, [Jessica, Jessica], you are getting worried and upset about too many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the right thing [Christ] and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
You are so very busy. But I want you to stop for a minute. Put down the game, hang up the phone, turn off the computer. Spend some time with Me.
Even now your thoughts are racing ahead to today’s plans and problems. But put those thoughts and worries aside. Just think about Me and how much I love you. I know exactly what is going to happen in your life today. Don’t worry. I will give you everything you need to face your day.
Please don’t skimp on our time together. The computer and the telephone and the homework will still be there when our time is through. Choose Me first—and the blessings I give you will not be taken away.” -Choose Me
Wow. This passage hit me in the heart.
It allowed me to hear Jesus speak.
It showed me that my Martha inspired lifestyle isn’t cutting it.
I can rush around to have everything looking, smelling, and tasting just right, but if my focus is not on the person of Christ, then I have missed the mark. For the past week…okay, maybe the past year…I have been rushing through life as Martha did. I need everything to happen now on my time…with no regard for the timing of the One who holds my life in His hands.
My house needs to be spotless, craft projects need to be completed, brownies/cookies need to be baked, kids need baths, supper needs to be cooked, and I could use a shower somewhere in between. While I am rushing to make these things happen, I am spitting out repetitive prayers and wondering why I feel empty even with a life that I am deeply in love with.
Today I change. Martha meet Mary.
Forget about the “what-ifs”. Stop chasing perfection. Lose the anxiety.
As of today, I will push onward toward the goal set out before me seeking Christ first and foremost, allowing everything else to follow.
I realize now, like Mary, that all other aspects of life fall perfectly and beautifully into place when Christ is exalted above all.
Love Him. Seek Him. Trust Him.
5 Ways to Make Your Martha and Mary Tendencies Work Together
There are a few “policies & procedures” that can be implemented to create a priority shift from Martha to Mary even when keeping your home, teaching your kids, and running your businesses keep your schedule so full.
1. Implement a Daily Routine
I have created a daily routine for myself that puts my time into blocks and helps me to manage my busy time. I give myself time to have coffee and read (right now I am reading “Glorious Ordinary” by Sarah Frazer) before starting my morning business “power hours”. Then we move into breakfast, school, and family time before lunch. After lunch, we cleanup and finish up any school work that we left unfinished and then I have a couple more business hours while the kids play together. Then we start prepping supper and hang out with my husband when he gets home.
2. Get up earlier
Sleeping in is a major perk of homeschooling, but I have learned that getting up early is an essential for my self-care since I have so many things pulling at my time. 5:30 is my wake-up time…I don’t always achieve that goal, but it is what I strive for each day.
3. Minimize clutter and excess belongings
I thought that this would be pretty simple, but I have been decluttering so months and I have taken livestock trailer loads of stuff Allie Casazza’s decluttering courses to the donation center, but our home is still drowning. Obviously, I can’t do this alone so I am taking to help me get it right. (I am not an AC affiliate…she is just awesome and I want you to know about her)… Having less stuff means less picking up & cleaning and less cleaning means less busyness!
4. Find homeschool curriculum that compliments your family
Homeschooling a 9 year old can be tough with 2 little ones hanging on my ankles all day. To combat this, we have just switched some of our more in-depth subjects to online courses through Acellus (also not an affiliate…just really love it!). We use Teaching TextBooks (also computer-based) for math. This is allowing my son to have customized lessons taught to him even when the girls are acting crazy and I am still able to help him and monitor his learning progress.
5. Simplify cleaning routines
I keep a list of chores that should be completed once/week or once/month to keep myself from feeling so behind. Each child also has age appropriate chores listed on a chart that they can view and check off daily. I have ditched most store bought cleaning supplies in exchange for vinegar, water, and essential oils. I have one homemade cleaner that does the job of 5 so I have less cleaners to keep track of and cleaning is much simpler for the kids.
What have you done in your life to deal with the tension between Martha and Mary?
You can download this free print from the Member Resource Library as a daily reminder to Be Still.
Check out this fantastic book by Sarah Mae, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, to learn how to keep your home looking like Martha’s while keeping your heart like Mary’s.