Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.Luke 10:38-42
Disclaimer: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
For most of last year, I was definitely like Martha. Only, I didn’t invite people into my home, I honestly rarely invited Jesus into my home, and I was so preoccupied with the urgent I forgot about what was actually important.
I wasn’t alone here. I have spoken with many friends who had rocky relationships with the Lord over the course of 2020. It was a rough year filled with many trials, heartbreak, and struggles. It was a year that will be talked about for years to come, and one day, people will look back on it and think, “there’s no way all of that could have happened in one single calendar year.” But it did, friends, and we got through it.
As I rounded out the year in typical reflection, I came upon this story of Mary and Martha. These two ladies were good friends of Jesus, and their encounter with him presents a valuable lesson about priorities.
In the present day, much like in Jesus’ time, there is a lot of pressure when it comes to hospitality, image, and servitude. It says, “Martha was distracted with much serving.” Martha wanted to make sure the house was clean, there was food to eat, and something to drink. She wanted Jesus to feel comfortable in her home and to feel welcome.
In many ways, I feel like this whenever I have guests in my home. Whether they be a long time friend or family member, or someone respectable in society, I want to make a good impression. I want to look like the hostess with the most, and I want my guests to feel warm and welcome as they enter my home. I want to create the atmosphere that we have it all together and kept tidy because cleanliness is next to godliness, right? But that fact isn’t actually backed up in scripture.
Here’s what is: Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and intently listened to his teaching. She chose to be present with Jesus and not worry about the cooking and the cleaning.
Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.Jesus
We can learn a lot from this.
The importance of being present with God is more important than the atmosphere in which it happens. Take that even further, and one could argue that the importance of being present with anyone is more important than what your home looks like when it happens.
Martha absolutely has the gift of hospitality. She knows how to make Jesus feel welcome in her home. But, in her efforts, she became troubled that she was “the only one” doing the work. Jesus’ response to this was a comforting, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.” That one thing is himself. Jesus is telling Martha that the laundry can wait. The dishes can wait. The urgent can wait. The work will still be there when He is gone, but He is most important in that moment.
So, how can we be more like Mary in a society that is idolizing Martha?
We can pause.
We can be still.
We can be in His presence.
Yeah, Caylee, I get that, but can you give me some practical ways to do that? I’m so glad you asked.
In our busy and fast-paced world, it can be so incredibly hard to pause. That’s why I have found these tools super convenient in helping me connect with God, even for just 5-15 minutes a day.
Get a Devotional
I just started Bob Goff’s Live In Grace Walk In Love 365 Day Journey, and I absolutely love it. It’s a one page devotional for each day that gives you a scripture and a short little charge to go with it. It’s a great way to keep me connected with God’s word, especially as a mom who can hardly find 5 minutes to be still.
Another great way to dive into a devotional is through the Bible App! This free app has tons of devotionals you can choose from reading the bible in a year to topically focused and everything in between. Some cool features of this method are, it’s on your phone, so you don’t even need to keep a book with you, you can connect and read through devotionals with your friends, and it’s completely free!
Worship & Pray while you drive or do chores
We only have 24 hours in a day, and realistically, especially for us homemaking mamas (including those homemakers who also work outside the home), we have to find ways to be efficient with our time.
Someone once told me that after they became a mom, they realized that they no longer needed to go sit in a quiet space of biblical study to find God, but God found her as she did the dishes.
Another mom recommended praying for each person in her household as she folded their laundry. It takes a task that you already had to do and makes it more meaningful, a moment to connect with God and do the mighty work of praying for your family.
If you work outside the home, you can take your commute time to turn up the worship music. You can take that time to drive in silence and talk to God. You can pray over your day, you can pray about your anxieties or your fears, and God hears you. I promise you that simple practice has changed the outcome of my days.
If you’re anything like me, you might find journaling to be a bit of an on again off again type of relationship. But when I am faithfully journaling, I find that it truly helps me to connect with God. One of the benefits of journaling is being able to read through my prayers and thoughts and to see how much of it has been answered over the time that has passed.
If journaling isn’t your thing, maybe you can start taking notes during your Sunday church service and writing down your prayer requests. The act of writing them down makes each request easier to pray about more than simply in the moment. I like to go through my prayer requests throughout the day and pray for each one.
Pray Continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Some other translations say this as “pray continually” or “pray without ceasing.” What I take this to mean is that pray often, even when they are short, inelegant prayers. If someone asks you for prayer, stop right then, and pray. If you’re feeling anxious, “Lord, please calm my anxious heart”. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, “Lord, guide me through this.” Your prayers don’t have to follow a specific rubric to have an impact. Ask God throughout your day to help you through it.
As a mom and a nanny, I am continuously asking the Lord for patience, grace, mercy, and understanding for the children in my care. I know that Jesus has placed me in the position I am as mother and caregiver for a reason, and I need His help to be all of these things for them. Sometimes, maybe even oftentimes, children can push your patience, influence you to be less grace-giving, and be more strict. But, Jesus was a grace-giving and merciful God, and I need him to be those things for my children.
So my goal for 2021 is to be more in God’s presence. I want to be more like Mary and less like Martha.
- My Breastfeeding Story & How to Make it Easier
- Be Weary of Claims “in the Name of Jesus”
- How to be Mary in a World Full of Marthas
- What I Read: 2020 Edition
- What to Read When You’re Pregnant
What is one way you can be present with the Lord today?