I’m No Martha

Martha Stewart is everywhere.  On TV, in magazines, she has her own website, her own scrapbook supplies, cookware, bakeware, etc.  On her website, she even has furniture!!

You can’t turn around without seeing Martha Stewart and what she stands for.  She has spent a lifetime building her brand, which ultimately stands for perfection.  On her television show, she has that catch phrase “It’s a good thing”.  Even with a brief visit to the slammer, she remains the queen of crafting (and much more).

I remember watching a show one time.  She made the cutest cakes for a baby shower.  She took cake and carve it, covered with icing and decorated them to look like baby booties.  In true Martha fashion, she made them small…think actual baby bootie size, & everyone at the shower had their own pair.  Now, I was helping plan a baby shower for a good friend at the time & I decided that was the cake I was going to make.  I decided to make the booties larger though.  I didn’t feel like making individual mini cakes.  It may be good to point out that at this time, I had not taken any cake decorating classes at all.  For some reason, I figured I could do this…Martha made it look so easy!!!

After several attempts, much stressing and a few tears, I finally came to the conclusion that it was not going to happen.  It was a disaster.  I did everything wrong…used the wrong type of cake, tried to cut it while it was still hot, and just over all stressed out.  The day of the shower, I ran to Hobby Lobby, bought a pan shaped like a baby carriage and piped stars all over it.  Not my proudest cake moment.

That cake taught me a lot though.  It taught me that I should probably do more research before I dive head first into a project.  It taught me to allow for lots of time.  It also taught me that maybe I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself…after all, I’m no Martha!!

There’s a story in the New Testament about two sisters…Mary & Martha.  You’ve probably heard this story…Jesus & his disciples were traveling around and they came to the village where the sisters lived.  Martha, wanting to show hospitality, opened her home up to Jesus.  Now, I don’t know how you get when company is coming to your house, but I kind of freak out.  I start cleaning like a mad woman and worry about how the other person is going to percieve the house…is it clean enough?  What if I miss something?  Oh no!  I missed a spot on the kitchen floor.  I think Martha and I are a lot alike, because when Jesus came to visit…this is pretty much all she did.  Clean house, prepare a meal, and generally stress out.

Then, she noticed something.  She was the only one working.  Maybe Mary was cleaning the bathroom…so she went to check.  Nope…Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to what he said.

Well, this did not sit well with Martha.  She kind of threw a fit…right in front of Jesus.  Basically, she complained that Mary had left all of the work to do herself.  She even asked Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help Martha!!  

So, of course, Jesus must have said, “Oh, I’m sorry Martha…I had no idea.  Yes, Mary, please get up and help your sister fix me dinner.”  No…this is what he said instead:

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘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.'”  Luke 10:41-42.

That’s where the story ends.  What was Martha’s response?  Did she storm back into the kitchen, slam around some pots and pans and throw herself a good old fashioned pity party?  Did Jesus’ words hit home?  Did she stop her cleaning and join Mary at the Lord’s feet?  We don’t know. I’d like to think she chose the second option.

How many of us are Martha’s?  How many of us get bogged down in the day to day routine?  How many of us try really hard to impress others?  How many of us neglect certain areas of our life and miss what is truly important?

Forget the dishes and laundry.  They will still be there tomorrow.  Take time to be Mary.  Take time to slow down and sit at the Lord’s feet.

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