Choosing Mary

As I write this, I’m overwhelmed by the state of affairs here.

A kitchen piled high with dishes, a living room strewn with overflowing and unpacked bags from a come-and-go weekend, the 11 plastic bins and baskets filled with clothes to sort and hand down or laundry to fold. {Not that these bins have been sitting here for exactly 5 weeks already.}

And then there’s me.

A much-in-need-of-shower, sweatshirt-smeared-in-snot-and-oatmeal, frumpy-pajama-clad-mama. Oh, and Brownie just discovered two of his sister’s hairs in his oatmeal. I gagged.

Shameful. All of it.

And we’re having a family over for dinner tonight. Fantastic.

{So after I indulge in this bit of bloggy escapism and reflection, I will put on my Super Woman costume and employ my domestic super-powers. After I down my second cup of Cafe Verona of course. Even Super Woman requires caffeinated reinforement.}

But today, I have a rare bit of perspective.

Last night at church, I told my 1st-graders the story of Mary and Martha. Mary, who chose to sit and listen at the feet of Jesus, while Martha (her dynamo sister) chose to busy herself with the domestic affairs of hosting the Saviour of the world. Martha, who was just a wee bit resentful that slacker Mary was too captivated to help. The nerve.

And I was sobered beyond measure at my Martha ways, day in and day out.

Too busy and stressed with the important tasks of keeping home and children.

Too busy to just stop and listen to the one Voice who brings peace in the midst of chaos.

Too busy to sit at the feet of the One who has the answers.

Too preoccupied with what all the other Martha’s around me are doing to make their homes and lives run much more efficiently and successfully than mine.

Too consumed with myself. My needs. My wants. My agenda. My guilt.

So today, even in the midst of more work than is possible to accomplish, I am choosing to be Mary. And tomorrow my default-Martha-setting will likely be there. And the next day. And the next…

But today, He is calling me to listen.

In the midst of all the legitimate and necessary tasks, He is calling me not to fret or worry or impress.

In the midst of my working, He is calling me to focus on Him as my source of strength.

In the midst of my own agenda, He is calling me to listen to the sweet little voices who need me to read to them, listen to them, help them, and have a cuddle with them. The ones who sit at my feet each and every day.

And today, I will.

I will listen. I will learn. I will not fret.

By His grace alone, I will be like Mary.


Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World sounds like a great book. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think?


  1. says

    Girl, you should see MY house! I think it’s a twin to yours!! But playing “Sweet Streets” (fisher price toys) with Ashley this morning was oh-so-much-more important than putting that laundry away. The laundry will be here for years (well, hopefully not those same baskets from today!) but my little girls won’t always want to play games with Mommy!

  2. says

    Woooow! Great post…very convicting!!!! Funny b/c I was just reading about Mary and Martha in the homework for the Beth Moore study I’m doing. Well, I am off to read to my kids. Thanks for sharing your thoughts-you are NOT alone in feeling that way!!! :)

  3. says

    that is a great post, and I think something we all struggle with! good for you for taking the time to listen and slow down-you’re day (and your outlook) will be so much better because of it.

    And yes, you are not alone in the way you feel-we have a daily choice to be Mary or Martha.

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi, daughter! Sounds like several needed your message/reminder today! Wish I had done more of the Mary oh-so-many years ago. Somehow everything (at least everything important!) would have still gotten done. I read once that we have all the time we need to do God’s bidding.

    Hope dinner and time spent with your guests made for a wonderful evening.


  5. says

    Wow, I needed that. Thanks for being obedient and allowing God to use you to speak to me. I’ll try to remember this as I prepare for the bible study guests at my home this week.

  6. says

    I also need to hear that! The fact that I’m just reading this post at 8:30 pm should reinforce that statement. thanks for being obedient. :)

  7. says

    I so related to every aspect of this post (except that I am not having company tonight, thankfully!). God has been dealing with me in this area much lately…thank you for the reminder and encouragement!

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