Howdy! You may have noticed this week’s Women Encountering Jesus Bible Study Lesson is a day late. Well, I was super busy.. which is ironic because this week we are taking a closer look at Martha– a first class list-checker and hyper-busy control freak. Read on to see how Jesus responded to Martha’s busyness and a modern take on that situation which I imagine is applicable to most women (and definitely most Moms) today.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 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: 38-42 (New International Version)
Women Encountering Jesus Bible Study Lesson: Choosing What is Better
Letter to the Busy Mom
I see you. My heart cries out in desperation with you. I am you.
You have had an intense day at work. Meeting after meeting. Demand after demand. You didn’t even eat lunch until almost 2PM. There were a thousand items on your to-do list and you checked off maybe five of them. You could have done more but your job is far from your top priority. You are a Mom, and you are trying to be the best Mom you can be. So, you leave on time to pick your child up from childcare.
Pick up is bittersweet. Your child loves school so much and she is so, so smart! You know she is in the right place, but you mourn a little every time you see the latest cute craft or activity she brings home. You wanted to be the one to do it with her.
But you have to work, and you want to work. You know that your choices now will have both positive and negative repercussions as your child grows up. You pray you are making the right choices.. or at least good choices.
When you see your child on the playground, she runs to give you a hug. Of course, she is wearing mismatched clothes– another ‘accident.’ On the ride home, the emotions your child kept bottled up all day come spilling out in a tangled, jumbled, mess. Singing, talking, shrieking, whining, crying, screaming. You are both hungry. You are both tired.
But there is so much to do.
You forgot to thaw the ground beef.. again. The morning routine is so hectic. At least you didn’t forget your wallet. On the way home you reason that if you paired chicken nuggets with steamed veggies and fresh fruit, it would not be that bad of a dinner.
You walk in the door and are smacked in the head with reminders of all the things you need to do. Fold clothes, run the dishwasher, clean the sink, pick up toys, sort mail, pay the bills, thaw that chicken for tomorrow’s dinner. The house is a disaster. There is no feng shui going on. You are anything but ‘Zen.’ What you wouldn’t give for a few hours of peace so you could do some spring cleaning? It’s pathetic, isn’t it?
You try your best to make the most of the 1-2 hours of nightly family time. Sometimes you go for the Mommy win– play outside, do a craft with your kid, read a big stack of books. Many evenings though your energy level cannot compete with Dora the Explorer. So, you give in. While Dora and Boots set off on their latest adventure, you check your personal email and realize there are a mountain of must-do’s, should-do’s, and want-to-do’s demanding your attention there as well.
Volunteer needed at church. Who can teach the kid’s Bible class? When are we going to have the Smith’s over for dinner? They are going to forget they ever knew us! The neighbor wants to get together for a play-date. When can we squeeze that in? Book club is this Friday night? Can I still go if I have only read the first 40 pages? Oooh, we really should schedule the dog for a grooming appointment. He needs a bath… desperately.
It never stops. The busyness never stops. The list is never-ending.
Choose What is Better
It is in the midst of this busyness, that Jesus calls you to choose what is better.
It is in the midst of this busyness, that Jesus urges you to slow down and choose what is best.
Is your morning routine hectic? Spend some quiet time in prayer and reflection before your day even starts. Let me set the tone for your day.
Is your job intense and demanding? Your to-do list will still be there tomorrow. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.
Are you worried that your house is a disaster? How much does that really matter? What are you giving up to keep your high standards? Quality time with your child? Quality time with your spouse? Quality time with me?
Do you second-guess your life choices? Don’t worry. I am bigger than your choices. I will work my will through you regardless of the choices you make.
I am exhausted and my child has so much energy! You don’t have to be perfect.. you just have to be present. Being fully present for your child is better than being distractedly perfect. Be present for your child the way I am present for you.
There are so many demands on my ‘free’ time, so many relationships to keep up with! Relationships are important, way more important than your to-do list. Just don’t let your relationships become your to-do list. Be in relationship with others. Cultivate deep relationships. Cultivate a deep relationship with me. I crave it, and whether you know it or now, you crave it too.
How about you? Are you distracted? Are you worried? Are you busy?
Listen to Jesus. Don’t be distracted by the busyness of life. The busyness will always be there. Choose what is better. No, choose what is best. Choose him!
Thank you so much for reading. I hope this has encouraged you. Next week we will talk more about what it means to choose better, as we look at how Jesus interacted with Martha’s sister Mary.
In the meantime, have a great week!