This last 2 weeks have just been full of STUFF. Kid #2 has a broken ankle. Docs appts all over. Shots and physicals and therapy appointments for all 3 kiddos. Errands, house guests, house “stuff” …stubborn drains, laundry mountains and teenage stench cleansing. Family plans, vacation prepping, parties and parental chauffeuring. Weight loss “plans” and a gym schedule that I think is really only keeping me sane, not necessarily fit. And on top of that I'm writing, promoting and launching a blog and my first business…all RIGHT now.
But this is mom life. Nothing atypical or out of the norm to be exhausted, working overtime, barely remembering to eat, (and somehow staying the ever irritating 10 lbs over my goal weight). Nonetheless in my usual rush to get my scheduled items done on time, I found myself reading my bible passage – and got NOTHING. Zero. It was completely eluding me what in the world this part of Luke, the travels and miracles of Jesus, was supposed to mean to me. I found myself rereading, trying to create meaning from my own situations, and in short coming up with nothing i felt good about.
I kept thinking “I need to make sure other widows get something from this..I need to make it relevant…it needs to be interesting yet informative… I have to stick to my schedule… what about the 50 million other things on the schedule… ooh look – a squirrel! — and my head literally popped off. OK it didn't. 🙂 But I did have to just take a break. Tried a different book. The devotional I normally get great insight from, wanted me to focus on the story Mary and Martha. Jesus visited them and Martha ran around like a crazy person (a.k.a. normal mom) trying to cook, prep, and be hospitable for Jesus…because I mean… he's Jesus!! I get it!! And her little sister, was sitting at the foot of Jesus, just listening. Not helping. Not moving a muscle to even try to make things presentable for their honored guest. And when Martha finally had enough and said to Jesus, hey – make her help! Lazy self! He shut poor her down, saying that she was the one in the wrong place at the moment…and that Mary was right where she was supposed to be!
I got what the devotional was hinting at. Busy is not always the blessing. Sometimes the blessing is the moment – not the work it took to prep, create, or deserve the moment. Sometimes what you prayed for is right in front of you but you miss it, trying to make it perfect or perform the duties expected with it. And in this was a good lesson… but I still felt like wanted a little more from this. I decided to take the book's advice and try being still, like Mary, to see what I was really meant to get from this.
I walked outside and just stood with my eyes closed. Probably looked like a nut, but I tried to only be mildly affected by that. I felt the wind caress my arms. Heard the trees swish in the evening breeze. I just waited. Since we know meditation takes practice and I'm no guru… silence in my head was not happening. But among the buzz of others…one thought did occur to me. I have another book! My mom had gifted me another book by John C. Maxwell called Wisdom from Women In the Bible a few weeks ago. I went back inside to find it.
I opened it and, would you believe the first page I opened to was Martha and Mary?? I'm no longer as surprised by God's intentional “coincidences ” in my life, as I am humbled that he's ever even taking the time to be bothered with tiny me. I digress, I read something a bit different here, and 3 lessons I got from this do correspond with the devotional message…but they had a slightly deeper and more personal meaning worded this way.
1. Be Still and Let God Lead
There was a point in the book made about moments when “God is in the house” to just sit at his feet and let him lead. This was tricky for me to decipher at first but it came to me later in bed that night. For me, God is “in the house” when I'm doing the work I know He set for me. Not when I'm creating the website, planning events, looking for bookings and stressing like a headless chicken over everything – But when I'm on the phone with that widow and there's that moment of “I totally get you!” and I start unknowingly validating her prayers. When I know I'm being used and the words are not my own, they are just spilling forth and she's Amen-ing and the vibe is just gold light and fire!! That's when God is in the house. That's when I need to just throw away my talking points and just get IN that moment and let God lead! I prayed and prepped for these moments so that they could lead to a blessing – but the blessing is HERE in the moment! So I say that to you: The blessing IS the moment – not the prep or just the takeaway. Rejoice before and after yes- but don't forget to stop prepping and stressing – just pause and BE PRESENT and let Him work in the moment, when God is HERE. Slow down and Enjoy the moment!
2. Moments Expire!!
Another thing about fleeting precious moments, is that they reside not only in times where God “is in the house” but in life! Truly loving people lies in the moments with the people, not their corresponding “to do” lists: Jesus said to a disciple — who had also fussed at Mary for wasting perfumed oil, which could have been sold for money for charity, not used to clean feet — that poor people are always going to exist. He would not always be here for her to show her love to. This resonated with me because in taking great care to feed, clothe, transport, and care for my children… I'm in danger of missing the moments I cannot get back. Sure, some things need to be done to ensure my little human blessings reach adulthood and independence…but the blessing of seeing, cherishing, and spending time just enjoying the moments with them while they are children… will be gone one day when they are independent adults. Moments Expire!!
3. Busy Women, Natural Givers
And lastly there was the message about being a woman and our natural gift of doing-everything-ness. We don't all scrub and bake til dawn to show love, but most of us seem to have something in us that we selflessly give. Time, Money, Energy, Wisdom, Help, Affection, etc…we tend to give and give with no regard for ourselves until we begin running almost empty. And that empty feeling feels like lack of appreciation. And the human parts of us start looking for folks to blame or compare our efforts to. (Ahem, Mary's lazy buns) lol. Mary definitely wasn't being lazy but Martha was giving Jesus what she thought was 100% of her best! It must have stung a bit when Jesus pointed out that Mary was doing the right thing and that Martha was pouring her own efforts into the wrong pot. This is where I discovered that in that same moment, she probably realized she wasn't mad at Mary at all. She was upset with herself. She was running in circles, so busy being busy- she'd missed the point of Jesus' visit. It was to be with him. To learn from him. Jesus had not come to take anything she had prepped, cooked or cleaned. He had come to give her something. But her hands, were full. Sometimes as women we give so much, we forget that we have needs too. We forget that life has gifts and knowledge and love to give US…but our hands are too full to receive. Our hearts are too weary to hope there's something for us too. We didn't even look for it! Our minds are too busy creating reasons for why we need to do more, (or explanations for why others aren't) that we don't think there's time to stop and receive. We miss it completely! Stop missing it! Get what God came to give you! Slow down sometimes, and see if God is in the house – and if he is: put everything else aside. It will be there when you get back – that moment might not be! Stop and get your moment! He's here for YOU.
Whew!! It is MONDAY ya'll. That took me 4 days to unpack! 4 days to really receive the full message…and even though I'm a bit off my schedule, I'm glad I took time to wait for each point. I'm a very busy person – as most of us mothers are- but this lesson helped me slow down, and really dissect that moment Martha had with Jesus. I'm grateful for the wisdom that came with it! <3
Thank you Jesus for giving me so many things to appreciate! Help me trust you more, enough to know that your intention is more important than my to-do list – and help me see the moments you create for me! As hard as I try to give so much of myself, showing my own way of love – help me to remember you have gifts for me too, and that I am important to YOU. Whether its wisdom, love, people, or whatever gifts you have for me to stop and appreciate- help me see that I need to slow down and give my 100% attention to them when you present them – and not miss the moment!! Amen.