Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." - Phyllis Diller

Isn't that the truth? It just seems like you get one area clean and you go into another room to find a complete disaster. Or at least that's the way things work at my house. Moving from one disaster area to the next, all day every day. Well today as I was making my rounds from disaster to disaster I started thinking about Martha. And I remember the story in Luke 10 about Mary and Martha:

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Oh Martha, I am so like you in so many ways! I sometimes feel cumbered with details, many of which really do not matter. Details like "are all my forks pointing the same way in the silverware drawer?" or "Is this sentence worded perfectly to show exactly what I mean?" Now don't misunderstand - I'm not the kind of person who has to have every corner of my house spic and span at all times. I'm not that kind. But I am "careful and troubled about many things" of which do not matter. And I know that I've entreated the Lord for help many times when I've felt left alone in my cumbersome duties. I can hear the Savior's kind words to Martha - I can even see the look on his face. Full of love. Wanting so badly for Martha to understand her worth and importance, but wanting to teach her a higher law. "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Martha was careful, wasn't she? She was full of care for the Savior, probably wanting to provide for him the best environment. Trying to show him by her service how much she loved Him. I do that. All the time. But the Savior's message to her was that though he appreciated those things, He would rather have her focus on Him. On his message, on His teachings, on patterning herself after Him, on living the gospel and blessing peoples lives. Not on filling up her life with cumbersome things that took her away from the very thing that mattered the most - the "good part". It dawned on me today as I was thinking about it that the Savior said, "Mary hath chosen that good part". It's a choice we make! We can choose to be cumbered and troubled or we can choose to not let those details burden us down. It doesn't mean that we should necessarily fly to the other end of the spectrum and do nothing and live in a pigsty for the rest of our life. I think it's more our attitude that needs to change. Are we so cumbered about with serving our loved ones that we forget to spend time with them? Have we forgotten to drop what we are doing in order to give comfort, love or support at the moment it is needed? Do we rush through the day and forget to read our scriptures until the last few minutes before drifting off to sleep? Is our calendar so booked up with appointments that we no longer have time to ponder, pray or study the scriptures? There are so many things that distract us from the "good part". So many details of our lives that we feel pressured to participate in. Dotting all our i's and crossing all of our t's. Finishing every craft or project we ever start on or even thought about starting on. Making sure that every whim is satisfied and every need taken care of. It's like we have this ongoing list in our head that we can never stay on top of. We feel good when we cross something off, only to realize that in doing so we've created three other things to add to the list. When in reality those things don't matter. They're just tasks to be done and there will always be tasks to be done. But missed moments and missed opportunities may not return.

I'm so grateful to be a woman and to be a mother. There is no blessing that I would rather have than to be a mother. I'm grateful to the Lord for his patience with me in my "Martha" moments, which are many. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and two beautiful children that mean everything to me.


Marianne said...

Honest thoughts. Beautiful thoughts. We learn so much as we go about our mothering.

Marianne said...

Beautiful thoughts. Honest thoughts.

Becky Muench said...

I enjoyed this Heather. ....And this is how we grow....