Mary at Heart, Martha at Home


Making breakfast for my family this morning, I found myself struggling with envy.  Envy for the three at the table eating, laughing, looking each other in the eye.   I, from the stove trying to squeeze into the moments here and there.   I put down my spatula and hurry to the table to take a seat for 30 seconds.  Smoke tells me to get up.  Flip the eggs.  Back to the table. Listen.  Back to the stove.  Cook.  Back to the table.  Serve.  Laugh at something I missed.  Back to the stove.   Turn it off, remove the pan, and rinse it out. Back to the table.  They’re done.

I missed it.  But my husband didn’t.  He soaked up every moment.

Grabbing bits and pieces of the family breakfast, I think to myself, “next time, he can cook the breakfast and I’ll enjoy the kids.”  Knowing this will not happen.  I mean, it would if I asked him (he will do anything for me), but I won’t ask him.   This is the heart of our morning.

I wake up at least an hour before the rest of the family to sit with Jesus.  It’s my favorite place, and I’d stay there all day if I could.  I would sit there and soak in His Presence while my family fell apart.   One day, and for all eternity I will sit at His feet and sing, but today, on this earth, there is work to do, and it’s good too.   There is family to tend to, and a home to build up.  I know the saying goes, “behind every strong man is a strong woman”, but “behind every Mary is a Martha” wouldn’t be too far off either, would it?  Don’t you think Martha would rather have been sitting with Jesus?  She LOVED Jesus!  LOVED Him!  And He loved her.  She wanted everything to be perfect for Him.

Martha gets a bad rap, really.  Pastor Chris Brown once said, “how would you like it if the biggest mistake you ever made in your entire life was placed in the Bible to be discussed over and over and over?”

Really!  How would you like it?  I wouldn’t.

I sit here now, and I wonder if my kids will remember me as a mother who spent time with them.  Who invested in them.  Who showed them they mattered.  Who loved them, and listened to them.  Or one who just cooked and cleaned for them.  Drove them to school, and made their lunches.

Do they know my favorite time with them is in the car?  Undistracted?  Listening to them laugh?  Hearing Bella sing along with Mandisa?   Nick do his natural stand up comedy?  Kai drum with his pencil?  Do they know I watch them while they sleep and pray for them as their breathing slows?   Do they know what I desire most is to hear them when they speak?  Listen to their dreams?  Hold them when they cry, and lead them to Jesus?

Do they know my heart breaks when I have to say, “I can’t play with you right now you have homework to do”?

Will they remember me this way?

Lord, balance my life as a mother.  As a wife.  As a servant.  As Your child.  Tell me when to work and when to rest.  When to sit at Your feet, and when to stand behind my husband, and when to sit beside him.   Tell me when it’s okay to let the eggs burn.  Remind me that in the end, when I am sitting at Your feet singing, what matters most, is that they are with me.


Love, Valerie


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