Mary, Martha, Memories, and Messes

I'm too much like Martha.

Martha, as recorded in the book of Luke in the Bible, is concerned about "many things." Her sister, Mary, chooses to sit at Jesus' feet and learn from Him. (Luke 10: 39-40)

The other day, I was thinking about how God is really giving the wrong Martha-like person three babies so close together. Big Sister will be three and three months, and Little Man will be twenty one months when our new little one is born. Of course, I laughed at myself, because God doesn't make mistakes. Instead, I started thinking about it, and realized that perhaps God is blessing our family in order to change me. It's pretty obvious from the Bible that Mary made the better choice sitting to learn from Jesus.

Will my children know from what I do that the most important thing to me is to serve God and by doing so serve my family and others?

They aren't going to know this if they see me hustle and bustle around the house trying to maintain a home that looks like the pictures in magazines. Will they know this if I see their "interruptions" as God-given moments to build our relationship and change me into the mother only God can make me? I think so.

I like an orderly, clean, and nicely decorated home. But, I'm learning that while there is nothing wrong with those things, they have earned a place much too high on my priority list. They need to fall far below prayer and family. Perhaps somewhere underneath playing Candyland for the tenth time in a row and playing "catch" toddler-style.

I love my God, my husband, and my children more than I can describe. Why don't my actions reflect that?

It is the following poem, that really helped me see something I've been thinking about for quite some time.

Only One Childhood
-Linda Ellis

I stopped to watch my little girl

Busy playing in her room

In one hand was a plastic phone;

In the other and toy broom.

I listened as she was speaking

To her make-believe little friend

And I'll never forget the words she said

Even though it was pretend.

She said, "Suzie's in the corner

Cuz she's not been very good.

She didn't listen to a word I said

Or do the things she should."

In the corner I saw her baby doll

All dressed in lace and pink.

It was obvious she'd been put there

To sit alone and think.

My daughter continued her "conversation,"

As I sat down on the floor.

She said, "I'm all fed up, I just don't know

What to do with her anymore.

"She whines whenever I have to work

And wants to play games, too;

And never lets me do the things

That I just have to do.

"She tries to help me with the dishes,

But her arms just cannot reach

And she doesn't know how to fold the towels

And I don't have time to teach.

"I have a lot of work to do

And a big house to keep clean.

I don't have time to sit and play--

Don't you know what I mean?"

And that day I thought a lot about

Making some changes in my life;

As I listened to her innocent words

That cut me like a knife.

I hadn't been paying enough attention

To what I held most dear.

I'd been caught up in responsibilities

That increased throughout the year.

But now my attitude has changed

Because, in my heart, I realize

I've seen the world in a different light

Through my darling's eyes.

So, let the cobwebs have the corners

And the dustbunnies rule the floor,

I'm not going to worry about

Keeping up with them anymore.

I'm going to fill the house with memories

Of a child and her mother

For God grants us only ONE childhood,

And we will never get another.

So, now it's off the make some memories and certainly some messes. But, only the former will be cherished; that makes the latter more than worth it. Here's to hoping I remember that!

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