Mary’s Choice

~ Choose the Good Portion – Week Two ~

But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to Him and said, “Lord, do you not care…Tell her then to help me?  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, that will not be taken from her.”

~ Luke 10:40-42~

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that choosing as Mary did does not come naturally to me.  My intention of choosing the good portion is often interrupted with distraction and anxiety.

I find myself frequently uttering Martha’s words of “Lord, do you not care?”  Not so much in these exact words.  My “Do you not care?” sounds more like this…

To my family, “No wonder I can’t get much done around here, I’m constantly picking up after everyone else.”

To God, “Why am I always the one having to clean this stuff up?  Couldn’t you have made my kids just a little bit more like me?  Help them to learn how to see a need and meet it.”

These phrases and more have been my cry of, “Don’t you care?”

Warning, I am about to break the hearts of my fellow clean freak friends out there as I share a real hard truth I had to learn and am still learning…He does not care about these things.

He does not care if my house is clean.  He cares that my heart is clean.

He does not care if my pillows are out of order.  He cares that my heart is in order.

He does not care if dishes are unrinsed.  He cares about my reaction to the unrinsed dishes.

What God does care about is hearts.  We see this in His reply to her, “Martha, Martha…” I can almost hear the gentleness and love in His voice as He speaks truth to her heart.  He loves Martha.  He cares about her heart and because He does, he drops a truth bomb that blows up her pity party saying, “No, girl, you got it wrong.”

Because he cares about our hearts, sometimes He’ll tell us things that are difficult to process, things that go against our nature and our belief of how things are supposed to be.

My nature is cleanliness.  My belief is that everything has its place, and everything should be in its place.   Guess what!  There are five other people in my home that haven’t been gifted (Yes, it’s a gift!) with my nature and bend towards cleanliness.   Guess what else!  As much as it pains me to say it; a clean house, turned over pillows, dishes in the sink, these aren’t the good portion.  Trust me, a clean house brings me so much joy that my heart gets a happy little flutter for the five minutes each month that my home is clean.  But these are just distractions that add up to anxiety.  I cannot add any more value to my heart or the value of my loved ones’ hearts by getting anxious over mess and disorder.  Hearts are more valuable than these daily distractions.

And because He cares about my heart, because He cares about your heart and the hearts of the people He has placed in our homes, He beckons us to make the choice Mary made.  He beckons us to sit at His feet, the feet of our friend and savior Jesus Christ and listen to His teachings.  Because when we truly listen to what His teachings are, we will learn ALL that is Him, the good portion.

Listen all, I’m talking to myself right now.  I write what I need to hear.  And daily, probably more accurately, hourly, even moment to moment, I need to be reminded to CHOOSE THE GOOD PORTION and leave behind distraction and anxiety.  God is teaching me to take the time to be with him and trust him with the undone of the day.  And He’s using scripture like Matthew 7:25 – 33 to do this.  Here’s a VERY paraphrased version he’s spoken to me…

Do not be anxious about the unfolded blanket, or the messy counter.  Do not worry about the things you cannot accomplish today.  Is not time at my feet, learning from me and being intimate with me more valuable?  And do not chastise your husband and children when they don’t do exactly as you asked.  Is not the care you give to the condition of their hearts more valuable than the care you give to the condition of your home?  I know you love order, and schedule, and cleanliness.   Yet I tell you, I remind you, Dear daughter, so do I.  I am the one who created order in this world.  I am the one who positioned the planets in perfect alignment, just as you have put your home in perfect position.  I am the one who created time and space.  Will I not do the same for you?  O you of little faith, do not be anxious, saying, “Don’t you care?”.  I will make a way for you to do all that I want you to do in your day.  I, your Heavenly Father, know all the things you desire and need.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I pray that we can learn to trust God with the undone, and trust in His daily plan for our lives.  We need to spend time with Jesus, at His feet, learning from Him and of Him, so that we are able to share the good portion with our families.  After all, they are His gift to us!

Pray this with me…

Jesus, we thank you for your patience as we learn that the best place to be, is with you!  Thank you for the gentle ways you remind us to spend time at your feet.  Help us to learn from your teachings no matter how difficult they may seem.  Help us to care what you care about and to trust you with the undone.  Lord, we also thank you for the gifts you’ve given us in our families and loved ones.  May we be gentle with their hearts and share you, the good portion, with them through our actions and words today.

* Take time to read these scriptures today:

– Matthew 6:25 – 33 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap but gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you be being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

* Think About It: 

– In what ways do you need to trust God with the undone so that you can take time to sit at his feet and learn from Him?

Blessing to you as you Choose the Good Portion today!

*All biblical references are ESV unless otherwise noted.

Martha’s Choice

~ Choose the Good Portion – Week One ~

But Martha was distracted with much…

~ Luke 10:40 ~

 

Many mornings have passed when I’ve woken up early with the intention of sitting down with a cup of coffee and my bible, filling up on Jesus.   I walk down the stairs, full of anticipation for what I’m going to learn from Him, lighten the darkness by flicking on the switch, and I’m suddenly reminded that a family of six lives in my home.

My clean-freak self is not quite as exhausted as I was the night before and wants to start folding the blanket on the back of the couch and straighten the pillows that are not in their proper upright positions.  As I reach for them, Jesus whispers, “Go start your coffee and grab your Bible.”

Yes, I can do that, I inner monologue.  I walk toward the kitchen where, in the sink, lay a pile of last night’s dishes that didn’t get done because we had a late night of one activity or another.  I start to rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher and Jesus whispers, “Leave them be and start your coffee.”

Yes, I can do that, I once again inner monologue and I prepare my coffee. While I wait for my coffee to brew, I rinse some dishes and notice that the washcloth has that nasty funky smell they get when overused.  YUCK!  So, of course, I bring it to the laundry room, where I see the laundry bin of clean clothes that I didn’t find time to fold so I start to fold them…

Long story short, I have become distracted by one thing after another.  Eventually it’s time to wake my children for the day and I missed the opportunity to answer Jesus’ call to sit with Him and listen to His teaching.

Guys, it’s hard to admit, but I have done this way too often.  I have made the same choice as Martha, and allowed myself to be distracted with many things, missing out on the good portion.  When I let the voice of distraction win, my heart is heavy and it seems nothing goes quite right that day.

Oh, but I am so thankful for God’s grace and all the ways that He is showing me to choose the good portion!  When I choose to take every thought captive and silence the voice of distraction, when I choose the good portion with Him and His word…oh how my heart soars on wings of eagles and there I find my strength!

Pray this with me…

Heavenly Father, I thank you that through you, we have the ability to silence the voice of distraction and anxiety.  Help us to start setting aside time for you, our good portion. Remind us that it doesn’t have to look the same every day.  It doesn’t have to be in the morning.  It doesn’t have to be a marathon bible reading, prayerful session.  Remind us that you’re in the big and small moments and can do amazing things to our spirit in just five minutes.  Beckon us to take that five minutes and sit at your feet in whatever way is easiest today.  Lighten our burdens and give us strength for today.   Amen.

* Take time to read these scriptures today:

– Psalm 62:1 – Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

– Isaiah 40:31 – but they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

– Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

* Think About It (Comment below or share with a friend so we can come along side you to encourage and pray for you):

– What distraction is keeping you from choosing the good portion?

Blessing to you as you Choose the Good Portion today!

*All biblical references are ESV unless otherwise noted.

 

An Invitation To Choose The Good Portion

“…but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

– Luke 10:42 –

 

The good portion.  What is the good portion?  What does it look like?  Feel Like?  These things, I’m slowly learning and figuring out.  

 

One thing I know for certain…the good portion is everything Jesus.  I have not always been good about choosing Jesus.  To be honest, often in my life I have chosen other things over Him, the good portion. 

 

I am a Martha.  I am the very essence of this biblical woman who Jesus gently chastises.  Day after day, year after year, I do just as Martha did.  I invite Him in to my home, into my life, and then get anxious and distracted by many things instead of resting and finding peace in the good portion.  He remains here, in my home, in my life, waiting patiently for me to connect with my Mary side to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching.  

 

There are times when I do, when I connect with Him, and share my life with Him.  There are times when distraction and anxiety beckon me, and I’m able to ignore their tempting pull and rest at His feet.  Often distraction and anxiety are sneaky, and I don’t even realize their pull away from Him, from the good portion.  The Martyr Martha in me complains, “Lord, do you not care?” and once again He gently reminds me to choose the good portion.

 

Over the years His reminders have come in different forms, words of “Choose Joy” and “More Than Enough” still echo in my heart and mind.  This fall He changed tactics to get my attention and started bringing me to this story of Martha over and over again.  Every time I got caught up in distraction and anxiety my bible just fell open to this story in Luke, or I heard a podcast, or church teaching on being a Mary in a Martha world.  

 

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but God has put on my heart to make 2019 a year of Choosing the Good Portion and He wants me to invite you to join me.  So please join and follow me here at Life Exquisite for a weekly Tuesday post where I will share what I believe God is speaking to me.  My hope is to come along side each other, share our stories, and encourage one another to Choose the Good Portion.

 

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Please know that I am not a biblical expert, I am just an ordinary woman inviting you to learn along with me to choose the good portion at the feet of Jesus while we listen to his teachings.

 

I encourage you to take time to read the story of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 and pray this prayer with me…

 

Jesus, I thank you for coming to earth and showing us what intimacy looks like. I thank you that I can sit at your feet and learn from your teachings. Help me to set aside distraction and anxiety and choose the good portion. Amen.