Mom Life – Are You A Mary or A Martha??

As women in today’s world we take the word “busy” to a whole new level!  In a life full of distractions and a society with a constant sense of “more” it is so easy to be swept up in the details of living everyday life that we miss the important parts!!  Today is the day we ask ourselves:  Are you a Martha or a Mary?

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We began a women’s bible study in my church last night from a series called “Living Life Together.”  First of all let me say that for as many years as I have considered myself a Christian, with the exception of a brief summer youth group experience, I have never really participated in a bible study group!  So, this was a first for me, and had this been a month ago I would have told you that I was too busy to participate in a bible study on Wednesday evenings!  Occasionally it is refreshing to be wrong!!

The study began by chronicling the busy lives of women and how easy it is to become so preoccupied with the aspects of surviving the day to day of our very full lives that we step away from what is truly important.

In Luke 10:38-42 the bible chronicles the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who learn that Jesus has come to their village and will visit their home!  As he arrives and is welcomed into the home, Mary simply sits at his feet – listening to Him and worshiping Him.  Meanwhile, Martha goes about the tasks of entertaining the Lord! Eventually, Martha becomes upset that Mary was of no help whatsoever with Jesus as their dinner guest! Martha finally breaks down and asks Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!”

Now, most of us are cheering Martha on at this point right?  Help a girl out already! Its not everyday that the Lord is sitting in your living room – it needed to look like the pages of Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens up in there!

The Lord’s response:  “Martha, you are troubled about many things, but only ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen the good part which shall not be taken away from her.”

The pastor in the country church I grew up in would say… “Ouch and Amen”

Are you a Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, focusing on Him and the truly important things in life, or a Martha, being so busy entertaining and paying attention to the details that you miss the big picture — THE LORD IS IN YOUR HOME!  Put down the dish rag and go hang out with Him already!!!

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Jesus was telling Martha that while it is important to serve, developing and nurturing a personal relationship with the Lord should be above all else.  In order to do that we must be completely present with Him – not just in the same room, busying around doing menial tasks!

This concept follows through to our families as well!  The title “Mom” also encompasses the role of problem-solver, mentor, housekeeper, cook, laundress, income-provider, psychologist, doctor, grounds keeper, maintenance worker, travel planner, and occasional veterinarian!  With all these roles it is easy to be CONSUMED with the multitude of things your family “needs” and at the same time, completely neglect spending time with our children and significant others.  I mean real, quality time here folks – not just being in the same room!  Be TOTALLY present!  Ouch and Amen again!

It is time we all be a little more like Mary – it is time to be with, instead to doing for!

Not that “doing for” is bad, in fact we are still called to serve and frankly, that laundry isn’t washing itself.  The point that I think Jesus is conveying to us, especially us busy moms, wives and women in general, is not to become so concentrated on our precious To Do Lists that we lose sight of what is most important – Our TIME developing a personal relationship with not only the Lord but also our families and loved ones!

This life is all about people & relationships make the most of it!

We are on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend and I have been struggling all week to determine what adventure Team Gunter can get into next – our decision after much prayer and discussion with Husband and Elle:  hanging out in our backyard – TOGETHER!

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Backyard Plans 2018

With a blog name like “A Backyard Life” one would think I post often about my backyard but that’s not always the case.  In fact, I have been neglecting it all together this season.  The winter chill has been relentless this so-called spring and I have not had the desire to forge into cleaning out and planting in our outdoor space only to have frost, wind or snow kill plants, blow things away and freeze me to death in the process.  Also, I am diligently trying to keep our basketball program’s spring training group motivated and spending MUCH more time in the gym and weight room than ever before!

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Hopefully though a break is coming this week!  While it is the end of April and normally I would have flowers blooming by now, I hope to get started planting and landscaping so that we can relax and enjoy the space!

A few projects on deck for this spring/summer:

Clean Out – I swear our yard gets every bit as cluttered as our tiny house!  The constant wind and rain hasn’t helped keep things tidy either, blowing in trash from all directions!  Part of our clutter problem is also that like our house, we are OUT OF SPACE; the outdoor buildings are full, the storage bins are full and our back porch is littered with things that have no where else to go….it is the perfect time to purge and get rid of some junk!

Flower Bed Building and Maintenance – This is really just an annual task to maintain the existing flower and shrub beds and I have vowed to myself to plant new annuals each year! I also use this time to fill planters with perennials.  I can’t help but think of and feel a connection with my grandmother when planting flowers.  She loved her flower beds and gardens and loved sharing this with me!  One day, when we no longer have kids running through the yard and need green space I will fill the ENTIRE yard with flowers and shrubs!  One Day!

Front Porch and Curb Appeal – I confess that we do not spend much time in our front yard; it isn’t private at all as its close to the road, and we do not enjoy the space.  I do however at least try to keep it tidy as this is the spot where most guests enter our home. The biggest eye sore is our front porch; the concrete is deteriorating and it generally looks like a mess!  I purchased a cute plastic outdoor rug in an attempt to hide it last summer but I am afraid we are going to have to buckle down and fix it already!  Our plan to remedy this situation inexpensively is to deck over it….we will see how that goes! Since I am not skilled at decking a porch on my own and am at Husband’s will on this one, I’ll keep planting flowers on the porch to distract from it until we get to that project!

Outdoor Kitchen and Grill Area – Now this one is our favorite and I anticipate we will tackle this little project first!   We have a small patio in the imprint of an old single car driveway that we have filled in with pavers.  Last year we purchased and installed a grill canopy for our grill/smoker.  This year a Blackstone Griddle is on my Husband’s wish list and we are in need of a new dining table.  I want to make the small space more efficient; we try to cook outdoors as much as possible in the summer months!!

A Clothesline – I have been hinting to Husband about this one for MANY years now, hopefully this year will be the one!  I love the smell of line-dried laundry and it conserves energy too!  Our poor dryer could use the break!

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What are your favorite outdoor projects?  I have a Pinterest Board full of ideas!  (Backyard and Garden).  We have a little sunshine trying to peek through today….I can’t wait to get started!