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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Stepping Outside Our Holiday Comfort Zone

 

Confession:  I am a bit old fashion when it comes to holiday traditions and have been that way most of my life.  Holidays in our home are to maximize family time and celebrate the occasion with a church service followed by a big dinner with our extended family and friends – its the southern way!  Something will be fried and copias amounts of butter will be used in the preparation or consumption process!  It is just a way of life!

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This Easter however proved to be a bit of a challenge for this tradition -loving momma!  Our oldest daughter was scheduled to play in her last club volleyball tournament of the year on Easter weekend, in Myrtle Beach, six hours away from our beloved mountains, home church and family!!!  At first I didn’t give much thought to the tournament being set Easter weekend, I simply booked the hotel and sent the dates to everyone’s calendar.  But, as the weekend approached I began to stress about being “away” from our norm – and on Easter of all holidays!  Likely the most important Christian holiday of all!!!

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Also, our church broadcasts sermons the following day so I knew I wouldn’t miss out!

  But what about our other traditions?? What about the egg coloring and hunting?  The family, the dinner and the butter!!  Could I make the holiday special enough so that my family truly gave it the value it deserved while away from home!?!

Of course I could!  With the help and suggestions of a friend, a former Florida girl and expecting mother, I packed our suitcases armed with brightly colored sharpie markers for decorating sea shells in the place of eggs!!!  (I also found and packed some realistic looking plastic eggs that we could decorate if the shells didn’t work out!) This little project turned out WAY better than I could have ever imagined!  All of our “kids” enjoyed hunting and later decorating the sea shells with the markers I had packed.  It also gave our son something to do in the hotel room on Saturday morning while his sisters were getting ready to go to the gym!  Waiting on sisters to get ready for a couple hours can be exhausting on a little brother!

 The Easter Bunny was careful about selecting Easter basket gifts that were easy to stow away in a suitcase until Easter morning, or rather Saturday night!  We packed the sisters’ Easter bags with beach-friendly goodies; a new bathing suit, cheap sunglasses, and lip balm for Elle and eucalyptus muscle soak, a hair masque treatment and ibuprofen for Christina who would be playing volleyball all weekend!  Hayden’s Easter basket included a book, The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, monster trucks (also very helpful for a little boy spending the greater part of a day under the bleachers of a volleyball tournament), and a chocolate bunny of course!

Now, dinner….what would I do about our Easter dinner and butter intake???  Easy! Stay an extra night and enjoy dinner on a rooftop restaurant with patio heaters and the women’s national championship basketball game on the television in the background!  It was a lovely evening, truly relaxing, not always the way I would describe dinners in this house! Also, we had plenty of butter on the steamed crab legs at shrimp!

As for our extended family and friends, of course we missed them terribly and have made plans to get together soon, but the time spent, just the five of us was priceless!  Maybe I won’t be so afraid of stepping out of my holiday comfort zone in the future…maybe!