Monday, August 6, 2012

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

One whole month of summer vacation sounds exciting, but then when I think of all my projects, I start to get anxious.  How to best use my time? I’m hoping to recharge my spiritual batteries and spend time reading, reflecting, and praying about my plans for the fall. How am I going to balance that with my house organization projects, preparation for next year’s home school, editing my husband’s doctoral dissertation and on-going ministry?  Can you relate?

My sister’s wedding in June and summer home school with my kids in July made for a busy summer this year, but the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver was just what I needed.  Don’t you love that title? It expresses perfectly a longing to cultivate an intimate relationship with God in the middle of real life responsibilities and service.

The book’s central focus is the story from Luke about Martha, overwhelmed and stressed by many duties, and Mary, who chose the one thing she needed most, which was to sit at Jesus’ feet. It offers spiritual encouragement to make our relationship with Jesus our number one priority, as well as practical suggestions on how to do that in daily life. Weaver reminds us that our service to the Master should flow out of our relationship with Him.

The following passage from the book kept me sane during the crazy pre-wedding days in June, and I want to share it with you. I’m still trying to put these steps into practice during calmer days now.  

Four steps to fellowship with Jesus as you seek his guidance for your day:

"1.  Invite Jesus to rule and reign.  
Each morning before you get out of bed, invite the Lord to come take the throne of your life... Present your day to him and ask him for wisdom and guidance.

2.  Ask God to reveal the next step.  
As you go through your day, keep asking the Lord, “What is the one thing I need to do next?” Don’t let the big picture overwhelm you.  Just take the next step as he reveals it—wash one dish, make one phone call... Then take the next step...

3.  Have faith that what needs to get done will get done.  
Since you have dedicated your day to the Lord, trust that he’ll show you the one thing or many things that must be done.  Do what you can in the time allotted. Then trust that what wasn’t accomplished was either unnecessary or is being taken care of by God.

4.  Be open to the Spirit’s leading.  
You may find your day interrupted by divine appointments.  Instead of resisting… flow with the one thing as God brings it across your path. You’ll be amazed at the joy and freedom that come from surrendering your agenda and cooperating with his." (Weaver, p. 58)

Which of Joanna Weaver’s suggestions most resonate with you?


Jennifer Saake said...

Have faith that what needs to get done will get done (#3).


us5 said...

#2 reminds me of Elisabeth Elliot's encouragement to 'do the next thing.' i wonder if it kind of dovetails on #1, as we present Jesus with each moment of the day, asking Him to show us how to use it best? these are good reminders! thank you!!

OliveTree said...

I like especially the first three, and think that "trust that what wasn't accomplished was either unnecessary or is being taken care of by God" is a great reminder...

Kris Thede said...

Number 1 and 3. I so need the wisdom and guidance that comes from the Lord. Then the next step is handled well and what doesn't get done doesn't bother me.

Alida said...

#3 having faith about what gets done truly speaks to me.

Robin said...

Having faith that what needs to get done will get done, resonates with me. Thank you for this reminder. God has been using several circumstances this summer to teach me some of these exact things!