I am reading a book right now called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I am reading it slowly since, although it is a great and convicting book, it is not the Bible and reading my Bible takes first priority over any book!
The book has caused me to really examine my heart and even my life and priorities as I consider the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible. Luke 10:38-42
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
I am afraid I am a Martha. I run around like crazy and do, do, do. That's the part that doesn't sound so bad. The bad part is, I get annoyed with people who aren't doing, doing, doing. That's what annoyed Martha too. Jesus had something to say about that though. Although Mary wasn't running around like crazy (like Martha was) she wasn't doing nothing. She was "seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word."
Being a Martha, I know how difficult it is to listen to the Lord's word when I am "distracted with all (my) preparations". Even good preparations- like making food for my family, helping kids with their school work, giving a baby a bath, calling a friend, cooking quinoa for my husband ;) Those things aren't bad, but they need to be second place to quieting myself before Jesus and hearing what He has to say.
I have a Mary friend. Her name is Ruthie. Even though Ruthie is quite a bit younger than me (I was giving her piano lessons when her hair was still in 2 adorable braids!), she has taught me so much. A few months ago, I had a long conversation with her. In the course of that conversation, she told me a particular way that she thought of God. It was a phrase only 3 words long- and maybe she wouldn't even remember saying it. But I can't get it out of my mind. I'm not going to say what it was since it was personal to her, but I can't get it out of my mind. Here is a girl who is intimate with Jesus. She spends time with Him. Not just time that she can check off of a long list of things to do but time sitting at His feet. She knows Him in a way that I WANT TO. I'll never know Him that way if I am constantly distracted by preparations.
I have a Mary daughter too. I am afraid I am unintentionally trying to turn her into a Martha. Alissa reminds me of Ruthie. Sweet, sensitive and one that loves to listen. I want her to continue to be like Mary. I know that is pleasing to God! My prayer is that I will be more like Mary in the Bible. That I will know Jesus like He wants to be known and that I will be an example to my daughters and to those around me of a Mary heart.