Who Are You? Martha or Mary?

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Marthaopened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I remember a church camp I went to the summer before my senior year. One of the stories was about Martha & Mary. It really made more sense to me when they described them as Martha Stewart and Mary Smith. Martha Stewart always cooks, cleans, creates centerpieces, etc. Mary Smith, we dunno. She’s not talked about because she doesn’t accomplish the things and strive for the attention like Martha. She’s content just sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing Him. We all know Martha, because somewhere along the way, we become Martha. 

I know when I was younger, I was more like Mary. I listened to God’s Word (as an older teenager when I could drive myself to church). But then I got older. I got a job and worked during church hours, put myself through college and studied more Criminology and less of the Word. Then come the bills, babies, friends, families, etc. I lost sight of God in so many ways for SOOOOO long. I forgot how to be Mary, and somehow became Martha. 

Anyway, back to church camp. That was really a blessing to me at that time. But the church leaders even wrote a funny little song to go with the story…

“Let the chicken burn, Let the chicken burn,
Sit with Jesus and learn,
Let the chicken burn (It’s just KFC)
Let the chicken, the chicken, the chicken burn.”

LOL. Sorry, that;s the only part that I can remember, but it was AWESOME. 

Slowly, I’ve learned that Mary and Martha are more like split personalities and we need to balance the two. Yes, be Mary. Sit with Jesus. But don’t leave Martha out to dry. After all, who can afford to order food all day everyday.

Our Group Leader in our online bible study added this..  “I really appreciate this story. You reminded me of the years I went to church camp and everyone went to a special spot on the camp groups each morning to have their own quiet time. Like you, I lost that when I grew up and turned into a Martha. Martha’s are good and needed, but we can’t lose our Mary’s. We must get to the place where we guard that time with our whole heart and lives. Our Mary time is like fine gold or precious diamonds.” – Barbara.

This is true! Martha’s are so needed, but we must not lose sight of our Mary’s either!

Imacon Color Scanner

Clean Up Your Associations

Pull the Plug

I recently had a discuss with myself. Yes! I do sometimes. I need expert advice every now and then. =)

But seriously though, I recently got over the flu bug, and naturally caught a lot of grief about calling off work two days in a row. My bosses understood and didn’t mind, but it was the other folks I worked with, that gave me the grief. Things like, “You can’t have been too sick to come back after only 2 days.” Or “if you were really out with the flu, you would’ve been admitted in the hospital.” Or “well by golly, she did remember that she works here.”

After hearing all this and then some, not even 15 minutes walking into my office, I lost it. I fired off on ALL of them. Then after I cooled down and got some work completed, my mind began to wander. Obviously, at work I can’t avoid all of the negativity and hateful remarks, but I can throw them out of my office. But where else is this kind of stuff following me and how can I get rid of it?

Social media is a big one of these. Facebook! It’s great because I keep up with family, join Bible Studies, get invited to events like my nieces birthday party, help my dad advertise his business, post pictures of my children and hear wonderful comments from family. But it has it’s downside, which is let’s face it, depressing. People posting how terrible their lives are, what they eat for every meal, what a terrible day at work they have, etc. Then you have the exact opposite… How wonderful their life is and no one has a better life, better job, better kids, etc, than them. Then there’s the ones who always talk down to you for your beliefs. Like one who seems to have made it their life’s mission to put down any follower of Christ.

Am I a perfect Christian? No! Far from it actually. HOWEVER, I am STILL a believer and that will never change no matter what math equation you send my way. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine for you. I don’t tell you how wrong I believe your equations are. I just silently pray for you. Life without God is no life at all in my opinion. I have a hard time waking up and watching the sunrise and NOT believe or KNOW that God created that sunrise. I can’t look at my children’s sweet faces and not think, “Thank you Lord for my undeserved blessings that I get to call my own.”

So that was my decision to “clean up my social media life.” I unfriended several folks that have this constant negativity in life that I don’t care to listen to. I blocked all of the atheist comments and folks. I then took another step and refused to add the phone numbers of the folks who do act and think this way into my phone.

Now I’m not saying that everyone should do this, but I certainly have made up my mind that I will NOT be held down or put down in life in any way. If I wanna praise Jesus, then by golly I will and I won’t be afraid to do so.

A friend once commented, “when did the world become more afraid of man and less afraid of GOD?” It’s true if you think about it. I made up my mind that I will not be afraid of man anymore. When I die, it’s not them that I answer to, it’s the Lord Almighty. =)

I Un-Welcome The Flu Bug!!!

Well, I enjoy losing an unexpected 6 pounds, but I would prefer to apply the money I spent on doctors and medicine on bills to get us further outta debt. Plus missing time off work stinks. Blah. I don’t remember every inviting Mr. Bug into my life, but he is an absolute slop! Yuck! Go away!

On top of it, my poor babies are sick. One with a tummy virus (oh yeah, caught that too), sinus infection (did I mention that I caught that too?), and of course, the flu (which I already had). Oh Lord! Please place Your hands on our family and take away this sickness. Ain’t got no time for sickness.

I wish I could say that I’m getting a lot accomplished, but so far, being lazy is about it. LOL.

I did get to watch some TV. Now I remember why I quit to begin with. Yeesh. The junk they put on TV that folks consider “entertainment” is ridiculous in my opinion. I personally see no point in going on TV where potentially millions of viewers are watching with the hopes that you do something stupid or ridiculous. Whatever happened to good old fashioned TV where the shows focused on values, and not punch lines. So naturally, since the  baby is home with me too, I flip it back to cartoons. LOL. I much prefer the “older” Scooby Doo’s, Sofia The First, Doc McStuffins, and Mickey Mouse. Everyone else can keep their cussing, sex appeal, liars, and whatever other realty TV y’all prefer. =)

But I did watch a very good movie today. The Help. Oh man, I laughed, I cried, and then by golly, I laughed some more. I definitely vote that this is a must see movie in my opinion.

Well, medicine is kicking my butt y’all. Sweet dreams and I’ll see ya later. Please pray that we get well. Also, my heart was racing when I went to the doctor. My doctor seemed concerned, but I didn’t at the time. Now I’m really starting to wonder. It still feels like it’s racing, and sometimes is accompanied with pain.

Forgiving Hearts

I’ve been so to read & keep up with current chapters of A Confident Heart. I take it slow, look up the stories surrounding the bible verses in the book, & meditate on them. One part spoke to me louder than others. It stayed in the front of my mind the strongest. The other day, I learned why…

A high school friend of mine just received news that her biological mother was not doing well. She posted, “I have not been a part of her life for a long time for different reasons. They are not sure how long she has. She has cirrhosis of the liver and emphysema. She has been sick for years. The doctors did not expect her to live a year 5 years ago. I know that there is a reason she is still here. I am not sure if its because there are things that need to be said or what. I am not sure if she knows our Lord and savior. I have so many questions with not many answers. I just pray that what ever I am supposed to do I do. I do not want to live with regret. Please pray that I will do what the Lord wants. Also, please pray for her, that she would find peace and do what she needs to do.”

I felt it was time to share my story & messaged her privately (not everything is meant for the world). FRIEND, I am by no means trying to persuade you one way or another. But hear my story & decide for yourself. My Mom was an alcoholic and we rarely got along without having harsh words or bitter blow ups. It was more than just the alcohol, but I won’t pester you with the details. The point is, I didn’t feel loved or feel like I loved her. I did love her, but it never felt like the mother-daughter love that I expected to feel. (If that makes sense). Point is, even when she was dying, I felt we both pushed each other away. The night before she died, she had a smile moment of clarity (cancer was in her brain & she had trouble staying conscious) she squeezed my hand, nodded, & said “I’m ok. I love you”. This took nearly 5 minutes for her to say. I tried to talk to her more, but I couldn’t get her to stay awake. She died a few hours later. My advice is this. Death is final in this world. If you feel you need to tell her something, maybe God is trying to tell you “now is your chance”. I still cry & ache nearly everyday missing my mom. Not so much for what was but for what I wanted. I wanted to love her like my kids love me. She is your mom. Love her & tell her goodbye. Maybe your love & Gods light shining through you is what she needs if she’s not saved. I’m so I’m rambling, but I felt like I should let you know my experience. I am praying for all of you. Take care Sister. The book of Isaiah was really weighing on me today. I guess you’re exactly who God needed me to talk to. I don’t want you to have regrets & what ifs. If I could do it again, I would say so much more. I know the bitterness is there & it IS hard, but I strongly urge you to pray & then find closure for both of y’all. Don’t wait til it’s too late like I did. Trust me when I say, it’s a terrible, crushing weight of regret. Pride got in my way. I’m glad telling you means a lot. It means so much to me to get it off my chest. I love you girl. Take care.

She responded, “WOW! Sounds just like my story!!! Almost exactly! I just want to make sure I say my part and dont want to regret anything. my children do not know her. which is so sad. I am upset with her for the way she chose to live her life but I can only do my part. We are going to florida on the 22nd of November anyway, but I am trying to decide if I should go sooner. Thank you for telling me your story, it really means a lot! I for sure do not want to carry that weight around. Who knows may God wants me to tell her about him? I just want to make sure I do the right thing. Thank you for listening.”

PLEASE…. I ask for extra prayers for her & her mother & her whole family. I pray they all find peace & forgiveness in each other through Christ. Thank you so much in advance.

What Is In The Center Of The Bible???

This is an awesome video. For quick run down… answer these questions. What is the longest chapter? What is the shortest chapter? What is in the center of those two chapters? Continue from there and watch the video. It’s really neat!

No. It’s not my video. I just found it browsing one day and thought I’d share. =)

Blog Hop Topics for Proverbs 31

Topics:

#perfectlove~ Define #perfectlove and share a personal story/example of the #perfectlove in your life.

I recently wrote a Blog post on this about two trees. Here’s the sample below.

“Roosevelt brought up a very good visual. Imagine 2 trees if you will (I’m adding a bit to this). Ok, 1st tree is tall & straight. Your standard tree you could say. The 2nd tree, it starts out growing straight up like the other one, but something happened. Something made it bend & start growing horizontally, rather than vertically. Over time, & a good bit of growing out horizontally, the tree finally started to grow vertically again until it reach it’s full height.  Growing our children are kind of the same way. If they grow up, growing like we (the parents) did, they’ll grow straight up. Not only through discipline & manners, but in God’s teachings as well. They “grew up right”. If we don’t help our kids. Guide them. Teach them. “Help” them to “grow straight”, then they’ll be like the 2nd tree, & grow up in the only path that they know. The path that they learned themselves.”

Noppers, it doesn’t talk about perfect love, but it is a remainder of the perfect love the God gives to us daily. He is always teaching and molding us to be “straight” and on the path to Him. But along the way, we sometimes ‘think we see a shortcut’ or ‘we know better’ or ‘this path over here looks like more fun’. In this process, we tend to ‘bend’ a little (or in some cases, a lot). But God is always there with his unending patience to guide His children where He wants them.
Isaiah 49:23~ Unpack our Verse for the week.

“And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”

No matter whether you are a King or a servant, we all serve and are obedient to the One True King! We will bow to Him and serve only Him!
I Believe~ In order for change to take place, we have to first believe it is possible. Refute your own thoughts of doubt with declarations of faith.

I believe…that my faith will grow during this Bible Study.
I believe…my family will benefit in God’s way through my continued studies.
I believe…one day, doubt will not disable me from reaching my potential in life.
I believe…I will gain better confidence of myself.
I believe…I will not criticize myself over things that don’t amount to anything.
I believe…I will learn to accept God’s love and fulfill His plans that he has for me.
I believe…I will be the loving, caring mother and wife that my family needs.
I believe…I will learn to be quick to think and slow to speak the next time something negative attempts to enter my life.
I believe…


At the Well~ Reread Sam’s story in John 4, asking Jesus to meet your there and show you things in your heart that need His repair. Is there part of Renee’s story or Sam’s story that you can relate to most? (Ch. 2, Discussion #6)

Still thinking on this one. I’ll get back to you! There’s a ton to say, but I’m trying to collect my thoughts better first. LOL!🙂

Confident Heart Ch. 1 Answers

Bible Study: Proverbs 31

Book: A Confident Heart by: Renee Swope

 

1. What is your earliest memory of doubting yourself or feeling insecure?

+++Wow! Talk about a ton of memories coming all at once. I reckon the first one that came to mind was when our grade had a class play. (I think it was 5th grade). Anyway, there was one kid that had something negative to say about everyone who had to audition for various parts, even himself. I was terrified when they called my name. I broke down and told them that I couldn’t do it. The teachers were so tired by then, they just skipped over to the next person. I used to love plays and acting, but to get me to do something like that took a lot of courage and confidence, which was something that I was very low on.

2. Has insecurity ever kept you from doing something?

+++All the time. Job searching was one. I would browse the “Help Wanted” ads and skip over several because I didn’t feel like “I was good enough.”

3. Describe how it makes you feel when doubt whispers:
“I can’t do this.”
“Things will never change.”
“My life isn’t going to get better.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I might as well quit.”

+++It made me want to stop reading and not pick you this book again or answer the rest of the questions. It made me feel like I was going to fail because I wouldn’t be able to do anything. It was a gateway to other thoughts as well…
“You’re a terrible mom and wife.”
“You’ll never gain anything in this Bible Study.”
“Your husband is going to think your answers are stupid.” (As well as anyone else who reads this)
“No one who reads your answer to these questions can relate.” Etc…

4.Describe what happens in your heart when you read God’s words:
“Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed” (Isa. 49:23)
“See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isa. 43:19)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28)
“All things are possible to [her] who believes” (Mark 9:23 NASB).

+++I feel my heart swell and tears stinging my eyes as a smile spreads across my face. =)

5. What do you think hinders you most from living with God-confidence on a consistent basis? Is there a promise listed above that speaks to your greatest need right now?

+++Self doubt.
+++”Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed” (Isa. 49:23)and  “All things are possible to [her] who believes” (Mark 9:23 NASB) These 2 speak to me the most right now. I feel safer and more in control at these words. At His promise.

6. How would you describe a woman with a confident heart?”

+++Strong. Happy. Beautiful inside and out. Joyful. Optimistic. Loved.

7. Read Jeremiah 17:7. (Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.) What does this verse promise and encourage you to do? Think of one situation where you could live in the power of this promise and describe what that would look like this week.

+++It encourages me to want to do more for God. To make Him happy and proud of His daughter. In raising my kids to be more Christ-like. Teaching them to let go and let God.

*****Even if you haven’t read the book or this chapter, how would you answer these questions yourself?*****

 

A New Beginning… Bible Study

Back when I was in High School, I had attended a few Bible Studies with friends, but they never lasted. Some Bible Studies were just on a specific topic or during a certain season, like Summer. But they always ended and I always wanted more!!! 

Then life happened. Sad excuse, but that’s just the way it was for me. I drifted from church and from God. I gotta admit, my depression continued to get worse. But anyways, enough of the sad part… now the exciting part.

I recently discovered on online site, http://www.proverbs31.org. Let me tell you. It has been a wonderful blessing to me. I started reading the online devotionals, and before I knew, I had read about half a years worth of devotionals, and I still couldn’t get enough. I found that they were starting a new Bible Study called A Confident Heart! It sounded like something that I could really enjoy. 

Sure enough, here came the old me… “why bother?”
“You’ll never stick with it.” 
“You never do.”
“It says ‘Confident’… not exactly something you’ve had much of.”

Well guess what? This time, after a good bit of mental debate, I decided to jump in head first. At the last minute, so to speak, I decided that I would join. I would stick with it. And I will put my all that I can into it. However, I also decided that my husband and children still come first, but that I would still find time to make for the Bible Study. I’ve told a few friends about it, but I’m not sure if any want to join. It won’t stop me from sending them regular updates, because I know that they enjoy any chance to read and learn about God.

 

Busy, Busier, Busiest!

With 3 kids… that’s about all I can say right now. LOL. Busy!!!! Kaeden had his first official fencing practice today. So proud that he enjoys it. =) We’re going to Rockwall tomorrow for him to see other fence and to get fitted for his new gear. Yay! He’s sore, but happy. =) And this momma is TIRED!!!! G’night all!