I think I’m starting to get this. You know the whole “Mary” thing. Isn’t that such a dangerous thing to admit? “Getting it.”
If you’re Christian like me, you probably know what I’m talking about, but if you’re not (or are) and still don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give the quick blurb:
When Jesus was over at Martha and Mary’s house, Martha was busy prepping the meal, and getting things ready, while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, just hanging out with him and listening. This peeved Martha, and she made a fuss about it to Jesus and everyone else who was in the room. Jesus promptly corrected her, and said Mary chose the better option (Luke 10:40-41).
From this story, comes the Mary and Martha archetype. Mary is the listener, the relational one, while Martha is the practical, “doer” type.
I have often found myself relating to both, but more often than not I feel like a “Martha.”
I love a clean home, I love to organize (even if it doesn’t always come naturally), and I love “doing” things. At the same time, just being still, and hanging out with friends and family is cool too. I don’t have to be moving around busily when I’m on the phone with a friend. I can totally just chill, talk and listen.
Being a Martha isn’t all bad, but a breaking point or turning point occurred in my life very recently.
I had returned from a trip visiting family in Canada and in a swirl of enthusiasm I cleaned the whole house, and did all my laundry that same day I arrived back in the North Carolina. I was pretty content, and felt that elation you feel after cleaning (at least I feel that way!).
The next day, within minutes of Asher and I waking, all the order and neatness very quickly become “undone”. All I could think was “yeah, I guess there really will always be a mess to clean.” This pattern had occurred several times before, but for some reason this was a “a ha” moment for me. I guess that was when God chose to give me a revelation.
Just like Jesus was only on the earth for a short time, our children will only be in our home for a short time. Mary chose what was better when she chose Jesus because he was only going to be there for so long.
Asher, my son, is the better option. Playing with him outside, and making his fun a priority is the better option. Not worrying about a little mess because I chose him over having a perfect house is what being Mary is all about to me. There’s been a song in my heart since living this out!
Now, I think it would be misleading of me to say that I think I should entirely neglect my home and chores for the sake of Asher. That can become unsanitary fast. But attitude is everything. Do I let the little mess and clutter bother me, and take away from enjoying Asher, or do I let go a little and accept this brief, albeit messy toddler stage?
Letting go of the perfect home, and perfect upkeep in exchange for more memories and fun with Asher has been a blast! This is what I mean by how I think I’m finally getting the “Mary” thing, or the expression that so many older women say, “the laundry will always be there, but your children won’t.”
I’ve turned in my rebuttal that use to say, “well if I let go of the laundry I make more work for myself in the end, and therefore take more time away from the ones I love.” I have found just the opposite to be true since following the “Mary way.” I‘ve been finding as I’ve placed things in the proper perspective, and put first things first (like Asher, the husband and God…but in the opposite order), the little things, like laundry do get done, and if they don’t one day, I don’t worry about it because I can rest easy knowing I chose the better option: relationships.
In Part II, I want to share a practical “to do” list I came up with that has really helped me kick start my Mary life without neglecting my home.
Be blessed today,