Martha and Mary; The Good Portion

I have been reading “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist, and somewhere in Shauna’s words I was inspired to begin a simpler life; A life lived in true freedom to enjoy the little things, and to see the beauty in the mundane. Now this is actually something I have been cultivating since the beginning of this year, but it is easy to fill the space with the unnecessary.

Have you ever been stressed beyond your normal level of stressing? I trust you know what I mean.

Well recently, I went to a little coffee shop nestled away in the mountains here in Colorado. There I found Shauna’s book and decided I needed to read it, not even knowing what the pages were about.

When I picked up Shauna’s book, I was swimming in to-do lists, grocery runs, and emails that needed responded to.

God’s timing could not be any more perfect right?

Rewinding for a moment…

Back in high school, when I pictured myself as a “young adult” I pictured the life I would have; married, running to and fro from appointments and meetings, buying my own healthy groceries, and feeling needed, successful, and important. I pictured myself in a house (still praying for this one), planning for kiddos, and living life to the fullest (quite literally).

When we are a little younger we are dreamers, which I love that we are, but at what point do we crumble if things are not turning out as expected, and we have absolutely no space to breathe?

Let me tell you a story from Luke 10.

Jesus is staying with a couple of sisters (vs. 38); One who is distracted trying to keep the house together and keep everyone comfortable, and the other relaxing and listening to Jesus talk (vs. 39-40). The serving sister has a bit of a meltdown, telling Jesus to command her sister to help her (vs. 40). Jesus replies saying “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her (vs. 41-42).”

Geesh. I don’t know about you, but I sure have resonated a lot with Martha in this story and a couple of things stand out to me.

First thing is this; Jesus states that Mary had chosen the “good portion”.

His words, to me, mean that to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him teach, was (and still is) more meaningful than being productive in that moment. That is amazing, and so opposite of what our culture says! Our lives are full of hustle and bustle, with little time to just rest in God’s presence. Let’s choose the “good portion”, and open our ears to what Jesus wants to teach us. Yes, even when the laundry needs done and there are errands to be ran.

The second thing that stands out to me is the way Jesus reacts to Martha’s demand.

Now I know Jesus enough to know he is not yelling Martha’s name in an angry tone. I imagine his voice ever so gently saying “Martha, Martha…”. So if this is you, running around through life like a crazy lady, hear the gentle and correcting voice of a Savior who went to the cross for you. He cares enough about you to ask you to slow down and hear the words he has for you.   

We spend too much time worrying about the next step; the finances that it takes to get there, the decorative throw pillows we will spread across the couch we don’t have, how we can look good in and fit into the over-priced dress pants from the over-prices department stores.

But here is some good news.

We don’t have to continue living this way.

I am really an old soul with a deep admiration for spontaneity. When I stop to think about it, what my heart really truly wants is to take some time to sit outside taking it easy, soaking up the sun, sitting in the presence of my Creator, crunching leaves under my shoes because it makes me smile.

Really, I just want to shift my focus to less on what needs to happen, and more on what is currently happening, and what Jesus wants to share with me in every moment.

Let me guess, you are saying to yourself right now “Krista how the heck am I supposed to make time for all of that?” and “I already don’t have enough time in my days to get what needs done, done.“.

Yeah I get it.

But God is working in our every day, and we are missing it because of our needlessly full schedules and fear of boredom.

Making space in your days is not going to come naturally, especially at first. It is going to be uncomfortable and boring at times. And it won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding. There will indeed be days where it truly just cannot happen, and that is okay.

A verse I have been clinging to lately is Isaiah 30:15;

“In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust shall be your strength.”

Join me in this adventure of enjoying the little things in our days and making space, even when it’s hard, will you?  

Thank you for reading. Below are some photos of me making space to do more of what I love. 🙂

Sister and I embracing our dirty faces after a day of four-wheeling with the family.

Sister and I embracing our dirty faces after a day of four-wheeling with the family.

Jessica Jane and I taking some time to hike.

My husband, Caleb, and I learning that we love to garden together.

Watching Caleb play ultimate frisbee with the puppy, Wakely.

The day I found the last copy of Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.

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