As I looked at my calendar, the week before Thanksgiving, I started to get a little overwhelmed sorting through all the extra activities that come with holidays on top of an already very full calendar. An added 4H project to thank the local fireman, an added Friendsgiving meal at church youth, and an added Thanksgiving tasting in Kindergarten. All fun activities that I am thankful we get to be a part of, but when they add additional planning and tasks to an already full calendar, it starts to feel burdensome.
This is just the beginning of a very full next month of holiday celebrations. I do not want the added activities of the holidays to bring so much stress that it causes me to not enjoy the moments.
While reading the extra activities on my calendar, I decided I needed to take action to help me not feel so stressed.
I started my online Walmart order to get all the supplies that would be needed for all three of the extra activities. Looking at my calendar ahead of time helped me be able to plan and not have to spend time running to the store every day.
I also reminded myself at that moment how important it will be for the next month to be cautious and prayerful about adding extra things to the calendar. December is probably the busiest month of the year with all the Christmas celebrations and parties and shopping and end-of-year activities. I want to be able to enjoy each activity that I am involved in, but know the more I add to my calendar the more time I commit, the more stressed I can feel. Not everything good is supposed to be on our calendar. We all have limits and to keep our lives balanced we have to prayerfully consider all the things we say yes to.
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
I also was reminded as I looked at my calendar of the importance of making extra time with Jesus. To be able to face all that is on my calendar, I need to add more prayer and time with God. It reminded me of the story found in Luke 10:38-42, where Jesus visits the house of Martha and Mary.
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus came to visit the home of Mary and Martha! Can you imagine? Jesus coming into your home! Martha was very busy working to do all the things, you know all that it takes to get ready for guests (cleaning, cooking, keeping the kids from creating more chaos). I'm sure she was a great hostess and made sure that Jesus had everything He needed. I can relate to Martha because I am a doer and helper and have the gift of hospitality. God has created me to be this way and the same for Martha. Nothing is wrong with working hard and serving Jesus when it is done with the right heart and attitude.
The problem started when Martha compared what she was doing to what her sister was doing. The more Martha served and saw her sister sitting, the angrier she got. Martha in frustration says, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
I get it! Sometimes I look around and feel the same as Martha. God don’t you see, I am the only one working to clean the house, do the dishes, take out the trash, and pick up the living room. God gently whispers, “Yes I see you!”
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23.
If you look in the AMP or ESV version Martha says, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” Martha is serving Jesus. We are called to humbly serve the Lord and others! The issue in the story is Martha's negative attitude towards her sister and forgetting about the people she was serving. Jesus tells her in the AMP version, “Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things”.
How about you?
Are you feeling worried, bothered, and anxious about so many things that aren’t necessary? Striving and serving with the wrong attitude and heart? There is a fine line between serving with a heart of humbleness and love verses out of duty or to be seen by others.Think about that this holiday season, what is your attitude as you serve the Lord and others? What is God calling you to do or not do? Pray about it before you add it to your calendar.
The most important lesson of this story is found in what we see Mary doing. She sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. Jesus said, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The words Jesus speaks should be so freeing to those of us that are doers. Do you mean I don’t have to do more? The world may be saying do more, but God says, “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. The one thing Jesus speaks of is not doing more but yet doing less, and instead being still at His feet!
Are you looking at your weekly calendar feeling anxious and overwhelmed? Maybe the one thing that needs to be added first on your calendar is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Let this be the most important lesson this holiday season. Be still. Sit and pray and listen. Read God’s Word. Allow Him to fill you with His words, so that you can serve humbly out of love with the right attitude this holiday season.
It’s interesting to me how God works. After feeling overwhelmed looking at my calendar, we had soccer canceled Tuesday night due to snow which gave us an unexpected and much-needed family night at home. Wednesday, my son ended up sick which caused me to cancel a meeting and our Wednesday night youth activity, not fun or planned but forced time to be at home. Thursday morning I woke up tired from caring for a sick child and adjusting our weekend travel plans.
I was rushing around to get kids to school before heading to teach Fearless Moms and was taking a crockpot full of turkey to the Kindergarten Thanksgiving feast. As I opened the back of my Yukon, the crockpot fell out spilling half the turkey on the ground.
I sat there frozen, just staring at the turkey all over the pavement. I knew my daughter was watching my reaction, instead of screaming or crying I salvaged what I could (I did get in the car and cry afterward). I also decided at that moment to take advantage of the chapel her school offers as a time to force me to be still before going to teach Fearless Moms.
It was such a refreshing 10 minutes as I listened to the teaching from Philippians 4:8-9, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right…think about such things!” I needed to reframe what I was thinking about!
During this holiday season, how will you choose to sit at the feet of Jesus? This cannot be taken away from you!
I want to personally invite you to join me tomorrow morning for the last Fearless Moms of this year. I have deeply enjoyed getting together to encourage and equip you all to embrace motherhood. We will meet at Not Jaded from 9:30-11 save your free seat at https://www.fearlessunite.com/upcoming-events
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