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Martha and Me: Falling for that Same Old Trick

I got called to be our ward's compassionate service leader last week, (in charge of coordinating meals brought in to new moms, etc.) so I got released from my two music callings. I'm very much looking forward to getting to help people on a more personal, Christian level and bring in meals or babysit or whatever. I've been feeling pretty good about reclaiming my schedule and being able to accomplish a lot, with scriptures every morning and finally exercising a few times a week. But sometimes I get a little discouraged at the continual to-do list of a mother and sad that sometimes the time I look forward to the most--when the kids are in bed and I can finally put my feet up and eat bonbons (figuratively, well, most of the time) is so selfish and quite meaningless.

I was wondering about this last night. Why do I work hard all day to finally be able to relax and watch someone else's life in a movie or read about them in a book. What about MY life? Why am I in such a bad mood? I finally realized that I've been tricked by the worst trickster. Why do I limit my own happiness to waiting for when I have everything done on my list, the house looks beautiful, a gorgeous centerfold meal has been cooked and obediently eaten, my children are playing quietly and not bothering me or each other, and I am lounging in the sun, sipping homemade lemonade and gazing out at my flawless, beautifully landscaped backyard? HELLO! That means NEVER! And I already really do lead such a charmed life, why have I trained myself to be like this? Good grief.

I read again about Martha in Luke Chapter 10 this morning. The Lord didn't tell her, as I've always assumed he meant, "sit down and listen to the scriptures being taught and we'll just eat later". With this reading of it, I've been doing okay myself. (I read my scriptures almost first thing every day.) No. He gently pointed out to her that she was being careful (footnote says worried) and troubled about many things. That's it. Read here, "Martha, Martha, thou art being UNHAPPY." Hmmm. That's me right there, and I don't think He likes me that way at all. So I've decided to not get tricked into unhappiness again.

Today has been SO nice. I've practiced just enjoying life with all of my senses, and trying to appreciate single interactions with others. My pretty solitary tulip. The sound of my daughter singing. The warmth and fuzziness of my baby's too-long hair. I've also noticed that it's way easier to be more loving to my children if I'm not worrying about my to-do list or my must-have-someday list. A happy mom is a loving mom. 

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3 Comments about "Martha and Me: Falling for that Same Old Trick"

said this on 09 Jun 2008 9:07:51 PM CDT
I agree with your thoughts about enjoying our children (and life) while we can. We go along with life thinking it will always be the same and then one day it can all change. Accidents, illness, financial hardship, or the loss of a loved one can hit unexpectedly and turn our world upside down. Only then do we realize that what we thought was chaos and stress was really a perfect life, and we would do anything to get it back.

said this on 10 Jun 2008 2:57:02 PM CDT
Great thoughts. I think we women are way too hard on ourselves. Especially in the church. For some reason we feel like we have to be able to do it all or we're worth nothing. When your kids are grown and out of the house, neither you nor they will remember how clean your house was or how perfectly manicured the lawn was....but they'll always remember the time you spent with them. We can't put a price on time well spent with our kids.

said this on 12 Jun 2008 10:46:15 AM CDT
I've never thought about Jesus' words to Martha as relating to excessive worry, but on reading it again, it certainly adds depth to the meaning of His statement. We all worry way too much in the world today. How grateful I am for the Savior's love and invitation to "come unto me . . . and I will give you rest."

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