Raising a family is a rewarding calling. but let’s face it: when we’re knee deep in dirty dishes and diapers, it can be an exhausting one!
As moms, we are called upon to fill so many roles in our children’s lives: chefs and chauffeurs, nursemaids and nannies, teachers and coaches, party planners and personal assistants… the list goes on! At the same time, we’re often taking care of husbands and extended family members, holding down jobs, and juggling volunteer and ministry responsibilities too!
Is it any wonder that we sometimes wish we could take a vacation from our own lives?
If ever there was a Scripture for mothers to cling to from God’s Word, I believe that it’s Jesus’ precious promise in Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Rest does not come easy to moms. As a matter of fact, rest doesn’t come naturally to any of us. From childhood, we’re taught that “the early bird catches the worm”. Throughout Western society, over-achieving, high-driven Type-A personalities are rewarded for lifestyles that, left unchecked, will most likely lead to high blood pressure and burn out at some point in life.
But doing so much that we find it difficult to take time for the truly important things in life isn’t just a problem that modern-day mothers face. Did you know that the women in Jesus’ day struggled with this very same issue as well?
What does Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith – teach us about busyness, carrying out our daily responsibilities, and priority-setting in the midst of our jam-packed lives?
One of the most important lessons on this topic can be found in the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who invited Jesus into their home.
Both sisters loved Jesus dearly and were very excited by His upcoming visit – but both prepared for His arrival in different ways, based on their differing personality types. Martha, a classic Type-A personality, was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” because she wanted her home to be Pinterest-perfect when Jesus arrived. On the other hand Mary, her Type-B counterpart, simply wasn’t the Spic & Span® type. All she really cared about was hanging out with Jesus and listening to the fascinating stories He told.
As you might imagine, this caused quite a bit of friction between them – so much so that Martha actually told Jesus what was happening and tried to get Him to take her side!
Imagine her surprise when Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the better way – that spending time with Him was more important than cleaning the house and preparing a three-course meal!
As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. 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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42
Yes, a trip to Tahiti sounds tempting when we’re knee deep in dirty dishes and diapers – but Jesus says it’s better to save our money and find our respite in God!
When we find ourselves in Martha-mode and need a little course-correcting, here are a few biblical principles that will bring us back to the feet of Jesus, where we can find rest and restoration:
Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. – Exodus 20:8-10
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. – Psalm 3:5
This week, instead of putting all of our efforts into tending to others, let’s take the time to make sacred space for God in our lives. First, let’s carve aside a few quiet moments each day to spend in prayer, Bible reading, and devotional time with God. Or do just one of those things… or just sit and rest and be present with God!
Next, let’s do our best to honor the Sabbath. Set aside a day of rest to dedicate to God (this doesn’t necessarily have to be Sunday!) Finally, let’s make sure that we get a good night’s rest so that we are able to face the challenges that each day brings.
Finally, let’s help our kids get a good night’s sleep! Help them prepare for bed each night by sharing a calm and soothing story like Ten Little Night Stars – a sweet bedtime counting book that’s perfect for young readers!
Who wouldn’t enjoy counting along as ten stars come out while cute and cuddly animals get ready for a good night’s sleep?
One little night star,
Twinkling in deep blue.
I run inside to take my bath,
Then there are…
Ten Little Night Stars is the perfect book to engage our children with interactive rhyme while we prepare them for sweet dreams (and who knows – it might just help us fall asleep too!)
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Are you more of a Martha or a Mary? How do you find time for Jesus in the midst of your busy life?
Take a look inside…