How on earth did I end up face down on the concrete driveway?! Seriously. I hope your week has been better then mine!
I have a little more on my plate than is truly manageable… and when I am overwhelmed I tend to get a little, how should I put this, scattered… clumsy… and calamatus. The only redeeming thing about this is that I also get very entertaining for my family.
Almost every day this week I have had some sort of catastrophe merely attempting to get my kids off to school and myself out of the house…
To start off my week, I was running 20 minutes late, and managed to stab myself in the eye with my mascara wand. I began blinking profusely and ended up with a crazy racoon eye. I wiped it off, decided that it might just be a “lipstick only” kind of day, and then proceeded to knock a burning candle over while grabbing my purse to run out the door. Candle wax everywhere. Cleaned that up, got to the door and I realized I didn’t have my shoes on… and began frantically yelling as I ran in circles through the house, ”David!!! I can’t find my shoes! Wait, have you seen my phone… and uh, where are my keys???!” Bless him. He just shook his head and asked “Should you even be driving today, honey?” Then he winked at me and handed me my shoes and keys as we laughed together and I scrambled out the door.
A high point of this week has been that the kids have made it to school on time every day! That feels like a huge success. I may have run out to kiss my kids goodbye multiple times in my pajamas as they climbed onto the bus. Don’t worry, I think they love it. And, they are definitely not embarrassed at all when I rush in a quick little prayer as they get in line to board the bus, “Jesus, be a shield around them and keep them safe today.” (bus doors close) and “LOVE YOU!!!”… then proceed to wave at all the other students as the bus drives off, continuing its route through the neighborhood.
There was one morning in specific where I realized, “Oh my word, David!!!! We have officially become THOSE crazy people in our neighborhood.”
Don’t even pretend to not know what I’m talking about. None of us are that holy. Every neighborhood has “those” crazy people, “that” interesting family… and in our neighborhood, I believe, that this week (and maybe every week) we win both those prizes.
Back to the high point of my week – the day that finalized our neighborhood status… David and I were both running late, so he rushed off to work. We had gotten 3 out 4 kids on the bus successfully. Praise Jesus. As Sunday waited for her bus, she and I unloaded all our camping gear out of the suburban to fill it with a clothing donation for Arise. Sunday and I made about 8 successful trips from the Suburban to the house without our two insane dogs escaping. But as luck would have it, just as we put the last load down at the entryway of our home, Sunday heard her bus coming. As she turned to go out the front door, both dogs escaped.
Sunday quickly grabbed Gus’ collar. (Gus is David’s English Bulldog who weighs a solid 70 pounds. He is adorable, but stubborn and mighty.) He jolted forward and she began to trip over the doorway, but still held on tight to his collar. Sunday began to stumble as Gus drug her forward on the concrete. In that moment, my mama instincts kicked in. Without even thinking I SUPERMAN dove over Sunday (I don’t even know how that was even possible stored up Mom power, I guess?!) – head first, arms outstretched and grabbed ahold of his collar. It was a small Christmas miracle that I was even able to get ahold of it without landing on my sweet little girl. As I was like, “YESSS! Well done Rachel! You’re not even athletic and that dive was everything it needed to be and more!!!!”… I proceeded to collide with the pavement. I landed with a huge thud and then the mighty (and quite naughty) Gus drug me into the driveway. I lost a little skin and a lot of dignity on that pavement, because just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse…. Sunday’s bus rolled up. #winning #momoftheyear
I am ALL kinds of sore today. Like, actually, I can barely move.
But I will say this. It is a good thing I don’t take myself too seriously. I laughed so hard I cried. As I tended to my scrapes and bruises, I heard God whisper over me… “Slow down Rachel, you are missing the most important thing in all your haste.”
This culture that we live in praises
rush, rush, rush,
plan, plan, plan,
busy schedules, full calendars, and overflowing plates.
I don’t think it’s just me.
If the way we are organizing our life and time is running us and we feel out of control then we might be missing the most important thing.
It feels like I have known the Mary & Martha story in Gospels since my childhood. We even used to sing a song about the two sisters in Sunday school. My whole life I had always pictured myself as Mary… Then came this humble season of life. As I took time to tend to my pavement wounds and process why I was in this scattered state all week, God gently prompted me to read again the well known story in Luke of the two sisters.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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.””
Luke 10:38-42 ESV
As I read those 6 verses my heart became increasingly weighted. I knew why God had put those verses in between the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Lord’s Prayer. It was purposeful.
It was for me. And, many people like me.
My grandma is a hard worker, my mother is a hard worker, I am a hard worker. We all take much pride in good work ethic, long ministry hours and our ability to host and love on everyone God brings into our homes.
-I am the welcomer – I love to invite people in. v.38
-I am the one always distracted and busy with serving and all of the details so that others are blessed. v.40
-I can become resentful and maybe even a little indignant when I am working hard and others choose to spend their time in other ways. v.40
-I am also the one who is anxious and troubled about many things. v.41
-I am Martha.
But how I long to be Mary.
The King of Kings, Jesus, the Savior of the world was in her home!
Martha wanted to serve Him and honor Him. I get that. Her gift of service and intention was beautiful. Her attitude when she was the only one working- not so much. Maybe that is the best way to gauge if we are actually doing what we are supposed to be doing in the moment. Not our intentions – but the attitude of our hearts. The why. Why are we doing what we are doing? She was working so hard that she missed the point. His presence and His person. Jesus wanted all of her – Her attention, her time, her listening ear. He was seeking relational, intentional moments with her. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and actively listening. He was pouring out His wisdom, His peace, His love, and His person and Martha was too busy serving to receive it. Jesus was there to connect with her person.
I have been missing His presence. I long for it. I miss it in the haste. And, the Martha role is not working for me. I need to diligently carve out time to sit at His feet and listen – expectantly awaiting sweet relational, intentional moments with my Savior.
His presence, His power, His truth, His wisdom, His strength, His rest, His immeasurable love. I want it all.
I wish I was an expert at being a Mary, but the truth is – I’m not! I have been surviving for months – not thriving. That’s why my week has played out in this fragmented and scattered way. I’ve been pouring out from a depleted, empty and over-run self. I feel it. The weight of it – the emptiness of it. I need to slow down and be purposeful with the time He has given me – so that I don’t miss the most important thing. Him.
Betsy Oliverio says
Thank you Rachel for this blessed reflection of yourself and many of us can relate. My family and I have had a very difficult 2 weeks with the last week my son getting into a bad accident in the middle of our small town for everyone to see and judge. It is another answer to my prayer that has been prayed over and over for God to transform my sons life within. I can see the Holy Spirit working inside of him and at times it’s not fast enough for me…but keep reminding myself God is in control not me.
Thank you for your ministry❤️
Marilou Nightingale says
Well written Rachel, I read it to dad and those were his exact words
We are so thankful that God is working in you and through you.
It was a good reminder and we all need to strive to be more a Mary.
Love you dearly