Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Martha & Mary

The past year God has really been refining me in the area of time management. The story of Martha & Mary has greatly convicted me of my busy schedule & mind & I am grateful that once again God is refining me.  The Lord has been giving me a Mary heart to go along with my Martha personality. If you are thinking who in the world are Martha & Mary or if your memory is vague on the bible account of Martha & Mary with Jesus, here it is:
"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 all 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
Ouch! "Mary has chosen the good portion." I want the good portion too, don't I?  Well let me give you an example of how I was like Martha, 'distracted with much serving'.  I worked 40 hours a week Monday thru Friday, Monday evenings I attended a biblical course called Academy (which required much reading during the week as well), Tuesdays I volunteered as a youth ministry leader, Wednesdays I co-led a bible study for single women, Thursdays I babysat my bestie's 2 precious boys & I led the cafe ministry at my church; which many times meant spending most of my sabbath at church. Not to mention the many coffee dates with friends in between (as well as early in the morning before work) Wow! Would you say I was stretching myself a bit thin? I didn't think so...at first. Then I slowly began to burn out.  Lets be honest, it wasn't pretty.  I wasn't eating dinner most days, I slept an average of 5 hours a night & most importantly I wasn't spending quality time at Jesus' feet.   There's no way that can be good for anyone involved.  I just wanted to give as much of my time & energy for other people. But I forgot the importance of rest.
"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15
Now here's the truth: the silence and stillness scared me.  It made me feel lazy & alone.  Logically this doesn't make any sense.  But then again who hasn't believed something that goes against all logic?  Like monsters under the bed? Tell me honestly that you've never done this:

Source: None via Sarah on Pinterest

The good news is I am a work in progress.  I must say that it is a blessing that I had to move far away from all of my priorities back home.  For I know that I would still try to juggle all of these things & ultimately Josh would take a backseat to all my other priorities.  I no longer immediately answer 'yes' to things.  I actually take the time to see if I have the time/resources to do so before committing myself.  I have made it a point to not stretch myself so thin or over-commit myself.  The result is a better me.  I am more relaxed, rested & my walk with Jesus is much healthier.  I'm not perfect in this area, but by God's grace I have improved.  He's not finished working on me & I can't wait to look back a year from now & see the progress that has been made.

If you are like Martha & me, check out this sermon by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  I really appreciate the great nuggets of truth & application in this one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

i took fresh produce for granted

Growing up in Central California means you are surrounded by fresh produce.  You didn't have to look far to find a roadside fruit or vegetable stand.  I don't believe I truly appreciated the vast selection of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs & nuts, until I moved to western Louisiana.  I remember walking the many rows of grape vines as a kid; picking grapes as I pleased. (No, I wasn't a thief!) 

Casa De Fruta in Hollister, CA
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/radven/277070559/lightbox/

But here, there is not a farm in sight. The crop grown here is lumber.  

Source: http://polyploid.net/lamaps/kisatchie.html

Trees, trees, trees as far as the can see! However, we did see a few acres of cotton on our trip to Alexandria... but that doesn't really help my situation any.  I leave the grocery store each week feeling disappointed by the lack of quality & variety of the fruits and veggies.  Don't get me wrong, it's not all despair here, just not the same.  All this to say: Sorry California, for taking your beautiful fertile soil for granted. I will back in November to enjoy your delicacies!