Thursday, April 06, 2017

more like Mary


These are the busiest days of my motherhood, and I don't think things are going to slow down. As my children get older and are more involved in school and sports and music and church and everything else that is beneficial and good, I think this will become the norm. I have never been a "busy" person, and so this new reality has been a difficult adjustment for me. But I had a revelation at the temple this morning and I'd like to share it here.

I have always been uncomfortable with the story of Mary and Martha. Remember, when Jesus Christ came to their house, Martha got busy. There was legitimate work that needed to be done to prepare for and accommodate His visit, and she was going to see that it was completed. Mary, on the other hand, ignored the work and sat at the Savior's feet. I have always been a Martha, and so when the Savior gently rebuked her for complaining that Mary wasn't helping, I couldn't help but take a small bit of offense. But I am beginning to see that sometimes (all the times), I need to be a Mary.

So when there is housework to be done and children to shuttle and food to prepare and so much sewing to do, I can't lose sight of the most important work--the spiritual and holy work--for myself and my family. On our busiest days, I need to set aside those less important things to make sure I am making time for personal and family scripture study, for meaningful personal and family prayer, and for things like Family Home Evening, family councils, and church callings.

I was feeling particularly burdened by my load this morning and thought about skipping my weekly temple time to get some work done. But I remembered the commitment I had made to my Heavenly Father to get to the temple as often as I can, and I remembered how great I feel when I visit the temple, so I went. And in the midst of my worry and weariness, the Spirit taught me (as it does every time I let it).

Here's to being more like Mary, for setting aside more time for holiness and for worrying a little less about the less important things.


  1. I'm so glad you shared this! I've always been a 'Martha' too and felt compassion for her. After all, work is essential to caring for others! I really needed the reminder to put first things first. I always love reading and being inspired by your thoughts.

  2. I love this because I've always related to that story and not aside from the fact that my middle name is Martha, I am very, very much a Martha. Always focused on what needs to be done and you are so right in remembering that we need to be more like Mary as well. ♥ Have a nice weekend.

  3. I needed this today. Having 4 kids and having them involved in extracurricular activities (just one each), nearly kills me! All the driving around and scheduling and making sure everyone is fed and hoping to have meals at the dinner table and not in the car on the way to this or that practice. christ's response to Martha in this story is a lesson I feel like I need to learn over and over again. "One thing is needful." I even made a calendar with that quote as the backdrop! Thanks for this beautiful reminder to slow down and put first things first.

  4. The older I get too, the more I appreciate this story. One time in a church talk, a speaker discussed this story. His interpretation was the Savior was fine that Martha was in the kitchen, and fine that Mary was listening. It was when MARTHA complained to the Savior that Mary wasn't helping, that's when the Savior shared his insight.

    At the General Women's meeting, this story was brought up by Sister McConkie in her talk, "Martha, Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things; But ONE thing is needful." Now I insert my name in the Martha, Martha part, and decide each day what my 1 thing is. Usually, the 1 thing for my day is family scripture and prayer. If we do those things, my to-do list is complete, and our day was successful. I try to not worry about the rest anymore. But, this is easier said than done, because I am often troubled about many things.


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