Sunday, June 17, 2007

The summer of my Mary heart


Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part,
which will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:41-42

The next two months are unique as I have no commitments, except for helping at the summer library sale. I cannot recall the last time that I have had two entire free months since...well, never. It has to be as far back as early high school that I didn't have either a job, was homeschooling year round, and/or had young children to closely supervise.

As I was watching the funeral of Ruth Graham on TV Saturday, I was thinking about the legacy she left behind. I was so touched when Anne showed her mother's Bible and the many notes and words of wisdom it included. I tend to do well with my quiet times for awhile and then let them slide as...life happens. Would my family have anything tangible to show that I was a person of Faith other than shelves of books, some pretty scripture pictures on the wall, and a collection of Bibles in various translations?

In my life, Martha is always trumping Mary. Like an older and more verbal sister, the Martha part of me reminds my inner self that there is dinner to be cooked, dishes to be washed, laundry to be sorted, floors to be swept, cats to be fed, weeds to be pulled, lists to be made, groceries to be purchased and put away, clutter to be organized...life is all about the daily work that must be done!

Not that we do not need our Martha nature, she is vital to the work of our household...she just seems to take over all the time. We realize it is time for another day to end and we have spent no quality time reading the Word, or praying, or asking for wisdom, or just thinking of His Goodness...just a few quick "help" prayers sent up throughout the day.

It's not that I'm fearful, for I truly am able to stay calm about most situations. No...like Martha, I become worried and troubled about many things. It's the little foxes that begin to eat away at my peace. I personally think that is far more difficult to control than "the big stuff". I haven't even had time to fret about global warming and the possibility of continued terrorism when the price of gas is over $3.00 and milk is...well, cheaper to buy a cow and put it out back.

After watching the funeral of such a precious woman, I decided I was going to make this the summer of my Mary heart. Martha is going to be subdued for at least a couple of months. After all, this is summer and the living should be slower. It is far easier to subdue my Martha nature in the summer than any other time of the year.

So...I am going to make certain I set my alarm clock once again to get up before anyone else in the house and take my coffee, Bible, and notebook to the deck...my place...surrounded by flowers and trees...and a few of nature's small creatures.

I am carrying with me (in my purse) my summer devotional book as well as The Valley of Vision so those times I am having a cup of coffee and...waiting...for whatever reason...my mind will be turned to those writings of great peace and beauty.

Unless there is some major world news crisis, I will be watching only my local news and taking a sabbatical from Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. I rarely watch the Network evening news, anyway. I'm certain if there is any important news, I'll get an e-mail update.

I've decided to do some more journaling...both in writing and in my journal scrapbook. Something to leave behind to the next generation...like Ruth...wisdom that has been received from the furnace of affliction as well as in the quiet of the early morning ponderings in the Word.

Meals may be simple, the house may gather a little more dust, some things will not be checked off my "to do" list....I can almost guarantee it. However, this is going to be the summer when the Mary side of my nature is let free. I can hardly wait to see what happens...

Photo: Beach Cottage Print; Art.com

20 comments:

Mindy said...

What a beautiful post! There is a gentle balance between Mary and Martha...thank you for such a lovely reminder. I will join you as well!!
Blessings to you and yours,
Mindy

Anonymous said...

I'm joining too!
I feel like the Lord is taking me on a journey into things I've never learned before. He also seems to be pruning me and ouch, it HURTS. Two very precious things have ended (of themselves) that were so important in my life. I'm floundering, trying to figure my life without them.
What is God doing? Where is He taking me?
Hmm....
joanna, pondering in ca.

Suze said...

I have the same problem. I should get up early - and I do - but I can't focus so early in the AM. And then I have to go to work.....I need to make a greater effort.

Also - don't forget that all your posts are a sort of journal. So you have already left something tangible, as well as positively affecting a lot of people - those who read this blog.

Suze said...

Oops - I also wanted to ask - did you watch the funeral over the internet? I did and was greatly moved. When I heard she had passed on Thursday evening, I just couldn't get her life out of my mind. I have the book about her father, "A Foreign Devil in China" - and it covers her childhood - fascinating!

lady laura said...

What a great idea, Brenda. Sounds lovely! I will be taking some smaller steps in the same direction this summer. :)

Connie said...

Beautiful sentiments. I know exactly where you're coming from. Thank you for sharing this part of your life here, it is having a rippling effect. Peace.

Kathy said...

All the best for your summer, Brenda, I'm looking forward to reading more about it (especially during our chilly winter!). Taking steps for a quieter, simpler, more reflective life is so important.

Elizabeth B said...

It is quite peaceful to take a break from the news. We've read our news online only for the last 5 years. In fact, we haven't had a TV for 5 years, but we have a lot of books!

You're right, people will call or e-mail you if something is going on. We do scan the news online and read only what interest us--and we try to keep even that to whatever is lovely and true, so that greatly limits the amount of articles we read. People still call occasionally, but they've realized that we do find out what is going on that is important. In fact, sometimes we even get the scoop on them through obscure blogs or non-mainline news sources.

So, enjoy your break from the rush and the news.

Karen said...

This is my first time stopping in at your blog. I like your idea of a "summer of my Mary heart." How lovely! My book club is reading "Having a Mary Hearth in a Martha World." It's a wonderful exercise for the summer months.

Elizabeth B said...

I guess I should go to bed, I didn't do something right!

Sheila said...

Thanks for that great reminder.

By the way, can you tell us more about your "journal scrapbook?" I'm intrigued.

Thanks.

smilnsigh said...

Oh I think this is wonderful!!! Especially since I know this is not your usual way. And for that reason alone, it's time you took some time, to make it 'your way.'

I can hardly tell you, how happy this makes me! I mean it, my Dear Sweet Friend. :-)

Lots of hugs,
Mari-Nanci

Patty said...

I read a post and it told about reading a book~ Having a Mary heart in a Martha World~by Joanna Weaver. I bought it on Amazon and it talks about the very direction your heart is leading you this summer. I know it will be a meaningful summer for you as you take this time to sit at His feet!
Blesings Brenda,
Patty

Mrs. Darling said...

Sounds positively wonderful! Its a far cry from what my summer will be like ferrying kids to camp, swimming lessons, homeschooling, play dates and music lessons. Indeed there is a time for every thing and sometime I will have your kind of summer. I know its waiting for me in the years ahead!

Maggie Ann said...

I can almost hear the locusts humming as you sit on the porch tranquil and rested...meditating on the Word of God. Don't you just love the psalms...nothing brings comfort and wisdom to my heart like the psalms. I sometimes get so irritated with myself for not commiting things to memory...like the psalms and hymns. I'm cheating my inner self not too..so I am! Thanks for sharing your Martha and Mary thoughts...I need to think on these things too..smile.

Elizabeth said...

Oh Brenda,
I am with you. I have been taking more Mary moments too.
Hugs,
Elizabeth

Susan said...

A great reminder as summer begins! I hope to do some more in-depth Bible study this summer, too.

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

What a beautiful blog! Thank you so much for commenting on my blog so that I could visit you, lol! :) I will visit you often now. And I would love to see your favorite bunny! Bunnies are one of my favorite things. And it was so sweet of your daughters friends mother to do that for you! The bunny must be very special to you!

Amy

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I'll share soon about my first day of my "Mary Summer".

I'm enjoying all the comments, it definitely is a subject we all deal with isn't it?

Lallee said...

I need to follow in your footsteps. Funny....I bought a new journal book recently. Just bought Valley of Vision. I'm reading Being Mary in a Martha World. I think God wants me to follow your idea when I start my days and sit at His feet....away from the TV and computer.