children's book picture of Martha angrily baking

Martha, Martha

I often feel that Martha gets a bad rap. After all, she’s just trying to cook up something amazing for Jesus. But she turns into a stressed-out hostess, trying to make sure it’s all perfect, but poisoning the atmosphere with her grouchy attitude… that sounds a lot like me in the hours leading up to a daughter’s birthday party. If you haven’t witnessed that scenario, firstly be thankful, and then secondly (re)acquaint yourself with Luke 10:38-42.

She works hard, she gets grumpy, she complains to Jesus, and Jesus tells her to chill out.

Anyone else identifying with Martha here?

I hear the rebuke, the redirection towards peace and connection, but I’m still left wondering, What about dinner? Who’s going to take care of that?

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The season sets the standard

I am terrible at being a sick person.

It’s not that I’m an awful patient, with a little bell at my bedside to communicate my constant requests for hot lemon drinks and more tissues (honestly, I prefer to be left alone). It’s more that I have a hard time of letting myself be sick.

Instead, I tend to try my best to just keep going at the normal pace and get the things done. Although inevitably I don’t get the things done very well, I’m grouchy, and occasionally the weariness means I do some very silly things – for example, this week I accidentally stuck my fingers in the ceiling fan while leaning out from the stairs to gesture at my mother. Yes, it hurt; no, I did not chop my fingers off (the kids were surprised).

Why not just snuggle up in bed and let the world pass me by until I’m better? Well, four kids… enough said. But that’s just a cover, really the issue is that I struggle to switch to the mode of sick person.

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