Guest Post: Finding Calm in the Chaos

You know the story of Martha and Mary from the bible, don’t you? Jesus visits friends and two sisters find themselves in the middle of sibling rivalry at it’s finest. Martha, probably the older sister, is cooking, serving, and cleaning up after all of these people in her house. Meanwhile, Mary, probably the baby sister, just sits at the feet of Jesus listening to him talk.

Martha loses her temper and says to the Savior of the world, “Jesus! Will you PLEASE tell my sister to help me instead of just sitting there?”

You can just feel her anger and frustration radiating off of her. I imagine everyone became quite silent at that moment and looked at each other awkwardly.

Jesus, though, simply looks at Martha with sorrow mixed with pity. “She’s made the better choice right now, so no. I won’t make her leave.”

Wow. Just wow. Seriously, Jesus? Personally, I have spent most of my life being Martha. Being the oldest of five kids I developed a peacemaker tendency as well as a desire to always be busy. Someone always needed something. Heck, I used to do my brother’s chores to keep him from getting in trouble sometimes. I’m pretty sure he knew it too.

This state of “Martha” followed me into adulthood. Even at 30, if I sit for too long on the couch with things that “need” to be done I find myself feeling overwhelmingly lazy. My to do list rarely consists of less than ten things. Martha and I might as well be the same person.

Somewhere along this journey called Christianity, between bible studies and sermons, I began to believe being “Martha” was wrong. I needed to be “Mary”…only I had no idea how to be “Mary”. My brain isn’t wired that way.

Does that mean my brain is wired wrong?
Am I defective?
Why can’t I just be like Mary?

It comes so naturally to other women.

I’ve cried so many tears of frustration feeling as though something is wrong with me.

Lately I’ve been reading a book by Shauna Niequist called “Present over Perfect”. The woman saw into my soul without ever meeting me.

“Essentially, my identity then depended on outward approval, which changes on a dime….The crucial journey, then, for me, has been from dependence on external expectations, down into my own self, deeper still into God’s view of me, his love for me that doesn’t change, that will not change, that defines and grounds everything.” (page 63)

See? Into my very soul. God wired me this way. Does that mean I need to disregard the “Mary” way of life? Heck, no. It does mean that my life needs to have a better ebb and flow.

I need to learn from the stillness as well as I learn from the busyness. I can’t hear God as well in the busyness, but the silence, well that’s God’s sweet spot and He does a whole lot of talking if I’m willing to be still and listen.

So do you find yourself to be more like Mary or like Martha?
Comment below with your answer or thoughts about the blog.

-Megan Weatherly


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14 thoughts on “Guest Post: Finding Calm in the Chaos

  1. I love it! Well written and insightful. It truly speaks to,the busyness that we all endure called life.

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    1. Awe, thanks, Pops! It’s amazing how busy life can get when you aren’t paying attention.

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    2. Megan really is a great writer and this post was very insightful for so many of us.

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  2. I resonate with everything you said. As you know I’m a Martha as well! :o) For so long I felt like something was wrong with me. Nope that is how God wired me. I do have to find how to seek God in the quietness as well as the busyness just like you said. Well done my friend.

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    1. If something’s wrong with you, then it’s definitely wrong with me too. 🙂 There’s something about finding your rhythm that God creates within you that becomes so freeing instead of feeling bad that you’re not like someone else. Love you! ❤️

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  3. I too have the Martha syndrome but fortunately I am an early riser. Love the morning quietness when I can get alone with Papa God and hear is word for the day. Well written Megan.

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    1. Megan did such a great job. Thanks for encouraging her. I’m also glad you’ve figured out a great balance between the Mary and Martha struggle

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    2. Thank you! Im so glad you bound a time of day to slow down and listen for God! I’m learning how to be an early riser. It’s not my forte at all. I’ve also learned to take advantage of waiting in the car rider line to pick up Sophie.

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  4. Wow Megan! This is so good and so right-on for many women! I find myself always busy, I never stop, and if I do try to stop, my brain keeps going. My “to-do” list just keeps growing and then I end up anxious and frustrated with everything. I really need to learn to slow down and just enjoy life. I need to learn to stop being busy and find a quiet spot to sit and talk with Jesus. I long for that time with Him! And He wants that from us too!

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    1. Right? I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and my brain clicks on to run through what needs to be done all throughout the day and I just want to go back to bed! Motherhood makes it so hard to find that quiet minute without someone interrupting or feeling like you should do something else. I hope you can find that time!

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  5. I can relate to these women very well. Too well, actually. I too need to be more like Mary and just be still. My mind never stops. I hear Jesus guiding me but I love those moments of quiet when He is so close. I cherish the moments when chaos threatens because I hear Him so loud and clear. He calms my desperate heart. I know if I focus on Him all will be ok even if the world around me is falling apart.

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    1. I just love that, Vickie! Once we’re in tune with God it’s so much easier to hear him in the chaos but it’s the getting in tune that’s the hard part most of the time.

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