Living Life according to a Checklist….

There is a thought forming in my brain.  A thought that I am afraid may have a significant amount of truth to it.  But, let me give you some background – before Baby Girl‘s arrival, taking a time out used to be so easy for me.  In fact, I preferred it because I was too scared and too shy to really get involved to step up to the plate.  Now, when you become a parent, you have to step up to the plate.  Kids need to be fed, schools need to be interviewed, doctors have to be sought out, and friends have to be made – you can’t just let life happen.

However, I think I have swung the other way – in that now I’m too involved, and living life by making sure I have all my checks on my list of things to do.

  • Made the bed – done.
  • Had breakfast – done.
  • Spent time with the kid – done.
  • Made love to my husband – done.
  • Bought the groceries – done.

I have this mental checklist running through my mind the whole time, making sure I don’t miss anything!

Then, when I have done everything, and I feel like I have enough checks on my list for the day – I battle to rest, I collapse out of pure exhaustion but that inner peace and calmness seems to elude me.  I battle to be a Mary instead of a Martha…

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It’s not like I used to be a Mary.  Not at all – I used to abdicate any responsibility so I didn’t have to get involved – I think I was a little lazy, but I was also fearful that something would go wrong and I would be blamed or embarrassed.  So, it was just easier to not get involved; to live life by just letting it happen.

But, now, I am definitely a Martha.  Jesus said to Martha – “you are worried and upset about many things…”.  I could write 100 blog posts on that alone, because Martha didn’t trust that it will all work out.  I really don’t think that Jesus was telling Martha to not prepare the meal.  It was her worry and her being upset that Jesus was focusing on.  I worry and fret all the time to make sure I get everything done – to make sure I have all my checks in place on my list – TO MAKE SURE I HAVE CONTROL.  And it can include just about anything – not can, it does include everything.  My perfect day is when I have accomplished everything – including spending time with Baby Girl, made love to my husband, washed the dishes and packed the bags for the next day.  Really?  Making love to my husband has to be checked off on a mental check list that I keep?  Yes, really…  Sadly!  When you are worried and upset about many things – you’re NOT trusting, or having faith in God.  You can’t worry and fret and trust at the same time!

My point is that I need to live more in the moment.  When you live in the moment, you can do what needs to be done – like prepare food, but you can richly enjoy the moment for what it is.  This is what Mary was doing…  it probably wasn’t often that Jesus came to their house and while Martha was worried and upset about many things, Mary decided to sit at her Lord’s feet and simply be.  Being still like that, in my mind, equates to trust.

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

I don’t know how to simply just be… not with God or with my husband.  Even in prayer, I am checking off items on a list to make sure I have prayed for everything I need.

What Martha was doing was very important.  I mean, we have to eat, we have to work, the house does need to be cleaned.  It wasn’t what she was doing that was wrong – it was that she was fretting, worried and upset while doing it.  She wasn’t trusting, she wasn’t being still within herself and trusting God.  Perhaps Mary could have lent her sister a hand, after all, they did have some very important guests in their house.  And I would assume there was plenty of work to be done to prepare the meal and get the house in order.  But, the being still and knowing that Jesus is God is what set Mary apart from her sister.

We all need to do – we have to get through life.  But, it’s the stillness in our souls that knows that God is God is where life is truly lived.

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