Monday, November 20, 2006

A pondering this weekend

I have been thinking. We had our ladies group meeting on Friday night. It was fun, I really enjoy getting together with all the ladies and away from the kids. This week we learned about Martha. It was titled...Martha, Martha, Martha!!

We had fun, we were all given a crown when we walked in the door and we were asked if we were daughters of the king.

Then we enjoyed a study into the lives of Mary and Martha.

It was an interesting topic. Martha was busy wanting everything to be just right, everything was to be only the best. She got caught up in what she was doing that she started to despise Mary for just sitting and enjoying Jesus. Know the story? Then Jesus corrected her and told her that one plate of food would have been enough.

Interesting topic? Yes? No? I have been thinking lots about it. There were lots of different feelings on Friday night about this subject.

I think that there can be 2 extremes in this matter. One being on the side of Martha. No time to visit and enjoy the company because you have to "look good" and the other extreme (which really wasn't shown in the story, so this is MY thoughts) where someone might feel that it doesn't matter what the house looks like and if there is any food at all.

I feel that there has to be a medium ground. I had my party this weekend, but spent the week getting ready for it. My kids did most of the baking and decorations, I got the craft packs ready for the kdis who were visiting, we all worked together on cleaning up the place. I don't just do this when having a party, but when I know someone is coming over too. I want my place to look nice, I want the food to turn out well, I want them to feel comfortable and I want to enjoy my company as well.

When people stop by my house and I know I haven't gotten the cleaning done, or I have nothing in the house to offer them, I feel stressed out. It bothers me and I have been working on it. I tell certain people now when they jsut drop in that the place is a mess, but they came to see me anyways, not the house. When others drop in, I really feel embarassed. I am working on this issue in my life. Working on the house being kept clean most of the time, so if this does happen, it isn't so bad. But my question is about when you know people are coming over... Had Martha prepared ahead of time and left it at that, then she still could have had things the way she wanted AND enjoyed the company of Jesus too, right?

My question to everyone today far is too far? Is it wrong to want the place to look nice and spend the time ahead to prepare? Then you can just enjoy when the visiting time comes?

How does others feel about this? Can you go too far the other way, and not care about what the state of your life is, whether people are coming by or not?

Let me know!!


  1. Now, I'm not where I'd like to be in the home upkeeping either but I would like it kept nicely for us. If we treat ourselves and family as special as our guests how nice we would feel everyday. Love your neighbour as yourself.

  2. I think the point of Martha's life that cannot be missed is that she was striving to please Jesus, the attitude behind her busyness -- she was distracted with making sure everything was perfect and missed out on time with God.

    I think if we have the attitude of "Oh well... I don't care what happens" we miss the mark on a whole bunch of Scripture and on our inheritance as children of the King. There is something to be said about keeping a tidy house, taking care of guests, etc. The gift of hospitality functions better in an organized setting than fly by the seat of my pants kinda lifestyle.

    I also think too easily we become distracted with stuff that we put God on the backburner. It can start out so innocently but if not checked - can develop into something more significant that ... like Jesus had to do ... bring a gentle correction into the situation.

    I'm sure there's lots more we can explore on this topic. One good point Donna had was that we were trained from birth that our actions receive rewards. What do we praise our children for? What do we pay allowances for? Usually it is for performance or for what they have done. How then do we bring them up to understand that their value does not come from what they do but from who they are? This is a tough one but one we, together, will try to accomplish.

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  4. Hey ruth I always tell myself have my house so its a home not a show case. So what if there is stuff lying around. Kids are kids when they get older that will pass as I'm finding now. My house is not as messy as it use to be. Now about there rooms!!! cannot say much for them but I feel as long as the floor is swept and the bathrooms are clean whocares about anything else lying around . A girl friend of mine use to say her mom told her to keep her front entrance clean so if someone stopped by and it the only thing they saw they would think the rest is clean as well. I'm sure your doing ok it is very hard with 4 kids been there done that. talk soon PS I love to read your blog everyday keep it up Judy

  5. It has taken me a long time to get to this point in my life. I used to live with stuff all over the house, my mom would not allow my friends over bacause the house was too messy. She also didn't teach me how to clean. IT took me many years with having kids how I want my house to look and feel. I want people to come over. I like to have people over... but I don't want it to look the way it did when I was a kid.

    There is a balance. I am still working on that part and to be honest there are times when I feel that my house is still not clean enough, but I do try to make sure the laundry is done and put away, the living room, dining room, kitchen and bathrooms are tidy. At times not everything is done but if its kept clean or tidy its easier to keep it clean.

    I also get the kids to help me and they have to do things around the house. If I know I am getting company then I want the house to look good or I do feel a little overwhelmed and stressed out. BUt planning ahead, and do it in little steps makes it easier. I heard on the radio that if you were to spend the last 5 minutes in every hour cleaning up a mess you would be managing your time well and it would not seem so hard to keep the house clean. My Aunt used to have a chore list and stick to it. Kids did some stuff and she and my uncle did the rest and it seemed to work for them.

    You need to find where you are comfortable and what works best for you and then stick with it. As the kids get older they can also pitch in more. It does seem to get easier.

  6. I think you have a good point. The virgins who were waiting "prepared" didn't miss out! so there is a balance on being ready and prepared and not missing opportunities. I think it is what as women we are all striving for.