Once upon a time a lady named Martha wanted to have a party, and not just any party, a party with the King and his friends. She asked her sister Mary to help her with all the details. She spent the week prior to the party dusting, washing, organizing, menu planning, and redecorating. The day before the special guests were to arrive was spent shopping for ingredients and prepping the dishes. Finally, the big day arrived and Martha was going to be sure that no detail slipped her mind. After all, this was the King and he deserved the very best. Mary showed up, 10 minutes until party time. She had not done so much as help set the table and when the guest arrived, did she help Martha put the final touches on the four course meal? No. She just sat down with the King. Martha didn't really have time to be too upset about it now, dinner must go on. She served the meal with great poise and grace, every dish perfectly plated. After the meal had ended, Martha began taking plates back to the kitchen to clean up and prepare the coffee for later. She asked if Mary could please bring in the bread basket. Mary responded, "in a minute, I want to spend time with the King." Really? Didn't Mary think that Martha wanted to spend time with the King too? But someone had to actually do something if everyone was going to eat. Food and clean up didn't just happen on its own, you know. Martha reprimanded her sister in front of the King. "King," she said in her sweetest voice all the while shooting daggers at her sister, "would you please excuse Mary for a moment to help me in the kitchen? After all, it is no small task to give you the very best and I could use some help." "Martha," responded the King in a most loving manner, "you are worrying and fretting over things that do not matter, Mary has come to worship at my feet and you should do the same." Martha, instantly humbled and embarrassed shrunk back to the kitchen to hide the tears welling up in her eyes and the lump in her throat. "I missed it," she thought, "I missed my chance to worship the King."
So often I am like Martha. Cleaning, cooking, fussing, running around in an anxious tizzy anticipating the arrival of my guests. But what do I really want my guests to see when they walk through my door? A sparkling kitchen or a content heart? Perfectly decorated walls or a peaceful home filled with love? Stain-free carpets or a restful spirit. These things don't have to necessarily be one or the other, but in my life I tend to focus on the former and neglect the latter. I'm not saying that we shouldn't clean or cook, or decorate, I'm saying we need to value time with Jesus more than how awesome of a hostess or homemaker we are. Jesus knows what we need, namely, more of him and less of ourselves. So how do we ease the tension of taking care of house and home and family and sitting at Jesus' feet? One way is to sit at his feet first. Rise early and meet with the King. While it is quiet, before kids and chores and to do lists start screaming at you, before the noise of life rises to its ear-piercing decibel, sit and listen.
Another way to balance life in the home and focusing on Jesus is to focus life in the home on Jesus. Decorate with scripture that keeps you mindful of him and his promises. Entertaining is always tricky. We want to show our best to our guests, but we should be mindful that our best is not ours at all, it comes from the Spirit within us. So let your guests see and experience love and care the way you experience love and care from Christ.
I was recently invited to one of those consultant parties for a company called Mary & Martha. I was immediately intrigued by the name and even though I am kind of against parties like this I decided to check it out. Their products are mainly home decor and kitchen ware, but what I like about them is they have scriptures on them that help the decorator and entertainer be mindful of the grace they have been shown and the gratitude that should ensue from that gift of grace.
Commit your work to the Lord and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
This is what I think Mary & Martha is all about. Don't stop decorating, don't stop entertaining, but commit these things to the Lord. Lay them at his feet and watch what He can make of it.
Here are some of my favorite products:
If you want to check out the products that Mary & Martha has to offer GO HERE. I am hosting a party and my shopping link will be open until Monday November 18 at 10 pm. Go check it out, they have some pretty awesome stuff :)