Being Mary.

I spent this past weekend with 40 incredible women at a peaceful conference center in the middle of trees and moss, and plenty of rain. The theme for the retreat revolved around the story of Mary and Martha.

For those of you who don’t know these women, they lived during the time Jesus was on earth. In one particular story in the Bible, Mary is sitting and resting at Jesus’ feet, enjoying His presence and taking joy in spending time with Him. In a huff, Martha — who has been cleaning and preparing her home and food for Jesus all day — comes over to them and complains about how lazy Mary is being and asks Jesus to tell her to help. To this, Jesus replies, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

At the retreat, we studied personality types, and how similar or dissimilar they are to these two women. We took a look at our own tendencies, and what that means about 1) how we were designed, and 2) how that means we relate with God.

I’ve always known who I was in this story; but I think a lot of people who think they know me, have me pegged entirely wrong. If you look at my life, my organization in my job, all my commitments and activities… you’d think I was Martha. The truth, however, is quite the opposite… I am Mary, but due to my life circumstances, I live a Martha life. And while in personality I am outgoing, assertive, creative, and independent… my life desire is to be QUIET and rest in His presence. I constantly have to fight the tendency to drop everything. No matter how important my commitments are, I want to so readily drop them to spend time with friends, to sprawl out and listen to music, to just sit and ponder life.

I think both women were created specially and designed perfectly because God made them that way. I think we are strong where we’re meant to be; and where we lack, well… God makes up for that. In my case, I lack the natural ability to want to do ANYTHING. (Yes, really.) But in a life where I must work, and must discipline and chase and love my kids constantly, God gives me the ability to work, to focus, to organize.

I think what I came away with most this weekend was this: despite my life circumstances, I need to find the time to lay low, quiet my heart, and do what comes naturally. If I can get those times in my week or in my day, the “real me” can learn to co-exist with the me I have to be at this phase in life. 😉

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