I found this book, 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae and a homemaker's challenge to go along with it. The more I read about the idea, the more I like it. The book is about finding joy in cleaning and in life.
From the author: "It’s about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains (Mary) with some spring cleaning thrown in (Martha)."
I kept reading about Mary and Martha and wanted to remember the story. I know it has to do with Mary sitting with Jesus and anointing his feet and Martha cooking. I remember the essence of the story, but not the specifics. So...I looked it up. I love the Internet. :)
Turns out I was right. The story is told in the new testament in Luke and John. I'm going to focus on Luke 10:38-42 for this explanation of the story. These versus have the most detail of Mary and Martha's personalities.
Mary and Martha are Lazarus's sisters. You remember Lazarus right? He's the one that Jesus raised from the dead. You can read his story in John 11:1-44. But for now we will move on.
Martha was a doer. She was constantly serving others by keeping the house, cooking meals and caring for the physical needs of others. Jesus promotes this constantly to his disciples and followers. However, Jesus tells Martha that there is something that is even more important that the details of serving and that is listening and having a relationship is Jesus Christ (Luke 10:41-42).
When Jesus tells Martha that she is too worried and upset over all the details, He is speaking directly to me! I tend to get really involved in all the details to make sure every aspect of whatever we are doing runs soothly. This comes in really handy when you are preparing for a day out with an infant or making sure we know when places are open, etc. But at the same time, I get stressed out when things begin to stray from the plan. Also, I have missed out of fun, spontaneous opportunities because I have too much of a plan. This is actually something the Lord has been working on with me for a while and I am greatly improved from a few years ago (kids aid in that process greatly I think). However, I know I am a work in progress and this still speaks to me, loud and clearly.
Mary, on the other hand, was a thinker. She wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in everything he had to say. Martha thought Mary was lazy because she wasn't helping with the chores, but Jesus sides with Mary. To take time to talk with and learn from Jesus is above anything else.
31 Days to Clean is an inspiration to combine the two methods...Mary's thinking with Martha's doing. Both methods are important. Sarah Mae said it best with the tagline to her book, "Having a Martha House the Mary Way." And so the challenge begins!
*Note: I found some cool information on Mary and Martha from "Women in the Bible."