Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feast Day

Today is the feast day of the patron saint of this blog, St. Martha. The first reading from Mass is one of my favorites, Proverbs 31, the wife of noble character. It was interesting to read it as an engaged woman this time and see how it connected to Jesus's encounter with Martha in Luke 10. When I've talked to married women and read books that refer to Proverbs 31oftentimes the feeling is of frustration. This capable wife is like superwoman; she has a successful career, takes care of her children, servants, the poor, and makes her husband look good. It seems like she never sleeps. In the real world, women are always battling that balance between career and family, and even if they don't work outside the home, struggle with trying to keep it all together. So then why would this chapter be paired with the story of Martha, who is trying to do the same thing, and Jesus admonishes her for it?

As always I have to remember what is the heart behind what I do, is it to honor God or myself? When Martha complains to Jesus about her sister, it's really about her and her needs not being met (v.40); she's so distracted with busyness that she forgets what all her tasks were supposed to be about. I was reminded of this on Monday. I had an opportunity to do some work out of town this and next week and was scrambling to find the time to prepare for it as the new school year is quickly approaching and I have two new classrooms to set up, along with other responsibilities at home. This job ended up being cancelled and it frustrated me a little; it's work I enjoy doing that would help give me more experience in some future career goals, and of course it's extra money. But now I'm so glad I didn't have to do it. There is almost no way that I could have gotten all my work done at school and home and stay sane. These next few months of moving twice, starting a new job, and getting married are going to require me to spend more time than ever at the feet of Jesus. And verse 30 at the end of Proverbs 31 gets to the heart of this capable wife's work-"...but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." That is why she does it all, where she gets her energy and motivation, why she is beloved by her family.

It's not all about me.

Friday, July 2, 2010


In my short-lived first blog I did a post about the crazy-growing plant in my living room. Being a science teacher and my mother's daughter, I am pretty observant of the natural life around me (see previous posts), that and it's summer and I'm at home more often to pay attention. My garage apartment becomes a mini greenhouse in the summer because I don't run the AC often due to being cheap (I am also my father's daughter) and I get cold so easily. So the warm temperature and lots of windows makes my plants very happy. But instead of just growing taller it's starting sprout vines along the floor. My pictures don't do it justice. Something that I've noticed though is that as new leaves are created I have to remove a few dead yellow ones. They don't all make it, because in order for the plant to stay alive and have enough nutrients it has to get rid of what's draining it of available resources.

John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit He prunes to make it bear more fruit."

A friend of mine told me yesterday that being married is like having a mirror in front of you all the time, your spouse reflects back everything about you, good and bad. In my single years I prayed that God would put me in a relationship if that is what would make me more holy, and I got what I wanted. My fiance and I recently spent 6 days traveling together and I learned a lot about my day-to-day selfish tendencies. Yesterday we weren't even together but after reflecting on a phone conversation we'd had I was humbled yet again by the sacrifices he is making for us and our future while I still often live in single-mode thinking of myself.

Just as I prune my plant to make it grow healthier and stronger, God is pruning my heart to prepare me for my upcoming marriage.