Mary in a Martha World: Busyness – the 21st century mom’s golden calf

I actually wrote this yesterday, October 7th, and then read the gospel reading for yesterday – Luke 10:38-42:
     Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;  one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

To moms today, even stay-at-home-moms, we seem to strive for busyness.  It almost becomes a competition – “I have only been home 30 minutes all day, had time for one potty break, and ate one Oreo for lunch.”  And the rebuttal – “Oh yeah?  Well I only slept one hour last night, been on the run since 4:15am, and won’t even be able to check the 1,017 text messages I got today until 10:26pm when my last kid finishes his homework and I can finally brush my hair!”  I admit it, I’ve said something similar to both of those!

Does living in chaos make us better moms?  On the contrary, we set the tone for our homes!  Wondering why your 10 year old can’t focus on what you’re telling her for more than 30 seconds?  You’re fostering a sense of chaos in your home.  Just like having piles of papers (even if they ARE artwork that Johnnie made in school) seems to breed more clutter, so, too, does our chicken-with-it’s-head-cut-off schedule breed the opposite of the peaceful, calm, warm, and welcoming home we want for our husbands and children.

Somehow busyness makes us feel more important, too; seemingly equal to how worthy we are.  I know that I feel a constant need to prove, by showing how busy I am, that there is a need for a homemaker and that it’s a valuable position to have.  But that’s just appearances.  Wouldn’t our role as keepers of the home be more valuable if we were able to provide a reprieve for our families?  When they come home from the demands of work and school, the constant requests for them to do more, more, more, more, isn’t that what they deserve to retreat to?

The evil one loves to try to keep us busy with good things, too!  After all, if you are so busy running off music for the choir, finding a craft for your religious ed class, serving on several committees as well as the council at your children’s schools, how much time are you going to have to spend with God in prayer, in scripture, in Adoration? (hear me out here, not saying we shouldn’t be involved, but we need to learn to say no)

Just like Martha in today’s gospel reading, Jesus is telling us to stop with the busy work and sit down with Him, rest in His presence, lean up against Him and feel His heartbeat.  I’m making a move today to simplify my schedule, to do whatever it takes to spend time with Him, my first and purest Love.  How about you?


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