In Balance, Busyness, and Not Doing It All, I wrote a chapter about Mary and Martha, and a chapter about To Do Lists. The tension between being all to everyone and being who God created us to be, in relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, is a real battle. I’m excited a modern-day Martha cares for others just like her, real moms women, and wrote a book about it! My friend Katie Reid releases her first book, Made Like Martha, on July 10 and I’m excited to share an interview with her, along with a give away! Read more to find out details about the book and the giveaway.
What drew you to write a book about the story of Mary and Martha? What is unique about your interpretation of this story?
If Martha had a fan club, I would be president of it. I so relate to Martha and her ultra- responsible ways. For years, this passage in Luke 10 bothered me. If nobody works, nobody eats, right? I really wanted Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help her sister out. But upon closer examination, I realized how much Jesus loved Martha and wanted her to know that too. He wasn’t asking her to neglect her responsibilities but to trust Him to care for her.
Made Like Martha is written for those who love checking things off their to-do lists and who may feel some angst when they read this account in Luke. It is written from the perspective of a doer for other doers (although Mary-types are enjoying it too…it is helping them understand their Martha-friends better).
How can we think of Jesus’s words to Martha as an invitation rather than as a criticism?
I think this goes back to what we believe about Jesus. He wasn’t out there pummeling people with judgment on earth (although He had every right to do that), He led with kindness and compassion without compromising the truth. He didn’t mince words with Martha, but He demonstrated care and concern by inviting her to choose what was better, as Mary had. Again He wasn’t saying that Mary was better than her, simply that she had chosen what was better in this instance.
Jesus was inviting Martha to exchange her striving for settledness, because that was good for her. He wasn’t asking her to become someone else or someone more, but to remember who He was and who she was in light of Him.
On a practical level, how can we sit at Jesus’s feet even as we go about our busy days and fulfill our God-given call to accomplish things? In other words, what does it look like to rest even as we get things done?
When you are convinced that you are a beloved daughter of a good and caring Father, a security and calmness fills your heart. This isn’t something you muster up, but something we ask God to help us grasp.
There is value in having down time and quiet time, but many of us don’t know how to experience a sense of calm in the midst of our chaotic lives. I believe our soul can be at rest even when our hands are busy, as we remember that Jesus is not a guest to impress, but family to enjoy. He resides within us, He doesn’t leave when our quiet time ends.
As a modern Martha who has five children, what advice do you have for navigating your to-do list when it comes to parenting?
When I got married I typed up a nine-page wedding agenda, so everything would run smoothly, but five children later, my to-do list and directives are shorter—they have to be for our sanity. With each child, I have chilled out more (although I am still a get it done gal). When you realize how much is out of your control, you either fight for it (and drive yourself and everyone else crazy) or you learn to go with the flow better.
We are a work in process for sure but there are several things that help us stay afloat (but mostly Jesus). We are busy but we try not to have each child do more than one or two extra- curricular activities during a season. We want them to try new things but not wear themselves out either. We also try to protect one day each week (usually Sundays) where we don’t do much after church but nap, hang out, read books, and play outside. This down time helps us recharge for the rest of the week.
We also believe in the power of delegation. Our family is a team, we each do our part to keep things keep moving. When one member is really busy, we try to lighten that person’s load so they are freed to focus on what they need to get done.
I think it’s important for busy moms to focus on what they have accomplished instead of all there is left to do. There will always be more to get done, but as we celebrate what we and our children have completed it helps foster gratitude instead of stress.
KATIE M. REID is a firstborn overachiever and a modern-day Martha. As an avid blogger at katiemreid.com, Katie provides posts, articles, letters, and other resources for try-hard women on an ongoing basis. She encourages others to unwind in God’s presence—through her writing, as well as through her speaking—as they find grace in the unraveling life. Katie has published articles with HuffPost, Focus on the Family, iBelieve, Crosswalk, MOPS, (in)courage, God-sized Dreams, Inspiring Families, and many other websites. She is also a contributing writer for iBelieve.com and Lightworkers.com and has been syndicated on ForEveryMom.com. Katie is a devoted wife of a youth pastor and a homeschooling mother of five children, who resides in the middle of Michigan.
Enter a drawing for one giveaway of Made By Martha by commenting below with one way you relate to Martha or struggle with being the Git-R-Done girl! We’ll have a drawing on Friday, July 13!