Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On being still

It's funny how marriage teaches you things about yourself.  We recently did a relationship  series at our church and one of the key things our pastor kept reinforcing was the fact that there aren't "married people problems" or "single people problems".  There are just "people problems" that are often more clearly exposed in marriage.  

There are some weeks when I'm able to get the kitchen, bathrooms, all rooms cleaned, laundry done (and put away) and have lunches packed each day (because after all, it wouldn't be very thrifty of me to eat out everyday, would it?).  And on those weeks I feel like a domestic queen. 

And then some weeks, we don't have anything for lunch on Monday and on Wednesday, when I go to move the colors from the washer to the dryer, I find the whites from 2 weeks ago that just never got put away. Or, I rotate outfits based on the pile of laundry that I didn't put away (if I'm wearing it, the pile is getting smaller right?).    And no, I still haven't washed the dishes from two nights ago (being honest here), but I'm glad you asked. 

So what about it?  Does it matter?

I'm pretty task oriented.  At almost any given point in a day, I've got a running list of things that need to be done.  Go to the grocery store.  Finish this project.  Decide what I'm wearing to this event.  Have dinner with that friend.  Send an email to this person.  Return so and so's call.  And the list goes on.

And I'm not complaining about this.  I really live a sweet life.  For example, in the 2 weeks that those whites stayed wrinkled in the dryer, I didn't miss them one single bit.  That means I had at least 2 extra weeks of clothes besides those. 

The point is, while my task-oriented is often helpful in getting things done, on weeks where we're busy it just causes me stress.  So much stress. And for what?  Nothing.  My husband is the best in the whole world.  He helps me with these things.  If he's home before me, he starts dinner.  If I ever ask him for help, he's quick to the task. 

More importantly though, my focus on getting things done causes me a lot of time to miss out on opportunities to pray.  And this is the worst thing because it puts space in between myself and God.  It's like the story of Mary and Martha.  Jesus comes to visit and Mary immediately takes a place at his feet.  She is quick to spend time with him and listen.  She is still.  She doesn't worry about the other things that need to be done because she knows that her time is far better spent with her Savior than anywhere else, preoccupied with any other thing.  And then there's Martha.  So eager to get things done.  Frantic about the to-do list and dare I say just plain old stressed out.  She's annoyed that Mary isn't helping her and yet Christ tell us that Mary is the one who has the right idea.

"'Martha, Martha,' the LORD answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:41-42

Wow.  What if I was just still?

And surprisingly enough, when I'm in the word the things still manage to get done.  I just miss all the stress since I'm not being dependent on myself.  I want to be more like Mary.  So if you come over unannounced (or sometimes even if it is announced), pardon the dust.

So, back to the marriage part of this (and if you've read enough of this post, I get it.  It's a little bit of a novel).  How in the world did it take marriage to teach me this?  Well, it didn't, really.  It's just that in marriage, I can't hide it.  Thankfully, hubs is pointing me to Christ likeness and understands the importance of being still.  And when he sees me being stressed about silly things like doing dishes, but not having a quiet time one day, he will immediately intervene and pick up the dish cloth.   Prayer is important.  Time with God matters.  It matters for me, it matters for him, and it matters for us.  The dishes and the laundry...not so much.

I'm grateful for a husband that  reminds me of this and for a God that gives grace.

And I can just hear my mom, telling me "if you think you're busy now..."



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