Denise's Reviews > Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
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Feb 13, 08

Read in February, 2008

Lines that I loved from this book:

Have you ever tried to do it all? I have, I do, and I probably always will. It’s not only in my nature; it’s also in my job description – and yours, too. Being a woman requires more stamina, more creativity, and more wisdom than I ever dreamed as a young girl. And that’s not just for today’s busy women. It has always been the case.

With everything still left to do, there sits little Mary, being quite contrary, crashing a party meant only for men. But worse, she seems oblivious to all of Martha’s gesturing from the hall. Martha tries clearing her throat. She even resorts to her most effective tool: the “evil eye,” famous for stopping grown men in their tracks. But nothing she does has any effect on her baby sister. Mary only has eyes for Jesus.

It isn’t “more” he requires of us. In fact, it may be less.

I find it interesting that when Jesus corrected Martha, he didn’t say, “Why can’t you be more like your sister, Mary?” He knew Martha would never be Mary, and Mary would never be Martha.

We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important.

It is impossible to be in the presence of Jesus and not be changed.

Busyness, by itself, breeds distraction.

Martha opened her home to Jesus, but that doesn’t automatically mean she opened her heart. In her eagerness to serve Jesus, she almost missed the opportunity to know Jesus.

Martha is doing all the work while Mary basks in all the glory.

Fair or not fair. Equal or unequal. Just or unjust. We weight it all. And if we’re not careful, our view of the world can become distorted. Every little word can take on a hidden meaning. Each action can turn into a personal attack.

When we look for injustice, we usually find it. And when we expect life to always be fair, we inevitably set ourselves up for a big disappointment.

When Jesus met Martha that day in Bethany, she was “distracted.” That’s where Satan usually begins. He knows if we’re overly worried and bogged down by duties, chances are good our hearts will not hear the Savior’s call to come.

I throw pity parties fairly regularly. Trouble is, no one wants to come. Self-pity is a lonely occupation.

Five Strategies for Fighting Discouragement: Allow for rest stops, Get a new point of view, Have patience, Mingle, Set the timer.

I wonder how the Father feels when we assume the worst about him rather than the best. Does his heart hurt like mine when we question his love?

When you have questions, there is no better place to go than to the One who has the answers.

Worry doesn’t prevent bad things from happening. In fact, it may prevent us from leading the full lives God intends us to live.

A life filled with fear has little room left for faith.

There is nothing too big, nothing too small, that we cannot bring to the heart of our Father.

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.

Will we pray? Or will be worry? We really can’t do both.

Control your imagination. Be realistic about the problems you face. Try to live in the “here and now” notin the “what might be.”

Nothing is harder to bear than a burden we’re not called to carry. While God does ask us to bear one another’s burdens, he has not asked us to step in and do what people are not willing to do themselves. And while there are many needs, God has not asked us to meet every one.

The thought of joining Jesus never occurred to her because it simply wasn’t allowed. But she loved Jesus. I think she knew she was entertaining the Messiah. And so Martha showed her devotion by giving the gift she knew best.

The problem is, contrary to popular belief, we can’t do it all. We’re not even supposed to try.

It was good. Perhaps it was even important. But it wasn’t my plan for you.

If you struggle to stay at his feet, ask the Lord to reveal what is hindering you.

I cannot meet every need, but I can respond in obedience to the need the Spirit lays on my heart. I cannot carry every load, but I can carry the load God has for me.

Hindu mathematicians calculate it takes 6.8 million rotations through reincarnation for the good and evil in us to finally balance out so that we can receive the ultimate spiritual level of nirvana.

Before salvation, Satan tells us we’re just fine. We don’t need a savior. But after we’re saved, the Accuser points his bony finger at us and tells me we’re no good. We don’t deserve a savior.

The trouble with you is this: You have been thinking of the quiet time, of the Bible study and prayer time, as a factor in your own spiritual progress, but you have forgotten that this hour means something to Me also.

The Hebrew word for Bible is mikra, which means “the calling out of God.”

It’s not striving to know God, but realizing that our Father longs to know us. And it’s free to know God, but realizing that our Father longs to know us. And it’s free for the taking – at least for you and me. But we must never forget – it cost Jesus his very life.

We’ve been filled with great treasure for one purpose: to be spilled.

Don’t look at people, we might protest. Look at Jesus. But while that may be true, the sobering truth remains: Whether we like it or not, we’re the only Jesus some will ever see. Dwight L. Moody put it this way: “ Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian.”

Apple trees bear apples. Plum trees bear plums. If we call ourselves Christians, then our lives should be unmistakably and obviously Christlike.

If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices – Mother Teresa

A need is not necessarily a call – and no one is called to do everything.

They concentrated on changing lives, not changing laws.

One life truly can make a difference. Your life plus my life makes two.

We will all have trials. The question is not when the pressure will come, but where the pressure will lie. Will it come between us and the Lord? Or will it press us ever closer to His breast?

We are as intimate with God as we choose to be. The only limitations of God’s presence in our lives are the limits we ourselves set – the excuses we set up to avoid being filled to the measure with God.

I’m learning how to leave the Kitchen and head for the Living Room where Jesus waits, because that’s where I’ll find everything I need and everything I want.

We are not pawns on some celestial chessboard, expendable and unimportant. We are cherished and highly loved.

God’s ways are not our ways, but his character is still dependable.

If you are struggling to trust God, it may be because you don’t really know God.

Never put a period where God puts a comma. Don’t put a comma where God puts a period.

What you do with yourself between the last time you heard from God and the next time you hear from God is the ongoing challenge of a life of faith.

Martha thought she had value because she was productive. Jesus wanted her to learn she had value simply because she was his.

I pray frequently that I’ll hear His voice more often and more clearly. When I don’t, I know He hasn’t stopped speaking; rather, I have stopped listening.

‘Each one of us acts as an Antichrist’, he said, ‘whenever we hear the gospel and don’t do it.’

The secret to happiness lies not in getting what you want, but in wanting what you have.

Dark minds do dark things.

If we find ourselves becoming critical of other people. We should stop examining them, and start examining ourselves.

The holy is here within us, waiting to pour out of us, and … it’s much more accessible than we ever would have thought. It’s grace with blisters; it’s redemption in overdrive.

God provides the holy, and I provide the sweat. That’s part of what it means to balance work and worship. It’s what we were made for.

The chosen day is not as important as the chosen purpose.

First, the Sabbath needs to be different, set apart; it has to contrast noticeably with the other six days.

The purpose of hospitality is to open your arms to others, not to impress them. It’s better to keep things simple and warm than to go overboard.

Our lives should be a refuge for the hurting, not a country club for the comfortable.

Take my struggles and use them for your glory. But whatever you do, please don’t leave me the same. Change me.

If we want to be like Jesus, we won’t be able to escape the refining process.

We all want a testimony, but we’d rather skip the test that gives us one.

“Give yourself fully to God,” writes Mother Teresa in Life in the Spirit. “He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your own weakness.”
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