Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mary and Martha: An Opinion

Let me start by stating the obvious: I am not a Bible Scholar. I do not know the original languages of the Bible. My opinion I state here is just that: an opinion. And possibly not even a very well educated one. If you are still interested in what I have to say, read on. Otherwise, come back tomorrow when I post something funny.

You know what we all say: Martha was a type A, control freak, do-er, can rest kind of person, while Mary was the personable, relational, right priority kind of person. What if we are wrong?

What if, just what if, Martha was not rushing around while Jesus visited because she was so concerned with having the perfect house and nothing out of place, but because she was, wait for it, a procrastinator with a messy house who was unprepared for a visitor and was embarrased by the state of the nation so to speak and had to quick tidy up when Jesus showed up at the door.

Think about it: if her house was really all Martha Stewart all the time, when Christ came to call she would have just sat down with him for a nice glass of homemade wine. But no. He knocked on the door and I'm wondering if her first thought was "rats! I knew I shouldn't have sat down and read that scroll last night. I should have been putting a pot of soup on to cook and folding my laundry. Wait Jesus, don't come in here yet. You just stay in the living room while I quick go and hide the dirty dishes and wipe up the toilet seat."

Do you see this as a possibility? If I wasn't such a procrastinator my house would always be ready for visitors so I could truly sit and relax without apologies and regrets. As it is my place isn't bad. You really could drop in and I wouldn't die of humiliation. I may not be wearing makeup, but you could certainly find the couch and there would be a clean cup for your coffee. But still, I do have a whole lot of "oh there will be time for that tomorrow" and then the unexpected happens and I'm cooked and wishing I had done better.

I would love to say, Lord, that I'm all Mary and that is why I just sit and visit and be that kind of hospitable. I certainly am not like Martha the way we normally think of her. I am much more of an unprepared last minute Martha, unready for your appearance. Work diligence into my heart Lord. Help me to be an 'ahead thinker' so that I am not caught off guard when opportunities to serve You and others arrives.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How do you mean this?

One of my favourite hymns of all time is "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing". You know this hymn right? "O for a Thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise". Now we sing a new song at church with the same phrase in the chorus. Either way, it gets me every time. But I have recently learned that I don't think it means what others think it means.

Months ago when we sang it, our pastor commented that we would love to have a thousand tongues singing God's praise and there are at least two ways to get there: evangelism and having babies (that's a fairly loose paraphrase but I have the meaning right). Then recently our worship leader said a similar thing, wishing that we had thousands upon thousands of people filling our building singing God's praises (loosely paraphrased again).

I had NEVER thought of it that way.

Oh, I know. You are desperately wanting to know how I did think of it. I told my husband assuming that at least he had the same idea in mind, but alas, he was seeing it as I mentioned above.

Instead of seeing it as desiring for 1000 people all with one tongue each, I ALWAYS thought it meant "O how I wish I had 1000 tongues. Maybe then I'd have the ability to sing your praise as forcefully and completely and all encompassingly as I want". Do you see what I mean? How else do I explain this?

It's like wishing you had a bottomless bank account so you could buy your loved one a cottage in the Muskokas...every year.

Or wishing you could kiss your husband hard enough

Or hug your baby tight enough

to convey just how much you love them.

As another great hymn says "Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine demands my life, my soul, my all".

It is never enough. I sing my heart out. I worship in spirit and truth as much as I'm able and yet it doesn't get it out. In my chest at all times is a weight, a burden to express my love of God waiting to be expressed. If I could just get it out. If I could just sing louder, higher, stronger, prettier,....oh if I only had 1000 tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise...maybe then I would feel like I had expressed my love for Him.

And the problem then becomes that as I feel like I have failed in completely expressing myself, I feel that I am actually lacking in love, or breaking fellowship with the Father, or growing complacent. Like unrequited love. He loves me so greatly and if I cannot return and convey a similar affection I worry He will take it as a sign that I do not desire to be His. Of course that is much more Shakespearean thinking than Scriptural, but the weight is the same.

"Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure the saints' and angels' song."

I suppose it can't really be done. But oh how I intend to keep on trying.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


If you intend to live an easy, quiet life, you ought not to pay attention at church. Or to your friends blogs. Or to your Bible. Or to the things your husband prays for you. Because when you pay attention to those things you either have to smarten up and make the change or you just feel junky trying to ignore the conviction in your heart.

Here is what I heard on Sunday (and has come up in many other forms during this week--yes, Lord, I'm listening) "What you love the most will define you". Put another way, "When others look at your life can they tell that you love Jesus the most? Over everything?"

Well well. Not so much. I'm trying to think about what people would say "defines" me. And as I'm thinking of their answers my eyes wander over to my "About Me" paragraphin my side bar and it would appear they are right. "7 Kids, Fantastic Husband". Yup. That's me. At my old blog I had something more spiritual as my profile thing and I was thinking I should change it because it sounded fake and didn't really "sum me up" the way I wanted.

What do I want? How do I want to be known? *I* know that I have 7 kids and a fantastic husband and a crazily happy marriage because of my love for Jesus and His for my family. *I* know that without Him my kids would number far fewer and they wouldn't be as nice and my husband and I would have just celebrated our 12th anniversary with a "well, at least we haven't killed each other yet" comment.

But. BUT does anyone else see that? I do think they would have in the past. People still come up to my parents, 12 years later, saying that my wedding was the most Christ-centered, God-glorifying wedding they'd ever been to. We started out with the right focus. And even up until the last couple years I might have been able to say "yes, I love Christ most and my life is defined by that love".



Oh Lord, I have wandered far away. Restore in me my first love. Let it be obvious to those who watch my life and see my family that You are the Cornerstone. You are the Center. I'm sorry that I get so caught up in Your gifts that I forget to look at You. I want Your Face, not Your Hands. Bring me back to the start Lord. There is no way apart from that.

Now. How to word my new "About Me"...I'll come back to that.

Heard at my house

Setting: Driving in the car to finally get our Abeka

Players: My 4yo son C and my 7yo daughter A

C: A, I love you, and some day I think I'll marry you.

A: You can't. I'm WAY too old for you. And besides, I'm your sister.

C: Well, then who can I marry?

A: Not a sister.

C: Fine. I'll marry cousin C.

A: No. She's still related. And she's even older than I am.

C: But I don't know who to marry. It has to be a girl and it has to be a Christian. Who do I know like that?

Me: Don't worry about it. As you get older and it is time to start thinking about it Daddy and I will pray with you that the Lord will show you just the right girl to marry.

C: But do we know any girls that are Christians that I'm not related to?

Me: Well, there is always little K. She's a girl and she's a Christian.

A: Yah, and she's younger than you.

C: Okay then. That's it. When I get older I'll marry K.

Me: sigh. If only it was that easy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

O Barbara Where Art Thou

Sorry for the dearth of blog posts around here. I'd love to say it is because I've been busy playing with my children outside and gardening and welcoming the new neighbours to our block. Sadly no. I've just been watching the summer scamper through my life. I keep saying "In July I'm going to organize my units for the fall and in August I'll buy whatever last little bit of stuff I need to fill in the gaps."

Guess what. IT IS AUGUST!!! Over half way through in fact. I had kind of meant to start school on Monday (as in the 25th) but since all of my books are in boxes waiting for life to regain some normalcy after our getting new carpet (hurray! I have the best hubby in the world!) that start date might get pushed back a bit.

Still, I am intended on becoming a whole lot more regular around here. I'm slowly moving over all my old posts so if you have a favourite oldie you may find it in my archives.

The sadest part about moving over here though is that I can't (read: don't know how) to move over all your comments and that for me is the best part. So I may need to cut and paste a bit of what you've said over the years in to a Word Document just for my own pleasure.

See you soon. I promise!