Are You Mary or Martha?

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe throwing parties is fun for you. Maybe you enjoy the details. Maybe you get caught up in them. Maybe you plan your friends’ parties for fun. Maybe you like everything to be just so. Maybe you’re like Martha.

You know the one I’m talking about. Martha. She flitted about, making sure things were just so while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus.

Fast forward to 2014 when our family moved into a one-bedroom camphouse. We’ve been here just over a year now. Our real dishes are stored. Our baking dishes? Also stored. We don’t have closets. We don’t have many cabinets. My usual clutter-free home seems cluttered due to lack of storage. (I have a point, I promise.) There isn’t much way to get anything just so.

Living in this camphouse has not made me want to entertain less. It has not lessened my desire to host people in our home, have parties, have friends over for supper, or have play dates. It has, however, taught me to shift my focus–to be more like Mary. Not all my attention is on decor, details, perfect spaces. I’m able to enjoy our guests, to just sit on the couch and talk. I find myself feeling full and recharged when people leave, as though I spent quality time with them. I don’t feel exhausted, like all I did was rearrange food and make sure things appeared nice.

Of course, when we move into our new home, I will want to entertain, have people over, enjoy meals, parties, and worship together in our new space. I will want to get out my good dishes (you know, the ones that color coordinate for any–and every–event) and serve real food. But I will also want to spend quality time with our guests. To make time to truly sit with them, enjoy, and take it all in.

Being in this camphouse has taught me how to balance between Mary and Martha. How to be hospitable without it overtaking the reason our friends are here in the first place. It’s taught me to enjoy the time in the kitchen or around the grill while we all cook, prepare, and visit. It’s taught me the difference in being part of the visit and being preoccupied with the details of the visit.

I am so looking forward to hosting in our new home. Yesterday, I shared on social media about the prayer time God led me through in the stillness and quiet of our new space.

Prayer Time copy

So much of my prayer in the main space revolved around hosting, worshiping, and sharing that space with others. God directed my heart through the lessons learned here in this camphouse as I prayed. He charged me with using my giftings but remembering what He’s taught me in this time. I can’t wait to experience life in our new home! 

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