God, husband, child, family, church, home. If you asked me to list my priorities beginning with the most important, I would rattle off a list that looks something like that one. Maybe I would include some other things. But I would definitely tell you, “God first.” Or I might say something like, “God isn’t just at the top of my list, He is within my list. Everything I do is for the purpose of glorifying God.”
But is that true? Ever since I had Nora, spending time with the Lord has felt so different. My mind has so much trouble focusing. My prayer time looks something like this:
“Thank You, Jesus, for this day.” Why is Nora fussing? Maybe I’ll try her pacifier. Okay, now she’s happy. Continue.
“Please be with me today as I–” Nora, please stop crying. Are her feet cold? Hold on, let me get some socks. Okay, continue.
“Lord, please be with Matthew today as he works. Let him be a blessing today, and give him patience at work…” I should probably pray while I unload the dishwasher, to save time.
“Father, I ask that you would continue to keep us healthy. Thank you for keeping Nora healthy and safe–“ Oh, this glass has a lipstick stain. Gross. I’ll just slip this back in the sink…
“Sorry, Lord– where was I?”
This morning as I was squeezing in some much needed Bible-reading time between kissing Matt good-bye and feeding Eleanor, I stumbled upon Luke 10:38-42. This little ditty details the story of two sisters named Martha and Mary, who are honored to be visited by the Lord Jesus Himself. Martha was busy being the perfect hostess while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and “listened to his teaching.” Martha complains to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
Instead of telling Mary to step up her game and help out her poor Cinderella-esque sister, Jesus responds, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Boom. Mic drop. I love how He had to say her name twice to get her to listen.
As I read this passage, I felt instantly ashamed. Like Martha, I work hard to care for my family and feel annoyed when the presence of God seems far from me. I ask, “But isn’t it a good thing that I serve my family, Lord? Isn’t that what you have called me to do? Why can’t you come and meet me? I miss You.”
Luke 10:40 says, “…Martha was distracted by much serving.” Reading this simple verse made me realize that we can become distracted by doing wonderful, godly deeds like cooking dinner for our family and keeping our home tidy. We can become so wrapped up in striving for excellence as wives and mothers that we forget to sit at Jesus’ feet and be with Him and listen.
Today, I really needed to hear Jesus’ gentle words to his beloved Martha, “…one thing is necessary.” Listening to the voice of Jesus and sitting down in His presence is necessary. More important than vacuuming, more important than cleaning the kitchen. Laundry can wait. My Savior longs to sit and talk with me. He is the “good portion.”
Psalm 27:8 says, “My heart has heard You say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ My heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming.'”
You know what I have discovered is hard for a mom? Resting. Sitting down. Focusing. But oh, how I am going to try. He deserves more than my meager, tired, leftover minutes between mommy activities. He deserves more than half-hearted prayers full of half-finished sentences while I try to multi-task. He deserves more than a quick, absent-minded prayer of thanks after I’ve already taken a bite. He deserves more of my time and more of my heart.
Especially if I claim that He is at the top of my list.