Friends, today I am introducing you to a newly published book that offers comfort and encouragement to the woman who never stops.
Are you a busybody? Are you one of those people who always needs to get things done? If you are a doer, a go-getter, a non-stop mover, then there’s a name for you: Martha.
For those who don’t know who this “Martha” is, she is purposefully placed in the Biblical story about Mary and Martha, two sisters who hosted Jesus for dinner and something interesting transpired…
The story depicts two very different personalities between the two sisters and in each of them, we can see much of ourselves. Read it below and see who resonates most with you. I just love that God chose to include this tidbit in His Word because it shows just how much He gets us girls…
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“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 10:38-42 (NIV)
“Martha” is depicted in this story as the one who is busy preparing the meal, hosting, serving, staying busy in the kitchen getting everything done while Mary is at the feet of Jesus, remaining in what seems to be a peaceful, still state, soaking in the love of Jesus- not a care in the world, except for being in His presence. Then Martha loses it. (Ahem) She complains to Jesus about Mary being a loaf and not helping her while she is doing allthethings. But then Jesus has a profound response:
“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.”
Ouch. And, yeah. And, wow. And, yikes. And, huh.
Many women are like Martha. Marthas are the ‘doers’, the ones who are always busy with getting allthethings done, feeling the weight of their responsibilities as they face each day with “to do” lists a mile long that they create with a relentless fervor. Marthas don’t sit still very well, they rather operate under a constant drive to be productive- and this zeal is often tied to their self-worth. When they accomplish things, when they have all those tasks checked off, when they believe they are working as hard as they can- there is an internal satisfaction, assurance, and fulfillment that comes with their labor. Marthas tend to put a condition on their actions, with a need to earn their rest, earn their worth, earn their joy, earn their peace, and sometimes, Marthas work hard to earn…
God’s acceptance and love.
This is where Katie Reid’s book comes in to help us Marthas understand the good news about being a Martha. “Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Likes To Get Things Done.” is a GOD-SEND for all of us Marthas!
And yes, there is good news about being a Martha!
God designed us all in unique ways, and there is praise for both the Marys and Marthas out there. Each of these character portraits is important and worthy in God’s eyes. Every Mary has a purpose and every Martha does too.
“Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done” is for all the Marthas out there who may need to soak in some comforting truths about who we are, how we are, and why we are…
And the best part? God meets us right in our busyness and walks hand in hand through every fretful, frenzied step – knowing full well what we are made of and how we operate. No longer do we need to feel the pull of trying to change who we are, but rather, we can embrace our God-given design and grow in the assurance of His love, His gift of grace, and His purpose for our Martha lives. The critical element in finding peace in our frenzied pace is not based on our checklists, but rather, it is rooted in the what we can’t work for, earn, or accomplish…
It is the unchanging, unconditional gift of God’s grace through Christ, who frees us from the impossible journey toward ‘perfect’ and settles us on our tumultuous gritty often grueling path to find soul-restorative rest in His love.
Katie reaches deep into our Martha hearts with relatable descriptions and nourishing encouragement in how we can not only embrace our Martha gifts but also how we can develop a tender approach to our design. Most importantly, we are reminded that it is not by works we are saved and loved by our Heavenly Father, but it is by grace- a gift we freely receive with no merit, no condition, no checklist to get done.
As Katie writes in her book, “This whole Martha and Mary thing is more than a matter of personality. It’s bigger than being type A or B. Whether you are uptight or laid back, driven or passive, a to-do list gal or a go-with-the-flow lady, you are loved. Regardless of your bent, you face a choice: what to do with the love given and the grace extended to you from your Father, through Christ. Will you live as though it’s all up to you, or will you choose to receive your share of the inheritance? Choosing the good part is dependent on knowing that it’s good. When you understand the uninhibited love of your Father and the benefits of being a daughter, how can you not choose the better way of resting in who you are in light of who He is?” (Page 97)
I love SO many nuggets of wisdom Katie shares in her book. I earmarked several pages to revisit because they spoke to my heart with a rich blend of mercy and hope for a Martha like me. She offers guidance and insight that resonates with so much of my life as a Martha. I loved how she depicts the struggles of balance with the two extremes screaming at us in how we should be living our over-scheduled busy lives to the fullest versus how we should be simplifying our packed schedules and slowing down to de-stress and find rest with less.
“One camp shouts “Hustle!” Another camp whispers “Hush.” And we are threatened with the reality of burnout or boredom, depending on which camp we choose to pitch our tents in.
Just do it! Just say no.
What’s a woman supposed to do (or not do)?
Our heads spin; our resolve wanes. We get rope burn between the yank and tug of these conflicting messages. We feel both the angst and privilege of being women in this day and age.” (Page 110/111)
And we all strive for the elusive “Balance” between the two. As Marthas, this can be most difficult to do. I love how Katie explains it and guides our hearts…
“When we realize the aim isn’t to score a perfect ten on the balance beam of life, the quest becomes less about finagling and more about focusing on the tasks at hand. We step off the ladder of self-reliance and ask Him to help us be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us. We trade in contention for contentment and lean into His sufficiency. We rest in His ability to sustain us and our schedules too.” (Page 113/114)
What comforted me most about her wise perspective is that even us ‘doers’ need to rest and in doing so, we “exercise faith that we will be taken care of in the absence of our “doing.” (Page 138) We trust that God knows our needs and that means both our need to be productive and our need to rest. Trusting that He will provide while we take our time-out is the key to allowing ourselves to rest. And just like Katie, I have learned this important lesson in faith and the benefit of taking time to rest is often our ability to be more productive when we are refreshed and restored! ???? (win/win)
There is a wealth of wisdom Katie unpacks in this incredible book along with a helpful scripture study at the end to solidify deeper into our hearts the good news that reveals who we are in Christ and the unfailing love of God who designed us Marthas. I will continue to refer to this book often because, like any Martha, I will have my checklists handy and my study guide out to take in as MUCH as I possibly can from another Martha’s Godly guidance in living my Martha life with both grace and peace.
If you are one who constantly strives to go and do allthethings, because that is how you are naturally wired, THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ. Whether you are a seasoned Christian or someone who is simply interested in learning about God and this gift of grace we are talking about…
Katie will speak to your heart and in her genuine and honest revelations, she will meet you exactly where you’re at and lift and encourage and advise you from there. Promise.
You are loved as you are, where you are, and your purpose whether as a Mary or a Martha is secure and sacred in your heart, not in your work or lack thereof.
For all you Marthas who still struggle with balance and busyness, and feel the tension between needing to do allthethings and wanting the freedom to trust in allowing yourself room to rest- Let me offer you this hope from the woman who knows exactly what you are going through:
“Jesus loves you- even when you are short-fused, whether or not you have a quiet time, and even in the midst of tackling your to-do list.
Let’s stop discounting our God-given design. Let’s discover the secret to living seated within as our works express gratitude for what is ours in Christ. Then let’s rise and walk in newfound freedom as we embrace a love that doesn’t turn away.
May these words give way to fresh revelation of timeless truth. May worry turn to worship and may striving turn to settledness as we receive the One who wove us wonderfully together, just as He did with Martha.” (Page 164)
Can I get an Amen on that?
You can check out Katie’s book, “Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done.” pretty much everywhere, like HERE on Amazon, Target, and Barnes and Noble. I’m honored and thoroughly blessed to have been given a copy to write this review.
lisa thomson says
This is very interesting, Chris! I like how Martha tried to call out Mary but had no success with Jesus 🙂 Martha resented her own desire to doallthethings. Questioning why we are being a Martha and if we’re happy with it seems to be important here, too. If you love being a Martha then leave Mary alone to her own ways haha. Lovely post today, Chris. I’ll be looking into this book!
It’s such a relevant issue even today, isn’t it? I love this scripture so much because it speaks to ME. And I know it speaks to other Marthas too. 🙂 Thanks for reading and your interest in the book, my friend!
Alison Hector says
I needed this, Chris. I’m a dyed in the wool Martha. Just today as I took a few minutes to chill out on the patio, I had to recognize and shut down the little voice in my head that was judging me for just sitting and doing nothing. How crazy is that? It truly is a work of grace and love on God’s part to continue to draw us to Himself in spite of our Martha-ness. So grateful!
I love that phrase, Alison! “Dyed in the wool Martha”- YES. And girl, I have been SO THERE with your patio experience. It’s SO hard for me to relax and do NOTHING. Just yesterday, for the first time all summer, my girl and I watched an entire season of Parenthood for HOURS… I was twitchy and anxious and uncomfortable, but kept pushing through those whispers of “Get stuff done!” and it was so worth it. 🙂
My Inner Chick says
I want to be the woman at his feet
listening. praying. savoring. reading. learning.
That is exactly how I want to live!!!
This is the reason that my favorite verse is:
Be still and
that I am GOD.
luv U. xxxx
That is MY FAVORITE VERSE TOO!
It calms me. Comforts me. Allows me to be still and stop stirring.
I love that we both love it. <3