This may come as a shock to you, but your loved ones expectations of you look nothing like you think they do! I am still in what I would consider the early stages of both my marriage & motherhood. In my mind, my family expects me to keep the house spotless; all the laundry washed, pressed & put away; home-cooked meals on the table every night; chauffer to the many activities; be the perfect entertainer to all our friends; and do all of this while looking magnificent! Now, thanks be to God, that is not what they really expect of me but are in fact pressures I put on myself! If you asked my man what mattered most, he’d tell you that he doesn’t even notice if the house is clean, he simply wants my time & attention. My children haven’t the faintest idea if their clothes have been pressed or not, all they care about is having a mother who stops what she is doing to focus on them. And lets be honest….the entire family would be more than happy to feast on pizza every night of the week! So why put all these unnecessary stressors into my life?! I enjoy doing most of these things even if it isn’t what my family requires of me. But I have slowly begun to learn that getting myself all bent out of shape when something isn’t done “just-so” is a waste of time and energy because no one even notices but me!
However, this has been a particularly difficult struggle for me this week. I am on the board at my children’s school and I am in charge of coordinating two big events this weekend. We have a Spring Carnival Friday and we are hosting our first ever fundraiser run on Saturday. In theory, it seemed like a great idea to do them back to back, now I question my level of sanity. This entire week I have run myself ragged, making last minute preparations, sending out reminders to my volunteers, and checking the weather every five minutes. I have been guilty of spending my devotion time totally stressed out because I haven’t been able to shut my mind off from my to-do list. I have worried myself sick that things won’t go smoothly and I will let someone down.
That is when I recalled the story of the sisters, Mary & Martha in Luke chapter 10. When Jesus came into their home, one sat quietly at His feet listening as He taught. The other ran around like a mad woman making preparations for a feast & no doubt worked herself into a frenzy. Martha finally came to Jesus with her complaint of her “lazy” sister, Mary who sat doing nothing while she did all the work. Jesus replied
“My dear Martha, you are worried & upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
(Vs. 41-42 NLT)
There you have it, straight from the mouth of Jesus. There is a time for the daily tasks, mundane chores and filling commitments that must be done. However, do not miss out on life because of them. Make it a point to ask Jesus to clear your mind when you spend time with Him so that your devotion time isn’t squandered. Don’t allow yourself to become consumed with responsibilities to the point that you forget about your most important one, your family! When the house starts to look a mess, the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes and you have a dozen emails to send; your daughter comes to you and asks so sweetly, “You read this?” remember that all those worries are just details. They are not worth getting upset over.
After all, the dishes will still be there tomorrow or there is always paper plates!