Thursday, December 18, 2014

What I told my Husband I Would Not do this Christmas

You know that crazy lady at the party who needs to stop cleaning up and just needs to sit down with a drink and enjoy herself? Well, that’s me. I am the mom who is already picking up the wrapping paper before people have finished opening up presents. I am the one who neatly lines up the bows in a row and has each person’s presents designated to a certain area. I am the lady who will pick up your drink and put a coaster under it, and yes, when I am not picking up used napkins and crumbs, you can find me in the kitchen.  

When it comes to family gatherings, I tend to be just like Martha. No, not Martha Stewart, Martha from the Bible. 

In Luke 10:38-42 we learn about two sisters named Martha and Mary. They both loved Jesus and they invited Him over for dinner. Martha spent the entire visit in the kitchen preparing for a big feast and Mary spent the entire visit at the feet of Jesus listening and soaking in His every word. This made Martha quite upset, so she went to Jesus and asked Him to get Mary to help her. 

Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). 

I can only imagine how well that went over with Martha! It reminds me of the time my husband came into the kitchen and said “you’re done in here”. “All I want is for you to relax, have fun, and enjoy this special time, but you’re so busy and stressed that you’re missing everything”. It has taken numerous conversations like that to get me to finally understand that I need to make a change. I don't want to be so caught up in the cooking and cleaning that I forget what is most important.

What Jesus is saying to Martha, is that there is nothing wrong with cleaning, cooking, organizing, and keeping house; in fact those are very important tasks that have to be completed. It is just that in the moment, Martha’s priorities were mixed up. 

Martha put cooking in the kitchen as a higher priority than sitting next to Jesus and listening to His teachings. Martha felt like she was serving Jesus by cooking for Him; however, it would have been better for her to sit with Jesus and fellowship with Him. 

Likewise, when I get overwhelmed with the tasks of hospitality, I tend to focus all my energy on making sure the food, the house, and the tiny details are taken care of, and then end up neglecting my family and missing out on the precious opportunity to love, laugh, teach, talk and make memories. 

This Christmas, I am making it a priority to get as much meal preparation, cleaning, and organizing done ahead of time, that way I can be fully in the moment with my family. I am also promising my husband that I will let it go when things get messy or don’t go as planned. I will let my husband help more, and I will focus on what is really important.

Every minute my husband and I spend together, and that my husband and I spend with our son, is an opportunity to love one another with Christ like love. We need this time together, just like we need to spend time with Jesus. Let us remember to not get so caught up in taking care of the details of homemaking and hospitality that we forget to spend precious time with our family and with God.

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