I was sad to leave the "blessings" part of the name behind, as it was part of my 'why' for my business. But the idea behind Mary&Martha is that you can live in the &. This appealed to me as I have never liked to be put in a box, by others, or being forced to myself. I can always see both sides of a story or argument. I can put myself in someone else's shoes quite easily. So, if you were to try on their shoes, who would you be?
- Are you a Mary or a Martha?
I definitely identify more with Mary than Martha. I would always choose to listen to teaching over work in a kitchen. But I know that Martha was trying to do the right thing too, preparing a meal for her guests and she didn't want to do it alone, she wanted her sister to help her.
When Jesus responded, he said to Martha "you are worried and upset about many things"(Luke 10.41) and said that Mary had made the better choice. I am sure Jesus didn't turn down the meal Martha had prepared for them. Yet, he didn't want her to be worried and upset about providing hospitality. I wonder if Martha was worried and upset because she knew she was missing out? I wonder if she really would have preferred to be sitting beside her sister and listening to the words of the rabbi? I wonder if she was trying to live up to her own expectations rather than listening to what her heart was telling her? Did she not believe it was possible to do the right thing & be true to herself?
When I think about Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray, it so clearly brought to mind Mary&Martha's new catchphrase: living in the &. Her book is memoir & devotional & self-help. It cannot be just one of those. It is ALL of them and that is why I like it so much.
Bonnie, like Martha, has spent her life working hard. She had many accomplishments that reflected that hard work. She even had a book deal, and was ready to write. Except then she couldn't. And she was more than "worried and upset", she was stricken by panic attacks and other symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In her book, Bonnie prompts us to think of many things, and guides us, helping us choose the "better way". Always being a Martha, always striving, always seeking control over our own agenda, and wanting others to go along with those plans is exhausting and ultimately futile. Jesus tells us, ever so gently, that there is a better way. And how do you find it? At His feet. In His Presence.
Bonnie calls this journey "Finding Spiritual Whitespace". She calls it a journey to rest. Could there possibly be a more attractive call for women today? I don't think so!