After a busy but wonderful weekend helping a couple's new life begin, I am energized. So energized, in fact that today I'm taking a "Mary Day". (I'm reading a book about the Mary and Martha in the Bible: Mary sits at Jesus' feet while Martha bangs pots and pans around in the kitchen and sighs heavily during pauses in the conversation in the living room because no one is helping. She asks Jesus to help her out by chastising Mary about shirking her duties. Of course, Martha is the one who becomes the star of this teachable moment as Jesus kindly but firmly tells her that she's working too darn hard doing stuff that no one really cares much about at the moment and is missing out on many blessings by not joining into the conversation.) So, a Mary Day is a day for relaxing, reading, catching up on blogs and emails and, of course, listening to Jesus as He softly throws blessings my way.
I have always considered myself intelligent and hard-working, fun loving and a little crazy (the good kind of crazy). All true, but there's a dark side of controlling, seeking approval, resentments and not quite believing that God can handle all aspects of my life. I've developed a theory on how God goes about getting my attention. This may apply to you, too. Gather 'round people because I'm just saying this once (not really, I also tend to repeat myself due to lack of short and medium term memory loss from an old football injury--NOT from old age).
As a Martha, I have worked hard to get the approval of others to prove my worth. I resisted what I knew I needed to do which was to "wait on the Lord". But I really had no idea what that meant. Do I just sit by the door and wait? Do I get on my knees and with face looking heavenward wait to be blinded by the light? What I did not know how to do was to LISTEN to God. I'm a rather loud, talkative person and my thoughts are always spinning. I had so rarely heard the voice of God that I didn't think I'd recognize it if He spoke to me anyway.
What I know now is that when He wants my attention to help me answer a prayer I've prayed, He will first tap my shoulder, then nudge, poke, push or prod to get me to move. He'll also breathe on me, whisper, talk softly, speak and yell to get me to hear Him. When I finally listen He begins to softly pelt me with answers, one marshmallow at a time until I'm so buried in soft, fluffy sweetness that I almost go into a sugar coma. But right before I do, I begin to change into who he made me to be.
EXAMPLE: "Lord help me to change my busy and overwhelmed life into one of peace. Amen"
So, the He begins to answer my prayer because that's what He does.
1. He breathes the Holy Spirit past my face with peace and understanding but at that precise time I'm exhaling (out of frustration) and it passes me by. He taps me on the shoulder but I'm in a cleaning frenzy and can't feel it.
2. He whispers to me, "Deb, I'm here." but I can't hear because the vacuum in on. The nudge I get is brushed away thinking I've bumped into something while rounding a corner taking out the garbage.
3. He talks a little louder just as the dryer buzzer goes off and pokes me which I ignore thinking it's just a back spasm (from overworking).
4. He then pushes me and talks in a louder voice. I curse out loud thinking I've just tripped on a rug for the umpteenth time and my curses drown out His voice.
5. He then gets out the cattle prod, which to me feels like nerve pain and starts to yell at me which I can't hear because "Bewitched" has just started and the TV is too loud.
AND I STILL WONDER--WHY WON'T HE ANSWER MY PRAYER?????
But yet, I feel that something is changing...
I share with friends that I'm overwhelmed and need peace and a friend hands me a book called When Women Long to Rest: God's Peace for Your Overwhelmed Life which I read and see myself on every page.
I talk to my daughter about how she works too hard ( it takes one to know one) and God points us in the direction of another book Having a Mary Spirit which we each read and discuss over the phone on Sunday evenings. It totally nails our Martha ways.
I talk to my husband about a desire to begin praying and reading the Bible together and God sends him to a men's workshop at church on prayer. We started praying again.
I want friends and He opens my eyes to all the beautiful women around me who are also in need of friends. He renews our friendships and helps us form new bonds. We need each other desperately yet suffer in silence. We are women, hear us roar!
I want more information on prayer and He leads me to another book, Too Busy Not to Pray which was ironically donated to our church library by one of my overworked, overwhelmed friends.
I want to pray and listen and He show me lots of times when I can pray and study His Word and I learn how to listen and become less overwhelmed and more at peace.
AND THE BLESSINGS CONTINUE!!!