Friday, March 20, 2009

Mary or Martha?

It's a bit humbling to write this, but I've made a mistake.

And I want to share it because I know some of you share the same qualities that I have that caused me to make said mistake.

Perfectionism and Optimism.

Two wonderful characteristics in a person. However, it's finding a good balance of the two that's a bit more difficult.

My optimism said the following to me: "Go ahead C! You can sand, prime, paint and poly an entire dining set in 4 days! It won't be bad at all! Oh, and get those amazing recipes that require a million ingredients and take forever to cook! You can make them easily! And one more thing- your house? Deep cleaning won't be a problem at all! You dust and vacuum like nobody's business! You're a wonder wife!"

My perfectionism said: "Well, you need to sand that table down perfectly, because even the tiniest bump will show through the paint. And the two coats of paint you have on top of the primer aren't enough- if the sun hits it just the right way [perfectionism doesn't tell you that your table will be INSIDE] you can see a tiny hint of the primer peeking through. Better do 5 coats! Yes, that's much better! And those recipes? You should probably make another spreadsheet detailing your menu for the week! And you better search every grocery store around for those darn Tarragon leaves- your homemade pesto sauce just won't be the same without them! Now, think about your menu. Does each meal have enough color? A nice balance of protein, veggies, and carbohydrates? Do you have a Centerpiece for your freshly painted table? NO?? Better run to the store and get some flowers!! Oh, and each of your towels in the linen closet need to be refolded so that everything's uniform. You don't want to show any domestic weakness do you? And it doesn't matter that you washed all the bathroom rugs a week ago. Don't you see the random fuzz collecting on them? Better wash those too. And lastly, I know you have to leave for work in 5 minutes, but do you really want to have a bowl sitting in your sink when family arrives because you didn't empty your dishwasher of the clean ones? Better do that, and just speed to work."

Whew! Exhausting isn't it?? That's how my brain works. Do you see how the two characteristics conflict? One tells you "yes, you can do all this stuff and everything's going to turn out great" but the other one causes you to spend much more time than you anticipated doing everything, therefore neglecting all other areas of your life.

Last night Z went to bed while I was putting the finishing touches on some Tiramisu for tonight's dessert. We hate going to bed without each other. I crawled in beside him around midnight. As I laid on his chest he sighed and said, "I miss you honey". Wow.. realization hit me. I'd been running around all week without so much as a minute to spare, getting frustrated with him for not offering to lessen my load, without stopping to simply enjoy my husband. He's God's greatest gift to me and I'd been to busy for him all week. Bad move.

It reminded me of the story of Mary & Martha in the Bible. The one where Jesus comes to their house to eat and Martha is running around preparing dinner and such and Mary wisely sits at her savior's feet, seeing the most important part of their evening. Mary was a smart woman. She knew how to keep balance. She knew what was important.

We live in a Martha world. All the way. Especially all us "domestic diva" women. How often do we find ourselves striving to be Martha?

Don't get me wrong- I'll never lose those two qualities. My house will still look clean, orderly, and well decorated, and I'll still whip up some impressive meals. But I hope to never again lose sight of what's important in life. Even if your house is aesthetically pleasing and your meals are the talk of the town, is your husband happy? Is your relationship with God strong? Do you take time for your family, or just some time alone?

It's been a long week, and I'm ready for the weekend. But most of all, I'm ready to spend some time with my husband, and my amazing family who will be here in a matter of hours! Enjoy your weekend, and slow down a bit, K? I promise I will. :)


Lindsey said...

Wow! This was an awesome post that I needed to read today! Thank you.

Habbala said...

I got tired just READING that post :)

I hope you are able to slow down this weekend. Relax and accept the imperfections!!

d.a.r. said...

Holy cow, this is a humbling and inspiring post. Thank you, I really needed to read this!!! You have definitely blessed my heart today, thanks.

Bluebird said...

I love how you are able to relate your life to a bible story. It was a perfect parallel that I think most women can relate to. Thanks for sharing. You definitely reminded how easy it is to give priority to worldly things and how less important they are in the long run.

Have a wonderful weekend with your husband and family! Relax and enjoy :)

Anonymous said...

best post yet... =)

Life at the White House said...

I simply could not agree more. My mind works the exact same way and quite frankly, it can be totally exhausting!

A similar thing happened to me the other day with my husband and it dawned on me that I was putting him at the end of my priority list - we're hanging out this weekend and enjoying each others company......and not much else!

Crystal Rae said...

Wow... what a great post... and encouraging too. Go you!

Holly and Sean said...

Awesome post!!! You pretty much summed up my life in half a page. Thanks so much for sharing that~

C said...

Thank you all so much! I think the majority of us ladies can relate! Glad it blessed some of you! :)

Lucy Marie said...

This is the second Mary or Martha post I've read today ... gee, do you think God's trying to tell me something?

C said...

Lucy- haha don't you just love when God does that? :) He might just be..