Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The two sisters

Here we are beginning our next book, Having a Mary heart in a Martha world and I’m staying busy and not blogging like I should…. Imagine that. This story intrigues me and always has because of the struggle we so often face that the author clearly points out. I am one that wants to be like Mary but has many Martha tendencies. I had heard about this book for awhile now and heard such great things about it that I thought it was high time I stop being so busy and take some time to read it. Well I’m still busy but at least I’m reading it! I like the way in chapter one, the author gives us a more detailed description using her imagination of what Martha and Mary must be going through as Jesus comes to their home. I like how she even describes Martha as “maybe having time to fashion an ark from the cheese and carve the fruit into little animals marching two by two.” Or Martha of the Bible also known as, “the original Martha Stewart.” That makes me laugh because I can picture this. It is so easy to picture it because we do it. Or at least I know I do. I have these grand detailed plans that really don’t make any sense because it doesn’t make a difference in the end. I mean who really remembers that often if the napkins were matching or that the centerpiece was divine? Well some do… I can remember some pretty bad centerpieces. But really??? Now I'm not saying that having those things is wrong, it's fine having your napkins match and all. We just have to remember that it's not what everything is really about. I’m getting better but I’m still a work in progress.

I like how the author points out to us that Jesus did not condemn Martha but gently rebukes her. And he’s not saying that one is wrong and the other right, just one has chosen better. If God didn’t want us all to be different he would have made us all the same. The author reminds us in this chapter that God makes us all unique and with different personalities which help balance each other. I think this whole Mary/Martha struggle is something many of us women at our church are dealing with, the busyness of life. So often we have the same people doing the work over and over again not to mention all the other things that are going on in their lives like marriage, work and children. I am one of these Martha’s that I speak about who finds it hard not to help out, so again I'm a work in progress.

There is a study guide in the back of the book that has some questions you can look over and some other bible passages to look up and meditate over. I wanted to post a couple of the questions that stuck out to me on here for us to ponder. This is in the Appendix “A” Study Guide and you can find the remaining questions there in the back of the book.

- What preconceived ideas did you have about Mary and Martha before reading this? Which do you relate to the most?
- Do you think it is possible for our basic character to change, or are we destined to live our lives stuck in a predetermined nature? Explain your answer.
- What spoke most to you in this chapter?

Here are my answers to these questions: I had the stereotypical preconceived notions about Mary and Martha that I believe most people do at first. The author uses her descriptions to help bring them down to more of a personal level for me and to make it easier to understand what they were probably going through at the time. Also I believe that our character can change through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yes we all may struggle but if we allow Jesus into our heart He will make a way. This is evidenced throughout the Bible and today in our time with many testimonies of people who have had a changed heart. Now all situations are different but I do believe that change is possible. And what stuck out to me the most so far is my answer to the first question. I enjoy it when an author uses made up details in a story to make the character feel more real. This method makes it easier to connect with stories of the Bible and I am looking forward to reading more and learning how to become more like Mary. The more we dig deeper into the Bible the more I have learned that human nature really hasn't changed very much and the people can be easy to relate to. I hope as you read you will find this to be true for you as well.

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