What I’ve Learned From Mary

Tonight on this Eve of Easter (and now early morning of Easter) I stand convicted.  Convicted of always being busy, always having something to get done, and always having something that has to be “perfect” and in its place. 

Typically, I’ve written my blog posts about how I’ve gotten that “perfect” something done, whether its a kitchen design, a remodel, a flip, or an Easter table setting. Today is different. Today and the last several weeks and months have been frustrating to say the least for someone who likes control and likes to be in control. (Me. 🙋‍♀️) 

Last night, I shared the bed with our two-year old who was sick because of a double ear infection. She was restless all night and we both didn’t get much sleep. That wouldn’t sound like too much had I not been sick myself, had a tree not fallen on our house last week during the storm that came thru, and had Braxton & I not found out that his step-mom, Tanya, had breast cancer in addition to the ALS diagnosis his dad (her husband) received in June which aided us in our decision to move back home to Mississippi in August. Oh, and did I mention we are also renovating a business, building an apartment above a commercial space for college tenants, and I’m supposed to have a bridal shower in my now destroyed home? I also have a four year old, a dog, and a husband in addition to my two year old, and there’s several other things I could add to this list as I’m sure many of you could who have your own busy lists and challenges life throws you as well.  

My point is, I’m exhausted...some things out of my control and other things somewhat self-inflicted.

So yes, I found myself frustrated today. Easter is tomorrow and the “Easter Bunny” did not even have the first speck of candy or basket goodie bought.  I had not decorated anything, I had not done much “fun” things or Easter egg hunts with my girls, and I felt guilty. Facebook didn’t help as it showed me what other people were doing and reminded me of the beautiful tables I decorated last year when I “had it together” before our lives flipped upside down with change. So.....I posted those again to make myself feel better. 😂 

I rushed to the store to get those Easter things we “needed” after going to the care clinic with my daughter, fed her lunch, went to the pharmacy, and laid her down for a nap so I could go while my husband stayed with the kids. I squeezed in some egg dying and a quick Easter egg hunt in the backyard after my youngest had that nap and was feeling a little better after getting the medicine she needed.  We ate dinner and I got the kids dressed for bed, brushed their teeth, read them the Easter story, and we tucked them in the bed. I got my Easter stash out of the car and then the two year climbed out of her bed. 🙄I rocked her again and placed her back in her crib. And then, I stayed up late trying to decorate, trying to make those “perfect” Easter baskets, and got mad at Braxton for going straight to bed. 🤦‍♀️

And then, that’s when that still, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit began to speak as I was emptying that dishwasher. Elizabeth, does all of this matter? Did I send my Son to die on a cross just so you can stress out about not having the house decorated with bunnies or the baskets filled with candy? “No.” Is that what Easter’s about. “No, Lord.” Have you forgotten what I’ve taught you about being more like Mary? Tears welled up in my eyes.

Last week, I had the privilege of playing “Mary of Bethany” in my home church’s passion play “I Believe” at First Baptist New Albany. If you aren’t familiar with Mary of Bethany, she is the sister of Martha and Lazarus, the same Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened while Martha worked, who watched Jesus raise her brother from the dead, and who washed and anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume and wiped it with her hair.

When I first started practicing the role, I told our minister of music’s wife who was playing Martha that I felt kind of surprised to be chosen to portray Mary.  “I am soooo not a Mary,” I said. “I am totally a Martha.”

Is it any wonder that the homemaker and entertainer extraordinaire we all know by name is no other than Martha Stewart? God knew what he was doing when he gave her parents the idea for her name....

And that’s what I do, I decorate, I design, I entertain, I remodel, I renovate, and I try to show this perfect image of what a home should look like... and don’t get me wrong, God has blessed me with that talent....After all, he called on all of the best craftsmen, architects, designers, and builders when building the temple....

BUT, He’s also trying to teach me the beauty of letting go. The beauty of knowing when order, design, and function matter and when they do not. The beauty of being able to set those things aside at the right moment He is calling you to just be in His presence and listen. To just be. To just trust. And to just know, it’s all going to be all right and that He’s holding you through all of the pain and the hurt of life with unimaginable love, grace, and hope that we still can not and will not fully fathom until we who believe stand before Him one day in awe and wonder.

So, tonight, I’m trying to be more like Mary. I’m trying to set aside time in my busy schedule to focus on Him and follow in obedience when He told me to sit down and write what was on my heart. 

I hope it achieved His purpose, and if anything, it reminded ME of what Easter is truly about - a risen, living Savior who loves and cares not only for me, but also for you and every single soul that has ever lived or will lived. He’s AMAZING, and I hope you choose to know Him. Sit in His presence and learn more about Him. He will reveal so many remarkable things!

Luke 10:41-42 

New International Version (NIV)

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Elizabeth Coombs