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As a brand-new, born-again, un-churched Christian fresh in my new faith with zero knowledge of the Bible, I am steaming, hissing mad when I first read these words from Luke 10:38-42:

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.

But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’

But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'”

I am mad that Jesus doesn’t recognize the unfairness of Martha’s predicament. She’s working hard, give her a break. And some help. I am mad at Mary’s laziness. Get up, girl, there’s stuff to do. But most of all, I am mad at the men, absent from the kitchen. Where are those disciples? Waiting for a woman to wait on them?

RELATED: Letting Go of Martha Motherhood

I am 20-something years old and newly married. I think of my mom and her 1950s entrance into keeping house for my military father. “Ginny, get me a drink,” he’d order, with nary a please or thank you. She’d comply, silently . . . until she didn’t. She left him after 25 years of marriage. She was a mad Martha, and it feels like I’m following in her footsteps.

But here I am, a new wife and new believer, and Jesus asks me to dig deeper into who He is, who and what He loves, and how His kingdom works.

He asks me to enter an upside-down kingdom, a place where serving is valued but so is sitting. In fact, He prefers sitting before serving, with heart and ears open to Him. He asks me to trust Him and believe that women and men are equally valued, despite poor parental examples and an inherited patriarchy. And He reminds me through His word, “You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”

So, my journey into faith begins—but my inner mad Martha doesn’t die a quiet death.

As the years go on, I empty the dishwasher for the zillionth time and mutter under my breath, “Am I the only one who empties this thing?” I take out the trash and silently steam at my husband for forgetting—again. I pluck dirty socks, stow wayward toys, sweep up crumbs, and hiss to nobody about the overload. Then, a gentle reminder whispers into my spirit.

Full dishwasher, crumbs under the table, and overflowing kitchen trash? You and your family enjoy an abundance of food. Dirty socks? You have hot water at a single touch and an automatic washer to clean your very full closet of clothes. Messy toys? Your children are blessed.

Anxious and troubled about many things? One thing is necessary. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

RELATED: Dear Busy Mom, There’s a Time To Be Martha and a Time To Be Mary

I remind my inner Martha to calm down and take a back seat. I turn to the One who knows me, the lover of my soul, the One who forgives my sins and attitudes and complaints all while promising me a new heart, new soul, new mind, new strength, new grace, new day, fresh start.

I pour a cup of coffee, shut the door to my room, pull out my Bible, and once again sit at Jesus’ feet. So long, mad Martha. Hello, sister Mary. What does Jesus have for me today?

And a simple peace fills my soul. Again.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Leslie Rowe

Leslie Rowe is a newly retired senior copywriter, a mom to three adult kids, and a nana to two young boys. She loves fitness and audiobooks, especially when they occur simultaneously.

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