By Kim Chaffin
I tend to be an over-planner. That over-planning side of me has worked to my advantage when it has come to organizing a party. However, our greatest gift can be our biggest downfall. I can get so wrapped up in every detail, that I miss enjoying the event, and I actually take offense if someone is not putting in as much effort as I am. That is something I really need to work on.
This last June my daughter graduated and I could put my party planning skills to work. We planned a joint party with some of our best friends at their house. My sweet friend knew I loved this kind of thing, and so let me run with it.
My husband is wise, and he said to me as the party drew near, “You have yourself so wrapped up in this, that you are not giving anyone else anything to do, and I don’t want you getting so caught up in this that you miss enjoying the party, or get mad that we are not helping.” What he said made sense.
The night of the party we were way ahead of the game. Everything had fallen into place: the weather was perfect and the yard was spectacular. Krista and I had a plan in place as to who was going to do what during the party. That night we were given an unexpected gift. Krista’s sister and a friend of ours wanted to see Krista and I enjoy the party, so they planned on taking care of everything that night. Okay, I have to admit I almost hyperventilated as I let go of the control.
Recently, I was reading the story of Mary and Martha and I saw I was a Martha. I can be so worried about all the details, that I miss the amazing party or fellowship that is going on right in front of me. The name Martha means Lady of the house, and I have that down to a fault.
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Krista is a Mary, and Mary means wise woman or lady. Krista knows there is work to be done to prepare for the guests, but she has always had a good balance of knowing that to be face to face with her guests, enjoying their presence, is more important.
As moms, it is so easy to get caught up in the Martha role that we miss out on the most important things. Don’t forget to take time with your kids, doing nothing but spending time with them. Don’t be worried about the fingerprints on the windows, someday they will be gone. Better yet, make fingerprints on the windows with them as you watch the snow with your kids.
As moms, we have the greatest ministry, our children. When we show our children we have a healthy balance in our time, they will learn from that. If they see the dishes sitting in the sink while we sit with our bible open because we are drawing into Jesus, we are showing them the importance of fellowship with the Christ. Something Mary understood. Yes we do need to get the jobs around the house done but we can’t forget to have a healthy balance. Our children watch and learn from us in all we do. When they see us just sit at the foot of Jesus in prayer and study, we are making a lasting impression on them.
I have to say I had the most amazing time at the party when I stepped away from the control and just relaxed. Dancing with my mom and my daughter was so much fun; I had a great time in fellowship with our guests. It was a perfect night and I could have missed out. I am learning to find a healthy balance of being both a Mary and a Martha. What about you? Are you a Mary or a Martha?