“I had a bad dream,” my almost-six-year-old daughter cried as she walked into our room in the ungodly hours of the morning.
My sweet husband gently put her back in bed and prayed with her. The next evening, she mentioned the bad dream. “There was a rock monster. It was in our back yard and it was trying to get me,” she explained. I asked her where I was in her bad dream. Surely I was saving her life or slaying that monster!
Her answer stunned me into shocked silence.
“You were on your phone.”
My heart sunk. Ever since my “Open Apology to the Hands-Free Mama,” I have *tried* to make a conscious effort not to be on my phone as much. She doesn’t care what I’m doing on my phone: blogging, texting a student grieving over the loss of a grandparent, or reading an ebook–it all looks the same to her. And apparently, it can trigger nightmares in which I am unable to come to her rescue because my phone is somehow more important. Talk about “mom guilt,” huh?
I am truly trying to do better….but that’s not necessarily the point of my blog post today.
The bottom line is: we’re busy moms. We can’t help it too much in this day and age. We have a lot to juggle, and it seems there are never enough hours in a day to get it all done. There are conveniences that make life so much easier, but for me, anyway, that just gives me time to add more to my to-do list!
So the other day I was praying about what God wanted me to share at the lifegroup I host for moms in our church. Immediately, He brought to mind a fraction of a verse, “one thing is needful.” I couldn’t remember exactly where it was from, but as soon as I looked it up, I remembered clearly when Jesus had said these very words.
We all know the story of Mary and Martha. There may be no better comparison to the modern mom than Martha herself. The Bible says she was she was worried and stressed about many things. Who isn’t?! What momma isn’t lying in bed thinking, “Did I pack BOTH kids’ lunches? Or just the one? Which kid needed money for a class party? Is the laundry still in the washer? It’s going to smell tomorrow.” Or worse, “Is my child struggling in class? Is he bullying or being bullied?” The “what-ifs” can drive us insane. I don’t know about you, but I imagine that Martha’s housework was only the tip of the iceberg of what she was fretting over. If she was anything like me, the housework was helping her process her mental to-do list. And beside that, she was frustrated that her sister wasn’t helping her at all. I’ve often said, “If you’re in this household, you’re going to help out around here!” I’m 99% sure that’s what Martha was thinking.
But Jesus said to her, “Martha! Martha!” He recognized her internal and external struggle. He saw her. She was trying to be an amazing hostess to the most important guest her home would ever welcome. What momma among us wouldn’t do the same?
Still, He told her that her to-do list should have just one item on it: listening at the feet of Jesus. That’s what Mary had done, and that’s what Jesus wanted more than a hot meal or a clean house. More than folded laundry or washed dishes–He wanted her full attention.
We are so busy today with many things, just as Martha was. We struggle with priorities just like she did. We feel alone in the struggle to do more and be more. We try to find our worth in our abilities to accomplish everything on our lists, when all He’s really asking for is to put Him first. If we do that ONE thing, everything else seems to fall in line.
I know I have work to do in this area; not just for my daughter, but also for my King. Listen with me as He whispers, “Momma, Momma! Just spend time with Me first. Put Me first. Give Me your to-do list. Let Me accomplish more through you than you ever could on your own.”
Only ONE thing is truly necessary: Jesus.