Many times I’ve heard people comment to me “busy girl” as I speak about what fills my day. Mom taught us that way. She would take on projects no matter what time of the day or night. There was always chores – piles of laundry, ironing or folding. Clothes to sort, cabinets to clean, food to make. When my parents got a second car, we were whisked off to shopping, camping or visiting friends and relatives. The joke was, no grass could grow under mom’s feet. As I got older, many of her “busy” habits became mine.
Today is the feast day of St. Martha. Poor Martha, she seems to have gotten a bad wrap. Her charism probably was hospitality and didn’t realize – like I didn’t for a long time – that even with this gift, it has it’s place. There’s a time to sit and be still and a time for work. A time to serve and a time to listen. You get my point. These days, with renting and not owning a home, I have opened my time to the things that add value to my life. Like sitting with the gospel, ruminating on it for hours, talking to God, asking questions, listening and then writing at some point. Life has slowed down immensely, and this is good. I think I’ve finally found the better part. Not to say what occurred in the past wasn’t good, but I really was too busy to notice what was missing.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:38-42
Today, with a past of many moves behind me of places called home, jobs that were great but ran out of challenges, hobbies that took a large block of time until they too became burdensome, I have scaled back. Life has become a much simpler place to be with less overhead, structure and responsibility. With my Benny gone from life, I had to take a new inventory of what and why. Yet there are still people who say to me, you’re so busy! Yes, the kids call me on the phone saying come over and visit. I put up in the freezer many ears of corn and today made two batches of zucchini bread. You have to do these things while the season is upon us…. apples are right around the corner! It’s nice to be able to gift it to friends and family who don’t take the time to make these seasonal treats.
This is who I am, it’s who God made me to be. I am blessed to be living in a plentiful land where the values of home cooking and family are important. It’s not busy to me, it’s fulfilling. I don’t do it day after day and listening to videos as I work is like sitting and reading a book. My journal, coffee and comfy chair will gently call from across the room so that I don’t stay busy too long. Because there are always things to do. I can understand Martha. But since I’ve come to place mental prayer as a top priority in my day, the silence is welcomed even more. Spending time at the feet of Jesus, reading, reflecting and conversing with God is quite enjoyable. Taking time for walks saying the rosary; it’s like walking with a friend and sharing in her Son’s life. It’s having your head on a soft, cool pillow when you’re not supposed to be laying down. And yes, it’s taken some time to get used to, but after giving myself permission to just be, not do, it became easier.
Father, I thank you for the beautiful blue sky I see as I type and look out my window, for the flavors in the air from fresh baked bread, for health and daily conversation with you. You gift me with everything I need; show me Lord how I may return your gifts in love, charity and kindness. Help me to be humble and see where my pride gets bigger than my gift and how to give without being noticed. Work in me as I rest in you and may your will and desire be my directives. You are love, teach me to love as you do, honoring you all the days of my life. Help me to see where and how to help others so they too can spend time with you.