It's officially the first full week of summer vacation for my kids (though poor Caitlin starts summer school on Wednesday).
I let them sleep in today (some later than others) after a long weekend of activities including a final regular season baseball game, the family birthday party for the twins and a gathering of our small group from church at our house. I think I've cleaned my kitchen eight times in the past three days.
It was hot and humid today and perfect weather to use the new pool, which they happily did. The upside of the muggy weather is that the pool temperature went up at least ten degrees in the past couple of days. I was so glad to have it for the party. We ended up with almost 40 people here. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. There were many times I found myself consciously struggling between the Mary & Martha tendencies. I'm referring to the passage in Luke when Martha is distracted with much serving and none too happy with her sister Mary, who was parked at the Lord's feet captivated by his teaching.
I don't know why it's still such a temptation to spend more time and energy preparing and serving people than sitting down and fellowshipping with them - enjoying the conversation - engaged in the celebration. I actually struggle with the serving part less than a lot of women I know, but there is always this hostess pressure lurking about.
I did manage to spend a decent amount of time sitting among the "guests." I use the term loosely because on Saturday it was all family. It's not lost on me how blessed we are to have such wonderful family and friends who could seriously care less what my house looks like or how clean it is (aside from a clean toilet or two).
God provided in so many ways throughout the weekend. On Sunday I was reminded of how Jesus miraculously fed thousands by multiplying a couple of fish and loaves of bread as one of the couples in our LIFE Group brought over the leftovers from their Saturday party and supplied enough food to feed more than a dozen of us! Which was a good thing because we were short on leftovers ourselves and I was awfully close to calling Jimmy Johns for that freaky fast delivery.
The celebrations were great and after today we are fully recovered. But I'm also ruminating a bit and wondering how I can move further from the anxiety and trouble of the Martha approach and closer to the good portion that Mary pursued this summer.
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.”
Luke 10: 38-42