Mary and Martha are one of my faaaaaaaavorite stories in the Bible.

{apparently, there was a brother, too, but no one really says much about him until he dies, and then he becomes kind of a big deal… read it}

I have a great old storybook called Jesus’ Second Family that tells all about sweet, attentive Mary and crazy-eyed, anal-retentive Martha (who, lets face it, probably set a kick-butt table and made everything smell nice and coordinate).

As a grown-up, just last year, I read another book (and we all know what I mean when I said “read” – started obsessively then fizzled out and dug for the parts I needed) called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. It is a great reference and application to how these women fit into who we are now.

This past March, my friends and I went to hear Jen Hatmaker, and the first in her three sermons was about Mary and Martha, in a new light.

So there is much to be said about what amounts to FOUR VERSES in the Bible. God is so smart. He can pack a lifetime of lessons into one little glimpse of a family.


DISC-Personality-BreakdownAt our church, and in our church office, the DISC personality test is used and referred to quite often.

I have not taken the test myself, but by being around all these “Ds” and “I’s” and “esses” and “cees” (seriously, how do you SPELL PLURAL LETTERS?!?!?!), I know enough about the personalities to diagnose myself.

I am an I, who is the one that wants to “go to the beach and watch a movie!” (slightly inside joke there). Basically, I want to do all the things with all the people. Let’s GO! Let’s DO! Let’s HUG AND LAUGH AND MAKE UP A SONG! LET’S BE EXCITED ABOUT IT!

If I look at the simple chart, I get confused, because I see all these traits in me… the drive that is a “D” trait, the organization and make-everything-be-just-so that are “C” traits… the loyalty and reliability that are so “S.” And therein lies the Mary-Martha smackdown that exists in me.

I enjoy working. I like presenting things that are shiny and informative, enjoyable and comfortable, whether they are event flyers or a dinner parties. But that takes a lot of work and planning and concentration, and so often, my heart, my “I” personality, just wants to sit and chat.

…or as I texted to my friend De last week:
I just want to eat donuts with my brothers and sisters, at the feet of Jesus. Is that too much to ask?

{I’ll let you guess what her answer was…}

Zoom in on my professional life as a 30-something with a teaching degree I never plan to “use” again and about 4 unrelated careers on my resume. What does one do with that? How do you utilize your skills and find something fulfilling to do?

I was hired by my church.

AND I, and the Martha and Mary in me, LOVE IT!

On a daily basis, there are plenty of tasks to accomplish… post this, send out this, write this, reformat this, call them, email them, order that, fix that, clean THAT for crying out loud, make this, talk about that, copy those, read this…mary

But also on a daily basis, there is, wait for it…








This is not an isolate incident, but an example: Yesterday, I had the most amazing conversation with one of our volunteers. I have known him and his wife since we started coming to the church. He is one of The Italians… always pleasant, always kind of kindred. Yesterday, I heard his story…his testimony, just because we both happened to be getting a cup of coffee at the same time, (and because I was floored to hear he is 77 years old, because he looks 20 years younger, and made a big deal out of it), I got to experience salvation, grace, and the work of the Holy Spirit through his eyes. By the time he finished, more than 30 minutes had passed and we were both wiping tears away. In that moment, my Mary heart had said, Whoa Martha, the spreadsheet will wait, and my whole inner person was taught, blessed, and filled with the good stuff.

And no one minded.

Get your work done. Give your all. Do it well.

But pause for these moments, because God is speaking through people… and He has so much to say.