Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mary, Martha, Modern Viewpoints

Today's Daily Bread reading was about Mary and Martha. It started out with an example of a political leader in Kentucky who stopped mowing his lawn and put out a sign that says, "There's more important things to do than mow the lawn."

As I browse through vintage posters on allposters.com, I saw one that says something along the lines of a clean house equals a boring person. I also hear busy homeschooling moms and career moms alike saying that they have more important things to do than clean the house or get organized.

On the other hand, I know of women who scour the internet for organizational and housekeeping tips. Others have spotless houses and are quite proud of that accomplishment. Yet others are absorbed in the rather futile effort to get their over-cluttered homes and lives organized.

In a society that is breaking down the traditional family structure, there is a lot of emphasis on spending time with the family.

Mary, Martha....which way do we go?

I have another "M" word to throw into this thought....MODERATION! We can't be too Mary and leave things undone. Clutter and disorganization breed more of that and add to stress and discomfort in the home. We MUST have Mary times in our lives.....spending time with God, with our husband, with our children, etc, but should we start eating off paper plates so rather than doing dishes we color in coloring books with our children? That's neither financially nor environmentally sound. Once in a while is ok, but with a little organization, self-discipline and creativity, we can keep a tidy house and spend important times together. The biggest key is to start our days in the Lord.

We can't be too Martha, either. I read in a recent study that parents today are spending more time with their children than parents did in the 1960's. I wondered how this could be since moms tended to stay home. Well, our 1960's mothers tended to send their children outside to play and spend their days cooking and cleaning. Today, we tend to focus on their soccer games, their homework, watching a movie together, etc. I think back to my own childhood, and I can't remember a single time my mom colored with me or played dolls with me. It just wasn't done. Time with our families and with God is of the utmost importance. So is a clean and tidy house, but not when every minute of every day is consumed with keeping the house spotless.

Every house and family is different. Thankfully, I live in a very small house that's really easy to clean, so I have time for my son, my husband, and of course, my God.

Perhaps you need to reflect on this post and think about how you can revamp your schedule/routine to accomodate moderation. Also, keep in mind that quite often special circumstances arise that throw you into more Mary or more Martha. For example, you've got a newborn....definately more Mary. Forget fancy dinners and a scrubbed toilet for a while. Your baby needs you and you need to recover and get some sleep.

My best to you!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Good post! I enjoyed it very much!