This is a guest post by Lily Kreitinger. She works as an instructional designer, creating online programs for corporate clients and she commutes three hours every day. She and her husband homeschool Emily.

She also runs Kreitinger Design Studio, helping bloggers become authors.

You can also follow her on Twitter.

How do you do it all? It’s a common question I get. I have been happily married for ten years and have two awesome kids, Emily, who is five years old, and Matthew, who is three.

How do we do it all is not really the question. Why do we do it, is.

Recently I read “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Joanna Weaver. It is a reflection on the familiar passage from Luke’s gospel and here are the most important lessons I have learned.

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-42

Martha Complained

What was wrong with this picture? I really was hoping that Jesus would give Martha a one-year paid subscription to a cleaning service so she could focus on the better part too.

She was the head of the household and had many tasks to take care of. Did Mary get a free pass?

Martha Listened

Jesus didn’t tell Martha she had to let things go. He didn’t say she shouldn’t serve. He was lovingly questioning her heart, not her work. Service is very much needed.

How many people in your faith community say when offered a service opportunity: “I am too … -old, young, inexperienced, tired… or… it’s not my gift-?”

Jesus was really inviting Martha to nurture a relationship with him first and serve as a result.

Service without relationship is an obligation.

Worship without actions to back it up is self-centered idolatry

-Joanna Weaver


The turning point of the story is that Martha listened. She took her complaint to Jesus and listened to what he said without a rebuttal. She had a teachable heart.

Martha is not the villain in the story. We are Martha. But we are also Mary. Mary chose relationship first.

The best part is inside of all of us, in that room that our Father knows all too well. In the intimacy of the Living Room, we can find love that will fuel our many hours serving in the Kitchen.

These are three simple ways to help you grow in that intimacy:

  1. Gratitude prayer: at the end of your day, give thanks for one thing that happened to you, even if it’s just the fact that your car didn’t break down, or your kids were healthy and safe. Resentment, depression and anger cannot grow in a thankful heart.
  2. Prayer walk:  Walk on your treadmill or around your neighborhood, or at work during your lunch break. Bring to our Father your worries and joys, just for 10 minutes.
  3. Meditation: What helps you focus on just being in God’s presence? Music? Silence, Scripture?  Just be there with Him.

 Martha Changed

As a result of her listening with a teachable heart, Martha had an amazing transformation. When her brother Lazarus died, she had one of the most beautiful professions of faith expressed in the Bible :

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 11:27

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Questions for you:

What three things in your life concern you the most?

What changes would you want to see in my life as a result of a closer, more intimate relationship with God?