Friday, May 14, 2010

Martha Speaks

Last night I cooked for company. We had ginger-glazed pork chops, cream potatoes, roasted corn, and a spinach salad with a little of everything in it. The night before? Bean burritos. As I was whisking the glaze, I realized this must be why Nate always invites people over!
Actually, we invite people over because we enjoy spending time with them, not because my husband is angling for a balanced meal. Mostly.
Anyway, when we have people over, I start preparing that morning. I spend the first half of the day cleaning. Maybe, if you come over to my house, you wouldn't notice that I dusted the towel racks. But I did. Because I love you. And because I'm crazy. But mainly it's love. Ok, that's a lie. It's crazy to dust a towel rack, and crazier to put it on a To Do list!
While I'm cleaning, Suzy's has one conversation topic. "When are my friends coming? Are my friends coming today? Is today the day my friends are coming? Are they coming after my nap? Are they coming? When are they coming? My friends, are they coming over to my house? Today? When are my friends coming? Will my friends come today? Is today the day my friends are coming over to my house after I nap but before I go night-night? Is it? Is it today?" Did that annoy you to read? Play it on a loop for 8 hours, and you'll have an insight into my mentality yesterday.
After lunch and getting Suzy down for a nap, (last words: "Are my friends coming over after my nap?") I am already tired. I get a shower and clean clothes, but no makeup. On a very good day, I have time to put on makeup. That is not today. I have to get busy making dinner, and I expect the world to just be grateful that I put on deodorant.
So I start cooking and cutting and cleaning (because it never stops) and bustling about. I have a To Do list of 21 items, and I am smoking through them, occasionally adding more as I think of it. Suzy is up now, and repeating her loop again. By 3 pm I tell her that if she asks me one more time when her friends are coming, I will run screaming into the street. I think I'm being funny. Suzy looks up, horrified, and begins to sob. "If you run away, I won't have a mommy anymooooore!" More sobs rack her tiny body, and big tears roll down her face. That, my friends, is a joke that bombed. So I scoop her up and kiss her and tell her that I will never run away or leave her. After a few minutes, she has calmed down enough to ask, "Are my friends coming over before I go night-night?" I run screaming into the street, and it goes down hill from there. Just kidding about the end. (I have to say that because my mom will think I really did.)
Nate comes home, and starts the grill. I go outside to ask him to help me shuck the corn - we've already established that I'm crazy, right? He asks me to bring him a cloth so he can clean the porch rail. This has not made it to my To Do list at all. I have things I have to do, and I have things that I want him to do that I haven't told him yet. If you could see in my head at that moment, it would just be "The corn! The corn! Just shuck the stupid corn!" I am working myself up to a good frazzle. I tell him no. He mentions it again. I go off like a bottle rocket. There was nothing good to see then. I'm thankful I took the time to slam the door first, or the neighbors would still be talking about it. When slamming the door is the highlight of your behavior, you are misbehaving!
It is so bad, that I instantly know. Sometimes you can try to justify yourself, but some times the Holy Spirit immediately convicts you. I apologize to Nate and ask his forgiveness. He forgives me, but he is hurt, and I must say he rather defiantly cleans one porch rail before shucking the corn. We now have one immaculate white porch rail; the others are still dingy yellow from pollen.
While he's taking it out on the porch rail, I get a call from an old friend. I update her on the day, leaving out my impersonation of fireworks. As she's saying bye, she adds, "Be a Mary and not a Martha!" Very rarely do you have a whole day's worth of issues summed in seven words. This was my entire problem. I was being the biblical Martha (with an unholy dash of Martha Stewart.)

"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

I had so focused on my To Do list that I neglected to listen to Christ, in the process giving my daughter an abandonment complex and verbally abusing my husband. I repent.
When our guests arrive, I haven't set the table. I'm just starting the potatoes. I totally forget to grill hot dogs for the kids and end up microwaving them. And I don't care. We talk with our friends about the things the Lord has been teaching us through our trials. We listen and laugh and fellowship like brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm a Mary. Life's better that way.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (by the way, I had accidentally posted this under SCOTT's phone mail earlier so I removed it)

    Yeah Lori!! I check your blog almost daily--so needless to say I was excited to find I had TWO new posts to read today!!

    Once again, you had me in stitches!! I love the way you share with sarcasm---I really mean that. I can speak sarcastically, but have not mastered the art of sharing my daily life in such hilarious writ.

    I also appreciate the way you are able to be honest and vulnerable. That is a very difficult thing to do. But, I am so glad you listen to the Lord and want to please Him most.

    You make me laugh and give me eternal things to ponder.

    Keep sharing your lessons learned!!!

    Much love--

  3. Christy, your comments are always so sweet and encouraging. I'm sorry I don't always reply immediately. For some reason, on my antique laptop I can post, but I cannot comment, so I have to wait for a chance to use Nate's computer!