Monday, February 23, 2015

The Better Part - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 7]

In past chapters we have......

- reviewed the story of Mary and Martha, learning the difference between these two women.
- explored the rebuke given by Jesus to Martha and how that applies to our busy lives.
- discussed the need for choosing 'the better part'.

This chapter is full of actionable how to's.

Now that we 'know' the one thing that is needed - we have to put one foot in front of the other and apply it to our life.

Joanna encourages us to make a crucial daily choice.......make room.

If we want intimacy, we have to make a space in our schedule to experience it.

I love the short story she included from Stephen Covey about the professor filling the container.

It clicked with me instantly. Big rocks first....duh :) I have never thought of shuffling my priorities in this way.


Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Make room in your heart for me, and I'll make room for everything else. [pg. 104] 

It is important for me to remember, I choose the order of my priorities.

My spiritual dryness is due to the order of my priorities - not the Lord's inattentiveness.

He will court us and pursue us, but he'll never push himself on us. We can actually say no to the Maker of the Universe. We can choose to keep him in a corner of our lives. [pg. 105]

Since November of last year, I have really been working on my commitment to a DAILY quiet time. I had gotten into a rut of using the difficulties of this commitment as an excuse. Throughout my walk of faith, I tried having my quiet times at different times of the day and gave up quickly on each citing a variety of reasons why this particular time of day just didn't work with everything else I had going on.......until there were no other times left.

This chapter has helped me to realize the commitment to a Quiet Time is a matter of will and more importantly, it is a spiritual battle.

The enemy doesn't have to work too hard at discouraging me in my mothering or being a wife if he has successfully discouraged me away from a daily quiet time.

Joanna has included SO MANY helpful tips to help shore up a commitment to daily time with the Lord, as well as, ways to keep it an engaging time to look forward to.

She outlines her process of 'Journal the Journey' on page 114. If you have not had the opportunity to complete Appendix D of your book, I encourage you to do so. Approaching scripture in this way (read, meditate, underline, choose, and respond) has enriched my walk with the Lord in so many ways. Most notably, it has increased the amount of scripture I have been able to commit to memory.


As we surrender our hoops to the Lord Jesus, as we center ourselves in him, something wonderful happens. He takes these hoops and makes them dance. He turns the spinning circles of our chaotic lives into a steady, stable gyroscope mounted and held up by him alone. [pg. 116]


I want to end this week with a simple prayer Joanna included in the beginning of this chapter.


Teach me, Lord. Show me the rhythm of life.....Be my center. [pg. 100]




Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

1. Journal the Journey - If you completed this particular exercise using Joanna's outline in Appendix D and guidelines on pg. 114.....Please share the scripture you used. I would love to read that same scripture along side you.

2. Which one of the 3 C's of Quiet Time (Consistency, Creativity, Conversation) do you plan to focus on in the near future in your walk with the Lord?

3. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kitchen Service - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 6]


We've been filled with great treasure for one purpose, to be spilled. [pg. 82]


After I read chapter 1 of this book, I looked at the table of contents and Chapter 6 stood out to me (I almost skipped to it, but I didn't).

I wanted to read about this concept of Kitchen Service and how it would fit into the puzzle of the Mary and Martha story. Is Kitchen Service allowed? For so long I have wondered.

I wanted to learn how to be more of a Mary without squashing the Martha that is so much a part of me.

Joanna fills this chapter with the truth that we are vessels.

We are made to be loved and filled by God and then to serve others. Kitchen Service is a key piece to living like Jesus.


So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
"You have called Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
"For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you."
John 13:12-15


This was Jesus' 'Kitchen Service'.

Even though he was the greatest of us, He served through work. 

Kitchen Service, you see, isn't optional for Christians. We're supposed to spend a good part of our time following our Lord's example. [pg. 82]

I have a confession.

Before this book, I didn't like to read the story of Mary and Martha.

I felt it was the Lord's way of asking me to stop being myself and start being someone else.

I am the busy one who often holds resentment for others not pulling their weight. And besides - how unreasonable of Jesus - we have to eat, someone has to keep the laundry going, and the house tidy. And really, what is wrong with throwing a beautiful party.

Even though I had read this passage of scripture many times, I was missing a key detail.


When Jesus rebuked Martha, he wasn't rebuking her act. He was rebuking her attitude. [pg. 86]


The Lord is calling me to an attitude adjustment.

Serve, but do it with an open and receptive heart.


Duty gets offended, quickly if it isn't appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it. [pg. 90]

This passage from Linda Anderson reminds me of a well known quote that I have hanging in my laundry room.



The Lord loves Mary, but He also dearly loves Martha.


...the key is not in our activity, but in our receptivity to God's voice - and in our willingness to be used in whatever ways he brings to our attention. [pg. 94]


This week you and I are called to the Living Room to be filled by the Lord and then ushered to the kitchen to serve with a renewed heart.



Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

1. Question #1 from the study guide asks - Who was the first Christian in your life to live in such a way that you could clearly see Christ? How did that person affect your life?

2. Question #4 from the study guide asks - In what unexpected ways could we wash the feet of those around us?

3. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.




Monday, February 9, 2015

Living Room Intimacy - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 5]


You who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
 Ephesians 2:13

This truth mentioned in Ephesians saved me 19 years ago when I became a Christian.

The richness of this scripture is still unfolding to much deeper meaning for me.

The Lord loves me. The Lord longs for me to understand that I have been brought near to Him.

I have spent a good portion of my adult years trying to 'fix' some majorly screwed up relationships in my life, with little success.

It can hurt so bad when human love fails.....

When what you want isn't what someone else wants....

When what they need, you aren't able to give.....and vice versa.

I am beginning to understand that one problem in these failing relationships of mine is my expectations.

I expect these relationships to provide things they were never intended to provide.

In this chapter, Joanna begins to dig into the details of the most perfect unfailing love. A relationship that meets our needs, comforts, gives rest - is the fulfillment of every desire we have ever felt for what lacks in our earthly relationships.

All we really need is Jesus. For he is all the evidence we need. The Father actually wants us close and is willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure it happens. [pg. 65-66]


Understand me when I say, human relationships are important.....so important. But people can never love us in the way God does. His love is a feast.


I'd settled for stale cheese and shriveled apples instead of enjoying the rich table God had prepared for me. I kept waiting for the day I'd be worthy to sit at his table, never realizing that the cost of such fellowship was included in the price Christ paid for my passage. [pg. 67]


One of my favorite parts of this chapter is 'Spiritual Snicker Bars'. Here Joanna writes about the things we 'feed' ourselves that calm our spiritual hunger pains but do not meet our need.


We can fill up with spiritual Snickers bars while all the time our spirits are withering for want of real food. [pg. 70]


My spiritual Snickers bar is a listening ear.

If I can find someone to listen to me when I am upset or going through a difficult time, I 'feel' better. The problem is afterwards I don't get around to praying about it because my energy on the topic is spent even though the issue is far from settled.

Only intimacy with the Lord will heal my heart.

But even more than my need for intimacy with God is the fact that He desires fellowship with me!
I had to put an exclamation point there because that is amazing - He desires me!

Joanna writes to this so perfectly.


What an amazing thought - that Christ wants to spend quality time with me. That he looks forward to our time together and misses me when I don't show up. Once that message started sinking into my heart, I started looking at my devotional time in a whole new way - not as a ritual, but as a relationship. [pg. 73]


There are so many good things written in Chapter 5, but what I found most impactful are some of the verses Joanna references throughout.


"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. " John 14:23 
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."  John 15:4
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3  

Those of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior, the Lord is near.

Will you walk with me this week in reminding ourselves of His nearness and quieting ourselves so we can hear His whispering voice?



Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

1. On page 74 'Creating a With-Drawing Room', which of these ideas listed do you plan to implement within your quiet time?

2. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Walks

Our family loves to take walks.

Now, everyone is able to walk on their own. This is a fairly new thing for our group seeing as the littlest of us has just passed the 2.5 year mark.

The boys love to explore along the way and recently have taken a liking to walking our pup.

Mama is now hands free and forgotten. I enjoy this new independent way of family walks.

I am able to clear my head.

My favorite thing about walking in the winter is the way the trees look against the sky.




Thanks for reading.

- brook.