Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Lord, Don't You Care?" - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 2]

There should not be any limits to what I can do.
I am the only person available to help.
I must never make a mistake. [pg. 15]

These are lies I have told myself for as long as I can remember. Forget family, career, and marriage - I am the one who puts the most pressure on myself.

Because of that friendships, family, relationships and my spiritual life have suffered. My striving has been a dominant struggle throughout my life, even before I became a Christian.

At some point in every season of my life I have asked "Lord, Don't You Care?". Whether my time is spent in majority at my home (as is the current season) or fully on developing my career and working in the workplace (as it was for a decade), I have found times of experiencing 'loneliness' where my heart has spent far too much time comparing and very little time seeking the Lord.

Joanna wrote in Chapter 1 that 'busyness breeds distraction'. She furthers this thought here in chapter two with the 3D's: Distraction, Discouragement, and Doubt.

I loved how she writes specifically to each of these three words. It has been a lesson to me on how my frazzled state all began and how the cycle can continue daily if I do not pay close attention.

My busyness distracts me from the cross. Without my eyes there, I am primed and ready to be derailed by discouragement and self pity. I then doubt the Lord's love for me and in turn doubt my purpose, my decisions and my direction. The 3 D's build upon each other to a final result of unbelief.

Even on those days when I have the best of motives, my heart can be pulled away from doing things "as unto the Lord" and settle for simply getting things done. [pg.18]

"Simply getting things done"....that isn't a life lived victoriously. I want every one of my days, even the mundane ones to be lived fully. Don't you?

Joanna continues to speak so directly to my heart when she writes.....

When we no longer believe in God's goodness, when we no longer trust in his care, we end up running away from the very Love we need to live. [pg. 26]

I don't want to doubt God's goodness. I want to see my life as the redeemed story it is. I want to trust Him to finish the work He has started.

This chapter has taught me my 'busyness' blocks me from experiencing all of these things I so desire - life to the full, with a hope and a future - and instead leaves me a weary, easily offended, a closed off shell of who I am meant to be.

How many of my troubles have lingered because I have focused my gaze downward in frustration rather than looking up to see His presence in my story?

Joanna ends this chapter with so much encouragement and hope.

He longs to reveal his love to you. But you won't find it shaking your fist in his face. You won't find it by barging into his presence and demanding to be treated fairly. You'll find it by sitting at his feet and remembering who he is. [pg. 29]

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. Which of the 5 Strategies for Fighting Discouragement on page 21 do you think might be most helpful for you?

2. Study Question #6 highlights Psalm 103. Which of the many truths about God's love mentioned in this Psalm do you find most prevalent in your walk?

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.


  1. #4 of the strategies for fighting discouragement is most helpful to me. It is easy to isolate oneself and become discouraged but by simply talking or visiting with someone it prevents it from happening.
    Joanna's words on distraction spoke to me. So many times when I sit down for my quiet time, 100 things pop into my head that I need to do which keeps me from the Word. Satan is so effective! It's a constant battle and if anyone has any suggestions on avoiding distraction, please share 😊

  2. Distraction is my biggest issue. I too easily stray from actually spending time with God. I have never really doubted His love because I think it is so evident in the Bible and throughout all of the old hymns that play in my brain.
    From Psalm 103:8, I really like, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."& 10 "he does not treat us as our own sin deserves or repay us according to our iniquities". Do I abound in love? What if God was as quick to anger, as I can be with my children, over small things? Also, I spend so much more time devoted to other thing. Of course God sees this, but if he was punishing or "repaying" me for this- would I try harder, put in more time. In reality, I am punishing myself by not relishing in God more now. Now is the time to start, not be distracted, and get in the Word.

  3. As I was reading this chapter, I just kept thinking to myself how quickly I fall prey to the enemy's lies and how quickly I begin to doubt when the road is bumpy or progress is delayed. It only reaffirms how important it is that we seek God not only through our struggles, but also when things are going well...even especially then because we are armed then with the Truth we will cling to when we need it most. I certainly identify with the 3 D's, and it was comforting to know that I'm not the only one.

  4. Jane! #4 is such a good one for fighting discouragement - this one for me is sometimes out of my comfort zone. I think I am a 'homebodied, extrovert' if that makes sense :) When I am feeling down, I have to really force myself out to fellowship with others. That is why I am thankful to have you so close :)
    As for distraction.....oh, distraction.....we could all use some helpful suggestions on this one, couldn't we?
    Over the course of reading this book, I realized that I should view quiet times like I view going to the beach - a time to rest and replenishment - and not come to the table (or the living room) with an agenda. Recently, I have tried to view my time with the Lord as that and nothing more, a time of rest.....and it has helped tremendously with the battle against distraction.
    Thanks again for your thoughtful words. I love hearing from you.

    Hello, Ladies. Jane asked below for tips and pointers in battling distraction - especially during quiet times. If you have any suggestions, please reply to this comment so all can benefit from the suggestions :)

    Over the course of reading this book, I realized that I should view quiet times like I view going to the beach - a time to rest and replenishment - and not come to the table (or the living room) with an agenda. Recently, I have tried to view my time with the Lord as that and nothing more, a time of rest.....and it has helped tremendously with the battle against distraction. I hope with consistency in this area the struggle will become less and less.

  7. I am glad you mentioned distraction as your biggest issue, because you are not alone. As Jane mentioned - Satan can be so effective in this particular area. Hopefully, we can get some good tips and strategies going in the comment string above.

    And thank goodness His love is merciful and gracious. I love your reflection and comparison of God's love for you and your love for your children - I believe that is the exact comparison He calls all of us to make. A blogger I follow closely, Kara Tippets, writes often about her thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 whether or not her love is a kind love. I need to ask myself that question often. You touch on that exact sentiment here.

    My favorite part of Psalm 103 is verse 4. The Lord is one "Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies". I love this because He exchanges the broken parts of our story with His fullness. Thanks for offering your thoughts.

  8. Elin,
    Yes. Yes. Yes. I believe that the time we spend in the Word while healthy and in a smooth season will be repaid back to us 10 fold (if not more) in the valleys of life when we may not have the time or the health to sit down for long spans and read the word. I can make all the excuses I want but the time I spend memorizing scripture is some of my best spent time.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I do it every evening. Chris installed a dimmer in our bathroom so I turn down the lights, run up the water bill, and talk to God.

  10. I have found that when I give God my first fruits and spend my quiet time with Him first thing in the morning, I am able to walk through my day with a greater sense of peace. I set my alarm an hour earlier than when my family awakes, and I do three things during each quiet time: 1. I read a short devotion 2. I read the Bible references provided in the devotion as well as the entire chapter from where the devotion was inspired, and 3. I write out my thanks and requests to God in a journal. By writing out our prayers, we are able to stay focused and be specific with The Lord because we are involving not just our hearts, but our minds and our bodies in the process. Additionally, as I read through my prayer journal, I am reminded of all the ways God has shown up in my life. It's quite an experience, and the ways in which God has spoken to me during my quiet time have changed my life forever.