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.


  1. What a precious memory of your dad! There is something so moving to me about a praying man - to see someone who represents strength humbling himself before The Lord. Even more special for that praying man to be your father. What a gift.

    I like Joanna's suggestion to read multiple translations of the Bible to keep your time with The Lord moving and fresh . Although I have a Bible I prefer (the New King James), other translations are helpful in unlocking verses that I find difficult to understand or put in context.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. How amazing to have your dad as a role model! I love your honesty in that sometimes you would try to sneak by without being drawn in. So I have a question for you - Did either of your parents ever have a Bible reading or quiet time with you when you were growing up? What style or curriculum did they use, if so? I'm just curious about that. I have tried doing it with my own girls but have not been consistent. My husband reads the Bible to them every night, which is huge to me that he has taken that on. My mom read us the Bible every night growing up and I really appreciate it now. I remember sometimes dreading that time. We ended up going through a thick Children's Bible 7 times and the New Living Translation twice. What an accomplishment! She even brought the Bible on vacation, with duck tape on it and all. :) Treasured memories that really make an impact.

  3. I liked the illustrations of the hula-hoop and the jar of different size rocks. Priorities. I have no problem setting aside time in my day for consistent exercise but the consistency of quiet time is not as high of a percentage for sure. So Consistency is what I need to work on and am working on.

    The first part of this chapter really goes along with the Crazy Love book we are reading about how God is the main show and it isn't all about us. How funny that they totally go together. You must seek God on a regular basis to know God in all his fullness. The further you get away from seeking after him the more you become the most important thing than God.

    I did Journal the Journey on Psalm 139 - I took away some key thoughts directed at God from David: You know me. You are always there. You knew me in the womb. You made me fearfully and wonderfully. How vast are your thoughts. Search me. If there is any offensive way in me, lead me in the way everlasting. I was just impressed by David's openness, reverence and willingness to make changes from God.

    Thanks Brook for always providing us with the partnership to learn the scriptures, this book, and really about our relationship with God. I know I am more consistent with a partner and this forum leads me to become more spiritually active.

  4. Joney, it is funny you mention Psalm 139 in your comment because I wrote down Psalm 139:23-24 in my prayer journal the other day.

    I had been looking for verses that deal with the request for The Lord to uncover things that are causing me to stumble - not necessarily external (although those are important) but more am I getting in the way of God's best for my life.

    There are many verses that deal with this issue, here are a few I wrote down:
    Psalm 19:12, 14
    Psalm 51:6
    Psalm 26:2

    I will go back and Journal the Journey for the whole of Psalm 139. Thanks for sharing the details of your quiet time.

  5. I really like the prayer "Show me the rhythm of life." For me, this idea of the rhythm of life ties into the seasons and holidays and is a huge part of my faith. I think paying attention to those details of life helps with the second C of quiet times, Creativity.
    Our church is in the season of Lent. This gives a focus to the next month and a half leading up to Easter that is unique to other times of the year. The whole year cycles around the life of Christ. I love how fresh and new this makes things feel.

  6. I'm sorry I've been out of the conversation for a couple of weeks, but I'm back! :) This book speaks so directly to me. For the first time in my walk, I feel like I'm finally beginning to gain some traction on what Quiet Time means for me and how journal writing and interacting with Scripture opens the skies to deeper intimacy with The Lord. I also began a devoted Quiet Time last November. The enemy is out to steal and destroy our relationship with God, so it's a daily choice I have to make. I still struggle with protected Quiet Time on the weekends because naturally, I crave a few extra winks of sleep. I still sit down for my devoted time to be still with The Lord, but of course, when I wait until the rest of the family is up and about, it makes for disruptions and distractions. He deserves my best and my first, and I need that to time with Him to sustain me and help me to keep my priorities of God, Marriage, Family in order, so I am realizing that the discipline I've been practicing during the weekdays can't waiver on the weekends. I'm a work in progress, what can I say?! ; ) Thank you for your beautiful words and sharing your thoughtful insight. xo

  7. I agree with you Ashley, the seasons and holidays do offer a sense of newness to our walk.
    I have not always been in tune to this, I am learning to pay close attention.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. "I am realizing that the discipline I've been practicing during the weekdays can't waiver on the weekends."

    Yes. Guilty as charged. The weekends do offer a nice change of schedule but there are certain things that should remain a constant and a quiet time with the Lord is one of them. This seems like a brand new, difficult decision for me every time Saturday rolls around.

    A wise woman, who's story I closely follow once said -
    "The beauty is that tomorrow, we get to wake up and be faithful."

    I love that thought, because it reminds me that like His mercies, that are new every morning - so is my opportunity to walk in faith.

    I am glad you are back in the discussion - I love hearing from you :)