Martha and Mary: Choosing The Better Part

I believe Martha and I were cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Practical, concerned in material service, hospitable and self-denying. Excellent traits to possess, on the surface, but have they prevented me from having better relationships? How have these traits impacted my ability to love, and be loved? Give, and find joy? The story of Martha and Mary as found in the New Testament of the King James Bible (Luke 10: 38-42) helped me learn that I, too, need to “choose the better part”.

 

On one of His visits to Bethany, a small town about two miles from Jerusalem, Jesus was received at the home where dwelt two sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha was a housekeeper, and therefore she assumed responsibility for the proper treatment of the distinguished Guest. While she busied herself with preparations and was “cumbered about much serving,” well intended for the comfort and entertainment of Jesus. Mary sat at the Master’s feet, listening with reverent attention to His words. Martha grew fretful in her bustling anxiety, and came in, say, “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”

She was talking to Jesus, but really at Mary.

For the moment she lost her calmness in undue worry over incidental details. It is reasonable to infer that Jesus was on terms of familiarity in the household, else the good woman would scarcely have appealed to Him in a little matter of domestic concern. He replied to her complaining words with marked tenderness:

“Martha, Martha, though 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.

There was no reproof of Martha’s desire to provide well; nor any sanction of possible neglect on Mary’s part. We must suppose that Mary had been a willing helper before the Master’s arrival; but now He had come, she chose to remain with Him. Had she been culpably neglectful of her duty, Jesus would not have commended her course.

He desired not well-served meals and material comforts only, but the company of the sisters, and above all their receptive attention to what He had to say. He had more to give them than they could possibly provide for Him. Jesus loved the two sisters and their brother as well. (see John 11:5) Both these women were devoted to Jesus, and each expressed herself in her own way. Martha was of a practical turn, concerned in material service; she was by nature hospitable and self-denying. Mary, contemplative and more spiritually inclined, showed her devotion though the service of companionship and appreciation. (see John 12:2, 3)**

 

 

By inattention to household duties, the little touches that make or mar the family peace, many a woman has reduced her home to a comfortless house; and many another has eliminated the essential elements of home by her self assumed persistent drudgery, in which she denies to dear ones the cheer of her loving companionship. One-sided service, however devoted, may become neglect. There is a time for labor inside the home as in the open; in every family time should be found for cultivating that better part, that one thing needful–true, spiritual development.

 

**Talmage, James E. “Jesus The Christ” Desert Book Company, Salt Lake City.pg 402-403.

 

 

 

 

Winter Activity for Children

P1010383The sweetest, and arguably the most difficult, time of year occurs between mid- December to early- January. We busy ourselves with holiday preparations, cooking and baking, gift making and gift giving, family gathering and traveling, and not to forget the regular every-day chores of laundry, cleaning and meal preparing.

This is also the time of year when our children are not in school for four-to- six hours per day, five days a week. Very quickly, without a routine, they become anxious, bored, frustrated, and temperamental. Who can blame them? Each one of us would have difficulty if our lives drastically change over night.

Many of these negative feelings can be prevented, and temper-tantrums can be avoided, with a little bit of planning. Here is one activity suggestion that can induce family bonding, and not whining, for a morning or afternoon during the winter school break.

I am warning you now… This Winter Activity for Children post will be picture heavy. :)

What you will need:

One large pine cone per child

Peanut Butter

Bird Seed

Cake pan to place seed in

Yarn or other type of string to tie around onecone

What to do:

Go for a walk with your children where you know there are conifer (evergreen) trees. This can be at a park, a playground, a school, near any commercial building or along a country road. Gather more fallen pine cones from the ground under the trees, especially if the cones are closed, than you think you will need. This will give you a better selection to choose from when you begin your project at home.

Take home your pine cones and tie a 12- 18 inch piece of yarn around the widest portion of the pine cone, being sure to leave a “tail” to tie around a tree branch a little later. Next, “frost” the open pine cones with smooth peanut butter (this will be messy, and children will love it!), and then roll or sprinkle the frosted pine cones with your bird seed over a cake pan. Again, this part can–sorry, I mean, will–be messy. The cake pan will help contain the mess of little seeds rolling about the kitchen. Lastly, hang the peanut butter frosted and bird seed sprinkled pine cones outside on a tree branch to give our feathered friends a treat.

Thinking of giving this winter activity as a gift? Here is an adorable FREE poem to give with the pine cone, seed and yarn in a bag: Winter Activity for Children .

Rolling "Frosted" pine cone in bird seed.

Rolling “Frosted” pine cone in bird seed.

Sprinkling extra bird seed onto peanut butter covered pine cones.

Sprinkling extra bird seed onto peanut butter covered pine cones.

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Completed pine cone in need of yarn. Was it difficult to tie yarn around the pine cone after it was coated in bird seed? YES! I suggest working with the yarn earlier in the activity.

A second completed pine cone hanging form the tree.

A second completed pine cone hanging form the tree.

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Completed pine cone hanging in the tree.

  Thanks for stopping by! Please share your thoughts and comments below… I’d love to hear form ya!

Love ya,

Kristen

Why the Red Poppy? Remembering Veteran’s Day

My sweet Canadian husband and I were talking just the other day about the upcoming holiday (today!) Veteran’s Day, also known as Remembrance Day in Canada. I commented that one of the many things I love about Canada is how Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day) is solemnized with everyone wearing a red felt poppy on their lapel.

My American children are not exposed to the red felt poppy on the same scale as their Canadian cousins, nor do they fully understand the significance of Veteran’s Day/ Remembrance Day. Here is a short history lesson geared to grade-schoolers to help explain why there is a moment of silence at the 11th hour on 11th day of the 11th month of the year, why the red poppy is worn around the world, and what this day means for their future:

For those who are not familiar with the poem, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, here is an emotional recitation:

 

May we always remember what happened almost 100 years ago. May we never lose hope or our humanity. May we always respect, love, and honor those who serve around us.

May you have a blessed Veteran’s Day.

Love,

Kristen

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