Choosing the good portion….

(If you are coming here first, may I please request that you go back and read the post before this one? I think you will find it to be more helpful if you do, as this is really the continuation of “Distracted with much serving.”)

The year before last, we went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for our family consecration time. We splashed (read: my TOE only!!) in Lake Superior, we thawed out enjoyed the sauna, we found waterfalls and took pictures for days. But the one thing that we did that has been most remembered was take a trip to a copper mine.

We were able to ride down into the “guts” of the mine, see the physical endurance and strength needed to perform this task, called mining. We watched how the miners would work to draw the riches of the mines, the copper, out to be processed.

That to me, is a wonderful picture of Scripture. Father has given us His word. At face value just like in the mine, there are surface veins of riches. But, for he who is willing to dig deeper – sometimes in the dark – they will find the depth of Truth to produce GREAT wealth in he who is studying It!

“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.” These two verses became my mine and I spent a good deal of time working through them, in order to gather the riches that were contained therein. Daily, I kept coming back to “Mary has chosen the good portion.” I WANTED the good portion. So, I continued to ask, “Lord, teach me.”

Day by day, I realized that there are so many things that I was doing, that I was doing because they were “what good home makers did.” I was making yogurt, trying to make kefir, making bread…and the list goes on and on and on. Were these things that the Lord was calling me to for this season? Or were they things I was doing so I could say to someone “Here, have a loaf of my lovely freshly home made bread and my freshly made butter and my home grown and harvested and dried tea. If you’d like, you could even have some home made jam or jelly. Sorry, all we had in our yard in the way of fruit this past year was ornamental cherries, but HOMEMADE ornamental cherry jam is better than store bought, don’t ya know?!!”

If I were honest, I could do or say all of those things…well, maybe not the ornamental cherry jam thing, but all the rest would apply…but the next line would have to be, “Here!” as I thrust it into their hands and ran. You see, I was so busy DOING STUFF I didn’t have time for PEOPLE. They were things that I was doing out of fear – either fear of man or fear of making a wrong choice or going hungry or whatever. (The way I was pursuing them both, one would have thought fear was one of the fruit of the Spirit!)

Please understand, there is nothing INHERENTLY WRONG with any of those things. All of those things, in and of themselves are fine, wonderful, excellent things. BUT, it’s the heart that was behind them. The WHY of my doing them was the source of my downfall. You see, if I was like Melanie or UndividedHeart and simply LOVED making bread, it wouldn’t be an issue. If I had kiddos with food allergies like Holly, it would have been my pleasure to serve in this way. But, because I was doing it, because it was what all of Homeschoolingdom was doing, it was wrong. I was adding to my own yoke, weights that Father never intended me to carry.

(Having a baby eating solids just added to this horrid mess in me, I might add. I was paralyzed when it came to feeding her. I couldn’t POSSIBLY give her oatmeal that hadn’t soaked over night. WHAT? Allow her to eat a generic toasted oat cereal ring? You can’t be serious. I literally was adding, daily, to the weight and burden that I was carrying.)

When I realized this, I stopped, I declared a school holiday – I put my kids in front of a movie (! GASP! I consoled myself that it was “educational” – it was “The Importance of Being Earnest” ahhh – at least I could offer them Wilde!) and I put me in my prayer closet. Issue by issue I wrote down the things that were over taking me. (I called it my “Red Twist” List πŸ™‚ Source anyone?? Hey, if you get this, I’ll send you some red licorice!!) πŸ˜‰ When the list was done (and it was huge!) I took it and I purposed to pray over each one. I showed the list to Jeff and I asked him to pray over it too.

I took several days doing this – over and over through those days, the Holy Spirit put “things” – radio broadcasts, emails, Scripture, personal notes, blogs…all of them were speaking of seasons. I realized again (I mean A.G.A.I.N.) that I too must function according to season. Was this the season for making all my own bread, when each week we receive HUGE garbage bags full of preservative free bread….for free? Was this the season for making my own laundry detergent? Each thing on my list was addressed and debated and prayed over. When I got to the end, much culling had been done. As I sat there, looking at my list I thought, “Wow, I’m going to have more time for ….” and a list of women came to mind. As these dear friends flitted through my mind, I realized it was all coming back down to relationship again. Father was never, ever, ever going to ask me about not making kombucha (THANK YOU LORD!) πŸ˜‰ but it was quite likely He would ask me why I didn’t call Michelle when He placed her on my heart.

The hour is late. There are many things happening in the world, and the more time I spend in the business world, I will tell you, the hour is far later than I had previously thought. Many will be lost. Many who think they’re saved will be shocked and horrified. If I am too busy with the piddly things that I β€œdecide” I should be doing, so much so, that I miss speaking Truth to one of those who are lost, what a horrid thing to contemplate!

Dear Ones, I must finish up this post by saying, I no longer make my own laundry detergent. I no longer mix up my own dishwasher soap….in fact, I no longer use my dishwasher. πŸ™‚ (WHAT? That doesn’t help save more time for ministry…ah, but it allows ministry to take place while siblings and or parents are working side by side at the sink.) πŸ˜‰ For this season, I’m buying my jams. Yes, this means that I have to skimp on other things… and yes, I’ve got choices to make each week with my household money. But, I DON’T stand at the washer, crying onto my list any more. AND, I DO get to see God’s hand moving on my behalf in ways I had missed before, as I pray for His leading and His direction, not taking on my own. What a blessed, blessed woman I am…and most of all? I am not nearly so distracted by many things. Because of His grace, I am growing in choosing the good portion.

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Comments
14 Responses to “Choosing the good portion….”
  1. reneegrace says:

    I am surprised…. and I LOVE LOVE it!!!

    πŸ™‚ I just figure everyone I admire on the internet is organice and makes everything from scratch… heck, I bought square NASTY bread this week because it was cheaper… I figure they’ll have to get their whole grains elsewhere this week!!! πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing this Dawn… though I have already partly experienced this freedom… there is more to become free from, not the least of which is the freedom to be HONEST about how not home-made I am at times!!!!!

    You are a gem… thank you.

  2. reneegrace says:

    sorry… organic… although you seem very orga-nice too!! and organiZed!! πŸ™‚

  3. reneegrace says:

    OH, and reneegrace is actually ReneeM, but I started a WordPress blog and it wouldn’t keep my other name… grrr…

  4. Krina says:

    I loved reading this … I as a mother who often feels like a “bad (only in her own mind)” housewife because she doesn’t do all the things … finds comfort here and also a call to perhaps pray about my own missed opportunities … like instead of leaving the laundry heaped up on the chair, inviting the little hands to help.

    Bravo Dawn … and thank you.

  5. MicheleinNZ says:

    Thanks for your honesty (from a woman that occasionally serves neon-orange Mac n Cheese!)

  6. Melanie says:

    Who needs whole grains when we have Dawn’s blogs to chew on? [and ruminate — oh, woops, guess we’re not cows ;-)]

    hmm, the ‘red twist’ list. No, I don’t know where the name comes from… but living life by that List is sometimes akin to having corn syrup solids stuck in my teeth … blech!

    Since you mentioned it… I’m trying to keep bread-baking in the ministry category now (even my dd’s business is becoming an unwelcome burden to me anymore). But I HEAR you w/the “Here you go, and off I run!” style of “ministry.”

    It is so hard for me to discern what is necessary/in-season. ie, I thought it would be a good thing to add private swim lessons this fall at the local motel pool– and it was “good” .. except for the chasing I did to get most of us there on Monday afternoons, the heavy chlorination we got at the last lesson, and the WHEW! I knew when I told the teacher we were DONE.

    okay, I won’t go on and list my List for you all!

    But, it does become wearisome, doesn’t it?! And the ‘health’ items become a List of their own! Enough to make me want to inhale several ounces of chocolate, and I don’t even care if it’s cheap semi-sweet instead of ‘healthy’ bittersweet πŸ˜‰

    okay– I’ll quit blabbering here. I’m thinking and pondering and praying, Dawn. “What is necessary?”
    Relating to/with my family is. Better turn away from the computer now…

  7. Michelle says:

    Just for clarification sweetie, I don’t make my own homemade bread during this season either, except for cornbread and that only takes 30 min. (Unless the Father has blessed me with a relatively easy day and we happen to be having soup. :o)

    Relationship with others seems to be pretty easy for me. I don’t have any trouble seeing that when I take the medicine over to the folks’ I need to sit a spell and talk, no matter how mundane the conversation. Relationship with my children however is harder to see in the midst of things. Anna and I were making cookies yesterday (she’s been asking me for days). I’d like to say it was a wonderful relaxing experience, but my perfectionism got in the way for the first batch. At some point I heard the Holy Spirit asking me if I knew how rediculous I was being and I let her do it imperfectly after that. Sigh. I can be such a slow learner.

  8. Holly says:

    Yep.

    Yep.

    Yep.

    πŸ™‚

    We were both going thru that crazy stage at the same time. That was hard, wasn’t it?

    I’m sooo not there, any more, Dawn – by the sheer grace of God. And it feels so good! πŸ™‚

    Of course, there are non-negotiables. I DO bake the bread – because I must with allergies. I DO make the yogurt…cuz to me, that fits.

    But the baby does eat cheerios. πŸ™‚ There. I said it. He doesn’t have wheat allergies – so he can. πŸ™‚

    It is precisely what you said. These things aren’t bad (all these ‘things’ we try to do.) It is when we try to do them all at once for the wrong reasons…and drive ourselves and our loved ones insane.

    Thanks for sharing part 2 of the post, hon.

  9. Margie says:

    Excellent post, Dawn.

    The Lord really worked a number in my heart this fall. I was seriously striving to do the organic/homemade/whole grain thing and the financial rug was pulled out from under me. God showed me that my healthy foods were my idols. :0 I even bought a huge (so huge I could barely lift it) bag of white flour at Costco *gasp* Due to health issues (constipation with my girls) I am slowly returning to more fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains, but I am still not in the position to worship my healthy food habits anymore.

  10. winkies6 says:

    Pssst… I buy bread at the wholesale place. It’s whole wheat, but I don’t make it. And I have a culinary degree, so I could…. πŸ™‚ We do what we do.

    Speaking of mines, when we lived in Germany, we went to the saltmines of Saltzburg. That was awesome. We begged and begged our parents to take us back. I think we did it 2-3 times. It was so awesome: the depth, the huge slides down, an underground river, and we even got to dress like the miners!

  11. Is the red twist from the Tailor of Glouchester?

    That was cherry twist, but it’ similar, in a ISH kinda way.

    I did this yesterday ~ make the list and pray over it ~ I had several hours alone with just Baby. Man, have I been surprised at what Father said about the stuff on the list. Real surprised about what dh said, too.

    All I can say after the list is, the times they are a changin’ around here.

    Thank you for the kick in the pants (cough) I mean encouragement.! The time was right.

  12. javadawn says:

    It IS!! Congratulations. I will send you licorice. πŸ˜€

    Isn’t it amazing what the Lord would say – either through His Spirit, His Word, His people or His cohort…I mean, our husbands? πŸ˜‰

  13. javadawn says:

    ReneeGrace, Thank you, I think you’re very organice too πŸ™‚ as well as organified, as only a worshipper can be. πŸ˜‰ (I will choose to ignore the organiZed comment.) πŸ˜€ (Just for the record…I LOVE the name ReneeGrace)

    Ladies, I’m so glad you were encouraged (or at the very least led to chew, meaning YOU Melanie Lou!) πŸ˜‰ this lesson was BRUTAL for me. I felt like human hamburger for days. It was the type of lesson that is so deep that you can’t even begin to share with someone how deeply the Lord is working in your heart. OH UGH!

    But, I’m really finding SUCH freedom in not wrestling with so many of these issues. I feel so blessed that Father would meet me here, with the intent of changing me!!

    w6 – that sounds SO cool! What an incredible memory you have!!

  14. winkies6 says:

    Yeah, hubby and children are in awe of my memory, too. *snort* ROFLOL

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