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 🙂 Source anyone?? Hey, if you get this, I’ll send you some red licorice!!) 😉 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!) 😉 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 “decide” 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. 🙂 (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.) 😉 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.