Welcome to Week #7 of the Made Like Martha Mobile Book Club. We are so glad that you are here. Today we are talking about a theme found in Chapter 7.
This week, is a little bit different from my other blog posts but I am so excited to share with you and be apart of a very special book that my friend Katie Reid wrote, specifically for women with a doer’s heart; the women like Martha from the bible. In this incredible book, "Made Like Martha," Katie challenges those of us with this “striving to be the best mentality” to instead exchange that for a hope-filled freedom without having to disclaim our doer’s heart in the process. It’s a beautiful combination of letting go while affirming you that you’re made perfectly just the way you are.
Striving To Thrive: Made Like Martha
In this week’s study we will we focusing on the theme from Chapter 7 entitled, “The Middle Ground Between Striving and Slowing: Stewarding Well Without Overdoing It.” When reading this chapter I was struck by the way in which it spoke to my doer’s heart. Constantly I am pressing into my “worth” by trying to do, do, do in order to receive. When in reality I have to DO absolutely nothing in order to receive my worth because He has already paid it all so that I can stand before Him blameless and righteous. He’s already DONE so that I can BE.
This reality is hard for someone like me, someone that constantly wants to be productive and be seen for that productivity. When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom at the young age of 21 I thought I was watching my dreams come true. I had wanted to be a homemaker and mother since I can remember and actually getting the opportunity to do so made my heart sore. I couldn’t wait to do all the “mom things” like cook meals for my husband, rock my baby to sleep, read books, make my house a home and steward the needs of my family all in a days time. I eagerly awaited that first day home alone.
And as that day came upon me, I sat there…and sat there. I waited for those feelings of joyful bliss to find their home in my heart but all I felt was sheer boredom and isolation. This was nothing like I had imagined it would be. There was only so many productive things I could do in a day in between nursing a baby, cleaning up spit up, and changing yet another poopy diaper. In fact I felt like that’s all my days consisted of. I couldn’t get anything done and my baby would start crying the moment I put her down, or the minute I did put her down without fussing all I wanted to do was take a nap myself! I remember feeling so hopeless so defeated when my husband would come home from a long day and ask,
So what did you do today?
Every time he’d ask that I felt like he was that little pesky kid poking the belly of a bear just waiting to see how long it took for that said bear to attack. It took everything inside of me not to punch him in the face. I felt like he wanted to expose my failed attempts at productivity, I felt like he could see right through my fake facade of blissful motherhood. But now, when I subjectively look back at that time in my life I know what I was feeling. My feelings of inadequacy from not “doing” what I deemed was “productive” were masked in the form of my worth. And because I didn’t feel like my life was producing anything of worthiness, I didn’t feel that I added anything of value to the life of my family.
So in absence of my productivity I sought out every way I could to create it. I started flipping furniture pieces, I got involved in an MLM company, I lead worship at my moms group at my church, I started a blog, and then thought I’d start a calligraphy business. I couldn’t stop myself from striving. I felt the more I did, the more I accomplished and the more I accomplished the more I became. Every time an opportunity arose I saw it as a way for me to establish myself that much more. And it didn’t matter how many babies I had during that time, I still allowed that lie that told me I was never enough to run my life.
And as I listened to that unrelenting lie, I watched my marriage suffer, and my parenting suffer; I watched as relationships crumbled and business plans failed. I simply could not do all and be all at the same time. Something had to give.
How do you achieve balance when you’re someone that thrives on doing? How do you stop doing when doing is how you were created? Katie says it perfectly in this book when she says:
Many of us aren’t sure where the middle ground is anymore, which makes standing on it difficult. But even when we struggle to find the solid ground between striving and resting, we are still adored daughters of a good Father who leads us with love.
The truth is, there isn’t anything that we can do to find balance. There’s only what we can believe. And that’s that the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords is the only one that can give our hearts the contentment that we need to thrive. Only He can remind us of our worth, only HE can replace our perfectionist seeking, productivity obsessed hearts with His divine, surpassing peace. It’s because of Him and through Him that we can claim our worth not because of anything we’ve done but because of our birthright.
If I’m being honest right now, I’m still not sure I’ve fully been able to wrap my head around this concept; This concept of grace and righteousness. But I know the Father’s best for me is not what I deem best for me, in fact His best for me is far greater than I can ever imagine. So that is what I cling to and that is what I will continue to press into so that I can experience His fullness apart from my own, and so that I can be content with just being so that I know my doing is in accordance to His will for my life.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Do you feel threatened by the reality of “burnout and boredom?” And if so, do you know when that lie was planted into your life that told you that you needed to “hustle” in order to achieve?
*Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done by Katie M. Reid is an invitation for go-getters to discover what it means to rest as God's daughter without compromising their God-given design as doers. Join us on Facebook for the "Made Like Martha Sisterhood" as we embrace our design for God's glory and the good of others.
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