Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever! Praise be His Holy Name. Praise be the One True God! He who Is, Was, and Is to Come! He who brings Life and Beauty and Hope! He who is Truth and sheds Clarity and Conviction. Praise Him !
Thank You Lord for all thy benefits. Thank You Lord for glimpses of Your Kingdom among us. Thank You Lord for the Sacraments and the sacramentals. Thank You Lord for Your Word. Thank You Lord for the communion of Saints! Thank You Lord for community! Thank You Lord for running water, working vehicles, and appliances. Thank You Lord that when I flipped the light switch this morning, there was light. Thank You Lord that there is income and food on our table. Thank You Lord for the struggles too! Thank You Lord that You have shown us to LOVE the cross. Thank You Lord that You have shown us the HOPE of the empty tomb. Thank You Lord for Your mighty Spirit that overwhelms, overflows, and dwells in us and out into this world, carrying with it all that You are!
Lord, forgive us the times that we have not praised You. Forgive us the times thanksgiving has not been our first reaction. Forgive us the times we have ignored or rejected the promptings of Your Holy Spirit. Lord, forgive us the times we have failed to send out our SOS, to You, to our community, to all those intercessors You have given us. Lord, we are weak. We are battle weary. We are oh so human. But You, You are God, and can do ALL things. Forgive us our forgetfulness. Lord, we trust; forgive our distrust. Lord, we believe; forgive our unbelief.
In what season of life are you ? Are you in the single and loving it season? Are you in the newlywed season? Are you in the overwhelmed young parent season? Maybe, you are in the “are teens all like this” season. Perhaps, you are in the “I’m too old and tired for my nine year old to have a bedtime” season. Or, maybe you are in the “I forgot how quiet the house could be” season. Are you in the empty nest season?
Now, for the hard question, in what season of your spiritual life are you? We all have our seasons – our hills, valleys, mountain tops, deserts. Since my vocation involves mostly homelife, I tend to have difficulty with these types of descriptions. Although I have traveled and have seen all these landscapes, they just don’t always speak to me the way they do to some.
Last month, during a prayer meeting, our small group received some images and words that really spoke to me because I am in a new season, and can’t always seem to accept it. The first image we received was that of an apron – a dirty apron with smudges and marks from wiped hands, but worn by a happy content woman. The word was “Do you have your apron on? There is a season for “Mary” and a season for “Martha”. Discern your season – it does not resemble that of others – not even those close to you.” I shared that I have a picture of a fellow homeschool mom wearing an apron in a football team kitchen smiling from ear to ear. She smiled because the sacrifice and work was out of love for our boys. The next image was that of a rocking chair. The word was “Waste time with Me. Come away with Me. I will not disappoint. Teach others to come to Me. Help others to know Me. Rejoice with them as they learn this truth, ‘I will not disappoint’” It was pointed out that the woman who received this image and word happened to be in a rocking chair, yet was the one in most need to hear the words from the first image “your season … does not resemble that of others”
I have been going back in my mind to this night. I remember that Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part, but He did not tell her to stop working. I think He was reminding her that she was not happy and content because she was expecting her season to look like her sister’s. I also did not make the connection of Martha and Mary to the apron and the rocking chair until about a week after the prayer meeting. (Facepalm – I could have had a V8!)
We often find ourselves in a season, but there should be discernment. I seem to be in an “apron” season. I don’t always like it and really miss my rocking chair. But that, that is when I am not discerning. I must discern that the work I am doing is, in fact, in His will and in His time. I must discern that I am not comparing myself to those around me. I must discern when I am to station my rocking chair moments throughout my day, week, and month.
I have a “Martha” in my life who constantly shows those around her that “Martha” can have “Mary” moments. I am so grateful for her example.
Through these images, words, and examples, I am discerning. I am constantly discerning. I am also always waiting for inspiration from the Holy Spirit, from those in my life, or even from those who share how they are discerning their season. Share! Share! Share! Share how you are discerning your season, Share if you are wearing an apron or sitting in a rocking chair or BOTH. Share how you balance your “Martha” and “Mary”. You never know; you may be used by the Spirit to help someone discern theirs.