Choosing Mary Moments in a Martha World

Like many women, I’ve been really busy this week with a lot of good things.  In addition to my everyday tasks, two things in particular have taken up a fair amount of time: a Mother’s Day talk I am working on for church and a future blog post that just isn’t quite right yet.

They are both really good things, both uplifting to the Body of Christ and instructive for me, the writer.

However, last night and this morning God was working in my heart to show me a truth that I had learned before, but temporarily forgotten.  Good things can become bad things when they distract me from the BEST thing – my relationship with Him!

You see, I thought I was doing good by feverishly working on these projects in my spare time, which you can understand as a mother of four children is indeed very spare.

In my zeal and enthusiasm for this good work, I forgot to turn to the Source from whom the words flow.

I neglected the best work!

Sounds an awful lot like Martha, doesn’t it?


Luke 10:38- 42 reads:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was busy doing good things – taking care of others, preparing food to serve them, and so forth.  They were necessary preparations.  But when she expressed her frustration to the Lord about her sister Mary, He actually rebuked her instead!  He told her that Mary’s choice to fellowship with and learn from Him was the better choice, the BEST choice.

Jesus audaciously suggests that perhaps Martha should be choosing some Mary moments!

In a fast-paced world, we neglect the best things because we are busy with merely good things. Focus on choosing Mary moments in spite of your Martha world.


I had the opportunity earlier this year to attend a women’s conference, and the main speaker, Kimberly Sowell, so aptly narrated this story to us.  She reminded us that we live in a Martha World – full of work and busy schedules.

Those tasks, those good and necessary things that we do on a daily basis (raising up children, working, serving others, preparing meals, even work related to ministry) have to be done, but we must be careful not to let them distract us from the most important thing – abiding in Him.

Don’t make the mistake I made; don’t choose simply good things over the BEST thing.  Choose to make time for a Mary moment in spite of your Martha world.

In a fast-paced world, we neglect the best things because we are busy with merely good things. Focus on choosing Mary moments in spite of your Martha world.

And as soon as you start choosing Mary moments, don’t be surprised if something needs your immediate attention.

This morning, as soon as I sat down on my bed and opened my Bible, my preschoolers who were playing so nicely together suddenly needed my TOTAL attention.

Thankfully, God reminded me that Satan is always at work, and rather than getting frustrated and giving up, I was able to quickly attend to their needs and come right back to my Bible.

It wasn’t easy with two distracting 4-year-olds at my feet (and on my bed, sometimes even in my lap), but it was worthwhile, and I know He was pleased with my obedience.

I know because when I finished, I had peace.

Will you be choosing Mary moments today?

Jen :)

Question:  What “good” things tend to distract you the most from the BEST thing? (feel free to share in the comments)

For practical advice on how to focus on the Best thing, read more here.

*After writing this, several readers mentioned this book. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks excellent! (affiliate link)


  1. says

    Very inspirational today – I am starting a bible study on Mary and Martha next week :) My “good thing” that’s been distracting me this week is sleep – God has been waking me up to spend time with him – that’s the best thing of course!

    • says

      Thanks for visiting! I thought I had already included the pingback, but apparently not. Haha :) It’s there now, though. I am new to the world of blogging, so I’m still learning how wordpress works, etc. Next on my list is how to include a button!!

  2. says

    Yes, I have definitely been there lately. He has called me to pull back from the busy to be with him. Glad to visit you today. Visiting from The Better Mom.

  3. says

    This is great! Reminds me of a book I read last year (Having a Mary heart in a Martha World). It’s so important to slow done sometimes and make sure that we have that time in God’s presence daily as we should. :)

    • says

      Thanks! I just saw that book for the first time the other day online. Was it a good read? I know our household is so busy that I often forget how important it is to remain in Him. :)

  4. says

    God has been drumming this home to me lately. I have been reading “Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World,” today my husband’s sermon touched on this same topic about filling up our lives with “busy” and things and activities so that we squeeze Him out, and now reading YOUR blog!

    Guess He’s trying to tell me something, lol! Thanks for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday!” The new linky is live and ready for your posts!

    • says

      Haha – God is relentless when He wants us to hear Him, isn’t He? And it’s a good thing, too, because I often fail to hear the first time. :) Thanks for visiting, and I’ll be sure to link up again this week.
      Jen :)

  5. says

    This article inspired me to prepare and preach the message I shared this past Sunday at our church in Nairobi, Kenya ( I was personally very encouraged to act on it as well as encourage others with it. I also want to let you know that I used the article title as part of my message title. Thank you and God bless you.

    • says

      I’m so thankful that you found encouragement in the words God gave, and that you were able to share with others, as well. It’s very encouraging to me to see how God uses this blog! Thanks for letting me know!
      Jen :)

  6. says

    “Choose to make time for a Mary moment in spite of your Martha world!” Amen to that!!!

    It is far too easy to have good things distract from the BEST thing! Good things like housework, cooking, exercise, time with friends, etc… they can all take from time with God. I love this post – having a Mary moment is all about prioritizing God FIRST.

    • says

      Hello, Ifeoma! :) Yes, it’s always a good reminder for me, too. I think that’s one of the biggest blessings of blogging. Every time someone comments on or shares an old piece, I get a nice reminder of the lesson God was teaching me.
      Jen :)


  1. […] My cousin, Jen, recently started a blog and I wanted to share it with you in the hopes that you will find as much encouragement there as I have! It’s called Being Confident of This, and as a mom of four like me, Jen writes about a wide variety of faith-filled topics. You can find encouragement from the Word for moms, wives, and women in general, and a daily reminder that we are a work in progress. She has amazed me with her writing talent, and the messages God has given her will certainly touch your heart. I’ll be posting a guest post from Jen here tomorrow, so don’t miss it, but until then check out my favorite of her posts so far – Choosing Mary Moments in a Martha World. […]

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