Having a Mary Heart and a Martha Mind--Reflections hile falling asleep at a slumber party
Sometimes I get crazy ideas in my head. These ideas latch on and every spare minute I’m thinking of them. How can I make it better, what can I do differently, what will other people think, is there anything better on Pinterest, do I have all the supplies?
Last night I had the privilege of sharing my night with four young ladies that reside here at Children of the Promise. 4 girls (staff kids) ages 4-12 spent the night in my apartment with my roommate and I.
We had so much fun—Mod Podge plastic bracelets, seven strand braid yarn bracelets, soap on a rope, making and eating s’mores pie, a movie, and an 8 step spa regimen (including doing nails).
Every event was carefully planned around the best timing. Supplies were stacked ready to be used. We just needed giggling girls ready for fun.
The girls were ready and the night got started. One project led to another and the night wore on. We settled down for a movie and then took a long time deciding where to sleep. As I laid in my bed, trying to drift off to sleep my mind wandered.
What would have made this better? Did they really have fun? There was never any fun girly talk happening (you know, when the giggles just don’t stop).
Then it hit me. I didn’t leave any time for this. My mind wanted it to be the perfect night. I wanted fun. This meant all night long I worked hard so every minute was filled with activity after activity. But, my heart was left unfilled. My heart wanted that fun girly talk and the time to get to know these girls a little more than I already did.
I had a scheduled planned but if something didn’t happen or if the girls did not want to do it I would not have been upset. But, as soon as one activity was finished I feared boredom would set in and they wouldn’t have fun (I think I’ve spent too much time with preschoolers who get restless from just five seconds of unstructured time) so I got them started on the next activity.
I didn’t allow for that time to happen. I wished I would have let them be girls. Let conversations evolve and imaginations run wild. I wished those conversations would have led me to get to know them better—who they are, what they like, what they don’t like, how they view the world. I wished I had taken time just to sit in their presence and learn from them. I wished I hadn’t structured the evening so.
I have a Mary heart but a Martha mindset. And it stinks! I’ve been told that before but I never really realized it until that moment
I love investing in the lives of younger people. Sharing life, sharing struggles, sharing friends, and sharing feelings. I like when they come to me for advice or just to vent simply because they trust me. I love getting to share my mistakes and wisdom I’ve gained from them so they can laugh at me and can hopefully learn from my past. I like holding them when they cry and I like just being someone they look to as a role model—not for my glory but because we all know this world needs better role models. Sometimes girls just need someone who isn’t their parent to talk to, and I like being that person that they just feel loved when they are around. Sometimes they just need to vent about a frustration they have with their parent (you know you as parents share with your friends about your frustrations with your kids) and I will listen and then lovingly remind them how much their parents love them.
I had hoped this night would gain just a little more of that trust, but we spend so much time doing and not enough time investing. I desire so much to get to know people, to learn from them, to show them that they are worth the time and effort (no matter the age, gender etc.), but I too often get wrapped up in my own agenda and worried about what they think and how they feel. I don’t take time to sit and have conversation enough because I want things to be just right for the other person.
I even run into this problem in preschool. I get caught up in the activities that are going on—learning or play that I forget these kids need to continually be shown love and affection. I love to give hugs, I love to cuddle, I love to remind people that they are loved but I don’t do this enough. I get wrapped up in making sure everyone is dressed or holding onto the rope. My mind is distracted by making sure everyone is sitting well or making sure they are sharing. I fail to show love in this way far too often because I don’t think of it until after the fact.
I’ve always been right in the middle of things like this. I’d classify myself as a shy extrovert. I’m quiet and awkward when talking to people I don’t know, but I really enjoy being around people—I feel more energized when I’m around people.
In high school when we took the career tests, I never had one that stood out, I always had five or six different options on the same level all scoring around the middle number. I wasn’t built for just one career (maybe that is why I haven’t had the same job for more than a year at a time).
My favorite subjects in school where Math and English and I didn’t enjoy Science or History—opposites. I loved solving complex algebraic problems and my favorite homework assignments where essays. My brain just doesn’t work the same as the rest of the world.
I didn’t put this all together until last night. My heart and my mind are often two different things and I need to work more at aligning my mind to what God has instilled into my heart. Being Martha isn’t bad—planning needs done, house work has to be accomplished, projects need to be prepped, and things need to get done. Being Mary isn’t bad either—we were wired for relationships, everyone needs people to invest in and people who have invested in them, we need to make other people feel special, and love and affection (in many whatever way) needs to be shown.
There needs to be a good mix of the two. Maybe it is a blessing that I have these two different thought/feeling processes—maybe it will make this mix easier to find. I even had giving the girls feet massages on the busy list of things to do.
Don’t get me wrong about the sleepover, we did have fun and the girls have already talked about the next time they sleepover. I think they enjoyed the activities and we were all worn out by the end of it. I’m already looking forward to the next time as well, but it won’t be as structured. I mean I’m probably not going to break open an expensive bottle of perfume and wash their feet with my hair, but we will have time to just enjoy each other’s company. And in the meantime before another event like this happens I’ll just have to focus on my day to day relationships and not letting my mind overpower the desires of my heart.
(P.S. I tried to upload a few pictures from the event, but the internet is not working well enough, sorry)