Intentional Living · Simple Life

Mary or Martha?

There’s this story that has popped up a few times in the last week. About 2 ladies, one who was busy doing housework, bustling around the house like a tornado, while the other sat down and chilled a bit.

Mary or Martha

You might know the story too: Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).


Jesus was visiting their house, and in natural “oh goodness we have a guest” fashion, Martha was busy preparing dinner. Mary , on the other hand, was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him.

Can’t you just visualize what happens next?

Martha, of course, loses it and asks Jesus to speak to Mary about how she isn’t helping. How “unfair” it is. How overworked she is with trying to make everything “just so”.

“But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing work being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.'”

Talk about a perspective change!

 Mary or Martha?

[Tweet “How often are we more like Martha, when in reality we need to be present like Mary?”]

How often do we let the “urgent” take precedence over the “important”?

How often do we miss out on something amazing because we are too worried about the details?

I’ll admit, I spent a lot more time worrying and stressing and grumping like Martha. It’s natural, to some extent, isn’t it? We want to look our best and often want things to appear perfectly, whether it’s our house, food, clothes, or kids.

Be present

There is a time and a place for both: to be like Martha and to be like Mary. It’s not wrong to take care of housework sometimes, nor is it wrong to sit back and be present.

But, just like Martha, when we stress too much about the small things, we might miss our chance to take part in something really big. Like coffee time with a friend in need, snuggle time with a little one, or a heart-to-heart with someone you care about. Because, friends, those are the big things.

Not whether all the dishes are clean, clothes are folded, and toys put away. That might be magazine-cover-ready perfect, but it’s not real life. And if we spend too much time trying to make our reality magazine-cover-ready, we will miss out on real life.

So ask yourself today: Are you going to be like Martha, or Mary?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for both. Just don’t miss out on living while you’re trying to create a perfect life.


Posting today with Holly over at Testimony Tuesday. It’s been awhile since I posted there, so I’m excited to be back!



4 thoughts on “Mary or Martha?

  1. Jen, great post on one of my favorite little bible stories. I’m always a Martha (distracting myself from my time with God) but trying hard to be more like Mary! Great encouragement today #testimonytuesday
    Have a great day, Kim

  2. Very well put. I think I slide into both categories except I am either a Mary in my action towards Christ and enjoying the little moments or I am a procrastinator who allows the “stuff” to take over and then nothing of any significance gets done. Definitely something to work on.

  3. Oh girlie – I love this! Yes… please tell me you have read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World… oh my! It is SO GOOD! Anyway – yes… I tend to lean towards Mary but I have my Martha moments! I love that story for it’s face value – but I also love to ponder about what may have happened differently if Martha would have joined Mary… surely – all the details that mattered would have still be tended to… maybe Jesus would have, I don’t know – fed them all miraculously… or casually moved the party from the living room to the kitchen where everyone pitched in or… what do you think? Whatever may have happened – we know it would have included Jesus, right by their side, and most likely – a serious foodie meal to boot! 😉

  4. oh def.. having some Martha moments actually make me grumpy and never accomplish anything. But my Mary days are the most productive. It takes the Holy Spirit to remind me to just do the needful ie that His Grace is sufficient for me. Just like today.

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