Saturday, December 03, 2011

Blessed Neglect

I hadn't intended to be 'offline' from blogging for the last few days...but, alas, life has had other plans. My 'real' life has required a lot from me this week. I have a single mama friend who is very sick, a young friend who is in the throes of despair, volunteer leadership responsibilities that have been weightier, a dear friend who is dealing with a broken heart--and I had been gone for a week and was already behind. This doesn't even include the normal requirements of motherhood and being a wife--or the fact that I hadn't decorated for Christmas.

I chose to let a lot of my responsibilities go this week in order to be where I felt needed more urgently. God gave me great peace this week about the mountain of laundry, the dishes in the sink, the growing To Do list left in the wake. This is not normal for me. I am a wee bit on the neurotic side when it comes to order. For the first time in as long as I can remember I looked at the mounting (but not really pressing) tasks and knew it was OK. I was where He wanted me to be--and it wasn't doing chores.

I had been reflecting on this today and marveling at the work God was doing (so clearly against the normal bent of my flesh) when I saw a tweet from John Piper than summed it up: "There is a blessed neglect. (Luke 10:42)"

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!”

“Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42 NIV

Most of us have read this passage countless times, but something about the phrase "blessed neglect" really comforted me. So often I count my inability to do it all as irresponsible, disorganized, or failure. The word neglect, especially, carries a really negative connotation...but we all know it is impossible to do and/or be it all. Something has to give. And so, I love the thought of the things that we have to let go of (even if only temporarily) being blessed.

In this season when calendars are crazy-- extra events, expenses and errands at every turn--I pray we can be prayerful about what is necessary, or to quote Jesus, "better" and to chose that with confidence and peace. Here's to blessed neglect!


ArtyMarti said...

What a good reminder that there are more important things in life than chores. The work will always be there, but the children, friends, and loved ones who need your loving is what is more important.

Jillian, Inc said...

One of my dearest high school classmates is living out her last hours here on earth this weekend. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August and was given 14 to 18 months then. She hoped for at least a year. It's only been a little over 3 months. She is a woman of magnificent faith, a mom to 4 children, wife to an amazing man. I talked to her right after she was diagnosed and she said she doesn't have any regrets except "how many things I put off until later because of the laundry and housework." She said she should have put doing things with and for people over doing the dishes and doing a load of whites. That hit me like a ton of bricks and I've loosened my grip on so much of the housekeeping to concentrate on the people keeping.