few things are needed

Monday, February 16, 2015

{photo credit}

i've been thinking a lot lately about the story in the Bible about mary and martha. (luke 10: 38-42) the story goes that the sisters opened up their home to Jesus as he was traveling. one sister, mary, sat at the feet of Jesus and simply basked in his presence. as he talked and shared, she listened with rapt attention.

the other sister, martha, is what i picture as a chicken with her head cut off. the passage tells us she was "distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." she ran here and there making sure everything was in its place. i can't say i blame her. if i were in her shoes, i think i'd be just a frantic to make sure everything was prepared, clean, organized.

the passage continues with martha finally coming to a point of exasperation. she complains to Jesus that her sister has done nothing to help her and that she has been the one pulling everything together while mary simply sits in his presence. Jesus calls to her by name, "martha, martha". he tells her that she is worried and upset about many things but only one thing really matters. he points out that what her sister is doing-resting in His presence-is far more important than the to-do's that she is consumed with.

this passage became very real to me a few weeks ago as i related exactly to martha. i had been in this frustrated rut at work trying to figure out the balance between people vs. my tasks. it seemed that i couldn't get a single thing done without getting interrupted by someone or something. i was short with co-workers, i was hurried with patients, i was agitated with myself. i kept trying to give it over to the Lord but not even an hour into my workdays, i found myself back in my black hole.

one day, in the midst of the phone ringing and patients checking in and out, i noticed that a co-worker was standing at the front desk having a conversation with a friend. immediately i was annoyed. here i was running around trying to get everything done and my co-worker was more focused on an unnecessary conversation. i rushed by her in irritation hoping she might take notice of my exasperation and rush to my aide. she continued talking.

later that same day i was driving home from work, going over the events from the day. in what i have been referring to as my "epiphany moment" the story of mary and martha entered my mind. it doesn't happen very often that i relate so closely and completely to a passage of Scripture, but in this moment, that's exactly what happened. i was martha. it was scary obvious. my attitude, my actions, my exasperation were all exactly the same as hers.

my frustrations over the previous weeks had been stemming from my ill-aligned priorities. i was placing projects over people. i was focusing on the task and excusing the people in front of me with the wave of a hand. "can't you see i'm busy here?" "don't you see that i have a million things to do and being present with you is not one of them?" i cringe as i think about my actions. here i am trying to live as a witness in my workplace, and i am not accepting the opportunities for conversation and relationship when they so frequently present themselves.

since the Lord so clearly brought this to my attention, He has been helping me on a daily basis to place people at the top of my to-do list. some days it is still a struggle. some days i have a pile of papers on my desk that i just want to whittle down. but i remind myself of the two sisters and i know which one i want to be.

thank you to my co-workers who have put up with me when i've been at my worst. and thank you especially to my dear co-worker who took time to have a conversation with a friend during a busy moment.


  1. Lacey, thank you for sharing your heart and what the Lord is teaching you! It is eye opening but also scary when He reveals things like this, and I applaud you for sharing. You are such a light, and your transparency and honesty is refreshing. I love you, and I'm so glad I can call you friend!

    1. it was honestly really cool and eye opening! I'm glad He revealed it when he did. it has been a good reminder since! love you lady!

  2. This was such a cool post to read!! Like you, I haven't had that many moments in life where I can relate my life directly to a story in the Bible, but when it happens it's awesome. I know what it's like, especially in the medical field, to try and find a balance. I've had so many experiences in the past where I have been working my butt off and my co-workers were on their phones or sitting around laughing. As annoying as it is at the time, I always try and realize that it's not what my co-workers are doing that matters but it's how I choose to handle the situation. It's so cool that you had your epiphany and were able to find God in a moment like that. Not many people do.

    1. yeah it was a really neat experience to see a passage come alive in that way. i have worked a lot of admin jobs and the job is never easy but it does help when you can put your circumstances into perspective and learn something from them. thanks for reading! how is nashville and the job hunt? i've been loving all your posts lately! xoxo and happy fridayyyyy!

  3. Ahh I needed to read this right now!! It resonates with me so much! I have been unbelievable short with everyone around me and I know that I am in the wrong. But sometimes the answer to our problems seems so clear and we place the blame on others, when the problem is actually something bigger. I have been feeling very stressed and pull thin; and it is most definitely because I have been putting "to-dos" before the people in my life--especially my little first graders and they do not deserve that.
    Taking my deep breaths and hoping to recharge this weekend. Everyone needs a break, sometimes it just takes us pushing ourselves a little too far in order to realize that the break is needed. Hoping all is well with you!

    1. i am very task-oriented at work, and i am trying to place my priorities on people instead. that is definitely what is more important. the work will always be there but making connections with patients and co-workers is not always guaranteed. thanks for reading and commenting!! hope you find ways to relax and recharge.


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