Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I was talking to my mom the other day.

About how tired I am – how I’m feeling a little burned out.

How my clever writing ideas feel like they’re drying up.

I said something to her, without even thinking about it – (do you ever do that, say something and then realize, after the fact, that you’ve spoken a great truth?)

"Sometimes I feel like I’m so busy doing things for the Lord, that I can’t even hear Him."

She said, "Maybe you just need to take some time and sit at His feet for awhile."

All of a sudden, I stopped.

"Sharon, are you still there?"

"Yeah, Mom – you just said something really profound…"

And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

When did I put on Martha shoes?

I’m the oldest child in my family – just like Martha. And sometimes I have a tendency to take charge, a habit that probably developed in childhood – an irritating habit!

And in my own sweet way, I like having control.

I, like Martha, can get fretfully obsessed with details.

Yes, I really desire to please the Lord, to serve Him, and to do the right thing. But sometimes, I get overly concerned with my own expectations. My perfectionism drives me – and my priorities get a little mixed up.

Now I know that the things I’m involved in – Bible Study, my small group, my ministry at Freedom Village, church and Sunday school – are all good things. And I’m convinced in my spirit that God wants me to be part of each and every one.

But, have I gotten so caught up in the details that I’m forgetting the main reasons I’m doing these things?

Oh, how Martha’s story speaks to me.

Am I so busy doing things for Jesus, that I’m not spending enough time just being with Him?

My Life Application Bible has a Personality Profile of Martha. I was interested to read about her weaknesses:
  • Expected others to agree with her priorities – Oh boy, am I doing that? Do I also expect God to agree with my priorities, my timing?
  • Was overly concerned with details – Goodness, do I fail to see the reason, the person I’m serving, the One I'm serving, by getting caught up in the details of doing service?
  • Tended to feel sorry for herself when her efforts were not recognized – Yes, I admit it, I can be a whiner. I all too often need affirmation – and when I don’t get it…boo hoo.
  • Limited Jesus’ power – Oh Lord, I do this. I get tired because I’m relying on my own strength. I’m doing it in my own power, my own way – flustering and fretting away.

Dear Lord, forgive me. I do not want You to be an afterthought. I want You to be my first concern.

I want to sit at your feet.

I am greatly comforted by how Jesus treated Martha. He was patient and kind. He addressed her as, "My dear Martha…"

This is what I hear Him saying to me.

"My dear Sharon, you are worried and upset over all these details! I love that you want to serve Me. And I know that you love Me. But have you lost sight of how much I just want to be with you? After all, there is only one thing worth being concerned about. And that is Me…just Me. Come, put aside these things for just a while. Sit at My feet. Listen to Me. Let’s just spend some quality time together…"

Jesus didn’t blame Martha for being concerned about serving – He just wanted her to set some priorities. Actually, to align her priorities with His.

There is a proper time to listen to Jesus and a proper time to work for Him.

I’m asking for His wisdom to sort this all out for me.

Because truthfully, these Martha shoes are a little too tight.

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon:

    I could have written this post. This especially caught my attention, "How my clever writing ideas feel like they’re drying up."

    I poured so much into writing on my blog last year. And sometimes, in my efforts to have a post, I didn't think it through or rather, I didn't ask God what He would have me write. Since the first of this year, I've been in a drought as far as writing. I had even started a second blog to share my photos and other writing that doesn't fall into the devotional/inspirational category.

    Well, you can guess what has happened - it's been mostly photos and the posts on Reflections have been few.

    I'm so much like Martha and your post reminds me that I need to be more like Mary. I think that is why God allowed this "dry" season for me. I have felt the need to have Him pour into me and now I'm beginning to feel that the end of the drought is on the horizon.

    Be encouraged, Sharon. Your writings inspire many people and I am one of them.

    Blessings Dear Sister,

  2. Hi Sharon -

    Thank you so much for sharing this. We need the reminders that our Lord must remain as our FIRST LOVE.

    Many Christians, including me, have done what you expressed. We can get caught up in work for our Lord and neglect Him.

    There was a time when I entered a blog post every day and sometimes more than once a day. Our Lord spoke with me about blog idolatry. He helped me to get back on track with blogging in perspective. As with anything, GOD commands that He be FIRST. Now, as our Lord leads, I do blog posts. For the most part, I'm not led to do them daily anymore. And on occasion, our Lord removes me, for days, from posting, and from reading and commenting on the blogs of others.

    People have various choices for idolatry indulgences. What does not "seduce" one may seduce another. No doubt, we all have tendencies to be seduced by something or someone. That is why it is crucial, Sharon, to do what your mom advises. I thank God for His wise interventions.

    May our Lord help us all as we strive, in earnest, to please Him.

    Love to you, dear sister Sharon.

    Note: I am really loving your mother, too.

  3. Your mother sounds very wise. Well, I
    don't think your writing is drying up.
    I am always encouraged by what you have
    to say. Keep writing.

  4. And you describe this as "dried up"? I don't think so...

    I loved this one. I fit that profile all too well too, especially that "detail" one. OUCH.
    My prayer for me is that I don't just substitute doing with sitting but with sitting AT THE FEET.

    There's a profound difference.

    Loved your words. I always do.

  5. Ouch...this morning as I got everyone up and dressed and kept saying, "hurry, hurry" after telling my husband that his 1 am bed time wasn't working for me...because it wakes me up and I can't keep all my ducks in a row the next day...so from this first born to another first born...so hear this! Thanks for sharing, now I am going to go take off my Martha shoes for the day.

  6. Hi Sharon -

    Me again -

    A bit more on the shoe issue:

    Sometimes we need re-fittings as we have outgrown our "current" sizes.

  7. Sounds like a little shopping trip to the Mary Shoe Store is in order -- can I come, too?! Boy...I can relate to what you wrote in your post. Thanks for the great reminder that what is most important is Jesus...sitting at His feet and being with Him. We can only serve Him properly when we have allowed Him to fill us up...

    Blessings, Joan

  8. I think your mother is a wise woman, Sharon. I think sitting at His feet for a bit is a very wise thing to do. I will pray God will lead you to what he might want you to "down size" in the weeks ahead.


  9. Hi Sharon,
    There is a lot in this post and I shall reflect on it. Balance is the key word I think and I just don't do balance very well. Hope you recharge your batteries, your eagle wings await. God Bless, Take Care - Nita

  10. I have always loved the story of Martha and Mary.

    Yes, your mother is right. She is a wise woman. ANd you were good to pick up the cue...

    Martha is an awesome woman. What would ministries for Jesus today do without her? No one would clean up, no one would remember the invites, or the thank you cards...

    Balance is the right word.

    ANd lioneagle is right... when we outgrow our Martha shoes, we need to get new ones that fit... it's a new season.

    Martha and Mary need not be two different persons in you or me- yes you are so right, we can be both.

    Much love

  11. I attended a marriage conference a few weekends ago. The man teaching promised he'd deliver a few 2x4's to our forehead throughout the course of the weekend. He did.

    And you, friend, have done the same with this post. Bam!


    I am so much like Martha, even Martha gets 2nd place at being Martha.

    I will pray this with you tonight:

    Dear Lord, forgive me. I do not want You to be an afterthought. I want You to be my first concern.

  12. Oh, this was a perfect post...so easy to fall into the habit of being a busy "church lady", but not taking the time to be with God. Maybe we need to be like our 4 legged dog buddies and "sit, stay and be quiet!".

  13. Sharon,
    (Another long comment--sigh.)
    I saw this post yesterday, and said a prayer for you, but was too "busy" with MY and ME to come and read it and comment to my dear friend. Selfishness. Computer issues. Things don't go well when I have my priorities out of order. I'm so sorry that you're feeling overwhelmed/burned out. I've been there and done that. Many times. I, too, am looking to Him to lead in this new phase of blogging--looking for His direction--I know it's not the last time I'll feel that way. All the other commenters said everything there is to say, and I agree with their thoughts. I, though, am not much of a "Martha"--in my 30's I was more so, because I thought that the more I did--and the busier I was "working for the Lord"--proved how good a Christian I was. I just about self-destructed. I've had seasons since then, but, now, actually I tend to err on the other side, saying "No" too often. Or God just cancels things. But, not necessarily spending more time sitting at His feet. As I said, selfishness, (and just poor time management) can creep in. We ALL need to sit at His feet--this is a universal problem. If we don't think we do, then we need to ask ourselves whose strength we're running in, and what in the world of eternal value we're doing!
    Sharon, I cannot imagine what your writing would be, if THIS is your drought season! Whoa!! I am always moved, and God touches me, and uses you in my life by your writing.
    Just some addendums: Getting enough sleep? (Any hormonal issues? Any 50+ female problems?) (Eating too much sugar?) Any sin to confess?
    The above are the areas I check when I feel as you've described. God is so good. I know that when you sit at His feet, He will shower you with His love, feed you with His Word, strengthen you with His rest, and set you on your way to serve Him once again.
    I love you, my friend, and am very grateful for your humble, seeking heart, and vulnerability. You're making a difference in this bloggy (and real) world. I'm praying for you.

  14. Oh my goodness can I relate to you - I have to constantly remind myself to take off Martha's shoes and put on Mary's. You are wise because your mother is so wise.
    Love you,

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  16. NO WORRIES - Just a computer glitch!!

    Joan - Thanks for your very encouraging words. It's so helpful when another "writer" understands. Seasons of productivity wax and wane - but I have felt God with me in both times. He continues to provide words - sometimes all at once, and sometimes like daily manna - but, He still provides!

    Sandra - Such very kind words, and such wise advice. I continue to feel the Lord leading me to do what I'm doing with the blog. He's stretching me, for sure, and humbling me. And I know that He's using this vehicle to conform me more and more to His image. I'm thankful for my mom, who so often helps me put things into perspective. Your support is invaluable - as I know that we support each other in prayer - and that we each have a heart to please our One and Only. (I also loved how you put it - sometimes we outgrow the shoes, and we need to be refitted!! Maybe that's why these Martha shoes pinch so much...!)

    Sandy - I'm thankful for my mom. And for friends like you. I so appreciate your words of encouragement. I will continue to write - because I often feel like it's really the enemy who tries to thwart me. God will continue to guide me - I just need to settle into that restful place.

    Debbie - Oh yes! Such a difference between just sitting, and sitting AT THE FEET! Also, I find that I often bring my "stuff" to His feet, but I stubbornly refuse to lay it all down. Even when I'm able to lay it down, I usually end up taking some of it back, or telling Him how to deal with it. Trusting obedience means taking it there, leaving it there, and then walking away from it in total reliance and dependence on the One who will "sweat the details!"

    Janette - Oh, the curse of the bossy, fretful first-born. (But we're kinda special, too, don't you think?!) Anyway, I'm with you. Taking off the Martha shoes, and just resting at Jesus' feet - barefooted and calm.

    Joan - I'm cracking up!! The Mary Shoe Store - just perfect! We have these shoe stores out here called Payless - maybe I just needed a reminder to visit the Paid It All Shoe Store - where Jesus makes just the perfect set of shoes for each of His children! Loved your last thought - "We can only serve Him properly when we have allowed Him to fill us up." Perfect, just perfect...

    Betty - Thanks for your thoughts. I would appreciate your prayers. If there's any "downsizing" to do, I want to make sure that God gives me the wisdom to decide what He wants. Hope you're finding time to rest, too.

    More to come...

  17. Nita - Yes, balance is the key, I agree. And that takes God's wisdom and guidance. Thanks for reminding me about my eagle's wings!! I'll strap those on right now - I will renew my strength, I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not faint!

    Lidj - How I appreciated your insightful words. There is a place for "Marthas" - they just have to learn balance. And yes, we can be both women. I'm pretty sure I am. My deepest desire is to listen when He speaks, AND to obey when He says to move!!

    Jennie - Sorry about the 2 x 4. It hit me, too. I had to laugh at this - "...even Martha gets 2nd place at being Martha." So funny, so true. Setting priorities is key for me - and always taking time for the Lord. I'm going to start praying before I engage in these activities - so that my first focus is on Him. And one of my heartfelt prayers is that He will speak, and I will listen.

    Anita - Love it!! "Church lady" - HA! You're so right - we have much to learn from our dog buddies. Sit, stay, and be quiet - yes! I'm thinking about Marty - and how much he enjoys just being next to me. That's what I'm going to do with the Lord - just enjoy Him. (P.S. - doing a post about this idea, and another lesson from Marty, on Monday)

    Wendy - You hit on some really key points. One, what of any eternal value are we doing? That was tremendous. Because this life is really all about laying up treasure for eternity. Two, ask whose strength you're running in - also right on. God will give us the strength to do HIS work. I'm OK, just finding that I don't have the same level of energy that I did before I hit the menopause. But, I'm hanging in there - though I do struggle with insomnia from time to time - and that is an energy-buster! Finally, thanks so much for your encouraging words, your kind compliments - they really slapped my sword back into my hand!

    Sandie - Yes, my mom is very wise. The jury's still out on me!! Rumor has it that Martha shoes don't work very well with knee replacements. Mary shoes are a much better fit. Loved your post ideas the other day about expanding our lives. It occurs to me that we'll need more time at His feet before venturing out into a bigger destiny!

    Thanks, dear sweet friends, for your very encouraging words. I'm OK, just a little tired. Seems that I can't keep up like I used to. And I just want to make sure that God is always in everything that I do - I want to always have the time, first of all, to listen to His Voice. If He doesn't go with me, I don't want to take a step!!


  18. Hi Sharon -

    I wanted to clarify that it wasn't my intention to question how you do your blog posting. My comments were meant to express what our Lord had told me about my blog activities....

    I enjoy reading your posts, Sharon, and praise GOD for your blog!

    Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord.

  19. Oh Sandra - No worries. I didn't "take" your comment as a commentary on how I do my blogging - so be not concerned! I totally understood where you were coming from!

    It's all about how God is working in us. He is shaping both of us - using the best tools, at just the right time, and in just the right way. He is creating a Masterpiece, after all. Now, if I could just sit still for the chiseling!! HA!


  20. Blessings Sharon... Surely you cannot be speaking about your writing and creative ideas here... I totally get the "busyness" drying us up or stretching us too thin... Martha or Mary syndrome, hmmmm? Seems like the words of your mom are ever so wise! (Since I just came from "Mining for Wisdom", I know that you know God's wisdom and understanding!!!)

    This is the PROFOUND:
    "Sometimes I feel like I’m so busy doing things for the Lord, that I can’t even hear Him."

    ...and the CONFOUND:
    "Am I so busy doing things for Jesus, that I’m not spending enough time just being with Him?"

    ...and the DUMBFOUND part:
    "Jesus didn’t blame Martha for being concerned about serving – He just wanted her to set some priorities. Actually, to align her priorities with His.

    There is a proper time to listen to Jesus and a proper time to work for Him."

    So, it's ALL here... let's just REST on it and PRAY and allow God to speak to you and to me, to each of us. Martha or Mary? hmmmmmmmmm always thought I was the "Mary" kind... but since you shared this profile of "Martha" and her weaknesses... looks like I may need to reexamine, but I would NOT fit in either "shoes" any more, I've traded all my firm support of a shoe for the gospel of peace. They look like stretched out, well worn, down trodden sandals.
    Barefeet... His feet... my feet... one path.

    You DO please Him, you are SERVING Him, maybe overdoing it a wee bit, but you'll do the right thing just lay down that high perfectionism standard and let Him sort this out with you. You are very wise, Sharon... let the details work them slevs out under His Spirit's guiding hand, then TRUST and Let go, which means obey, whichever HE says to let go! Lessen your load and lighten your heart to enJOY all you are as you sit and soak at His feet. I sense this in your answers of BREAKING FREE so you must be soaking... I feel the LOVE! I sense HIS FREEDOM!
    You KNOW HIS TRUTH! C'mon girl, you can do all things in Christ who gives you strength... but what He desires and you know...to spend time with Him.

    Love ya' Sharon, peace and JOY,

  21. Peggy - I treasure your friendship and input so much. This was my favorite line you wrote: "I've traded all my firm support of a shoe for the gospel of peace." That's what it's ALL about - just what we do for Him.

    I'll try to send you an email in the next few days - and let you know of some other opportunities that are coming my way. And that is part of what I'm trying to sort out. Time management - but really not wanting to get SO busy that I lose sight...

    And just so you know, the Lord has felt really close the last two days - He's been speaking...I've been listening.

    Love you, buddy - GOD BLESS!

  22. Yup, I hear you loud and clear Sharon, because I, too, am I Martha. This post speaks right to my heart.

  23. Michelle - So you've got aching feet, too?? Tell you what - I'll take off my shoes if you do - and I'll meet you at Jesus' feet!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)