Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's Possible to Be a Mary AND a Martha!

When I moved from Tulsa, I promised my sis-in-law, Karen, that I would be just a phone call away if she needed my help with care of my 94-year old Mom-in-Law. Famous last words. In between the care needed by my own two families, a move, an illness and even more travel, I haven't been able to pick up the slack, and of most importance, was when Mom had new health issues and Karen and her husband were having to give Mom 24/7 care. They made it okay, but I knew, as soon as I could, I needed to get to Tulsa to provide some relief. So from Saturday through tomorrow, I've been able to spend quality time with Mom, as well as do some things on Mom's "Donna-Do" List. I've been a Martha -- cleaning and cooking, but I've also been a Mary as I've sat with Mom, and just listened to her.

Remember the story of Martha and Mary -- two sisters, both who loved Christ immensely? Martha loved Him so much, she wanted to serve Him with excellence and Mary loved Him so much, she wanted to just be in his presence. Two ways of loving and showing their love. (Luke 10:38-42). I have such respect for both of those gals, because, so many times -- I'm both of them!

After my cleaning detail was finished, it was time to cook. I've promised to make up several meals and freeze them so Mom has a stash to choose her meals from. Today, was sweet & sour beef -- one of Mom's recipes. I was her student as she was very pleased to make sure I had it right. LOL! Tomorrow, I'll be in Lydia's Kitchen -- having a cook-off against myself!

One of Mom's joys is playing her organ, but she's been so weak lately she hasn't been able to play. A few days ago, Karen urged her to put her feelings aside, make the enemy mad and play. When she plays, it's always a gospel song like "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art" -- songs that lift up praise and thanksgiving to God. Yesterday, I took from Karen's "play book" and I asked her to play for me. Her eyes lit up as she slowly moved out of her chair to go to the organ. Then she played and sang with such joy. I was able to sit in her presence and worship and praise as I saw light come into her AND into me by that sweet music. When she stopped playing, she said, "You know I never had a lesson (I don't think I ever knew that!)." She went on. "When Herb (her husband) became VP of the Bible College in Missouri, I started picking out tunes on the piano, and I just didn't stop. I kept playing and playing." Mom would excel in her playing and eventually became the organist in the church that Dad pastored. In fact, she was my greatest encourager to play the piano in church. We went on to play many years together.

Mom taught me many things over the years, and as I watch her age so gracefully, so full of faith and courage, I continue to be blessed by her. The command in Hebrews 13:15 says "we should be offering sacrifices of praise continually". It was a sacrifice for Mom to get out of her chair and walk to the organ and begin playing and praising. That's real praise. Real praise is what she's offering when she encourages others. Real praise continues regardless of circumstances. It flows continually from a worshipping heart in good times and bad.

That's what I plan on doing today. I'll be a Martha, cooking up meals for Mom's freezer, and I'll be a Mary, staying in-sync with our Lord Who is always speaking, giving wisdom and insight to us. Perhaps, squeezing out some sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving is a daily practice that would give us that extra "spring in our step" too!