So here I am, sitting at a Starbucks three minutes away from my house which is sitting empty while Austin leads worship and the kids go to choir practice at church. So….that’s dumb right? Why don’t I just write from home? Good question. Because I identify most with Type 1 in the Enneagram, and One’s we don’t do creative indulgences very well from home. Don’t read that as I don’t like being home, I can homebody like a CHAMP. Once when the kids were little and I wasn’t working outside our house Austin came home from work and asked how long it had been since the last time I had left. Four days. It had been four days and I didn’t even realize it! That’s the dream, man. (And the homebodies said amen!)
I LOVE being home, but in order to take some time for myself the house has to be clean, the laundry has to be done, lunches and breakfasts for the week must all be safely towed in their containers in the fridge and freezer, the master bed has to be made, all the paper work from the kids’ teachers must be filled out and all my work for TVR has to be done (which is never done because small business life). You can see where the problem lies right? So when I heard on a podcast recently that Ones are actually at their best when you can get them out of their house, it made complete sense. I’m so much more fun, energetic, and adventurous when I’m out...but home is still my favorite place, I can’t explain it.
I’m very happy being the primary groundskeeper inside our house, I love cleaning and organizing spaces. I have no complaints that no one is helping me (ok, that’s a lie...I have no complaints when I’m on my own doing the cleaning that I WANT to do, but I do complain and gripe A LOT when I’m picking up the one million dirty socks and legos that are flippantly strewn about). Even as I increase my work load with our businesses, I still have a core value in homekeeping. It’s important to me, albeit sometimes too important.
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Bible Binge, earlier today and they had a series on sibling rivalry in the Bible. Having grown up with sisters I naturally picked the episode that most related to me: Mary and Martha. I LOVED it so much, it was such a different take on the old story we learned as kids. Martha was the oldest sister and she wasn’t just a little busy body nagging everyone around the house to “ice these cupcakes,” she owned that home and it was large enough to take care of others (like her siblings perhaps?). She was managing her estate and running the household...not just doing frivolous chores. She wasn’t doing anything wrong, she just wasn’t doing what was most beneficial. Two things that I extra extra loved and had never thought about before: 1. Jesus never says “Martha, stop doing all this housework and cooking and hostessing!” which is totally what comes to mind when I think of this Bible story. No, Jesus says “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,” her worry and anxiousness is what he is asking her to put down to be with him. He isn’t saying that the actual task she’s doing is a waste of time and that she should be better to pray instead. No, he is gently pushing her to stop worrying, stop striving and BE with him. I personally imagine that she has already cooked or had the Bible-times equivalent of easy freezer meals ready to pop in the oven, she probably already has the bathrooms clean and the space all set to welcome people at a moment’s notice because that’s part of her personal, organic ministry for people and now for Jesus himself. They are able to chill out because she was ready to open her home to him and welcome him in. But what he doesn’t want is the never-good-enough-never-clean-enough frustrations and comparison she has towards her sister. If you ask me, she was totally in the Type One camp, we all strive so earnestly for the best reasons, only to work ourselves into anxiousness and burn out. It is a very reoccurring conversation with The Spirit that I am “anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary.” I do need to stop striving and getting all frustrated-and-controlly. But also...Jesus doesn’t think that my love of homekeeping is dumb. He isn’t saying that I have to leave the house dirty to prove that I care more about relationships than cleaning. I really believe that he just wants me to understand that my work is a tool to be USED for the important thing and that my work isn’t the thing itself.
Ok, second thing that I took away from this podcast (correctly count how many times I write the word “podcast” in this post and get a prize!*) is when Erin Moon came on for her segment called “Gentle Rebuke” where she goes over the theology of what was discussed in the episode with a fine toothed comb (if this sounds excessive, you should know that this podcast is fun and lighthearted and funny, but they don’t want to be heretics either. Just go listen for yourself). Erin talked specifically to the cultural situation of Martha cleaning and Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. In that time, Martha was doing exactly the right thing and exactly what she was supposed to be doing (and the 1’s, 3’s, 6’s and 8’s all breathed a sigh of relief), it was Mary who was being the rebel by cultural standards. In those days, only the men got to sit at the feet of the rabbi to learn. Erin talked about how this is really a story about how much Jesus valued and equalized women, how he called them to throw off the cultural and religious expectations and to learn at his feet just as much as the men in the room were learning at his feet. Jesus continually values women, and not just as wives or mothers or cooks and cleaners. When people act like Jesus is all fluffy and sugary sweet...I could scream into a pillow, Jesus was/is BOLD, RADICAL, UNTAMEABLE, UNPREDICTABLE. The idea that Jesus wouldn’t have wanted women to be treated and taught equally, and yet he is correcting Martha for keeping her distance...it’s nuts. Why would Jesus call Martha out if he thought women needed to experience His character, teaching, and love second hand from the men in their life?!
Ok, that got more ranty than I originally thought it would. The point is, this story reminds me and really impresses upon me in a really personal way that Jesus values me, he loves me, and he just wants me to know when to put the Swiffer down and receive his grace in place of my striving.
Side note: I heard on yet another podcast today that blogging is out. This might have made some people sad, especially people with a blog. But it made me so happy. It’s like my favorite coffee shop just got less crowded and I can enjoy it and soak it up all to myself. So if no one reads this because they aren’t stuck in the past when people liked reading blogs (also cause this is hella long), that’s fine. I’m in my happy space either way, but I do thank you for making it this far with me. Ok, time to go make hard boiled eggs for this week’s breakfast, clean out last week’s backpacks and fold the clean laundry.
*Not really. Even if I was serious, I’m awful at mailing things so you would never receive that prize and I would feel guilty about it.