This is an article I wrote a couple of years ago. It did me good to read it over again!
I have felt bogged down lately. I feel like I have not been the best I could be. I have become more Martha than Mary, and that makes my family suffer. I've been feeling it for a while, but yesterday especially brought it home to me, when my normally happy two years old, Luke, spent the morning in tears. Nothing went right for him. Max went off in the car to do errands without him; Mary Susannah had things to do herself in her room upstairs, and didn't want a baby's help. Mommy was terribly busy doing her own work, and to top it all off, I am trying to wean him from the bottle, so he did not have that to comfort him. Weaning him from the bottle has become a necessity, because he is in the normal two year old development of pouring things from one container to another. This means that it is great fun to take the top off the bottles, and pour the contents into the little sink in our older foster daughter's dollhouse (which certainly will not hold the contents of an 8 ounce bottle), over the head of the younger foster daughter, or over his own clothes, to transfer the contents of the bottle into any other container or cup in the house, and usually missing and spilling it all over whatever surface that container happens to be on, or, in not taking the top off, turning the bottle upside down, and dripping the contents of the bottle on any table, furniture, toy or child happens to be convenient at the moment. No amount of punishment will deter him from this fascination. Adding to that, I had to take the younger 15 month old foster daughter to the dentist. Thankfully, I have a wonderful dentist here in other children were there (and not only that, but did it free of charge.) When I lamented over the requirement of having to take a baby with only eight teeth to the dentist, he said that was because foster children were usually raised by crack or methamphetamine addicts, or POI'S. POI'S? Plain Old Idiot's, who put their babies to bed with bottles of milk or juice, thereby rotting their teeth.
GULP!! Did you know I am a POI? And I do know better. I nursed my birth children, and this was never an issue. But now I have resorted to doing what has been easy to get the kids to sleep, and even though I do dilute almost all bottles, day or night, to 1/4 milk or juice to 3/4 water (this is for babies over a year, not infants), I have allowed them to take these bottles to bed with them. So now I am a reformed POI, and they must take water bottles to bed, which is not going over well with Luke.
Anyway, I feel like several things have been going on to cause me to bog down. One is that lately I have come across a host of really good books that have caused me to either hurry through my Bible reading or neglect it all together. I have good intentions, and the books are good books usually with a moral, but I tend to fall asleep reading and if I don't read my Bible first, then it doesn't get done. Another is that in leaving the church fellowship I moved here for, I have not even bothered to try and fill that in with new fellowship in the new church we are attending, because I have been too busy. The lady who was my main friend moving off to Washington has not helped. I have just let my busyness keep me from thinking I miss having deep adult conversations.
This has all caused me to wonder about myself, and worry over the spiritual condition of my children who are growing up and either at an age or coming quickly to an age where they will be accountable to the Lord. I feel like we are slipping. So I resolved yesterday that it was time to make a new determination to get back on track. Not that I have been doing anything wrong, I don't think, just that my mind has been allowed to wander from spiritual things. I decided that instead of following my usual Bible reading plan, I would concentrate for a while on the four gospels, and just read what Jesus said, and mediate on how Jesus lived His life. So last night, I was reading in Matthew, and I came across this:
Matthew 7:16-20 " By their fruits you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
No matter how much I tried to go on with my reading, my eyes kept coming back to that one phrase "every good tree bears good fruit." A while back, my son Max gave me a framed picture for Mother's Day. It was of a mother swinging a child, and had this scripture on it. Last night, when my eyes kept going back over and over again to that verse, I finally realized this is the message God has for me, to get me past my rut. I turned off the light and went to bed at 8 o'clock, just so I could think about this. There is no getting past my Martha work. A mother of a large family just has Martha work to do. But could I be a Martha with a Mary mindset? Could I get up earlier in the morning and get my Martha work done, so that I can be a Mary for the rest of the day? I haven't got it all figured out yet, but I'm working on it.
I resolve to be a good tree!!