Balancing homeschooling and homemaking can be downright overwhelming for me. I can do one or the other well, but rarely can I do both and feel like I’ve got a handle everything involved between the two. Tell me I’m not alone.
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In some ways, homemaking and homeschooling have been one of those you can’t serve two masters scenarios for me. Due to the sheer nature of my personality, when I try to give one hundred percent to both, I become stressed and irritable. Then I become a martyr. Lastly, I become task-oriented and forget to love my people the way they deserve. It’s pretty much a train wreck.
Even on the best days when I try to do both things well, I focus too much on the checklists and forget to savor the gift of time that homeschool affords. You see, I’ve needed to address this area for some time now. That’s where Sarah Mae enters the picture.
Having a Martha Home the Mary Way
As a writer and homeschool mom, Sarah Mae understands the struggle to lessen the mess and provide a life-giving place for her family. She knows the challenges that come with maintaining that cleanish home when your entire family is home more often than not.
The subtitle of Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is 31 Days to a Clean and Satisfied Soul. I love that Sarah doesn’t suggest that these are mutually exclusive because I’ve been searching for a way to have both. I’ve been searching for how to live a Mary life in a Martha home, but to no avail.
Mary and Martha
What do Martha and Mary have to do with homemaking? In Luke 10:38:42, we meet sisters Mary and Martha and learn of a time they hosted Jesus. Martha often gets thrown under the bus when this passage is discussed. Many believers criticize Martha for how she stressed and fussed. Let’s be honest though, if Jesus was coming over for dinner, don’t you think you’d clean like you’ve never cleaned before? Wouldn’t you cook like you’ve never cooked before?[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s easy to look at Martha and think her priorities were wrong, but are we any different?” quote=”It’s easy to look at Martha and think her priorities are wrong, but are we any different?” theme=”style7″]
Are we any different? I know I’m not. In essence, Martha is the martyr in this passage. She’s the one with the thrice-checked to-do list and head that’s spinning along with her plates, but she’s also the one who’s missing the moment and point.
Mary, on the other hand, is the sister we find sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking it all in. She’s the one we celebrate. Rightfully so.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42
The footnotes in my Illustrated Study Bible point out that Jesus didn’t blame Martha for being concerned with her to-do list. Instead, he asked her to reevaluate her priorities. Having a Martha Home the Mary Way challenges us to do the same. It challenges us to evaluate our priorities and find life-giving, life-changing balance as homemakers.
31 Days to a Clean and Satisfied Soul
The heart of Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is the 31-Day Challenge. This challenge is all about balance. If you tend to resonate with Mary, focusing on the “good,” but not necessarily what needs to be done, this is for you.
If you get everything done, but don’t spend time with Jesus and savoring your people, you’ll benefit equally.
The daily Mary Challenge brings purpose and peace to the homemaker. Through a short passage and a couple of questions, there’s opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and rest in His presence.
The Mary Challenges are perfect for starting the tasks of the day with the “good” that Jesus spoke of in Luke 10. Better yet, the reading and reflection can easily stand alone or be added to other Bible reading without becoming overwhelming.
The best thing about the daily Martha focus is it’s not intimidating. These challenges are broken down into manageable chunks that help tackle big chores and less-obvious projects around the house.
There’s also great emphasis to avoid doing the Martha tasks in martyr-mode. I love the tips for including the kids in the challenges and training them to take ownership of the home!
I no longer feel the need to do more than I can handle or let things go undone. Our kids have a few established chores, but these challenges opened my eyes to other ways they can help. I’ve happily implemented these fantastic suggestions.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by homemaking, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is your book. It’s not a how-to guide for creating a Pinterest-perfect home, either. It’s a practical approach to homemaking that happens by learning from both sisters to create and maintain a life-giving home.
You can learn more about author Sarah Mae by visiting her at SaraMae.com and connecting with her through social media: