Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Diagnosis - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 3]

When I read the list on pg. 33 'Ten Signs of a Big Worrier', I found myself to be 8 of the 10 :)

I. Am. A. Worrier.

I go through seasons of life when I worry more than others, but worry comes easily to me. I usually find something to worry about on a daily basis.

This chapter is such an encouragement to this worrying mama.

I love the illustration Joanna writes comparing worry to a thick fog.....


While physical fog may seem dense and almost solid, scientist tell us that a fog bank a hundred feet deep and covering seven city blocks is composed of less than one glass of water. Divided into billions of droplets, it hasn't much substance. Yet it has the power to bring an entire city to a standstill. [pg. 35-36]


This picture exposes the truth about worry. It is made of so little, yet yields the power to consume and paralyze us.

Later she gets to the root of this issue on worry when she includes a quote from Gary E. Gilley.


Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God. It is the view that God has somehow lost control of the situation and we cannot trust Him. A legitimate concern presses us closer to God and causes us to lean and trust on Him all the more. [pg. 38]


I may tell myself the need for worry is great because of the importance of the issue at hand. But, I could not list for you 99.9% of the things I worried about over my lifetime.

The truth is I fear a potential future event because I have stopped trusting God.

The problem is not the one in one million things that may or may not possibly happen. The problem is that when I worry, I have stopped trusting God.

I find this comforting, because I have felt so helpless to my incessant worry. How could I be anything but helpless in situations where I am battling in my mind over 'potentials' and 'what if's'.......reviewing over and over conversations that will probably never happen the way I envision them.

God's Word speaks directly and specifically about this problem of worry.


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 


As Joanna writes on page 40, the steps to combat worry have been laid out for us in scripture.

Be anxious about nothing.  Be prayerful about everything. Be thankful for all things.

I am thankful for what it says in verse 7. With these three things, we receive the Lord's peace that not only defies our logic but also guards our hearts and minds!

That is what I need, a guard for my heart and my mind.

So this week, we are challenged.......


Will we pray? Will we be worried? We really can't do both. [pg. 42]




Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

1. The third step to gaining victory over worry is to 'be thankful for all things'. What is something you will remind yourself you are thankful of this week?

2. Page 47 includes 'Top Ten Ways to Tame Your Worry Habit'. Which of these do you find most helpful? Is there one you will try this week?

3. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Lord, Don't You Care?" - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 2]


There should not be any limits to what I can do.
I am the only person available to help.
I must never make a mistake. [pg. 15]


These are lies I have told myself for as long as I can remember. Forget family, career, and marriage - I am the one who puts the most pressure on myself.

Because of that friendships, family, relationships and my spiritual life have suffered. My striving has been a dominant struggle throughout my life, even before I became a Christian.

At some point in every season of my life I have asked "Lord, Don't You Care?". Whether my time is spent in majority at my home (as is the current season) or fully on developing my career and working in the workplace (as it was for a decade), I have found times of experiencing 'loneliness' where my heart has spent far too much time comparing and very little time seeking the Lord.

Joanna wrote in Chapter 1 that 'busyness breeds distraction'. She furthers this thought here in chapter two with the 3D's: Distraction, Discouragement, and Doubt.

I loved how she writes specifically to each of these three words. It has been a lesson to me on how my frazzled state all began and how the cycle can continue daily if I do not pay close attention.

My busyness distracts me from the cross. Without my eyes there, I am primed and ready to be derailed by discouragement and self pity. I then doubt the Lord's love for me and in turn doubt my purpose, my decisions and my direction. The 3 D's build upon each other to a final result of unbelief.


Even on those days when I have the best of motives, my heart can be pulled away from doing things "as unto the Lord" and settle for simply getting things done. [pg.18]


"Simply getting things done"....that isn't a life lived victoriously. I want every one of my days, even the mundane ones to be lived fully. Don't you?

Joanna continues to speak so directly to my heart when she writes.....


When we no longer believe in God's goodness, when we no longer trust in his care, we end up running away from the very Love we need to live. [pg. 26]


I don't want to doubt God's goodness. I want to see my life as the redeemed story it is. I want to trust Him to finish the work He has started.

This chapter has taught me my 'busyness' blocks me from experiencing all of these things I so desire - life to the full, with a hope and a future - and instead leaves me a weary, easily offended, a closed off shell of who I am meant to be.

How many of my troubles have lingered because I have focused my gaze downward in frustration rather than looking up to see His presence in my story?

Joanna ends this chapter with so much encouragement and hope.


He longs to reveal his love to you. But you won't find it shaking your fist in his face. You won't find it by barging into his presence and demanding to be treated fairly. You'll find it by sitting at his feet and remembering who he is. [pg. 29]


Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented, let us encourage each other.

1. Which of the 5 Strategies for Fighting Discouragement on page 21 do you think might be most helpful for you?

2. Study Question #6 highlights Psalm 103. Which of the many truths about God's love mentioned in this Psalm do you find most prevalent in your walk?

3. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Tale of Two Sisters - Mary Heart / Martha World [Week 1]



Nurturing your spiritual life seems like one more duty - one more thing to add to a life that is spilling over with responsibilities. [pg. 2]


Wow! If she didn't take that thought straight from my heart!

I know having a daily quiet time is important. I even crave time to sit and receive from the Lord, but still - it is difficult for me to fit it into everything else in my day.

On the surface, I am a 'Martha'.


"Where's Mary? Has anyone seen Mary?" she asks a servant scurrying by. If Mary changed the sheets, Martha might have time to fashion an ark from the cheese and carve the fruit into little animals marching two by two. [pg. 4]


Hahaha! Every time I read this illustration Joanna wrote of what might have been going through Martha's heart, I laugh out loud.

I laugh because I so relate to her, building such high expectations for myself.

"If I preform perfectly - I will be satisfied, right?"

"If I go the extra (10) mile(s), it will be worth it, right?"

Right? :) I want to be able to say yes to these two questions, but the reality is the answer is almost always 'no'....actually, I feel tired, worn out, taken advantage of.....and even worse like I have missed out on the heart of the moment.

Joanna's writing in this first chapter encourages us to look closer at both sisters. Yes, there were two for a reason. Of course, we see ourselves as either more Mary or more Martha, but the Bible includes both, because in fact there are lessons to be learned from both.

Both sisters felt the full weight of Jesus' presence. They each react in their own way to how important He was to them.

Mary, like a magnet to His side, sat ready to soak in whatever He was going to say.

Martha.....kicked into high gear to honor Jesus with the best her home and homemaking had to offer.

Joanna's perspective pulls out a greater depth to Luke 10:38-42. It isn't that we shouldn't prepare food and our home for guests, but more that we should seek to understand the difference between what is 'nice' and what is 'needed'.

How nice would it be to offer the above mentioned efforts on our table?.....An ark of cheese and fruit animals!....an A+ Pinterest effort.

But really...all of that was not needed to make Jesus feel welcome. He came seeking her fellowship, not her fancy homemaking.

Joanna writes...

He isn't looking as much for workers as he is looking for sons and daughters - a people to pour his life into. [pg. 10]


What spoke most to me from this chapter is that Jesus seeks my heart not my ability.

My 'Kitchen Service' should flow from His anointing. And the only place I can receive His anointing is through 'Living Room Intimacy'.

Even though, by nature, I am a busy worker bee - not all on my to do list is 'needed' - there is space for me to make myself available to heart opening fellowship.

Even though I am naturally more of a 'Martha', I must choose the better part and meet with my Heavenly Father, as Mary did.




Let's talk about it.....

If you feel led, please comment below about all or just one of these items. We will focus on this chapter all week, so please jump in any day you find time. Also, please feel free to respond to others who have commented - everyone loves encouragement :)

1. Question 2 of the study guide asks what inanimate object best describes how your life currently feels? What is yours?

2. Who do you identify more closely with? Mary? Martha?

3. What spoke most to you from this chapter?

I look forward to hearing form you :)

- brook.

* All quotes mentioned above are noted by page number and are taken from 'Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World' by Joanna Weaver.

** Find out more about Joanna's ministry and how to purchase her books here.

January 10, 2015 - [Ten on Ten]

Capturing beauty in the 'regularness' of life.
Ten photos taken one an hour for ten hours on the tenth.




















For some reason, there is a 'drink theme' to this set :) Didn't notice that until I collected all the photos together :)
You can see others participating in the Ten on Ten project this month ------- here.

- brook.