I am a Martha

I guess there could be worse faults to admit. At one time in my life, I was teaching/working full time, raising kids, going to school full time, being a wife, involved in ministry and taking care of my aging mother-in-law. In hindsight, I wonder who got gypped the most. Probably my husband, maybe my kids, but I told myself that I was just doing what needed to be done. After all, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” But what if He doesn’t want me to do “all things”?  What if what He really wants me to do is learn the art of saying no to things that are not of eternal significance? 

I look back at that time and shake my head. *Insert side note; my husband just came in the room as I was writing this and asked me if I wanted to have some prayer time. My first response was to tell him I was focused on something right now that I needed to finish while it was fresh in my head. Then I thought about the last sentence of the first paragraph and was a bit convicted. Maybe this will go better if I practice what I preach. I stopped typing and prayed.

So, I look back at the time that I was so busy and wonder how I did all that. I make myself tired! I set unrealistic expectations for myself and, in turn, for others. I jokingly say that my next book is going to be titled “Diminished Capacity” and it will be filled with blank pages. One by one, the Lord is removing the distractions from my life and drawing my eyes to Him and asking me to sit at His feet and listen like Mary did. 

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Events such as COVID have forced many of us to be at home more. For some it has caused a tremendous amount of stress. People laugh about the COVID 19, talking about the weight they put on from being sequestered with never ending food shows and the kitchen as their playground. As sad as the whole last year has been, I rejoiced in the time to be silent, to take long walks, to work in my yard, to hear God’s voice. 

The past six weeks I have been relatively silent here on FB, my Blog (Soul Water at http://www.kerilynnwillis.com), and Instagram. Maybe I should have been more prepared to drop out of sight for this time, but my family needed me, and I was done being overcommitted. I checked out and focused on being 100% present in the activities and moments that needed my attention. It was not all without stress. There were moments of feeling completely overwhelmed. 

At one point, the Lord really impressed on my heart the need for surrender. I closed my eyes, relinquishing my need for control over things that were far beyond me. The picture started forming in my head with a pencil drawing of Jesus’ nail scared feet. With each whispered prayer, another face, home or event was sketched at his feet. While they all still demand prayer and even some work, I think I will try to only visit them at the feet of Jesus. They need to stay put. If I pick them up and try to put them in my burden bag, I must consciously place them back where they belong. 

I probably will never be very good at sitting still. But I am learning. Learning to hear God’s voice in the noise of this world, in the silence of my yard, in the song of the birds, and by the posture of my heart. 

What do you need to place at the feet of Jesus? There is plenty of room for you to sit, listen, learn at his feet and leave your burdens with Him.

Over the past few weeks, this song has been on repeat in my heart. Christy Nockels sings it so beautifully. “Find Me at the Feet of Jesus” 

Published by Keri Willis

My name is Keri Willis. I am a semi-retired educator. I spent a great deal of my career working with adults with developmental disabilities and many years in elementary education, in the classroom and as an administrator. My main ministry now is coordinating the women’s ministry for our church in San Diego, CA. I have been married thirty-four years and have two grown and married children. I now have a head of full grey hair and good ideas. I believe we are created to use our gifts and to be creative. That comes in many forms for me. I love to woodwork and use power tools, design, decorate, garden, and create new recipes. And I love to write. One major lesson I have learned in my writing journey is that I need to be still and listen to hear God’s voice before I am prepared to put into words the message he has instilled in my heart. This has been much easier since I am no longer working full time, but it is so easy to get distracted and not listen, which almost always ends with an empty page in the form of writer’s block. While I have written many articles for newsletters and local newspapers, I did not consider myself a writer until I self-published my first book, Teapots and Power Tools. https://www.amazon.com/Teapot.../dp/1466458763/ref=sr_1_3... The idea emerged as I was working on a project in my garage. I had worship music playing, power tools out and saw dust flying. I glanced up and saw my delicate teapot sitting on my router table. The message was clear. Sometimes we are using the power tools God gives us and sometimes he just wants us to be still and have tea with him. The book became the foundation for a women’s retreat, and then my amazing niece helped me work through publishing it on Create Space (now KDP). At least five other projects are in different stages of production. I joined hope*writers to help motivate me and keep me focused and accountable. I am still trying to figure out the whole website and blog thing. That is my next goal for myself; that and finish writing at least one of my projects! Teapots and Power Tools: Effectively using the tools God has equipped you with, while taking time to “Be Still and Know That He is God”

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