For seven months, like most of the world, I was working from home. The kids were doing school at home. There were no sports. Everything in our life came to a halt. Our family was forced to slow down. But after a seven-month hiatus, all of a sudden, everything started back up. The kids went to school in a building. I went to work again, in a building. Football, swimming, and dance were all back on the calendar.
We went from doing nothing for seven months to starting everything back up in one week. I’m not going to lie the first time I dropped my kids off at school and then drove to work; I cried a little. It was the first “normal” thing I had done in so long that my emotions took over. I was so filled with joy that when a hint of apprehension came over me, I was confused. Isn’t this what I have been praying for months and months, and it actually happened, so why do I feel like I’m losing something?
I’ve been pondering this feeling of loss in my head when I heard God say, “Martha, Martha” (for the record, I don’t hear an audible voice, just a thought will come into my mind). Also, umm, excuse me, God, but I think you have me confused. I’m Kacie. But, again, I heard “Martha, Martha.” So not understanding why God was calling me Martha, I decided to do some research and Google, “Martha, Martha.” This is what I found.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”
“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.”
In this story, Jesus visits Mary and Martha. Martha works hard to make everything perfect for Jesus, while, according to Martha, Mary does not nothing. But God corrects Martha and kind of puts her in her place, telling her what Mary is doing is right. Mary slowed down. Mary wasn’t worried about anything else but being with Jesus, hearing from Jesus, and learning from Jesus. Martha missed the point.
OK, God, I get it. I know why You’re calling me Martha. During the time when my family was home, I spent more intentional time with God. If that’s a strange phrase to hear, all I mean is that the first thing I did when I woke up was spending time with God like I would any relationship I value, most of the time reading the scripture on the Crossroads App. I would also pray for people and also ask for prayers. It was a routine I started in April because I had the time but more importantly, because I needed the time with God.
When everything started back up, I went back to my old routines. Get up, get ready, get the kids ready, go to school, go to work, drive carpool, dinner, homework, go to bed, and start over. Going back to my old routine, the first thing I dropped was my time with God. I started to become Martha, but sadly I wasn’t preparing my home for a visit from Jesus, I was defaulting to my old normal. Letting go of my time with God, I’m starting to fully understand how much it’s hurting me.
When I started my day with God and focused on what He has for me, my day always seemed to be better. Even if it was a rough day with work or the kids, I always felt peace and comforted knowing God has my back, and he’s with me. Now I feel stressed and even a little angry, which came to a head when I cussed out the poor crossing guard the other day. Granted, the crossing guard didn’t hear what I said because I was in my car, but my poor children did. At that moment, it hit me that my prayer time with God isn’t only affecting me but also my family.
So I need to make a change in going back to my old routine, but first, I needed to change my bedtime.
My time with God used to be from 8-9am, but now with kids in school, I have to be up by 6am, which means my prayer time with God needs to start at 5am. I like to sleep, and 5am sounds freaking horrible, so you can see why my personal time with God was the first to go.
But isn’t that backward? Shouldn’t that be the time I fight for the most to keep? So I need to go to bed when the kids go to bed. I know that sounds so easy, but I always stayed up later so that I could finally watch the shows I wanted to see while the kids were in bed. Saying this out loud, I’m starting to realize how selfish I am. I was willing to sacrifice my time with God, so I could stay up and watch TV.
God was also reminding me that just because old rhythms have started back up for the first time in 7 months, that doesn’t mean I give up the new ones I’ve started. Which makes me wonder over the quarantine, what lessons did God teach you? What new routines did you start? More importantly, which is God calling you to continue once life starts back up? Is it to continue to spend time with family? Is it spending time with God, like me? Is it continuing to work on your finances? Is it continuing to eat out less and cook more? And once your life starts, how are you going to keep the new rhythm? Start thinking about it now and make a plan because when life starts back up, it’s easy to go into old routines and forget about the ones God was teaching you over the past months.
Over this year, God has been teaching me spending intentional time with him is the most important part of my day, and though I have sucked at it since old routines have started back, that doesn’t mean I can’t correct my errors.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...
How To Make Time For God When Life Gets Busy Again
What stood out to you most about this article? Why that?
What rhythms during the COVID shutdown turned out positive for you? What was good about them? How could you protect them as life starts to get busy again?
What’s your experience with setting aside specific time to learn about God, hear him, or pray? If you haven’t tried it, what do you think of the idea?
There are lots of ways to connect with God. Praying, journaling, reading the Bible, or listening to messages or music that helps you focus on Him. Which one feels most intriguing to you as an easy way to connect? Whether you’re new to it, or just needing to reset your rhythm, pick a time this week to try to start (or restart) a habit.
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