I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Writer's Life: Being Instead of Doing

“But Martha was distracted…And Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part…” Luke 10:40—42


Most mornings I hit the floor running with a million things on my to-do list. I have pottery orders to fill and jewelry to make, abstinence classes to teach, emails to check, appointments to keep, people to take care of and of course, I have to find time to write…people who know me say I’m the busiest person they know.

Sometimes I remind myself of a juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air.

Just like Martha, I get so busy I lose sight of what’s most important. I’m not saying all the things I do aren’t worthy activities. They are, just as Martha’s activities were, but I’m convinced the greatest enemies of God’s best for my life are the good things I’m involved in.

I want to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet. I want to camp out in His presence and feel His love, doing that best thing He has planned for me—writing the story He’s given me. I want to be into being instead of always doing. And the only way to do that is to STOP:

Sit quietly in His presence…
Take time to listen to Him…
Open my ears instead of my mouth…
Pray for His guidance and seek His best for my life…

…AGAIN.

You see, I’ve been here before. Burned out and frazzled because I took on one more thing…

“Can you…?”
“Sure, no problem.”


And each good thing I agreed to do chips away at my quiet time as well as my writing time. I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that He’s given me a task to complete, and I can’t finish it if I don’t choose that best part.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Pat Trainum
www.lovefaithandmurder.com
http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/

38 comments:

  1. That is a powerful acronym, Pat, and especially apropos for a Monday morning. (Did I use "apropos" appropriately? I love the word, but am never quite sure I'm using it correctly!) Thanks for the encouragement to keep my focus on "being" with Christ instead of only "doing."

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  2. Me, too, Melissa. Never quite sure where to use that lovely word. Beth?

    I know one of your goals is to draw closer in your relationship with Him, and given your schedule, sometimes that will be difficult. So I hope this post helps.

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  3. Great reminder, Pat. I should probably post your acronym on my mirror. Or maybe on the fridge, since I couldn't miss it then. :-)

    And how appropriate is it that the word verification on this says "my cat" ??? How is the little rescue cat, anyway?

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  4. Such wise words Pat! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thanks for stopping by, Chandra. I hope my post helps in some way.

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  7. Mazie is...no longer little. He's at least 15 pounds and is finally letting me pet him. Still can't hold him...he'll never be a lap cat. And he rules the house. lol Thanks for asking Jenness.

    Deleted the above comment due to typos!

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  8. When the Pink Energizer Bunny raises her ugly head, I try to remember to be a Human Being, not a Human Doer.

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  9. Pat,
    Boy you hit the nail on the head when it comes to my life. I'm always adding something else to my to-do list. I need to be reminded daily to STOP.
    Thanks!!

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  10. Such a good reminder, especially on a Monday when the To Do list stretches long and wide and deep ...

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  11. Such a great reminder, Pat! I need to S.T.O.P. too! (Especially the open my ears instead of my mouth part!)

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  12. What a beautiful reminder of what is most important. Thank you. I needed that!

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  13. Jennie and Beth, I'm glad this post hit the spot. It's one I need to read every day. lol

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  14. Cheryl, love the Energizer bunny analogy! I'll have to remember that one.

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  15. Sherrinda, so glad you stopped by and I'm glad the post helped you.

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  16. Teri, I am really trying to listen this year. And it is truly a struggle. I always know enough about a subject to be dangerous and then I open my mouth instead of listening and learning.

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  17. So true, Pat. Learning to say NO can be difficult, but very rewarding.

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  18. This was a great post, Pat! I, too, love your acronym. It's so fitting, and one I needed to be reminded of today. :) Thanks.

    My honey used to ask me if I wanted the good things or God's best things in my life. I've learned that to have God's best, I'll have to give up/say no to some of the good things in my life. Sometimes, it's so difficult. Glad to hear the update on Mazie. I was thinking about him the other day. :)

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  19. You better believe it! lol. I know for me, it's partly because I want to please others. So, when someone asks me to do something, I've learned to say, "Let me pray about it."

    It's not always my first answer, and sometimes in the middle of saying yes, God will remind me.

    Thanks for stopping by Brenda!

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  20. Jeanne, your husband is so wise! And you're right about it being difficult. Everything looks so good and we want to do it. But when we're spread too thin, we end up not doing anything well.

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  21. For starters, turn off your iPhone every morning for 3 hours. God wants you to do that! LOL!!

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  22. What? Turn off the iPhone? Can we really live that way?

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  23. Oh, Patricia! Teri's right--Don't know if I can do that. I'd feel so...like I didn't have all my clothes on.

    Thanks for dropping in!

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  24. I just know I'd miss out on something if I turn off the iPhone!

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  25. You could have crawled inside my head and penned this post about me. I'm so great at being a Martha. I'm a people pleaser so saying no is a challenge at times, but God continues to bless me when I give him top billing. I need to print out S.T.O.P. and stick to my computer.

    Great post, Pat!!

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  27. Lisa, it is so hard sometimes to know when something is a good thing and something is the best thing. Two choices yesterday...One was a request to take a position of responsibility at the church, a job I've done in the past and enjoy doing. I found myself saying Sur.........let me pray about it. lol. And after praying I knew God wasn't calling me to that job.

    The second, the ladies in my SS class want to learn how to knit...and I'm the only knitter in the class. But God had been laying this on my mind for a couple of weeks and when I was asked to teach them, He had already prepared my heart to say yes. First lesson today went really wel

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  28. Wish I could sit in on your SS knitting class, Pat. Sometimes we need a G.O. as much as we need a S.T.O.P. and only God can tell us when to use each one.

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  29. Mary's example is so important for us -- but it seems to me that Marthas are always needed if anyting is to get done!

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  30. Good observation, Johnnie. And as I recall, and I'm sure if Martha hadn't made lunch, there wouldn't have been any!

    I think where we go wrong sometimes is having a full course meal when sandwiches will suffice. But then, if Jesus was my guest, I'd hate to serve him sandwiches. I think Martha just felt overwhelmed...just like I do when I'm over extended.
    Thanks for stopping by, Johnnie!

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  31. And Teri, you're right about the G.O.and again, I think it all comes down to hearing what God wants us to do.

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  32. I received this in an email regarding today's post:

    Martha's activities in the presence of physical Jesus had good intentions but she failed to seize the moment to bow down and personally worship Him

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  33. Wow, w/ 3 grandchildren here thru Mon., I missed the Fri. post & yours until now. I love your acronym & wisdom here. Thanks so much.

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  34. Thanks, Dee...this morning I'm revisiting it. Again. So hard to say no sometimes!

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  35. Liked this post, Pat. One way I think God used my fractured legs was to help me learn to pare back some :) Cool how God prepared you to put the lesson into practice on Sunday ~ He's nice like that. ~ Jenny

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  36. Thanks for stopping by Jenny! I keep telling myself, either slow down or God will do it for you. It's happened to me more times than I care to admit. lol

    Yes, it really is nice when you know something's for God. It started out with me challenging my SS class to learn something new this year. Just didn't know it'd involve me teaching them!

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  37. Thanks for the reminder, Pat. I'm supposed to be out in the chair "being" instead of in here reading. (I had to hop on to renew some overdue library books.) But, it's as you say, the things most of us choose to do are good things, they just might not be the best that God has for us! (The strict schedule I've been keeping as been helping, but I've broken rank this morning. Back I go, chastened....) LOL

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  38. Yes, Patti, there are so many temptations out there...but I'm so glad you hopped over here!

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