Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's All About the Details...Or Is It?

When I woke up Saturday morning, one of the first emails I saw was from "God's Daily Promises" with the title "Details, details".  It caught my eye because I'd been up since 4:30 that morning unable to shut off my brain.  For the past 2+ hours I'd been running details for our church's Christmas Store through my head.  We were opening our doors to families in need, allowing them to purchase toys for 10 cents or less on the dollar.  A kind of charity with dignity that allowed them to choose their children's gifts and have them wrapped, rather than receive a handout.  

Over 150 families had been invited and RSVPs had not be required for a variety of reasons, so we were totally in the dark as to how to shop and what to expect.  To complicate matters further, it had been less than 5 weeks from the inception of the idea to date of fruition.  All types of last minute loose ends came to mind and I began to toss and turn.  After a day that had included 12 hours of set up, shopping, another period of set up, then standing outside in the cold for awhile to carol during our Living Nativity which was also going on that weekend, my body was aching.  Since I'd gone to bed late, the hours of actual rest totalled less than 4...and I knew Saturday would be an even tougher go.

I thought about opening the email to see what encouragement I could find, but the time crunch kept me from it.  By 7:45, I was sitting in a diner booth having breakfast with a friend before heading over to the church to face all those potential issues I'd concerned myself with in the wee hours of the morning.  Right off the bat, I was caught off guard.  I had a driving team going to a local shelter to pick up some ladies and their kids, but the keys to the van were missing.  As one of the team began calling 1, 2, 3 people and counting to see who had the keys, I lost it.  I knew it was the exhaustion taking hold, but I just cried like a baby.  Two of my friends tried to comfort me and one of them reminded me of something I'd said just minutes before - "this isn't my outreach, it's God's, and I know He's going to take care of all the details."  Man can I forget quickly.

Eventually, the keys were recovered and the person who had absent-mindly taken them home felt awful about the oversight.  We had only lost half an hour with that phase of the outreach, and in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't earth-shattering or deal breaking.  Certainly nothing to cry over.  The rest of the day ran as smoothly as a first time event of a huge magnitude could.  Both volunteers and recipients had experienced something divinely put together and lives were touched.  At the end of the day, the blessings went even further as unsold toys were bagged and given to another organization looking for unwrapped gifts to give other children in need.

The following day, I went back and opened up that email and read, "But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it — and I won't take it away from her."  Luke 10:41-42 NLT.

The author went on to say "I can relate to Martha. If I were planning a party, she'd be the one I'd ask to help. Martha knows everything needs to be just right.  But Jesus stopped her.  'My dear Martha,' he said, 'you are so upset over all these details!…'  Jesus took Mary's side. He said that Mary was the one who had the right idea. She did nothing but listen and was praised; Martha did everything but listen and was chastised.  The Lord's priorities are not the same as ours. Jesus isn't as concerned about our lace tablecloths and clean kitchens as we are. He's concerned with the state of our heart — the time we spend at his feet, reflecting on his words and resting in his presence."

At the moment of my tears, I was more concerned about the details that weren't in place than in seeking the face of the One who's in all the details.  I knew I couldn't and shouldn't do things in my own power, yet there I was crying over what was out of my control rather than praying.  I was tired, but knowing I was vulnerable should have given me all the more reason to hand over the reigns I had no right holding.  Thank goodness I surround myself with others who are like Mary, who can remind me where to look and what's important if I lose sight of it.


  1. A great account of Saturday's outreach. So glad to have been a part of it! :)

  2. after reading ur post i understand..being a martha you want everything to go perfectly. very easy to loose sight (or ur mind) of whats important. thank God he places marys in our mist..i did get to be there for a few hours and it was perfect..the people that came to shop were thrilled to be able to purchase such wonderful gifts for their kids..the christmas store was a blessing..kudos to the team of marthas and marys that made it all possible..

  3. Char - it was good to have you. And Anonymous - Amen...it was a huge team effort - over 100 volunteers from start to finish. That's another fault of mine...trying to take it all on when there are others willing and able. I always feel personally responsible, but it's all in God's hands.

  4. Great post and well said, as usual, my friend.

    There's nothing 'wrong' with being a Martha -- it's all about the attitude with which we serve Him and trusting He's got the outcome of our obedience and serving all under control. <3

    And next time....open your email first, girl, especially when the subject line seems to pertain to your situation! That was truly God speaking to you. :)

    Love ya!

  5. Martha, Martha, Martha or is it Marcia, Marcia, Marcia? All kidding aside, what a wonderful thing that you did with this particular opportunity to serve others at Christmas. Yes, God had your back, and he knows your heart- to serve. And you're right He so graciously allows circumstances to arise (does it all the time for me) to remind us that the best place for us to remain is clinging to that darn robe of His even in the busy-ness, NO especially in the busy -ness of ministry! Be careful out there, Toni! No running ahead of the Master! Love your heart to serve! In His Grace, Dawn (catching up on your posts now!)

  6. Especially in the busyness of ministry...and life...to be sure. Reminds me of a little book I read this summer lol - one that contributed to a 6 part post! Bill Hybels Too Busy NOT To Pray :)