Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


The Fallacy of Productivity

Are you busy with a hectic schedule like Martha or can you be still and listen like Mary?I have the hardest time going to a movie theater. Seriously, the last two movies I went to were Brave and the Avengers this summer, but before that it had been at least three or four years. Why? It’s simple. It gets too dark for me to do anything. At home with a DVD, I can scrap book, do social media, plan meals, crochet, and I like the feeling of being productive.

There are times to put aside busy-ness and get quiet enough to listen to God. Click to Tweet This!

Like Mary and Martha from Luke 10:39. The two sisters entertained Christ in their home. Martha planned and fussed and struggled to prepare something to give honor to the Lord. Mary, on the other hand, sat at Jesus’s feet focused on the instruction and encouragement that He gave.

Martha had good motivation, but missed the big picture. She also missed the amazing lessons that He shared that day in her own home. Mary truly gave Him honor by giving Him her full attention. She ended up being commended for her choice. Despite the fact that she looked lazy, she delighted in everything that came from the Lord’s mouth.

But what a conundrum this presents. Life is a busy place and we want to do our best to earn and show respect to family, friends, bosses. We want to give our best to the Lord, too; practiced, primped, without flaw.

Whoa. Wait a minute. This use of the word flaw reminds me of a Bible verse – Ephesians 5:25 – where Paul is describing the love of a man for his wife and comparing it to the Lord’s love for His church.

Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

This makes it clear that Christ is the one Who makes us flawless, even with all of our practice and dedication. So should we even try to extend our best to God? Yes, and spend time in practice and prayer to do so, but we can’t impress Him. And while He inhabits our offering of praise, whatever that sacrifice might be, we delight Him when we stay in a teachable position ready to learn from Him.

Your turn: Which do you lean toward, the Mary or the Martha? Or have you found a balance?


Ideas are Flowing

Matthiessen WaterfallDo you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to write something down? That has been happening to me constantly week. Story ideas, marketing thoughts, blog posts. They’ve been coming in a waterfall breaking over the rocks of reality.

Seriously, I drove out to the mid-cities on Saturday and thankfully had my IPad in the seat next to me. One of my apps is a recorder with a big red button on it. I gave it a push and started spewing out the scene that had been rumbling through my head since I woke up. Does it count as writing if it isn’t down on paper? Maybe half-credit? LOL!

The same thing happened a few nights ago with a picture I found at Pinterest. (Have I mentioned that I LOVE Pinterest?) Tons of ideas spewed out of that one. I’m even featuring it in tomorrow’s blog so come back!

But much of the droplets have fallen on the stone cold reality of my busy schedule. I tell folks that I homeschool and I think images of eating chocolates on a lounger float across their minds. Ha! Shows what they know – it’s chocolate cake on my couch. So there!

No really, I know everyone has their own flavor of craziness. I’ve always been told in ministry to give jobs to busy people because they know how to get them done. I’m probably a fair example of that, but I have learned to use the word no when necessary. Still, this week has started out with the arrow pointing near overload on my busy-ness gauge, so while ideas have been flowing, only short notes and scratched out hints have been written.

But the ideas are flowing – woohoo! And I do have notes and scratched-out hints when life slows down again – and it will. Prom is 5 weeks away. I’ve done it for six years now. Life comes to a screeching halt when it ends and I get some of my best writing done! Can’t wait!

All-in-all, as this first round of ROW80 2012 nears finality, I’m not nearly as far down my writing road as I wished. I didn’t complete a novel like I did last time, but that one is taking on a whole new path with my revisions. And I expected to be able to complete those revisions, however, that expectation came before inspiration. No argument there. Can’t say that I’m really disappointed about anything except my lack of exercise. Will continue to work on that, though.

One more week to go!