Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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Are You a Martha, a Mary or a Marthary?

You’ve probably heard the story of Martha and Mary from the Bible, Luke 10:38-42:

“As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need only of one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

I always smile when I hear this reading, mostly because I identify with it so well. I’ve always been a total Martha.

Martha is scurrying around getting dinner ready for an extremely important guest, Jesus. And there sits her lazy sister Mary, not helping!

Me: “I know Martha, can you believe Mary is just sitting there on her butt not even helping!? How dare she!? Doesn’t she know who your guest is?”


Are you a Martha?

PicsArt_1415242689476A Martha of today seems like a type-A personality who thinks, “I can do it better myself, but you better at least offer to help.” A Martha of today is always on the move, because everything has to be perfect, organized, timely, and neat, and it needs to be like that NOW, or even better yesterday.

Yep, that pretty much describes me or at least described me before becoming a wife and a mother. I’m not sure you can be the best wife and mother if you are a full-on Martha. I think it took my husband an entire year to get me to believe the dirty dishes would actually wait for me and that it was more important to cuddle together in front of the television. Now, seven years into our marriage, I still really like to get the dishes done right away, but there are several times a month when the pile gets so high, I have to leave huge hints asking my husband when he thinks the “dish fairies” will come. The dirty dish piles would have previously given me insta-migraines, but now, dirty dishes represent me choosing my family first. Score one for Mary.

Maybe it’s because I spent several years during high school and college as a waitress (or maybe it’s just because my Martha blood runs deep), but I’m obsessed with quality customer service and I get offended and annoyed when it’s less than stellar. So, I identify with the fact that Martha is, “burdened with much serving.” When my husband and I host parties, I am always the one gliding around the room, taking drink orders, removing dirty dishes and happily chiming in to dozens of one minute conversations. I know that is so Martha, but that is just how I serve people; I want everyone to enjoy themselves and have everything they need. Score one for Martha.

In Luke’s gospel, Martha’s sister Mary, is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him speak. Can’t you just picture Mary? She is sitting peacefully at the feet of the Lord, knees hugged to chest with excitement, totally enthralled and taken in by whatever Jesus is saying, totally oblivious to her sister running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

Me: “Mary, clearly you do know who your guest is, because you are giving him your full, uninterrupted attention. You have ‘chosen the better part,’ and I strive to be more like you.

Are you a Mary? 

A Mary of today is a more laid-back, go with the flow type of gal, not because she is flighty, but because she trusts in the Lord’s plan for her life. A Mary of today is a good listener, a good friend, and someone who takes time to enjoy the simple things in life.

Have you ever been cut-off by someone while driving? You are in a total rage as you pull up next to the cutter-offer at the next stop light. You peer into their car at the person behind the wheel that dared to cut you off. You expect to receive an “I’m sorry” wave or to at least see someone who is clearly embarrassed by their clumsy driving. Nope. All you see is the cutter-offer happily smiling, looking forward, totally oblivious to the fact that they just nearly caused a multi-car collision.

That’s how I think of Mary in this story, minus the parts where you are super mad at her and where she could have seriously injured someone. Mary’s full focus is on Jesus. She doesn’t mean to ignore that her sister needs help serving; she is just so totally absorbed in what Jesus is saying. There is something really beautiful about that. Don’t you wish you took more time to be totally absorbed in what really matters in your life?

In our house, “A-BU-GEE Mommy,” can be translated to, “Help me please Mommy.” When I hear my little ones calling this out, I’ve learned to drop what I’m doing and flee to their aid. I’ve noticed our best days together are the days I put down my smartphone and give them my total attention. The days that they are “super naughty” tend to be days that I have been multi-tasking (or just days they are teething like crazy). When I take extra time to be loving and thoughtful towards my husband, the thoughtfulness is always returned (the simple things mean a lot, making him a sandwich for lunch, sending him a text with photos of the boys, etc).  Major score for Mary.

Are you a Marthary?

Luckily, if you are a full-on Martha, you can learn more Mary ways. If you are all Mary, you can learn how to get your Martha on.

Personally, I will always have a little bit of both Martha and Mary in me. I strive to be like Mary; I want to listen and be fully present to my family. BUT let’s face it, Jesus wouldn’t have had a hot meal that night had Martha not been around. Just sayin’! So, I guess that makes me a Marthary.

My prayer for us as parents:

“Martha, burdened with much serving…”
Lord, please help us to see the service we provide our family and friends, not as a burden, but as a gift we are giving to the ones we love most.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.”
Lord, please wash away our anxieties and worries; help us instead focus on you and trust in your plan for our lives.

“There is need only of one thing.”
Lord, please help us readjust our priorities, help us listen, and focus on only what pleases you.

“Mary has chosen the better part.”
Lord, please help us choose you first; help us focus on our loved ones and the people in most need of our love.

Amen.

Love,

Natasha

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Date Your Spouse: 5 Dates in 5 Weeks

Have you ever complained that your life is void of spontaneity? Have you grumbled that your spouse just isn’t as romantic as he used to be?

When my boys were just a few months old I read a book on baby sleep habits. One thing I’ll always remember from the book is, “sleep equals sleep,” which meant the more rest baby gets throughout the day during naps, the better baby will sleep at night.

I got to thinking; it is kind of the same with romance in a marriage. Romance equals romance, which means the more romance you put into your relationship, the more you will see reciprocated. This may not be true for every relationship, but it is for mine. When I go the extra mile to be thoughtful with my husband, it is always reciprocated in surprising and sweet ways.

date your spouse 5

I’m not talking about anything extravagant, expensive, or complicated….it’s the simple things that really seem to add up in a relationship.

So, my challenge is, instead of complaining about how your marriage is lacking of romance, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Turn up your romance game!

PS: I’m generally not into cheesiness. I’ve been known to roll my eyes at Anne Gedde baby pictures and I only call my hubby things like “snuggly-umpkins-muffin-bear-sugar-lover-face” with strong sarcasm, BUT I also think a good dose of CHEEZINESS once in a while is good for the soul….and makes you feel flirty and like kids again!  Cheeeziness makes you laugh and don’t we all love to laugh!!

So, feel free to order extra cheese on these dates!

turn up the cheeseHere are 5 simple date ideas to try, one-a-week for the next five weeks. These are simple dates you can do when the kiddos go to bed and they won’t cost you!

  1. Week One: The Love Fort (Please pronounce “love” in a super cheesy voice….LUUUUUV):
    • Build a fort out of blankets in a spare bedroom or other room where your hubby won’t see it. Fill the fort with lots of blankets and pillows. (Kids can play in the fort by day!)
    • Send your hubby a text invite him to join you in the “Love Fort” at a specific time.
    • Before the “Love Fort” date, cut 10 small hearts out of paper. On each heart, write down something you love about your hubby. Write down the first things that come to your mind. Tell him you love his eyes or how hot he looks all dressed up for work! Be creative!
    • When date time arrives, retreat to the “Love Fort” with your heart notes to wait for hubby. Play some music on your phone and turn on your flashlight app for some mood lighting.
    • Share the 10 hearts with him and seal each one with a kiss! Embrace the cheesiness….it’s fun!

 

  1. Week 2: Dessert Picnic
    • Make or buy a favorite dessert; grab your fave adult beverage.
    • Lay out a blanket in a lesser-used place of the house. Light some candles.
    • Enjoy a dessert picnic after the kiddies go to sleep. Talk about your bucket list!

 

  1. Week 3: Breakfast Surprise
    • Have a date before the kids wake-up!
    • Get up a tad early and make coffee and breakfast. You could make something special or just have cereal together!
    • Put on some “pump you up for the day” music and light some candles. What the heck, sneak in a dance too.
    • Talk about 5 things you are each thankful for today.

date your spouse 2

  1. Week 4: Redneck Dinner
    • Set-up a folding table and chairs in your driveway.  The neighbors really got a kick out of this when we did it.  My husband got home from work and slowly opened the door and asked with a smile, “Um, honey, why is there a table in our driveway?”
    • Prepare the table with a candle, plates, silverware, wine, and wine glasses.
    • I prepped all of the food inside and had it ready on a tray, which I took outside when my hubby got home.  Make whatever you want for food; I just made sandwiches with veggies and fruit on the side.
    • We had the kids eating with us too and they got a kick out of the change of scenery.  When they were finished, they played in the front yard and my hubby and I scooted closer and sipped our wine with smiles!

 

  1. Week 5: Time Capsule
    • Grab an old shoebox and fill it together with classic time capsule goodies.
    • Ideas to include: a current newspaper, a few photos of you together and with the kids, a little list of current things like stamp and gas prices, what your kids are into at this stage, where you are at in life (work, vacations, family happenings), etc.
    • Also write a little love note to your spouse, but don’t read each other’s!
    • Seal up the box and mark it with the “do not open until” date. Store the box somewhere you’ll forget about it for a while (or bury it if you’re feeling energetic)!

 

Good luck romancing! Just try something different; do something to get out of the funk of life and LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH!!

I look forward to hearing your ideas on other fun dates and your experiences from the above 5 weeks of romance!

Thanks,

Natasha

 

 

 

Shadow photos by Katie Frank.