So, yeah, I burned a whole pot of soup the other day. It was disappointing because I was really trying to make dinner work out perfectly. My husband, one of our good friends and I started doing a radio show on Tuesday nights and I try to have dinner ready for us as soon as its over. (10:30pm) I made organic vegetarian split pea soup complete with raw milk, fresh garlic, onion and carrots. My plan was to have Split Pea soup, fresh cornbread, and a spinach salad to bless my hubby one of our friends after the “show”. Well, after the show I turned the heat up on the soup and added some milk and potatoes to make the yummy soup a bit more creamy and left the room to quickly “use the facilities”. Five minutes later I came back to the kitchen to find a poor husband who had tried to help, but hadn’t caught the smoking soup in time to save it… Yes, that’s right folks, the whole pot scorched. The wonderful smell of slow cooked soup had turned to a foul stench of burnt peas and there was smoke coming out of the top of the pot… My husband, being the positive person that he is, tasted the soup thinking that it could be saved. Our friend also picked a potato out to see if maybe they were salvagable. But, to no avail, the whole pot was gone. I would describe the taste as what it would be like to eat a burnt house. YUK. So, needless to say, we just ate cornbread and salad.
Now, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, I know. I just lost one pot of soup. But, when you live on a VERY tight budget, mistakes like this hurt a bit more. Not to mention, my plan was messed up. (with company over mind you!) Well the next morning I woke up with fear. Fear of what people would think of what we talked about on our radio show. Fear of what’s going on in our world and government. Fear of how we should handle it all…..If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s to bring fear to the light of Truth and it has to leave. So, that’s what I did. I talked to my husband about the fear that I had let in and he encouraged me to not entertain those thoughts anymore. I went out to the kitchen only to be reminded of the soup fiasco from the night before. The giant pot of burnt soup was still sitting there, waiting to be fed to the chickens. (which turns out even they did not eat:) I had many goals for the day which included a lot of organizing and going through several stacks of papers and bills, making some calls, grinding flour and making bread, putting 3 meals on the table for my family and not to mention spending good quality time with my sweet daughter.
Because we are learning how to homestead, I make most everything we eat from scratch. So, each week I try to have our meals planned out in advance because there’s not a lot of “instant food” here. For instance, beans, oatmeal and rice require soaking, sometimes sprouting, and bread requires the grinding of flour and several hours to rise. Well, the soup was supossed to be that days lunch so already I had started out on the wrong foot, with more work to do to “fix” my mistake. But, because I like things to go perfectly planned I thought I could still get all I wanted to get done, done. As the day began I found that my husband was not feeling the greatest and needed some time to rest. I also found that my daughter was most likely teething and needed momma to hold her most of the day. So, instead of smoothly going through my days’ “to do list”, it was like trying to walk upstream while wearing a baggy pair of blue jeans. I kept putting pressure on myself to get everything done, and at the same time, I kept getting little set backs along the way. Eventually the evening came and I hadn’t finished even one thing on my list. The only thing that I managed to start was making bread. At our house, we have a manual wheat grinder that takes good ole’ muscles to work out the flour. Thankfully, my hubby helped me with the grinding that day because I had our daughter wrapped to my chest and when I tried grinding the flour with her “attached” it looked like she was riding a county fair ride that was a bit too rough for the sweetness that she is. ANYHOW, since I “burned the beans” the night before, and my perfect plan was changed and pushed back, I had allowed stress to creep in and nearly take over my whole countenance that day. Why? That is such a waste! Wouldn’t it be better to understand that “my” list sometimes is not the same thing as “His” to do list? Sometimes I think that He allows “our lists” to fall short so we get our eyes off ourselves and look to Him.
As I started to mix the ingredients for the bread about 530pm, I realized there was no way the bread would be finished for dinner. Also, I realized that the papers, bills and piles would not be gotten to. Something started to soften in me. I started to feel the tension in my shoulders relax. I took a big, long breath and “let go” of my control, the control rooted in my fear. In the middle of my messy day and my messy kitchen I stopped my striving and started to trust again. Thinking back to Mary and Martha, I believe my experience may have been a similar experience for Martha. Maybe she burned the beans too. Maybe she just really wanted to have a nice, modest dinner for Yeshua and her family when He was visiting. Maybe she got frustrated when the “good” things she had planned didn’t pan out like she had hoped. Maybe she really wished she could stop and sit at the feet of Yeshua and listen and learn, but she didn’t feel like she could. Maybe she had “oldest child syndrome” and wanted to try to make sure everything went smoothly and perfectly. MAYBE SHE NEEDED EXACTLY WHAT YESHUA GAVE HER. Maybe, just maybe, Yeshua knew the difference between Martha’s wants and needs better than she did. Of all the “needs” Martha thought she had left on her to do list, maybe Yeshua recognized they were not needs at all, but wants which stole the only true NEED Martha had. When Yeshua looked into Martha’s eyes, I believe he saw a fearful young woman. One who masked her fear with control and busyness. I also think that Yeshua thought the same thing when He saw me the other day, running around, stressed and striving to get my stuff done. And when He told Martha that “ONLY ONE THING WAS NECESSARY”, I wonder if a lie fell off of Martha?
Let me explain…I wonder if Martha had actually been a little jealous of Mary who didn’t seem to have a care in the world and was “free” to sit and learn from the Word made flesh. I think that Martha felt like she HAD to prepare or no one else would. But, instead of Yeshua encouraging Mary to leave Him and go help her sister, Yeshua encouraged Martha that Mary was doing the best thing she could do. I think that Martha believed that if she didn’t get things done, things wouldn’t get done. If she didn’t organize and prepare then things would not be ready. If she didn’t “lead” then who would? I believe she had put pressure on herself to be the one in the authority over her sister. But, if she was willing, Yeshua’s life giving words shattered the darkness that Martha had believed. Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered by so many things, but only ONE THING is necessary, Mary has chosen the good part and it will not be taken away from her.” I imagine Martha’s shoulders relaxing, her breathing in a big, slow breath, and feeling a release of the pressure she had piled on herself over the minutes, days and years. Freedom. Trust. Life. Fear has to leave in the Presence of Truth. His Word is love and His Love is Truth. I imagine that as Martha looked into the eyes of Life, she felt as free as a child. Free of the stress, anxiety, burdens and fear that she knew all too well. As she stared into His eyes with a serious gaze, I imagine her heart crying out to His, THIS IS WHAT I WANT! HELP ME TO LIVE IN PEACE! And then came the promise. Yeshua is the eternal Word made flesh spoken from the beginning until forever. When He spoke He spoke Truth. Truth can not be changed. Ever. That’s the nature of Truth. So, what Yeshua spoke was trustworthy because He spoke what already was. His Words are promises. When He said Mary chose the good part and it would not be taken away from her, that was a promise that NO MATTER WHAT, He was NOT going to take away His presence from her, His true peace. His Shalom. Rest. This was her’s for the keeping. If it was ever gone, it was because she gave it away, not because He took it back. “It will not be taken away from her.” This is the promise we must receive. May we BELIEVE that in the TRUE WORD we have been given the promise of TRUE PEACE, TRUE REST, TRUE FULFILLMENT AND JOY and NOTHING CAN TAKE THAT AWAY. With an amazing promise like that, I for one, don’t want to give it away by my own fear.
As I began to knead the bread dough with my daughter wrapped to my body, I realized that sometimes we need to have our agendas demolished so that we can have the opportunity of TRUE REST to have HIS authority in us.
Yehovah, Good Father, we ask that You would knock loose any self made agendas that we have and push us to closeness of You. May we be eager to receive Your correction and always have our eyes locked on You. We chose to BELIEVE Your Word and Your Promise of REST. May we let go of burdens we have placed on ourselves and know that YOUR burden is easy and light. We chose to abide under Your yoke which brings freedom and true life.
The best thing that happened that day was in this picture we caught while I kneaded the bread dough. My sweet daughter, who had wanted to be close to momma all day long, loved watching me prepare the dough. She was so interested in everything I was doing. When I was rushing around, stressed and hurried, I didn’t have much time for her to be involved. But now, with my heart at ease, I realized this was what it was all about. True rest. Living in His agenda. His Word. His Trust. So, I leaned forward a bit to let my daughters 2 outstretched arms reach the bread dough. She had been watching momma knead. Now, it was her turn. The sweet soul touched the dough and then grabbed a handful of it, getting it all over her hands and fingernails. She absolutely loved experiencing that with her momma. And her momma absolutely loved experiencing it with her. Then I realized. That’s the Father’s heart for us. That’s what we were made for. To be in His presence in the midst of the world’s agenda. His agenda is peace. Trust. Rest. Shalom. Life.
It turned out that there was one thing on my days’ to-do list that was on the Father’s also. I got to have some of the best quality time I’ve ever had with my baby girl. Yehovah is so good.
Blessings of Shalom to you friend