More from Janice LeMaster

by Upper Room Administrator on Sunday, September 10, 2017

I have always been fascinated by the Martha / Mary story in the Bible.  It is a personal struggle I have lived with now for my entire adult life (50+ years).  I see myself as the epitome of a Martha personality type – the one who rushes about serving, always too anxious to focus on “what really matters”.  While that is how I see myself, I very much want to be the other sister, Mary.  

I want to be the one who is cool, calm, and collected — the one who sits and absorbs the words of wisdom.  I yearn to be the one who seeks, listens, and reflects — the person who can ignore the mundane tasks waiting to be completed while achieving the delicate balance between time spent building a strong relationship with God and time spent serving God’s children.

It would be so nice to tell you that I have accomplished the balancing act which I mentioned in my devotional.  Unfortunately, that would not be true.  The truth is that I continue to search for that balance between Mary and Martha.  Some days are better than others.  Some days I can put the busyness and anxiety aside at least for a little while.  Other days there is no hope since the little part of the world I live in seems to demand my complete attention.

Like many other churches, our church has changed in recent years.  Our membership is smaller than in years past and our average age has increased.  Fewer people means more effort is required from those who are able in order to continue our role as a vibrant, serving community of disciples.  The temptation and the perceived need to hurry from one project to another often become stronger than I can resist.  The sense of urgency often invades my quiet time with God even though I try hard to hold it at bay. 

The days are full and the needs are many.  I will continue to search and pray for balance in my life as I grow and go in the direction God leads me.  I am thankful for the many opportunities and doors which God opens for me daily.

Janice Hagood LeMaster


Comment by Georgine

Thanks Janice I have the same problem and I needed to hear the words of your devotional and more from the author this morning.
Georgine , Arqua Petrarca, Italy

Posted September 10, 2017 at 02:11AM CDT
Comment by robert of east nassau, NY

My current church fits your description. Of 100 members, it is a rare Sunday when 25 people come to church. They are very devoted and work hard to keep things going. Robert, Stowe, VT.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 02:39AM CDT
Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

 you Janice, for today's devotion .. I too struggle at times in anxiety with what I see needs my attention. At times I would like to just walk away from it all and sit down in the woods and drink in all of the peacefulness that would provide, but then I come back to the reality of the day.... and there is peace at hand here too, His peace. It is a struggle at times still to keep that in mind, but keeping my focus rightly placed restores my soul in peace. Bless you and prayers for your continued walk in His perfect peace.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 02:57AM CDT
Comment by Tim of Columb, TN

Your devotion and additional comments are excellent. I can relate to them. Thanks for sharing.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 03:04AM CDT
Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

and for you Robert, your church's situation mirrors ours and many others I hear about from my contacts. But as I heard from a minister recently: "God is bringing about a new thing" and we only need to be faithful in our walk as it is revealed to us. Prayers that it is so in our lifetime and that we will be found obedient.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 03:10AM CDT
Comment by Jay of Clearwater, FL

Very truly a nice, beautiful and wise perception, Janice.
I remember Micah, "Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord." Take this literally and become recreated. Taking a walk with Jesus restores your soul.
RE-CREATION is Peaceful, Joyful and Beautiful. Thank you Lord for your Glory. "I walk in the garden not alone
but with Jesus." May the Lord restore, recreate and renew the lives of those devestated by "Irma and Harvey." May we help them in their recovery. Were you there for those who are hopeless, homeless and hungry ?
O'Jay....returning to Clearwater to help

Posted September 10, 2017 at 03:56AM CDT
Comment by Mary of Clinton, MS

Janice, I too am retired and find it challenging to balance service and quiet time with the Lord. I have a little plaque that says: "Martha's hands, Mary's heart". Blessings and peace to you in your daily walk.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 06:22AM CDT
Comment by merry of Poteau, OK

Janice...good morning. Thanks for sharing 'more' from the author.
I've always been interested in the 'Martha and Mary' story.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 06:54AM CDT
Comment by Cindy of Paducah, KY

You were spot on with this devotional. I've printed it out and taped it on my mirror. Thank you so much. I really needed to remember to work on being a Mary in a Martha world!

Posted September 10, 2017 at 07:00AM CDT
Comment by Linda of Buford, GA

Thank you Janice, it was just yesterday that I felt guilty, like I wasn't doing enough outside our home. I have many quiet times throughout the day when I pray and read. Your devotion reassured me that it's OK, in fact it's great to spend retirement this way.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 08:36AM CDT
Comment by Kathy

I found your devotion inspiring, Janice. I think we are "guilty" of not taking the time to be still and know God. Disasters on tv (last week Hurricane Harvey, this week Irma, then Jose, then Katia) They are all waiting in line for our attention. Like I said, tv along with email, twitter, Instagram and Facebook. All these social medias take our attention away from quiet time with God. We need to get back to our roots and set aside time everyday to be devoted just to Him. Then and only then we go into our day and our commitments to others. God bless. ~ Kathy in Canada

Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:11PM CDT
Comment by Lace of Amarillo, TX

It is so easy to get caught up in our lists of things we just "have" to get done isn't it? Even when it comes to our desire to serve our church and our Lord .. and yet, He tells us so many times that our works are not the measure of our faith .. yes, they are the result .. but as with Mary, He would rather have our time spent on being devoted to Him than how many hours we can fill our schedule with in busy work. Somehow things manage to get done .. we don't have to do it all.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:16PM CDT
Comment by Janet

Thank you Janice. Both the devotional and this piece of writing are excellent. This is 'ME' what I am reading, exactly what I go through. And this particular verse from the bible is one of my favourite. Every time I hear or read it I ask the Lord to help me become the other one, Mary. Keep writing and sharing-you are really good at it!! I'm keeping this aside for my reading again and again.

Posted September 10, 2017 at 08:39PM CDT