This is the sixth lesson of our Bible study, Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy. This lesson, called “I’ve Got To Get Better Soon,” focused on the busy-ness of grief.
It is hard for me to understand this because my days are full. I am home schooling the three little ones and trying to keep the house tidy (not spotless) every day; it seems that I am on the go all day long. (But I never get to the end of the to-do list and I am realizing that I never will! I am also a task-oriented person . . . this is hard for me.)
I mean, are there really people who have no obligations, nothing to do, who make things up so they will be busy? I don’t get that. And even while I am busy with the things that need to be done, I am rarely so busy that I forget about my miscarriage. Maybe a few times? More often than not, the things I am doing bring constant small reminders.
The study asks about activities that have helped me stay busy since my miscarriage. Early on, I did not do very much as I was dizzy, weak, and trying to come to terms with what had just happened. I spent time sharing the sad news with friends and family, trying to find answers to the WHY questions, and resting. The Bull took some time off work to take care of the necessities around the house and our church family brought over meals.
The first month (October), I eased myself back into school and house duties. I felt that it would be good for the children to have some bit of our normal routine back again, but tried not to do so much so as to overdo my energy and end up sick. With the help of a couple of friends, I made a beaded necklace to help me remember to pray for my children. It was a little memorial for Shelomith. I also started a thing that a friend had shared with me, a gratitude journal. And I wanted a knitting project, so I started on a pair of matching shawls for myself and my little girl. (Finished them in February or March.)
In November I wrote a novel. It was a fictional story based on the events that we had just lived through. (It’s still not yet finished; need to get back to it!) I also cut my hair really short (my own version of the “sackcloth and ashes” and a long donation to Locks of Love.)
In December we put up a few decorations for Christmas, although my heart was not in it; another thing done for the children’s benefit. I also organized a holiday party for our good friends.
January, February, and March were blurry for me. Lots of tears, school work, dishes, laundry. There have been several new crises to try to handle. I have also tried to make the effort to visit with friends more often–every week or so. Also started this Bible study. There was a particular song that I played on the piano (I’ve all but neglected this for a month or so!) I cried every time I played it, but it eased the hurting a bit.
Have the activities helped or hindered. . . they have all helped. Some more than the others. The gratitude journal has helped with my tendency to consider the worst of every situation by looking for the blessings, the silver linings. Writing the novel was hard, painful; and yet, so beneficial. As my fingers flew over the keyboard and the tears flowed down my cheeks, I found there was peace also. I have wanted for a while some tangible reminder to pray for my children and the necklace, although I don’t normally wear jewelry, has been great.
The only thing that didn’t help was that party in December. A small problem was blown way out of proportion and I could not understand why. I felt that my mothering was attacked. It took a few weeks to understand what had happened there; that morning marked a turning point as the “brain fog” finally lifted.
The story goes that Jesus was visiting with them and Mary sat to learn from Him, while Martha was busy with the housework. When Martha complained, Jesus answered her that Mary had chosen the better part and did not need to be corrected.
And I, the task oriented person that I am, bristle with this one!
Life is work. We are not here on earth to sit around and twiddle our thumbs and watch the sun rise and set. For me, housework takes a lot of time, and home schooling is quite time consuming also. Having guests come over is great fun, but lots more work.
Time management is difficult for me. I underestimate the time it will take to do things, then I am always behind. I love the times that I can sit down with my Bible, but I don’t have unlimited time. If I go long on the Bible study, I fall behind in other areas and end up running late all day.
We have taken the story of Mary and Martha and turned it into a warning not to be too busy with life. So much so that a woman can feel guilty about doing the chores that need to be done! So what if there are dirty dishes piled everywhere and the kids have no clean socks or jeans? I am busy with my Bible study and that’s more important.
Actually. . . they are both important. I know, life is all about balance. Do some Bible study and some house keeping, right? Well, I’m trying that. But the house is never clean all at the same time and the Bible study is late every week. 😦
I think that even more important than balance in the Mary/Martha story is the attitude towards work. It says that Martha was encumbered, distracted, by the housework. (verse 40.) It says she was careful, anxious; disturbed, disquieted (verse 41.)
I have also wondered if the “quiet time” idea (where we read, study, pray, sing, etc., for a certain time every day) can lead to a fractured day. “God time” (aka, quiet time) and “other time” (the rest of the day.)
I prefer the idea I got from Ann Voskamp, which is to live every day and every moment of the day in communion with God instead of leaving Him behind when the Bible study of the day is done. She calls it a “one piece life” and talks about it here. This is a high and lofty idea and I am not achieving this right now, either.
Maybe I need more of the Mary part while living out the Martha. Getting the stuff done without neglecting God or my family or friends. Time spent doing chores with the children could be a time of fellowship with them, training, acknowledging the LORD through it all.
Okay, so I have agonized and wrestled with this posting for four or five hours! I’ve written and rewritten and edited and deleted lots of what I wrote initially. Am I missing the point of the lesson? Am I doing exactly what they are saying not to do? Am I complaining too much? I don’t know. And I just don’t have time to discuss the rest of the lesson now, sorry. Maybe next time. But I’m done now. 😦
Next week’s lesson: “Moving On To Acceptance.”