Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, December 31, 2010

I know I said...


...I was going to be away having deep thoughts. And maybe I was. They just weren't the deep thoughts I planned to have.

This week between Christmas and the New Year is always a hard one for me because I usually have lots, and lots of company over. They don't sleep with us because we really don't have any extra spaces for sleeping (unless the floor or a lumpy sofa counts), but they usually eat with us...soup kitchen style -- they only show up at meal time.

This year has been different and I am torn between feeling badly about it and feeling relieved. Apparently I was such a pathetic soul limping around and grunting through the pain on Christmas Eve and Day that my out-of-town family decided to leave me completely alone this week. We had a small get-together Wednesday with Doug's family, but no meals were involved. And today all the family will come for a New Year's Eve celebration, but, by and large we've had a quiet, relaxing week.

I am relieved because my back is feeling much better than it was. But, I feel badly because I have a deep-seated desire to be Melanie Wilkes to all people, all the time.

Melanie is gracious at all times -- when she is stressed, when she is hungry, in pain -- Melanie is gracious. You remember the scene in Gone With the Wind when Scarlet, found out to be the covetous women that she was, is forced to attend Ashley's birthday party and face the wife of the man she not-so-secretly loves? Does Melanie call her out, throw a glass of champagne in her face, slam the door and show her who's who? No, she graciously takes her into her arms and shows her guests how to be a better woman.

I want to be like Melanie -- gracious at all times. I try not to complain when I have a lot on my plate, but I fear my face shows it. I never have had a poker face - it's all there for anyone to read. I have a girlfriend who was raised to smile at all times -- her mother trained her so. And she does. She even smiles on the phone, I can tell.  There is most definitely something to be said for smiling through the pain, figurative and literal.

Looking to scripture, trying to be Mary while really being Martha, is really the same thing. Martha doesn't want to be the way she is. She'd much rather pour some wine and sit listening to Jesus, but it's just not in her. She really needed to work on it. I guess that's why Jesus told her Mary had chosen the better part. We Marthas need to be reminded that it's no fun to get your panties in a bunch because the roast isn't done when you thought it would be. Or because someone doesn't show up, or more than you expected shows up. It's no fun for our guests either. It's much better to pour another glass of wine and enjoy the company.

Tonight I'll be working on my inner Melanie - hopefully smiling all the while we ring in the New Year. Happy New Year!



  1. From one Martha to another, it's just hard to change how you are. I appreciate your post so much, because I'm exactly the same way. I feel put out sometimes over serving, but then I feel sad when I'm not needed. It's something to pray about, for sure. I suspect that you've got quite a bit more Mary in you than I do. :)

  2. I can relate. There are people in movies and books that I want to be like, too. Melanie is an excellent example, although I don't think she was using a poker face; I think she was truly charitable and never saw unkindness in someone she loved. Isn't that what Ashley said about her? Must be nice to be like that!

    I always think that I'll never be anything like what I strive for unless I pray more. And then, I suspect that I still won't see myself the way I want to, but I hope that's what others will see.

    I'll work on my inner-Melanie with you this year! God bless!

  3. I'm so with ya, sistah! I'm bad in that my family gets fretful Martha while I'm getting ready for company and all Mary when they get here - my family thinks I'm Jekyll and Hyde or bipolar I suspect.

    Balance. I have to remind myself that I'm going to have a good time and wonder later why I ever worried things would be fun.

    Love your honest post. You are a terrific woman. I suspect many believe that to be true.

    Happy and blessed New Year!

  4. What a wonderful post. I had a few mini-meltdowns on the run up to the huge Christmas dinner I hosted for my son's fiance's family...first time they were ever in my home and the wedding is coming up in a few weeks
    so I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves, the food to be great, the house to be shining. And Sarah Oldham I loved your comment about Jekyll and Hyde...that is me. I am reading Pope Benedict's new book and I can relate when he said he felt a guillotine was about to fall on him when he realized he was going to become Pope. I feel that way before big events that I am responsible for. Please pray for my peace of mind so I can enjoy my son's wedding rather than stressing the entire time.
    Would love to see a thread on anxiety and how to deal with it. God bless you!!


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!