An invitation for overachievers to discover what it means to rest as God's daughters without compromising their God-given design as doers.
Though she didn't sit at Jesus's feet like her sister Mary, biblical Martha was loved just as she wasand you are too. This practical resource invites modern-day Marthas to sit down spiritually as they exchange try-hard striving for hope-filled freedom without abandoning their doer's heart in the process. Doers need to be affirmed in their innate design to do rather than sit, yet also be reminded that they don't have to overdo it in order to be worthy. This book is not an exhortation to add or subtract things off your to-do list, but it is an invitation to embrace the "good" of the Good News. Here is an offer to step into your position as a daughter of God and to enjoy life as a doer.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
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Chapter 1: The Big To-Do
Most of the time I am that way too. And being a woman who handles it all takes its toll. In the mirror I see a modern Martha who finds herself frustrated because she’s not wired like biblical Martha’s sister. You know, Mary—the sister who chose what was “better” (verse 42, NIV), the “necessary” thing (NASB), the “one thing” (NASB), the “good part” (NASB)? I try to unzip my design as a doer and shed the skin of efficiency because I interpret the passage in Luke to mean that Mary is the poster child for getting it right. Since I spend most of my days bustling instead of sitting at Jesus’s feet, I feel as if something is inherently wrong with me. Mary is right. Martha is wrong. Good Mary. Bad Martha.
Mary’s temperament seems approved. Martha’s temperament seems discounted. And because I identify with and live like Martha the doer, I feel wrong—or at least not quite right. I like approval, so you can imagine the tug-of-war that transpires within my soul as I grapple with the Mary ideal versus the Martha reality. But the tension goes further and deeper than that.
Although the lie—that love will be withheld or removed if I don’t get “it” right—is buried, I buy into it. (Insert your own “it” here: appearance, job, pants size, housework, marriage, parenting, friendships, and so on.) While getting all these “its” right is important to me, getting faith right is the driving force behind try-hard living. Because daily quiet time, praying without ceasing, and being still are not working out so well, I feel as though my wiring is flawed. I assume that love is limited because I don’t measure up.
My friend Brandi shares similar thinking. While recently chaperoning a field trip at a local bounce house, we wasted no time jumping into deep conversation as our kids raced around the inflatable jungle gym. Brandi said that she grew up knowing she needed a Savior, but the idea that God loved her and thought she was special sounded crazy. It seemed to her that His fond affection was reserved for those who were more talented, more beautiful, or more holy. She was convinced God’s eye did not fall on her as He scanned the great big earth He created. His loving gaze smiled on the missionaries and the pastors and everyone else “doing it right” but not on her—the one who felt like a hot mess and seemed doomed to repeat mistakes.
Brandi also mentioned that several years ago on a particularly heart-wrenching day, she poured out these thoughts to someone she trusted. Despite this woman’s assurance that, yes, God did see her and love her, Brandi still struggled to believe it. As Brandi left her meeting with this woman, she went to a drive-through to buy some chili for lunch. As she waited to pay, she checked her appearance in the mirror. Her blotchy face reflected her broken heart. Her bloodshot eyes reflected her broken spirit. She put on sunglasses to mask her hurt. As she reached out to pay for her meal, the woman at the window stopped her. “The person ahead of you paid for your food. She asked me to give you a message: ‘God loves you.’”
These were the words Brandi desperately wanted to believe. God provided the spiritual food she hungered for. Jesus loved her. She didn’t have to improve herself, go into ministry, or alter her temperament to be adored by the One who made her and saved her. In the middle of a taxing day, in the simplest of ways, God assured Brandi of her position in His heart.
Before her drive-through encounter, Brandi felt she had to be more or be someone else to be deemed worthy of God’s affections. And I wonder whether Martha felt the same way.
Did Martha try to prove her worth through exemplary behavior? Look at what I can do! See all I can manage? My shoulders ache, my tone is edgy, but by golly, I get things done.
That’s how I feel sometimes—actually, many times. My tense posture is a response to external and internal expectations to do more, be more, and look good doing it. Inferiority and superiority duke it out in an ugly feud that leaves me weary and bruised.
Striving, driving, and producing become the fuel to earn love and stay in good standing with the Savior. My good works become a means to obtaining favor, and I’m afraid they’re not good enough. And neither am I. It feels as though my approval is based on how well I perform, and I fear rejection if that performance is subpar.
I cringe at the thought of one of my less-than-stellar days being documented for all to read, analyze, and criticize as Martha’s has been throughout the years.
Jesus corrects Martha because she is worried and bothered about many things. When I read the account of Jesus coming to Mary and Martha’s home in Luke 10, I usually hear verses 41 and 42 as a scolding from the Lord: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” I read between the lines, “You’re not enough. You need to improve to be accepted. You need to try harder to be loved. Do better, be better, Martha.”
As I said in a guest post on a blog,
I am hard on myself. I constantly critique, over-analyze, and expect more of myself than is humanly possible. I work hard to stay on top of things…so that I…stay above disapproving gazes.
I strive to be the best woman, the best wife, the best mom, the best friend, and I miss the mark again and again.
Since I walk on a high tightrope of unreasonable expectations, I am positioned to topple at the smallest criticism.
The kids disobey. I slip.
The laundry isn’t put away—ever. I trip.
The book proposal is rejected. I limp.
I fall from the heights and land hard.
My worth gets tangled up in my works, so I walk with a spiritual limp. And because I hold myself to the Mary Poppins standard of being “practically perfect in every way,” I am often discouraged. I’m worn out from trying to be everything to everyone and fed up with messing up. Capable is my middle name, yet if I’m honest, I’m a few yes's away from falling apart.
The bustle causes shallow breathing. The hustle produces a preoccupation with self. The scurry gives birth to stress. The hurry makes my body ache. Words lash out. All this pushing tires my soul. The proving steals peace. The multitasking overwhelms. The merry-go-round of striving leaves my head spinning and stomach churning. The kids need me, the husband wants me, work is waiting, dinner needs a plan, the bills need paying, the house needs dusting—wait, I don’t dust or iron (please, no judging). Something’s gotta give! I want to be enough, yet I’ve had enough of this dizzying ride. There must be another way, a better way, off this Ferris wheel of fret.
I can’t bear another lecture or scolding.
I’m tired. And the sleep isn’t as sweet when I try to carry the world on my shoulders, which ache as my thoughts swirl overhead like a tornado.
When our kids have bad dreams, they race down the hallway, feet pattering from wood floor to blue shag, as they seek comfort at our bedside. Although I sleep closer to the door, they usually go to my husband’s side of the bed. Sleep deprivation is not my friend, and if I am woken up at night, Mean Lady emerges. I have an edge and impatience to my voice. I don’t intend to be this way, but a sharp-tongued beast surfaces when provoked.
The other day I told Adam, “The kids need to stop coming in and waking us up! We need to get a full night’s sleep.”
I anticipated he’d agree, but he said, “We’re their parents, and it’s our job to comfort them when they need it.” Even if it’s the middle of the night. Even if it’s inconvenient.
Then it came flooding back—the time our son Banner came to my side and I pretended to be asleep so he’d go to Adam’s side instead. He was about five years old at the time. In the dark I saw his round face staring at me, seeing whether I was awake. I closed my eyes and stayed quiet, hoping he’d go back to bed.
In the morning I asked Banner why he’d gotten up.
“I just wanted to give you and Dad a hug and tell you I love you.”
Adam had received his hug, but I had missed mine.
The Lord used this incident to teach me something—not to condemn me but to graciously reveal a truth about His character that I forget. Often I feel as if God is mad or disappointed because I haven’t been good enough or haven’t done enough. I assume that He wants to interrupt my well-oiled agenda and have me do something else, something more. Yet, like Banner, He impressed this on me: What if I just want to tell you I love you? What if I want to wake you and tell you how crazy I am about you? You assume the worst, but what if I just want to spend time with you and remind you of My love?
Revelation. What if God wasn’t asking me to be Mary but instead loved me for being Martha?
It is interesting that Banner is the one whom God used to reveal this—the son whose name is a continual reminder of this very idea. “He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song of Solomon 2:4, NASB).
Jesus sings love over us, whether we are standing, sitting, or sleeping. Like a banner, He displays His affection. He invites us to unwind in His presence and relax in His care. Although we need sleep, we can experience spiritual rest even when we are awake, even while we are working.
For years I’ve felt guilty for being task oriented. I scold myself for being a doer and then try to improve myself in five easy steps. The thing is, not only are the steps difficult, but they are pretty near impossible. I didn’t choose to be a doer; I was designed to be one. This temperament—this nature—is here to stay. It’s not to be erased but rather to be celebrated and used for God’s glory. Just because we are designed to do doesn’t mean we are inferior or superior to Mary types.
There is nothing wrong with being like Martha or Mary. Both are created by and loved by God. Praise Jesus for both kinds of women! I enjoy my Mary friends. They help me slow down and stay focused on what is truly important when my to-do list threatens to derail my joy. However, I’m equally thankful for my Martha friends. They are my go-to gals for getting things done. One of these friends recently came over and cleaned my fridge until it shone like the top of the Chrysler Building. Glory!
Way back in the Garden of Eden, Satan caused doubt to ring in the ears of sister Eve when he questioned and twisted what God had lovingly instructed about not eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 3:1–3). With his words Satan crafted a picture of a God who was holding out on His daughter. Eve also added to what God said (by telling the serpent that the fruit couldn’t even be touched), kind of like the Judaizers of Jesus’s day, who added extra rules to the rules (which bred pride and rebellion).
Satan has done similar things with doers like us. He has exploited this familiar passage about Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38–42 to convince God’s doer daughters that our wiring is flawed, causing us to doubt we are wonderfully made. The accuser of our souls has spun these five verses in Scripture to imply that we are not fully loved or acceptable unless we become someone else, someone more. We have bought into the lie that we are supposed to improve on this God-given design because it isn’t as adored as Mary’s is. But this is not true!
Jesus never asked Martha to be Mary, and He didn’t ask you to be either. He simply pointed out that you do not have to serve from a place of striving and worry, because He is already enough for you. He is not holding out on you. We have added words to what Jesus said and have compromised parts of who He created us to be in the process. Enough is enough! Pointing out one behavior to improve on is not the same as criticizing the totality of who you are. Let’s stop agreeing with the serpent and others who echo his slippery sentiments.
Let’s not view this passage in Luke as condemnation but as an invitation to freedom. Let’s stand together, confident in who we are and who we belong to. Our doing isn’t the problem. But our motivation for doing is where things get messy. And we aren’t a fan of messes, are we?
Jesus lovingly reminds us of the importance of receiving, not just doing. He invites us to breathe deeply with the lungs He’s laced together.
So let’s pause. Here at the beginning, let’s take a deep, cleansing breath—the in-through-the-top-of-our-heads-and-out-through-the-bottom-of-our-toes kind.
When was the last time you received the love of the Lord, no strings attached, without condition? Rest for a moment, right here amid the mess. Tune in to guilt-free grace, singing a lullaby to your hardworking heart.
Excerpted from "Made Like Martha"
Copyright © 2018 Katie M. Reid.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Lisa-Jo Baker xi
Company's Coming! 1
Part I Striving
1 The Big To-Do 5
God's Love for the Doer's Heart
2 The Worry-and-Worship Conflict 15
Laying Down "What If" and Lifting Up "Even If"
3 These Shoulders 33
The Heavy Load That Dependable Daughters Carry
A Hired-Help Mentality Assessment 51
Part II Sitting
4 How Much Is Required? 55
The Completed Work of the Cross
5 Are You in a Swivel Chair or Comfy Recliner? 71
Grace with No Strings Attached
6 Possessing What's Already Yours 85
Enjoying Your Spiritual Inheritance
A Beloved Daughter's Mentality Assessment 104
Part III Standing
7 The Middle Ground Between Striving and Slowing 109
Stewarding Well Without Overdoing It
8 Easy Does It 131
Rest for the Try-Hard Soul
9 Sit Down as You Stand Up 145
Living Settled Even When You're Busy
10 Dear Modern Martha 161
Servingfrom a Place of Strength and Peace
The Beloved Daughter's Decree 167
Bible Study for Individuals and/or Groups
Introduction to Bible Study 169
1 A Loved Heart, a Worshipful Soul (Romans 8; Revelation 4) 175
2 A Daughter's Heart, a Redeemed Soul (Galatians 4; Hebrews 9) 183
3 A Grace-Filled Heart, a Secure Soul (Ephesians 1; 1 Peter 1) 193
4 A Hopeful Heart, a Peaceful Soul (Galatians 5; Hebrews 4) 201
5 A Settled Heart, a Freed Soul (Ephesians 2; Romans 5) 209
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like Katie, I am a doer--a modern day Martha--someone who is constantly doing, but I have found myself recently in a state of exhaustion from doing for everyone else and forgetting to take care of myself, to recharge and find rest in the busy. While reading Made Like Martha, I felt as though Katie knew exactly what I was thinking and how to bring hope, peace and encouragement to my life and the season I’m in. She reminds us that we can find rest in God even during the busiest of times and that we can lean on Him for strength during times when we feel stretched too thin. I’ve been criticized most of my life by others as they think I do too much and I’ve often wondered if perhaps I do strive too much in all areas of my life. However, through scripture and Katie’s personal stories, I realized that truly this is how God created me and that I am loved by God just as I am. God loved Martha just as much as he did Mary and that we should embrace the Martha within us. I received an advanced reader copy by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
I recently had the opportunity to read Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done by Katie M. Reid. This book is like a breath of fresh air as Katie shares her own struggles with striving to get things done. Not just some things but everything. The book is a wonderful read, excellent for individual or group studies. Each chapter includes an "It is Finished" section with activities, making application of each chapter easy and practical. In the back of the book one will find a five week Bible Study with a format which will encourage discussion for each chapter. Through her stories and biblical insights, Katie helps us to realize what is truly important in serving is our hearts. We don't need to earn God's love but embrace His love, for the work has been completed. This was an encouraging and refreshing read as Katie's writing style is engaging and easy to read. This would make an excellent selection for a book club and discussion. **I received an advance copy of the book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.
As a list-maker, check mark marker, and sometimes overwhelmed type-A woman, I loved Katie Reid’s Made Like Martha. This book was a study in grace and a call to acceptance of an often-times criticized woman in the Bible. Martha is so often seen as the negative counter to Mary; working with a sense of urgency while her sister sat at the feet of Jesus. Katie walks the reader through a different interpretation – working as a calling, while at the same time, encouraging us to realize who we are as daughters of the King, and allowing ourselves the rest that comes from that relationship. Her book is full of personal examples of her own Martha-hood, and the lessons she’s learned in leaning in to that role, as well as the lessons she’s learned about how to accept God’s grace and rest when setting the “do-ing” down. I especially loved Katie’s call to leave the “hired help” mentality aside and move into a deeper understanding of the freedom we have in our role as God’s daughters. As someone who struggles to relax and let go, I found her words encouraging; a reminder that our rest has been bought and paid for with Christ’s love and sacrifice for us. //Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we will be taken care of in the absence of our “doing.”// In addition, Katie defines the Martha culture in a new light; focusing on receiving and extending grace to ourselves and others and learning to build worship into our work. With a true understanding of what it means to struggle through striving, Katie invites us into a role of inheritance, rest, and love. This book is an invitation to embrace our role as doers while finding ourselves in the midst of grace. I received an advanced reader copy of the book as part of the launch team for Made Like Martha.
First and foremost, this book is an invitation not to stop striving, but to do it for the right reasons. Katie has written an honest, gut-check type book that not only makes you examine your heart for the work you do, but for the reasons you might be trying too hard. How can we each both be a Mary and a Martha? Which is the better woman to follow after? Doesn't Jesus still love them, regardless? As a lifelong type A "Martha," I have always felt convicted if I didn't feel like I should stop and release all the items on my "to do" list. Doesn't Scripture say that Mary "chose the best thing" by ignoring all the "many things" waiting to be done, while Martha felt she had to keep on going? Katie calls our striving what it CAN be--the good stuff--then opens our eyes to the parts that could use a little work. She does this in a way that is both supportive and encouraging, being she is a Martha herself. I could identify with how she felt she was being lazy or disobedient to who God created her to be by just stopping all the flurry of daily life. It's difficult for a hard worker to place everything on hold without thinking of the end results. The good news is that all this striving and goal seeking is not what's necessary to have the love of God! We're His chosen daughters. We don't have to live or work as if our value depends on it. He has already paid our cost and made us enough. He loves us just as we are, whether we relish in enjoying the present, calm moment, or enjoy the work associated with goal setting and changing our communities. I felt like someone who has been where I am was sharing her thoughts with me over coffee. It's a relief to know I am not the only one who finds encouragement in meeting a goal or dreaming a new dream--even if that dream might have a lot of work attached to it. There is also a Bible study in the back of the book and additional resources available online that you can print out from her website, which I loved having access to. This book is perfect for those who think that being a go-getter means that we must continue trying to meet new goals in order for God to accept us. If we just did this better, or just worked harder....these are all mindsets "Made Like Martha" will challenge and, prayerfully, change. Wonderful read and I will share it with my other hardworking sisters who need support! *I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.*
Reading this book has given me a new appreciation for the story of the two sisters mentioned in Luke 10. Martha was the perfect hostess who wanted everything to be just right for Jesus's visit and she was unhappy that her sister Mary wasn't helping. Mary was just sitting around enjoying the company of their important guest and to top it off, Jesus seemed to defend Mary! Author Katie B. Reid admits that she is a modern Martha but she now knows that this is okay and she has written this book to help others who possess a type A personality and are "Made Like Martha". Reid has finally realized that "Jesus wasn't telling Martha to stop being who He designed her to be; He was pointing out that she did not have to work herself into a frenzy to be loved. Martha was already adored by Jesus, and His love was a gift to be received, not a prize to be earned." I love that this book is filled with so many examples about our compulsive need to keep doing when we should be receiving. "Nothing we do or don't do affects His approval. If we are in Christ, then we are approved through his death and resurrection." I also appreciate that there is a Made Like Martha Bible study that has five lessons to correlate with the ten chapters. What a great way to reinforce the encouragement and wisdom that fills the pages of this book! "Made Like Martha" shows that it is okay to be made like Martha and equally okay to be made like Mary because God created them both and He loved them both. And He feels the same about all of us who are His beloved daughters! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher but a positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.
If your worth and value is often tied to your ability to perform for the acceptance and approval of others, Made like Marth is a must-read book for you! If worry is your default emotion, this book is for you. If you are a doer by design, this book is for you. Katie Reid gentle invitation to all the Martha's in the world to stop striving and start thriving. She helps us see all that God has already given us and reminds us we don't have to work for something we already have. God loves us in the mess, the mundane, the midst of our work--we don't need to clean up for Him! Katie encourages us to set down our burdens, and the burdens of others, and rest a while in the presence of our Heavenly Father. And she doesn't condemn us for our Martha-tendencies. In fact, she shows us how they are a big part of what makes us extraordinary. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways: Our past is forgiven, our present is promising, and our future is secure. Our souls can rest in Christ's sufficiency. God gives us the strength to serve Him with our gifts. It's time to start serving for all the right reasons. There is nothing you can do to earn God's love, it's already been freely given. Our works are a response to God's love. If I were to wrap up the message of this book in one sentence, it would be: You can learn how to serve from a place of strength and peace. Women all over the world would benefit from reading this powerful and uplifting message. I highly recommend this book! **I received an advanced copy from the publisher for review purposes.
What a great topic for today's "get it done" woman. I have never been encouraged to consider what Martha got right, only what she did not. From turning worry-to-worship to The Beloved Daughter's Decree, this book is full of encouragement to study God's word from a doers perspective. I needed to read this book, and upon finishing it, felt spoken to and encouraged. This book works as a self-study or a small group study. What a great first book from Katie Reid! I look forward to reading more from her.