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Chapter One | A Tale of Two Sisters | Day One

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Joanna WeaverI recently finished reading having a Mary Heart in a Martha World – Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver.  A book I now highly recommend for all women, young and old to read.  For the next 12 weeks, I plan to share my findings as I journey through the accompanying Bible Study Mrs. Weaver placed at the end of the book.

Questions for Discussion or Reflection – Day One

1) What preconceived ideas did you have about Mary and Martha before reading this book?  Which woman do you relate to most – Mary or Martha?  Explain your answer.

Before reading the book, when thinking of the two sisters I pictured Martha being the ultimate workaholic and people pleaser.  Always staying busy, not satisfied till the work was done, very efficient and by far the best hostess.  As for Mary, I saw her as a true free spirit and worshiper with the innocence of a child.  Unafraid, possessing a quiet boldness that gave her courage to sit at the Master’s / Lord’s feet and not worry about the consequences of her actions may accrue.

Of the two sisters, I could always relate more to Martha.  All my life I have been in constant preparation mode.  Always working to help others to bring their dreams to the foreground while out of fear from disappointment, (what I used to think) watching my own dreams fall to the waste side.   See I had let past hurts allow me to cast away my confidence in my own God given dreams.  It got so bad at one point that I began to sow out of a sense of duty versus that of purpose.

Yes, I found joy in helping others. However, still I had the frustration of never truly feeling understood for me.  I had for so long worked to mask who I was my heart’s desires that it became hard for me to express to others the real me. Those days are gone with praise God for mind renewal!

Anyway, that is how I saw and related to Martha.  Duty bound, do to circumstances; not able to live the life she wanted.  Always seeming to be the one to pick up the slack or responsibilities others were not willing to.  Like caring for siblings, keeping a home or making a living; basically forced to grow up before she was ready to.

In my own life, I learned at a young age how to be self-reliant; not to be an extra burden.  Staying overly active in school and getting above average grades.  Looking for approval through my works; this created ultimately a bondage to people.  See, my father had left our home when I was about six because of infidelities.  He cheated on my mother.

Don’t get me wrong my father was never far away and was one of my greatest teachers, yet he had his own demons to fight.  I am truly blessed to have been his daughter and share with him his journey the last 22 of the 63 years of his life. To have heard him say to me that he was glad I never gave up on him and that he could call me his friend.  I will always treasure that.

Growing up though, financially it was rough when I was younger.  It got to the point that my mother shortly after her separation from my father that she had to get public assistance collect benefits and recycle bottles and cans to make money for us.  She later despite her being legally blind in both eyes became a daycare provider; my bedroom doubling as a classroom during the day.  The one thing I can say through those lean years is we always had a roof, food, love and an understanding knowledge of God in our household.

2) One woman told me, “My life is like a blender – and it’s stuck on frappe!”  What inanimate object best describes how your life currently feels?

The inanimate object that best describes my life is a boat on a river floating peacefully towards an unknown destination.  Sure there are turns and twists; however I have an anchor (the word of God) and a set of oars (good relations) to prevent me from top siding.

To be continued…

Lela Jefferson

© 2009 – 2014, Lela Jefferson Fagan. All rights reserved.

Lela Fagan (Jefferson) is the author of the book “Poetry of a Black Girl: The Darkness and the Light” and lead blogger at “Memoirs of a Black Girl”. Lela is an avid reader “A Real Bookworm” of all things in print. She finds joy in sharing socially and blogging about topics that matter the most to her. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Lela now lives in Houston, TX with her husband Oji, an educator and Football Coach. @LelaJefferson - See more at:

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