The Better Part
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Ch. 7: The Better Part & Ch. 8: Lessons from Lazarus
“There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” Luke 10:42
I was blessed to grow up with a mother who was a truly mature Christian woman and prayer warrior. When I read books by many Christian female authors, such as this one, I often think – this is the type of book and insight my mother would write.
I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 21. For the nine-years before her death, she was forced to battle her disease and live her life mainly from within the constraints of her bedroom. During this time, she learned to surrender her to-do lists; she simply could not check them off. She had to allow others to serve her: to cook her meals, clean her home, wash her children’s laundry, drive her children to events and practices. She had to prioritize where her limited strength was going to be used and it was used for TIME. TIME spent with God and TIME spent with her family.
She chose the “Better Part” daily.
“The Better Part is not out there somewhere. It is inside us, where Christ dwells by his Holy Spirit.” (Page 109)
A Heart Centered in Him Alone
Rather than let her circumstances drag her away from God, Janet chose to let them draw her closer.” (page 102).
Like Janet, my mother drew closer to God during her last years. She became a powerful prayer-warrior. Laying in her bed she would pray and worship constantly. She found a new forced rhythm of life that wasn’t running and full of busyness. She made her faith her center. I imagine her praying similarly to Joanna on page 100:
“Teach me, Lord. Show me the rhythm of life. Be my center.”
God gave her peace and comfort and contentment in her circumstances. In fact, my mother full-heartedly believed she was created for fullness (page 104) and was incredibly joyful – often journaling about her joys. She was a living example of finding the “Better Part” inside of us.
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3: 17-19
As I reflect on this chapter and my mother’s experience, I’m struck by how I don’t want something as life-changing as a cancer diagnosis to force me into making Christ my center. I want to find balance – and rhythm – right now. Right in the midst of my complex life and many responsibilities (wife, mother of two and small business owner, to name a few). I need centering. Do you?
Lord help us to make room in our busy and often hectic lives to meet you daily. To prioritize time to worship you, to study your Word and be still in your presence. Sitting like Mary at your feet…listening to what you have to say to us. Amen.
Don’t wait for a life-changing circumstance to make Christ your center. Take some time this week to simply be still with God and ask Him to help guide you toward the better part. If you’ve got a strategy that helps you center your focus on Christ, share it with us!
Kelly is a web and graphic designer living with her two kids and husband in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is a creator, always thinking and praying about what else she can design, code, create or be part of…a true blessing and also the cause of many sleepless nights! A big believer in authentic Christian community, she’s been part of a small group for over 12 years and loves the idea of continued christian community online – like this book club.