Friday, August 30, 2013

Living in the &

Recently, Blessings Unlimited changed their name and focus and became Mary & Martha. I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about that here. I've hardly done anything with Blessings this year so it is looking like I will be inactive come November which I am fine with - so this is not a sales pitch, just an fyi and a post about hospitality and the Biblical characters Mary and Martha.

I actually really enjoyed browsing the catalog and reading about the thoughts and heart behind the new idea and some fun hospitality ideas and inspiration.

First, I love the tagline, Meaningful Entertaining Made Simple and the beauty behind those words. Lovely thoughts there - you can find thoughts in the catalog on this on pages 4-5.

Pages 20-21 have a fun list of ten tips and tools for entertaining. There is a fun Fall centerpiece idea on page 35 and some fun Christmas table ideas on pages 38-39.

I love the concept, the heart behind and the ideas presented - but do wish the items featured were not so expensive!

Ok, enough fyi - I saw something in the catalog about living in the &; and at first was trying to get my head around what they intended by that. But, pretty soon after some lovely thoughts came in understanding the idea behind that.

Mary and Martha. In that and is a blending of hospitality, industry and sitting at the Lord's feet. It prompted me to read this passage and think more about this lovely balance of putting Jesus first but still being welcoming and inviting to those who cross my path.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about living in that balance - opening comments today, can't say if it is permanent or not - but would love to hear from you today!


Tasha said...

Lovely catalog, but way to pricey for my humble taste. I will be back to see comments on this because obviously it is way too early for me to figure out what this means.
BUT I love the new name. I have often said when guests are in our home I want to be like Mary. To be still and listen to my guests; ignore the kitchen and table. To make time to make them feel at ease. And too often I am like Martha; busy with cleaning things up and not giving our guests the undivided attention they so deserve.

Valerie said...

Hello Monica! I really enjoyed your post on your trip to Mansfield. I don't live that far from there and on a return trip from the Gulf Coast I too detoured our route so my kids could experience Laura and Almanzo's home...wasn't their farmstead just beautiful?!

My guess is that Laura was the & of Mary and Martha. I think that being raised in such a simpler time, made it so much easier to find that balance...gracefully entertaining guests as a servant of Christ, but also never neglecting her morning or evening prayer time and Sunday obligations.

I think technology has made finding balance in life even more difficult. I see so many great ideas on Pinterest (for example), and then get so caught up in the small details when putting on an get togehter...that I then sometimes lose sight of the be in fellowship with those I love.

On the other hand, Jesus didn't dismiss Martha, either. The scripture passage (of much that is given much is to be exptected) points us toward responsibility stewardship of our children/ Our homes should be safe havens for our family to come to after being out in the world.

Anyway, excellent post. My pastor always says...don't pick just one (Mary versus Martha) need to be both!


Leanne said...

I browsed the catalog, also.. I LOVE so many of the items, but they are just too expensive...When I think hospitality and Jesus--I try to remember, Jesus could care less if I serve on fine china or paper plates-- he cares about WHO I'm serving and WHY I'm serving them. A cup of cold water is just as refreshing from a plastic cup or crystal glass... a warm meal can come in a foil container, a beautiful ceramic dish, or a cardboard box (a last minute pizza delivery for a frazzled mom!)...
we are so caught up in the look of things... when we should be so caught up in the hearts of people!
I think hospitality stretches the Mary and Martha in all of us--but, Christ wants us to do it all the same!
hope your homeschooling days are going well! we are finishing our THIRD week...and this Mama has learned a lot :-)

Wendi said...

There are some great things in the catalog. Stuff and ideas... like many have said too bad the stuff is so expensive!

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about living in the moment. Embracing where I am and who I am. I am sure that I am not alone that when I say I worry too much. What are people thinking about me, my home, am I too much of a Mary or too much of a Martha? We live in a society where so much emphasis is put on stuff and perfection that it is sometimes hard to just be yourself and open up yourself.

I trying to just be me... a little bit of Mary, a little bit of Martha, a little less of frazzled mama and full of much more grace... for me and for others.

I am glad to see comments open again. May times I have wanted to leave you a comment on your post!

Lucy said...

Ooh, that catalogue actually made me quite sad. It makes me grateful that Christianity is not as commercialised in this country. I wonder how much God is glorified by a dish or cup or decorative item that has a bible verse or a "Christian" word on it and an inflated price. Surely the gospel-influenced thing is to live with less, to buy used items and pass on the wealth to charity?

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

It made me think of this devotional book that I haven't reaad in quite awhile called "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World"...or something like that ;) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

Lisa said...

Lucy, you are RIGHT ON TARGET-AMEN!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

The music artist Christy Nockels has really been an inspiration to me lately. One thing she clings to is "Invite the Holy Spirit in the mundane." The Lord is always our first love and spending with Him and in the Word. Then, whether you're a busy mother, an artist, someone who is into hospitality and serving others in your home (whether your plates are covered in scripture or not...) the thing is to invite the Holy Spirit into whatever it is we're doing, that others might be touched and recognize God's love-and make us all lovers of Him. That God would be glorified. When we've had people over for an evening, and I've invited the Holy Spirit, I am much more at peace and things go smoothly, our guests seem to really enjoy themselves. We can even ask the Lord to bring people to us. Your home becomes a retreat from a crazy world! So, whatever you do (or whatever you own...), "invite the Holy Spirit into the mundane" and all to the glory of God.

Have a great weekend, Monica.

Andrea L.

Anonymous said...

Oh, can I just a bit more to my last comment? Christy calls it, "Inviting the 'Glorious' into the mundane." See, what happens when we allow the Spirit to be in what we do, His love, His joy flow from us and His peace permeates the room. Have you ever had that kind of experience around others?

God bless you, Monica.
Andrea L.

angie said...

Growing up, there were twins in my church named Mary and Martha. In fact, one of them (but I always forget which one) was my Kindergarten teacher. I kinda always felt bad for Martha, as she can be looked down upon. I think we are given their story in the Bible, not as an example of what not to do, but as demonstration of the full nature of women. We can be a bit of both. Moderation is the key.
I tried to look at the catalog, but I still prefer a paper catalog. I may go back and look at it on the iPad, as it may feel more like a catalog in my lap!
Your new blog backdrop is cute--Chevron!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Andrea, thanks for the nudge to listen to Christy Nockels - enjoying that right now!