Filling a Jesus-Shaped Hole in My Heart: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World Bible Study

How my Bible study girls and I loved this.

I learned so much, it’s impossible not to share! If you’re looking for a great study with in-depth questions that challenge your heart,Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life is it!

The lessons in this book lead me to grow in who I am as a mother, wife, friend, and child of God.

There are an abundant amount of lessons to learn in this book, but the best part is that it doesn’t just skim the surface.

This book digs deep, and you find yourself changing throughout the book for the better. Your family notices. Your friends. It’s pretty amazing.

Lessons:

1.) Worry/anxiety: I’ve never considered myself much of a worrier. I’ll think things through carefully and take others’ opinions to weigh in, but I never really lose sleep over it.

Because of this I felt I didn’t really have much to gain in this area, but of course there’s always room for improvement.

I learned some super practical ways to fight worry and anxiety and how to work through it. This has been huge with my ability to cope with some leftover pain from walking our child through cancer.

2.) Trusting in God’s Plan: As a planner myself, I struggle with this…a lot.

I map out my days, weekends, months. I like to have a picture of what most likely will happen. As a teacher, I’m trained to change with the ebbs and flows of life, but I need some sort of general idea of where I’m going.

With the Lord, I simply don’t. No plan.

Just Him.

I had such a hard time, spinning my wheels pushing for what my heart desired. This study helped me so much with how to balance trusting with fighting for what I want.

Am I perfect at trusting in God’s timing or plans? No…I wouldn’t say so, but I have learned a lot about how to look for his timing, watch the direction my life is going, and taking in how the Lord has had such a hand in helping me prosper.

3.) Inequality: I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a teacher. I’m a friend. A lot of times this means I’m getting the short end of the stick.

Everyone does, actually.

Inequality used to frustrate me to the point of fixation. I worked harder! I deserved more!

I, I, I.

This study taught me so much about reasoning and purpose. How inequality and a grateful heart go hand-in-hand. How all my hard work can sometimes end in inequality I don’t understand, but there’s always something to gain. Something to learn. Some way to be better for it.

4.) How to give God my heart: I guess I thought I already had.

Back when I made the decision to love the Lord above everyone and everything I felt like that was it. The deal was done.

Through this growth process, I learned there were pieces missing.

A God-shaped hole I didn’t even realize I had.

Thank you, LORD for this study. I’m joyful to fill that space with Your love!

5.) Practically administering Christ’s love to others: To step out into this was a hard one for me.

As somewhat of an introvert, who’s perfectly okay with reading for an entire day quietly and alone, this was really outside of my comfort zone.

I share love with others in kindness, but going out of my way to help, serve, be a light? Not like I could be.

This study helped me gain so much in this area, and in turn give to others in a way I’d selfishly been holding back with reasoning like busyness, children, work, etc.

6.) Balancing work and worship: There’s a teeter totter analogy that is the visual I carry with me in life when I think about how I’m loving the Lord and the time I spend with Him.

Because of the lessons from this book, I find myself searching for balance. Work must be done but so must worship.

When, where, and how…those are the tough parts. So thankful for this study for this reason. I learned so much!

7.) Facing barriers of closeness with God: One huge lesson I learned, and was most shocked by, was Jesus longing to be with me.

Jesus? The most amazing person to ever be wants-no, longs to be with me?

It shook me to my core.

In this study I truly broke down my life into what was keeping me from spending time with the Lord. This has changed the course of my life. I have been reset on a clearer path. Thank you, Lord!

How I Grew

1.) Time for Jesus: This early motherhood thing doesn’t exactly come with lots of spare time.

Making time to spend with the Lord every day was a huge way I have grown. The best part? Our boys see me making time for my Bible study. Making time to read Scripture. Making time for Jesus.

2.) Love for Jesus: It seemed obvious to me when asked, “Do you love Jesus?”

Duh. Yeah, I do! I’m a Christian!

Of course I did and I do love the One who died for my sins, but there’s something about learning how to give your heart to Someone you can’t see, only feel. Someone you can’t always understand, only trust. Someone you can’t always be like, but strive to be.

It’s just…big. It’s beyond big.

It’s an eternity’s worth of importance.

3.) Seeing He cares: At one point before pulling my car out of the driveway for work, leaving behind my two boys for yet another day, I said out loud, “LORD! You know how this hurts me. Why? Why don’t you answer my prayer, Lord?”

When I opened my eyes I thought about Noah. 120 years it took to build that boat. He was 600 when the rain came.

Okay, Lord. I’ll wait. I’ll keep sharing the desires of my heart and trusting that You know what’s best and I don’t.

In so many ways since that day, after deciding to pray without ceasing and never give up hope, even though it felt hopeless, the Lord has shown me He cares.

He’ll ease my suffering with a friend’s conversation. He’ll put a student in front of me who shares her adoption story and captures my heart pouring hers out and how Jesus was at the center of it all.

Just time and again. Through the hurt, through the want to be with my boys, He is there. Carrying me through.

4.) Washing the feet of others: I grew in a huge way in this area.

Still, there’s lots of work to be done. I’m still learning ways to give myself and my time to others, but compared to where I was before I opened this book, I’m so hugely different. Not just in outward actions, but in my heart.

This study will be something I forever cherish. Looking through my notes has me excited to read it again!

Through deep conversations, inner reflection, and growth from the lessons taught, these were some of the most precious weeks of my life.

Enjoy!

~Andrea 🙂

 

Gi (11)

 

 

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