Monday, November 19, 2007

And We're Back........(and I am a Martha in recovery)

Well, friends, we are back from a wonderful shopping weekend in beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. A great time was had by all (actually 'by both' since it was only the hubs and I). We spent all day Friday in Knoxville at Turkey Creek (awesome shopping center) and then West Towne Mall (I do love a good mall, don't you? I had me some of that sinful Chocolate ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery and as soon as I ate the last bite of that waffle cone I immediately repented :-) Friday night we ate at Chop House and then on to our hotel where we watched that show with Wayne Brady where you have to name the lyrics to win - I totally should go on that show!!! I rarely watch TV, but that show is so fun I might make it a weekly 'must-see'.

Saturday morning we got up early and went straight to Five Oaks Tanger Outlet after a delicious continental breakfast (okay it wasn't that delicious, but it WAS free). We spent most of the day there. Saturday evening we went to a few other shopping centers and then to dinner at Outback (UT was playing and hubs knew it would be on the big screen there - and I love me some Alice Springs chicken and a bloomin' onion). We finally arrived at the in-laws around 11:30 pm where we picked up our sleeping boys and headed for home. The great news is that we lots of neat 'stuff' and our Christmas shopping (with the exception of a few minor things) is DONE!!!! Anyone want to volunteer to help me wrap presents? I wish I had time to add some links of a few of the fun things we bought people (and some I bought myself - ya'll I rarely ever buy myself anything except when we go on this yearly adventure, so don't think I am bragging ). A few of the things I got: warm GAP hoodie (love a good hoodie), some sketchers that look like ballet flats, a pair of black flats, a short puffy sleeved sweater with a white long sleeved t-shirt to go under it, socks, warm fuzzy house slippers (or if you are from TN, they are called 'houseshoes' pronounced /howshooz/), a red top with puffy sleeves and sequins on it to wear to hubs Christmas party for work, and a brown blouse to wear to church. All on sale because I refuse to pay full price for anything. Call me cheap if you want, I take that as a total complement :-).

Thursday, we are having around 20 family members over for Thanksgiving. We always have Turkey Day at our house, so this is not unusual. What is unusual is that I am so not ready for company. I typically begin cleaning the house about 2 weeks before, but I just haven't had time in the past couple of weeks. So, I am kind of stressed out about getting the house cleaned and the cooking done well and in time.

Why do I make such a big deal out of how my house looks instead of focusing on what Thanksgiving is all about? I think one of the most difficult things is to do everything 'as unto the Lord'. I am trying to do just that, but many times my flesh wins out and I do things 'as unto myself'. Isn't it easy to live in the flesh and hard to walk in the spirit when we are stressed? I believe that god takes note of whatever we do for Him. I long to be a Mary, but sometimes the Martha (not Stewart) in me takes over! In my Bible there are 'Character Profiles' of Mary and Martha and here is what they say:

Martha - Expected others to agree with her priorities
Was overly concerned with details
Tended to feel sorry for herself when her efforts were not recognized
Limited Jesus power to this life

Mary - Perhaps the only person who understood and accepted Jesus' coming death, taking
time to annoint His body while He was still living
Learned when to listen and when to act

I so want to be a Mary, but I fear I am more of a Martha most of the time. Martha seems like such a needy, obsessive-compulsive type (Speaking of OCD, did I mention that I check to see if my car doors are locked at least twice before I walk away? Pray, sisters, pray for me :-). I think if we were given opportunity to spend the day with either Mary or Martha, we would all pick Mary. Can I get an amen? I pray that as we go through this week, with all the cooking, cleaning, and preparation for Thanksgiving, we will do it all for God. I pray that we will forget ourselves and our little aggitations and be completely preoccupied by God and how wonderfully blessed we are.

Dear Father,
I pray for every person who reads this blog entry. I pray that we will put off our flesh and walk in Your Spirit. I pray that instead of focusing on the chores, we would focus on the blessings. Lord, would you help us be more like Mary during this time of Thanksgiving? Thank you for all you have blessed us with. Thank you for our families, may we serve them as a Martha served Jesus with our eyes on you like Mary.


I'm Tara. said...

Yes, you can surely get an Amen. How about several of them? :)

First of all - I'm so glad you enjoyed yourselves on your shopping adventure and woo hoo for yummy food and hoodies! And Sketchers -- love those!

I hear ya on the whole Martha/Mary thing. I struggle with that A LOT and I'm constantly reminding myself that I'm Martha-ing something so that I can try to switch gears. For instance, I just didn't have it in me to make something big for T-day dinner at my mom and dad's this year, so I signed up for the relish tray and some wine. I love to cook and love to contribute my share, but this year, I'm all about draining the olives and chopping the carrots, baby. (Oh, and popping the cork.)

Thanks for a great reminder. You, as usual, had me laughing throughout this. By the way - I about PEED MY PANTS reading your comment about your Annie hair. Seriously - you are something else. Maybe it's good we can't meet up in real life -- we'd probably have to wear depends.

I'm Tara. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fran said...

"Isn't it easy to live in the flesh and hard to walk in the spirit when we are stressed?"

WHOA! Yes ma'am it is. And that is where I don't want to spend all of Christmas season!! "Please Lord I want desperately to walk in the Spirit right now....always of course....but especially now. This is your birthday season and I want to represent you well!!!"

I loved this post Bethanne. And, I'm so glad you had a blast with your hubs!!! Honey, it was killing me to not go shopping at that Turtle creek mall thing while in Knoxville this weekend. Just killing me. Never been. Only heard about it.

Blessings friend~

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Sounds like an incredible weekend! You hit all my favorites. And got to be in big orange country for the game!!!

Got to check out those sketchers! They sound really cute.


shelley said...

Well hi there! I just hopped over from Alana's blog. Sounds like you had a great time shopping, and YES I DO just love a good mall! I also wanted to say that I did the "Having a Mary heart in a Martha world" Bible study last year. It was good, but I still struggle with all my Martha-ness. What's funny is that I think my true personality is more like Mary. The Martha part has happened as I've become a "responsible" adult. I guess I have a hard time blending the two. Oh, and I also wanted to say that your boys are beautiful!

Earen said...

And you'll get an Amen from me too!! I'm so glad you had a great time shopping with your husband & glad you were able to splurge on yourself too! A shopping adventure like that is never as much fun unless you can get something for yourself.

You know, I go back & forth personally on the Mary/Martha thing. I really have to work on it with my kids though & putting aside the dishes and playing with them instead. In my accountability group we were just talking about this same thing last night. We feel our house & the way it looks reflects us...this is our domain, our home. It's hard for us to just sit and focus on what's most important because we get distracted on what we "think" is so important. Thanks for the reminder today. Oh, & you have such a wonderful way of making me laugh throughout your blog.

Alana said...

Hearty Amen. I'm such a stinkin' Martha. Ugh!

Your trip sounded like so much fun! I hope you are able to be very Mary like for your Thanksgiving Day celebrations!