Finding Your Purpose and Your Place As a Martha Girl

I’ve always felt a little ashamed of being a Martha.  Recognizing the deep satisfaction in my hideous to-do lists, my overwhelming love of busywork, of checking things off as done, I always felt a slight tinge of guilt, like I was slightly less than Mary, subtly less mature, less Christian, less like Jesus wanted me.


From Luke 10, we know that Martha is a doer who appears frustrated with her sister Mary’s lack of help. Martha responds like I do often, with a little complaint and a sideways suggestion, just to let Jesus (and Mary) know what’s what and who’s doing the bulk of the work.  She wants some help – don’t we all?


And Martha’s heart was in a good place.  She was noticing details, planning, orchestrating, to make sure everything was ideal for Jesus’ visit.  In her honest frustration, she complains to their guest. 


In the Bible story (Luke 10:40-42, NIV), Jesus did encourage Martha that Mary’s choice was better, saying.


But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do   the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what    is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


For most of my life I felt those words to be a deep rebuke, a decisive rejection of my innate personality. Yet how could I remove this ‘doing’ skin that is so deeply glued to my soul? How could I free myself from what my internal wirings unconsciously compelled or stirred inside?


I don’t see Martha as malicious in her complaint.  I don’t see her as uncaring.  What I see is a woman who desperately desired to please her Master by serving Him with all of her heart.  Yet sometimes our best ‘doing’prevents us from experiencing the best ‘being,’and His best will always be learning to enjoy His presence.  Saturating ourselves.  Soaking in His goodness, His love, His delight in you and me.


Yet sometimes our best ‘doing’prevents us from experiencing the best ‘being,’and His best will always be learning to enjoy His presence. Saturating ourselves. Soaking in His goodness, His love, His delight in you and me.Click To Tweet



What I’m learning to recognize is that when my Jesus comes knocking on my door, the ‘doing’can wait.  He doesn’t come to inspect the cleanliness of my house (Whew!!)  He didn’t come to evaluate my cooking. He didn’t come to judge my exterior, He came to save my interior.  He came to give me the one thing I need most in my life and that’s the gift of Himself.Savior. Redeemer. Healer.  Defender. Teacher.  Friend. 



For all of the women who see themselves as Martha's, here's a little encouragement to help you find your purpose and your place!



There.  Right in my living room.  There, riding in my car.  There, when I’m slumped over in a heap because my ‘to-do’s’have gotten the best of me.  There, when my world is crashing in.  There.  His Presence is always there.


There. Right in my living room. There, riding in my car. There, when I’m slumped over in a heap because my ‘to-do’s’have gotten the best of me. There, when my world is crashing in. There. His Presence is always there.Click To Tweet



Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV) tells us to, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.



I never want to forget.  I never want to ignore.  Never want to be so mindlessly numb that I miss His Presence in every move and moment of my life.


I want you to know friend, that’s the point. It doesn’t matter if you are a task-oriented, service-minded woman like Martha.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a ‘be-in-the-moment,’ relational woman like Mary.  It doesn’t.  What matters is that you see Jesus, experience His love, embrace His Presence as your highest calling, your best treasure.



My friend, Katie Reid, has just launched her new book, ‘Made Like Martha: Good News For The Woman Who Gets Things Done,’ and it isgood news to the Martha’s everywhere.  Katie has an energetic, humorous, relatable writing style that draws you in and shakes all of your preconceived notions about what you thought you knew about Martha, and expounds on eternal truths about your identity, your worth, learning to embrace His power and Presence that will yield passion and purpose in your life.



If you’ve struggled your whole life with knowing your value as a doer, or finding your peace as a worker, this book is a breath of fresh air and insight.  You no longer have to hide in the shadows or live in shame of how you are wired, you can find God’s Presence, you can experience His peace in the deepest part of your heart. God wants you to know, You are not alone.  You are not “too much.”  You don’t have to try harder.  You can love and serve from a place of peace and hope through Christ’s strength!



Katie M. Reid is an author, speaker, and singer who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at Her first book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done, will release on July 10, 2018 (published by WaterBrook). Katie’s writing style is transparent, poetic, and reflective. She has published articles through: Focus on the Family, HuffPost, MOPS, LifeLines, iBelieve, and LightWorkers and is a contributor in Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond and the Five Minute Friday book. Her album, Echoes of My Heart, is also available for purchase. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Hot or iced tea and cut-to-the-chase conversations are a few of her favorite things.

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  1. What a great post, Lisa! I tend to be like Martha as well, as I do a lot and often find myself complaining when others don’t do something. Though we often focus on what Mary did well, I think Martha did a lot as well. But as you have put it, the important part is to always to be in the presence of Jesus and experience His love for us and for others. Thank you for linking up over at GraceFull Tuesday! I’m sharing this.

  2. A beautiful reminder to share time with God first. All the other things can wait. He is waiting for us to share time with Him.

  3. Lisa, I don’t really think I’m a “Martha,” but I definitely share your desire not to be “so mindlessly numb that I miss His Presence in every move and moment of my life.” It sounds like Katie’s book has encouraged to more fully embrace who God has made you to be, and that is a wonderful thing!

  4. Your identification of yourself as a “Martha Girl” shows honesty and self-awareness. It’s a great read. When I published an earlier post about the prodigal son, many readers commented to me that they identified with the older brother, who withdrew from the celebration welcoming home the younger brother. I wonder if that has to do with birth order. I am the youngest in my birth family. I always felt more like the one who messed up but was welcomed home with open arms.

    Love your phrase “He didn’t come to judge my exterior, He came to save my interior.”.

  5. I would be so interested to see research on the percentage of bloggers who identify with Martha.
    She’s my girl!
    I keep hearing about this book, and I appreciate your thoughts on it today.

  6. “Sometimes our best doing prevents us from experiencing our best being.” OUCH! I know this even when I’m in the midst of it, yet often it’s so difficult to just stop. Still, it’s refreshing to know God is still very actively pursuing in the midst of my hardwiring, not in judgment but in love. What a great review you’ve written here, Lisa!

  7. “His presence is always there” – I love your perspective in highlighting the most important calling. What a blessing to find you through the Grace & Truth linkup. Your site is beautiful 🙂

  8. I used to br a bit ashamed of being a Martha but then as I studies Martha , she changed. She did learn how to be a Mary in the moments that matter. That is my goal. We still need Martha’s in this world to get the work done but they must be willing to sit at the feet of Jesus when he calls. I can’t wait to get this book. Thank you for sharing the book and your post on Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up. Maree

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