The Needful Thing


 

 

I’m not the best housekeeper...😱 

No, I’m not a hoarder nor am I a neat freak. I’m just a “I’ll get that later after I finish this” kind of woman. I’ll get to it after I finish working in my businesses, driving the children around on a daily basis, developing new business ideas and writing.  (Incidentally I just completed a new nook entitled, “Powerful Woman 100 Days of Faith” 

In my mom’s defense, I didn’t grow up this way. No not at all. She was a militant when it came to cleaning. We had daily household responsibilities and our Saturday mornings we were expected or rather required to complete total house and yard duties before we could even think about enjoying the Saturday morning cartoons or playing with friends.

I wanted to share this with you because people often ask how I’m able to do some of the things I do, living the life that I live. So, I wanted to give you a bit of personal insight. I wanted to share my vulnerability with you so that you could see yourself and drop some of the excuses.

Even though I know I’m sharing this for a really good reason, it still is tough for me to say because I don’t want you to look at me with any judgement. In fact, you’d never know that anything in my life was out of order because I’d make sure that everything was in its right place and then some before you ever stepped foot inside my home.

But I’ve decided that if it’s going to free you from shame and the falsehood of hiding behind lies then I’d speak my truth. But just know…I’m interviewing for a housekeeper as we speak. 

The real truth and very real reality is, I’m not the only one who doesn’t have it all together either.

I was listening to Rachel Hollis’s podcast as she was discussing an interview that Ayesha Curry gave on the Todays Show. Ayesha was asked how she’s able to keep her life together so …well and also do what she does successfully. Ayesha responded that it was through prayer, patience and being really organized. 

Rachel Hollis responded, “Tell the truth! Don’t lie. Ayesha being as busy as she is with the children, her husband and her businesses MUST HAVE HELP! She’s got a nanny and a maid that help.” She was irritated with the image Ayesha was painting of a perfect woman with a perfect life and who’s in perfect control. When perfection doesn’t exist in the natural. She said comments like this only bring more “mommy shaming” and isn’t the truth at all.

When I heard this at first, I agreed with Rachel. I owned a business, I’m a mother, wife and I surely don’t have it all together. In my family, everybody pitches in, my husband, my children. It’s all hands on deck. But, as each individual is exploring life outside of the home, it’s becoming more and more a real chore to maintain.

Then, I paused and thought about my mom. She was an amazingwife, mother, full-time employee, at-home-chef, urgent care provider, hairstylist, counselor, missionary, evangelist, worshipper, Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Director, Choir member, transportation driver for all four children, and the list goes on and on. And she did all of this and more without much help. She was the HELP.

She and my dad couldn’t afford outside help. And because my mom was such a “momma bear” she wouldn’t let too many people in so she could better guard her children. So, if it didn’t come from the immediate family dynamic, it didn’t exist.

There may have been a desire for help but the ways and means just didn’t exist to make it happen. This is the truth for so many women. Most do what they have to do because it’s necessary.

Look at the Webster’s definition of Necessary:

  1. What must be
  2. Indispensable. Essential; requisite; 
  3. Unavoidable 
  4. Acting from necessity or compulsion; opposed to free.  

Traditionally women have been confined to specific roles and responsibilities inside the home, in the workplace and in society as a whole.Women were confined to these roles out of necessity and compulsion. (Compulsion: The act of driving or urging by force, physical or moral; force applied; constraint of the will; the application of a force that is irresistible.)  This force is applied to every women either by culture, gender and even religion. If you dared to step out of the traditional roles that were deemed necessary, you’d get a lashing either by the tongues of people and even a physical lashing when abuse was present. Women are supposed to stay in their predetermined lanes or suffer the consequences.

  1. Culture 
  2. Gender roles
  3. Religion 

 All three bound a woman to a pre-determined path that required her to operate in little to no faith.

 Oh, I know some of you say, how can I make such an assumption? Well, it’s really simple.

Faith is for things NOT SEEN. It’s the unseen evidence that greater, more, different, alien does exist. Most of what women have been responsible for has been seen and done for the centuries.  Sure, there have been advancements that have made the responsibilities of a women easier but what they accomplish is still pretty much the same.

 Let’s look into the Scriptures for evidence. Take a look at the experiences of Mary and her sister Martha in Luke chapter 10 verses 38-42 NIV

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 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!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was doing what women traditionally did then and still do today.She was in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, being a host for their special guest Jesus. It made her She angry that her sister, Mary wasn’t helping. I can imagine her storming into the living room and kneeling down to speak to Jesus in order to get some support.

Let me note here. To her defense, Martha did go to Jesus and ask for help. Which is what you should do when faced with a difficult situation of any kind. This showed that she did have a reverence for Him. I’m pretty sure based upon this excerpt of scripture that she was pretty self-righteous in coming to Jesus. She felt justified in her actions and wasn’t convicted at all because she was doing what needed to be done. She was doing the needful thing. 

But, when Jesus responds, I’m pretty sure it took her off guard. I mean how could she be looked at as anything but responsible?

However, Martha was being self-righteous; she didn’t need Jesus at that time. She was confident that because she was performing her required duties that she was in right standing. But, Jesus’ response to her was unsettling. He said that resting at His feet would’ve been the better thing to be doing at that time. 

How many times do you find yourself doing just what Martha did? I mean, how could you be wrong? You’re doing this and that and because you’ve checked off your To-Do list you figure you’ve got it all under control. There’s really no need to bother Jesus. There’s no need for faith. You’ve made it your responsibility to make things happen?    

Have you ever known something negative about a sister and sincerely prayed for her out of concern and without judgment because you want real change to happen?  Or do you feel that because you are adept at mastering your life that this gives you justification to gossip about her at the “quilting bee”? 

 Jesus’ response to Mary shares some insight into doing what’s really necessary and being sensitive to when a shift has occurred.

I believe that looking at your daily responsibilities through the lens of faith that a lot of our idle time would be cut down and you’d become more effective. He would lead you to not focus on stuff that isn’t your concern but rather to be more purposeful in your life. Then, you’d not have so much time to be what the Bible calls a busybody.

 Mary seized her one moment and decided that she’d risk looking out of compliance, take the ridicule to be able sit down to hear from Jesus! I mean, when would something like this ever happen again? She couldn’t miss her one opportunity.

 What does that say about the staying confined to the traditional roles of women today? How you relate to Mary’s risk-taking move today?

Mary was operating in faith.

 Her faith gave her the impetus to take the risk. Remember the women with the issue of blood? Her faith not only made her whole, but it also made her take the risk to even step outside of quarantine and go after Jesus and His hem. Women who were menstruating were required to stay outside the camp until the bleeding stopped. She had been in this situation for twelve long years. She had tried other ways to cure herself. They didn’t work. So, I’m sure she said to herself, I will not sit here and die without trying one last time. What is the worst thing that can happen? If I stay here, I’m sure to die. If I’m stoned to death trying to get to Jesus, then it’ll just happen sooner. But I’m going for it nonetheless!

 Mary and the women with the issue of blood were walking by faith. 

 Faith is the evidence of things not seen and the substance of things hoped for. Faith is only for the things that aren’t seen or experienced yet but that you can believe exists. And Mary’s faith pushed her to step across the line into freedom. Real freedom into choice. Choice gives you the opportunity to do something because you want to and not because of force. You can do something because of love.

Jesus explains to Martha that the more needful thing is faith and He spoke this out loud because others were able to hear it. You can discern this from it being included here. The writer had to be aware of what’d transpired in order to write about it. What does this tell us about Jesus’ thoughts about what Martha thought? He rebuked the spirit of shame. He would not allow Mary to feel ashamed for stepping into unchartered territory. Remember, your faith only works by love. Love should be the driving force for doing anything in life. You should do it because you’re expecting that the outcome would create something great. If you want to lead a life that’s pleasing to Him then you must needs do it all by faith.

 Faith is for daring to imagine that something different can happen.

It takes faith to expect more from your life than what you’re conditioned. Mary must’ve believed totally in the liberating words of Jesus that says,” Who the Son’s set free is free indeed.” Freedom in every way means free both spiritually and in your natural reality.

Faith gives you the courage to step out and pursue that which you've only seem with the minds’ eye or dreamed of.  “Eyes haven’t seen....”

Traditionally, women ate after the men because she was responsible for serving. In the African American culture, because of the lack of honor given to the black man outside of the home men would in turn be honored as the king in the home by being served first. I remember many times having to wait until my dad came home before we could eat. It’s just what was expected. I GET IT! But, it’s an act of love not a requirement and to not doing it isn’t a Sin. You shouldn’t feel ashamed.

 The sad fact is that we’ve made many cultural, gender and religious traditions LAW and they’re not! The scripture says that the traditions of men have made the word of God of none effect...or another way of saying it is this...TRADITIONS ARE VOID OF POWER BECAUSE THEY DONT REQUIRE FAITH TO FOLLOW. It’s a rite of learned behavior or habits that aren’t based in love. And faith ONLY works by love.

 “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” Galatians 5:3-6 NKJV

 Here the scripture speaks to doing things a certain way because it’s just the way things have always been done. Christ came to bring a new way of thinking and this new way shines the light on new paths to follow. The law binds and grace frees you to be able to hear from the Father and get your marching orders. You can only get this from sitting, like Mary, at the Father’s feet. 

 This kind of faith makes lasting impact in the lives of those it living by it. As previously mentioned, the woman with the issue of blood was made free from perpetual sickness by doing something unorthodox. She walked by faith.

 Mary and Martha, having become acquainted with Jesus were able to have their brother Lazarus raised from the dead because they dared to break code and have a relationship with Christ in a more intimate way. I’m pretty sure Lazarus was happy about his sister’s daring moves.

 Faith continues to believe even when no one else gets it. The women who waited at Jesus’ tomb were rewarded by being the first to spread the message that Jesus had risen. I particularly love this because Jesus validates the use of women in ministry. They were the first to evangelize about the life-giving power of Jesus. They waited in love. They waited because they believed. They waited not out of duty but because of love. That’s faith. 

 So, what is it that has you bound? Are you dawdling about in the day-to-day tasks in an effort to find fulfillment when the real fulfillment can only be found in the road less followed? What are you avoiding? What inner calling is being drowned out by too many obligations. Have you said yes to so much that your real dreams are locked away for later?

 I want to encourage you to get free! Christ has freed you from any shackles and preconceived ideas of who you can be, what you should do, and what you can have. Endless possibilities are waiting for you if you’ll only do the more needful thing. 

 Break away from the routine and get into the quiet place. Draw from the Father whatever is needed so that you’re not just surviving but thriving. You’re full of ideas, potential and creativity that will only become a reality when you make them a priority instead of taking a risk and follow your dreams. He’s has given you this life to enjoy not to slave away until you’re too old and there is no more time. 

 The time is now to do what really makes you happy. Love yourself enough to follow your heart & fulfill your purpose and making the lasting impact in your life and the lives you were called to reach. You’re created for a purpose on purpose.

This time…choose you.  Dare to take the risk and follow your dreams and fulfill the vision you have for your life. Creating a vision board can be a good way to start.

 

 

 


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published