Made Like Martha Guest Post + Giveaway

Before becoming a mother, I was an efficient do-er. I was often the first to get my grades in at the end of the semester; I’d plan my days around productivity and quiet time; I felt pretty in control of my schedule. And then kids happened… And I quickly learned that the best-laid plans of productivity go by the wayside for a myriad of reasons. Being a mom has taught me to hold my to-do list loosely, to go with the flow, and to remember to live in the moment. Some days, this happens more gracefully than others.

When I heard about Katie M. Reid’s book, Made Like Martha, the title resonated with me. Martha has always been a woman I’ve connected with and I feel like she’s gotten an unfair reputation as a frenzied worker. But really, she kept things together. Made Like Martha reminds us that God has created “Modern Marthas” as do-ers. The question is how do we worship and work, without losing focus? Katie delivers a grace-filled look at how we can use Martha as a role-model, rather than a warning.

I’m honored to feature a guest post of Katie’s here. Read to the bottom for an opportunity to win your own copy of Made Like Martha, which releases tomorrow!

Sabbath Rest for Those Who Get Things Done
by Katie M. Reid

PerfectioninUsMadeLikeMarthaKMReidI knew I should be more intentional about Sabbath (a day set apart for the Lord and recuperation) but I thought it had to look a certain way too. Since it hardly ever looked “that way,” I often felt restless about getting rest “right.”

Some friends of mine are more purposeful when it comes to Sabbath. Some don’t go out to eat because that causes others work on the Sabbath. Others implement no screen time on their day of rest. Some mandate a nap (yes, please!). Some do yard work. Some sleep in. Some go adventuring. Some are physically active, others avoid it all costs. Some brunch at a leisurely hour. And some are required to work on Sundays, so they pick another day to chill.

Have you felt unsure about what a day of rest should look like?

Fielding questions about Sabbath now:
“Can we go out to eat?”
“Should I do housework?”
“Should we allow technology?”
“Do I need to connect with God for hours in order for it to count?”

Good questions. I’m glad you asked. Here are my off-the-top-of-my-head responses (for what they’re worth):
“Definitely not. Let’s just say it’s not allowed. Like ever!”
“I dunno know. I try not to, but it doesn’t seem to stick.”
“Grace Darling, so much grace.”

Much to my surprise, my family is hungry every Sunday—of all the nerve! No grace for that. J/K! #kindof (insert sheepish and conflicted emoji face).Thankfully, we’ve uncovered the beauty of leftovers, a.k.a. Operation Fend For Yourself.

Sometimes our kids have soccer games on Sundays. Although we enjoy cheering them on, we miss our afternoon nap on those days.

Sometimes our day of rest (whether it’s Sunday or another day) is filled up by our own choosing, but other times, unexpected things disrupt our ideal.

It can be hard to rest on the inside when there is a flurry of activity happening around you—self-induced or otherwise. Like the crowds that pressed in on Jesus and vied for his attention, you can’t always retreat from the hustle and bustle.

We need time to recharge (Jesus did that after all). But beach vacations (my favorite way to unwind: staring at waves, hearing the caw of gulls overhead, sipping iced tea with lemon, reading a book, not being interrupted…insert contented sigh) are few and far between. And if we wait to spend time with Jesus until the conditions are ideal, we never will.

Instead of being annoyed that your day of rest is not as serene as you’d like, why not connect with God in the midst of it?

Rest can look a thousand different ways. Let’s ask God for wisdom to rest in ways that focus on Him and refresh us. Yes, we need shuteye. Yes, time away is important. Yes, a break helps us recharge, but the peace of Jesus’s Presence is carried within us at any and all times—waiting to be enjoyed.

Rest is not something to search for, but Someone to be with.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” -Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

What are some of your favorites ways to rest?

KatieReid_MeetKateKatie M. Reid is a wife, mom to five, and a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversations over iced tea. Katie is also a speaker, Bible study facilitator, and author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done (which includes a 5-week bible study for individuals and groups). She encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at Subscribe to Katie’s site and receive resources to help you breathe deeply and walk freely.

You can win your own copy of Made Like Martha!MadeLikeMartha_sidebar

Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done releases tomorrow! Katie’s publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah has generously offered to host a giveaway for one copy. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter, The Compost Heap and leave a comment here telling me you’ve signed up. If you’re feeling chatty, tell me why you connect with either Martha or Mary more and why. I’ll randomly select a winner on Thursday, June 12, 2018.

As a member of the Made Like Martha launch team, I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site. 

The Compost Heap


Planning for Surprises

Last weekend, we headed up to Grand Lake, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park for a long weekend. Each year we try to take three days before tax season begins. It’s a time to connect as a family and get outdoors before Frank starts working late nights and 6 days a week.

IMG_9779.jpgThis year, we met friends who had moved to the western side of the state. We reconnected, our girls played together, and we were reminded why we love loving in Colorado.

When we got home, Frank and I decided to plan out what our schedule over the next three months would look like. Because our time will be at a premium and because we will become like ships passing in the night, we’ve found (through years of trial and error) that planning ahead helps alleviate stress. Of course, life happens and things don’t always go as planned, but this helps. We plan when Frank will be home; which nights will be family dinner nights; how to manage the home office and children; and our one two-day weekend that we’ll take at the end of March.

For as much as I love planning and having a map of expectations, I also love surprises and spontaneity. When it was just the two of us, tax season was rough, but there was more allowance for a bit of unknown. Now, Bea wants to know if she’ll see dad before bed – and I want to know what I can tell her. Even phone calls and texts are pared way down during this crazy season.

Even though it seems like we over-plan these three months, in reality, the planning helps us enjoy the surprises more. If there’s a slow day (rare but it happens!) it’s so much nicer to have Frank unexpectedly come home for dinner rather than always hoping.

This will be our seventh tax season together and I know it will still be hard. There will still be miscommunication due to lack of actual face-to-face conversations. I’ll still be stressed and hate the world of accounting. I’ll be furious that April 15 is not our end date this year – that, due to a city holiday in Washington, DC, one more weekend will be taken away from our family.

And yet. Our community comes around and helps us through. Friends understand when we can’t get together. Other friends come over to keep me company and help with the kids. My parents feed us and are here a lot more. When we skip church to go on a hike, we are rejuvenated and refreshed and reconnected even more than on a regular hike.

And, each year I am reminded that I can do this. That the blessings of community building throughout the rest of the year come into play even more this time of year. And that, somehow, we make it through.

I know we’re not alone – from families in the military to those who have a spouse who travels for work – any suggestions? Each year looks a bit different and I’m always looking for advice and ideas!