Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Confession is good for the soul right? I sure hope so, because I'm about to confess something. I'm still reading Mary Pierce's When Did My Life Become a Game of Twister as part of my nightly devotional time. It's a really fantastic book, and I enjoy her way of writing that makes me laugh and convicts me all at the same time. Last night the chapter was about perfectionism and spelling bees. She competed in a spelling bee in elementary school and was beaten by her rival, and it colored how she viewed the girl for years, because she was bitter. (I made it to regionals in the spelling bee when I was in 8th grade, and bombed out on the word detach. I just blanked, so I can relate to Mary's dismay) But the failure also hurt her, because she stopped trying certain things because she was afraid to fail. Yeah, I can relate...a lot. I tend to live my life in the safe zone for fear of messing up. She even related that she had a hard time finishing the book for fear that some people might not like it.

So here's my big confession: that's why I haven't finished my novel. It's not writer's block. I've had the ending outlined and plotted out almost since I wrote the first chapter. I'm afraid to finish the book, because if I do, I'll have to submit it to agents and publishers, and the idea of being rejected on something I've worked so hard on terrifies me. Just the idea of writing a query letter makes me want to throw up. So that's why it sits in a dusty 3 ring binder by my bed, all 255 pages of it. What if it's not perfect? I've done over 400 book reviews; I know just how bad a book can be and how mean a reviewer can be. It's not easy for me to confess this for the world to see, but I'm hoping that if I say it and face it, maybe I can start writing again without the fear of failure.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver is a book that should be on every woman's bookshelf. In today's world that requires more and more of women: working full time, perfect wife and mom, active in church and school, spotless housekeeper, and gourmet chef, Weaver's book is a counterpoint singing the value of rest and taking the time to listen to Jesus. Weaver uses the story in Luke chapter 38 when Jesus comes to visit sisters Mary and Martha at their home in Bethany. Martha rushes around preparing the house and meal for her visitors when she notices that Mary isn't helping at all. Instead, she's sitting at Jesus' feet listening to his teaching. Martha approaches Jesus and asks him to rebuke Mary for her laziness, but Jesus gently reproves Martha for her busyness and explains that Mary is doing just what she needs to. Psalm 46:10's admonition: Be still and know that I am God comes to life through Weaver's gentle teaching. We spend entirely too much time running from one thing to the next without taking the time to worship God and get to truly know him, and so our soul suffers needlessly. This book is a blessing to everyone who reads it!

The winner of a copy of this great book was Jon Kralovetz. Congrats! I'm starting another book contest today. If you'd like to win a copy of Gayle Roper's Fatal Deduction, a murder mystery with lots of thrills, send an email to before midnight Thursday, June 5th. I'll announce the winner here on Friday and post my review. Good luck!