Wow. The quote, “Don’t let a gift become a burden” hit me like a ton of Happiness Bricks when I listened to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier earlier this week.
I was immediately reminded of the Bible story where Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha. Mary sits enraptured by His teachings, while her sister Martha runs around like a crazy woman (I would imagine) getting everything ready for supper.
When Martha complains to Jesus that her sister is “just” sitting at His feet while she’s running around doing all of the work, He responds, “Martha, Martha…you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 41-42).
Martha allowed the gift of the world’s greatest teacher gracing her house to become a burden. Are you a Mary or a Martha? Me? I’m a Martha. Hands down.
I can name countless occasions wherein I missed out on the joy of a moment by burdening myself with unimportant details…our children’s birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, dinner parties, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days…just to name a few.
So..How can we reframe our approach to situations to become more Mary-esque and then choose what is better?
Here are some simple, everyday situations where I turned a perceived burden into a gift this week:
- Instead of worrying about finishing the dishes before heading to sports, I simply enjoyed the noise and laughter of our children and nieces visiting over dinner
- Simple tasks like cleaning toilets, shopping for groceries and prepping supper increased in joy when I considered the gift that it is to have a house to clean, water to clean it, food in the fridge and money to buy groceries
- Instead of canceling lunch with a friend in the name of “not enough time” I kept the date; the connection and conversations we had were gifts that walked with me this week
- Instead of complaining about the distance we drive our children to school, I now look at it as a blessing to have time with the children and then quiet time to pray, reflect or listen to podcasts without interruption
These are just a few examples but I can tell you these reframes led me to a place of much more joy and much less of that self-induced panicky feeling that rises in my chest far too many times in any given week.
As it relates to the world of weight loss, binging and chronic overeating, reframing our thoughts around situations to make them more positive and pleasurable decreases our stress and also the chance of finding ourselves driving around in our cars inhaling a 12-pack from Tim Horton’s to deal with that stress. Just sayin’.
Think about the areas in your life where you might reframe what you’re now considering a burden to become a gift. Please…share them for us all to enjoy! Leave a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With Love and Gratitude,