Carpe Diem – Martha and Mary (Part 2)

“Now as they were traveling along, He (Jesus) entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  And she had a sister named Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet.  But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”  But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one; for Mary has chosen the good part,which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42).”

Every person will have natural tendencies toward either Mary or Martha which will bring ensuing struggles as to how we should spend out time.

Martha was a good woman, but became distressed when dinner time arrived and she had a surprise guest.  While this is the first Biblically recordedwhine and cheese party, it is not an uncommon conflict in most homes.

Dinner did have to be made and there was no Oggis Pizza to call … “the original stuft pizza…medium with marinara & ranch… I’ll pick it up in 20 minutes.”

While we clearly know that Jesus knew how to make dinner for a lot of people… four and five thousand, Mary felt compelled to serve.  She was so internally conflicted that Jesus said to her “Mary, you are worried and bothered by so many things.”  The Greek word used here is used elsewhere in the New Testament to refer to a city riot.

According to the New Milan Paraphrase, it would read, “Mary, you’ve got such a riot going on in your head you can’t sit still long enough to enjoy me.” The simple message: Busyness blinds us to God and others.

Yes there is a need to perform, do tasks and be in control of our personal lives, yet for those of us whose mind is addicted to busyness, there is a daily need for rest, decompressing and connecting with God and others.

This is how we stay centered about what is really important… at the end of the day… at the end of our lives.

Two nights ago, Kay and I along with our four grown children stood in an ICU unit with my older sister Millie Kay, who was born with cerebral palsy.

She had been on a ventilator for six days and was declining as she thrashed and gagged incessantly. At a lucid moment, I told her the machine was keeping her alive, and if we took it out there would be a good chance she would not be able to breathe on her own.

Without oxygen, she would fall asleep, die and go to heaven and be with the Lord, Mom and Dad.

When I asked her if she wanted to leave the tubes in, she clearly shook her head “No!”

We talked with the family and doctors and signed the papers.

All four of our grown kids drove to the hospital, and before she was taken off the ventilator, they each told her how much she was loved.

Like Mary at the feet of Jesus, they were bonded to her because they each talked to her weekly over the phone and have maintained a close relationship since they were small children.

The girls sang hymns, and we all hugged and kissed her.

They took the tubes out, gave her morphine to ease any pain, took off the arm restraints and let her be on her own.

The doctors didn’t think she would last more than fifteen minutes but God had a different plan.

As of the writing of this letter, the morning after, she is still breathing on her own.

While she is certainly not out of the woods, she’s at a different place than we’d anticipated.  Yet, not a surprise, she’s been a fighter since she was born… blue… and the doctors said she would not live.

Why was the evening so special, close, affectionate and exceptional?

Because all seven of us have stayed connected, close, communicative.

Despite busyness, we’ve all laughed and loved… just like Mary.

Carpe Diem seize the day… Carpe Momentum… seize the moment with those whom you love.

Next week I’ll let you know how she is doing… whether she is in rehab or celebrating in heaven.


  • Check out our new book, How We Love our Kids which will be released on March 15, 2011… just 4 short weeks!  We have a favor to ask you in upcoming weeks… stay tuned.
  • Be sure to look at all of our appearances across the United States, hopefully we’ll be near you very soon.
  • Speaking of being too busy for words, Kay and I are very pleased to announce that Mary Belanger is our new How We Love Administrator.  You will be hearing more from her and hopefully interfacing with her as you make contact with us.  We’re breathing a sigh of relief at finding such a trusted partner to help us keep our noses above the water line.


Milan & Kay

Next Week:  More Relationship Tips and Advice