May 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve been such a Martha today. I’ve just done stuff all day. I think the only time I really actually stopped was when Messy Baby wanted time out and a snoozy boob.

Oh how grateful I am for those snoozy boob times!

In the Bible, it tells of when Jesus goes to visit friends one time. There were sisters living there: Mary, and Martha. Martha got everything ready, prepared and served refreshments, just worked her socks off to look after her guests. Mary, by contrast, sat and listened to Jesus. Martha complained, saying that it wasn’t fair that she was doing all the work, and couldn’t Jesus at least tell Mary to come and help? But Jesus said that Mary had made the right choice, to sit and listen.

There’s another little poem doing the rounds at the moment. It’s a beautiful poem called “Song for a Fifth Child” and finishes with the lines,

“So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep,
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

I guess I needed reminding of these today, as I cleaned and washed up and sorted and tidied.

My babies aren’t keeping. They’re growing and growing.

I don’t think, when Jesus spoke to Martha and said that Mary had chosen well, that he was telling her off. There is always work needs doing. What I think he was saying is that there are more important things in life than just doing, doing, doing. We can work all we can, but if we neglect relationships, it’s all pretty meaningless.

There’s another bit in the bible that says just that.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I don’t have love, I am nothing.

And it applies just as much to our relationships with our children as it does to church outreach projects – far more important than all the doing, is the reaching out, the building and nurturing of healthy, loving relationships.

Everything else will follow.

Image is original artwork and (c) 2012 the messy mama / jeni entwistle. If you link to this image please be courteous and provide a backlink to this blog piece. Thankyou!

If you would like a limited edition signed print of this artwork or a pack of postcards featuring the full poem on the reverse please get in touch via the facebook page!

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (1958)

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.


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