I think I'm Martha

This is from Elder Dallin H. Oak's conference talk, which was the RS lesson today - and it still has me thinking about all of the silly things I "choose" to occupy my time with, and especially my calling as activities chairman.

>>Elder Richard G. Scott said: " . . . Make sure that the essential needs are met, but do not go overboard in creating so many good things to do that the essential ones are not accomplished. . . . Remember, don't magnify the work to be done—simplify it."7

>>In general conference last year, Elder M. Russell Ballard warned against the deterioration of family relationships that can result when we spend excess time on ineffective activities that yield little spiritual sustenance. He cautioned against complicating our Church service "with needless frills and embellishments that occupy too much time, cost too much money, and sap too much energy. . . . The instruction to magnify our callings is not a command to embellish and complicate them. To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify. . . . What is most important in our Church responsibilities," he said, "is not the statistics that are reported or the meetings that are held but whether or not individual people—ministered to one at a time just as the Savior did—have been lifted and encouraged and ultimately changed."8

So - is my holiday who-bilation "too" much? As well as the TEN blockbuster activities I have planned for 2008?? It seems that everything I'm admired for - no, not just what I'm admired for, but what I truly ENJOY - cute craftiness, decorating, scrapbooking projects, fun recipes, these crazy activities I've been in charge of - all fall under the category of "embellished" and "frivolous". Sigh... I guess I just don't know where to draw the line, between what should be "adequate" versus what I want to be "fabulous".


Sandi said...

Okay, stop, take a breath and remember what I said at the end of Relief Society. What you do is what is good, better and best for YOU. Not what is good, better or best for the sister who told you to stop doing cute things for your visiting teacher sisters. What brings you joy, may not be what brings someone else joy, what fulfills your needs is not at all what fulfills someone else's needs. What is best for you is not what is best for someone else.

I know you already know this, but could not let it just go by without telling you what a fantastic inspiration you are to me to be better and not just good in my personal efforts.

The Malone's said...

I too am a Martha. And while I think we planned some super fun activities, there could be a way that could seem to go over board. But as long as its done in the attitude of keeping it within the bounds, then I say all is well. Fear not my great sister, you and I are very similar!

Karen said...

I think you do a great job, and I think you will know where to draw the line when you need to. I think if making things cute and crafty makes you happy then go for it. Thank you for all you do I really enjoy all the activities and crafts.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a metter of perspective. The difference is the attitude and purpose for which the service / activity is being rendered. If our purpose is to achieve our personally desired results, then we are actually placing our need for personal accomplishment above the Lord's work i.e. using activities to accomplish the three-fold mission of the Church.

One could apply the same seemingly paradoxical logic to the cost and quality of workmanship that the Church invests in holy temples. The key is that the Church is divinely directed to make the temples perfect for Him. I guess it comes down to our continued need for personal revelation from the Lord regarding our individual stewardships.

Becky Porter said...

Your husband's post was awesome! Stopped by to read your blog for the first time today and absolutely HAD to comment on this one ;)

Sandi and Nick are right on. Something I have learned and tried to explain to others is that just because something appears "Martha-esque" (nice word, eh?) that does not mean that it took tons of time away from essential things. We have talents and we are commanded to develop them and use them to further the Lord's work...sounds like maybe that's what you are doing.

But, I also think it is awesome that you are stepping back to reassess and make sure that the attitude and priority are right. For me, it is a fine line. I think there are a lot of people that would argue that me making 150 Christmas cards is overboard. But you know what? I do it because I know that there are people in our ward who don't get very many cards, and I want people to know that Bishop and Sister Porter love them...to me it's a sacred service that I lovingly perform--not some crafty thing that falls under the "frills" category :) Keep up the good work!