A Hawaiian Martha Mary Moment

A Hawaiian Martha Mary Moment

Friends and I attended a high school fundraiser that included crazy items being auctioned off.

It was a lot of fun and we were getting right into the bidding, challenging each other to outbid the other. I’m a bit of a tightwad with my money so you can imagine that I was easily outbid every time.

But one auction item came up that totally shifted things!

Instead of trying to outbid each other we decided we’d pool our money and outbid everyone else in the room.

What was so enticing that we would collaborate to conquer? A condo in Kauai, Hawaii, of course! That auction item was ours and no one was going to outbid us … even if we had to offer up our first born!

After a lively exchange of bidding we finally won the condo!

We were so excited to get away from the cold winter season and travel to the land of paradise, sun, and mai-tai drinks! I was especially excited because I had never travelled such a distance before.

My friends were old hand travelers, seeking exotic adventures all around the world.

The day finally arrived and we set out on the big adventure. We were all looking forward to warming up, having fun, and exploring the sights and sounds of Kauai … or so I thought!

Here’s a conversation we had the first morning after arriving in Hawaii!

Monique: (said with great excitement!!) So what are we going to do on our first day in Hawaii?

Friend 1: We’re going to beach.

Monique: Okay that sounds good, but what are we going to do after that?

Friend 2: Go to the beach.

Monique: Yes, that’s what (friend 1) said. But this afternoon what are we going to do?

Friend 3: Stay at the beach.

Monique: Huh? What do you mean stay at the beach? We’re in Hawaii and we’re only here for a week! Aren’t we going to go and explore this amazing place!

Friend 4: (said with a little friendly forcefulness) Monique, we’re going to the beach and we’re going to stay there the whole day. When it’s time for dinner we’ll come back to the condo, get changed and head out for dinner. Are you okay with that?

Monique: (feeling like the force was against me I said with a demeanor of submission) Okay.

Now, I don’t know about you but for me I’m a busy woman. My whole life has been about getting the job done.

Efficiency! Productivity! Maximizing opportunities! Excellence in all I do!

After all, how else am I’m going to succeed in life but to push myself hard.

We arrived at the beach and I remember the scene well! We plopped ourselves on the beach. They all brought books, blankets, brie, bread and beer.

I brought a towel. A freakin’ towel!! Oh man, how I didn’t understand this vacation stuff.

While watching my friends relax and taking in the golden sunny rays I sat on my towel with my knees up against my chest and my arms crossed over them. I was so agitated I couldn’t stop rubbing my legs and fidgeting around.

It was quite a sight!

By the time we got to the end of the week I had finally recognized the incredible gift of letting go of the anxiety and placing myself in a posture of rest and receptivity.

It made me think of the story in scripture about Martha and Mary and how they encountered the Lord. Martha was busy attending to the physical needs of her house guests. Mary was simply seated at the foot of Jesus, encountering His incredible gift of attentive tender words and love.

Lesson learned: A little less Martha. Much more Mary.

How does this story resonate with your life?

Does the busyness of life keep you away from being attentive to your relationship with the Lord?

Consider this a challenge to ponder the times and ways in which you encounter the Lord. Maybe you too can reconsider the Martha-Mary balance in your life.


p.s. Just so you know I still have to remind myself of this, often. Good thing I have friends who are very willing to help! I love my yah-yah sisters!

About Monique Van Berkel

Monique Van Berkel

She has a passion to spread a message of authentic love and life in relationships. She is an Accredited Theology of the Body Speaker through the TOB Institute. Through sharing of her own life experience and knowledge gained through her studies Monique leads people into a deeper appreciation of their humanity and sexuality.

Monique is the Founder and President of Catholic Woman CEO, a lay apostolate committed to helping women reclaim the truth of their feminine nature as God created them to be. She is available as a speaker for your event or organization. Find out more about her speaking topics here.