It's okay to be a Mary in a world full of Martha's

It’s Okay To Be Mary In A World Full Of Martha’s

Housekeeping is not my forte.

It never has been.

I have friends who are household rock stars. They are the perfect embodiment of the Proverbs 31 woman. But I am not that woman.

Back when I was a single mom with just one child, I could keep up pretty good… most of the time.

Let’s face it, there wasn’t much to keep up with.

However, I still remember the time we went to my mom’s for the weekend and I forgot to take the trash out before we left. That wasn’t pleasant.

But now I am married and the mother of four. I could clean 24 hours a day and probably still not keep up. I tried for a while. And then I gave up.

Well, “gave up” is the wrong term.

A Different Take On Housekeeping

Someone older and wiser told me that my kids would never grow up and wish their home was cleaner growing up, and I would never wish I had kept it cleaner after they were grown. But we could never get the moments together back, so I should cherish them. I should spend my time wisely, and sometimes that means ignoring the dust and leaving dirty dishes in the sink.

I’ll be honest, that was a huge relief to me.

Because I was never going to make it as Suzy-homemaker. It just isn’t in me.

But loving my kids with all that is in me? That’s something I can do.

The floors in my home aren’t always swept. The counters are usually cluttered. And we usually have misplaced something of value, but my kids know they are loved.

Curling up with my Bible and totally ignoring the laundry that needs to be folded? You bet.

Be the woman you were created to be - even if it means your house isn't as clean as the next.If you ask me if I’m a Mary or a Martha, I won’t even hesitate to tell you I am a Mary.

I don’t get Martha’s. I just don’t. I’m thankful for them. I wish there were more of them. And if any of them want to come clean my house, please feel free. But I’m just not one of them. I wasn’t built that way.

I Am Not Every Woman

Now, I know my friends who are household rock stars don’t love their kids any less. They don’t love Jesus any less. God just built us different. And that’s okay. That’s a good thing.

The problem comes in when we try to be someone we’re not.

When we try to be the wife we were never meant to be.

When we try to be the mom we were never meant to be.

The woman we were never meant to be…

The Christian we were never meant to be.

Because God made each of us exactly the way He intended to.

The way we were meant to be.

The way our families needed us to be.

Embrace Your Space

So, if you ever show up at my house, and you are appalled by the state of my living room. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

I have daughters who love to make blanket forts, and I love to hear their giggles.

Our home is full of life, and we live it to the full each and every day. And our home definitely reflects that.

Maybe someday after my kids are grown and gone I will have one of those homes that is spotlessly clean. But, probably not. After all, my family isn’t my excuse. They are my joy.

My housekeeping skills won’t get any better, there just won’t be as much to keep up with.

If I go to your home and there isn’t a speck of dirt to be seen, I’m not going to think any less of you, I’ll even admire you a little. Because even though I’m okay with my dirt, I still know a household rock star when I see one.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter if your space is messy or clean, your home is yours. Embrace it and fill it with love. That’s what your family will remember most of all. The rest is just stress.

Where Do You Fall?

Are you neat and tidy, or pretty much a hot mess? Do you need to be reminded that it’s okay to give yourself grace (even when it comes to housekeeping)? Or maybe do you need to remember that the rest of us need a little grace, too? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

*Originally posted July 30th, 2018

Candid ConversationsIf you liked this blog post, keep your eyes open for Heather’s upcoming book, Candid Conversations, where she has partnered with 25 other Christian women. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Coming August 13th, 2018. Now available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


  1. I’m a bit OCD about keeping the house clean…less clutter equals less stress for me. I feel like when the house is clean THEN I can relax. But I have to remind myself on busy days and Sundays to just take a break, let it go. Not everything has to be clean and in its place. I definitely value a clean house a little too much instead of valuing time with my husband and friends.

    1. I have friends that are built that way, and so often I’m tempted to wish I was like that, because less clutter does equal less stress. But I’m also able to relax in a messy house. Don’t ask me to explain, it’s just the way I’m built. I love that God made us all unique.

  2. I’m such a combination of Mary and Martha. Some areas of my home are organized, and some are cluttered and messy. I’m like my to-do lists, but I have no problem going to bed with dirty dishes in my sink. All of that to say, I can still get down on myself for not being more one or the other. So I guess I fall under the camp of needing to give myself more grace for being me.

  3. Oh, Heather I love you to pieces! I appreciate your honesty and your heart. My home is only my husband and myself and I truly miss the raucous of children playing, laughing, and even making a mess. It always did my heart good because my daughter was an only child so I always had all the neighborhood kids at our house. I am speaking from experience that you are right when it comes to our birds flying the nest my daughter and her friends always thank me for letting them be kids and not worrying about messing up the house.

  4. Thank you for this post. As a mother of 4 as well, it really resounded with me. I literally have about 6 more years before my oldest is 18 and I can’t slow down time no matter how hard I try! Thank you so very much for some much needed perspective about my home vs my children.

  5. I am 40 and I’m just now beginning to “embrace my space.” I’m finally beginning to let go and relax a little about it all.

  6. I loved this! I definitely am more of a Mary. Thankfully, I’m married to a man who loves things neat and clean. I’ve gotten better at neat … clean is still not a strength. We can all learn from each other, can’t we.

    1. We sure can, Deb. I’ve had many a Martha’s take me under their wing and try to help me… but clean is still not a strength for me. But, I’m okay with that.

  7. I wrote a post on this exact topic a few months ago! I love it. This is such a sweet (and humbling) reminder of God’s grace. Thanks for this encouragement!

    1. That’s so great, Sydney! I love it when God brings topics back up again. Because sometimes I need the reminder. And honestly, I probably read it when you wrote it, because I love your blog. But I have a very short term memory. LOL

  8. We would be great friends! I had a friend walk in my home once and said, “OH! I feel better about my house!” See? We are gifts to others! Great post. Please come for coffee. I can always find the coffee and the mugs.

  9. I love this reminder! Earlier this morning I was kicking myself because I didn’t get the floor swept this weekend. I’m very ‘Mary’ and I have a disease that makes me tired, so sometimes I just don’t feel up to some things when the fatigue hits me. That voice inside accuses me of being lazy and irresponsible. Thankfully, my husband is a ‘Martha’ (haha), which definitely helps to get things done, but he accepts me the way I am better than I do. It’s a constant struggle to extend grace to ourselves. Thank you again for the encouragement!

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