A Lesson Learned from My “Martha” Project

Anticipation soared as we prepared for the children’s Ancient Egyptian party. We studied Creation through the Middle Kingdom in Egypt during their first term of history. Now it was time for a hands-on look at life in Ancient Egypt.

As one of the history teachers at their weekly classical academy, I’d been brainstorming ideas for weeks. But, the day before the party, the list of things left to prepare continued to grow.

Egyptian Party

There were books to pick up from the library, authentic snacks to gather, “apprentice” stations to prepare, activities to run through, and hours of reading left to be done. Plus, I still needed to finalize our costumes.

The hours ticked by as I hurried through my list. Midnight struck. I took a book on Ancient Egypt to bed and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

The next morning we were up bright and early. I rushed everyone to get ready, double-checked supplies, and made it to school just in the nick of time.

Daddy’s white t-shirts, white sheets, ribbon, and eye shadow transformed fifteen adorable students into fifteen adorable ancient Egyptians. Brightly painted collars, headbands & “gold” armbands (that we’d made in previous weeks) completed our costumes.

After “mummifying” apples with their awesome science teacher, the students trooped outside to eat snacks, just like the ancient Egyptians would have.

The weather was perfectly gorgeous, but getting the students to sit still was like trying to keep a toddler’s play area tidied. Their seemingly endless energy fed off one another, as my energy reserves started slipping. To preserve strength, I narrowed in on the projects to get through.

I still wore a smile, but my focus had shifted from blessing the students with a fun-filled “first-hand” look into life in ancient Egypt (and how that knowledge helps put stories from the Bible into their historical context) to just making it through the day without crashing.

The smile was there. The delight and enthusiasm were gone.

Hands-On Ancient Egyptian Activities

Instead of responding to hiccups in my plans with grace, I silently wished can’t they just sit still in a circle for five minutes? 

I lost sight of the fact that they’re still little. We’ll be traveling through ancient Egypt several more times before they graduate. If all they remember from our day is that ancient Egyptians wore white and that learning about them is fun, it’ll be all right.

I forgot and I was frustrated.

As the morning wore on and my weariness grew, the real lesson of the day crystalized: instead of bustling around “distracted with much serving” like Martha, I need to pause “to sit at the feet of Jesus”, like Mary. (Luke 10:38-42)

The busier the day, the more I need to lean on Him. When my strength fails, He has promised to give His, if I’ll just look to Jesus and ask.


(Once I remembered to look up, the day ended joyfully, full of fun–and funny–memories.) 

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  1. says

    Why do we so easily forget to focus on what really matters instead of the trivial? Great post. It looked like the kids were all having a wonderful time. 🙂

    I know it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. But I’m back now. 🙂

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