Living More Like Mary In A Martha Driven World: Godly Goal Setting Guide For Christian Mompreneurs
Welcome beautiful friend! I am so honored to have you here and to help you create goals for your business that will honor God, bring personal fulfillment and bless others along the way. This is an in-depth blog post but will be totally worth it so snuggle up with a journal to take notes in, a favorite tea, cup of coffee, green smoothie or small glass of wine as we spend the next few minutes together learning how to live more like Mary in a Martha demanding world and set godly goals for our life and business.
As we journey through this goal setting guide I am going to be open about my own struggles and share my personal story along the way because I believe that stories have power. That when we share how God has worked through our lives and healed our brokenness, we can give others hope.
I don’t know what your circumstances are right now friend, but I never want you to feel alone or believe that it’s too late for you. It’s never too late when you surrender it all to Him because I believe that broken pieces can become blessings when we let God do the mending.
As I openly share my story with you, it is my sincere hope that it will inspire you to avoid the mistakes that I made or if you can relate to my story, that it encourages you to have a new perspective about where you are now and how you want to approach life and business. God truly wants to see you prosper!
Where My Journey Began
In 1999 I entered the world of entrepreneurship with no clue about what I was doing. I had never run any kind of business before. I am the independent type with a rebel side who likes to beat to the tune of my own drum so being my own boss greatly appealed to me. While working full time, I pecked away trying to build my side hustle and in 2005, God blessed me with my first child. I got to sport the cool title of Mompreneur and the desire to be home full time while still bringing in an income went into full overdrive. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I was going to figure it out.
Things got serious in January of 2010 when I lost my full time corporate job. One of those “now or never” failure is not an option kind of things. The road has not been easy. They say that if it were easy everyone would be doing it and I have found that to be 100% true. I have learned a lot over the years not only in business but life in general. Because of my free-spirit, do it my way personality most of those lessons have come the hard way. Some good, some not so good but I have been blessed with both business success and failures.
I know it seems weird to say that failures are a blessing but they are when you know the experience, regardless if it felt like a huge win or an incredible loss, is from a loving God who wants to see us grow and prosper. Confession: While I have always considered myself a Christian, I have not always had God at the center of my life or my business. At one point during the height of my success when I was earning well over 6 figures in network marketing, I stopped going to church, stopped being obedient with my tithe because I was “too busy”.
I hid behind the lies of the enemy that I had “too much work to do” that I forgot the most important work: to faithfully align my life and business with God. By 2014 I had lost a business that I had spent 4 years working myself literally to death to build. I had sacrificed time from my family, my children and time with God. The more income that came in, the harder I worked and the farther I pushed God to the side.
It was a painful time for me both personally and professionally. Deep down I knew why everything around me was falling apart but I was angry and in denial. All my hard work was slipping away and my desperation led me to make some very bad financial decisions that had a great impact on my family and almost cost me my marriage. Looking back on that now, I am beyond grateful that I had to start over for the path that I was on was not healthy; physically, emotionally and certainly not spiritually.
Starting over led me to reflect upon where my life was, time to screw my head back on straight, time to slow down and prioritize and time to repent in God’s grace. I now approach how I set goals and build my business differently and I am amazed at how much God has blessed me. The people He has brought into my life both professionally and personally. I don’t have a 6-figure business anymore but I have a business that earns a full time income from home and that is enough. I no longer drive a company earned BMW-X5 but I have a stronger relationship with God. I no longer ask more from Him but crave more OF Him.
I have learned to own my worth in Christ and not by how much money is in my bank account or what other people want from me. I have simplified my life in all areas so I can focus on being a better business woman, mom, wife, friend and a daugther of Christ. I have more joy, peace and purpose. In losing my business God restored me and I found myself again.
Maybe you have gone through something similar and wondering why God would let that happen. Why He would take away something you worked hard for. Or maybe you are waiting on God to answer a prayer. My hope is that you know how much God loves you. Growth always requires pruning in order to bear good fruit.
I hope you know that He will always cover you in His protection even when it seems like He is not there, He is hard at work fighting battles on your behalf. When a door closes, praise Him in the hallway until a new door opens. A no from God is never a rejection but a redirection to a better blessing.
Godly Goals To Live Like Mary
Maybe you have read the story of Mary & Martha or maybe you are not familiar with this story. I had read the story several times and honestly it’s one of those stories in the Bible that is very short. A story that you can read and just keep on going into the next chapter but there is much to learn from this story of Mary & Martha and through this story I hope to help guide you to live and work more like Mary in a world that demands us to be like Martha.
Luke 10:38-42 New King James Version (NKJV)
Mary and Martha Worship and Serve
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’[a] feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus[b] answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
I think we can all relate to Martha. I mean can you imagine having Jesus come visit your home?! I for one would be doing exactly what Martha was doing; running around (I would honestly be freaking out), preparing, trying to make everything perfect and just right. We are talking about Jesus Christ. THE son of God.
I’ll admit it, I would have been stressed out and irritated too that my sister was sitting around “doing nothing” and praying no one could smell my sweaty armpits. But when Martha voices her frustration to Jesus (which I think says a lot about the kind of woman Martha was; strong, outspoken maybe even the matriarch of her family because come on, it’s pretty gutsy to walk up to Jesus and not only complain but then tell him what to do!), Jesus lovingly scolds her “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things”. And then He tells her, “But one thing is needed”.
So here we have Martha rushing around worried about many things but Jesus tells her ONE thing is needed and He tells her that one thing is what Mary has chosen and made it known to Martha that Mary’s choice would not be taken away from her. Mary was busy being still in His presence. She was taking it all in. Yes, there was a lot to do but she was not going to miss an opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus to hear what He had to say. In that moment that is where she felt she was needed and Jesus agreed. Jesus was obviously not concerned with how many people would be physically fed with food, He was more concerned with who would be spiritually fed with His word.
It’s easy for life to hurry us. So much to do, so little time. I often feel like I have so much to do and not enough of me. My world swirls around me, never stopping and my to-do list seems to get longer. One of those two steps forward, one step back kind of things. About the time I have whittled down my list, more things are added and I feel like I am right back where I started.
Can you relate?
Just like Mary, stillness is where we won’t miss what God has for us. While it can feel impossible to slow down, it also has to be a non-negotiable in our lives too regardless of how we feel or what others think.
The story of Mary & Martha doesn’t give us any insight into how Mary felt about Martha worrying about her not stepping up and helping but by her actions, I think we can safely bet that she was more concerned with what Jesus thought than the opinions of her sister.
I know I want to live more boldly like Mary!
As you go through this process of setting Godly Goals, I want to share some of my favorite scriptures with you that have helped me. I hope you will use this as a jumping off point to finding scriptures that help you follow the purpose that God has laid before you:
2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all thee things will be added to you.”
I hope you will spend time in God’s word to find scriptures that really speak to you in this season of your life. Be sure to write them down in a journal that you keep alongside your Bible. If you are having a hard time finding scriptures, do a quick Google search “scriptures for goal setting” and you will find some great posts on this subject.
WHAT ARE GODLY GOALS?
I find it interesting when I run across an article that talks about how Christians should not prosper or have wealth. Many misquote the Bible saying that money is the root of all evil when in fact it’s the love of money that God calls “evil”. When we worship money, success and material possessions, therein lies the problem.
1 Timonthy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
I believe God has laid a path before each of us and as long as we are keeping Him at the center of our purpose and our works for His glory there is no shame in prospering.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Just like Mary was committed to having her heart in the right place, letting go of everything else around her, including pressure from her sister to “get busy” that would distract her attention away from her time with Jesus, we too have to live intentionally to be mindful of where our heart and intentions are coming from in a world that wants to demand us to live and react a certain way.
As you set goals, it’s also important to set your intentions, boundaries and non-negotiables so when the enemy comes roaring into your life with distractions, false truths and chaos, you can bend but not break under the pressure. You can stand strong in who God has called you to be. You can sit at His feet like Mary did and not let anything pull you away.
Let’s get started in setting Godly Goals!
WHERE ARE YOU DEEPLY ROOTED?
Are there areas of your life that are distracting you from being deeply rooted in God’s plan for your life? In owning your worth in Christ? Situations that are pulling you away from making your family a priority? Things like people pleasing, fear of saying no, comparison, perfectionism, material wants, the need to be in control that are keeping you from being deeply rooted in His will, not yours, for your life?
It’s easy to do. I have been there.
When I was building my MLM, I was being pulled farther and farther away from my faith. I began to worship my business. I spent more time looking at monthly autoship numbers in my back office, mapping out the run to my next company rank, doing calls for my team (even during family dinner time) than I did studying God’s word and trusting Him to guide and counsel me until I had my priorities royally messed up.
But you know the beautiful part? God was there the whole time growing me through it, even when I was rejecting Him and trying to do things my way, He was there, the faithful vinedresser, pruning me for He knew that eventually I would come to my senses and He wanted me to flourish in Him, to use my experiences and hardships for His glory.
So now is not the time to allow the enemy to shame you for your past mistakes. If God’s grace is big enough for me, it’s certainly sufficient for you too sweet friend and this is a brave first step to owning what is holding you back so you can see how God will work in your life. A life where you are not longer pacing around like Martha to sit down at His feet like Mary and build a business rooted in Him in order to honor Him. To define in your life what truly matters and what is taking you away from hearing His voice, from His plans for your life and business.
Spend time journaling, get real and don’t hold back.
Now that you have started the process identifying areas of your life that have been distracting you from living boldly in your faith, what are the action steps you can take to be more deeply rooted in God on a daily basis? Letting go to trust God more is a daily journey of intentional faith that requires a plan. Flying by the seat of your pants will not help you grow your roots deeper into Him. The enemy is prowling constantly, looking for any opportunity to derail you with lies and deceit. It takes a battle plan to be firmly planted by the living waters of Jesus in order to flourish!
What specific actions can you commit to over the next 90 Days to be more deeply rooted in your faith and make your spiritual growth a priority?
• Devotional time at the start of your day
• Joining a Bible study group
• Daily journaling and prayer time?
CLEARING THE JUNK
When I picture Mary, sitting at the foot of Jesus, I picture her not taking her eyes off of Him. I imagine her sitting there like a sponge soaking it all in. His tone, His facial expressions, His wisdom, His energy. I know I would want to engrain a moment like that into my memory so it would last a lifetime.
The story doesn’t tell us this but I think it’s safe to assume that Mary loved her sister and was not trying to get under Martha’s skin on purpose. The story also doesn’t tell us if there were other people around but there probably were. Jesus being in their home probably spread like wildfire across their village and why Martha was rushing around trying to be a good hostess for the crowd of people that were showing up at her home to see Jesus.
Martha could have been sharing her frustration about Mary with others that turned into a little gossip session but Mary was only concerned with one thing – sitting at the feet of Jesus. She would not be pressured, shamed, bullied or made to feel guilty to be anywhere than right where she was – in His presence.
As I went through my own journey to be more deeply rooted in Christ, I had to be honest with myself about where I was spending my time and who I was spending it with. People I was following on social media and other relationships. There are a lot of false teachers with false messaging out there. Many are even using scripture to lead people down an un-Godly path and God warned us there would be. Even the devil himself does not parade around in horns carrying a pitchfork breathing fire out of his mouth. He masquerades as an angel of light to deceive and destroy.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15 “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
Just like Mary would not be pulled away from where she was to be fully present with Jesus, we too have to be diligent about who we follow and the advice we seek from others. While it’s important to learn and grow in our faith, we can’t spend more time following other Christians, teachers, gurus, etc. than we do Jesus for he said to “follow me”. Jesus never said “follow me and other Christians”.
Matthew 16:24 “The Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross to follow me.”
Spend time over the next 90 Days to clear junk from your life that is taking away from your time with God.
• Do you need to clean out your friends list?
• Distance yourself from family members who are a little radical with politics?
• Unfollow people on Instagram who are not aligned with your values?
• Do you need to declutter your home, your calendar?
• Do you need to let go of the need to multitask in your life and embrace a mindset of being fully present in the moment?
• Are you reading more blog posts and listening to third party opinions than digging deep into your Bible to study God’s word and hear the Holy Spirit?
• Do you need to set an intentional schedule during the time to keep your on track and less distracted?
I can’t teach you how to stop your life from being busy or demanding, I can only encourage you to be empowered to know that you are in control of many areas of your life that are sucking you dry. From January 2016 – the end of 2017 I removed 2,000+ people from my personal Facebook friends list, unfollowed fan pages and people on Instagram, unsubscribed to emails, let go of friendships that I had been holding onto, got over the need to say yes to things I really wanted to say no to and make multi-tasking a “dirty word” in my life.
I know this feels hard to do depending on the situation but it’s a process necessary if it’s keeping you from living fully in your faith. Just like Mary would not be pulled away to try to multitask to help her sister AND spend time with Jesus. She made a choice in that moment to choose one and focus on what was really important.
We can love people at an arms length. We can be a shining light for them in how God is working in our lives without participating in daily conversations that use our time and drain our energy. Removing people from our lives and having boundaries doesn’t have to come from a judgmental or mean-spirited place. We can be both loving and encouraging without allowing others to distract us from our priorities.
This will require you to be bold and fearless in your faith, drawing boundaries that are non-negotiable. What are some areas you can commit to clearing junk from your life over the next 90 Days? Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to tackle everything at once. Try to identify 2-3 areas that are really weighing you down, and tackle them one at a time. You can go through this process again in 90 Days.
GOD-CENTERED BUSINESS + GOALS
One of my takeaways from the story of Mary & Martha is Mary’s determination and commitment to be centered in Christ. I look back on what my life and business looked like before I put God at the center of it all and while part of me wishes I could go back and do things differently, a bigger part of me sees that experience as such a blessing in where it has led me. I was a hot mess going through life too busy like Martha and God was faithfully there working behind the scenes on my behalf patiently waiting for me to be still like Mary.
I used to get so wrapped up in how many social media followers I had. If I posted and lost followers instead of gained, I could be irritated about that all day. Yes, ALL DAY. I feel silly admitting that but it’s true. I now rarely pay attention as I have come to the realization that they are not my followers, they are His. I am the vessel using what He gives me to share my story and how God has worked in my life.
I have seen the value in letting go to let Him. There has been such freedom in that mindset. Hence why I needed to unfollow all the noise, the gurus who are preaching that more is better, that my success was defined by the amount of zeros on the end of my social media followers and bank account. The enemy was using that to make me believe I was unworthy unless I had a large following, that my message wasn’t important unless I had tons of likes, shares and comments.
When we put God at the center of our business we are declaring that everything belongs to Him. We trust in Him to bless others through the gifts and talents He has given us. We can stand firmly in who we are and lead more confidently. Through our act of faith we show God that we trust Him to counsel and guide our path.
I like to say "God is my Life Coach and Jesus is my CEO".
A God-centered business is one that honors God, where we don’t forge ahead with pride without consulting Him for direction. A business that strives to be aligned with His will and His plans. The same applies to our specific goals. Mary’s goal was to rest and be still in where she needed to be, Martha’s goal was to rush around to prep and prepare. Both women were striving to do a good work for Jesus while He visited their home but only one had her priorities aligned with Jesus’.
While it’s important to set specific goals and declare the desires of our heart, we must also allow for efficient room for God to work. Accepting that He will make course changes and adjustments along the way.
What are the specific goals you want to achieve for your business over the next 90 Days
• Launch a blog or start a fan page to share your story of how God has worked in your life?
• Start a local networking group for other Christian women in business?
• Teach a class?
• Be a guest speaker at your church?
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. These are intentional specific goals you can set and achieve over the next 90 Days.
• Do you need to change the way you look at your business?
• The expectations you have from it?
• Are those your expectations or are you trusting God to reveal His plans to you in His timing believing He has your best interests at heart?
• What scriptures will you draw from to help you keep God at the core of these goals?
Friend, I will be very transparent here, I have prayed about whether to include this topic and at first I didn’t want to. Why? Well, honestly because people don’t like to be told what to do with their money, not even Christ followers and I am right here, right now raising my hand as one of them.
For years my husband and I didn’t go to church on a regular basis because it felt like “all those religious people want to do is talk about money.” Yep, that was us, letting the enemy reach down and fill our hearts with lies like that to keep us from blessing our church, others and ourselves with the gift of giving.
There are many people of faith who try to convince the body of Christ that firstfruits giving is an old outdated law (Leviticus 23:9) because it’s part of the Old Testament practices as the “Old Covenant” and therefore irrelevant. But Paul taught Corinthian believers to set aside a collection “on the first day of the week” (1 Corinthians 16:2) as an act of thanksgiving.
I was shying away from talking about this because it can be a delicate subject and it’s not my goal to preach to you about what giving of your firstfruits looks like for your business, I only want to share why I feel it is important and how God has shown up time and time again in my life because of my obedience.
At the very height of building my MLM business I was enjoying a lot of success and the income that went with it. I had more than doubled what I was making yearly in my corporate job but I was not living like Mary. The more success I had the more excuses I made not to go to church (too busy, too many calls with team members even though it was a Sunday, too much to plan for the next week).
The more I rushed around and the more money I made the more I wanted to keep. Our family had goals and things we wanted, places we wanted to go and I would go months and months without tithing. By the beginning of 2014 a major shift had happened in my business and it was steadily declining. As often happens in the MLM industry, people were jumping ship to join another company and I was angry. Everything I had worked so hard for was falling apart right before my very eyes and I became bitter trying to understand why this was outrageous unfairness was happening to ME.
For a while I felt like God was punishing me but I look back now and understand that He was saving me. God loves us, His plans are not to hurt us but to do what is best for us. He saw where my life was going and that I was not ready for the level of responsibility that kind of success demands.
From January 2014 to May of 2014 I had to rediscover who I was and the view was not pretty. I had to come to terms with a lot of mistakes I had made and I am so thankful for God’s endless love, mercy and grace. The months that followed were very rough. I went from having 5 figures in my bank account to being overdrawn many times. I sold things in my home in local mommy groups just to make my car note (it ended up being a huge blessings in helping me embrace a more simplistic lifestyle) but here is the silver lining in this story, I got myself back at the feet of Jesus, just like Mary, so I would not miss what He had for me.
There were times that we would go to church and I didn’t have 20 dollars in my checking account but I wrote a check and gave God what I had (my husband and I had separate checking accounts – I am fiercely independent and God is still working in me when it comes to my fears around this). There were weeks that I didn’t have anything to give but found ways to donate my time and serve others. I gave what I could and God started showing up in ways that I could have never imagined.
I have seen Him work in my life over and over because I surrendered my needs and wants to Him and been faithful with my giving.
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
Giving of our firstfruits allows us to show God how much we appreciate His blessings. It demonstrates that we surrender all we have, recognizing that it all belongs to Him and we are trusting Him to use what we have for His glory and to be a blessing to others. Our family gives to our church through tithing and through special projects like Convoy of Hope once a year and we also support a couple who are missionaries sharing the gospel of Christ to college kids.
I think about Mary and how she gave what she had in that moment, her time and undivided attention and for Jesus it was enough and He did not want her anywhere else. He blessed her willingness to drop everything and be with Him.
What your firstfruits looks like for your business is something that only you can work out with God but I pray you will make it a priority so you can experience first hand how God can move in your business to bless your life and others.
What are your firstfruits goals over the next 90-Days to honor God with your business?
Will it be monetary?
Will be a giving of your time?
A combination of both?
There will always be distractions in our lives, people who demand our time and attention, circumstances beyond our control, moments where we get swept up in something that sounds good on the front end causing us to stumble. Where we have our heart and intentions in the right place but our busyness causes us to lose sight of our priorities and what’s really important like Martha but God is never too far away. It’s never too late to choose to be more like Mary and take a moment to redirect ourselves in where we need to be….deeply rooted in Him.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built upon him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
Refer back to this blog post every 90 Days to keep the momentum going, track your progress and more importantly to see how God is growing you through this season of your life. I am excited to see the work God is going to do through you and your business!
I hope this has inspired you to work and live more like Mary. I read the story of Mary & Martha often as an encouraging reminder to stay faithful, obedient and grounded. Be sure to keep in touch and let me know how your goals are going. You can find me most active on my Facebook page Would love to connect and continue the conversation xo
Welcome Beautiful Creative! I'm April Williams, the Creative Momista of two boys • Storyteller • Coffee Addict • Warrior For Christ • Texas Country Girl • Creative Expressive • Branding + Squarespace Web Designer and Owner of Socially Tailored Marketing • A Vintage Soul passionate about inspiring creative women in business and MOMpreneurs to embrace their ENOUGH and own their WORTH in who God created them to be. I am honored to have you here ❥