Luke 10:41,42
41 But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her

This passage is rich with not only spiritual but also practical meaning and application.  You might be familiar with the story -- Jesus has come to visit His dear friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Martha can hardly enjoy the visit because she is so busy trying to get dinner on the table.  And she's irritated with her sister who, instead of helping Martha accomplish her agenda, is just sitting with Jesus.  She even (self-righteously??) implores Jesus to make Martha come help her.  Verses 41 and 42 record His gentle answer.

Last week we considered the ant, who plans in advance for what is coming.  Application of that principle helps me get things done, weather emergencies , take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and minimize my stress.  The principle of simplicity is at least as important as that of planning. How does planning dovetail with simplicity?

Let me explain....

Simplicity.  Not being "worried and bothered about so many things".  First, let's apply that spiritually, because in reality, all other application flows from that.  If we are "too busy" to have adequate, consistent times where we worship the Lord, meditate on His Word, and listen to His voice, then we can be completely sure that we are doing a whole of things that He doesn't intend for us to do.  Mark this down -- we will always have enough time to do what He calls us to do.  If we can't "get it all done", then some of "it" doesn't need to be there.  I used to hear myself answer "BUSY" when people asked how I was doing.  His still small voice corrected me, speaking softly that I was being prideful and boastful.  So I stopped. 

Moving right along..... I have consistently found that if I make it my priority to listen to Him, then I greatly reduce my stress and prevent getting into a frazzled state.  It's helpful to take a look at what causes our frazzled state to begin with.  Here are some thoughts (most of which are up close and personal, if you know what I mean)

trying to make things "perfect"
Now before all you folks that excel at certain things get all out of whack, I will acknowledge that I appreciate your gifts.  I love lovely things, too.  Homes and decorations and performances etc.  But sometimes we give other people ulcers trying to create our idea of perfection.  Other times, we fail to deliver anything at all because we are still researching more ways to add bling.....

- trying to impress others
I guess that's self-explanatory but I just have to comment anyway.  Why do we really care what they think????? 

- doing more than is called for
Uh, that can be quite prideful.  Now I don't mean going the extra mile.  I used to work for Chick-fil-A Inc for crying out loud!!  I mean fixing 7 courses for dinner and being a wreck before soup is served when hamburgers would've been just fine and making everyone feel welcome. Or thinking you have to decorate every square inch of your home for the Holidays.  (BTW - it feels really good to be freed up from that!  I left several boxes in the attic this year and didn't even wince about leaving my stairs free from garland!)

-placing importance on the wrong things
Like making everyone late because you had to get your makeup just right.  Or you checked facebook a little too long.  Or screaming at your 6 year old for an innocent milk spill accident.

Yep, planning is a good thing.  But so is simplicity.  Knowing what matters...and what doesn't.  And staying in constant touch with Him so I know the difference.  Keeps me from being worried and bothered about so many things.  Helps me choose the good part, which cannot be taken away.