Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Matter of Priorities

Just under a year ago, my family went through a period of great change. After six years of teaching, I was in my first year of being a stay-at-home-mom. DH was living in another state while training for a new job. I was essentially a single parent, though close friends and family were no more than 3 minutes away. In a matter of months, we would be moving away, but DH's company had not yet decided where. In preparation for the move, I stepped down from my position as church choir director, losing my main creative outlet. Eventually, I realized that I had let myself become so bogged down by stress, loneliness, and fear that I had lost sight of what was truly important.

As I sat in a pew at our new church, waiting for VBS to start, I asked myself what was truly important. What were my priorities? I pulled out my new toy (a Blackberry curve) and started my memo - Priorities. I won't go into the sub-sections, but I determined that there were five primary areas of focus for me: God, my children, my husband, my self, and my duty of making our house a home. The first 3 are obvious priorities. I nearly didn't write myself in, but realized that if I were not physically healthy and emotionally involved, I couldn't focus on any other priorities. And then, if the last isn't in place, ain't none of us healthy or happy! Yes, I have other priorities (my parents, DH's parents, my sister and her family, our dogs, our friends, my love of organization, my love of music, etc.) but when it comes down to it, I am ultimately responsible for those 5 things.

That memo has been saved on my Blackberry for nine months now. At the time, it gave me focus for dealing with the changes (and also a chance to practice my texting skills!) But how many times have I looked at that list since? Four, maybe five times. Have I used that list in my life? Not really. If I were using that list to determine my actions, should I leave the laundry piled up in the laundry room and sit the boys in front of the TV so I can spend all morning on Facebook and surfing the 'net? Nope. Has it happened? Oh, yeah. Should I forego spending some quality time with DH so that I can watch a chick flick? Probably not. Has it happened? Unfortunately, yes. Would I spend an entire evening at Wal-Mart, just walking around, so I can get away and out of the house, then maintain that I don't have time to read the Bible? Most definitely not. Has it happened? More than I'd like to admit.

So hopefully next time I have to decide whether I should go to bed at a decent hour or reorganize the pantry, I will remember my priorities and get some sleep! It's time to live out my true priorities, and not my selfish indulgences.

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." - Phillippians 4:8

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