A new school year is beginning soon. For us, it's in two weeks; for some of you, it may have already begun! With a change in schedule, priorities can get shifted around. Sometimes that's necessary. But I'm taking a hard look this semester at my priorities and where they stand.
- God should always be number one. Some days (many days, if I'm honest) my Bible goes unopened. Sure, we do Portals of Prayer almost every day, and pray together daily, but my personal Bible study time is definitely lacking. That's something that I am constantly working on, and it's something I can't slack on when school starts. Especially when life gets busier, I'm going to need to be in the Word even more, otherwise life will just fall apart.
- My husband should always be the second most important person in my life! I often find myself caught up in the busyness of the school year, trying to socialize in between classes, work, and homework-- and sometimes my husband gets neglected. This should not be! My husband is my closest family, my very best friend, and my partner for life--nourishing our marriage needs to be way at the top of my priority list.
- Next should be time for family and friends. This doesn't happen during the school year as much as I'd like, partly because my family lives far away and Joshua's is even busier than we are. But we try to see them as often as we practically can.
- After my relationships come my responsibilities. First and foremost is my calling as a homemaker: planning and preparing meals, keeping up with laundry, keeping our home clean and presentable.
- Next I need to focus on my jobs, the ways I financially contribute to our little family. Blogging is one of my jobs, too--it's an important part of what I do and who I am.
- Finally comes school, and with that, homework. Obviously, attending classes on a day-to-day basis is a non-negotiable, and I always turn in homework on time, but it's not the most important aspect of my life, or the one I should be spending the most time and attention on.
- Mixed in here is spending some time focusing on myself, but that cannot be my top priority. Obviously I need to take care of myself physically, and take some time to rest and relax daily (nourishing food, adequate sleep, and physical activity are absolute musts in every day!). But I need to spend the majority of my time focusing on others.
It's a lot to balance, and although your roles, relationships and responsibilities may look a little different, I'm sure you have a lot to balance in your life as well.
How are your priorities lining up? Who or what is at the top of your list?
Is it your husband? Your children? Your job? Your writing? Yourself?
If God isn't at the top, followed closely by your spouse, the rest of your priorities won't line up right. The Lord needs to be the main focus of your life, the center around which everything else revolves. It's His Word that will keep you grounded and able to fulfill all your other roles and responsibilities the best you can. Trust me, I need to remind myself of this very often!
If spouse and family aren't way toward the top of your priority list, simply speaking, you're failing in your primary callings. We all have a variety of vocations--roles to which God has called us. If you're married and/or a parent, those vocations are your first and most important! No matter what job you have (even if it's a pastor, a doctor, a lawyer, a police officer), whatever it is, it's not as important as your first calling, which is to your family.
I have to remember this on a very regular basis. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking "but when I'm working I'm doing it for my family!" Or in my case, "When I'm spending all my time cooking and cleaning and taking care of the house, I'm doing it for my husband!" Most times he'd rather I spend time with him, not spend time doing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. Obviously those things need to get done, but they're not nearly as important as investing in my relationship with my husband.
So yep, I sometimes struggle with keeping my priorities in order. I think we all do to some extent.
I find that it helps when I schedule time for those things that are most important. I do well with a written, detailed schedule, and if I put "Bible study and prayer" for the first half-hour of each day, I'm very likely to do it. If I decide that Tuesday and Friday nights, nothing goes on the calendar because those two nights are set aside for time with my husband, we'll actually spend that time together. If I schedule a couple hours a day for homework, it will happen in those times and not get pushed to evenings when I should be spending time with my husband. Those are some things I'm going to do to keep my priorities in order this school year.
What are you going to do this year to keep your priorities lined up? Looking at yourself, what order are you priorities in right now?