In The Life (Part 1: Priorities)

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Welcome to Part 1 of a 4-part series called “In The Life.” I’d like to share a bit about priorities, balancing, and what life looks like for me right now. We’ll chat about putting first things first and some simple principles to live by. Feel free to jump in the conversation and share what your days look like. Thanks for joining me here!

Let’s get started…

Perusing the posts in a writer’s group, I came across a question: Does anyone balance small business, homeschooling, homemaking, writing, and fitness? If so, how? Boy, do I relate!

How can we possibly do it all? Well, honestly, we can’t. At least, not all at once. I’ve found my life ebbs and flows with priorities. Over recent months I’ve felt guilty, like I’m failing in all the important areas of life: relationships with God, my husband, kids, and caring for my own health. After reading an amazing little article by Kat Lee on just this subject, I took a step back. She wisely suggested creating your top 5 list of priorities and retreating to #1 when everything seems to be out of whack, flowing downward from there as each relationship gets in line. I’m in a season where I’m focused on #1 and #2, while still (obviously) maintaining the others as I get my feet under me again. Here are my Top 5:

1. Following God
2. Living Healthy (mentally, emotionally, physically)
3. Loving Steven
4. Discipling My Kids
5. Ministry and Extended Relationships

[Side-Note: For me, I’ve found that if I put “living healthy” further down the list, it simply doesn’t happen. And then it’s harder to love my hubby, disciple my kids, and encourage anyone else. Putting it at #2 (rather than #4) simply makes everything flow, so that the energy and attitude I’ve gained can appropriately feed into the vital relationships I have in my life.]

So what exactly do these brief phrases entail?

FOLLOWING GOD: This refers to the time I spend hanging out with my Savior, listening to His voice, diving in His Word, allowing Him to search me and sift through my stuff. Practically speaking, this time encompasses reading the Bible, writing in my gratitude journal, journaling out my conversations with God, and chatting with Him throughout my day.

LIVING HEALTHY: This is my body-soul section. Included here: exercise, tracking nutrition, taking thoughts captive to the truth of Christ, processing my emotions, recognizing and renouncing lies I’ve believed, speaking life-giving words, etc. This is where my flesh has to be put in its subordinate place to my spirit, which is connected to the Spirit.

LOVING STEVE: My husband has quirks and preferences and his own ways of receiving love. So, loving him can include a multitude of things: sending him a random “I’m thinking about you” text in the middle of the day, keeping those areas decluttered that matter most to him, listening to what he points out and keeping it in mind, being ready to help him on projects around the house, being fully present to him when we have time alone together…basically just considering his wants and needs and keeping my respect for him at the forefront.

DISCIPLING MY KIDS: I’m not only my kids’ mom. I’m also their schoolteacher and a primary life example. My main goals in raising up these lives entrusted to me include: teaching them to love and serve God and others, hear and obey the voice of the Lord, and prepare them spiritually, academically, and practically for life. So, as you’ll see in an upcoming post about our daily schedule, our “official school-time” may seem brief, but truthfully, learning never takes a break.

MINISTRY & EXTENDED RELATIONSHIPS: This is everything else of importance to me: teaching at my church, writing and blogging, co-leading a women’s group, investing in friendships and family members, working on our business, etc. This category experiences a lot of shifting with seasons and changes in life circumstances. And yet, this one is tough because if I’m not careful, it can completely take over the steering wheel in my life, driving in first place, if I don’t keep first things first. These are important things, but not as important as my relationships with God, Steve, and my children.

My days of late have taken on a new shape. But I know this is a season. Some habits will continue, others will tweak a bit, and some will flake away. Life isn’t static. My ability to move throughout my day greatly depends on the age and attitude of the kids in my home and the current season and activities at the forefront.

So, know that your days will look different than mine, and that’s great! You’re different than I am, you have different priorities, goals, and circumstances. But, regardless of our unique set of circumstances, we each make the choice either to rely on SELF or rely on the SPIRIT as our SOURCE.

Bottom line: Consider your Source. Are you relying on yourself or are you relying on God? Are you relying on your expectations to be met or are you trusting God to work through any and every circumstance for your good?

 

Continue reading Part 2: My Typical Day in this series to see how this vision turns into a day-to-day mission of real life living and Part 3: Anchors & Exceptions to see those things that either shift me or keep me grounded.