Thursday, September 18, 2008

Priorities - Easier Said Than Done

Lately, I have really been struggling with the order and emphasis of my priorities. We all know the big ones: God, husbands, kids. They are so easy to name, but somehow all mix together throughout my day. If I try to do my time with the Lord while my kids are awake there will indefinitely be an interruption involving spilled food, wiping a poopy butt, or screaming for no apparent reason. If I wait until nap time I feel so distracted by the 100 things I didn't get done when they were awake. If I wait until they go to bed to spend time with the Lord, I sit there thinking about how much I need to be spending this quiet time with my husband. Is there any answer to this vicious cycle? I really do not have a good or practical answer to this, but I'm going to try to at least give some tips that might help.

First, find yourself some accountability. Often one person isn't enough. Find a group of women to go through a study with. I am currently doing the Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed study with Beth Moore. I'm in a group with 22 women - talk about a lot of accountability. This keeps in the word, because I know I have to sit with other women, and I do not want to be the only one with an empty book! :) Eventually, you will move from discipline to read the Word, to desiring the Word, to devouring the Word.

Second, make a list of all the things you want to have accomplished in one week. Divide the list up so that you only have to accomplish one or two big things a day. I never try to clean my whole house in one day. I just end up disappointing myself with what I didn't finish, but giving myself the option of just completing one chore; I can get the floors swept and mopped in one day.

Third, the time after your kids go to bed is precious, and definitely spend time with your husband. Feeling guilty about not reading your Bible during this time is not what God would have for you. It is so important for your marriage that you and your husband have quiet, uninterrupted time. However, while it may not be the best time for you to go off by yourself during this time, it is a great time for you and your husband to come before the Lord together for a few moments. But by all means - curl up on the couch - snuggle watch some good TV together, too. You need lots of moments like these.

Finally, guilt is not what the Lord wants you to feel in regards to your relationship and time with Him. Let yourself off the hook from having to have the "typical" sit down alone with lights low, bible, and a copy of "My Utmost for His Highest" in hand. Don't get me wrong that scenario sounds wonderful, but let's be realistic - most of our lives don't allow for this ever day. God has really been teaching me how to have a "relationship" with him rather than "moments". He wants my attention all day long in everything that I do. My old way of thinking told me I had to wait until my "quiet time" to approach God, but I am learning that He wants me to approach Him when I'm cleaning up dishes and when I'm reading to my kids.

I definitely do not have this all figured out - and the beautiful part is I don't have to. As long as my mind is focused on who God is and what he means to me, I will know more tomorrow and hopefully, be a little more like Him in the process.