Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 5: Priorities

Zoey helping Granny and I cook breakfast

Priorities is an interesting subject. It is really easy to state what you priorities should be and most of the time a lot more difficult to actually live with those priorities. One of the things I read before about priorities is that deviating from them (in action) does not always mean your priorities are off. Let me explain...

My priorities look like this:
1. God
2. Husband (Stephen)
3. Children (Zoey)
4. Myself (including my sanity and my soul)
5. Home (well getting the dishes done has to be somewhere on the list)

My daily routines usually include feeding, playing with, teaching and generally spending lots of time with Zoey. However, this doesn't mean that God and Stephen are not still a higher priority. It just means that in action, Zoey (who is a 2 year old and very active little girl) takes more of my working time. I mean, God is always there and with us even when we are busy doing something else He can still listen and hear our hearts if we stay in tuned with Him. And Stephen doesn't get home until 5pm. So it makes sense that most of my day is spent with Zoey.

In addition to this thought, it is also possible to combine priorities. Like when we have family time with God, when Stephen, Zoey and I do activities as a family and when Zoey helps me in the home (she loves to cook and is learning how to put dishes up, which is awesome).

I make this point because I think it is important, but that doesn't mean I have it all in order. I still have lots of improvement to make on my list of priorities...

1. God

I feel like I have a very strong overall relationship with God. We communicate constantly throughout the day. I don't wait to say my prayers at night, I'm talking with Him all the time. I life up others as I feel it pressed on my heart, I ask for help and give thanks constantly. God will even speak to me if He feels the need and most of the time I do a good job of listening.

However, I slack in the set aside study time and spending time in His word. This is an area I am constantly struggling in. I tend to read the Bible when it is convenient for me or if I have something specific on my heart. I always say I will wake up, spend Bible study time with God and then write. But, I am selfish in that I throughly enjoy sleep and give myself the excuse that Zoey takes all my energy so I need it. That is probably not really true, but it's a pretty good excuse don't you think? Honestly, there is no excuse, but it is where I strive to improve.

2. Husband

I love my husband! He is the strongest, most honest, kind, funny, handsome, good hearted man I know. The biggest thing I work on with Him is to not nag. I generally do really good with this. I know because he tells me if I start (which I told him to do). The only time I rarely start is if I'm really tired, so I try not to let that happen to much (see to need sleep excuse above.)

I know Stephen love me and I want him to know how much I love him too. That is what I strive for. I want him to be able to come home and find peace after a long day at work. I want Zoey to be taken care of so he doesn't have to worry about her when he isn't home. Mostly, I want him to be happy and content being with his family (Zoey and me!)

3. Children

Zoey is such an amazing little girl! She constantly surprises and impresses me. I love watching her grow and I can't even begin to express my love for her. We spend a lot of time together. We learn letters, numbers, etc, she loves to help me cook, we do crafts and she helps me with the garden while we spend time outside. I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to spend so much time with her.

The main thing I strive for with Zoey is more patience. I have struggled with (and immensely improved) my temper. But nonetheless, nothing brings out my temper like my daughter. I need to take a time-out when she starts getting on my nerves so I wont yell at her. I really hate that I even want to. God is working with me on these things and I think it is getting better (which is good since she is entering the dreaded terrible twos).

4. Myself

I put myself next because the home can only be as cheerful as I am in it. I still need to work at taking care of myself and doing things that make me happy and wind-down from taking care of everyone and everything else. I tend to get irritable when I haven't had time to decompress, so I do make that a priority. I feel selfish when I do things I want to do when so much else needs to get done. However, I'm learning that my home is much more happy for everyone if I am happy (what's that saying? If Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy.) I love to scrapbook, write, take photos and read. I'm doing much better about giving myself time to focus just on me.

5. Home

My home is a priority. I want a clean and comfortable home that is a haven for us to rest in. I put this last because it is important, but doing the dishes (or whatever chore is up) will always come after spending time with my family. I'm doing much better with a flexible schedule to work on the house. I do laundry every Monday so it becomes a routine. I do the dishes in the morning time between breakfast and lunch and don't give myself a hard time if I don't get them done everyday. I pick up the living room at night (though that is the one that gets lax the easiest.) So it all gets done and I'm not stressing about it anymore. I am now starting to be able to play with Zoey and not be thinking about every chore that needs to be done around the house.

Well this is my list and where I need improvements. Do you have a priority list? What does it look like? How do you handle balancing  your priorities?

*Note: The challenge is associated with Joyful Mothering from the book 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae.

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