Updated: Jan 9
Do you ever feel like there are so many things to do in a day and you just don’t know where to start? Or find yourself in the middle of three things and forgetting what you were going to do next, or even what you’re doing right now?
Do you have:
* Young children and are trying to survive on minimal sleep, keep the house clean, everyone fed at least somewhat healthily, and are having trouble remembering your last shower (Does getting wet while bathing the dog count)?
* Older kids who are involved in multiple activities at different times and locations and carpools and you can’t remember the last time you all sat down to a meal together?
* A blended family with all of the above plus the added fun of keeping on top of who is going and who is coming this weekend, next weekend, this Thanksgiving, next Spring Break?
If you answered yes to any of these,
you need to hear these five ways to successfully order your life!
Let’s imagine counting these five priorities on your hand like this:
God is your thumb 👍🏼.
Family is your forefinger; arguably the two most important ones👌🏼.
Work is your middle finger (my boys giggle at giving “work” the middle finger 🙄).
Serving is your fourth/ring finger.
Extra-Curricular Activities are the fifth/pink finger.
Do you know that God delights in you? Not because of anything you do or stop doing. Simply because you are His. You were created with worth because you were made in His image.
Think about how you feel about your own children when they are sleeping. No matter how hard a day you had together, something about looking at them asleep makes your heart swell with love and affection. You delight in them! They aren’t DOING anything (ok, well they are sleeping so there’s that), they just ARE...And you love them. Now imagine how much MORE a wholly perfect God loves you!
Starting with anything other than Jesus will always lead to failure. Think about this: If my identity is primarily focused on being the best “me” I can be, when I totally blow it (which will happen as a mom, wife, friend, co-worker), or see someone else doing it better (which will also happen) then I’ll feel awful, less-than, and unworthy...and have to keep on working.
BUT, if I build my identity on who God says I am, than my self-worth isn’t determined by MY performance but on what Jesus has done and that is all. Can I get an amen?
“Lots of things promise fulfillment but Jesus is the only one who can accurately claim “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)” ~ Said to Joshua Rogers by Tim Schultz
SO, how’s your quiet time? Taking even just 15 minutes a day to BE in God’s presence, to sit in silence and solitude, to read His Word will allow you to feel how He delights in you. Quieting the mind - and the environment - is a tricky thing. But if we don’t start here, I guarantee that nothing else is going to matter. You may look like duck floating on a pond, water beads just rolling off your back, but underneath you’ll be paddling furiously. Make this time today, Sister. I promise you will not be disappointed that you did!
People define this term in different ways. Since my truth always comes back to what the Bible says, I am going to focus on “family” starting with your spouse as your number one human priority - even in blended families. I mean, you know the two of you ARE a family, right? Having kids doesn't make you a family - it just makes your family bigger! If if you came into your marriage with kids, your spouse STILL needs to be your first human priority (and not your kids) because that is God's original design (and once the kids are grown and out of the house, you'll just have each other, so don't you want to HAVE each other?).
So this second way to successfully order your life starts with your husband, AND THEN your kids. Of course, any other family needs (parents, siblings, cousins) fall after these first two relationships. This is not to say, "Sorry, Sister, I can't talk to you today because it's cutting into my time with my honey and he is my number one human priority!" But it IS to say that it's WORTH looking at with whom you are spending the most time and energy on a regular basis:
Do you ask your husband for his opinion and direction...or your dad?
Do you greet your husband with enthusiasm and joy after being apart...or your kids?
Do you call your husband first with big news...or your mom?
Do you look forward to hanging out with your husband and kids all weekend...or your siblings?
If you're a mom who is blessed enough to be able to stay home with your children full time, first of all, Praise God! Secondly, I pray you know that just because you don't earn money for this work does NOT mean it is any less worthy - as a matter of fact, I would always argue that it makes you more worthy (if you could be such a thing) because God gave YOU these children to raise in His ways and truth not anyone else and the fact that you're doing it is priceless!
If you DO work outside the home - or do both like I do - this one is MUCH trickier to navigate. Currently, I am homeschooling my teenagers and working as the Director of Early Childhood Ministries at Grace Point Church. Lately, I've been feeling pretty spread thin. Which is why I am writing this article - not just to help other moms, but to help ME remember how to prioritize! But, I digress....if you are blessed to be able to be at home with your kids, then your 2nd priority on this list is your husband and your 3rd is your kids and home. Done and done! If you work outside the home, then you still have to make your 2nd priority be your husband...and then your kids (in that order) and 3rd your work. Does that make sense?
You may not work in ministry on a church staff, but surely you are serving somewhere (Right?). As Jesus-Followers, we serve because He serves! So, whether it's a Sunday serving position in your church, or another weekly outreach like bringing food to the hungry, participating in a park clean up, or leading a women's Bible study, you have gifts given to you by God to be used for your good and for His glory.
Remember you can only give what you have. So make sure to properly prioritize the first three before regularly serving others. However, once you do, you will find that by "giving back," you are more grateful for what you have been given. Just remember that we don't serve to "earn" God's favor (since that's impossible). We do so out of the gratefulness we have for all He has already done for us! Isn't that great news?
If you are still reading, you need to know that I care about you and your relationships too much to not challenge you in this! If your children are involved in activities, take a moment to add up all the hours in one week that you spend driving to and from the activity; being at the activity; practicing, shopping, or otherwise preparing for the activity…..Do you have a number?
Now compare that number to the hours each week you spend in uninterrupted, intentional, relationship-building time with your family.
If the first number exceeds the second number, you need to reprioritize RIGHT NOW. Successfully ordering your life makes it ESSENTIAL to get this right! Answer this honestly: Has extra-curricular activities taken so much of your time that it's actually moved into the #1 or #2 spot?
Moms, your children do not need more activities or more friends or more things. They really just need more YOU.
As this comes to an end, it may be helpful to think of life as being "in seasons” rather than “in balance.” So understand that there IS GOING TO BE be times in life when (fill in the blank) will need to move up the list, pushing the others back. This is not necessarily a “bad” thing. It only becomes a problem when what should have been a season, has now become a lifestyle:
You have a work or even a ministry project that was supposed to have you staying late for a couple nights, but has turned into your new weekly routine.
That twice a week dance class was supposed to last three months...but it was so much fun and your kid is just so good, that you signed her up again, this time going four times a week, and you realize you are now eating more dinners in the car rather than at the table.
You told your kids one activity at a time, but after all he really likes Jiu-jitsu and it's just so good for him, and now he also wants to try out for the wrestling team, too.
I welcome all respectful thoughts, questions, comments and challenges here! So let me know what you think and how this is working for you!
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them!