Prioritizing Your Priorities

by Veronica on April 22, 2011 in Faithfulness

As a Christian woman, wife, mother, and homemaker, if I were to ask you to identify your priorities, you would probably create a list that ranks each area in order of importance.  Maybe it would look something like this:

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Children
  4. Home
  5. Friends, Ministry, Hobbies, Career, etc…

But, what if then I asked you rearrange this list to accurately reflect how much time was spent on each of these priorities over the course of a given day.

My revised “list” might look a little more like this:

  • As a homeschooling mom, my daughter receives the majority of my time and attention each day.
  • The care and keeping of my home also requires a decent share of my time and energy each day…to prevent the dishes from taking over the kitchen, or to keep everyone in clean, presentable clothing.
  • My husband is a full-time pastor…who is currently working 2 jobs.  There are days when I hardly see him…much less spend time talking to him.
  • And, although I work to maintain a consistent habit of time in God’s Word and in prayer each day…  There are those days when the demands of motherhood, or life in ministry seem to take over.  And, my relationship with the Lord appears to take a proverbial “back seat.”

And, this has the potential to be an extremely discouraging exercise…

Because, in the trenches of everyday life, the amount of time that we devote to each individual priority is not always directly proportionate to its position in the hierarchal list above.  As a mom with a young child, a home to care for, and a husband in full-time ministry, the amount of time that I actually give to each area can often seem rather disproportionate!

“A more practical approach to priorities may be viewing life as a ‘comprehensive unified whole.’  This concept suggests that God has called women to fulfill multiple responsibilities and roles (wife, mother, daughter, homemaker, community servant).  Therefore, she should avoid compartmentalizing her life into the spiritual and secular.  Thus, she avoids measuring the success of maintaining priorities solely by the amount of time given to them on a daily basis…Maintaining priorities means fulfilling all the obligations that God has uniquely and specifically called the Wise Woman to accomplish…” (Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, pg. 131)

This perspective has been a game changer for me!

I like schedules and routines.  (Probably a little too much!)  I am a “task-oriented” person.  I want to be efficient and diligent in all that I have to do in a given day.  And, while that is not necessarily a bad thing, the usual result is that I often find myself getting frustrated with “interruptions” that mess up my plans.  Sadly though, these perceived “interruptions” often come in the form of people who most need my attention (my husband, or my daughter).

But, my friend, Donna Morley points out that,

“there are two types of interruptions.  One distracts us from what we should be doing; the other delays us, merely postponing our progress.  Distractions jeopardize our chance to reach our goal, while delays merely grant us unexpected opportunities.” (Choices That Lead to Godliness, pg. 102)

When we see our life as a “comprehensive unified whole” we can stop evaluating our priorities (and by extension, our “success” or “failure” in each area) by the amount of time given to each endeavor.  Instead we can see how the practical, daily outworking of our priorities overlap, and work together… Each one directly impacting each of the other areas!

And, we have no idea what the Lord has in store for us (and those around us) when we see choose to see the unexpected, the interruptions, and the delays as opportunities rather than distractions!

———

Veronica @ A Quiet Heart

Veronica

Veronica is pastor’s wife, a homemaker, a homeschooler, a mommy…and above all, a sinner saved by grace.  Amid the chaos and clamor of life, it is her desire to have a quiet heart. One that is passionately obedient to God’s Word, and content in the roles, responsibilities, blessings, and trials that our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to give… Veronica blogs at A Quiet Heart, challenging herself, and others, to think biblically, obey passionately, and live contentedly. She can occasionally be found on Facebook and on Twitter @AQuietHeart.

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{ 9 comments }

Sophia April 22, 2011

This is good! How many times do we mothers feel like we don’t measure up, simply because we can’t spend hours in prayer, doing nothing else? I’ve tried to keep in mind what other godly women have told me through the years: If you can’t devote hours to prayer alone, pray while you’re working. One particular lady prayed for each family member as she folded their clothes, and thanked God for the blessing of more than enough food while she was doing dishes.

Kelley Wallace April 22, 2011

This is a lovely reminder to do everything as unto the Lord. Thank you for such a thoughtful, well-written piece.

Catherine McChessney April 22, 2011

Hi, I always enjoy reading the posts here on Raising Homemakers. Thank-you!

This article was very good and I would also like to add that in ALL of your tasks as a Christian wife, mother and woman you are serving God, therefore God stays as top priority at all times as you let His light shine through you. “Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me.” (Sorry I’m very bad at remembering where the verses came from, but I think we all know that one.)

Thanks for a very encouraging article.

Rebecca April 22, 2011

“Instead we can see how the practical, daily outworking of our priorities overlap, and work together… Each one directly impacting each of the other areas!”
Thank you for this profound article. It brought to mind Prov. 16:3 – “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. ” I love God’s plan for His children to apprehend truth as we obey. When we try to analyze without obedience, we end up dizzy and overwhelmed.

Mrs. B April 22, 2011

Wonderful thoughts. It is so hard as a mother to balance everything. So thankful for this thought
“Instead we can see how the practical, daily outworking of our priorities overlap, and work together… Each one directly impacting each of the other areas!”

In HIS Keeping,
Mrs.B

Christin April 22, 2011

What a unique (and good!) perspective. Thank you! 🙂

Karyn April 22, 2011

YES!! This so encouraged my heart. Thank you!

ladyscott April 22, 2011

Great post! I think what discourages many wives and mothers is that we think “#1 time with God” is supposed to be long, quiet hours reading/studying His Word and praying fervent prayers to Him. Keeping God #1 in our lives means allowing Him into every aspect of our lives and keeping Him in the foreground at all times, even when we’re scrubbing throw-up off the carpet, the baby’s crying, dinner’s burning, and homeschooling barely got bothered with today.

We can pray as we scrub the carpet. We can sing a soothing hymn to the crying baby. We can say a prayer of thanksgiving before eating the ruined dinner (yes, I burnt dinner today while I was carefully washing sand out of my 5 year old’s eye), we can read a beautiful Bible study lesson as we tuck the kiddos into bed and count it towards homeschooling. 😉

From experience, when we place God first in ALL, He takes care of ALL.

Grace June 10, 2011

I m widow balancing demands of home ministry, career is a bit challenging and don’t fully find my self functioning as what I think God called me to be as I’m doing two roles of being a mother father to my young adults children and teenager and work double to meet demands of the up keep of children not working because of the economy in Africa

I thank Rebbecca’s comment.

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