For many years as a mom of three young children, I made habitual use of of a priority planner/organizer. I remember writing scrupulous notes, recipes, quotes, phone numbers, bible verses and scribbling on those precious pages, in my attempt to keep our family’s life in some semblance of order.
In the left hand margin of the open organizer, there was a list – a reminder of a Christian woman’s priorities:
outside the home
– in that specific order.
I appreciated the daily admonition but I have to confess – I’m not sure I ever got it right….or if I did manage to strike a healthy balance once in a while, it didn’t last long. Motherhood seemed like an endless list of responsibilities, upsets, change of plans, activities, joys, exhaustion and clean ups. I was never quite sure how my day was actually supposed to look like but when I did have a quiet moment to reflect on this list of priorities, I often felt guilty.
My “young mom days” just didn’t unfold so neatly.
Although I did manage to sneak some bible reading time in the bathroom, put three meals on the table, throw some laundry in and play with the children, what I felt I needed more than anything was to spend time with other Christian moms so that I could watch and learn. I did not personally experience a rich heritage of Christian upbringing, so being a first generation mom who wanted to honour God with parenting and every other area of my life, was a huge challenge. I had many questions, a teachable spirit and a good sense of humor, which helped me survive some tough times.
I learned that prioritizing God in my days wasn’t an isolated event. I couldn’t just tick off a daily “to do” list. Nor was it neat and tidy. Some days, Jesus was first and foremost. Other days, there wasn’t a thought of Him – survival was the goal. Prioritizing God was something that looked different every day. Even the word, “prioritize” left me feeling guilty.
I wanted to honour God because I yearned for and needed Him – not out of duty but out of love.
Putting Him in my schedule just didn’t work for me.
Life continues to be messy and I have long since gotten rid of my “How to” books about Christian living. The simple truth is that I have learned that I can not make life work well on my own – many bumps and bruises, some head-first crashes, sleepless nights and many tears have taught me that I am lost without Him.
I want more of Him and less of me.
I savour those glorious moments when all is well and balanced but I also know that He is no less present when the day is gruelling and exhausting. He is IN my marriage, parenting, home and relationships – not above them on a priority list.
He’s OK with my mess. So am I. We’re in it together.
MAKE A MOMENT TO MUSE
- Do you find it difficult to find balance in your life?
- How do you prioritize your time with Jesus?
- Do you thrive on predictable rhythm in your days or are you more the “go with the flow” kind of person?
speak truth: Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16.9-11 NIV