Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those desicions are determined by our priorities.
– Myles Monroe –
Priorities is a common word. It’s one we all know and use, but do we really understand it’s implications? To prioritize means to place one thing ahead of another thing in importance and has the power to shape a life full of peace, purpose, and adventure OR a life that is meaningless, boring, and full of frustration. Which one do you want? The only difference between you living the life you want or life living you is the priorities you choose. So lets look at why priorities matter, what the best structure for your priorities is, and why this will help you to get the most out of life.
Why Priorities Matter
Have you ever found yourself caught up in a constant stream of work, activities, and outings and feeling like a chicken running around with it’s head cut off? Do you ever find yourself working all day long, yet there’s nothing to show for it? Is your head spinning so fast you can’t even sleep at night? You’re always searching, but never satisfied?
Unfortunately, you made your life that way.
It’s true. It’s not because the kids have all their activities and it’s not because you have too much on your plate. No, the real reason your life is stressful and unsatisfying is because of your. own. choices.
Before you get too offended and write me off as a judgmental perfectionist, I’ve got to tell you that this is the best news you could possibly get! Because if you made your life busy, that means you can also change it.
When you get your priorities in line you will find a flow in life like you’ve never imagined. Instead of entering each day in stress like a race horse just out of the gate, you will be able to start your day with rest and peace and wisdom. Working with focus and purpose instead of trying to juggle everything and ending up dropping the balls.
Living the adventure of life has everything to do with your priorities, because when you’re being run by life instead of you running life, you can’t really enjoy it.
I’m going to show you exactly how to prioritize your life and how to take care of those things that are most important to you so that you can conquer those challenges in you’re facing and come out on top, to live in peace and rest in your own home and in your own skin and be able to truly love and care for your family, to be able to laugh again and have fun playing with your kids and to have special times together with your family making awesome memories, and to do it all in the most effective and efficient way possible to get your life back in order.
All this comes down to priorities.
So we won’t delay any longer. It’s time for you to start living life like a champion, for yourself, for your family, and for your future.
Priority #1 – Spiritual Life
Do you ever find that when your spiritual life is a mess, every other area of your life seems to be a mess? Well it’s no surprise because that’s actually the first priority, the base upon which your whole life is built.
We as humans were created by God, in the image of God, for God. Because we were created this way, we can’t possibly be complete without Him and our life simply can’t flow properly when that connection is missing. The Creator of the Universe designed the world and the laws that make it work, and He designed you, so doesn’t it just make sense that when you are not connected to Him that life would work against you? Not that God is purposefully making things hard for you, but you, being outside of Him who makes all things work, cut yourself off from the flow by which life flows.
It’s quite simple really. Make Him first. Everything you work for is for Him, everything you live for is for Him, and give Him the glory for everything you work for and live for. And since He’s number one, make Him your first appointment of the day. Set yourself in a quiet place, open up His book (the Bible) and talk to Him. Read, pray, talk. And draw wisdom from Him! Ask Him to guide you and praise Him for who He is and what He does. That is making God your first priority.
Priority #2 – Spouse
The husband and wife relationship is the second relationship God created and was the first physical relationship He created. He put man and woman together to complete the man and said it was very good, so it goes to show you that your spouse is your first physical priority.
Now you may be saying, “But I’m so busy with the kids’ activities that I don’t have time to spend with Him!”. If that’s the case, it just tells me that your husband isn’t that important to you as he should be. And be honest with yourself, do your kids really need all those activities? Is busyness really more important than your husband? Do you really want to sacrifice the richness of relationship with your husband?
When you sacrifice the relationship with your spouse you can’t function at your highest level.
You may think this sounds crazy, but just think about it for a minute. If you’re not spending the proper time with him you aren’t emotionally fulfilled, and when you aren’t emotionally fulfilled you aren’t satisfied and there’s this underlying tension in you. Eventually this can make you stressed, snappy, and demanding of your husband, which then makes you guilty, for being rude, or bitter, and an invisible wall comes up between you two and it becomes harder and harder to connect and overcome these stresses you are having. So the downward spire continues.
When you properly love, honour, and serve your husband, your conscience is free and your heart is full. It positions your mind to focus and decreases the stress you feel. It’s quite profound. So pay attention to the things that honour your husband and do them. Take care of him as the companion and strong helper you were designed to be. You will find that life flows much smoother, is way more fun, has more peace, and all around feels less successful.
Priority #3 – Children
Children are the third priority, the second physical priority. In order of creation, they came after man and woman so it simply makes sense that they shouldn’t be a higher priority than the husband/wife relationship. Children need to know they are loved and secure, and you do need to take lots of time to be with them and teach them, but when they take up ALL your time, it can create some dynamics that you won’t like.
When a child has the constant attention of their parent and can get their parent to come to them with any cry and whim, it teaches them to be selfish manipulators. Seriously. Doesn’t sound too good, does it? It’s actually not good for your children for you to be entirely focused on them. They don’t need that. They just need to know that you love them, and having 30 intentional minutes with them is way more powerful than two hours of half focused time.
So be intentional with your kids, but don’t let them control your time. It’s not good for either of you.
Priority #4 – Work
It’s important to understand this one. Work is very important, but it’s not more important than the relationships you have with your God and your family. If work is your main focus then those other important people in your life know it. They will feel neglected and hurt and you’ll end up with more stress in your life because those important relationships aren’t being satisfied.
This doesn’t only apply to work outside the home though. It also applies to the work you do inside the home as a homemaker. Are you making so many tasks and projects for yourself that when you’re little 3 year old pulls on your shirt you’re response is always, “Not now, I’m working.”? The truth is the work won’t satisfy you as much as spending 10 minutes reading a story to your precious little child will, and you’ll be showing your child that you love them instead of teaching them they aren’t important.
When the most important relationships in your life are suffering there is stress in everything you do and it actually hurts you focus and ability to work at your highest level. You will lose efficiency, you will loose speed, you will loose patience, and you will loose joy in your work when you’re more focused on work than those first three priorities. So keep your priorities in line. You’ll be waaaaaay more successful that way.
Priority #5 – Free Time/Fun Time
Finally we get to free time! This would be your movies, exercising, internet surfing, night out with the girls, volunteering at the soup kitchen, and what ever else your heart desires. I know you may be wondering how you’re supposed to have time left over once those other things are taken care of, but you’d be surprised how much time you can squeeze in here and there for those extra things you like to do. Not to mention, if you only have so and so much time for your hobbies, you probably won’t waste so much time on things that don’t matter.
Free time is important, and doing those things you enjoy is part of a balanced life, but not at the expense of the most important relationships you have. Some couples have gotten divorced over a spouse watching TV more than spending time with them. It’s that serious. So take care of first things first and then when you get that free time, really enjoy it!
Putting it Together
I hope you can see now that when the priorities are out of line it creates a lot of stress and tension in your life, and sucks all the satisfaction out of the things you do because there is bitterness and regret in your most important relationships.
You have an amazing opportunity as a wife and as a mother to invest into your family; to build them up, make them better, and set them up for success in life. You need to be strong to be the kind of woman who purposefully builds up and encourages her husband, who loves, plays with, and teaches her kids, and works with diligence tending to her home so the whole family can enjoy the safe haven she creates.
I know you want to be that woman.
I want you to be that woman.
Take a look at your life and take a look at where your priorities are sitting right now. Do your kids run your life? Are you stressed out with your work or different projects you’ve got going on? Is your relationship with your husband a constant argument? If this is you, then it’s time for a radical change.
You can do it.
It’s time to be the wife, the mother, and the woman that you want to be, instead of kicking yourself about all the mistakes you’ve made.
It’s time for you to rise up and conquer the challenges that keep pushing you down.
It’s time for you to put God first and draw that wisdom and peace from Him that you know you need.
It’s time for you to focus on your family and restore the richness and joy and love that you feel in those relationships.
And it’s time that you broke through the rut and began living life with all the clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness you desire.
Setting your priorities will change your life.
Over the next few weeks we’ll go into detail about all five priorities and really dig into what each of them looks like and how you can best take care of them. But for now, look at your schedule and decide what needs to change and make it happen.
It might hurt at first but you will be amazed at the peace and joy you will have when you clear out the useless busy things you’re doing and focus in on your most important priorities.
It’ll all be worth it.
So stay tuned for the next posts going into each topic more thoroughly, and God bless!
Find me linked up at Tune in Thursday