are your priorities your own?

Have you ever felt anxious about your schedule? Like, you legitimately have so many tasks to complete that you have to pick and choose what you do, begrudgingly NOT striking off all of the items written on your calendar's "To-Do" Section?

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My son started Kindergarten this fall and about a month and a half into the semester I began to see a decline in my positive and steadily climbing attitude of achievement. The first week I found myself waking up extra early too cook breakfast, pack lunch, pack our karate bag for after school along with my own things, and generally be on top of the getting to school in a peaceful manner with no whining, fussing, complaining or worse (not from my son, but from my husband and myself :), I was even able to have a few moments of peace to give thanks to God for making everything possible. Fast forward a few weeks and things began to fall apart. While I was still excited about school, especially since Little Man loves it, I began to add school, karate, and a few things I was taking part in to become jumbled in the mix of all the other duties and responsibilities I'm tasked with to aid my family in functioning. Plus I'm finishing up my first book so time is like gold these days!!! As you can guess, prior to school beginning, I was already seeking balance. And in the midst of this funk where I just began to feel like I would never have enough time to do everything, and BE EVERYTHING to those who matter most, I started sleeping in just a little bit later. This turned into my husband doing the same, which caused me to place blame on him for not getting up early so I wouldn't have to, which led to our sweet son being late a few days for school (which makes me sad because it's not his fault. He doesn't drive after all :( 

So what? I'm busy, but so is everyone else. My busy is not more important than yours, but at the end of the day, why am I busy? Are my priorities and calendared tasks my priorities or are they priorities I've allowed others around me to create??? In all of my striving did I at the same time create expectations from others that I now feel tasked to fill? I actually took the time to sit down and think about all I am doing, and there are a few areas where I've overstepped, and need to step back.  And yes, I can wake up earlier. Yes, I can prepare and pack bags the night before. Yes, I can make sure everyone gets in bed earlier. Yes I can shave a few things off my list, or share some responsibility. But, most importantly, I can seek to be wiser and work toward purposely enjoying my life. How will this help? 

I did my first fifteen today. This includes five minutes of prayer, five minutes reading God's word and five minutes to worship. Thankfully this morning I was able to extend this time some. During my reading, a few verses in Ecclesiastes made an impression on me. Enough to finish this post that I began weeks ago in the middle of my funk! Ecclesiastes is one book I never dawdle in. I tend to seek out Romans or Matthew, but this morning, I decided right because I find myself constantly seeking. Seeking a better job. Seeking to be a better mother. Seeking to be a better wife. Seeking to fulfill my purpose. Seeking. Seeking. Seeking. I. Want. Perfection. But you know what? There is a huge chance that things will never always go my way. That's actually pretty much guaranteed.

Wisdom and money can get you almost anything but only wisdom can save your life. Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life (Ecclesiastes 7:12-14).

Money and prosperity can be enjoyed, and help me achieve some of these things that I am seeking, or a means to aid me in achieving them, but unless I am of God and strive to be like him, I'm going to miss out on the opportunity to live the way He created me to live, which is in His grace by His word and wise enough to know how to manage it all. 

I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim (Ecclesiastes 8:17)

While I can be made wiser when I choose to do things His way, I am still not going to know and discover everything. So in all the striving that I do, aren't I just letting time slip away? When I'm seeking in such a way that it causes stress and burden, aren't I just being foolish, because what is meant for me will come to me when I am humble and sufficient in what Christ has already provided? 

These verses have made me consider the tasks I have now, that become so routine. Wasn't my morning so much better this morning when I spent a longer time with God? Wasn't it a better start to my day to spend a few moments with my husband, actually able to help him in his morning, rather than complain and nag that my own was so hectic? This morning was the best that I've had in so long because I was able to stand in my present. You may not think that makes sense, but sometimes I think we are so busy being busy and running around that we are constantly looking at our lives from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. So why not enjoy one another? Why not look at simple things, whether they be making breakfast in the morning for the family, or driving to work on a really pretty day, and allow them to be the things that make us grateful that we serve such an amazing God? We don't know if this will be the last time we are able to use our hands to cook for our family, and we don't know if tomorrow our eyes will be able to see the sun and beauty in the way that it rose this morning. God's word says that nothing is certain in life. We don't know what our circumstances will be tomorrow so we need to nix the "routine" the striving and the busy and just BE.

How do you determine if your priorities are your own?

Pray. Ask. Make sure they are of God.

How do you determine if your priorities are of God?

They will be Christ-centered, family-centered and purpose-driven. Nothing self-serving or from a basis of fear or negativity is of God.

Have you cleaned up your calendar lately to determine if what you're doing is living in your present, or watching yourself from the outside in?