Priorities

     Priorities.  Knowing your priorities, and the importance of keeping those priorities in proper order, has always been encouraged here.  I’ve quite openly shared with you that my priorities are, in this particular order:  God, husband, children, home, church/ministry, everything else.  I’ve also shared, from time to time, that when our priorities are out of order, we can get into trouble.  Ladies, I’m there now!

     Blogging, of course falls somewhere in the church/ministry – everything else realm.  However, I do feel an obligation to you, and I want to be sure that I’m not giving some sort of false impression that I have it all together all the time.  I’m also hoping that by sharing my own struggles, even this late in life, that you will understand how easy it is to get your priorities out of line and how important it is to NOT let that happen in your own life.

     You’d think, wouldn’t you, that having been married for over thirty years, having been a mother for almost twenty-nine years (Sorry, Corin, for spilling those beans!), having homeschooled for twenty years, and having been a full-time homemaker for almost twenty-five years, that I would not fall victim to misplaced priorities.  Guess what?  I am a sinner saved by grace, still living in a fallen world, and I can mess up big time.  However, there are several things that my years of experience have taught me to do in times like these, and that is what I am doing right now.

     There can be no blame shifting in times like this.  Yes, I can look back over the last two or three weeks and find all the little things that stumbled me.  Here’s a sampling.  My husband was in mandatory training classes all week last week, sending my poor Will into a bit of a tailspin.  Birthday celebrations happened.  A window in our home was broken.  Our much-used and very necessary rototiller broke down and needs a new engine.  Our van is in need of necessary repairs, and, we discovered, the dealership is out of business.  Our utility trailer’s light harness has a short, and, we now know, was improperly installed several years ago.  Lay offs are happening within the Sheriff’s Department and there will be no more overtime.  We’ve taken a couple of day trips.  Planning and ordering bareroot stock has been problematic.  Various members of the family have been sick. 

    Whine, whine, whine, whine.  See?  Lots of stuff has been going on, but none of it, absolutely none of it, is responsible for the misordering of my priorities.  I did that all by myself.  The fact of the matter is that I was the one that chose, through inaction, to allow my priorities to topple and become misordered, and it’s up to me to reestablish those priorities and work to keep them in order.     

     I’m starting where I should with priority one.  I’m repenting and rebuilding the most important part of my life, my relationship with the Lord.  I’ve not turned my back on Him, not at all; but my time in the Word has not been as consistent as it should be, nor has my time in prayer.  What works best for me is to break my Bible and devotional reading and prayer times up into five shorter times throughout the day.  Whether or not all of the housework gets done this week or not, I will be observing each of my preappointed times with Him.  Keeping this most vital of relationships at the top of my list will also help me in being a better wife, mother, homemaker, friend, etc. 

     It’s easy for most of us, as busy homeschooling moms, to neglect our husbands.  My husband works very long shifts on his work days.  He was gone all of last week for mandatory training.  Life continued here at home in his absence, but what should I have been doing?  His position in my heart never slid, but I know that the things that I can do to help him and bless him have not been happening as they should.  How many of his warm flannel shirts are languishing in the ironing basket?  Why not use my Amazon credit to fill his MP3 player with audio books for his commute?  (Okay, I tried that today, but he insisted that I spend it otherwise.  What a wonderful guy!)  I can certainly hook up the trailer (driving carefully with the malfunctioning lights) to pick up the rototiller today so that he doesn’t have to do it on his day off next week.  Am I being as good a steward as I can be with his money?  Is he coming home to a peaceful, warm, inviting home and a welcoming wife? 

     My children.  Whoa, baby!  Neglecting my responsibilities to my children has resulted in some interesting situations.  I have quite a few areas that need to be recaptured with the boys.  Yes, the BOYZ, Dani most certainly is not a problem, but she’s had to deal with some of the repercussions of the BOYZ.  We will be pulling in the reins and giving the boys some priorities of their own.  Too much work and not enough play may make Jack a dull boy, but too much free wheeling fun can have more disastrous results.  Homeschooling, household responsibilities, character issues, rebuilding our team spirit….these are all areas where we need to recapture some lost ground.

     My home and our homestead have, for the most part, been kept up.  It should not be, though, that this has been done at the expense of higher priorities!  Yes, keeping an orderly clean home is part of honoring and respecting my husband.  It’s also important for my children.  A balance must be struck here and carefully maintained.  It’s far too easy to busy oneself  in caring for the home while ignoring more important tasks.  Afterall, can’t anyone see just how busy we are?  Ahem…….’nuff said.

     I’ve also spent too much time working on a project involving an upgrade for the blog and web site.  I had a time frame in mind and was working to meet that time frame, but it’s just not responsible for me to continue that way.  The upgrade still should and, Lord willing, will be made.  I’m hoping it will be done sooner rather than later, but it will happen when it can.  The financial side of the timing was motivating me, but at what non-financial expense?  The upgrade project will continue, but only while keeping my other priorities in order above it. 

     I’m not looking for any sort of sympathy here.  I’m trying to honestly portray what can happen when we allow our God given priorities as women to get out of order.  There’s nothing for it but to jump right in and pull things back into order.  That’s what I’m doing and what I will be doing. 

     How are your priorities?  Are they in proper order, or have one or two (or more) of them risen or fallen from their rightful place?  Pray and seek the Lord’s will in showing you the best way to get things back into order and for His strength to get it done.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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30 comments to Priorities

  • Ouch Cheryl This was a real eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs,

    Elizabeth

  • Thank you for your transparency, Cheryl!  As a younger Mom (but still nearing 40), I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone in these same (or similiar) struggles.  I deeply appreciate your blog…thank you for reminding us of our priorities–and–that no matter our age, we still have learning to do!  As for the blog updates…most of us readers probably want to see you succeed at home first, so you can blog about it later. 🙂  Don’t let it worry you~~the blog awaits, but a family does not, right?  Blessings to you and yours…may God provide wisdom in these trying times and may His provision be sufficient for your family as change comes swiftly.

  • Thank you for your transparency, Cheryl!  As a younger Mom (but still nearing 40), I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone in these same (or similiar) struggles.  I deeply appreciate your blog…thank you for reminding us of our priorities–and–that no matter our age, we still have learning to do!  As for the blog updates…most of us readers probably want to see you succeed at home first, so you can blog about it later. 🙂  Don’t let it worry you~~the blog awaits, but a family does not, right?  Blessings to you and yours…may God provide wisdom in these trying times and may His provision be sufficient for your family as change comes swiftly.

  • Thank you for being so honest and transparent, Cheryl!  It’s a help to me as a little bit younger wife and mother (who should know better too) to see another lady step up and say “my priorities are out of order and it’s no one’s fault but my own.”  It’s also good to be reminded that God is always right where we left Him and He welcomes us back with open arms when we return to him in repentance.  Thank you!

  • @bygrace3 –   ” It’s also good to be reminded that God is always right where we left Him and He welcomes us back with open arms when we return to him in repentance.”     Amen!!!

  • You’re the best Cheryl.  I was working on some excuse making~ in my own head~ for a less than productive week…  That’s kinda blown now.  I appreciate that.  Love, Rebecca

  • Cheryl,

    Hello! It is always such a blessing when you share stuff like this. I, just personally, am a personality type that can tend to hyper focus on one are to the exclusion of all others (for instance, The General loves a clean house, and I will give him one…but it may come along with a tired, cranky wife…not good). It really blesses me when you share this type of thing, especially how you point us back to God.

    Many Blessings 🙂

    Ace

  • God first, God first, God first! Yes, my priorities slip and the top one is always the one that does. Why is that?

    Wonderful post, thank you and I loved what Susan said, ” It’s also good to be reminded that God is always right where we left Him and He welcomes us back with open arms when we return to him in repentance” Amen and Amen!

  • Wonderful post. You have really convicted me to straighten out my “priorities”.  Thank you Cheryl.  Have a blessed weekend.

  • (((Cheryl)))  We have all been there and need to be reminded often to evaluate where we are. Thank you for being such a godly example for us! Oh, and the BOYZ! Mine are 10 and 14 with a girl thrown in the middle for good measure! I definitely can see when I let things slide there!

  • Oh, yes!

    I was just thinking yesterday that I’ve become a Martha instead of a Mary!

  • Thank you for sharing your heart as well as your wisdom.  Sometimes we get so busy with “life” that we don’t even realize that our priorities have shifted.  This is something I’m sure most all of us struggle with (I  know I sure do;). I guess the important lesson here is that when we realize  this has happened we “pull ourselves up by our bookstraps” as my Grammy would say, and start to do something about it!!! 

  • ((((( * hug * )))))

    This is but one (huge) area the Lord is dealing with in my own life. How very appropriate is your post, dear friend. Once again you shared from your heart of hearts the reality of life having a way of happening. But you don’t stop there. You lovingly exhort yourself and the rest of us. Bless you dearly.

    What joy when we can be of encouragement to one another.

    I’d love to share portions of this post in our next homeschool meeting which is in April. Would that be all right with you?

    Blessings and joy in Christ Jesus,

    Jane

  • Thank you for being so honest so that it may help us grow and change for the better!

  • Thank you for being so honest so that it may help us grow and change for the better!

  • Hi Cheryl,

    It’s always refreshing when people are so open and honest in the blog world. It’s so easy to come off as having everything under control! Thank you for sharing so openly.

    Manuela

  • Cheryl, thank you.  This was a real encouragement to me.  Thank you for your willingness to share so openly. 

  • @ladyjanesjournal – Yep!  If there’s anything edifying here, it’s the Lord’s doing so share away!!

  • Dearest Cheryl,

    Keep those reminders coming. You are such a vessel of the Lord. Thank you. I will for sure see you on Sunday.

    Love & Blessings, Jean

  • THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  I check your blog for updates everyday but dont ever comment.  I just wanted to let you know that your transperancy is much appreciated.  We here in blog land can be lead to believe that everyone else’s life is perfect and in order while every once in awhile mine takes a very serious dip in the J-O-Y department, especially where the BOYZ are concerned.  I can relate and I send you hugs and prayers while you work to get everything and everyone back on track.  Hats off to you for being so honest.  This is what our journey as Christians is all about – loving God, living, learning and then sharing our experience strength and hope with others who are in need  Thank you again for your honesty.

  • I struggle with priorities too…I think that we all do and I am having to work on restoring priorities that have gotten out of line….
    Thank you for being so honest and transparent~you are a blessing and encouragement to so many but especially to me!
    Blessings and hugs!

  • I struggle with priorities too…I think that we all do and I am having to work on restoring priorities that have gotten out of line….
    Thank you for being so honest and transparent~you are a blessing and encouragement to so many but especially to me!
    Blessings and hugs!

  • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-MEN!!!

    Thank you for sharing!!

    You may not realize this… But I’ve been longing to have another cherished chat w/ you again.  Not about anything specific, but I just cherish my chats w/ you.  I have great respect & admiration for you.  😉

    Hugs, Katie

  • Katie – Sounds wonderful!!!  You all need to stay for lunch on Sunday.

  • Been there Cheryl, in fact these last few weeks.  Thanks for the knock in the head, lol, you’re always inspiring!!  Started this morning back on my Bible reading schedule, I too was not consistent & that was one of my goals for this year   I would really like to know what your schedule is & how you study & read the Bible?  I tried clicking on your side bar but it didn’t work.  God Bless ~Gretchen~ 

  • Thank you for sharing! You have been my mentor for many many months now whether you know it or not, and it just humbles me to no end to know that I am NOT alone in this journey! I too have been working on my prioroties, and rearranging what is important to me! Thank you again Cheryl for sharing your heart!

  • Thank you for sharing! You have been my mentor for many many months now whether you know it or not, and it just humbles me to no end to know that I am NOT alone in this journey! I too have been working on my prioroties, and rearranging what is important to me! Thank you again Cheryl for sharing your heart!

  • This was a very encouraging post! Even though I’m not feeling good (it’s a cold, I assure you!:) ) I think I need to go get off my behind and get some dishes washed.:) Thanks!:)

  • @that_tea_girl – heehheeheee………One of these days it won’t be just a “cold”, and I want you to know that I will be doing the happy dance here!!  Remember the days when every time you’d call Dani, I’d ask “Is she engaged?”.  Guess what I’m asking now?????   Hugs to you!

  • Thank you for being so transparent!  The Lord has been convicting me in the same area.  I have so few women I can see eye to eye with.  What a blessing you are in my life.

    Thank you,

    Leslie