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:
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.”
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