I’m sure we’ve all heard about the professor with the large jar and showing his students how to fill it, first with the large rocks, then with the pebbles, then the sand and finally the water. This is a study on how to prioritize your life, because if you put the sand in first; the small stuff; you’ll never have room for those large things in life. But what priorities should you choose?
I’ve seen many lists that show you how to make your priorities’
1 God. devotions, etc
2 Spouse or loved ones
4 Job or business
And so on and so forth. But’ I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to follow this so-called “normal ” plan. Your plan is normal for you. When we had a lot of little children at home, (for many years we had 8 children at home, with 5 of them, 6 years and under) my plan was bare bones. My children were pretty high on my priority list. I still read my Bible- it kept me sane. But my poor husband was definitely lower because they needed me more. Or I thought they did. Social life was few and far between and my house; well I was barely above water. I invited guests over both to give me an incentive to get the house clean and for some much-needed adult company.
At this point in my life, I have 2 teenagers and an adult child at home. Now we have just moved to a totally new state last year and we are all acclimating to a new environment. But they are fairly self-sufficient. They even help pick up. So this is the season I can do a little more for me. Changing priorities is okay. As women, and especially moms, we have a tendency to put ourselves last. Self-care goes way down on the priorities list. There is a lot of information on self-care right now that is easily accessible. Remember you can’t serve from an empty platter.
Right now, I have a blog and spend time on that. I read more and can have the time to join a ladies’ bible study and even go to lunch. My husband and I can make our marriage more of a priority. Because I have to sit and evaluate what season of life I’m in and what I want to change; I can decide what is important and what’s not. Because I’ll tell you. It is so easy to go on as you have been and not make conscious changes. We don’t even think about it. It’s easy to go with the flow. It’s much harder to be proactive and have a plan.
Now even though I am in the stage of life I wrote about above’ sometimes a wrench gets thrown into the works and we have to change it all again. I need to move my health priority up the way near the top. I was in the hospital and now I really need to work on healing, better nutrition and while I do have a wheelchair for mobility, it’s definitely not the same as walking and it can be cumbersome Plus, I need to work on not feeling guilty for something that is beyond my control.
Do you ever have that? I feel awful I can’t do …… . I feel guilty because I can’t help at my kid’s school because of my health, toddlers at home, etc Just do what you can and put the other on the shelf. It may only be for a little while or it might be something you can never do. My bucket list has had dance lessons on it for years. That’s something I may never be able to do. Does it make me sad? A little, but I have a choice to focus on that or all the things that I am able to do. We all have a choice! Focus on the good for today and next season may bring different ideas for you to focus on. Children do not stay little forever, marriages change over time and you may find new interests and hobbies. Change is inevitable. And while change is often hard or uncomfortable, it can be great. You just have to be willing to change with it and try.
Stop and evaluate what season of life you are in. Are you in the baby stage? Rest more and enjoy it, it really does go quickly. Toddlers and preschoolers? My 2 youngest grandchildren are 3 and 4. They can be delightful if you are not overwhelmed and they learn so many new things each day. My teens are growing into wonderful adults. We have so many discussions on what’s going on in the world This is your chance to influence them or talk about what’s in their hearts. My adult children have become close friends. That comes from investing time now and listening to them while they want to talk.
Prioritize accordingly. If you’re in poor health; that should be a priority. You can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself. If you’re a newlywed or empty nester than focus on your marriage. New business- then you’ll put a lot of time on that. Then make your priorities work for you. don’t match what you’re doing to what you think you should do or what you think others think you should do. Stop shoulding on yourself. That’s a sure way to feel overwhelmed and unfulfilled. I find that I am my own worst critic and harder on myself than anyone else. Are YOu too? Only you know what you can do in this season of your life
While focusing on those priorities, remember, it’s for now. Just because I’m having to make my main focus health now; I know this is temporary. You’ll have temporary seasons and much longer ones. Remember to stop, evaluate, and commit to a new plan with your priorities in order. You can do this.
What season of life are you in now and do you have trouble with keeping your priorities in order? How can I help you?