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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The one thing

Have you ever heard Rich Mullin's song "My One Thing"? It reminds me of the time when Jesus was talking with Martha, who had just accused Jesus of not caring. He said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." The story is in Luke 10:38-42.

It's been on my heart to talk about priorities and such. I have gotten side-tracked though with my efforts in organizing etc. But in reality, the one thing that cannot be taken away from us, any of us but I'm talking to housewives here, is Jesus and our time with Him and studying His word. I love Elizabeth George's book "A Woman after God's Own Heart". There are so many practical ways to help us prioritize the important things.

I suggest we make a list of our priorities - the things that are important to us and then look at how much time we spend involved in these things, it will show us their importance in our lives. For instance, I would never write in my original list of priorities - television. I just don't think it should be important to me. So my first list would look something like this:
God, husband, children, the kids I care for, church, Bible study women, gardening, quilting, caring for the home, etc.

But when I get to my second list where I look at how much time I spend with each, it will look a lot different.

God - 1 hour/day but prob not Sat or Sun for QT - so 5 hours since church is further on.

Church - I'm moving up here because I'm at church to know more about Jesus and be more conformed to His image - about 7 hours a week

Husband - there again prob an hr a day as he's not home more; technically I do things for him when he's not here so, it could be conceivable that it's more than that. So we'll just say 7 hrs.

Children - with homeschooling - from 7:30 to 3 - four days a week, we'll just say 30 hours a week and that would include the kids I babysit. There is QT in there so it works out as I'm on duty really till bed time and on the weekend as well.

Bible study women - 2 hours a week

Gardening - right now 1 hr a week, just preparing and looking thru catalogs

Quilting - 0 hours

Caring for the home - 12 hrs a week

TV - has to be added on because while I don't watch a lot during the week, Sunday afternoons, I do. - maybe up to 10 hours a week.

Now my list looks different, if you go by hours:
Children - 30 hours a week
God/Church - 12 hours a week
Caring for home - 12 hours
TV - 10 hours
Husband - 7 hours
Gardening - 1 hour

Now I'm not saying that kids get the highest priority because they get the most time. For me, it's about serving my husband and God, because this was what we believed God would have at least for now. But TV is up there, I think a bit too high. And it's a whole lot less than it was before my husband started working 10 to 12 hour days. We used to watch a couple of hours each evening and then the weekend was high viewing hours. But now my time with him is too valuable to spend watching a show with him, though I still love doing that.

My next step is to see what action I may want to take in order to change my priorities to more closely reflect what my heart's desire is. This is not an easy procedure. What can I do to take these steps? For me it means not even turning on the TV, once it's on it stays on. I try to resist that temptation. I have times where it's on, but usually it has something that must be done at the end of the hour or whatever my set time is for TV. I plan something to follow it closely, so we turn it off. If for example, I would have turned it on at 11 when the little ones were jumping around and being crazy, my little ones would have settled down, but the older ones would not have cotten done with work and cannot concentrate as well. And because it's the morning, I would have turned it on sooner this afternoon. But if I wait till 4:30 as the schedule dictates, and the house is relatively clean and picked-up, then there is less time spent watching and our goals are accomplished.

For each one it will and should be different. Noone will have the same priorities even. But it's about intentionally living out what we want to be priorities in our lives. If we leave it to chance, I'm pretty sure it will be a miss. I think if my relationship with God is on track, then I'm a better wife, a better mother, a better friend etc.

How are some ways you prioritize things so that your priorities remain high on your list?

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