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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 1 - Priorities

First things first! Before we can "dig" in to getting things clean and in order, we've got to get our minds and hearts in order. Today, we are going to work on our priorities and goals, and then throw in some motivation for encouragement!

Let's talk priorities. If you're anything like me, you have good intentions, but you somehow fall short. For example, I always say that God is first in my life, but is my life reflecting that? Do I spend time with Lord each day? What does my prayer life look life? Scripture memory? You can see where I'm going with this. It's easy to say what our priorities are, but it's really important that we take an inventory of them so we can honestly evaluate where things need to change. Today, we're going to come up with list of our priorities, in order of importance (I suggest rating them, 1-5, to evaluate how you're doing). Here are mine:

1. God

I want be in constant communion with Him, grower deeper in relationship by prayer and time in His word. This has to come first in my day because otherwise it rarely happens. Plus, it starts my day out right.

My commitment: Get up early each day to sit at His feet

Verses/quotes of motivation:

"In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." Psalm 5:3

"In your presence is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

"For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes." Jeremiah 31:25

"In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Mark 1:35

2. Husband

I want to be an "excellent" wife, bringing glory to my husband. I want him to find solace and comfort in me, I want to be his biggest fan and his best friend. I need to be a soft place to land for him when is long day is over.

My commitment: Respond to him lovingly and intimately. Make an effort to serve him first. Be careful not to nag. Show respect.

Verses/quotes to motivate:

"A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1

"She does him good and not evil all the days of his life." Proverbs 31:12

"Man finds fulfillment and glory in two main areas-work and love. When he succeeds in his work, his masculinity is confirmed. When a man wins the woman he loves and she responds to him sexually, he is marvelously glorified as a man." Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman

3. Children

My goal is to train my children in the Lord, so it is imperative that I have the time to plan bible times, activities and fun things for them. I also want to home school, so I must I get my time under control so I can plan and execute homeschooling properly. I also want to just have fun with them - carved out times in the day that are theirs.

My commitment: Work hard at getting my home in order so that I can be freed up to spend time with them, not worrying about all I have to do. Gain control of my time and schedule so that I have adequate time to plan activities/schooling for them.

Verses to motivate:

"Teach them to your children, And talk about them When you sit at home And walk along the road. When you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you and write them on your doors and gates." Deuteronomy 6:7-8

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

4. Home

I want a clean home - not a perfectionist home - but a home of comfort and peace. I want a place where my children feel security and warmth, my husband has a haven, and place where people can show up and make themselves at home. I also want to take pride in the domain God gave me to manage. I struggle with laziness, so this is sin that I must fight, with God's help.

My commitment: Work hard, putting off laziness, and putting my family before myself by taking care of the home God gave me.

Verses to motivate/quotes to motivate:

"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for me..." Colossians 3:23

"Do all things without grumbling..." Philippians 2:14

"Hospitality is the message you give a person about their value." Phyllis Stanley

5. Gifts

I want to use my gifts and talents that God gave me to strengthen the church and be a light to the world around me.

My commitment: Use my specific gifts to continue to facilitate bible studies.

Verse to motivate:

"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4:10

6. Personal

I want to carve out time to sharpen my skills, enjoy my hobbies, and just do whatever! I'm putting this last, not because I don't think it's important to develop ourselves as women, but because I believe the other things come first. Plus, I will be able to enjoy "my" time more if I have everything else in order.

My commitment: Take time for the things I enjoy!

Verses to motivate: Anyone know of any good verses for this?

This will take some time, so think about it, pray about it, and tomorrow we'll "pick things up" where we left off!

Will you share your priorities?


Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Sarah, this is great! Right after I read this, I left my computer, prayed, read a devotion, read the Bible, and made a list of priorities with some ideas of how to accomplish each. Thank you!!

My priorities are the same as yours - not trying to copy; I just think you have got the right idea.

Maybe a verse for the last one?
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. I love it, and I love coffee, so it's a win win!

Thank you for posting this. I, too, fall short, way short. I keep saying I'm going to do better, but I never put in the work, then I feel bad because I'm never any closer to God. You list is simple, yet profound. Sometimes, I need to see the simple laid out for me so that I can see that it's really not that hard. I make it more difficult than it needs to be.

I've enjoyed my time here and I'll be back. Thank you for your words.

-- Brandi

Katy Lin :) said...

this is such a great idea! thanks for including us! my priorities are also pretty similar to yours, except for number three (since we don't have kids, yet) i put "family/friends/others" i find myself struggling with laziness and wanting to put my "fun stuff" ahead of what i know pleases God and makes my husband and my family feel loved and respected. i'm looking forward to the next 29 days :)

Katharyn said...

I’m a deeply spiritual person, and yet I find myself ignoring my spirituality to get through the busyness of the day, once I stop observing and directly interacting with the divine everything else goes by the wayside and I loose myself.

My health is fickle, and frequently compromised by one thing or another, and being constantly sick but supposedly health is a fast way to depression. I know that when I live a proactive Healthy life style (My husband would say Granola) that my health really does improve, but being that proactive can be daunting at times. A healthy life style isn’t just doing yoga, but eating healthy, and keeping an organized house that’s cleaned without using harsh chemicals.

Marriage (you may think I should have put this first, but when I’m not acting on my Spiritual nature and stop being proactive about my health I lose myself, and if I can’t find myself my husband certainly can’t!)
Paul and I are different in more ways that we are alike, and at times that can make it hard to interact with each other. I want to my husband to know that I’m interested in his life, and for him to think of me as a safe haven when the world if cruel.

All of my life I have wanted to be a wife and mother. Paul and I currently aren’t in a good place to start a family, but I need to keep this goal in mine as we move into the future. How will our current goal and actions effect having a family? How will our life style affect our children?

Over the last few years I have been meeting fewer and fewer of my obligations, saying I’ll be somewhere and then backing out. Stuff happens and sometimes you just can’t stand up to your word, but I feel that backing out of an obligation without a genuine reason is a sin, and upon that reflection I feel deeply ashamed.

Eco Friendly Living
My carbon output will never be zero, and I don’t actually believe in global warming; I do however believe in limited resources, being kind and giving back to the planet, being self sufficient and resourceful. I can’t comprehend long term living with out a recycle bin, a compost pile and a reusable grocery bag (which I was doing long before it became popular, thank you very much – Hey ma, I still have the Safeway bag from the 90’s that fold into a little pouch), but it’s more than that. I believe in using handkerchiefs on a daily bases and tissue only when ill, I believe in cleaning products that could be pored down the drain without consequences beyond wastefulness, in cutting up old socks with holes in them to be use as stuffing in decorative pillows.

Creative Outlet
I’m one of those people who have a craft project in every section of the house, one in the car and one in the office. If I’m not being artistic and creating something I go stir-crazy. It’s recently come to my attention that I need to be doing something more with this creativity, something that at least relates to my career if not becomes my career.

I didn’t go to Secondary School, I’m currently not attending College but I have my GED and I am intelligent person if not filled with typical facts (I think of myself of average intelligence, and am always shocked when proven to be on the higher side of the scale). Refining skills, learning new facts, and questioning information given are all things I think critically important to getting along in the world and being happy with life, but I don’t think going to school is the only way to broaden ones intellectual horizon. (Speaking of, if you see something misspelled or a grammar error on this blog please notes so in the comments so I can fix it. – Thank you)

Physical Appearance (I’m not being shallow here)
I think it’s important to look “your best” on regular bases, but I also think it’s important to clearly define “your best” in healthy terms. Your best has to do with keeping yourself well kept: exfoliating, moisturizing, cleaning your teeth, brushing your hair; and acknowledging your shape and looking at what suites you as you are. I think looking “your best” can greatly improve your self confidence, and that a good self confidence is a key part of happiness. Having expensive hair cuts and designer cloths can be fun and uplifting, but only as a top coat not as a foundation.

I really do think it’s important to be in control of your financial well being. To understand how your bills and paycheck interact with each other, and to acknowledge your financial limitations. It’s surprising how much effort it takes to think of the bills you are going to need to meet between this paycheck and the next one, and what it is that you really want to buy with the money left. But to spend your money wisely, you really do have to pay detailed attention to your checkbook. (I’ve been really bad about this, but I’m working on it).

Blessed Be

Amy said...

I think your list of priorities is excellent. I am going to print myself a list and maybe put this list in a couple of places around the house on sticky notes. I am joining the 31 days a few days late. I saw a link to you on Technique Junkie and have had the post saved on my Google reader until I really had some time to sit and look at your blog. So, I am going to jump in with you!

janellybelly said...

Sarah: You have NO idea how perfect your timing was! My husband and I had a very long talk about our priorities last night and I have been soooo convicted, as you, to get them in the correct order. I agree...it's sooo much easier said then done! I will be praying that we all will be successful with this new commitment! Thanks for the challenge...I'M IN!!!

Love your lazy friend,

Nicole said...

I just found your blog...and since it's the new year, it's perfect timing to get my priorities straight before God. Thank you!

Ashley said...

My priorites are:

1. God - Get up early and have time with Him first thing - Matthew 6:33, Genesis 19:27

2. Michael - Continually show love, honor, and respect through out my day - Ephesians 5:22, Titus 2:3-5

3. Home - Keep home in order and fight laziness - Titus 2:3-5, Proverbs 31:27

4. Outside Ministries - Serve God with my gifts in various ways - 1 Peter 4:10

I love 31 Days to Clean!!!


Lift Up Your Hearts said...

I subscribed to you last week and saw this today - love it! I'll be following along!

oh amanda said...

Finally subscribed to your blog! Saw this on the sidebar and am already convicted/encouraged! Can't wait to read the rest of the 31 days!

Cassandra said...

Thanks for putting together this series! I'm very excited to read through it and have posted about it on my blog.

Thanks again!