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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Making Our Priorities A Reality

Do you feel like a failure when it comes to keeping your priorities straight...everyday...

consistently. You are not alone!

I have been the queen of making up schedules only to falter within the first week of implementing them. I stink at schedules. I rationalize that I just cannot and should not be scheduled. Hmmm...what does the bible say about this?

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time for the days are evil..." Ephesians 5:15,16 (I think I have a little club by this name...)

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

So, our time, and what we do with it, is pretty important, and 24 hours is all we get! Speaking of 24 hours, you absolutely must order this CD right now:

It's $10 and it comes with worksheets (including priority planning sheets with thorough suggestions). Stop reading...purchase! (No, I'm not getting any money from it.) A wise Titus 2 woman sent it to me recently and it is good.

Okay, where were we. Oh yes, actually taking our priorities from "in theory" to reality. That's tough, but it is not impossible.

"I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

If we truly believe that God commands us to use our time wisely, we must persevere in our time management. Scheduling our time and keeping our priorities straight will keep us focused, sane, disciplined, and obedient. But where do we begin? Let's start with scripture!

(I personally felt led to Titus 2:4,5)

My Titus 2:4,5 Priority List

Love my husband (this is first)
  • Love my children

  • Be sensible (show wisdom, have common sense, be practical, functional and aware - no checking out!)

  • Be pure/discreet

  • Be a worker at home

  • Be kind

  • Be subject to my husband

  • The two things I noticed right off the bat were A.) my husband must come before my children or my housework, and B.) It all comes back around to how I relate with/treat my husband! Before I can even move on to anything else, I need to make him a priority. And let's be honest, our men really don't require that much, yet many of us still put the poor fellows on the back burner. A little physical attention and a good dinner and their pretty much good to go!

    Okay, before you say anything, yes, God ultimately comes first ("Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:36-38). The fact is, without putting God first, we really can't do anything else...well, that is. However, part of putting God first is obeying His order of things; following His ways, not ours.

    Ooh, that's hard too (darn losing self!).

    Before I continue on and on (which I could easily do - hello, that's why I do series!) let's take some time to work on our priorities. Since you ordered the above CD (what? You haven't done that yet? What are you waiting for?!) don't worry if you have any trouble with this task, you can come back to it or revise it later. I will give you a little hint though on what Susan (the speaker on the CD) recommends working on when it come to prioritizing (you can get the whole list on the CD):

    Essential Must Do's (Essential to Godly, healthy (spiritually and physically) human existence)

    Example: Frequent time in personal, intimate fellowship with God through prayer and quality time in His Word, sharing intimate thoughts with spouse and children regarding God and the work He is doing in your lives, world, in general, training children in cheerful, Godly obedience, Adequate night sleep, etc.

    Very Important Should Do's (Very important for God-pleasing human existence, dependent upon regular performance of essentials)

    Example: Teaching your children practical skills necessary for God-honoring, regular assembling together with other believers for corporate worship and spiritual encouragement, responsible living, maintaining a consistently clean and orderly atmosphere in your home, hospitality, etc.

    Could Do's (Non-essential in most cases, but can be edifying and God-honoring if time remains)

    Example: Lessons for children (music, art, etc.), Group bible studies, family excursions several times a year, etc.

    Would Like To Do's (Activities are fun, relaxing, enjoyable, exciting, etc. but really are unnecessary for God-honoring living)

    Example: Participating in your favorite hobby, belonging to clubs or organizations, etc.

    I think that's enough for today.

    Maybe next week's MMM could be us linking up with our priorities? What do you think?

    Enjoying this series? Subscribe here!


    His Honeybee said...

    Okay, you are a pro at this whole blogging thang! : } This is great, and I know tomorrow will also be! If I email you, would you share some tips about how you grew your blog? You seem to be a wealth of useful information. :D
    Safe in Him,

    Kat said...

    You had me at the first senetence. I'm a scheduler, but can easily get off schedule. And I quote Proverbs 31:27 all the time! And that CD looks very interesting. I must check into it...also, love your 31 Days to Clean picture/button in the left sidebar. Cuuuuute. I remember that series back when you first started your blog :)

    sexy said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Anne Basso said...

    Excellent advice. But I noticed the cute little picture that says we only get 24 hours. Are you sure about that? I read the blogs of some moms who seem to get so much done, I wonder if perhaps they didn't get just a few more hours that I did for the day.

    Granted, I'd probably use those hours to catch up on my sleep....

    Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

    thanks for the 24 hr recommendation...i'm looking it up now...

    Muthering Heights said...

    This is a great series, Sarah...even someone who feels that she "has it all together" needs to continually check her priorities! :)

    Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

    Great post! This helps give me a clearer picture of priorities. And I am falling short right at the start - starting the day with the Lord!

    MomE said...

    You might want to link the book to the grace and truth website...cuz I had to google it to find it and that was sort of a pain. However, I do have it ordered now...so thanks for the info.! Have a great day!!

    Sarah Mae said...

    MomE - thank you! I thought I had linked to it - it is now all linked up!


    TinkerBelle said...

    Thank you for this post! It was a great wake up call for me, I needed the reminder that we do only get 24 hours and God doesn't want us to waste our time idlely. I easily get off task and schedule really easily, now I just need to make a schedule and stick to it!

    Bonita said...

    I can prioritize and schedulize with the best of them. Keeping those priorities and schedules are a whole other issue. I will say, though, that in recent weeks I've made real headway in making sure my man is at the top of the list both on paper and in my actions. PTL!

    Reborn said...

    I just created a new schedule for myself on Sunday... and I've already failed miserably! I feel like I'm not only eating the bread of idleness, but also the cupcakes, and muffins, and cinnamon rolls of idleness too...

    I get de-railed if I don't do everything perfectly, exactly as scheduled, and I never can figure out how to get back on track before the day (or week) is over.

    It's hard for me to see the little ways in which I'm progressing (i.e. "even though I didn't finish XYZ, at least I exercised and had Bible time three days in a row!") and stay motivated even though it seems like I'm failing to accomplish most of my goals on a regular basis.

    Mrs. Trixi said...

    Oh, Sarah Mae, your wisdom is astounding and I so needed this today. Thank you.

    Amanda Jo said...

    Oh I am SO loving this series! You should write a book on putting Biblical Womanhood into daily practice! I'd buy it!

    Anonymous said...

    Love it!

    I'm with Honeybee....what's your secret to being able to blog so much and about so much? I want to write like everyday, but I find myself running out of ideas to blog about. :(

    Anonymous said...

    Sarah Mae,

    If you follow these precepts all of your life, you will find at the end of it not a perfect trouble free life, but a blessed one. When you fail, get right back up, repent and start all over again with God's grace to do the very things that He wants you to do. You will not ever be sorry.

    Composing Hallelujahs said...

    now THAT is some good food for thought!

    i definitely think my "could-do's" have been closer to the top of the list than they should be :)

    Tiffany said...

    I'm not a scheduler at all. I've tried. I've failed. I do routines. But lately, I've been trying to multi-task way too much. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. I get a lot done, but I'm feeling overwhelmed and fractured.

    Debbie said...

    I LOVE making my schedules. Hate sticking to them rigidly... But it takes practice and you're so right about prioritizing. It helps to take stock regularly of this to make sure priorities are lined up with God's heart for us. Great encouragement here!!!

    Lady-in-the-Making said...

    I'm sure this is a hypersensitive reaction on my part but I just wanted to share this....

    This is an excerpt from the description for the 24 Hour CD:

    Do you find there just aren’t enough hours in a day? Many home-educating mothers wind up frustrated or burned out because there simply isn’t enough time for everything.

    Sadly, some of us aren't home-educating mothers or homemakers. We DESIRE to be, but for various reasons, we cannot. :(

    Sarah Mae said...


    The tips on the CD will still be helpful, although you are right, it is aimed towards homemakers. I don't want to be trite, but I will say that if you desire to stay home, keep praying and hoping and working towards it! Your heart is already there and the Lord knows it. Persevere friend...you have a cheerleader right here! :)

    Lady-in-the-Making said...

    Thank you so much, Sarah Mae! I was honored you read my blog.

    I am hoping/praying and believing it will happen someday soon! :)

    Keowdie said...

    I just ordered my CD and am counting the days till its arrival.

    I've had a growing sense of worry about the upcoming summer - my first at home with my boys. I have many worries about this (read: almost paralyzed with fear) and my greatest concern is scheduling, routines and fitting in everything I want to do.

    I think this will really get me off on the right foot! Thank you!

    Jacque said...

    I love this CD. It is life-changing. We just don't hear the things that are said on it from many other sources - things that need to be said.
    I haven't listened to it in its entirety for a few years. I think I will get it out and listen to it again! Tomorrow though - we are going out for Jocelyn's birthday tonight!
    Speaking of which - TIME FLIES SO FAST - you really do need to make the most of it! soon your Littles will be 18, and you will wonder where all that time went!
    Have a great weekend!