The Reality of Living Out Priorities

Last March, I attended a retreat with Ruth in Minnesota. During a scheduled quiet time, we went off to separate corners and journaled. Later that night, or maybe it was the next morning, it all runs together now (we didn’t sleep much that weekend), we shared what God had put on our hearts during that quiet time.

Priorities. Even though it was unrelated to the suggested questions to ponder, we were both led to make a list of our own individual priorities.

Here’s what I wrote:

  1. God’s daughter – submitted, obedient and loved.
  1. Brian’s wife – encouraging, supportive, offering respect and affirmation.
  1. Mom to my sons – loving, guiding, serving and equipping them to be who God called them to be; giving them full freedom to be who He designed them to be.
  1. Ruth’s ministry partner/Awaken-Love.

During that journaling time, I boiled everything down to this:

Obedience = Being who I am created to be.

Part of me being who I am created to be is living in God’s presence, part of it is claiming my many roles in life without apology and part of it is sharing an uncomfortable story of my past that ultimately points to God’s power, love, healing and forgiveness. Essentially, I have the honor of telling others who God is in all that I do.

Scanning my journal, I wrote about priories again and again after the retreat. It should be no surprise that the topic has resurfaced recently, too. With my son’s emergency surgery in November and my husband’s ongoing recovery from an injury in December, I’ve found my time invested in caring for my family more and more. This comes at a time when my husband’s work demands naturally increase for several months. We were already preparing for his “busy season” to cycle though our home. Plus, our sons’ educational needs are changing and requiring more of my time. This storm of changing circumstances naturally brings examining priorities back into view.

Numerous times I have counseled women that they may need to say no to good things, even really great and important things, for a season to keep their priorities, well…priorities. Now is a time that I need to live out that advice. It has quickly become evident that keeping my young family in it’s appropriate spot on my priority list requires some changes.

My margin for ministry work has reduced for this season. Thus, I need to redefine my involvement so that my priorities stay in order and move more of my time back to the home front for however long God leads. Make no mistake, I am by no means saying good-bye to Awaken-Love. I love the Awaken-Love ministry and seeing God transform women and marriages has expanded my understanding of His power and increased my trust in Him. Even though I will not be on the front lines, I will continue to teach, speak, write on the blog occasionally and be a frequent sounding board for Ruth.

I know from experience that living out my priorities requires sacrifice, but I also know that it leads to abundant joy and blessings. The sweetest place to be is wherever God calls you to be – regardless of what that looks like. I pray that you are encouraged to keep your priorities priorities and bravely embrace any changes that God puts on your heart, too.

Comments 5

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Melanie! I love reading your blogs, but am happy to read less of them if it means you are choosing your “best yes” during this season. As someone who herself has been going through a season of health complications, I recognize how challenging it can be to juggle everything, and applaud your willingness to accept that in this season things may not go quite as they “normally” would. But with God at your side all is well! Praying for you and your family as you wait out the storm together with Him.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. We recently went through a difficult time in our home with our children’s poor choices and my wife’s call to lead the women’s group at church taking up a lot of her free time. Our intimate time suffered dearly put we made it through the challenges and last Saturday night we got back on track. It would be great to hear, when you have time, your experience in this busy season of life and how you manage your time and intimate relationship with your husband. Wish you the best and blessings from heaven.

      • Bezzy, that’s a great idea for a future blog post. My husband and I have found that our relationship cannot thrive without us having quality connection. What that looks like and how much time can be devoted to it changes in different seasons, but it remains a constant priority (or at times feels like a constant struggle to make happen). I wrote a little bit about that previously: I’m glad you and your wife are back on track! Blessings on your marriage and your family.

    • Thank you for your encouragement and prayers Whitney. I like the idea of my “best yes” during this season. I pray that your health complications are resolved and the new growth you have been rewarded with on the other side of this trial brings you great joy.

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