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:
- God’s daughter – submitted, obedient and loved.
- Brian’s wife – encouraging, supportive, offering respect and affirmation.
- 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.
- 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.