Monday, April 19, 2010

Prioritizing the right things

Do you ever feel like your life consists of running from one event to another, even when those events are happening in your own house?  This has definitely been the case for me lately.  Combine the frantic pace of life with strange sleeping patterns, never really seeing my husband (i.e. quality time is sporadic), and the perpetual hormonal roller coaster, and you wind up with a Really Crabby (and Weepy) Amelia.  This has been building in intensity over the past few weeks and finally came to its anvil-cloud condition on Friday when Steve said, "Either you need to start enjoying your every day routines or just quit doing them."


Then the torrent of tears...again.

But he was right and it's true: trying desperately to get things done at the expense of my relationships and my own sanity is plain ol' wrong.  How can God be glorified in my life if I'm not enjoying the life He has graciously given me?  Now I know that sometimes life is busy and we can't help it.  But I knew that this wasn't necessarily the case for me this time around.  Thanks to not attending church on Sunday morning (long convoluted story which I will share sometime) I was actually able to spend some time doing what my soul really needed - reading the Word, praying, worshiping, and seriously evaluating why I do what I do each week.

What I discovered was really interesting:

  1. The actual outside of the house activities (aside from work) don't take more than an hour.  But I am involved in some extra out-of-the-house activity of the week.  Just the act of knowing that I'm going to have to prepare to go somewhere in addition to work really puts pressure on my time.  
  2. I do not prioritize spending time in God's Word each day.  This results in guilt and more time wasted on the computer and then more guilt.  Wonderful.
  3. I don't know how to prioritize my preparation for the outside of the house activities in which I need to participate.  For example, I teach a Bible Club every Thursday afternoon.  Sure, the club itself only takes an hour out of the afternoon, but the preparation takes a good 1-3 hours each week.  The nebulous "must prepare for club" thought haunts me on a daily basis.  
  4. Household responsibilities are maintained, but like the prep for outside of the house activities, there is no set time to accomplish them.  Thus laundry always feels like LAUNDRY and cleaning the kitchen is like a little black rain cloud over my head all day.
Conclusion?  First, I need to have time set aside for reading the Word each morning.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Second, I need to plan specific times to prepare for the extra activities and stick with those planning times.  Third, I need to make sure that I have one day completely free from extra activities - no leaving the house again after work.  Fourth, I need to pinpoint exactly what needs to happen on a daily basis to keep the house going and then STOP when those responsibilities are completed.  Just because I have a spare half-hour between supper and going out to practice music with my family doesn't mean that I have to frantically start reorganizing the basement.

Life really is swell.  It's not how much I'm doing (because in reality I'm not doing that much), but really how I approach activities and responsibilities.  Hopefully a changed attitude toward daily routines (which God will ultimately have to work in my heart) will have a positive effect on my relationships, especially my relationship with Steve.  (Who always seems to be sleeping.  Oh well.  Maybe someday we'll both be awake at the same time again.  Hey, at least he'll be good at getting up in the wee sma's with the Baby.)


Melinda said...

I'm glad God is teaching you this lesson! It's a hard one to learn; G and I are on the tail end (we hope!) of figuring out how to Organize Life in a manageable way. We'll be praying for you. :-)

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