Monday, July 5, 2010


With the busy lives most of us live these days it's easy to get our priorities mixed up. Sometimes we get too caught up in things that don't really matter and sometimes, we let things that should be at the top of our list slide to the bottom.

This is my ideal list of priorities:
4)Extended family
6)Everyone else

Often God falls far too low on my list, sometimes I put my child before my husband, and sometimes I put myself before anyone else. I'm not perfect. The above list is simply the order in which I believe my priorities should be and what I strive to.

God must be first. There is a marked difference in every area of my life (especially my marriage) when He is not. This usually ends in some sort of crisis where I am on the floor, crying out to God to come rescue me (not from any danger, just from the frustrations and storms of life). Of course, that still small voice always says, "Hello, I was here all the time." When I spend time with Him daily, I am more at peace, my marriage runs more smoothly, and I'm a better mother.

I asked for some input from other people and most everyone put God at the top of their list. There was some discrepancy, however, when it came to items 2 and 3. Some people listed their husband as #2 and some people listed their child as #2. Several people seemed confused as to why I would put my husband above my son on the list, so I thought I would clarify.

I don't put my husband's basic needs above Kade's. I'm not trying to say that I wait on Michael hand and foot while Kade is starving in the background. I'm not trying to imply that I would save my husband from a burning building before I would save my son.

I do, however, put my marriage above my relationship with my son.

Kade is a helpless baby and really needs me to do most things for him because he cannot do them for himself. Just because Michael can take care of himself doesn't mean I can leave him out in the cold, though. Even when I'm busy with the baby, I try to make a special effort to cook something I know he likes or to write him little love notes or buy him something I know he needs. I married Michael because I love him, not to get a donation so that I could have a son. It's not all over because I got the child that I wanted. It makes me sad when I see people pushing aside their spouses (and often getting divorced) because they now love their child/ren so much more than their spouse. I love my husband and my son in two very different ways, but I definitely don't love Michael any less than I love Kade. Kade is my "best buddy", but Michael is my "best friend". He isn't just some toss-in-the-corner-used-and-once-loved-stuffed-animal. Without him, our family would be broken. He is an integral part. When Kade leaves home, guess who I'm going to be stuck alone with? If I don't make my husband a priority, we won't even know each other in our later years.

Even if a person doesn't have children, doesn't it make sense to put your husband, your partner, before your pets, school, job, etc?

Of course, this is all just my opinion.

My extended family (parents, in-laws, grandparents) are also on my list of priorities. I love them and would do anything they needed, as long as Michael and Kade are taken care of first. I'm living a good example of this right now. My grandmother is very sick and I would love to be there all the time, but sometimes I have to stay home and take care of Kade. I get frustrated that I can't stay with her like everyone else and my mom has to reminds me: "You have a family to take care of now," so I go whenever I can.

I put myself next on the list because if I don't put "me" on my list of priorities, I will not be a happy healthy wife, mommy, daughter, or friend. I have to take care of my body, my spirit, and my mind in order to do everything else well. Sometimes this means doing something that "seems" selfish like getting my hair done (don't say one word, Michael! I will do this soon!), buying a new outfit, or leaving Kade with his grandparents for a few hours while I rest.

I put everyone else last, because, even though I want to put God and my family first, I don't want to forget to take care of others. I definitely don't do this enough. It could be taking a meal to a new mama, volunteering at a food bank, donating blood---any number of things.

Like I said, my priorities are a constant work in progress. I don't always succeed at keeping them in order and sometimes it's an epic fail (As my sister would say. She will love me for including this.) If we don't have some semblance of order, though, our lives will fall apart and the pieces will probably be pretty difficult to put back together.

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