In this busy world we live in, it is easy to get distracted from a long to-do list, with people needing part of your brain, heart, and energy stretched in various directions. It is easy to mix up priorities, and not put the right things in the right places.
If you are overwhelmed, stressed, tired, lonely, sad, worried, angry, or anything else that you don’t want to be, I have a solution.
Make sure your priorities stay in the following order:
1. GOD 2. OTHERS 3. SELF
Putting -and more importantly keeping- God at the top of your list ensures all other things fall into place. It does not, however, ensure that there will not be hardship. There will, in fact, be stressful times financially, emotionally, and physically. Disease may sneak up on you. Extreme sadness may lurk behind closed doors. Give these burdens you carry to God, and let him take over.
Putting others second means that God receives the glory he deserves, and the proper attention is on your family and children, friends, extended family, etc. May I emphasize that it should be spouse then children. Not the other way around. If your relationship with your spouse is not strong, what kind of message are you sending to your children?
I remember any time I was feeling homesick while away at college (it didn’t last long, once I settled in) my mom would tell me her cure-all. “Find someone who you can serve,” she’d say. “But Mom, I don’t want to find someone to serve. I want someone to think of me and serve ME!” I’d often reply. I do have to say she was right; It is always a nice thing to serve your neighbors, friends, and enemies. God wants us to get involved with one another, worship with one another, spend time together. You are not alone in this life, even if something you are experiencing makes you feel that way. That’s a lie, and the enemy wants you to feel as alone and miserable as possible.
Putting God and others before your own needs is important, but make sure there is a balance. Do not spend all of your energy on others, leaving you to not take proper care of yourself. If your hygiene or emotions start to slip, it could be a warning sign that you are not properly balancing your priorities.
To the mothers I know, you do a wonderful job with your children and your family, running a household while your husband is deployed or at work, and carrying on with a career. I don’t know how you do it, but I do know that I see some of you not taking time for Y-O-U. Whether it’s a weekly nail appointment, a Friday night bath and cup of hot tea, or fifteen minutes of time with God, I ask that you communicate with your loved ones that you need this time.
Although God and others should be first, it will be easier to fully give them your attention and energy when you take care of yourself. Each of the three are co-dependent upon one another.
So take care of yourself, love your “others”, but most importantly, put God in the center of your life, and you will be beautifully blessed.
That is my prayer, that you find the balance you are looking for, and that God walks with you along the way.
In the sweet and holy name of Jesus, amen.