I've been studying a book called "Small Changes for a Better Life" by Elizabeth George. In the second chapter (which I've read so far four times because I need it a lot!) She talks about prioritizing our life! As I said before I have been trying to really study Proverbs 31 and this book poises a questions that I've been pondering. Was the Proverbs 31 woman a wonder woman, superhero, or was she just like all of us moms a busy woman! I think she was just busy, although I do wonder how she did it all??? It all boils down to priorities. She knew what she needed to get done to please the Lord and that is what she did. Elizabeth George breaks it down to three basic things: Put God first, Serve others, and then Take care of yourself. I have heard it First God, than others, than me! But how? That's what I asked. How do I practice what I know? Well, through this study I've learned some things that have helped me. I am in no way perfect and have not figured it all out, but daily I practice and daily I see changes.
First God. Well, we need to realize that everything we do ultimately is for God. E.George says, "Understanding that I am to do all things in Him and through Him and for Him and unto Him gives my every day and every act of my every day an upward focus." (p.24) Focusing on God in everything seems somewhat hard at first. How do I fold clothes for God. Well, we must realize that as a mom taking care of our house is what God desires of us. One way to focus on God is to make sure that every day we include Him in our life. We do this by reading our Bible, doing devotions, and praying. I even include singing (because I love to sing to Him and the Bible tells us to sing to Him). We must daily decide to do these things because the devil doesn't want us to and he will put things (busy things, good things) in our way so that we will loose our focus.
Second we need to serve others. Who are the others that we serve. Well, God, our husbands, our children, and then other people that we are friends with or just meet! E. George suggests that we plan out how we will do these things. I am not good at keeping planners, so although at first I attempted to do this I switched to making lists. Those are easier for me, but you do what works for you! Write each person you are to serve down and what you will do for them. It could be as simple as Husband: wash tee-shirts to elaborate as neighbor: fix dinner for them and have it there by 5:30pm. I don't know what it is that you want to do or need to do, but do it!! How do we get this all done. By prioritizing our days. Taking out things we don't need like TV and (guilty look) facebook!! Do something everyday to serve others.
The last thing is to take care of ourselves. Well, when I first studied this I thought, yea right! After all the other things I have to do to serve others, when will I have time to do that. Well then I figured out what it means. It doesn't mean to lay around "resting" while eating ice cream and watching a show on TV. It does mean exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep. (I'm still working on the last thing due to the fact my 3month old doesn't seem to know how much sleep I need!! LOL!!) One thing we need to realize is that taking care of yourself is different from being selfish. E. George says, "Selfishness is self-indulgence, self-serving, and self-focus, which hinders our service to God and others. Tending to yourself, however, enhances and strengthens your service to God and others." (p. 26) We take care of ourselves so that we don't get burnt out and not have the strength to serve God and others!
So, do we need to be wonder woman to carry out all that God has for us. NO! If we did, none of us would succeed! We do however need to learn to live with priorities in place that help us to accomplish all that God has for us. We do everything EVERYTHING for the glory of God. Proverbs 31:30 says, "A woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised!" We can do it! And in the end the Bible tells us that God will praise us! What an awesome and aw inspiring thought! Just think that if we do it the way God wants us to and for Him, He will praise us. Makes me want to do some dishes (okay maybe I'm not jumping up and down to do them, but I have a better attitude anyway).