This week is VBS (vacation bible school) week at my church. I had volunteered to help with the music before knowing the dates and it turned out that my husbands birthday is in the middle of it (today, in fact). He had his own gig scheduled at a park this evening and I knew if I went to VBS and he worked all day, we wouldn’t see each other until late tonight. Bummer. Not a cool birthday.
So instead, he took the day off and a friend babysat so we could go golf together and I took the night off from VBS to go to his gig with with girls. Although I felt an eensy weensy bit of guilt bowing out of VBS, I know my hubby is more important. My VBS music partner is more capable than I am anyway and if I wasn’t there to celebrate with my husband, who would be? No one can substitute for me! Spending time as a family tonight to celebrate was more important for us than the girls attending VBS too. They will be able to attend 3 out of 4 nights anyway.
You see, priorities, and knowing what they are, make your decision making a lot easier. It’s taken me a long time to know what is really important and to also act like it. It’s easy to get caught up in other responsibilities or tasks that don’t really mean anything important to you in the end. Then you end up complaining that you don’t have time to do what you say you want to do. Or maybe you say that but really it is only something you think you should do and you only say you want to do it because of that. I used to complain about not being able to do things I enjoyed doing and then I would waste time doing things that didn’t really have any meaning. Like Farmville. Ugh. So embarrassing. Thankfully that didn’t last long!
I did a little thinking a while back and came up with my list of priorities with a little help from some people smarter than me:
#3. My kids
This is how it plays out in my life (or at least how I try to make it play out):
#1-I go to church on Sunday. Every Sunday now unless I am sicker than sick. Colds don’t count. I do this despite the fact that getting everyone out the door in time often leaves me really grumpy and entirely in the wrong mood to go to church. Also, this is why I have committed to helping with music at church until we find a new music director. I would be at church anyway, but for God, I am more than happy to spend time during the week preparing for Sunday and it actually helps remind me of what my 1st priority is anyway. Best. Gig. Ever.
#2- Some women might put their kids before their husband but I think that might be wrong. You see, he came before the kids and he will be there when they leave. You have the children because of your relationship and love for your husband and that relationship should be sustained and fed. I love my husband and want to spend time with him. He’s my favorite person. And when it’s his birthday, that’s more important than other people’s children, so we stay home from VBS to be with him. As it turns out, his gig got cancelled due to weather and we went for ice cream to celebrate instead. 🙂
#3- I work part time. I have always worked full time PLUS a part time job. When I had the twins I went back to work full time very reluctantly. I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work. I was missing out on too much. I was exhausted and unable to enjoy them. So we made adjustments and I left my job and only worked 2 days a week for a year. I have slowly increased my time but I’m staying part time for now. I’m a better person without the pressure of full time work and in turn I can be here with my girls. Besides how else could I capture all the hilarious things they do so I can entertain other people with their antics. It makes all of us more interesting. 🙂
#4- First the question is, WHO is my family? As a Christian, my family is the family of God. So all those people at church? THEY are my family! Even the people I don’t know or can’t remember their names. The ones that have a vastly different background and that I don’t have a lot in common with are also my family. Our faith gives us lots to talk about! They are also part of the reason I decided to get involved in music. Its a wonderful way for me to glorify God, but it is also a way to help others worship. And who else to help in their worship than my family? My parents are also an important part of my family and because they live locally we can be closely involved in each others lives. They watch my girls and they are the girls God-parents. Thankfully we have not had any major problems or crises in my biologic family but if we did, they would come before work or anything else I might have on my calendar. My parents are also welcome to join our household should the need ever arise.
#4-Friends come after family but in my case, my closest friends are also family in Christ. So best of both worlds! I don’t have to choose! When that isn’t the case, then only if all of the above is ok, then I can make a commitment with a friend. And I usually check with my husband first.
#5-so where does everyone else fit in this? Good question! I used to think I had to please everyone. That everyone had to like me. At some point I have come to realize and be ok with the fact that not everyone is going to like me and I don’t have to please everyone. Sometimes other people are just not going to be happy with your decisions and oh well. That usually happens at work. I love my job but sometimes my patients don’t like my decisions and although I include them in decision making, the ultimate decision is mine (although they are always free to say no) and I will do what I feel comfortable with and think is best. If someone isn’t happy with that? Well, so be it. I’m not going to do something that is unethical, uncomfortable or just plain wrong simply because someone else will be unhappy with me. However, because of #1, I also believe that I should be treating others with compassion and extending grace. So I do my work keeping in mind that we are taught to work “as unto the Lord” and I always try to keep #1 in mind as I deal with other people.
I suppose that when some people think of priorities, they have something different in mind. Maybe work would be a separate priority. Maybe something financial would be in there. For me, figuring out WHO is most important guides every other decision I make. I think that makes life more simple. Especially when I have a whole BOOK * I can go to for answers when I don’t have them myself.
Do you have your priorities straight?