We will start our our guest posts with a good topic for the new year. Sue Hooley shares with us what she has learned about priorities.
Busyness versus Priorities
By Sue Hooley
Have you ever secretly wished for a brief ailment so that you could rightfully enjoy a good book, a warm blanket and a steaming cup of tea?
I love living a full productive life. It is invigorating and satisfying. On the other hand, it seems that busyness can grip my life and wear me down. Sometimes this happens so gradually that I barely recognize the change. Instead of being energized by my schedules and activities, I feel imprisoned to them. So effortlessly, busyness can shift from being a blessing to being a burden.
There is a faulty concept that more things, more commitments, more everything is always better. However, a constant state of busyness can generate intense levels of stress on the brain, causing distraction, failure to focus and a loss of productivity. God created us to endure a certain amount of daily pressure, but if we constantly push our limits, the impact of continual stress can affect us physically and mentally.
Is there a formula for balancing busyness and priorities? People, schedules and circumstances are always changing and it is a continual challenge to find the right balance. We need to spend time with our family and we must keep up the house. We try to stay involved at church and be sensitive to the needs of others. Donna Otto, in Get More Done in Less Time, gives a simple list of several areas for which only a homemakers is responsible.
- I am personally responsible for my relationship with God.
- I am my husband’s wife. He will have other friends, but I am the only one that will love and care for him as his wife.
- I am my child/children’s mother. Others will influence him/her, but only I can give a mother’s love and care.
- I am the one responsible to manage and direct the daily functions of my household.
This list of priorities has been an excellent reference point for me and it has helped me to look at matters more factually. If I don’t have a regular time with God, it is hard to grow spiritually. I might want to go yard-saling, but if the week has been hectic I probably shouldn’t. This list of priorities helps me remember that my husband and children enjoy my full attention and the smooth rhythm of daily living even if they don’t say so.
Balancing these priorities takes commitment but it gives you a clearer perspective on life. Priorities become a reference point as you consider how much you should extend yourself beyond family responsibilities. As we go about our daily tasks there are many opportunities to serve God through the normal things we do. If we are “up-to-date” with our priorities, likely we’ll be quicker to sense the needs of others.
Be assured the opportunities God sends your way will be apportioned to your abilities and your stage of life.
In the next post Sue will share with us some specifics on each of the four priorities of a homemaker.
Sue Hooley, wife of Dan and mom to six children ages 4-20 is a Mennonite homemaker in Washington state. After several years of motherhood and homemaking, she developed a Daily Planner that is perfect homemakers. www.homemakersfriend.com