Priorities

2 Mar

Like I posted a week or so ago, I created a schedule to organize my free time. Days upon days of having nothing that I have to do are piling up and I want to put them to good use, as well as make sure that I’m not neglecting anything that I should be doing (like editing the curriculum I volunteered for) in order to the things that I’d rather be doing (like reading and working on my book). The interviews I had on Friday and Monday kind of messed up my schedule but I’m slowly getting back on track.

[Side note: Both interviews went fairly well but I heard back from the one on Friday already – they went with someone else. The company I interviewed with on Monday is doing more interviews this week and next week and then are going to call people back in for 2nd interviews. So while I wait, I’m going to get back into the unemployed groove.]

While my free time schedule addresses the big things related to my career goals, it doesn’t address everyday things, like exercise, food, time with the hubby, etc. I have more things that I want to get done in a day than I can possibly do. After I found out about my rejection on Monday, I took Katy on a walk and was telling God that I wasn’t as excited about writing as I had been before the interviews because I felt slightly overwhelmed with all the ambitions I had. Getting a job would have given me an excuse to not achieve those ambitions – at least, not any time soon. Now that at least one job was out of the picture, all those ambitions came screaming back and I felt like I had to scramble into productivity or else something bad would happen.

Then I remembered something that Gary and Betsy Ricucci, the couple who presented the marriage conference at our church, said. Betsy seemed to be a lot like me, with her to-do lists and efficiency mode. She also seemed to me like me in that her ambitions often overwhelmed her. Whenever she got frazzled, Gary would ask her, “Betsy, do you really believe that God has given you more to do than you can handle?” Of course, the answer was no.

As I asked myself that question, and discovered with a joyful heart that indeed the answer was no, I was overwhelmed with God’s goodness. He doesn’t expect more from me than He knows I can give. He is utterly realistic about what I am capable of. And He will accomplish His purposes even with my meager efforts. For the rest of our walk, I felt like I was walking on air.

So how do I decide what to do everyday? Part of it is taking each day one task at a time. If there’s something I know needs to be done, and I’m at a good spot to do it, I do it then and don’t worry about what will come next until I have to. Then I take enough time between tasks to ask both God and myself, what is the next most important task or thing to do? Sometimes it’s just reading a book. Other times, it’s finishing that project I’ve been putting off for weeks.

But the main way I decide what I should do with my time is my priorities. I start with the most important and go on down the line, so if some things don’t get done in a day, they weren’t the most important ones anyway. So here are my priorities:

1. God.

The first thing I do every morning is spend time with God through reading the Bible and praying. God is my greatest good and He deserves to get my first attention every day. My desire to know God more also influences my other priorities, in that they are bound up in pleasing and obeying God, as well as wanting my time to be well spent.

2. Husband.

Over the past couple of weeks, God has really convicted me of my role as a wife – not only in the context of submission, but also in serving my husband. This priority has many implications. I make an intentional effort to provide Travis with lunches and have dinner ready when he gets home (or at least be ready to start it). I also am making exercise and eating right a priority because I see how the way I feel about myself physically affects how much I want to be close to Travis – and since physical touch is his main love language, I am loving Travis by taking care of myself. Additionally, I keep up on laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, dishes, and different errands for Travis.

3. Fellowship.

God has also convicted me that relationships with other believers aren’t just nice – they’re necessary. So I try to be intentional about getting together for coffee with a couple ladies every week, to talk about God and encourage one another. I also make it of utmost priority to attend our weekly care group and women’s meetings, as well as my women’s book study once a month.

4. Friendships.

Travis and I are trying to be more intentional with inviting our friends (believing and unbelieving) as well as people we would like to get to know out to dinner, either at our house or out. We are getting better at this but still have a lot of improvement we can make.

5. Writing.

I feel like this time in my life, sans job, is a very unique opportunity I have to pursue my dream of being a writer. So I’m taking it seriously and may need to cull some lower priorities in order to devote more time to this than I currently am. This also involves blogging, because the book project is very long, and not so much writing down my current thoughts as sifting through old ones.

6. Jobs.

Even though the unemployment office probably will never check how many jobs I apply for because they’re so backed up, I want to be honest about how many jobs I apply for. So I am trying to keep up with the quota of 5 a week – although that is definitely easier said than done, mostly because there aren’t that many jobs out there in a particular field.

7. Editing curriculum.

I’m not totally convinced that I want to continue with this volunteer opportunity. But I am committed to what I have right now, so I do need to keep working on it.

8. Everything else.

There are definitely times and places for fun – like going to a used bookstore (which Travis and I did last weekend), shopping at an antique mall or thrift store, going hiking, watching TV, painting my nails, doing crafts and other projects, etc. The best approach to these is do them with someone else, so that I’m growing my friendships while also doing things I enjoy. 😉

So there you have it folks – what my life looks like right now.

 

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