Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A little Grace, A lot of Priorities

These last few days have been those that I've caught myself running in circles, even much more than normal.  I can remember several times I stopped in a room without a single clue of how I got there or what I was intending to do.  Though I've been busy and unable to REALLY relax in the past days because of so many demands or people needing me to do something, I've been OK.  Being busy doesn't bother me AS LONG AS I'M ORGANIZED.  Fortunately that has been the case.  Unfortunately that hasn't been the case! 

I seem to have covered the main bases, but failed at some of the little details.  I managed to keep the house presentable (with lots of help from Kevin and Adriana), but today I really noticed "piles" adding up in corners and it began to really get me down.   Books are overtaking every corner of OUR bedroom----our haven from reality.  MUST get a grip on that NOW!  When Kev and I close the door at night, it is time to shut off the rest of the world and focus on each other.  A bit hard to do that when stacks of school supplies, books, bills, and "reality" are lurking around!  I also found myself standing in the kitchen this morning cooking breakfast to discover AFTER the milk was completely heated that we didn't have a grain of sugar to finish making cream of wheat (my boys ABSOLUTE favorite----I was trying to earn brownie points and start the day with extra smiles!).  Instead of "hero" status, I got the "mom you messed up" speech.  That milk became hot chocolate since I couldn't think of anything else to do with it and breakfast became straight from the can biscuits.  FAIL!  Yet, everyone survived.  No one starved.  Fortunately, my sweet friend showed up with a bag of sugar when she picked up her little one.  Her sweet gesture might just put me back in the running tomorrow for "brownie points"----just maybe!   It has been one after another on the little "fails"....and keeping my heart in check in the process has been tough. 

The point is:  I can't do it all.  My perfectionism has to be tossed away.  I don't earn my way to heaven by acts of service.  I don't lose the love of God by not getting everything right.  My husband doesn't love me less if he has to dig through a basket of socks because they didn't get matched up.  My children don't love me less if they have to eat "fake" biscuits instead of something they like better.  THOSE are demands I put on myself.  Demands that I've noticed other friends putting on themselves as well.  I say this:  it's time to STOP putting so much darn pressure on ourselves to live "perfectly".  GRACE.  Grace!!!! 

Something else that is extremely important is defining priorities.  After you define the priorities, you HAVE to put your focus on them.  Otherwise, they don't remain your priority. 

I saw that in FULL visibility this week.  Our schedules are a bit completely over packed this week.  Because of that, Kevin and I had to make absolutely sure that we put in extra effort to make sure that we maintained that our priority was each other.  It meant sacrificing at times.  We had to say no to some things and we had to go out of our way to "speak" each other's love languages to make sure there was no doubt where we stood with each other.  I didn't want to go out on our date night because I was tired, emotional, and just stretched too thin.  He made me.  It was worth it.  We reconnected our focus and had the chance to  really talk about some things that were well overdue.   Had he not made me follow through on our commitment to one night out at week, I would have lost out on that great opportunity to hear his heart and express some of what was in mine.  The last several nights it has been after 9 before we have been in the same place for more than 3 minutes.  It has meant that the nights I was gone, he worked diligently to accomplish as many household tasks as he could so that when I got home I could focus on him.  On the nights he was gone, it meant I did as many of his "typical" things as I could, had as much of my school work for the next day done, and put my list away when he got home and turned my attention to him.  Priorities.  Without them, I know we would have crashed and burned this week with all that we have going on that we are trying to balance.  Fortunately, once we are through with tonight, our schedules return to a bit less craziness and normalcy returns.  Thank goodness!

Perfectionism.  Throw it out the window and embrace grace.  Priorities:  stick with them.  Make sure that you follow through!  They are worth it.

By the way----hopefully this post will encourage someone.  Hopefully it will inspire me on another day when I've lost track of my priorities or when I've forgotten the power of grace and perfectionism has overtaken.  I'm sure it won't take long to need to reread these words myself.  Maybe even by tomorrow or even later tonight.  :) 

Grace.  Priorities. 

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