I found this post in a draft folder I wrote in 2016. My life has changed a lot since I wrote this originally, but I still need to heed this reminder in my life today. As you read this post, I challenge you to think about ways that you can make yourself a priority:
Life is demanding isn’t it?
So many things compete for our time and attention. Everyday is a struggle between tasks, passions, and priorities. Some days we win and find time to do something we love and other days we have to dig ourselves out of piles of expectations just to go to sleep at night. One of the biggest battles we face in this world is making decisions.
As Christians we understand the impact that each decision can have on our destiny and our lives, but sometimes we lose sight of that when it comes to the day-to-day. We get that God calls us to read our Bible, but that doesn’t always happen. We understand that God calls us to do great things for Him, but maybe we will start that tomorrow. We know that the passions God has placed on our hearts are for a purpose, but do we really pursue them as God intended?
In my personal quest to find balance in my life as a Christian, wife, mother, and full-time teacher I’ve come to recognize that the answer is to make time for ME. It may sound selfish, but if I am not taking time to listen to the heart of God and pursue the desires he put in my heart then I am not fulfilling my purpose and I am left feeling empty. I could fill my schedule with every good intention, but unless I am able to take some time each day and focus on myself and who I am in God it is almost impossible to live in alignment with God’s Word.
Without that daily time for me I can end up just rushing through everything in life so that it can become an item checked-off the to-do list. I miss opportunities that God may be giving me each day to impact other’s for Him. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to be my first priority. Before anything or anyone else I need to focus on me. I’ve been at it for a few years to find a pattern for myself that works. I’m not going to say that everyday I get it right, but I’ve made exponential progress in the area of reclaiming myself on the priority list. If you are like me and struggle to find that time to yourself everyday here are a few ideas for getting this time.
- Create a Prayer Journal– It’s really a two for one. You get to focus on you and your relationship with God. Some days I find myself willing to set apart time with God, but losing the focus of that time. My mind can start off in the right place, but wander toward other things if I’m not careful. One thing I’ve found to be helpful is keeping a prayer journal. Each morning I wake up and go to my quiet place in the house where I am out of reach from anyone else. I lose the distractions and I talk to God. For me, I also have a passion for writing and I am most focused when I am able to write to God so that’s what I do. Maybe you want to type to God, or sing to God, or maybe even dance. Whatever God has gifted you with do that for his glory. Find a consistent pattern for alone time and do what you do without distractions.
- Escape if you need to– Sometimes getting alone means getting out of the house. If that is necessary then do it. I have spent plenty of time alone at a coffee shop. It took me a while to realize that it was okay to do this. I’m not abandoning my family by leaving for an hour every week I’m just rediscovering me. If you need to, find a babysitter to take the kids periodically so that you can make this time work. Make it a priority. Schedule it in your planner. Own this time for you! And you will thank yourself later.
- Exercise– Sometimes exercise is the best mental health practice one can partake in. Not only does exercise make us feel better, but it increases our energy for the day. If we find time to exercise we feel more accomplished and the to-do lists lose some of their control over us. Also, while you are exercising it is a great time to be in communication with God. I enjoy strength training and running. While doing these workouts I listen to uplifting music which point me toward my relationship with God. Although my heart rate is speeding up my thoughts are slowing down. I find exercise to be a great medicine for both the soul and body.
How else can you make yourself your first priority?
The Ameri Brit Mom