Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keeping up with a Blessed Life

     Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.  Anyone else fall into that category?  Certain times of the year are busier for me than others.  This is one of those times.  School has started back, meetings, horse visits in the evenings, church events, etc.  I have to keep a close reign on my schedule or I will absent-mindedly forget to do something.  I completely forgot to go to a meeting Monday night because I wasn’t being careful.  I have to make sure my priorities are straight and that I am organized.  How do I decide what events to do and when I can participate?
     I read a book long ago when my daughter was a baby about time management.  It was called “The Family Manager” by Kathy Peel.  It was a Christian wife/mother self-help book and it was a great tool for taking my job seriously as a stay-at-home mom.  It taught me that my job wasn’t to just be at home, but to make that home a comfort zone for my family.  In order to do that, I was going to have to break a sweat and use my brain.  Something I had not considered when I quit my job, I thought I was going to be bored.  Twelve and a half years later I can see that was a huge misperception.

     That book also had a helpful chart to show me how to prioritize my life.  I have tried to remember it ever since and live my at-home life accordingly.  Basically it was this:  God, husband, children, family, work, friends, me, community.  If I remember the order of these priorities in my life it helps me to say no when needed.  It’s not always easy to tell someone no, but I know that if I adhere to my plan, I am practicing self-control and I am pleasing the Lord.  I was reading Nehemiah this morning and came across some scripture.  Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem according to God’s plan, when his enemies sent him an invitation. 
“Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.”
     I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this:  “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down.  Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you:”

       Now I know that most of us aren’t going to get phone calls from our enemies, inviting us out to dinner.  I guess if we do, we should set up time in our priority list and pencil “dinner with enemies” into our calendar.  We are supposed to love them, right?  However, more than likely invites will be from people we know and like.  Nehemiah knew where his priorities were though, and wasn’t willing to stop and do something that would get in the way of that.  He probably was curious to see what they were up to and might have wanted to go and find out, but he told them his priority was to the work he was doing for God and they would have to wait.

     I know that God never wants me to neglect the people in my life.  I pray that I will be able to please Him in the way I schedule my days.  I pray that He will bless me when I keep my integrity and guidelines I have set for myself in order to know when to say yes and when I should say no, or let’s reschedule for a later time.  I believe I am home most days ministering to my children and being a helpmate to my husband because they are near the top of my list right after God.  Peace abounds when I am doing what I believe is right.