Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Picking Up the Plates

As a mother, I seem to be doing the plate balancing act that you see Asian acrobats do...all those plates spinning on top of sticks...they run around keeping each plate spinning fast enough that it doesn't fall off the stick, but if they let up for just one minute, the plates come crashing down all around them....
It doesn't take much to get distracted, an illness, a vacation, rainy weather, sunny weather...and before I know it, all my plates are crashing around me and life just plain gets messy.
Today, I'm picking up my plates and getting them spinning again...Lord Willing! Over the past couple of months, our family has had a bad cold run through ALL the kids, I got two colds almost back to back, plus Esther ended up with pneumonia...add to that springtime projects and a camping trip, you get burn out...that's just where I've been this week, but today I woke up refreshed at 5 am, and ready to start fresh!
But where to start...there's so many things screaming for my attention....priorities...that's what are my priorities?
1 - Nurturing my relationship with my loving Heavenly Father, this means getting up early enough to spend time with him every morning!
2 - Nurturing my relationship to my dear husband...this means getting up with him in the morning to have some one on one time and help him get his meals together.
3 - Guarding my health (and my family's health)...this means getting up early to exercise, and trying to make healthy choices in my eating/meal planning. I remind try to remind myself that I want to be an awesome grandma, and that means investing in my health today...
4 - Nurturing my children - this means getting up early so I can wake them up and help them meet their responsibilities in the morning, and staying involved throughout the day
5 - Making my home an oasis for my family...this means delegating where ever possible, so we all share the load, but also putting my organizational skills to work regularly to keep my home running smoothly and looking nice.
6 - Nurturing family relationships and good friendships...this means keeping my "to do" list short enough that I actually have time for friends, and being the one to make the calls to connect...
7 - Making memories...this one I have learned through the losses in my life (my niece Leah, and my nephew James), that when all is said and done, it's not the everyday things that stick in your memory, or even the holidays (they seem to all blend into each other), but it's the special times that make lasting memories (camping, picnics, hikes, projects). This is so hard when the day to day of life makes it seem like you can never get away from the everyday routine...but it's so rewarding when you do!
There are so many other things that fit into those priorities, and there are so many other "good" things I would love to do, but so often I have to choose to not do those "good" things so that the "better" and "best" things get done...
So, how do you know what choices to make each day to make the most of the time given?
"Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation; For you I wait all the day" Psalm 25:4-5
I need to put God first, and prayerfully start each day, asking for wisdom to listen to that "small quiet voice" of the Holy Spirit, and the strength to do what He leads me to do.
And lastly, be seems all my plans and to do lists get off track at times, but that isn't always bad...I need to hold them loosely and keep an eye out for the blessings along the way that are little surprises from God, not in my planning book, but His.

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