first things first

sometimes it's hard to keep first things first. maybe even most of the time. it's pretty easy to identify the "first things" for me. God, family, healthy lifestyle, serving and giving back, cultivating community and relationships.

i think it's pretty easy for most people to identify their first things.

but do we actually live that way?

because actions speak louder than words.

and that's what we're trying to identify right now. what are we saying yes to, that we should be saying no to? what are we agreeing to do that actually take away from the main things?

we all make choices with our time. and the truth is that if we're not spending the main bulk of our time doing the main things, they aren't really the main things. we can lie to ourselves and say they are, but how much time and effort do we actually put into them?

i struggle with this. we struggle with this because our culture expects us to be insanely busy. and it's difficult to be counter-cultural. it takes a lot of effort and intention. we want to do the good things in addition to the best things, but they don't always fit. it's just a lot harder to say no to the good things because they're good things.

perspective, and margin, and first things first. i am much more patient, and understanding, and interruptible when i have margin.

this idea has come up time and time and time again over the last few months. we were running ourselves ragged with so many things going on at once, and we could all feel it. and it's making us re-think some things. it's making us re-think really good things. and that's hard.

so much of life is about balance. we don't want to be lazy. we don't want to go through life wasting our days and not contributing any of the gifts we've been given to the world around us. hoarding our gifts is not good stewardship. but being so hurried and rushed and busy that we cannot stop to help someone, or be patient in line at the grocery store - living this way doesn't exactly lend itself to loving those around us.

it's a balance. a constant shifting balancing act. we need times of rest and restoration. we need times of action. it's not an either/or. it's a both/and.

it's really easy to covet whatever i don't have. if i'm in a lull when there isn't a whole lot going on, i often feel antsy like i need to do something. if i'm constantly going, going, going without a spare second, i just wish i had time for a bit of a break. most of the time it's my own fault though. either way, it's usually my fault. it's usually decisions that i've made.

the past few months were crazy because we decided that peter would coach, and i would train for a marathon, and we would continue working on our kitchen project. we decided that all of those things would happen at the same time. granted, the kitchen has taken longer than we originally anticipated, but still. still we made decisions that caused craziness.

we could've said no to all of those things. so yes, things were pretty crazy. and they'll get crazy again. but it's self-imposed craziness.

i need to remind myself of that because there are times - not as many as there used to be - when i get into a bit of a victim mindset. but i am largely a "victim" of my own choices, not of my circumstances. my circumstances have mostly come from my own choices. and i need to own up to my own role in my craziness.

more recently peter and i have discussed the importance of time. time is our most precious commodity because we cannot get any more of it. when today is gone, it's gone. it's not coming back ever again. and we don't know how much time we'll get.

we are not promised tomorrow. we are not guaranteed a long life. and we aren't actually owed much of anything, despite what we tend to believe.

there's a quote out there that is attributed to f. scott fitzgerald. i'm not entirely sure he actually said it, but it's powerful nonetheless.

{found via pinterest from wit and delight}
i hope you have the strength to start all over again. i hope you have the courage to run to God and ask him to change you.

i love that quote, but there's a caveat. yes, i have to find the strength to start over, but that strength comes from God. and i need a lot of support.

to get completely off-track for a minute: the self-made man doesn't exist. we like to believe he does. but, as they say, no man is an island.
sidenote ended.

we need to start over sometimes. we need to rethink and reevaluate. we need to figure out what the first things are, and keep them first. on purpose.

i hope you keep first things first today, and this week. and i hope wherever you are, and whatever you do - i hope you find a way to be grateful.



most popular