It is with this knowledge that I would like to share some of my own personal priorities. I say my "own, personal priorities" because *your* priorities might look entirely different. I think it's important to say that my priorities have only come about through deep searching with the Lord, and hearing His voice speak to me through moments of quiet reflection and prayer. That is essentially what I am urging you to do: seek Him. My list follows as merely a framework as to what your own personal priorities could look like.
So, herewith my list:
1. my relationship with God. I have worked really hard over the past year to learn to trust the Lord better. As I have mentioned before, I suffered deep "burnout" last summer, and can attribute it to not trusting the Lord, first and foremost. I work really hard to relinquish my days to Him, moment by moment and day by day. Often my days look nothing like I planned. It is here where I find His burden is easy and light. I try to make sure that my number one priority in my life is my relationship with the Lord.
2. Me. It seems odd to say that I come next. I struggle with this. For years and years I put myself last. The needs of my family came before my own. I now see this is a recipe for disaster. (For me.) When all is said and done, I have to make time for *me*, because with five children it will never just *happen*. What do I mean by time for me? Well, as I said earlier, this is something I personally consulted the Lord about and truly feel He revealed to me what I need to do to take care of myself:
~sleep. I need to sleep. So I go to bed as early as I can, and try to take a rest in the middle of the day.
~quiet/time to think. This is essential for me. God made me this way, personally. If it is missing in my life, then I do not function at optimum. So I try to make time for this every day.
~eating well/drinking water/taking vitamins. This is also essential. When I am stressed or busy, I do not eat. This is not healthy. I often have to ask myself during the day: "Andrea, have you eaten?" If I have not, I drop everything to take care of that.
3. my husband and I. My relationship with my husband comes before my children. I say this because it could easily get swept under the rug with the varied and urgent needs of my children.
For this reason, we have started going out on regular dates once a week. We have made an effort to actually *leave the house* and it makes all the difference! My relationship with my husband is precious. I want to make sure I let him know that.
4. Last but certainly not least--my children. It makes me feel uncomfortable that my children are at the bottom of my list. It seems....counter intuitive to me as a mother. But I am confident that if all the other priorities are taken care of then their needs will be met. Of course just because they are at the bottom of the list does not mean they are ignored....it's all about balance. My priority list is merely a framework of how my days should go.
Again, this is something that has come about through much prayer and listening to God. Your priority list might look very different. (And it should!) I wanted to merely share what the Lord has done in my life, in case someone is struggling and needs a place to start.
For me, my priorities are in the end about *relationship*.