Life can get hectic. We all have jobs, families, homes to keep up, laundry to do, social plans, fitness goals, and lets not forget that we all need to sleep at some point! With so much to juggle it’s expected that some things will get less attention than others. Building a closer relationship with our heavenly father shouldn’t be the part of our lives that gets put on hold until further notice.
A life with priorities left out of balance can be very stressful and difficult to handle. I didn’t fully understand this until I had a son. Suddenly I had real responsibilities and a hundred extra things to do a day (and for some reason, I swear, the days got shorter). I started to collapse emotionally and physically from the stress of life. I will say this, my life is not extremely difficult. I’m not a trauma surgeon or police officer, but me and my husband were handed some pretty difficult issue early on in our relationship. And I was ill equipped to handle the set backs. I felt like I couldn’t keep up. Nothing I did was good enough.
I would take my anxiety and distress out on my family. I’d be extremely impatient with my little one and irrationally unreasonable with my husband. My excuse was always that I had a headache. And I did! A stress induced head ache from trying to fix my own problems.
I needed to get my priorities right again. I spent a long time (somewhere around 5 years) ignoring an important part of my identity- my faith. After moving to Alabama I got a lot of my priorities in line, all except one. God was still on the side lines. He was just kinda sitting there watching me struggle. And the whole time He was the answer. The piece of this machine called life that I constantly ignored but needed in order for it to run smoothly. But I had too much to do. He’d have to wait until I got myself together on my own. (I knew the Bible anyway and praying on the go was good enough, right? Wrong.)
The senior pastor at my church (Church of the Highlands), Chris Hodges talked about the importance of how we spend the first fifteen minutes of our day. He suggested dedicating that time, before we even check Instagram or reply to texts, to a few moments spent with God. Just 15 minutes. He broke it down in such a simple way that I could’t ignore it: One chapter, one five minute prayer, one worship song.
I could spare 15 minutes.
And I’m glad I did. I saw an improvement in my attitude the first day. And after a week or so, my day didn’t feel like it had started until I got in my 15 minutes. By then it had extended to about 30 minutes. Suddenly one chapter wasn’t enough anymore.
Nothing about my circumstances changed. Our problems were still there, the house was still a wreck, and our toddler still insisted on being the boss. NOW I was better prepared. The promises I’ve known since childhood were freshly written on my heart: “I have a plan for your life, I will not give you more than you can handle, and I AM WITH YOU.”
I don’t know why I didn’t realize why every thing seemed so chaotic before. I grew up in church and knew the importance of devotional time. I guess I needed a reminder. The important thing is that He is finally front and center in my life where He needs to be. He is no longer an after thought. I give Him my burdens and He carries them for me.
Now please, don’t read this post and think I never get stressed. I am indeed very human and still get anxious and irritable. I make mistakes often, it’s kinda my thing. I lose my temper. I still try to do it all on my own. But in those moments of weakness I know what to do: Make Him bigger than my problem by giving Him first priority in my life. I give Him 15 minutes and He handles the rest.
How do you make God a priority in your life? Tell me what you do to make sure that you priorities remain balanced!