First This, Then That

Priorities. Let me begin this by saying—I am still in the middle of figuring this out.

Towards the beginning of the summer, I started to feel a little crazy. My family and I went on a vacation in late May/early June. My husband, son, and I went on a cruise with our parents and siblings; a total of nine of us set sail out of NOLA for a 5-night/ 2-port trip with lots of food, fun, and relaxation. My husband and I discussed how we felt like we could actually breathe freely and deeply without the distractions of texts, calls, social media, and (even) work. We loved our time together with our families and were exhilarated to come back home and return to our lives refreshed and ready to roll.

About two weeks after I had returned to the “rat race” of my life, however, I realized how incredibly overwhelmed I felt by my chaotic lifestyle. At that time, I was working four jobs, failing to balance domestic duties, and not spending enough quality time with the people I love. I realized that I hadn’t slept well in months and that a health crisis at the beginning of the year had occurred due in part to my lack of balance, healthy boundaries, and self-care. (Did I mention I am a therapist? I felt like I NEEDED a therapist!!!)

After a few days of thinking through my life, I came to the conclusion that I had to re-prioritize my life and re-program myself. I sought the counsel of my husband (my best friend and respected leader of our home) and he gave me beautiful advice—“Pray about your next steps and listen.” He also added that he would trust however the Holy Spirit led me. So that is the journey I am on—prayerfully choosing what stays and what goes in my schedule, my home, and my life.

Honestly, this path has offered more questions than answers. How do I “put God first?” How do I explain to friends that sometimes less time together means more meaningful time together? What jobs do I keep? How do I use my Instant Pot to make this all work out? (<–I’m just keeping it real.)

Like I said in the beginning, I don’t have this figured out yet. I’m on a journey towards balance (and my Instant Pot is still in the box on my living room floor). However, I’m learning to say no to some really good things and save my yes for the best things. I’m trying to pray, listen, trust, and obey. I’m beginning to see the importance of delegating some tasks so I can do other jobs well. I’m hoping someone else out there is with me. Any busy, overcommitted moms? Any overworked pastors? Any dads trying to make ends meet? Any high school or college student who has something EVERY night of the week? If you’re reading this and thinking, “She’s telling my story,” I would love for you to join me on the journey of priorities, remembering that it’s not so much an end-point, more of a daily walk towards a peaceful life.

At Choices Clinic, this is exactly what we walk through with our clients. As we listen to their stories, we help them prioritize what is most important and rid themselves of what is unhealthy. At local schools, we teach on topics like goal setting and boundaries, discussing daily priorities and walking students through building these skills. I love how God has used our client and student experiences to shape my thoughts and to keep me aware of my connection to the people we serve, showing me that I haven’t “arrived.” His grace allows all of us to work with others while He is still working on us.