I have always heard you can tell what is truly important to a person by looking at their daily calendar and their checkbook. If you stop and think about it, that is true! The places we spend our time and our money indicate what is most important to us. However, we tend to get pulled so many other directions!
Rather than pulling out our hair, let’s set priorities!
As an active part of the Minister’s Wives group at Saddleback Church, Jane Crick encourages women to look to God to define their lives versus their position. Jane has been serving since 2001 at the LifeWay sponsored Woman to Woman Mentoring leadership training events. Now, Jane Crick encourages us to set our priorities as Women’s leaders.
Sometimes feelings of busyness and over commitment can be overwhelming. But I realized my busyness should not cause feelings of panic if it reflects the Lord’s doing. God will help you prioritize according to His will. I actively bounce all my activity against three biblical priorities:
Here is some background on these priorities and a few tips I’ve learned from my experience as a believer, wife and mom, and women’s ministry leader:
Priority One: God
Our time is God’s time, and we must protect it. Each morning, try these things to get you in the right frame of mind about God’s time in your life:
• Pray and put on the armor of God in Ephesians 6 for protection.
• Give Him your schedule and ask Him to prioritize it for you.
• Remember what God reveals to you that day rather than being controlled by the tasks at hand.
Priority Two: Family
The ministry work I do is very important, but not more important than serving my kids. When summertime or vacation comes, I will tell my children, "I need about an hour or two to focus on ministry work. What can I get you before I start?"
Try these ideas to help you make family a priority:
• If you have a family, try not to be doing ministry work when they come home. This way you can focus on them and not have your attention on other things.
• Coordinate family calendars once a week.
• Chart your family vacations, birthdays, conferences at church and school on your yearly calendar.
Priority Three: Ministry
When I have the first two priorities in order, God seems to multiply my time! Surrender yourself to His guidance and watch for how He directs you during your day.
Bathe your ministry decisions in prayer, and leave the scheduling to God. Sometimes He will tell you to say no or to wait on certain ministry tasks, and you can rest in that.
When Things Don’t Seem to Work
We’re only human, so there are times when our priorities will get out of whack. When you find yourself in an overwhelming situation, keep some accountability methods in mind:
• Choose a few close friends to hold you accountable to how you use your time.
• When a hasty or poor decision causes a priority problem, do a heart check for motives and attitudes. Remember Colossians 3:23, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
• Sometimes anxiety comes from being out of sync with the Lord, so quickly reflect on your activities and priority list. Nine out of 10 times, my stress comes from my priorities being upside down. Anxiety persists when I ignore God’s will for me.
To overcome the feelings of being overwhelmed, make your choices under God’s priorities and with His guidance.