I have been eating the bread of idleness lately. Proverbs 31:27 says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (KJV). You’d think that idleness would be impossible with four children and all the duties that are on my plate. It’s not that I’m idly doing nothing, it is that I am busily doing nothing. There has been no excellence in what I do.
It is so easy to be busy, busy, and busy, and yet have nothing to show for your efforts. I am the Queen of Useless Time. I can sit and daydream out a window like nobody’s business. I can wander the house, looking busy while I wander, but not really accomplishing much. I find it difficult to focus on a task because, as the mother of a million kids (four, really), I am usually side-tracked in the middle of a job.
I realize the error of my ways, so my New Year’s Resolution, as I wrote to you recently, is simply to be more self-disciplined.
I have great desires from life: to be used mightily by God, to lose weight, to teach the children profoundly in homeschool, to be an excellent homekeeper, to look styled, to write wise words that help others. Yes, I am a good dreamer and schemer. But I lack the self-
discipline is needed to accomplish these goals, even though they are God-given desires. THAT is a fault!
Here, in the order of godly priorities (God – Husband – Children – Home – Self – Others), is what I think God wants me to do at this stage in my life. I give you my list to get you thinking about your own list:
1. God: Spend time daily with Him at an appointed time (schedule it like an appointment!). Pray. Read Scripture. Write down what I learned.
2. Husband: Be a loving and helpful wife to the person God asked me to take care of for Him. Only I have been assigned this task. What a privilege to be the one assigned to this man! (And thank God he’s handsome!).
3. Children: Spend individual time with the kids. Love them unconditionally. Teach them of God. Memorize Scripture with them. Teach them how to be good workers. Teach them how to take care of themselves and others.
4. Home: Manage the home efficiently so that it serves us rather than we serve it. Organize it, clean it, and schedule it. Make use of the home’s servants which God has provided for me. Our servants are the washer, dryer, oven, crockpot, and dishwasher, among others. Use the home for hospitality as if was Jesus who just walked in, dusty, hungry, and tired.
5. Myself: Love myself enough to say boldly, once a week or as needed, “I need time alone.” Do frivolous things for me that make me happy: buy a new book, buy nail polish, play with my hair, take a long bath by candlelight, buy a new pen or journal, create a new beaded bookmark, or learn to knit. Walk daily. Garden because I love it, even if it looks funky to others and I mix lettuce with flowers.
6. Others: My outside-the-home mission is to write to others about daily life and daily lessons. Be vulnerable in my writing (as I am here when I tell you I lack self-discipline! Don’t tell anyone).
Write as if God is sitting here, waiting to read my words. God has clearly asked me to do this for others.
Next time I write, I will tell you how to make sure these priorities get prioritized. We will make a daily schedule, keeping our priorities in mind (Don’t worry! It’s not a by-the-minute schedule – I can’t keep those things! They don’t include variables like watching the phone company guy climb up the pole or waiting hours for an egg to hatch).
With love (and much prayer for you!)