I recently went on a glorious thirty-hour trip with my husband to a nice Bed & Breakfast a couple of hours away from our home. It was much needed, and we really enjoyed the rest and relaxation provided in this cozy country home (more like, mansion).
One of the things I really reflected on during my time away was my priorities. Was I using my time wisely, and prioritizing my life around my first things?
In all honesty, the answer is probably no. A lot of times I do what I want to do, before attending to my first things. I make the excuse that I am taking care of myself, or resting, or giving myself a much deserved break.
But then I really started to ask myself, were my activities refreshing and relaxing? Or did they just leave me feeling more exhausted and drained?
I think you know the answer!
During my weekend getaway I made an action plan to both spend time prioritizing my first things, and finding ways to truly refresh myself.
these are my first things:
4. Homemaking (food prep, cleaning, organizing, budgeting, scheduling..)
5. Ministry (writing and mentoring)
this is what refreshes me:
1. being quiet before God
2. napping or resting
3. drinking tea while sitting outside [alone]
4. reading a book that spiritually encourages me
5. spending time in fellowship with a believer
6. getting special one on one time with Daniel
7. light exercise like walking or Pilates
this is what drains or exhausts me:
1. chasing after Penelope/ taking care of her on my own
2. cooking and cleaning
3. any sort of homemaking
4. blogging, writing, and mentoring
I know that through different seasons of my life, these lists will change (except for my first things!) One day Penelope might move to the refreshing list, but it's not a bad thing that she exhausts me. She is a 1-year-old, and they tend to do that! Maybe cooking will rejuvenate me, but right now it's not something I do when I need refreshment. Many times I have told myself that writing and blogging is relaxing, and something I do for me, but in reality it's not. It's a ministry, and it's draining, and something I am learning to monitor and do carefully.
How about you? If you took a few minutes to write a list similar to this, would you be surprised to find what drains you and what refreshes you? Are you doing most of what drains, and very little of what refreshes? And how about your first things? I know I tend to go from 5 to 1, instead of 1 to 5. This is something I'm praying over and surrendering to the Lord.
Let me know how I can pray for you as you put your first things first!