Monday, October 27, 2008

Be Wise -- Prioritize....

Since I was a little girl I have been a people-pleaser. Let's face it, who doesn't want to be loved and validated, especially by those closest to us?

On the other hand, one thing I love about being over 40 is that I am so much more comfortable in my own skin, and I don't feel the need to impress or live up to other people's expectations.

That doesn't mean I don't wish for acceptance by others (I don't think that ever truly goes away) I just don't live for it. And since each individual has different expectations, values and priorities I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to please everyone! As soon as I do, you can be certain I am letting someone else down.

What I have learned, and am continuing to learn, is that as an adult woman (and all of the roles that includes) I have a responsibility to set my own beliefs and priorities and not compromise them to please other people. If I fail in doing that then my life will stand for nothing and my purpose will never be fulfilled. I am reminded of the country song "You've Got to Stand For Something or You'll Fall For Anything."

So what are my beliefs and priorities?

First and foremost I am building my life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and the Grace that He offers.

How do I do that? Through spending plenty of time studying His word and on my knees in prayer. Some might think this is a waste of time; I disagree. It is the BASIS on which my entire life is built. For me the Bible is a literal translation of how to live my life and I consider prayer the privilege of entering into a relationship with God. I don't understand why people would bother praying if they don't believe in the POWER behind it. Not only are our prayers eternal, they are also the most powerful weapon we have against the darkness of this world! God has issued us an invitation to commune with Him, how will you respond? I will respond with nothing less than complete submission to His call on my life to spread the Gospel through the ministries in which He has placed me (my marriage, motherhood, CBS, Church, Lifegroup).

Following faith, the next in my list of priorities is my family. Meaning, I am investing my time and energy into my husband and children. I believe that being a mom carries certain responsibilities. This may mean missing out on some things (parties and social events, travel opportunities...etc) but as Laura Schlesinger says, "I am my children's mother." If I don't put my children first, who will?

One of my favorite verses in scripture is: "One generation will commend your works to another, they will tell of your mighty acts." My husband and I neither one come from a "biblical" background but it is our deepest desire that our children (the next generation) will know Who God is and have a personal relationship with Him. Yes they will make mistakes, just as I have made and will continue to make mistakes, but together we will know the grace our Heavenly Father offers when we humble ourselves, ask forgiveness and submit to Him. My heart rejoices at the knowledge that my husband and 5 oldest children have confessed Christ as Lord of their lives and been baptised.

Fitness and Finances would be next on my list of priorities . I have been blessed beyond measure in both of these areas of my life but in very different ways.

Although I would love to lose 15 pounds I realize that after birthing 7 babies things could be a lot worse! However being in my mid 40's I realize it is more important than ever that I have a healthy fitness plan. For me working out relieves stress and makes me feel so much stronger and better about myself so it is a crucial part of my life plan.

Finances are definitely a "hot button" for me. Although we have never been "poor" I would not say we have ever been "financially stable" either. But again, after 7 kids and several career changes things could be a lot worse. My background is one of financial struggle and being completely dependant on my husband's income (0r lack of it) is a scary thing for me. But then I remind myself that it is God who provides. He has gotten us this far and I can trust Him!

So there it is: Faith, Family, Fitness and Finances.

The areas of priority in my life. It isn't a list for everyone and I would never want to tell someone else what their list should look like. Even my children need to develop their own lists based upon what is most important to them. Yes, I would love it if they all looked exactly like mine but most likely they won't. It doesn't make them wrong, it makes them unique.

God has made us all as individuals with different gifts and talents that He wants us to use to please Him and when it comes down to it isn't that the One we need to focus on pleasing?


Anonymous said...

People pleaser I can relate. And at 45 I still find myself in that role more then I would like. Upon reading your words today I too, should Be Wise.
Have a Blessed Week.

luvmy4sons said...

The spirit of the fear of man is a hard one to overcome. I can totally relate. I think it is good to prioritize and know how to divide your time and number your days aright!

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

People pleaser, priority list...I think you wil find most of us wear your shoes! It is good to walk the same path. I am afraid exercice for me ranks last...ughhhh.

In His Graces~Pamela

Laurie Ann said...

I suffered from Approval Addiction for years, Kelley, so I hear you on the people-pleasing issue. I loved the way you listed your priorities! Great post!

Runner Mom said...

Faith, family, fitness, finances--girlfriend, you have a recipe from God for an abundant life! I am going to share this post with my friends whose husband was just laid off from work! Thank you, sweet Kelly!
Love ya,

Tracy said...

Amen! Some friends and I were talking recently about one of the blessings of being in our 40's... getting out of that people-pleasing mindset, learning to love the way God made us! So true, if we just focus on pleasing God, He gloriously prioritizes the rest.

I love what you shared today. It's good to stop and think on not just what believe, but how that shows itself in our everyday life.


Nicole said...

Great list! I agree it is very important to have a list of priorities in your life and carry them out!!!


Kristen said...

"one thing I love about being over 40 is that I am so much more comfortable in my own skin, and I don't feel the need to impress or live up to other people's expectations."

Amen sister! After reading your post I thought... could this be me writing this? (other than the part of birthing 7 kids! hee hee) I thought... could Kelley and I be related? :) I love your priorities... as they are mine as well...Faith, Family, Fitness and Finances.

I love this post!

Susan said...

Hey Kelly!

Thanks soooooooooooooo much for your prayers, I literally felt each one, and now I'm back to the land of the living.

I really enjoyed your list.

I need to get it together when it comes to fitnes. I'm still hanging on to those 15lbs (or so?) since my baby. He just turned 18, yikes!!

Blessings to you my friend~

PS Was blessed to read the post below about your daughter, Y-E-S!!!

Chatty Kelly said...

I loved this post. I didn't realize you had 7 kids!! (I am relatively new here).

I too am a people pleaser. I too am 40. I only have 2 kids, but would still like to lose the 10 lbs I lost in March and gained back between March & now.

And I too am named Kelly. I too believe in Faith and family. I'm not a fan of fitness or finance - but get your idea.

enjoyed your post today!

Joyful said...

If God is truly our first priority, we can't go wrong. If we're truly listening to Him and spending time with Him, He will direct all our other priorities as we surrender to His plans for us.

All for an Audience of One,

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Oh, I'm really working on the whole people pleasing thing. I first and foremost want to seek the approval of God before seeking the approval of others. You've got your priorities in order!

Cindy said...

My list has become fairly similar to yours as I am 3 days into my 50's. Faith and family are definately number 1 and 2. It wasn't always that way but through circumstances God has made it perfectly clear that they need to be number's 1 and 2.

Fitness is a struggle for me but finances are fun. I love to 'manage' money. Should have had an accounting degree.

I am working on the fitness area. I have lost 35 lbs this year with another 25 to go. If it comes off great, if not well at least I'm down some.

Thanks for you Priority list and blogging about life after having 7 children.

Blessings, Cindy

Ang baylis said...

You have your priorities in the right order! I'm right there with you! I love Dr. Laura and miss her. I used to listen to her a lot! Great post. You are so wise! Thanks for sharing your wisdom! :)
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Amen! Thanks for this post. I relate in many ways... :)