Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Time and priorities…again

According to Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life we were created for relationship with God and others. My summary of his thoughts would be that there are, in essence, two relational directives in the Bible summed up in this statement “Love God and love other people”.   Makes it all pretty simple, doesn’t it? Warren goes on to state that the way most people spell love is “T-I-M-E”.  So, once again, I am challenged to evaluate my priorities based on the way I spend my time.  Where am I spending my time and does it indicate that relationships are a priority to me? Even further, are the relationships that I am investing in the most important relationships in my life?

Like many moms, I work outside the home. There goes a sizable chunk of my day. Do I work for me, for my own enjoyment and satisfaction? Well, I do enjoy my job and the people I work with, but I think my greatest job satisfaction has become the knowledge that I am, to a small degree, investing in the lives of young people. When I see some of our students near or after their high school graduation and see the young men and women they are becoming I feel a sense of pride. Whomever they are becoming, my contact with them at school becomes a small piece of that.

How else does the time I spend at my job indicate relational priority? Working in the school district has kept me close to what happens in my kids’ education. I only have one left in the district now, but having a school job makes me more accessible to her than I would be if I was employed in another realm. Truthfully, being accessible to my kids was the reason I looked for a school job to begin with.  Relational priority? Yes! Also, the added income has helped us pay off some debts and taken a lot of pressure off of my husband. Relational priority again!

The downside of working outside the home is that all the things I would take care of while the rest of the family was otherwise engaged at school or work need to be done when I get home. I once calculated how much time I had to actually do all the regular chores like laundry, cooking, food shopping, bill-paying, etc. Since I try to leave the time after dinner to spend with my husband and we may have meetings of one kind or another in the evening, only two hours a day was left for everything necessary to run my home. Often those two hours include things my kids or husband need me to do in addition to my standard to-do list. Sometimes, I will have a coffee date with one of my kids. That leaves little time for coffee dates with friends or other social gatherings.  I guess what that says to me is that my family is my relational priority. I am okay with that.

I do miss spending time with friends. I do miss having enough time to keep up with my blog. I miss having time to do some of the other things that are on my to-do wish list. Still, I know that this time with all my kids at home is fleeting. Within a few years, a very few years for us, my nest will be empty. When it is, I don’t want to regret not investing more time in my family.
So, dear blogging friend, I might not visit with you as much as I would like, but you are still important to me. I hope you understand that my time is limited and my priorities are established. Be blessed and I will be in touch!