"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Monday, July 5, 2010

Family First

With all this lofty talk about dreams and goals, I feel a tug of reality pulling at my shirt. Literally. It's my youngest son, Noah. He wants me to help him find his toy screwdriver. Another day, another interruption. Or is it? What's really the disturbance here? The more I think on it, I realize it's not my four-year-old after all, but me, myself, and my backward priorities.

I'm constantly checking my heart for this kind of attitude--the attitude that says my family is an interruption. Sounds horrible, I know, but I think we all do it at one time or another. Is writing more important than my family? Is running a marathon? You can bet your bottom dollar it isn't. One of the greatest gifts God has given me is my husband and two sons. They need to come before my own aspirations. When they don't, I become the cranky, self-absorbed mother who nobody, including myself, likes to be around. It's a juggling act. What's a girl to do?

Well, between dishes, laundry (would you believe I put my husband's wallet through the wash this morning?), refereeing disagreements between my four and five-year-old, preparing meals, cleaning, figuring out tax payments for my husband's construction company, and finding quality time with each member of my family, it's definitely hard to find time for myself. I have to wake at least an hour earlier than the rest of my family in order to run or spend some time on my computer. I take my laptop to the playground and type in a most uncomfortable cross-legged position on a blanket while the kids play. I don't watch much television. I don't wash whites separately. Instead of reading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, I'm reading James and the Giant Peach with my boys. Is it worth it? Of course! Is it easy? No way!

My selfish side rears its ugly head all too often. I try hard to remind myself that as much as I love my pretend characters, they are certainly not real. My family is. They matter more to me than all my dreams combined. They are my ultimate WIP (work-in-progress), and I thank my Creator for them everyday.

How about you? Any advice? How do you consciously put your family first throughout your busy day?


  1. It's so great to get to see what you look like after all this time, Heidi. You have such a sweet looking family. I know what you mean about family priority. I've been feeling the same way lately. Several years ago, the Lord impressed upon me the fact that I needed to not write on Sundays. It wasn't because it was wrong. It was that I needed the break from the obsession that writing had become. I constantly have to remind myself about that these days, because the itch is always there.

  2. Keeping priorities is also an issue for me. I don't like having evening activities, but at the moment I have two writing groups that meet once a month and a Bible study that meets every two weeks. With my husband's activities, for two days this week we haven't seen each other until bedtime. Not the best way to nurture a relationship.