First Things First

IMG_5740I am not one to set new year’s resolutions personally. My time for goal setting is in each new prayer journal I begin. The first thing I do when I start a new one is write out my goals and dreams in the inside cover pages and then pray over them, asking God to keep a desire in my heart for the one’s that are from him and to help me accomplish them.

This year, there is a little something simmering in my heart for my kids. It popped into my heart about the time the calendar rolled around, so I guess we can call it a new years resolution I have for them. It’s something I’d like to do better at instilling in them this year. That is, First Things First.

Like many of us, my kids have a tendency to want to put joy before work, play before chores, fun before those yucky important things that must be done. As I was standing in the kitchen with them recently I found myself reminding them of the importance of doing first things first and it hit me, that’s what I want to help drive home this year.

What are those first things? Well, one I alluded to above, but they’re pretty simple:

  1. I want them to put God first. They need to start their day with God. A little devo, reading a verse over breakfast – these are all great ways to put him first.
  2. I want them to do the un-fun work and discipline type tasks before play. That is homework before TV, chores before video games, to tackle those lists we leave them so they can get them out-of-the-way before they go on to do anything else they want to do. Often times, tasks take less time than we think. We can spend more time dreading them than the time it would take to complete them. If we’d just get them done then we can go on to do other things we want to do with out them hanging over our heads. And in those rare times things take longer than we think, at least we tackled them with the time needed to get them done, rather than putting them off and feeling pressured and in the end only doing a half way job, because that’s all the time we had to give it – or worse, not getting to them at all.

Putting first things first helps us to live with out regrets. It helps us manage our time better. It helps us truly enjoy our rest and play time. It’s important. Here’s to keeping first things first in 2015.

Let’s pray: Father God help me to keep first things first. I realize my kids learn by my example, and I want to teach them to be disciplined and to keep the main things the main things. I want them to enjoy down time and rest time, but not at the expense of learning a good work ethic. Help me teach them the proper rhythms and balance for getting things done, resting, playing, and enjoying life in all it’s fullness. In Jesus name, amen


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