There is a little devotional I like to read every morning. The devo I read today kind of kicked my butt and got me thinking about living life with purpose. I’m going to type it out for you because I think it’s worth the read. If you get a chance I’d encourage you to pick up any of Sarah Young’s little Jesus books. They are great for a quick dose of Jesus to get your day started.
(Side note: In case you’ve never read any of Sarah’s books, she writes them as if Jesus is talking to you. Keep that in mind as you read on.)
“In everything you do, put Me first, and I will direct you and crown your efforts with success (Proverbs 3:6 TLB). Putting Me first sounds so simple and straightforward. But the world, the flesh, and the devil war against your efforts to do this. You can easily justify letting other things creep into the space and time you had set aside for Me. If this happens only occasionally, it is just part of being human. However, if you see it becoming a pattern in your life, watch out! Your priorities may have been gradually shifting – until I am no longer your First Love.
Putting Me first is not an arbitrary rule; it is the way to live vibrantly, joyfully – close to Me. It is also the way to live purposefully, letting Me direct your steps. When I am your top priority, other things fall into their proper place. So delight yourself in Me first and foremost. As you walk in the Light of My Presence, I open up the path before you – crowning your efforts with success.”
After I read this I started thinking about what it looks like to live life vibrantly, joyfully, and purposefully.
When I first started out as a mom and homemaker, I tried having a schedule. I would write down when I was going to grocery shop, do laundry, scrub the bathroom, or any other responsibility that would consume my time. Mondays would start out well, but by Friday the schedule was just a forgotten piece of paper. Then the cycle of guilt would begin. I constantly felt like a failure for not getting my list completed. While making lists works great for several of my friends, it’s just not something that worked for me. I always ended up feeling like I didn’t measure up. I definitely didn’t feel vibrant or joyful.
Nowadays, I scrub the toilet when I see it needs it (which ends up being once a week anyway – so stop cringing at my declaration.) I do laundry when we run out of clean underwear, and I do things when it’s most convenient for my schedule. This works for me and my family, and it brings a lot of freedom not be tied to a to-do list. (If you’re wondering, my house is typically clean and organized. You may be picturing a mountain of chaos, but that is not the case)
HOWEVER, there are things I need to be more intentional about. After reading the devo this morning, I started a list of things I needed to be more deliberate with. I thought I’d share it with you as an encouragement or a way to spark some ideas for you and your family. With my list of topics, I’ve included why they are important and how it helps me be intentional. (this list is in no particular order)
Meal planning :: It’s important for our nutrition, and it provides deliberate family time.
Exercise :: It’s important to be an example of health to my family, and my body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). I have to be responsible with it. Exercise also puts me in a better state of mind (blessed endorphins), builds my confidence, and keeps my body healthy for service to God.
Home Care :: Taking care of our home is a way to bless my little family, and creates a heart of gratitude within me for the blessings God gives us.
Friendships :: I love my friends and they love me. I’d be lost without them. It’s so important in our lives to have friends who will be honest with us and hold us accountable. Not to mention, enjoy a good margarita from time to time!
Devotional Life :: This one is pretty obvious. God is my identity. Apart from Him I am nothing. If I don’t cultivate my relationship with God, I can’t walk out what He’s called me to do. Our identity in Christ is the core of who we are - everything flows out of that. If I’m not filling up on Jesus, I have nothing good to give those around me.
I know that God has a purpose and plan for our lives. But life is what you make it, right? I often find myself drifting on the waves of life – no direction, just going where the busyness takes me. But if I can take hold of life, with God’s help, I can live with purpose!
What can you do in your life to be more intentional about the way you spend your time so you can live a life of purpose?