My husband was recently challenged to make a list of his top ten priorities in order from most important to least important. As he was telling me about this task I told him that he needed to be brutally honest with the list. Little did I know the impact that little statement would have on me!
First let me back up. This past year has been hard for our family for a couple of reasons. The main reason it has been hard is because we had health drama this past year. We chose to have another baby so I got pregnant and then became very sick, I was literally throwing up every day for 8 months straight, then when I hit nine months I felt awesome but was the size of a whale! Then in December of last year my husband got a hernia from lifting weights and had to have surgery to repair it. Through all of this drama it was hard for us to want to do a whole lot more than wallow in our own misery and pain and so our once strong connection began to fade. T and I both responded to this differently and neither way was healthy for our relationship with each other. Over time it became like there was six people living separate individual lives in our home.
Fortunately for T and I we are both always willing to change and work harder to get what we want and what we want is to be an eternal family who loves to spend time together and respects each other above anything. Thus started our road to change. I would love to sit and point the finger and blame on T and pregnancy and everyone else, but I was just as responsible for our falling away from each other as anyone else. Since I made that one comment to T about the importance of being brutally honest about where his priorities are I have been deep in thought about the honesty of where my priorities lay.
I would love to say that my priorities are:
2. My Husband
3. My children
5. My extended family (my siblings and my inlaws)
6. My friends
7. Financial Stability
and really that is all that is important to me but in reality my life became more like this:
5. My friends
6. My kids
9. My inlaws
10. My siblings and parents
If I am being completely honest with myself all I have to do is look at how I spent my time. I would spend it online or on Photoshop almost all day. I would get annoyed when my kids asked for a snack or a drink because that took me away from my precious forums and Facebooks and scrapbook pages. I would rush through the bedtime routine without really interacting with my kids but forcing myself to read them a story or the scriptures because I knew it was important but there was no joy in the act. I would sit on the couch to watch TV with my husband but the whole time I was on the computer, designing something, editing something or checking my Facebook just in case one more person made a comment. If I wasn't on the computer I was on my smart phone. My thoughts were constantly on what I could design next, what I would blog about next, what my next Facebook post would be. I put my self esteem and all I had to give into something that could never give back to me like my children or my husband could. I would escape into a world where true joy and love and connections cannot exist! They can start there but they can never replace the real connection you get from cuddling on the couch or talking face to face or laughing over silly jokes and eating ice cream!
I feel that worse than growing apart from my children and spouse I grew apart from the Lord. I stopped reading my scriptures every day, I stopped saying my prayers, I stopped finding joy in serving but instead felt under appreciated.
It is not easy to admit to myself that I became more important than anyone else in my life and my wants and my desires and my needs became number one. Now I am not saying we need to take care of everyone else over ourselves, but I honestly believe that as we serve our family and spend time with one another then our own wants and needs fall into place. If I spend an hour playing and reading with my kids then they are more likely to play alone for an hour so I can have some me time. If I am willing to take care of my spouses needs and spend time with him then he is going to be more open to taking care of the kids while I get some me time in. Most important above all else if I build my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior before I build my relationship with an old friend from high school on Facebook I will feel more peace and joy in my life and the Facebook will still be there.
Most importantly I have found that it is how I spend my time. Do I spend more time talking to friends than my own children and spouse? Do I read my scriptures and say my prayers before checking my facebook page, emails and blogs? Do I stay up all night on Pinterest.com but am too tired to make love to my husband or say prayers before bed? How you spend your time and thoughts will truly show you where your priorities are!
So I challenge you to really contemplate where your priorities are, are they where you want them to be and if not what can you do to change that?