Knowing My Priorities Changed My Life

Today ends Week 3 on Melissa Taylor’s online study of my book, “I Used to Be So Organized.” A warm welcome to those of you who are reading today as part of your Friday assignment.

This week you read chapters six and seven, covering the topics of setting priorities and understanding the whys of disorganization.  I’m sure some of you are itching to get into your closets and start organizing, and you are wondering why I spent so much time in the early chapters of this book on theory.  And there’s a good reason why.

If I spend a day organizing my closet and don’t deal with the reasons why it got overloaded, I’ll be back where I started in six months (or less).  The same is true with my schedule.  If I’m overwhelmed and start slashing responsibilities to get some relief, but I don’t deal with my skewed priorities, I’ll start saying “yes” to the wrong things as soon as I feel better.

I don’t want a quick fix – for me or you.  I want a foundational restructuring.  My core thinking needs to be right.  I’ve got to get honest with myself about why I say “yes” to too much and why I can’t get rid of things I no longer need.  This is why I did a 15-day Clutter-Free Challenge earlier this year.  Why spend even a minute of our valuable time “organizing” stuff that shouldn’t be there?

So let’s talk about priorities.  Knowing your priorities enables you to make right decisions.  Most times there are multiple levels to priorities.  Let me give you a recent example from my own life.  Although I serve God through a national ministry, serving in my local church is a high priority for me.  But how I serve is based on my other priorities – mainly making sure my family is my first line of ministry.

We changed churches about two years ago, and rather than jumping right into service, I held back.  I needed to make sure I could serve at church and still honor my first commitment to my family.  It took a year of faithfully attending discipleship classes (aka Sunday school) and Sunday morning worship before God opened a door for how I was to serve.  And it’s a perfect fit for me as I was invited to write a church-wide four-week study to go along with the pastor’s sermons.

In order for me to make good decisions, I have to be clear on my top priorities.  Then I have to weigh significant decisions based on how they affect ALL my priorities.

This weekend, I’d like to challenge you to think about your current priorities.   What do you value most?  What’s important to you?  What has God asked you to do?

Is there an area of your life that’s out of serious alignment with your priorities?  If so, it’s possible  getting that area back into alignment might be one of your priorities. (For example, if being a good money manager is a priority but you are deep in dept, then getting out of debt is your priority now.)

Now, write down all your current priorities.  As you write them out, don’t worry about any order.  But once you have them in one place,  try to list them according to importance.  Finally, compare this list with how much time you give each week or month to what’s most important.

Making sure my schedule reflects my priorities is an ongoing challenge for me.  And please know,  it’s never perfect.  I often find myself having to pull back and reevaluate. I’ve also had the experience where I’ve gotten myself so off-course that it takes time to get back to a place of living according to my priorities.  That’s okay too.  I’m convinced God cares more about my heart to obey than my mistakes.  He knows I’m not perfect.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on this week’s assignments, I’d love to hear them. And thank you for joining me today.  I’m delighted you’ve made it this far in Melissa’s study.  I hope you will keep going.  In some respects, it gets easier from here.

Grace & Peace,

Glynnis

P.S.  If you are reading this in an email and would like to leave a comment, please click here to be taken back to my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Cathy says

    Great advice. You do a great job writing about “life coaching” stuff and relating it to our Christian walk.

  2. Karen Jackson says

    Hi Glynnis!
    Once again, I thank God for you honesty and how the Holy Spirit works in and through you. I am so thankful for your honesty!

  3. jackie s says

    overcommitted – teaching, piano stuff, church stuff, house not sorted any more (why does this bug me so much?), $ needs to get under control, time spent with my 2 adult kids (who still need me), deepending relationship w/ husband, need for rest and sleep…wow, lots to think about.

  4. says

    Thank you so much for prompting me to write down my priorities…not my list of “to do”, but priorities! I am facing a rather daunting year as I attempt to work, finish an “add-on” certification, and still keep my family first after God (which is why I am working on this certification in the first place!) Simply writing down my priorities can really help me weed out the extra “stuff” that would try to clutter my life and steal away time from what is truly important.
    I may have to make a copy of my list and place it everywhere I spend time so that I can keep my focus clear.
    Donna
    anotherbattlewon.blogspot.com

  5. Sallie H says

    We moved this past year and I am also in the phase of deciding how I will serve in our new church and community. This study comes at a good time for me. I’ve learned to be very protective of our family schedule from prior seasons of overcommitment. While some may be thinking of what to prune, I am praying about what commitments to add!

  6. Elizabeth Blankenship says

    Thank you, Glynnis, for sharing the wisdom God has given you to minister to others! You are truly a blessing!

  7. Carolyn says

    Glynnis, it must be the season! I have cleared my plate and refocusing my life. It feels good but still dealing with some guilt for not always saying yes to everything that everyone wants. Thank you!

  8. Mandy says

    Glynnis, thank you so much for sharing your experiences, insights and wisdom from God’s word. I’ve been reading your posts since I signed up for the Clutter Free challenge at the beginning of the year. I rarely comment, but I just wanted to let you know how much each of your posts has encouraraged & challenged me. Thank you for allowing God to use you!

  9. Beth says

    I love setting and evaluating my current life pace by what my current priorities are. This allows me to readjust as my life changes direction or when it becomes part of a different season (I teach so my schedule during the school year look different than during the summer months). I’ve been challenged more and more that when I set my priorities I find it in scripture and write that down as well. For example I’m working really hard at how I should love my husband and my children (and now son-in-love, daughter-in-love, and granddaughter). In Titus 2:3-4 (Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,). I figured that since I’m one of the “older women” (actually I think that I’ve been older to someone since I was in college) if I’m to teach (or as this translation says to “urge”) the younger women to love their husbands and children, then I need to be modeling it and so that became one of my top priorities about 4 years ago. From this priority I have changed my teaching assignment twice. This has helped me be more confident on not running the rat race to get the “best” teaching position that would give me prestige, but I want a position that would allow me to live out the verse in Titus. It is not easy at all, but when I find my priorities in God’s word, then that becomes my anchor to keep at it.

  10. Lisa Kramp says

    Glynnis ~ Your book has met me right in my circumstances. I just moved about 2 months ago and still have that clutter facing me in the basement. That “stuff” I feel like I should keep…just in case, doesn’t have a real purpose in the new house and hasn’t found a “home” yet. These chapters are truly a blessing for my in setting my new priorities in my new circumstances and coming to terms with it all! Thank you so much lady for walking the walk before me and having the courage to share it with world! <3

  11. Tracey says

    EXCELLENT! Thank you so much for spending time on theory and explaining the reason why.. I have been so blessed by this study and I am GLAD you are spending so much time on the background. i truly needed to hear,dwell,meditate,focus…. :-)
    we just changed churches ,also and i know HE wants me to stay in the background for a bit. I never realized how hard this was going to be.. LOLOL Thank you so much for your heart sharing, you have blessed me greatly!!
    Warm blessings,

  12. Stephanie W says

    Earlier this year I confided in a friend that the word “love” kept coming up and I wasn’t sure what it meant. I continued to listen to worshipers music related to loving God and loving people. If I changed the cd, it seemed there was a reminder to take me back to that word. So I’ll put the cd back in. It wasn’t until today that I made the connection. Thank you Glynnis for challenging me to list out my priorities! Have a great weekend all!!

  13. says

    I want a “foundational restructering” as well!!! I totally get why we went through the “theory” before the practicals! :)

    Areas I am currently working on:
    1. Setting the correct priorities in order. God first, and then making sure my family is my first ministry before other ministries.
    2. Making decisions based on how it will impact ALL areas of my priorities.
    3. Making sure my schedule reflects my priorities!!

  14. Suzi says

    If I wrote down all that I do it would make your head spin. Just know that your book is speaking volumes to me. Reading it is at the top of my priorities list! God has shown me through this study that I don’t show up anywhere on that list. I have major health problems that require me to take care of me & I am finally “getting it”. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Personally love that you are addressing underlying causes/heart issues before tackling the get ‘ER done stuff. So helpful, like a log jam is breaking looose in my mind. I am naturally very organized but medications,boomerang college graduate & a husband whose work has slowed to nil has me constantly confused and frustrated. I am still working on last weekend’s homework and making great strides which makes my heart sing! Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Suzi says

      Oh, I wanted to add that one of the frustrations in the home is loose photos I haven’t put in albums yet. God is so neat! I put them in a big basket on a chair in the family room and took out 2 small handfuls, placing 1 handful in a little box in the breakfast area & the other in a dish in another room. Almost everyday my son & girlfriend come in & look at those little handfuls of photos & he tells her who, when & where. Then I put them in an album & take another handful! It is wonderful to see them enjoy them!

    • Mary Ann says

      Oh Suzi, I can so relate to your confusion and frustration. Your post mirrored my life so much. It’s nice to know that there is someone else who has the same struggles that I have and trying to tackle.

      As for last weeks homework, I am finishing up with that as well so that I can move on to this weeks. I will complete this study if it kills me. lol

      I love the idea about the photos. I have a memory card FULL and have not taken it to get them put on disk.

  15. Kelley says

    Glynnis – thank you for another post full of wisdom!! I’ve had several praise reports in my online study groups where sisters are taking action based on the awesome experience and teachings you have provided in your book! I had one member who had to plan a end of the year baseball party for her son’s team – but she delegated every single task and the party came together beautifully! I’ve had several ladies that are taking charge of certain areas – putting their thoughts into action – it’s just been a blessing to everyone!!! It has given me plenty to think about – especially with today’s blog where we really need to question our priorities…ouch, that can definitely be painful! Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you in our conference on Monday!!!

  16. Michelle says

    I love you, Glynnis!! :) seriously, I just appreciate everything you write so much! As a stay at home mom, I find myself having a really hard time prioritizing things since I don’t really have set deadlines. I get caught up in cleaning the house and doing things that really have little eternal value and at times I get to the end of the day and look back and realize I spent so much more time cleaning and trying to check off my “to do” list than I did sitting down and spending time with my husband and kids. I am really excited to answer the questions you asked and actually write out my priorities. I think that will really help to spend my time better! thanks so much!! p.s…I was one of the ladies who won the “Always There” mothers devotionals book and I absolutely LOVE it! I have been reading it every morning, starting with the verse given and reading the whole passage in the Bible and then reading the story to go with it. They have been so encouraging to me and I’m already trying to decide who I will pass it onto once I finish. :) thanks again!

  17. Michelle S. says

    What a terrific idea and advice! Thank you, Glynnis. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and the few books that I own authored by you. I’m looking forward to making my list this weekend.

  18. Kasey says

    This study came up at just the right time. It’s the time for me to restructure my priorities. God has called me to finish my Seminary education online. I’ve got to be disciplined for that. He has also opened the door to a new ministry opportunity. I launched a blog last week to offer hope to others. I’m trying my hand at some online ministry opportunities, as I have epilepsy and cannot get out much. That idea would have never occurred to me if not for Online Bible Studies.

    Can’t wait to take a look at what I’m getting right and what I’m getting wrong!
    displayinggodsworks.blogspot.com

  19. says

    Hi, your blog really touches me, have been reading it for a while… Just wanted you to know about a website i started ReadYourBiblesChurch.com… It’s a place for Bible study guides.. I also put a forum in that can be viewed from a mobile device.. I couldn’t find where to contact you privately so I’m commenting, hope that is okay. :) God Bless! Jenn.

  20. Wendy says

    Thank you so much for writing this book! I love how things really don’t happen by chance. I’m coming out of a long depression and also have a 7 year old and almost 6 year old triplets and my husband has changed jobs so we are adjusting to that. The timing of this particular study (and it’s my first) couldn’t be more perfect. Your book and the study have been so helpful, especially with coming out of the depression, with how I view things, setting priorities, etc.

  21. Veronica Nightingale says

    Glynnis, I did what you suggested. I ended up with 12 priorities, 4 of which were in the right spot, considering the time I spend on them. Of the other 8, it was clear to me that the “people priorities” are taking second place to tasks or ministries in which I participate but do not lead. Worst of all, God, Who is supposed to be in first place, was in fifth! Some work needs to be done here! My priorities were listed in a good order, but that order is not reflected in the time I spend. Thanks for another eye-opener. This whole study has been just that. I am so glad I decided to take it and to read your book!

    • says

      Yea!! I’m so proud of you for doing this hard work. I find it so easy to just get on auto-pilot and often I’m on the wrong path. Taking time to evaluate my priorities and my time always is worth it!

  22. Mary Ann says

    Thank you Glynnis. I feel as if you were speaking directly to my heart and soul. I thought I was soooo organized but with seven people in my house, my schedule goes out the window. I do love your reasoning behind some of the thing that we do. It makes me think and becomes so crystal clear in my mind. Like many other women, I feel overwhelmed by one long, non-stop to do list. It usually carries over into the next day, next week, next month, and year. I often felt like a hamste on one of those crazy little wheels. No more.

    Again, thank you for your study, support and words of wisdom. You are helping me on this journey and I am truly and eternally grateful to you.

  23. says

    Just found your blog after reading your Proverbs 31 devotional on our pain not being wasted. My husband and I are also parenting traumatized children we adopted and it was comforting to read your words and feel like “yes, someone GETS it!”. It was just the reminder I needed tonight, that this pain is not wasted. Thank you.

  24. Denise says

    Your message was so timely. I am encouraged in knowing the “pain is not wasted” by God. He is in control and He is working it out. Thanks

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