First Things First

A very good friend gifted me with Joyce Meyer’s New Day, New Youdevotional about seven years ago.  I think she knew God was getting ready to do some major construction in my life. J  So, this was one of my first real introductions to Joyce Meyer, and my first real devotional.  That first year I worked straight through the book.  It was a major blessing.   The devotionals short, easy to understand, and to the point.  As someone who was just learning to spend real time with Christ, this was perfect.  Another plus for me is that the devotionals are dated (October 23).  Seven years later, this devotional is still blessing me.  I have not worked straight through it since the first year, but every time I open it up the word is right on time.
                Yesterday morning I woke up feeling some kind of way.  I can’t describe exactly how I was feeling.  There are just morning s when I wake up in a mood and I know I need a word fast to get my mind right.  So I decide to crack open my trusty Joyce Meyer devotional.  As always, the word is spot on.  When I read the words I know that God knows me better than I know myself.  Even though I don’t know exactly what the problem is, He does.  He directs me along the right path as long as I am open to receive.  What’s even more amazing and hilarious to me is when the page has already been dog eared.  It makes me wonder what I was going through when I dog-eared that page in years past. 
                October 30 – First Things First: But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. – Matthew 6:33(The Amplified Bible)

          After the verse, Joyce proceeds to discuss the importance of priorities.  She emphasizes how keeping God as your first priority allows a peace that passes understanding.  Fantastic!  But why is it that I constantly need the priority pep talk.  It’s not like I don’t know what my priorities should be.  Yet, time and time again I get that unsettled feeling and need a reminder.  Maybe I’ve been surfing Facebook and Instagram and Twitter too much.  Maybe it’s time to take a social media break.  Or maybe it’s not the social media, but real life socializing.  I’m not sure quite yet.  I do know that I sometimes let the events of other people’s lives bombard my visual space.  Once that happens I start feeling some kind of way.  It’s weird.  Lol  I’m sure I’m not making any sense.  Please bear with me.  J  I guess it’s a cross between comparing, feeling like I’m missing out on something, thinking hmmmmn what happened to that friendship, etc., etc., etc.   Really, Jocelynn?  You feel that way?  You have a husband and a child.  You have a baby on the way.  You’re in graduate school.  You have very close relationships with both your family and your husband’s family.  And YOU HAVE VERY CLOSE FRIENDS!  LOL  I know.  I know.  But do you see how peace can escape you with the click of a mouse?  I’m going along just fine and them BAM!  Here come the thoughts.  The seeds.  My mind is a battlefield (also a great book by Joyce).
                So what do I do?  Well, I grab the Word.  I pray for Christ’s leading.  I go where He takes me to get those thoughts out.  I also have to reset m priorities.  Sometimes I physically write them down.  Sometimes I speak them allowed.  It really depends on where I am in the mental process.
My priorities are simply this:
  1. 1)    Continuing to develop my relationship with Christ.  Seeking His face, His will, His ways every day.  Maturing in my praise and worship.  Listening to God’s prompting – opening my heart every day.  Seeking my purpose in Him as it changes in ways that I never planned or expected.  Discovering ways to give while honoring my priorities.    
  2. 2)      Loving, supporting, and encouraging my husband.  Learning my husband’s needs as they develop over time.  Growing in Christ as a couple.  Taking time to close off the world, and just be each other’s world.  Care for his heart.  Pray for peace as he leads our family according to Christ’s will – spiritual, personal, professional.
  3. 3)      Loving, raising, and educating my children in a way that is pleasing to Christ.  Learning who each of my children are as individuals and encouraging their passions.  Teaching them that Christ gave them their passion.  There does not have to be a separation in the pursuit of their spiritual and passion fulfillments.  Praying for their future – relationship with Christ, schooling, finances, spouses. 
  4. 4)      Loving, supporting, and praying for my family.  I have been blessed with an amazingly supportive family, both by blood and by marriage.  Supporting family by spending time together.  It’s not just about the weddings, formal family reunions, and holiday get-togethers.  It’s also about the random Saturday afternoon couch lounging, kids screaming in the backyard.  Praying for strong, healthy marriages.  Praying for the destruction of generational curses.  Praying for Jesus at the center of it all!
  5. 5)      Loving, supporting, and praying for my friends.  The Bible is clear that iron sharpens iron.  It is important to that I my husband and I are surrounded by friends that are lifting us spiritually.  Praying that God continue to touch the lives of my friends so that we can pour into each other.  Pray that God give us the discernment when bringing new friends into our lives.  Praying that God would give us the grace and the courage to release friendships that are no longer healthy.

         God has blessed me with so many amazing priorities.    Why do I get distracted from them?  Why would I want to be worrying about anyone or anything else than what God has already given me.  I have been given the awesome responsibility of being in the aforementioned people’s lives.  I have to honor that by being fully engaged in their lives, to the extent that is required based on their position on my list of priorities.  While there may only be five priorities listed, those are some pretty hefty priorities.  Why get distracted by things that are not on the list?  I don’t have time, and I will most definitely run out of energy trying to fit unnecessary items on my list.
         What’s on your list?  Do you struggle staying focused on this list sometimes?
Always Striving,

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