Priorities

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve last blogged.  And by forever I mean like a month or so.  You know how it is, life just tends to take over sometimes in the busyness of today’s world.  Which is the perfect Segway into this entry:  Priorities.

This past week was the first full week of school, teaching the somewhat-still-innocent seventh graders.  To start the school year, we’re beginning in a unit titled “Friendship and Loyalty”.  The first piece of text I had them read was a nonfiction piece titled “11 Signs of a Genuine Friendship”.  Prior to reading the piece (which took way too long than expected), I pre-taught some vocabulary words; words I felt were important for them to understand.  One of the words, was priority.  (I think one of the “signs” was that genuine friends make you a priority; something like that.)  We defined priority as what you think is most important.  It’s safe to say that we all have different priorities.

Over the past year one thing I’ve been praying about is for God to help me get my priorities straight.  I know they’ve been out-of-order.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  I had made a list of my priorities, in order of importance a year ago, and this was it:

  1. God
  2. My job
  3. Friends
  4. Me
  5. Family

Honestly, that was my list.  In order of importance.  I was embarrassed by it.  So like I said, I’ve been praying that God would help me get my priorities straight.

I revised my list, and this is what I came up with:

  1. God
  2. Me
  3. Family
  4. My job
  5. Friends

Now let me talk about all of these so it doesn’t look like I’m selfish haha.

God:  I know that God needs to be my number one.  If God isn’t number one in my life than my other priorities don’t even matter.  If my relationship isn’t right with God, my relationship won’t be right with others.  I wouldn’t even be able to keep my priorities straight without him.  I completely recognize that.

Me:  Now this might seem selfish, but let me explain!  When I say “me” I mean my own well being.  One thing I’ve realized is sometimes I do need to put myself first.  Like working out.  Feeling good about myself.  Some relaxation time.  Doing some things for myself.  To keep my sanity!  Sometimes we all just need some “me” time.  If I can’t take care of my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health, than that will trickle into the other areas of my life;  especially teaching I’ve noticed.  yes I love my students and players.  But sometimes I do need to put myself first.  Otherwise I’ll be cranky and blah and it will affect how I teach and coach!

Family:  Yes it was previously lower on the list and if you ask them they’ll probably say it’s still lower on the list.  BUT it’s something I’m working on.  It’s hard.  I’m trying.  It’s probably the most challenging one on the list for me if I’m being honest and open.  My family and I, we’re just not that close.  Never really have been.  We’re all so different.  We’re all grown up and scattered about now.  That’s life.  I don’t know if we’ll ever be “close” but I am trying to make more of an effort to communicate with them more.  It’s not that we don’t like each other or anything haha, we’re just all doing life at our own pace in our own way.  It’s not where it should be; but like I said… I’ve been praying about it and trying to make it more important.

My Job:  I hate even calling it “my job” because it’s not a job to me. There is no doubt in my mind that teaching is where my heart is.  It used to be higher on the list but it started consuming my life.  Some might say it still does, but I think they’re confused with my passion for it.  I’m not at my best in my classroom unless I’m at my best in the higher areas of my life.  A realization I’ve had over the past year. One thing I’ve learned through many tears and being overwhelmed and conviction is at the end of the day, I’m more than a teacher, I’m a child of the One True King.

Friends:  Ah.  Friends.  Friends.  Friends.  This is probably the biggest change on the list.  This past summer alone has seen a huge shift in this area of my life.  God has taken and rearranged some friendships in my life.  It’s been really hard.  My least favorite thing this past summer.  But through it all, God has grown me.  I love my friends dearly, I really hope they know that.  Whether we talk every day or not.  I would do anything for them.  But I also know that other things need to come first.  Not to be selfish.  Not to be mean.  Not even just for me, but for them too.  If they truly needed me, or someone to talk to, or a hug; I would be there.  No doubt.  But it got to a point where they were starting to creep up on my list of priorities, and it was effecting me terribly.  But I think I’ve figured it out; still working on it though!

So there’s been a lot of shifting in my priorities over the past year; the past couple months especially.  I’m still praying and trusting God to fully take control over these different areas of my life; and I just need to be sensitive to what He wants in my life.  Ultimately, that’s what’s important.

So to anyone who is reading this right now, I suggest sitting down and being honest with yourself.  Make a list of how your priorities look right now.  An honest list.  And then make a list of how they should  look.  It’ll rock your world!