Priorities.

3:55 PM

 Charlotte cries.

   I pick her up and continue to type with one hand because, for just a moment, my mothering instincts and my desire to write have locked horns.  Silence.  She is pacified, content with half of her mother's attentions. 

   The baby monitor squawks at me, informing me that Jocelyn is up from her 1 1/2 hour nap.  Never seems quite long enough.  I have written 7 sentences, if you count the fragments.  I had to think for a little there on how to spell "squawk".

   Charlotte stirs, Jocelyn cries again, and I put my writing aside.  I get Jocelyn out of her crib and return downstairs.  Pour myself some afternoon coffee.


  I need to find a different way to write.  A holographic keyboard perhaps?  That beams up onto the wall whenever and wherever you find yourself with a spare moment?  In the shower through the steam, on the ceiling right before falling asleep, across the windshield as you drive?  O.k. so that last one might be a little dangerous. 

   But writing isn't the only thing I need to figure out a different way to do...my quiet time has been suffering for a long time now, and it seems it is one of the first things to get sacrificed in my never ending list of to-dos.  How un-prioritized our priorities can become.  

   It's not that I don't "have the time".  That excuse always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because we all know good and well that we have the time.  We have it, we just don't use it right.   How else can one explain that I have "had the time" to read 324 pages (a little over half-way through) of The Poisonwood Bible, a novel about a missionary family set in the Congo, told from the viewpoints of the wife and four daughters and is so completely riveting that it seems to read itself, without any effort required on my part?  Couldn't I just as easily be reading the Bible?  Of course.  But we just don't find use the time. 


   Perhaps the main reason for this, is the fact that I really prefer my quiet times to be uninterrupted, alone, private, focused, and well....quiet.  And I'm quickly beginning to realize that requiring those circumstances has all but put a death sentence on my devotions. Because let's be honest, with small children you could count the times that all those stars align on one hand, and whenever they do, you're sleeping!  So I think I'm going to have to lower my expectations a little. 


   Sometimes I feel like I am the infant being pacified, content with a piece of rubber when I could be drinking deep from the milk the Word has to offer.  And even when I DO remember to drink the milk, aren't I supposed to be eating meat by now?  But it can feel so hard to get there, when I'm just barely ingesting a verse here and there or a list of whom-begat-whos in Chronicles because I'm trying to keep my head above water in my "read-the-Bible-in-a-year" plan. 

   But then I stumble across Psalm 50:14-15 and it seems to make everything a little clearer...

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,  and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." 

  Jiminy Crickets, you mean all along it's supposed to have been a sacrifice?  Where here I've been waiting for the "right time" like you wait for a sunny day for a swim, or a cool day for baking cookies. Well, I'll be.  A sacrifice.  That sounds like something that would require effort, and maybe even a little discomfort from me!  Who would've guessed? 

   A sacrifice.  Which means:  the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

 The surrender of something desirable?  All whole hot mess of things fall into that category.  My afternoon coffee.  Blogging.  Pinterest.  A long talk with a friend.  A long, hot soak in the bath.  But what things qualify as "high or pressing"?  Certainly my children.  And my husband too.  But are there so much that I cannot bear to sacrifice anything? Or am I just expecting Him to fit in somewhere amongst the desirables, the coffee and the favorite show and  the bubble bath. And besides, if it didn't require any sacrifice at all, would it be as meaningful?  Would it be as precious?  Is that why he died for us?  Because if He had just said a few magic words, "Abra ca-dabra, they all go to Heaven."  It wouldn't have meant anything?

Looks like that priority list of mine needs a little re-arranging.

  

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4 comments

  1. This is sooo great Shelley! Thank you for sharing. I had never thought about it that way either but it makes so much more sense about it being a sacrifice, something we don't always feel like doing or making time for but something we are to do anyway.

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  2. Shelley this is the post I was talking about. I so agree with you!! Its all about priorities and getting them in the "right" order. Thanks for being so honest and transparent. Cindy

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  3. I found you! So glad, too, because I love this post. Poignantly and beautifully written, even if I don't WANT to rearrange my priorities. :) Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to reading more posts!

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  4. I understand!!! Most of what I could think as I read through this post, though, is, "Wow, she still has great thoughts while she goes through this crazy, sleep-deprived, post-partum stage." I think you might be ahead of me. :) Although, I do kind of remember have an occasional deep thought while I was rocking my baby--just didn't manage to get it written. So just know, you're doing well for where you're at. :)

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