First Things First

Friday, February 28, 2014

I crawled into bed early the other night with my computer, my calendar, my phone, and a huge binder of materials for a project. My intention was to spend a couple of hours by myself "catching up." Unanswered (unread) texts and emails were bugging me, and I felt that I was at the tipping point. It was either dive in and get some stuff done, or become hopelessly behind and distracted for the next few days.

As I arranged everything on the bed, the words that floated to the surface of my mind were, "First things first." It was a singsongy voice, like what a teacher might say. Almost like I was instructing myself. Weird, I know. But then, my own voice resonated, "What are my first things? What should be first?" The answer was obvious: My family, myself, before all these other obligations. I'm not sure I'd ever worked that phrase all the way through before. Standing there, with the answer, was enlightening.

I went off-plan. I made a reservation to work out the next day, and I started this post. I gave myself permission to put myself - my health, my enjoyment - first, and it made me much more productive once I started "catching up" a mere 15 minutes later.

As I think about it, this idea applies throughout my day. In the morning, if I don't put the first thing - my Bible reading - first, then it doesn't get done and the rest of the day is off kilter. In the evening, the first thing is taking care of my family. Not just helping with homework, referring squabbles, figuring out dinner or finding clean clothes - it is listening to their stories and sharing my own. That's what should be first. It is tempting (oh so tempting!) to rush through, to skip the first things and move right along to numbers two, three, four, five . . . check, check, check.

But when I don't experience the first things - the quiet time with God, the conversations with my sons, the bedtime stories, the rehashing of the day with my husband - then I feel depleted. Bottom of the barrel. Not first at all. What I rushed toward is disappointing. I look back longingly at what's sitting there in first.

So, first things first. That's the way to begin.

Happy Weekend, Friends.

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2 Responses to “First Things First”

  1. It is so easy to get distracted by the urgent rather than sticking to my priorities. Great reminder to me, Courtney.

  2. Great reminder, Courtney! Loved this post!