Yesterday morning Jim sent me a link to an article he had read, and it bothered me all day. It's about priorities, and here is the part that got to me:
"If an executive has their Blackberry at his kid’s ballgame because work it still a priority, then how much does he value the fleeting time he has to watch his kids grow up?
If the urgent always takes priority over the important, then how much do we value the important over the urgent?
If indeed we value things that we are not prioritizing or prioritizing things we do not value as much, then perhaps it is time to realign our priorities..."
I have been thinking a lot about the time I spend crafting and decorating and blogging, and I have been asking myself a lot of questions: Why do those things matter to me? Is it okay to spend time on them? Does God approve of this use of my time? Can I justify making a room look pretty when there are people all over the world who don't have clean clothes to wear or food to eat?
And what about my kids? Are they getting the best of me?
At the beginning of the year we signed up to sponsor two children through Compassion and World Vision. And as I have thought about their lives and their needs, I have felt more and more guilty about my own life. I feel guilty for having so much, for pursuing beauty when it is so inconsequential, for putting my time and energy into things that don't really matter (like, big-picture matter). And yet I know that guilt and shame are not of our Father. I know that the enemy is taking my good thoughts and using them to make me feel bad about who I am. He starts distorting things so that I feel bad about having food to eat and beautiful clothes to wear and the fact that my kids have toys... And pretty soon I even feel guilty for living in an affluent country.
I won't let Satan win. After weeks of grappling with these thoughts and mulling them over all day yesterday, here is where I have landed on these issues:
- God made me this way. I have an eye for aesthetics and a passion for the fun, creative, and crafty. I can choose to embrace or deny these things, but they're still a part of who I am. I can use my skills to bless friends and family with homemade gifts and baby showers and comfortable, safe spaces, or I can use those skills to seek fame and fortune, in which case I will be deeply disappointed.
- God made this world beautiful just because He could. Several people have reminded me of this in the last few days, and I appreciate the reminder. I have always been obsessed with trees (ob.sessed.) and I love to include them in my decorating because they make me think of my favorite Designer. He appreciates beauty and is the source of all creativity. Beauty isn't bad... God MADE everything beautiful!
- My kids are not being cheated. I work hard to make sure that's true. Sometimes I get wrapped up in a project too much and regret that I didn't spend more quality time with them, but that is true for every mom. I am aware of my selfish tendencies and set boundaries so that the kids do not suffer too often. And the very fact that a simple article on priorities could make me cry shows that I care deeply and my kids are going to be okay.
Honoring the Lord is what I value most in this life. I'm going to look harder at the way I spend my time and make sure that it is also my top priority.