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Monday, July 26, 2010

Determining Priorities

I am working on finding my purpose during my time here on earth. In doing this I will be addressing four basic life issues over the next several days that will determine the significance, the success, and the satisfaction of my life.

The four basic life issues I will be addressing are: Defining identity, accepting responsibility, determining priorities, and choosing authority.

I am creating this process off of a sermon I recently listened to that was given by a pastor at The Promise, in Indianapolis. You can hear his sermon here if you are interested: Resolving Issues on Your Purpose.

Today I am working on determining priorities.

I've got to settle the issue of what is really important in my life. There are many things I carry very near & dear to my heart. Here are a few, not in any specific order:

Taking care of my mind, body, and soul.

Raising happy & healthy children.

Taking care of my family.

Being in an unconditionally loving and committed relationship.

Giving to my community.

Making sure my carbon footprint is as small as possible.

Teaching my children the importance of caring about their carbon footprint.

Being the best being, mother, wife/partner, friend, and worker that I can be.

Working towards my purpose.

When life gets tough, I let my morals and values go out the window. This is not to say that I do bad things. This means that when my husband and I have a disagreement I let go of the idea that I wanted to take a family walk that night. When the kids are misbehaving I decide not to work out on the treadmill. When my husband is absent I decide not to take the kids to the fair alone because he isn't there.

I have to stop letting myself give up. I have to stop giving up whenever there is a hiccup in the road. I cannot blame my husband for me not being willing to do what I want to do for our family when he isn't fully present.

One message from the sermon that I have said many times over is that If I do not decide what is important in my life someone else will decide for me. This is parenting at a very basic level. If I do not teach my children about religion someone else will. If I don't teach my children about sex, someone else will. People have even said things like "If you don't take care of your wife, someone else will."

Now, I am not sure yet how this may apply to me. It may not. I am very confident in making parenting decisions before someone else, but I'm not so sure about myself. In evaluating what was important to me for my life before I got into a serious relationship after the divorce...It was important to me that we had a healthy diet. It was important to me that we live a low digital life. I didn't want my children to be raised by TV and video games, the Internet and cell phones. I gave into all of those ideals. My partner wanted cable TV. He got it without any fuss from me beyond "I am not paying for that." He enjoyed video games. I never asked him to not play them around my children. He wanted to have high speed Internet. I got sucked in.

I gave into nearly all of these things that were important to me. I told myself that it was a compromise and that this is what couples do in a healthy relationship. Somehow I missed the place where I should have been in those decisions. I've noticed that a lot of decisions have been made that I let someone else make for me. This is an area where I need to really center my focus. Other people can only make decisions for me if I let them. I have to stop allowing that to happen, especially for the big stuff.

It is impossible to live the way I want to live if I continue to live by our world values. I have to remember what is important to me, and to stick with that.

The last part of the sermon I will touch on will be Choosing authority. This is a part that I have interpreted in a much different way than I am sure the pastor intended but it did make me take a look at where I choose authority, and where I let authority choose me. Stay tuned!


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