Splashed all over the internet this fall was a headline about a Mom who lost her toddler in a corn maze overnight. I must confess, my own Mom called to warn me. Her fear was that this could happen to me. This particular headline jumped out at me because I had just read about the time Mary and Joseph lost Jesus. You know, ‘the one and only begotten Son of God.’ When they finally found Him tween Jesus responds:
“Why were you looking for me? Did you know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ – Luke 2:49
God has really been dealing with me lately about how self-centered my life is and how I need to look up. I’ve been mulling over how Jesus answered his earthly parents when they finally found him. I feel as if it is just an extension of what God has been speaking to me. To stop focusing on the meaningless, worthless, and urgent. It’s time to make only things that truly matter priority. It’s time to be about my Father’s business.
I know God is telling me to make Christ’s priorities my own. I’ve been praying and asking God to show me how to balance between living in this world and keeping my focus on people and eternity. What are the right things? What can I let go?
Obviously, this is ultimately between me and God and what works for my life may not apply to you; but, I have come up with a few guidelines I’m going to try and live by from here on out. Maybe they’ll help inspire you as well.
1. Start and end with prayer and in the Word. Not just personally but with my kids as well.
So obviously, this is KING and super basic but sometimes life gets crazy and I have to continuously fight to keep this number one. My kids look to me for leadership and guidance in ALL.THE.THINGS right now. I teach them to wipe their booties and brush their teeth and to use their manners and … well, you get the idea. Why wouldn’t I make sure I am teaching them to start and end their day with prayer and the Word? For us right now this is practicing a verse that we are memorizing before going to school (my foster kids attend public school). My homeschooled kids do their daily Bible journal in the mornings. In the evenings we read from the Jesus Storybook Bible before bed and practice our memory verse again. You could do any sort of devotional, read a book of the Bible. Whatever works for you and yours.
2. Love on someone I don’t live with every day.
I’m going to have to get outside of my four walls. It doesn’t have to be huge or monumental. A friendly gesture, a card popped into the mailbox, mowing lawn for the neighbor two houses down, a sweet treat for the older gentleman who walks by with his dog every day, something… anything! As long as it gets me out of my bubble. In a pinch, a comment on facebook or quick text to let someone know I am thinking about them or praying for them would even work.
3. Post scripture memory cards where daily tasks are done.
Sure laundry and dishes don’t matter in eternity, but they are a part of this life that I can’t exactly neglect. I can redeem that time by posting some scripture memory cards in areas where I have to spend significant time doing mind-numbing work on repeat.
4. Put love notes in backpacks and lunch boxes, and encourage kiddos to love on their teachers and friends.
I tell myself every single day that the only things I can take to heaven with me are my friends and family, so any time I can spend loving on people and building relationships is time well invested. Teaching my kiddos to do the same is just a natural extension of this. They need the training to develop good habits and to fight against living self-centered lives. So while I take the time to tuck a love note into their lunchbox to brighten their day I also encourage them to slip a kind note of their own to a teacher or friend.
5. Get up early and walk my neighborhood praying for the people in the homes I pass along the way.
Getting active has many benefits. Using that time as an opportunity to pray for my literal neighbors, or reflecting on something God has been speaking to my heart, is just icing on the cake.
6. Put the Bible first in our homeschooling & use it as our main curriculum.
I have been homeschooling from the beginning and I love the closeness that it brings to my family and the maturity my children have from it. I would love to see us grow in this area by turning to Scripture more often than any other curriculum.
7. Plan neighborhood parties and get-togethers.
To love my neighbors well I need to get to know them. Plain and simple. It is a dream of mine to not only host neighborhood events such as an Easter Egg Hunt, Fourth of July Block Party, and a Fall Festival. But to rally other believers in my entire town into participating on their own streets in their own neighborhoods. Together we can do more!
If you took a wrong left turn and somehow ended up here and have zero in common with a stay at home, homeschooling, foster Mom to nine – it’s totally ok. You can take some time and ask God to show you how you can accomplish His business in your very own day to day to life. Share what He reveals below with us all. We could all use a fresh perspective.