Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Treasures, Priorities and Clearing out the Chaos

Can I really be a successful working mom? Can I experience success at work and also at home?
This is a question that I ask myself all of the time.

Last week, at a training that I went to, a light bulb went off that I hope will help me get close to a loud, clear, “YES!”

I work for the federal government and it is no secret that budgets are getting tighter.
As a result, one of the topics that was discussed at my training was regarding which services could be lessened or even cut.  For those people who provide those services and can see the clear value, it is can be a hard topic.

To help everyone to be more objective,the conversation was turned around to, instead, creating a list of priorities.

As I listened to the conversation, it dawned on me that it is often hard for me to succeed because I value too many things and have not created my own priorities. 

For example, is it really important to make a Pinterest-worthy cake, or is it enough to have a birthday celebration with the people that love my kids in a simple manner? 

Does my child care about the fancy cake?

If so, should I turn that focus elsewhere or is it okay since it is a special time?

Is taking the time to make that cake taking away from time that I could be spending with my children or am I able to work it in late at night? 

These are the types of things that I think I should be considering.
As I thought about it, I realized that I have a tough time cutting things out.

However, I feel more comfortable if I just put focus on the things that seem to rise to top of the list.

That way, I do not have to officially label anything as unimportant.

Does anyone else struggle with emotional hoarding?

I could probably write 10 blog posts about that.

Anyway back to the topic at hand. How do we create these priorities?

Well, as I do with all things that I find challenging, I asked God.

This time, I turned to the bible where I found that Luke 12:34  says-
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."Wow!

Over the next few weeks, I plan to really evaluate where to put my treasure to get my heart where it should be. 
What seems obvious to me at this point is that I need to simplify. 

If I compare my treasures to money, I think too often I try to find $100 bills. 

If I simplify and just make my goals $1 or $10, I think I will find they add up to $100 much faster than I would have ever been able to find that $100 bill! 

I also know that if I limit my focus to my top priorities that my heart will get to be where it needs to be. 
I do not think there is anything wrong with doing some extra things like fancy cakes.  I think problems arise when we put those things that should be extras above the things that should be our priorities.
Please say a prayer that I am able to set my priorities where they should be to help clear some of the chaos from my heart, mind and home. I will say a prayer for you that you are able to find your successes, as well.

How do you go about setting your priorities? Please share!


Aimee does financial and asset oversight for a military housing project.  She is a wife to a medically retired police officer and mother of 2.  She treasures her roles as a mom, a wife, and a sister, a daughter, a friend, an aunt, a Godmother and a coworker.  Aimee writes a blog about parenting, family, food and whatever else crosses her scattered brain.  www.crazyblessedmomma.blogspot.com
If you are looking for a fabulous resource to help you create priorities and live them out- check out Thrive by Teri Johnson.
She is offering an amazing deal right now- you pick your price for the product and she will honor that.
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Patricia Peterson said...

I work full time during the day. I get up at 5am to work out so that I can get the little 4 year old off to pre-school/daycare by 7am. Get the oldest up and out the door by 7:20 and start work by 7:30am. Get the middle child up at 8am to get him ready for school. Work my 8 hours. My lunch break usually consists of me grocery shopping, doing errands, throwing a load of clothes in the wash, cleaning one of the rooms that is in desperate need!
Before 4:30, the end of my work day, two of the 3 kiddos are home. They get started on their homework. I get done with work and pick up the little one from school. We have dinner (meal prep is done every other week and I freeze enough meals for 2 weeks). We eat, I help with homework, do bath time, story time. By 7pm I'm exhausted.
I have a small home based business that has been put on the side for a bit while I figure this thing called life out.
Up until November of last year, I had help in raising the children. Now I'm alone to do it. With the school year staring comes sports and weeknight church activities. I don't even know how to prioritize these things.
I do spend time on Pinterest, Facebook. I love to crochet. But by 9pm I need to have the house in bed so that we can start it all over again the next day. I feel like I'm stuck in this cycle of same every day.
I pray for God to bring to me what His desires are. Now I need to pray for the order it should go in.
Thank you for your blog. I truly enjoy it.
I pray for you as well.

Anonymous said...

Love this! We can so easily get caught up in too many things that take our energy away. It can help to simplify our schedules when we have little children - it probably helps older ones, too! Just take away all the running around after 5 PM and start having more at home time with our families. Make it a priority, and I know you will see results. God did not wire us to do all this "stuff". If we are feeling stressed out, our kids will feel it, too. Keeping it all in prayer and letting go of some of it will be refreshing to your soul!

Aimee Stafford said...

Wow! Seeing your schedule in writing is quite impressive. I think we often feel like, as moms, we are supposed to be super heroes and it is hard when we realize we are human. When I write, it's often cathartic for me but I love when it touches someone else. This time of year is so challenging for kids and parents. I have super duper respect for parents who are doing it alone. I will pray that God's graces not only help you with your priorities but also in reminding you that you are a superhero even when you're human. I'm glad you seem to find a little bit of time for yourself as I think we all need that. God bless!

Aimee Stafford said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your prayers. I know you're right is not my soul, and my family, will benefit . I will pray for you as well. We mamas have to stick together!

Elizabeth Jones said...

Patricia! Wow- your schedule is intense and impressive. I am in awe. I used to get up at 5:30am but now I am dragging myself out of bed at 7am and it is not helping my family. But I know we as women we do what we have to do to keep our homes running smoothly. Your motivation motivates ME. Tomorrow I will try to get back on track:) God sees you dear friend and ALL that you do and NONE of it is in vain. You are doing a good work and your children will reap the blessings of your diligence. I pray that you have some support systems in your life so that you CAN get some time to yourself as needed. I cannot imagine doing this Mama thing alone. It certainly takes a village. Love your heart! I am amazed at your meal prep schedule as well. Can you share what resources you use? And how you plan this time into your schedule? Thanks Patricia! God Bless!

Elizabeth Jones said...

Anonymous- AMEN and AMEN to the stopping the madness of busy, busy, busy. It can be hard. I have baseball boys- including my husband who is a coach and Little League Commissioner. I also am leading a weekly Bible Study. We have baseball on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons so my Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings I try to keep us home as much as possible to have that precious evening time. When we run too much- it seeps into everything- the stress of going going going. Thanks for sharing!

Aimee Stafford said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your prayers. I know you're right is not my soul, and my family, will benefit . I will pray for you as well. We mamas have to stick together!

Patricia Peterson said...

I am actually raising three of my grandchildren. One is 12, then 10, then almost 4. The 4 year old is my ex-fiance's biological granddaughter but I have custody of her and asked that when we split if she could stay with me. I've raised her since she was 6 months old and I'm all she knows as a mom.
I've had my oldest son's children since 2008.
There are days I think what was I thinking doing this. But I'm all they have and I'd have it no other way. God provided them a safe place through me. And they are my children.

For meal prep. I like to make healthy meals. I'm on a budget so I plan carefully. I will plan what I want to eat for 2 weeks and double up on the meals.
For example. I make 2lbs of ground turkey taco meat and I can usually get 3 meals out of that.
I grill a bag of chicken breasts and freeze them in two bags. I make chili and double the recipe. I've made soups, tortellini, lasagna (freeze this on tin pans). The lasagne fed the 4 of us for 3 meals. I made tator tot hot dish and doubled the recipe. That gave me 3 meals.
I have a sheet of crockpot no cook freezer meals. I haven't tried that yet, but there are 18 meals.
I cook of r4-5 hours on a Sunday and then just warm it up the day we eat it. I got a freezer off of a garage sale site for very cheap.
We do what God puts in our lives to make it all work. BUT, he makes it work. Not me.

Elizabeth Jones said...

Patricia- thank you for sharing your life with us. That is amazing what you are doing and I praise God for putting you in these sweet babes lives.

Aimee Stafford said...

Sounds like you could teach a class in efficiency! It's sounds so organized which, in my head, also sounds peaceful in a way. Your family is clearly blessed to have you, Patricia.

Aimee Stafford said...

Sounds like you could teach a class in efficiency! It's sounds so organized which, in my head, also sounds peaceful in a way. Your family is clearly blessed to have you, Patricia.

Patricia Peterson said...

Your words are too kind!
Ive truly been blessed by reading this blog.
Thank you for your kind words!
Puts a smile on my face!