In my world, life is a constant juggle. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. No matter how early I get up and how late I stay up there is always so much left to get done. My mom raised 6 children; worked in the emergency room of University Hospitals for over 30 years, kept an immaculate and orderly home; found time to care for others; grew a beautiful flower garden every year; worked in the church and still found more time to keep herself looking good.
When I was struggling with my young sons and traveling a lot for my job I called my mom to asked how she did it all. She said, “Baby, You gotta put your priorities in the right perspective.” She learned this long before Stephen Covey taught us to do “first things first.”
When I was I child, I marveled how my mom got it all done. No matter how early I got up, she was up even earlier. After 25 years of marriage, my mom and dad divorced and, although it was not easy for her, she managed to keep it together. She paid off our home by the time I was in junior high school. She knew has had to get the bills paid and on time so she stayed up late, putting all of her bills in a ledger and getting them mailed on time.
No matter how busy she was, she made time to listen to me and my concerns about life. No matter how exhausted she was, she could be found on her knees beside her bed praying to God and giving thanks. She knew the power of laughter and there was no shortage of fun in our household.
Being on time was a priority for mom and even though she didn’t drive, she kept a schedule for every bus in Cleveland and would get where she had to go. When things would come up at the last minute, she would re-group and make the time to get important things done.
She made seeing about others a priority and used her love for writing and cooking to comfort and encourage so many. Even after she had a stroke and had to slow down considerably, she once again shifted her priorities to do what she could do. She graciously dealt with her new limitations and let go of things that she was no longer able to do. Her new priority was living out her last days ensuring that her legacy was in tact. She wanted to make sure that all of her worldly possessions found a good home. She gave nuggets of wisdom as long as she could. At 85 years old, she had a video filmed of herself so that we would have it to share with our off-springs for years to come. She even left a poem for us in her safety deposit box in 1987 with a note on it that read “I hope this gives you comfort when the time comes.” She added “I hope you won’t need it for a long time.” That was 25 years ago!
Mom made the most of every day by keeping her priorities in order. My goal is to learn from that lesson and look at how I am spending my time and make daily adjustments to make the most of each day. Some things we must get done and we have to recognize those things. Other things can wait when something more pressing comes along. The key is to pray for wisdom to know what to do when.
How will you spend today? Take time to look at your life and see what changes need to be made. I would love to hear from you and have you share what you are doing to make each day really count. Remember, you have to keep your priorities in the right perspective!