Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My "Best Things" List (Life-Focus Areas)

Last month, I read a book that I highly recommend - "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" by Crystal Paine. (Visit Crystal's blog here.) Definitely check out this book!

In her book, Crystal encourages readers to write out a priority list of "best things." Where do we wish to focus our time and energy as we move through life? Each woman will have different priorities, but we must be aware of those priorities. Otherwise, we risk frittering away our time on the less-important things that threaten to distract us.

Crystal also encourages her readers to "flesh out" their priority lists - to write down what their priorities will look like in practical living.

I found this challenge interesting, so I grabbed my notebook and started writing. I thought it would be fun to share!

My "Best Things" List:

(1) A growing and maturing relationship with the Lord

  • What this looks like: Reading the Bible and taking it seriously, reading theologically-sound spiritual books, prayer, family devotions, church attendance, placing myself under my husband's spiritual guidance and authority. 

(2) Real friendships with women

  • What this looks like: Minimizing my time on social media and making time for friends and neighbors.

(3) Mental and emotional calm, joy, and peace

  • What this looks like: Prayer. Because prayer is the only way this can be achieved.

(4) An unhurried life and schedule

  • What this looks like: Learning to say "no" a lot more than I say "yes" - a very difficult thing to do as a home educating mama! Practicing as much ruthless minimalism as I can manage so that our "stuff" does not cause a huge daily "must dig out of this mess" problem.

(5) A clean, organized, and uncluttered house

  • What this looks like: Saying no to the computer so that I can say yes to my home. Realizing that a clean home is important to me, and making time to see that happen. Again - ruthless minimalism is the key for my sanity. 

(6) Successfully loving, training, and educating my children

  • What this looks like: If I fail here, nothing else really matters. Thus, this is a huge priority. What does it involve? Everything! Teaching, playing, discipling, training, planning, organizing, loving and enjoying. I have come so far in this area, but I have so far yet to go. It is a daily challenge. 

(7) A strong and enduring marriage

  • What this looks like: In all honesty, romance isn't important to me. Flowers, cards, candy, candlelit dinners? Skip it, please! Instead, I look toward those old-time marriages in which couples were intertwined for life simply by living and working side-by-side for decades. Ways to make this happen - preserving and treasuring our daily coffee time, protecting our relationship from destructive influences, trusting and respecting my husband in thought and word, and making it a priority to spend time with him rather than being out on my own. 

(8) Time to write and improve as a writer

  • What this looks like: It has come to me only this past year that writing is something that I enjoy for itself, not just as an emotional outlet. I would like to improve in this area, and to work toward learning more and improving my abilities. 

(9) Continually improving my homemaking skills

  • What this looks like: Right now, this includes budgeting and bargain-hunting, learning to be a crock-pot master, learning to cook and buy in bulk, and more. The challenges change with every season in life, but they are never-ending. There's always something more to learn.

Dear friends, I'd love to hear about your "best things" - leave a comment and tell me about them! 

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