In the crazy, busy season of our life that we are in, my friendships have often taken a backseat to my "to do" list and to the people that need me the most (k, d, and c, not to name names...) It's not that I don't value my friends, I do! I am a social, energetic person who loves being around people, but the longer my "to do" list becomes, the less time I spend outside of my little bubble.
We are getting prepared to move away from WI, a place we have to come to regard as "home," to a new city in MN. As we get ready, I find myself putting off cleaning the fridge to hang out with a friend. Or not worrying about the laundry, so that I can make it to the bible study on Friday mornings. Grocery shopping doesn't HAVE to be done on Wednesdays, since a friend happened to be available for a play date that same morning. I took the kids out on a long walk because I wanted them to enjoy the trail near our house, rather than getting that long workout in....I am more flexible about my schedule, more engaged with the people in my life, and in general, feeling more happy about the relationships.
It's sad when it takes losing a relationship to make you value it. But as the busyness of life grows in it's demands, I continually put people on the back burner, waiting until there's a little more time to fit them in.... telling myself that we'll have them over for dinner when things 'settle down.' And as I really begin to lean more heavily on God for comfort these days, in my time of need... it dawns on me that I have done the exact same thing with Him. My own Creator. Not realizing that eventually, time does run out.
I have set Him aside while I focused on things that "had" to get done... getting ready for school to start, lesson planning, packing lunches, exercising, getting stuff put together for a non profit I am involved with...
Is it easy to put Him first? Obviously not. Just like it isn't easy to find a balance between relationships and the stuff that ACTUALLY *has* to get done. But I am guessing the joy that I am experiencing, the peace even in the midst of my exhaustion and sadness over leaving.. it's because my priorities are finally re-shifting back into place.
It takes constant discipline to keep things in the forefront of our minds. God tells us many times in the bible to "seek first the the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33) to "have no other Gods before Me" (Exodus 20:1) but living it out practically is much harder. I'm finding that the more I read His Word, the better I do. It sounds silly, easy, ridiculously obvious and simple, but REALLY reading His word takes time! Something most busy moms just can't afford to set aside. But finally, I have learned, and will likely have to learn again and again and again, that I really cannot afford not to.