Family First?

Family First
2 Corinthians 8:5 And this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you

John 3:30 He must increase, I must decrease

Throughout my life, I have always heard people say, “Family First.” I am pretty sure that Dr. Phil may have a book with that title. It seems so important that we place our family ahead of everything. I would venture to guess that most of my readers place their family above all else. It’s servant hood, right? Wrong. Here is the trick with that familiar term – if your family comes first, then where is God? Yes, caring for your family is very important. God entrusted you with their care, but He didn’t ask you to place them above Him. All of us fall into the trap that our kids and husband must come first in our life. It is a natural instinct for us to care for our cubs. When we do this and we fail to see the importance of God in our life, we fail our family. God is the link that enables you to be a good mother and wife. God is the key to balance in your life. If you don’t make room for God, then everything else will fall to pieces. Exhaustion. Depression. Loneliness. Those are three key words that happen when we place our family before God. After all, we could not do everything without Him helping us. We need his strength. We need his Word. We need Him as our friend.

Let me give you an example of my week (which I am sure will sound familiar to all of you). I am not even including the numerous times I went to the grocery, volunteered at the school, went to
meetings during the day, etc:

Monday – TJ cross country practice pick up by 4:30, Megan cross country practice – pick up by 5, Made Dinner this night.

Tuesday – Megan Meet 30 minutes away from 5-7p, TJ cross country 6:30-7:30p drive both ways, meeting at 6:45pm at church. Picked up dinner.

Wednesday – Megan Meet 40 minutes away from 5:30-7:30, TJ cross country until 4:30p, Meeting at church 8pm-9:30pm. TJ and Kate had leftovers from night before and picked up dinner for Megan, Pete and I.

Thursday – Megan choir practice, then cross country pick up at 5pm, TJ cross country 6:15-7:15p, Meeting at church 7:30p for Kate’s First Reconciliation. Making dinner in crockpot this night.

Friday – Megan choir concert 7p, go to concert and take home at 8:30p; Kate soccer practice 5:30p-6:30p. Pete has meeting this night so cannot help with pick-ups. Order pizza for dinner is on my list.

Saturday – TJ Meet 1 hour away from 8a-11:30a, Kate soccer game 2pm. Lunch on the run!

Sunday – BREATHE and go to church

Are you exhausted? I am. This week I lived moment to moment. I had to because if I thought ahead, I would have gone nuts. What did I do so that the week didn’t become a checklist and I actually had a chance at enjoying the moments in life? The answer is easy, I placed God in my life. Just by sitting down each day and reading scripture and writing my blog, I allowed God to have a relationship with me. I have told him my weaknesses, and he strengthens them through prayer, through people and through moments: moments that enable me to become aware of His awesome presence. It is a gift that He gives me when I spend time with Him. He allows me to see His greatness through moments. Because I have made God my friend (not just an acquaintance) I recognize Him immediately. It makes me smile to live in the moment.

Let’s say that I decided to push God out of my life. Maybe I just don’t have time for that morning reflection or scripture reading. What do you think my week would be like? AWFUL! I would check off my list of things to do, and I guarantee you I wouldn’t recognize God throughout the week. By the end of the week, I wouldn’t be just BREATHING on Sunday, I would be EXHAUSTED. The life would be drained out of me and I would have nothing to do but to look ahead at the next week and feel more tired.

Does your life seem out of control? Do you feel completely depressed because all you seem to do is tote kids around, grocery shop and pick up stuff for your family? Do you feel like you just don’t have time for this God thing, and you tend to push Him away before cutting out something else in your life? If that is how you feel, you are not making room for God in your life. You are making a huge mistake. We must rejuvenate ourselves if we want to be strong leaders for our kids. We must find the time for God. We must be models to our family that God is the most important key to finding balance in life.

Here are a few ways I like to spend my time from 8a-9a in the morning:

1) Read Scripture. Pick up the bible and read. I love the book of James – it is a wonderful, short book filled with lots of information on friendship and tongue holding (something I struggle with)

2) Bible Study. Sometimes I read my study during this time and rejuvenate my soul.

3) Prayer. On Friday’s I love my Adoration time. I go up to church and spend time with God. Sometimes I just sit, other times I write, and other times I read. It nourishes my heart for what is to come for the day.

4) Write. Every morning, Monday through Friday, I write my blog. I try to reflect on things that have happened in the past week and I am honest with my own failures (and there are plenty of them). This allows me time to reflect with God about my sins, and how can I help others to recognize sin in their life by sharing my own disappointments.

5) Church. Our church offers a service Monday through Saturday at 8am. Every once in a while I make it up there to enjoy the daily readings and worship with my fellow Parishioners. It is awe-inspiring to see all the people that attend the service. It is obviously needed!

There are so many ways that we can convince ourselves that we don’t have time for God. We can find many excuses why our family is way more important. We can see, touch, and hear our family after all. We cannot do that with God, so it is easy to push him aside and make him less important. Remember the scripture above? John 3:30 He must increase. I must decrease. Try to find a way to dwell on what you cannot see for just a week. Try to find a time whether it is in the morning, afternoon or evening to spend some much needed time to refresh your soul. You need it, and your family will reap the benefits from it!

How do you spend your time with God? How can you make God the most important aspect of your life?

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About aslamkowski

Blogger, Speaker and Author of "Revealing Faith: Learning to Place God First in Your Life" Most importantly, desperately wanting to hear and follow God's Will, wife of Peter and mother of three kids.
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Women and Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Family First?

  1. I am honest enough to say I don’t subscribe to any religion but I do believe in god. I guess I am still finding my way in the world? I think we all live and learn. But more important is you look for god and try and build that relationship, as I am trying to.

    Good read, thanks for sharing.
    Shaun

  2. aslamkowski says:

    That is for sure Shaun! Finding how important God is in your life is fabulous!

  3. Brook says:

    I think God thinks true worship is loving other people, especially and including our families. Cooking for them, taking them places, being there for them when we can…whatever we do “for the least of these,” we do for Jesus, which is true worship. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t have time or don’t take time for “official” prayers and Bible study, although those are important. You are showing Jesus to your children and family even if you just give a cup of cold water to them. They will see Jesus in you as you love them. (My children are adults now and on their own. Now I miss all those activities (and appreciate their dad’s help) in making it possible for us to do many things together!)

  4. aslamkowski says:

    You know what I love? Prayer can be found doing the dishes. Thanking God for the moments is so important! The important part is showing God in your own life so that you model it to your children. Its so easy to get bogged down in the “check list” of life that you miss out on the “God moments” of life!

  5. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

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