Life hectic? Slow the pace down this week to carve out time to pray over your 2010 priorities. It’s important for you and me to know the Lord’s priorities for this point in our lives. He has a plan for investing our time, talents, and energy in 2010. If praying over priorities is new, here’s how I go about it for myself and family each year.
- Start with prayer. Ask for the Lord’s wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and discernment.
- Have pen and paper ready. I use a notebook or journal to easily refer back in the days ahead.
List yourself and each family member and ask God to show you where He wants you to invest your time, talents, and energy in 2010. For your family, think through their talents, skills, personalities, and interests you want to invest in. As areas come to your mind (including their and your character weaknesses) write them down and pray over them asking for the Lord’s direction. Ponder the goals the Lord would have for you and your family. Each of these steps will help in the decision making of involvement in different activities.
For example: Perhaps you have a musically talented child who you see is rather self-absorbed or incredibly shy. God may very well give you the idea to invest time with this child, using her talent of singing and playing the guitar to visit a nursing home where her focus can be off of herself and on touching the lives of others. This may result in you saying yes to the whole family spending time at nursing homes instead of going to watch a movie with friends.
Once you have prayed through the priorities for you and your family in 2010, it’s time to make decisions based upon these priorities. Making the Lord’s priorities our own for the New Year means setting some boundaries and having a clear understanding of acceptance.
Learn to say no with confidence.
Don’t say, “I don’t have enough time.” Simply say, “No.” Your answer can be given with confidence if you are making it because of the priorities God has given you for your child, family, or particular things He wants to accomplish in your life right now.
The fact is, saying I don’t have enough time actually means: it is not a priority right now. If you offer excuses the person hearing them may not understand and try to offer solutions to overcome your excuses. Keep in mind the real reason for your no is this particular endeavor or activity you were asked to participate in does not line up with where you feel your time should be spent at this point in your life. Politely say no. As you see this person, do not run from her. Inquire how things are going with her endeavors.
Don’t take no personally
When you hear someone say, I don’t have enough time to something of interest to you, let it be an insight that they are not as interested in something as you may be at this time. Do not be offended by it. This will help you grow in the area of not feeling rejected and taking things too personally.
By knowing the specific priorities God has given you right now, you will more easily be able to say yes to things that line up with these priorities and no, without guilt, to some very good things that just do not fit this season of your life.
Having grace to accept where others are in life, you will be able to hear a no and not feel a sense of rejection. You will be able to recognize I don’t have enough time as an indication of a lack of priority, and that’s quite alright.