First there was a work opportunity to temporarily take on a few more hours and work full time. I knew the extra pay would be helpful to some of the goals my husband and I have set, and I thought if I was careful to say no to other opportunities I could make it work for a little while. It wasn't just the money either--my coworker temporarily wasn't able to be there the days she usually is, and my boss really needed those extra hous covered. It would have been hard to turn them down.
The second problem was that at the same time I took on extra hours at work, I also took on two major home projects. These required extensive hours planning, more financial outlay than I realized, and completely tapped my physical and mental stamina.
On top of these two major issues, I never got around to cutting back on the normal activities like I said I would. Community group one evening, Bible class another, visiting family, various social activities, church commitments--I just kept going and going.
I wasn't willing to give myself grace when I wasn't able to keep my home as tidy as I like to, or have the laundry done in good time, or keep the dishes in the sink under control. I could have chosen to look at the situation as a temporary one and given myself the grace I needed to do what I was able to do and leave the rest. Or I could have chosen to take proactive steps to remove the stressers I'd overcommitted myself to. Instead I became grumpy, stressed, and hard-to-live-with, while still doing everything that I thought needed to be done (and not doing it very well, either).
Recently I have been reminded that my first responsibility is at home. If my other activities--whether work, church, social, family, or just-for-fun--get in the way of that, I've got to cut back. In fact, sometimes even "home" related activities can grow disproportionate, and need to be trimmed.
My primary goals in this life are to have a growing relationship with Christ, to become a joyful and radiant picture of the Bride of Christ in the way I treat my husband, and to create a peaceful and happy home. Anything that detracts from these goals needs to be re-examined and then either restructured or chunked. If that means that I can't do all the activities I want to do (or that other people want me to do), so be it.
What about you? What lessons has God been teaching you lately? Have you ever struggled with keeping your priorities in the right place?