Mentoring Monday # 2 Cultivating Kindred Spirits and Choosing Priorities!

Normally when I have vlogs or writing to do, I get it done ahead of my deadlines. But, tonight, Sunday night, I had a choice to make–either leave a monthly dinner with friends and come home to do the blog–or share my sweet friends with you!

One of the reasons I did’t have time this weekend to do the blog was that my children took unexpected time! I talked on the phone to Joy for 1 1/2 hours! What fun laughing, telling each other about all the things that had happened in the last 2 days, (I last talked to her on Friday!) Also, Joel came home and so we made meals, talked about dreams, future, important decisions, and watched a movie together and of course he had to have a back scratch.

Then there was the long walk with Sarah through the fall leaves downtown and finding an unexpected estate sale where we spend an unexpected hour and a half and found treasures for $5-15–things we just couldn’t pass up. And church and reading, and and and.

Part of what I want you to know from this “video” and my sharing, is that once I decided that my children were God’s best will for my life, I saw all of my life through this grid. So when I went through my day, in general, if an interruption came into my life, since my “grid” said, “My children are my decided and valued priority,” then I could say yes to my children and put the other non-essential things aside because it did not fit with my priorities.  The other tasks and goals in my life are secondary to the plans I have made to keep  the Lord, my children and my husband first.

The effect that this had was that once I had determined that they were God’s best will for my life, it was easy to make the choice to keep them in a place of priority. And when I knew and had decided that they were God’s will for my life–then I didn’t see them as often as interruptions but as gifts. I would see my moments with them as opportunities to love and to teach and to train, instead of seeing them as interruptions to what I wanted to do with my time and with my life. They were not interruptions–they were my priority, from God.

This meant that books did not get written, chores sometimes lagged behind, phone calls were not answered and blogs were not written or edited or I didn’t have time to become “more professional” in blogging, because it was not my priority–my children and my husband were my priority.

Obviously this is not a hard and fast rule–I still manage my time to get blogs written sometimes and books written–but much more slowly and only from disciplining my schedule and life so that I made a conscious choice to not let other things steal from my commitment to raise them wholeheartedly as a mom.

So, tonight when time ran short, I asked my friends if they would just share 1 minute of their thoughts with you, because I was not ready to leave the great fellowship we (Clay, the kids and I) were having to the friends we have made a commitment to–being with them was a priority–we have spent years cultivating our friendships, working together in ministry, raising our children–and so in my grid, I knew didn’t have to ponder where I would spend my time–with my family and friends, of course, because they are my non-negotiables in the priorities I have determined to follow in my life.

And so years of choosing them, has built a feeling in my children’s lives that they always came first, the relationships are essential and so, they have in turn, honored us as adults by making us a priority. We have through these choices, built a long and strong lasting community where all of our children don’t want to miss out from our “dinners.” Even all of my older children will do anything to be sure to make this monthly time together.

I promise to try to do a more formal teaching next week, but I hope you will be able to enjoy our little “family” video and think about crafting your own group of best friends, who will grow to love your mutual values, if you do life, ministry and ideals together.

Hope you all have a great week!

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Comments

  1. Erica says

    I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to prioritize this Mentoring Mondays post. I loved hearing from your friends and family.

  2. says

    Our moms group/bible study leader mentioned your blog last week and I have been reading it and enjoying it ever since. As a mom to two young children, I have really enjoyed your blog. Thank you for your mentoring monday videos and words of wisdom!

  3. says

    “Part of what I want you to know from this “video” and my sharing, is that once I decided that my children were God’s best will for my life, I saw all of my life through this grid. So when I went through my day, in general, if an interruption came into my life, since my “grid” said, “My children are my decided and valued priority,” then I could say yes to my children and put the other non-essential things aside because it did not fit with my priorities. The other tasks and goals in my life are secondary to the plans I have made to keep the Lord, my children and my husband first.

    The effect that this had was that once I had determined that they were God’s best will for my life, it was easy to make the choice to keep them in a place of priority. And when I knew and had decided that they were God’s will for my life–then I didn’t see them as often as interruptions but as gifts. I would see my moments with them as opportunities to love and to teach and to train, instead of seeing them as interruptions to what I wanted to do with my time and with my life. They were not interruptions–they were my priority, from God.

    This meant that books did not get written, chores sometimes lagged behind, phone calls were not answered and blogs were not written or edited or I didn’t have time to become “more professional” in blogging, because it was not my priority–my children and my husband were my priority.”

    I absolutely love this above part of this post! I printed it off!! I REALLY, REALLY needed this today!

    Also…I love the bit you mentioned about Joel…I’ve been needing some ideas for encouragement for boys. I’ve found myself at a bit of a loss about how to reach their hearts. My boys are 7 and 5…I have done dates etc with them and need to spend the time doing that again soon? Any wisdom regarding the precious world of boys? :-)

  4. Ashley says

    Way fun! I loved seeing your ‘circle’ of friends, and hearing you and them share. (You’re real! hehe) It especially touched my heart to hear your wisdom about babies, and caring for them. As a first time mom to my 8 month Lily, it is a blessing to hear those words. It comforts me so much. Thank you!

  5. Amber says

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing your circle of friends with us and for what each of you had to say. You have inspired me to try think more deeply about the friends in my life and how we can be together in more meaningful and helpful ways.

  6. Carrie says

    I just love your mentoring encouragement sweet Sally! And yes, modeling putting your family first.
    Have a wonderful week!

  7. says

    Thank you for all your wonderful encouragement over the years. I love all your books. My struggle is that I feel like I don’t “do” teens well. I know others struggle in this area. Overheard at church recently from a Mom of teens: “Girls, I just give them chocolate and send them to their room because I figure its probably hormonal. Boys, I have no idea what to do with them!” Maybe one of your Mentoring Mondays could be for parents with teens, pretty please?! :)

  8. Tricia says

    I love this! So needed this encouragement this week! Thanks for sharing your friends with us. I completely agree about staying home when we can and fully investing in the lives of my 4 gifts and we do that daily. I also long for a best friends group like this, but find it difficult to find since I’m mostly at home. And I find it difficult to meet Moms with this kind of attitude towards their children. Any suggestions?

  9. Sally says

    Thank You for doing these mentoring Mondays! I long to have a group of friends like you and your family have developed. My husband and I are older parents (54 and 45) of a 6 year old. I am finding it very difficult to develop relationships with other parents. We have some friends with high school/college age kids but we are not as connected as they have other activities that draw them together. Any suggestions on how to develop more relationships that are family nurturing?

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