For weeks before the deployment began, I pored over tips and forums written by seasoned military wives. I had questions and I even had question about questions I didn’t even know I had yet. I wanted to know it all. I wanted to be as prepared as I could possibly be.
One of the recurring themes in the deployment-ready advice was: Stay busy. Do new things. Go back to school (or get another job).
At first, I scoffed. Who are these people? Do they even HAVE children? If they were getting second jobs and all going back to school, how were they taking care of their kids and dropping them off at soccer and gymnastics and watching plays?
But then, I found out that during the deployment, I would be eligible for a special grant to allow me to go back to school for a couple of semesters. And, from there…my brain just started spinning. I thought about how many credit hours I already had and how nice it’d be to finally have them rolled up into some sort of degree – something to show for the hard work I’d already done. I thought about how much my family would would like that piece of paper. I thought about how much it would make me more “well-rounded.” You know, just something else to put under my belt. Also, this would definitely keep me busy…just like they advised.
I enjoy learning (even in a school format), so I jumped into the sign-up process headfirst. Within a couple of weeks, I was not only enrolled in school and classes, but I had all of my financial aid and transfer transcripts in line and ready to go.
However, I forgot something major. I forgot to prioritize.
Oh, I prioritized homework and social events. I made schedules, trying to fit in being a mom of two, their activities, their schooling, and my own lessons and homework. I even prayed that God would somehow make room in my day for the homework to get finished (and He didn’t disappoint).
But, I forgot to REALLY prioritize.
You see, I wanted to stay busy. I was offered a military grant for spouses that could only be used in a certain window of time (NOW) and I was told I was crazy not to take it. I wanted to prove myself. But, I didn’t step back to see how it lined up with the things on my priority list: God, husband, children, family, ministry, friends, work, money. Actually, to be honest, I don’t think it even belonged on the list at all (I wasn’t planning on using the degree in the near future.)
The choice to go back to school at this time in my life wasn’t a good one. And, had I looked at my priority list beforehand, I would’ve realized that. Sometimes, we get swayed by what others think is a good idea, or what seems to make sense for everyone else and forget to look at our priorities and God’s will in our life. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle, that we forget where we’re even going.
So, my questions to you are these:
Looking at the way you live your day to day life, what are your priorities NOW?
What do you want them to be?
What will you do to get them from where they currently are to where you’d like them to be?