What is most important

What is most important?

This is a question that marks my days no matter what my state of mind or health.  Every day for as long as I can remember, I got up and set goals for my waking hours.  Even if I have to modify them over and over again before the day is done, I have a mental list of what I hope to do.  It’s just how I am wired.  Some things get written down and some do not.  Before long I meet with the Lord and we go over things.  Usually some changes follow!

Proverbs 16:9 New International Version (NIV)

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

If I’m not sure what to do (when overwhelmed or facing a barrier of some sort) then I stop and ask the Lord about it.  He knows my situation in addition to the desires of my heart and usually answers in a way that draws me closer to Him.  Sometimes I am challenged in obeying His leading.  That is always a mistake.  Things always go better if I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, usually to read my Bible or listen to Bible teaching.  The day that follows always goes better that way.

When we are battling an illness or caring for a loved one our personal resources are limited.  Additionally, we may never know when that reservoir of energy or cognitive capacity will run out so we must make our best guess and proceed accordingly.  Will new demands change everything?  It is really hard to be flexible when our hopes are dashed over and over again, less gets done, and we become overwhelmed. So we strive to keep our spirits high and go with the flow, right?  “Let go, let God” as the 12-Steppers teach? There is always tomorrow, right?

Plans changing repeatedly over the course of the day or night has dominated my past 5 years so much that I practically numb out when it happens again.  I am not sure if this is a good idea or not?  What follows for me is pursuing smaller and smaller tasks after answering the question:  what is most important?  Often what has happened next fits the category more of survival than enjoyable:  get that rescue remedy from the frig . . . I will help you walk to the kitchen . . . trust me and push yourself up to get your legs working again.  Don’t worry, you won’t fall.  I tell you, this principle of setting priorities gets REAL really fast when in a time of crisis!

That may be an extreme example for you, Gentle Reader, so I will just say this a different way.  We both will be o.k. if we set our plans before the throne of grace and let the Lord guide is in all things big and small.  He cares for the details of our lives.  As He orders our steps He also gives us the power to take those steps too.  What is most important always gets done this side of heaven.  We didn’t die because the bathrooms didn’t get cleaned or we had to eat canned meat for dinner!  Dwelling in the presence of my Savior is the best food, fitting for my soul anyways.  And that dwelling happens best when completely in the arms of our Heavenly Father who loves us so!

As my brother, Mike, has often said:  just keep moving forward.  Yup.  When I can I do.  And sometimes that means staying right where I am for a while.  Rest is important too ya know . . .  JJ

scripture, Bible, Christian, to do list, list, priorities, important, Proverbs 19:9


Lyin’ in the Morning Sun


I had the chance to “sit by the dock of the bay” or river/reservoir/lake/ocean many times this past year and was unable to take it.

I had the chance to work part time as an occupational therapist in home care and have been unable to do it since March.

I had the chance to garden and fell short of the project “To Do” list.

I had the chance to live as others do and was not selected to live as they do.

Like the song says, “I can’t do what ten people tell me to do.  So I guess I’ll remain the sa-me.”

What have I been able to do?  Learn how much Jesus loves me just as I am.  Feel His love directly through the love of my life, Steve.  Give back here and there out of my weakness alone.  Take time to pray.  Learn to breathe more deeply.  Meet people I never knew before.  Witness the Lord’s majesty and grace in ways I’d never experienced before.  Let go, let God beyond what I ever learned in 12-step circles.  Seek and find the face of Jesus.  Do it sick.  Apply the talents He has given me in new ventures as a Master Gardener Intern and Principal Designer/Owner.  Live in humility and gratitude (and continue to grow in both).  Meet you, gentle reader.

Now that I’m up off of the couch, I think I can take the dog out and get ready for the day.  Golly gee, my tummy hurts and I don’t know why.  And here come the sweats and oh do I feel sick.  Wonder if I’ll make it to my second craft show this Saturday?  If I do, it’s gonna take a miracle for sure!  Alas, I am reminded:

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.  Zech 4

Yes, by His Spirit alone.  Unlike the words of Otis Redding who sang, “sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting ti-me,” I know that nothing is wasted in God’s economy.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, my eternal life has already begun.  This time is not measured by tasks or the stuff of this life on earth.  This time, today, is measured by grace.  I’m layin’ in the morning sun on the couch, typing at the computer with the sun at my back through the window, and breathing in deeply, the subtle richness of knowing that I can do all things through Him that strengthens me (Phil 4:13).  So glad I got that straight today.  Elle!  Let’s gooooooooooooooooo!