I had recently posted this picture in a previous post. To be recognized for hard work and dedication is always nice and uplifting. But making the time for such things isn't always easy.
Craig and I always say "People will make time for what they want to make time for." Because of our hectic schedules, we're always looking at our priorities and seeing what can be squeezed into each day.
Of course our #1 priority is God. We make sure we are at church on Wednesday nights and Sunday morning. We have such a close relationship with God and rely only on Him. Our faith continues to grow through the years and God has never let us down.
Our #2 priority is family. We are raising our kids to know and live for God. They know the importance of church and why we go. We also make sure the family comes first in any of our planning.
Our #3 priority is work. We make our work schedules around our family schedule, not the other way around. Craig and I talk every week about what's on the schedule for the next week. He tries to work around that. If we can't do everything, we start crossing off the less important things. For example, this week we had to choose between Craig being available for Kaitlyn's Open House at school or me going to a social function with friends. Obviously, we chose the first option and I'm absolutely okay with that. By choosing family first, we are creating memories for our kids that they will always know their parents were there for them. Hopefully, they'll carry on these important values to their kids and so forth.
Craig works 50+ hour work weeks since he is in retail management. He is a salary worker and does not get overtime pay ever. But he is very commited and loyal to his company and does what needs to get done. However, he also knows when our family schedule calls for his involvement and he makes sure he is there for us. When Craig comes home from work or has a day off, the first thing he thinks about is our family. He wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
I'm fortunate to only have to work part-time at our church. Tuesday and Thursday I teach music for the Mother's Day Out program. Preston is one of my students. Sunday mornings I am the preschool Sunday School Coordinator. My kids are in their Sunday School classes during that time so I'm not taking any time away from them.
I do a lot of volunteer work. A LOT. I don't do any of it just to be recognized or to fish for compliments or to be on a power trip. I do it because I enjoy giving the time I have to help others. I volunteer at our church, Kaitlyn's school, and at times, various places in the metroplex. I keep a very tight schedule of what happens where and when. However, I always keep in mind what my priorities are.
If I'm asked to take on anything new at church I always pray about it first. Is this really from God or is this something somebody else doesn't want to do themselves? How will this affect my family? Can my family be involved with me? If there are any negative answers to those questions, I say no. I'm not afraid to say no and I've done it before and will do it again. There have been social functions at church that we have not gone to because we simply don't want to give up our family time for it. There have been social functions that I've been invited to that I'll pass on because I'm going to make time for my family first. We'll still have social outings from time to time but it's not at the top our priority list.
This year will be my 4th year as the VBS Coordinator for our church. Because it takes so much time to plan and organize (March-July), I don't volunteer for the Fall Festival or the Easter Eggstravaganza. I need to make sure I spend time with just my kids during these special events. By my kids seeing all the time I give to volunteer, they are also learning the importance of helping others.
With all that being said, we still get a lot of things done. Our schedules are always jam packed with things we want to make time for. This week alone we have something going on every single night but it all involves family. Preston and Kaitlyn are happiest when the four of us are together, even if it's just playing Candyland together. Preston made up the word "huggle". That's when the four of us hug and snuggle together. I love those moments. We also eat one meal a day together. Doesn't matter which meal, but at some point during the day, we're all sitting at the table dining together.
We may not have the fanciest house, drive the fanciest cars, have the name brand clothes (which honestly, why buy $60 name brand jeans that has the same quality and look as $15 jeans?), but we have each other as we trust in God to guide our family. We know what we need to make time for.