I want to keep my priorities in check for 2016. What better way to start the New Year, than to recognize what is most important in my life. My priority list is as follows: God first, husband second, and children third. The children take the most time of course. I do seek God daily in prayer, reading of my bible (ok…so I don’t actually read, but instead I listen using an app- I will share about this as it is awesome life shortcut for me), and devotions so that I can be connected to God and have a relationship with Christ. Being connected to God, so that I can be in his presence, brings joy. Psalm 16:11 says, “In His presence is fullness of joy.” It is about relationship. NOT church or religion. I seek God daily for the big and small things. For example, the other day I had been searching for Charlie’s shoe for over 10 minutes and couldn’t find it (10 minutes is a long time in my typically well-orchestrated morning schedule), so a thought flashed in my mind- Why not ask God help me find it right now. God answered that small prayer and sure enough I found the shoe about 30 seconds later in a place where I thought I had already looked! It was once again proof to me that God can be with me daily in the big and the small. If he is to be my most important ally in life, then I need to seek him often, not just when I need him in a severe crisis.
We pray often in our household. We pray over meals. We pray at bed time. We pray for the big things too, such as a friend diagnosed with cancer and another friend’s child going into surgery. God is there to hear me anytime and I know he wants to help his children and followers. That means he wants to help ME and MY family! What a blessing it is to know that I have a heavenly Father who cares so much about ALL of his children.
My husband is the next top priority in my life. God first. Husband next. We need to maintain an emotional, spiritual, and physical connection daily. He is my best friend. We work daily to keep open communications, friendship, and flirtation going on. It is not easy being married, but if you are married to your best friend, things do come more easily. However, life is hard…especially with multiple small children. It is important to acknowledge and let my husband know that he is a TOP priority and more important than the kids. Saying it is important! Doing things to show him this is true is just as important. My kids take up SOOOOOO much of my time and attention during the day, so here are a few things I try to do (and want to keep getting better at) to show my husband that he is my priority (above the kids, because we want to have a happy and whole marriage after the kids leave the nest). I am writing these as a reminder to myself on how I want to continue doing this behavior or become better at it in the New Year:
- When my husband walks into the home after work I want him to feel welcomed, loved, wanted, and missed. He works hard to provide for our family and to a man his home is his kingdom. I need to make sure he knows that we, as a whole family, appreciate him, and are happy when he comes home. We love him. So why wouldn’t we want to give him a wholehearted welcome home every evening!
- I verbally tell my husband that I appreciate him. I thank him for working so hard for our family. I tell him how proud I am of what he does (I try to give specific examples).
- I ask him about his day and his work stories. I try to remember names and progress on is current work project. That way we can talk about his job and how he spends most of his waking hours. I love him and want to be a part of the time he is away from us, even if we can’t be there with him.
- I encourage him. Whatever goals or pursuits he has, I want to be an encourager, not a downer. I am his best friend. What does a good best friend do?? They are supportive! If he wants to lose weight, I join him on the diet (I am always up for trying a new diet). If he wants to start biking more, I join him. Whatever I can do to be supportive and encouraging as a best friend.
- Ok, so this one should probably be #1 on the list…because it is that important to men. Physical intimacy. Do it. Do it often. Don’t use it as a weapon. Be generous in this area of life. I have found that when this area of life is fabulous then other areas of life just fall into place. God created this intimacy and closeness for a reason. I want to be as close as possible to my husband in every sense. Physical intimacy provides that closeness. When going through pre-marital counseling we were told that the average healthy marriage has twice a week intimacy. We were also told that if more than 2 weeks pass and you haven’t been intimate (with the exception of giving birth or illness) then there is something typically more wrong in the relationship. Good policy in general. MORE is better. I know that if I wait for intimacy to happen on the perfect night, with the perfect ambiance, with children who have gone to bed at the perfect time, and I STILL feel like I have energy…then intimacy would never happen. Now, I realize we just need to find a moment where we can lock the door and the kids are safe for 15 minutes. Too much TMI? Sorry….
- Go on dates. We need to date. My responsibly is to ensure that we have sitters or our nanny scheduled so that we can go out on date nights without the kids. When making plans for our date night I try to plan dinners or some type of outing where we can talk. I love going to the movies, and we do that sometimes on date night, but not every time, as we can’t talk. Date night is the opportunity to be together as a couple and talk without the interruption of kids. Romantic settings are always helpful too.
- Avoid nagging. I, like 99% of all wives, default to nagging. I am going to work this year to nag less. (I will provide some tips on this too, as I will be researching this topic to become a nag-less wife in the new year).
- Spend time together. It is easy in life to go separate ways and have separate activities. However, I want to make sure we have a strong connection and activities in common after the kids leave the nest. Every night when the kids go to bed is our time to connect and spend time together. Even if it is just “side by side activity”. We need to be together in the same room and hopefully engaged in doing something together. It is hard to be a best friend without spending time together. Quality time is very important because it happens to be my husband’s love language. “The 5 Love Languages” is a great book to own so you can understand your Spouse or Partners Love Language. Here is a link to the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1K2e1lx