Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Priority



(Continuing on with posts about Planning with Priorities in my mothering series Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother ... specifically applying these planning thoughts to mothers, but they easily can be adapted to any and all places of career or life.)

Above all else. Of more importance than anything. Nurturing our First Love with our Maker, the One who loves us more deeply than anyone else. For from this First Love comes everything else.

This is of primary importance for everyone, but maybe especially for mothers? We are constantly in need of God's love, grace, and mercy as we continually give to our families, and we cannot give from an empty heart.
  

"Guard your heart above all else, 

for it determines the course of your life."

(Proverbs 4:23)

At the very top of our priorities each week, each day, is the call to nurture our First Love. We cannot do anything less. Everything stems from this. 

How does a person nurture a close, intimate relationship, a First Love relationship with God? It will look different for each of us, as we are all created uniquely by our Maker, crafted specifically for His purposes for us.  But surely for all of us, it calls for our time. For a relationship grows when we spend time together with the One we love - listening, learning what is on the other's heart, sharing of our thoughts. 

Just as we nurture our love relationship with our husband, or our good friends - communicating as we go through each day is essential; but also, there needs to be times of deeper, intimate communication. This involves the setting aside of our busy schedules, and pausing to listen. Stilling our minds and hearts, listening to hear His heart.

And time is of short supply with mothers, especially mothers of little ones. For we are always on the go, caring for the needs of others.

                            "There is no doing and going ...                               until there is stilling and knowing."

(Ann Voskamp)


Wherever we are in life, however busy our days, God will help us find a way to nurture First Love. For He is Life, Love, and all that we long for. All that we need.

Some ideas that have helped me through my years of mothering, used at various times over the past 40 years ... ways to prioritize my time for listening to His Words and for sharing my heart; nurturing my relationship with Him. Reading His Words, listening to His heart, and sharing mine.

rising early while the house is still quiet

staying up late, filling our thoughts with His before drifting off to sleep


using precious nap time for what is of most importance


journaling our thoughts and our prayers, and what we hear as we listen to Him

a weekly "night off" - (something my sweet, thoughtful hubby did for me for many years when the children were young) a time of retreat, to pull away to a quiet place -  to read, to listen and learn from God's Words, and to take time to pray and plan for our family and home 


reading of books that open our eyes and hearts to nurture this relationship


taking time for some women's Bible studies, cultivating First Love in the midst of community


a weekly "devo outing", going to a beautiful, restful spot, away from the busyness - several hours each week to refocus and be refreshed by God (what my hubby and I are blessed to do each week during these "empty nest" years)

It may seem impossible at different seasons in our lives to be able to take the time that we desire to have for intimate, uninterrupted communication and connection with God. And it is in those times, and in all of life, that our heart's desire is what God sees. He sees these desires for First Love that we have - and He will meet us where we are - even in the midst of our busy days as moms. He will be there. And He will make a way for First Love.

Loving Lord, please help us in our weakness and in our need, and give us hearts to desire You above all else. Create in us hearts that long for You each day. Each moment.


"As the deer longs for streams of water, 
so I long for You, O God."
(Psalm 42:1)


(For more encouragement and more thoughts on this First Priority, click on "First Love" under Post Topics on the sidebar of this blog - or on the page "First Love" under my blog header. And feel free to share your thoughts and ideas - or questions - for pursuing First Love in the comments, or on my facebook page.)


Links to all the posts in this Planning with Priorities series:
Planning with Priorities
First Priority
Loving Our Husbands 
The Gift of Family
Making a Home
Time for Me
Beyond Our Homes


6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the practical list ... so encouraging.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Glenda - and I would love to hear the practical list that you would have from your experience, as well!

      Delete
  2. I really appreciate this post, Cherry. While I can't do some of the things you mentioned in this season of life, the heart and motives behind the suggested actions are what matter. I am continuing to strive to focus on my First Love in the ways that I can during this time. Thanks for the encouragement and for linking up to Thrive @ Home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Jenni - the heart and motives behind our actions are what really matter to Him. Our actions may change in the different seasons of life that we are in, but our heart can always be pursuing Him first of all.

      Delete
  3. I love the Psalm 42. Thanks for sharing the post. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Helen - such good words. Words to ask God to cultivate in us, and be on our hearts and minds.

      Delete