Thursday, January 27, 2011

Priority Planner

Memories of my earlier years of mothering ... and habits carried over to this day. Incorporating priorities I believe God has given me as a wife and mom into my daily planning.

Many years ago, probably in the early 1980's, I came across a very helpful resource that has pretty much become a part of my life since then. I was a busy young mom in those days, and in 1982 gave birth to our fourth child, and our fourth daughter! Life was full and wonderful. With a husband in full-time ministry, pastoring a church at that time, I also had other responsibilities, as well. How to juggle everything together was a constant effort.

A book that I read during those days led me to some helpful ideas about how to keep things in perspective, and also, in right priority. The urgent always has a way of crowding out the important, and using the ideas that Linda Dillow gave in her book, Creative Counterpart, was a great help to me. And still is.

The author suggests taking a look at the priorities God has given us as wives and moms, and keeping these in front of us as we plan our days, and go about our daily living. These are the priorities that she suggests in her book, with my brief explanation after each one:

#1 ~ God  
Nurturing our relationship with God needs to come first, for from this comes everything else. Everything else and everyone in our lives is affected by how we nurture our relationship with God. Pursuing Him above all else.

#2 ~ Husband
And close behind nurturing our relationship with God, comes our relationship with our husbands. One of the most important things we can do for our children, and for all those around us ... focus on building into our marriage.

#3 ~ Children
So important to really be present for our children ... they must be a priority, or other things will take our focus away. They are with us, in our homes, under our direct care for such a short time.

#4 ~ Home
It is the wife and mom who sets the pace in her home, who creates the atmosphere. And our homes are where our children grow and blossom, and where others can be refreshed.

#5 ~ Yourself
In order to give of ourselves to our husbands and children, we need to take time for ourselves, as well. Time to be refreshed, time to be creative and enjoy pursuing the gifts and talents God has given us.

#6 ~ Outside the Home
Even as a busy wife and mom, we can be part of the bigger picture ... the picture of God drawing people to Himself. It may look different at the various seasons of life as a wife and mom, but ... always, nurturing our hearts to care for others as God does.

In addition to learning from and incorporating ideas from Linda Dillow's book, I also purchased her  accompanying Priority Planner each year for many years.

A weekly spread from my planner in January 1984 ... 27 years ago!

Such a helpful tool ... keeping my priorities in front of me day by day, and week by week. Not a rigid thing, but a guide. Some weeks there were responsibilities in priority #6 that God placed before me, and I needed to let go of some of the other things ... and sometimes priorities #2 or #3 left no room for anything in priority #6. It's all about living and listening as God guides our days and our weeks ... and so helpful to keep a tool such as this in front of us, bringing us back to what is priority.

Some women may have other additional responsibilities, such as a part-time job, or even a full-time job ... and keeping priorities in the forefront each week in a busy and full life, helps to keep the perspective and focus in the right places. All of us, whether we work outside the home, or are stay-at-home moms, need to be pulled back continually to what is most important.

Even today in our "empty nest" years, with a family of 21 now (married ones bring their mates into the family, and also bring sweet grandchildren), and continuing in full-time ministry with my husband (now, ministry to high school students) ... I still need to keep my priorities in front of me. I have not purchased the accompanying planner of Linda Dillow's for many years now, but ... I incorporate these priorities into whatever type of planner I am using for the year. My Planner for 2011 uses very similar priorities for my weeks and days.

(Both of these products are still for sale ... newly designed and edited.)

Linked to Works For Me Wednesday


  1. Thank you Cherry for the link. I will be looking into this. There is always something to be said for a well run house...but also when the priorities are set correctly, every thing works well!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I know it but it might be additionally helpful to have it written out.

  3. I always am inspired from reading your posts Mom, because I strive to be the mom and wife that you were/are. Thanks for sharing this, it helps remind me how to be a better wife and mom!

  4. That is a great planner!!! I really like it!!!

  5. Thanks for this post. It inspired me in a 31 Day Challenge with my friends. I blogged about it here: