As a teenager sitting on the back rows of a little Baptist church, I was oblivious to what the future held. I think that is probably true for most of us. I would have tucked my tail and ran away if I had an entire outline of my life at that time.
God knew that I wouldn’t have been able to handle everything that was coming at that time. He shined light on one step at a time. That was enough.
I planned to marry my high school sweetheart and live in a little house with a white picket fence and have a couple of kids and live happily ever after.
I guess I knew that I would work, run a home, take care of kids, be an amazing wife, and have energy to burn. Boy, was I wrong!
After I got married, I did work, have two amazing kids, and tried to be a good wife. I did not have energy to burn.
I got up earlier than my kids, got them ready for day care, and headed out to work for the Personnel Department of the Texas Department of Corrections. I would come home at noon, grab a bite to eat, put on a load of clothes to wash, another load to dry, and then head back to work.
After work, I picked up the kids, went home, did housework while feeding and taking care of my sweet munchkins.
Once I put them to bed, I worked around the house, and went to bed fairly soon after them.
My husband at the time was a state trooper, and he worked mostly evenings.
I did not have time to read a book, not even a magazine. I was so busy living life.
There was always a load of clothes to wash or something to do.
I was so tired. I did not really even take time for God.
Oh, if I had been so wise, I might have saved myself some grief, or at least have been better equipped to handle the storms that came my way.
I had this neighbor, Terri, across the street that had twin boys, and she had her life more together than me.
I hit a crisis moment when my husband wasn’t sure that he wanted to be married anymore.
During this time, Terri offered Scriptures to help me. I remember reading a Psalm, and not getting anything out of it.
All I could feel was pain because the love of my life didn’t want to be with me anymore. I was consumed in agony, and I felt like no one else had ever been there.
The enemy tried to convince me that I was all alone; shame engulfed me.
I had tried to be a good, supportive, loving wife, but it wasn’t enough. I was pretty, and I was slender, and I worked hard, and I took care of our kids, and I paid attention to him, and, and, and…
Our house of cards made its final collapse when my second grade daughter wanted to ask Jesus into her heart.
The world was too enticing for my husband, and he didn’t want a commitment anymore.
I can look back now, and I don’t even blame him. Not anymore…
He and I were not grounded in God. I went to church, and I tried to get him to go some. However, I was not reading the Word every day, and I was not really spending time with God.
Like every mom probably does, I did throw up a short prayer for kids and things like that every once in a while.
We had allowed the enemy to set up camp in our home, and he had a hey-day there.
It wasn’t God’s fault because I did not do what I was supposed to do as a Christ Follower.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have sent that scoundrel, the enemy, packing.
So, what have I learned?
Put God first! Not your husband, not your kids, not your work, not anything else…Put God first!
Sometimes we just start living life without getting this foundation right. When that is the case, the foundation will crack, and splinter, and shift, and then our entire house has the potential to come crashing down when the big storms of life come.
Putting God First Changed My Life
Not putting God first destroyed my marriage, but when I started putting Him first it changed how I lived my life. And if just one person can learn from my mistakes, it will have been worth it going through it all.
Life was so very busy, and I was so distracted by life that I pushed out the very thing that I needed the most. I got too busy for God.
Busyness is one of the most important tools that the enemy uses to derail us.
I have found that if I spend time with God, the other important things seem to fall in place. God seems to stretch time when I need it if I have put Him first.
I may not get everything done that I feel should be done that day, but I will get done what God thinks is important.
God has taught me how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. I do not focus my attention on the whole elephant because that is overwhelming. I focus on eating one bite at a time, and eventually, I will have eaten the whole thing.
God, help me to eat my elephant one bite at a time. Help me to not be overwhelmed by my life today, but to enjoy what crosses my path. Most of all, help me to enjoy my connection with You. Help me to enjoy my family. Help me to share Your love with others. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
10 Ways to Keep God First in Your Life
- Spend time with God every single day!
- Read the Bible and/or a devotional
- Listen to praise music.
- Pray. Not just one way prayers either…listen to Him.
- Ask Him for wisdom on what to do and how to do it.
- Find a really good church where you actually feel God’s present and get connected there.
- Pray with your spouse and your kiddos.
- Have family devotional time together. Like the old adage, if you pray together, you stay together.
- Protect your relationship with God.
- Protect your relationship with your spouse.