Thursday, March 8, 2012

Prioritizing my Priorities with a Position of Praise...

I admit - I have a lot of things to do. Certainly not as many as I wish I was doing right now, since I wish I was mothering a beautiful, healthy, almost 14 month old little girl! But I still have enough to keep my life rather eventful (and my mind some-what preoccupied).

Yesterday in '31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse', the focus was on Priorities. Of course I prayed for Corey, but then as usual my mind started thinking about my own life...

When Taylor was five she competed in and won a Miss Nebraska pageant. (this was NOT one of those "JonBenet Ramsey" type of things!) This title enabled her to compete at a National level with state winners from across the U.S. The girls in her age division were between 5 and 8 years old, and although we knew she would be one of the youngest ones in Florida competing for the National crown our first priority going in to that week of fierce competitions was to bring honor to God in everything we did. (just as we had also sought to do at the state level)

A couple weeks ago as I was going through our 'junk room' upstairs (where Corey and I moved our bedroom) I came across the boxes of pageant stuff from Taylor's competing days. In the box was the speech she gave in the National competition while we were in Florida. At that age division the speeches did not have to be originally written by the contestant and they were encouraged to recite a poem or something like that for their speech. We found a cute, meaningful poem (I'm pretty sure I remember finding it printed in her home-school language book) and the author was simply stated as unknown.

Jesus, Others and You
     What a wonderful way to spell Joy.
Jesus, Others and You
     In the heart of each girl and each boy.
J is for Jesus
     He takes first place.
O is for Others
     You meet face to face.
Y is for You
     And whatever you do.
Put yourself third and spell Joy.
J-O-Y . . . . . JOY!

As I re-read that poem I could still hear Taylor Dawn reciting it in her oh-so-sweet five year old voice, and I started to cry. I cried for a couple reasons. First of all, in November, 2010, I didn't even think about this poem while we were picking out names for our soon-to-be born baby, and yet it had such a history in our family since Taylor would walk around reciting this poem to anyone and everyone - even if they didn't particularly want to hear it or know who she was!! So, of course it reminded me of our precious Calleigh JOY! :)

I also cried because it made me think about how people treat each other. (Christians and Non-Christians alike) I couldn't help but think what kind of a place this would be if we ALL put Jesus first, Others second and Ourselves last. If we made every decision by asking ourselves if it would make Jesus happy. If we watched our words and actions around other people - before we thought about what we wanted. How many more kids have to die because they think no one cares about them? If only my young friend that took his own life on Monday could see the outpouring of love being shown to him now. What if half of us would've put him first in something we did? What if a couple of us told him how much worth he had as a person? What if I would've taken a couple seconds to really ask how he was doing, instead of chit-chatting about trivial things?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. - Matthew 22:37-38

And then today's focus was on ATTITUDE. Of course I couldn't help but think how our Priorities need to be in order, but our Attitude is essential to make this happen!

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:5-7

Lord, Help me have an Attitude of Praise while I straighten out my Priorities! Amen.

Peace and Love to All!

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