From triage to priorities

I’ve been in full-fledged triage mode for the last month.  Every minute of the day, I’m deciding what is critical, what can wait, and what’s dying so should be ignored.  (Figuratively dying, not literally. Unless you count my poor garden which literally died months ago. A moment of silence please.)

My triage system is this:

First the basics: food, shelter, clothing.  We’re out of peanut butter and the laundry is about to bury me, but no one’s naked and hungry. Yet.

Second: my main job: homeschooling the kids.  Frankly, this is a lot more time consuming this year. This is the first year we’ve had all four kids “officially” schooling. Ironically, guiding the girls to be more independent is taking an unusual amount of time and effort. And of course, educating Bulldozer with all his distractability is exhausting. But we’re more or less hitting the 3 rs and some bible, history, and science. Mostly.

Then I have all the “extras” that go with family life: from therapy to Scouting to youth group to sports and extra classes.  These lay quiet until about 24 hours before hand when they start a low pitch hum building to an incessant screech. It’s delightful, really.

The minutia at the end of the list never gets addressed. From home projects, stacks and stacks of books to read, exercising, bathing the dog, and blogging, these things are neither dying nor demanding immediate attention, so they just get put off.  Poor little blog, all neglected behind the stinky dog.

The development of hairs end entirely, as you age you will experience Ed? No it’s not a guaranteed thing that all men will encounter ED as they age. purchase levitra online This is for their good sake only. buying viagra in usa You shouldn’t worry about that because we are here to help you. cheap viagra pfizer http://www.slovak-republic.org/history/national-revival/ Talk about you penile failure issue, ED being an embarrassing condition for sufferers to admit to but there are so many men in this world who are not able to provide sexual pleasure to discount cialis generic their special someone. While triage is a great tool for temporary crisis, it is a lousy way to live.  For one thing, it’s exhausting, and for another, you only ever deal with the immediate. Triage precludes planning, long term goals, and personal and family growth. And it makes me grumpy.

I’m trying to move away from the “putting out fires” mode to prioritizing.   Any half-way decent manager know the importance of prioritizing.  As a homeschool mom, my to-do list rivals War and Peace for length.

The main difference between triage and prioritizing is realizing the difference between the urgent and the important.  It’s managing with the time you have instead of allowing the time to be consumed by demands–be they necessary or not. This requires saying no to both “great opportunities” and “Christian duties.” It’s amazing how hard that one little word is.

Prioritizing requires wisdom, discernment, and self-discipline.  And it requires knowing one’s limitations.

I know I give lip service to placing God first in my priorities, but if you examine my triage system, he doesn’t make it, does he?  Priorities tell me that he must be first for me and my whole family.

My “theme” for our homeschooling this year is  Grace and Joy, mainly because it’s what I desperately need.  I need to both receive grace and joy from my Father and extend it to my children.  This should be my priority.  And I think…I pray… I’m moving in that direction: A home with godly priorities, filled with grace and joy and enough peanut butter in the pantry.

8 responses to “From triage to priorities”

  1. Joanna Goodwin Avatar
    Joanna Goodwin

    I agree completely with you. This reminds me of “Tyranny of The Urgent” by Charles Hummel. You hit the nail on the head with this. Something that God has laid on my heart the last several months is to live intentionally. To do this I must be careful in what I spend my time doing. It takes discernment and wisdom in what I’m going to allow into my life and my home. Sometimes I do better with this than others…depends on the day. I guess that means I need to tighten up on my discipline piece so it isn’t just lip service. Lip service doesn’t show my 13 yr old son how to serve the Lord and have proper priorities. Thank you for the reminder…i needed it. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. April Avatar

      Thank you. I think especially for parents in our culture, it’s important to be on guard against letting our schedules rule us. We are so busy and there is always something more we “ought” to be doing. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Mary Avatar

    Lots of wisdom there girl and I am sharing it. We all need to re-examine our lives periodically and determine if there are good things that just make the load too heavy. Bless you. Love you.

    1. April Avatar

      Thanks, mom. I love you.

  3. Carrie Avatar

    Beautiful. Love it and I love you.

    1. April Avatar

      Thanks, sis. I love you.

  4. Eva Avatar

    Sounds like one crazy life! But I think you are doing great!! Hang in there. Your kids are great and we are all here to support you.

    1. April Avatar

      Thanks, Eva. It is a crazy, beautiful life. Sometimes I just get too caught up in the details to realize how wonderful it is. Love you.

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