How to Have the Family You Always Wanted – Part 9

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Keep First Things First

“The most important thing in life is knowing the most important things in life. ” ~ David Jakeilo

Sometimes life controls us instead of us controlling our life.  It is vital to periodically stop and take an accounting of our priorities lest we fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent.  When we allow this to happen it is usually effects those closest to us in a negative way.  Your priorities will be determined by your value system.  However, I would encourage anyone to think long and hard before they put their career at the top of their priority list.  Life passes all too quickly and you know the old saying, “You never see a hearse towing a Uhaul.”  The “stuff” stays behind.  Our real legacy remains behind in the lives of those we impacted along the way.

For me, my priorities are my faith, my marriage, my family, then my career.  It seems when I keep things in that order, my life is really great.  When my priorities shift, my life can go into a tailspin in nothing flat.  When I see the very first tell tale sign that I’ve gotten myself out of sync, I stop and do a quick self evaluation and invariably I find that my priorities have gotten misplaced.

Keeping your priorities in order is like a pilot keeping his eye on the Altitude Indicator to make sure that the plane is flying level.  Remember to do regular “Priority Checks.”

How to Have the Family You Always Wanted – Part 8

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Put Others First

It’s not all about you.  In our “take care of number one” culture, this goes cross grain with our logic. Humans by nature tend toward self-centeredness. After all to give is to lose – right?  This philosophy can create such a fear of loss that if we aren’t careful, we can get swallowed in a vortex of selfishness.  Then, we lose sight of the simple fact that true joy comes from giving not from getting.  When we decide to put others needs before our own, something almost magical happens, our soul feels truly fulfilled.  Over the holidays we experience a microcosm of this truth as we exchange gifts, or when we hand out Christmas dinners at a homeless shelter.  Giving just makes us feel great.  The truth is, at the very core of our being we were designed to find our life when we give it away.  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 6:25

So how does this apply in our family?  First, let me make it clear, I’m not talking about taking your kids to the homeless shelter, although that’s not a bad idea.  What I’m trying to bring out is, putting others first through random acts of kindness should start at home.  Nothing says, “I love and believe in you,”  like a demonstration of putting another family member’s wants, needs, and desires before your own. Maybe the next time someone in your family wants to go one place and you want to go to another, you could defer to them and put them first by doing what they’d like to do.  Here’s an assignment if this whole idea strikes a chord with you.  Take some time and jot down a list of ways you can put each member of your family first, and then start doing your list this week. You might be surprised to see a love revolution in your family.  Please share your best ideas with us so we can spread the love.