Are you feeling like you’re just trying to keep the plates spinning? There’s SOOO much to do and not enough time to do it in?
Life gets crazy and JUUUUUST when you think you have things under control and all the plates are spinning fine, one fizzes out and you rush to go over and spin it, only to find another one drop.
It’s a constant cycle of keeping everything up and going and you’re feeling exhausted, tired, drained, and eager for relief.
You wish there was a better way. IS THERE a better way?
You’re not alone!
It seems like everything is always competing for our time and energy.
How do we find a way to prioritize our lives and so that the important stuff gets done and the less important stuff is well…less important.
Follow this incredibly helpful list of priorities to prioritize your life and get a handle on everything. No more spinning plates!!!
How do you prioritize your life?
As a single mom, I run EVERYTHING. That means, making the money, which is a full-time job, raising the kids, another full-time job, the home, the house repairs, the lawn mowing, the life stuff, the bills, family, friends, everything. It’s all on MY plate and I have no help to do it.
I do not have a mom or dad (they are deceased) to help me when I need a break. And since my church abandoned me, I don’t have that help either. It’s just me, on my own, swimming upstream. AND YET…
And YET, by the grace of God, I have LEARNED to have and live an incredibly peaceful and well-maintained life. I no longer spin plates. I have freedom over my time and have a really good, and relaxed life.
Does that mean I don’t work? No. Absolutely not. I work a LOT. Someone’s gotta make the money, right?!
But it means that the work I do and all the things in my life are streamlined and organized. I’m not stressed out. I have peace.
What that means for you…
It means that if *I* can do it, so can YOU. You most likely have help in some way!!
But whether you have help or not, whether you’re married or not, you can still have peace and once more, this is God’s way for your life.
God does NOT wish for us to be crazy, scattered, all over the place, never finding rest. But it takes time to create this sort of life that’s peaceful. You can’t wake up tomorrow and have full peace. You’ll need to work on it, but you absolutely CAN relieve the pressure TODAY and get well on your way to a more peaceful life.
Let’s start at the very beginning, where I started! 🥰
Instead of waking up, letting your tasks dictate your day, you need to tell your time where to go. If you don’t, you’ll never get ahead.
👉 Remember that YOU control your time.
👉 YOU decide what you want to spend it on.
Everyone has the exact same number of hours to spend. It’s not like money where you have rich and poor. We all get the same amount of time to SPEND, 24 hours in a day. But we must spend it wisely, according to God’s principles if we wanna win at the time game.
This means starting with focusing on the most important things FIRST.
So, what ARE the most important things? Let’s get started!!!
THE most foundational way to prioritize your life is to put God first.
This doesn’t mean that you have to sign up for a volunteering gig at church or join a Bible study. It means waking up with Him, every day, putting Him first.
Matthew 6:33 PROMISES us that when we put God and HIS kingdom FIRST, everything else WILL take care of itself. It’s a promise you can bank on!
So what do you do when you first wake up in the morning to seek His kingdom first?
Read your Bible, pray, tell Him this is HIS day and you want it to glorify Him. Ask Him to use you for His glory that day, and dedicate to Him your next 24 hours.
Watch what He will do!
He will make your paths straight, He will miraculously make your day a lot more streamlined and peaceful. Why? Because He promises to and He doesn’t lie.
“But Sarah, I did that and it’s not working. Things are still crazy hectic.”
Then you’re not putting Him first, legit, in your heart.
God cannot be tricked or duped. It must be the heart, a genuine attitude and if it’s not, He knows it.
The verse says, “Seek first…” It doesn’t say, “Pretend to seek first…”
If you’re being genuine, give it a couple days and He will do it! You can be sure of that. Things will start to calm down.
“But Sarah, I can’t GET that time in the morning because of…”
Then, MAKE the time. Remember you create your own life. YOU decide. 👈
You may have to wake up earlier than normal by 15 mins to get time to read your Bible. You may have to pray in the bathroom, or start taking a shower the first thing you wake up so you can pray in the shower without interruption.
Do whatever it takes to get at least 15 minutes alone with God before you start your day, 30 minutes to an hour is even better.
If something is important to you, you’ll make it happen.
When we make God a priority in our lives, everything else falls into place.
You end up with a better perspective, more peace, and a greater sense of purpose. You need this time with God. He alone can fill your heart and if you don’t take the time for Him, you will have trouble because it’s like pouring from an empty cup.
After you’ve started that routine of putting Him first in the morning, start spending more time with Him throughout the day. I am in my Bible, reading it, at LEAST 10-15 times a day, every…single…day! 💯
I’m CONSTANTLY saturating my mind with the Word of God.
Now, I work from home, so I understand that this is not always possible for all people and that’s okay, just do what you can. STEAL time for God. You’re in the bathroom, pray. In the shower, pray. Waiting in line to pick up your kids from school, pray. Making dinner, pray. You can find time to pray, IF it’s important to you.
When I first started this, I just “forgot”. I’d forget to pray, forget to make Him #1 throughout my day. So I started asking Him to help me REMEMBER Him throughout my day. “Bring you to my mind, Lord”, I’d pray, “Help me remember, because I WANT to put you first.”
Know what He did? It’s for His glory so of COURSE, He did it. I started remembering and now it’s such a big part of my life. ❤️ He gets ALL the glory for that change! 🙌
The simple truth is that the more time you spend with God, the less important everything else will become and the more peace you will have.
How that looks in your day is completely up to you, just so you’re putting Him first in your life, at all times.
Your husband should be the 2nd thing on your priority list. Once you’ve put – and kept – God first in your life, next is your husband (if you’re not married, you can skip this one).
You may think your kids would be second, but it’s not and I won’t debate that other than to say, the Bible says about the husband and wife: two become one flesh (Mark 10:8). You do not become one with your kids. Your husband becomes as you, as one. You cannot separate yourself from yourself, that would be stupid. So, he is second because you are joined together as one.
Your kids will grow up and move out and have families of their own. There is a special union between you and your husband, a significant relationship akin to reverential respect and awe, that you vowed to love and protect before God.
“What if I’m dating someone and I have kids from a previous relationship?”
Your kids are then first, because you are just dating, not married. You are not one flesh until married (or shouldn’t be because you should not have sex before marriage).
“What if my kids are from a previous marriage and I’m married to a new man now? Who do I put first: my current husband, my previous husband, or my kids?”
If you are remarried, your current husband would take this spot. Your previous husband would go down under #7 on the list. Your kids would go after your current husband (#3).
Putting your husband first doesn’t mean that you neglect your kids or your home (or anything else for that matter). It just means that you make time for him every single day (real, GENUINE time!) and give him the ultimate respect. As you live your life for God, you live your life with your husband for God.
This means meeting his needs (physical, sexual, emotional) and it means investing in him, his life, and the things that are important to him.
It’s easy to let other things take precedence over our relationships, but it’s VITALLY important to make time for your husband.
Whether it’s going on a date night, taking 30 minutes to an hour each day to talk, spending time with him on the things he loves (think: hobbies), making him dinner, investing in his soul, reading the Bible with him, going to church with him, doing things as a couple, making your husband a priority will help strengthen your relationship and is a godly thing to do.
Do NOT let the world choke out your time with your spouse!!!
So, talk to each other, listen to each other, and spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Invest in the relationship, get to know him more. Even those married for decades are STILL learning about each other. I have a really great binder for couples called Conversation Starters Binder, that is PERFECT for anyone who is dating or married to get to know their mate better.
Talking, getting to know him, making him feel safe to talk and feel loved that you care about what he has to say is so vitally important in your marriage (or dating relationship). That Conversation Starters Binder will help you get there and improve your relationship!
Of course, your kids are a priority too! After God and your husband, next are your kids when you prioritize your life. Spend time with them every day, talking and playing together, not JUST the parenting aspect of things, but PLAY with them, however they want to play.
Maybe they are teens and they LOVE video games for example and you’re not so into it. GET into it!
Maybe they love to run track and want to run all the time. Run with them.
Whatever it is that they are into, get into it with them. Be involved in their lives.
In our home, my son is obsessed with video games. And that’s okay! I happen to really LOVE playing video games and I’m REALLY good at it!!! My favorite is anything Mario (except Super Mario Sunshine; I hate that game). 😆 My son loves Mario and he likes Star Wars also.
So, we play together. We’ll have days where I just watch him play, love seeing how he’s sharpening his skills, and other days, we’ll both play. I’ve taught him all the tricks and now he is just as good as I am so he’s a real competitor in games and it’s a lot of good, wholesome fun! ❤️
It’s also a great way to teach him to work as a team because in some games, you have to work together. He can’t go too fast or you’ll drop off the screen and die, so you have to work together.
I dream about having a husband one day and we’re all just playing video games and having a ton of fun! Make some chips and dip and drinks and have a video game party.
Get creative! Make the things you do with them an EVENT. Make it a fun thing. They will remember things like that. For one of my son’s birthdays a couple years back, I made him a whole Mario scene in his bedroom. It was SO cool.
It’s a great way to make something “ordinary” into something special.
Sometimes, I’ll say we’re having a “party”. It’s just a little fun time where we do fun things (like video games or board games, for example) and have some fun and it includes yummy food, things they like. It’s something that excites the kids and makes it feel more special than just a random, hey I’m playing with you doing what you want type of thing. Make things SPECIAL.
Spend time with EACH of your kids separately. Make time! Do the things that they love to do. Have mommy/son or mommy/daughter dates where you just do something fun. Giving each of your children individualized time is so vital to their growth.
Teach them how to prioritize their own lives so that they can be successful as they grow up.
Teach them about God. There’s a TON of cool kids activities packs in the shop to use with your kids to invest in their hearts about God:
- Emoji Kids Activities Pack (teaches them they are uniquely made, one of a kind)
- Created For a Good Purpose Kids Activities Pack (teaches them they have a purpose in Christ)
- Jesus is Lord Kids Activities Pack (teaches them that God is King)
- God is Love Kids Activities Pack (teaches them that God is loving, kids need to know they are immensely loved)
- Love You Always Kids Activities Pack (teaches the parable of the lost sheep)
- Sabbath Rest Day Kids Activities Pack (teaches why taking one day off a week is so important)
- My Soul Thirsts For God Kids Activities Pack (teaches how to develop a love for God in a Bible study format)
- Sin Potato Game (teaches kids that sin is bad, something we want to get rid of)
- Christian Roll the Dice Game (fun group game that is Christian based)
The packs are designed to teach them about God in ways that are fun for THEM. The packs are created with my kids, so they are kid-approved and sure to please! ❤️
Be mindful and intentional about your time with your kids. You only have these moments for a short time, seemingly fleeting. Raise them to be Christ-like so that they may go out into the world sharing the gospel and spreading God’s love and redemption.
Your home is next on the list. Keep it clean and organized so that it’s a relaxing place to be. Spend time each day doing something to take care of your home, whether it’s doing the dishes, vacuuming the floors, or doing a little light renovation stuff, like fixing that leaking faucet or puttying the small nail holes in the wall and touching up the paint.
Don’t just assume that light renovation stuff is HIS job. You can do some of it too, the things you can. He will appreciate it! 🎁
Take pride in your home and make it a retreat for your husband. Make the bedroom nice and relaxing. Don’t put a TV in the bedroom. You want your bedroom to be a place of LOVE, not TV.
Make it inviting to your husband.
Freshen up the paint or get some furniture off Facebook Marketplace to jazz it up. This is investing in your husband also, because you’re doing it for him.
Make sure that he wants to be home with you. That the home is a safe environment for him emotionally, not a war zone. Make sure he feels super comfortable in his home, and work hard to make it comfortable to him.
I also recommend doing something I adopted a few years ago that made all the difference in the world – it’s called the “5 for 5”.
What this is, is you do just 5 things per day that takes only 5 minutes to do. If you follow this every day, you will have a nice and tidy home you’re comfortable and proud of.
And if your kids are also doing their 5 for 5 in addition to you, just imagine how much cleaner it can be!
One thing that I taught my kids from a VERY early age is to pick up after themselves. I don’t want to walk around the house with it being a mess everywhere. So they clean up after themselves and anything they make messy, they are responsible for cleaning.
Microwave is messy? They clean it, not me. Things like that. Of course, that is for older kids, so just have them clean what is age appropriate.
This goes a LONG way to help ME be able to take care of the home all on my own. They do their part and then it’s super light for me.
If you would like to see more exacts of the system I currently do for my kids and chores, this is what we do to streamline things:
My son does the dishes every other day. He scrubs the pots/pans (because he has that “man strength”, which I LOVE!, and can do a good job), then I wash them a second time to make sure they are squeaky clean. I call his a “first wash”. He takes the garbage and recycle as needed. We do not take our garbage to the curb for the garbage man to take each week, only as needed, which is about every 2 weeks (again, streamlining everything and we don’t use a lot of garbage and try to recycle everything we can).
My son will sweep floors every 4-6 days-ish and mop as needed. He also cleans the microwave and I wash the glass plate in there.
I vacuum the house. Usually one room every other day. I do my own laundry and the kids do their own laundry. Every week, I have them clean their rooms and they are responsible for cleaning their own bathroom.
My son cleans the toilets with a Scrubbing Bubbles wand every week and we use RustGuard to keep it sparkly clean (this is what professional cleaners use, it’s not just for rust but keeps the toilet the cleanest). On the first of the month, I put in a new RustGuard tab so that every month a new tab is going in the toilets.
Those are the main things and then once a month, we all pitch in and clean the house a deeper clean. This is something I give them money for/allowance. Things like dusting, cleaning bathtubs, making sure all the rooms look really clean, etc.
Every Sunday, I’ll go around the house and make sure things are picked up and just spend a little time decorating or light renovations (like touching up paint or hanging a mirror). Last week, I painted some shelves in the garage with my son to organize the garage more and make it more neat and tidy (I had my handyman make and install the shelves for me).
I like to decorate, it’s super fun for me and I like to change things up in the house often so that it’s not all the same all the time. Changing around flowers or things like that. Just subtle differences that keep things fresh and alive.
Each system or plan will work differently for each person as well as for the ages of your kids. However you do it is okay, just make sure your kids are helping you. You shouldn’t be expected to do everything yourself.
For cooking, when my daughter was home, I had her do a lot of cooking because I was training her to cook on her own when she moves out.
That was another thing off my plate because once she learns how to make something, she can then do it again herself without much help from me. This lightens my load and she is learning how to take care of herself on her own. 🥰
#5: Outside Work/Ministry/Serving
Your work and serving others come next on your priority list when you start to prioritize your life.
I know that some people will say, “Well, shouldn’t serving others come first?”
After all, we’re serving for God, and I totally get where they’re coming from, but if you spend your whole life serving and your OWN home and family are neglected, how can you be a witness to others?
God does not expect us to serve others and neglect our own families and home. That is never His intention. However, we also can’t get so preoccupied in our own lives (family, house, etc.) that we AREN’T serving because that’s not God’s design either. There must be a balance and we see that in the Proverbs 31 woman.
It’s important to work hard, whether that be in ministry, serving others, or a side income. It’s a dangerous place to be to NOT have a side income, especially in this day and age and in the Proverbs 31 woman passage in the Bible, she is the standard of what a godly woman looks like and she makes money to help her family also.
That is the standard of what we want to be, but in order to be that, we must have our home and family taken care of, because they are our priority. So this is definitely a step-by-step process, in sequential order. Not a bunch of things to rush out and do, but taking care of one priority at a time, getting it down, manageable, and then working on the next step. Don’t feel like you have to do all this at once! 🥰 Use this post as a guideline of steps and it will take time and that’s okay.
“Is there a ratio of outside work vs. serving/ministry you suggest?”
That’s a tough question to answer because I think it varies for each family. Perhaps one family needs the side income a lot more than another, so their time would be split differently. For me, I’m a single mom so outside work (working from home) is absolutely foundational. I must spend more time making money than say someone else who has a husband who supports the finances on his own. So I think it varies from family to family.
I would say it’s just a matter of the heart and of your conscience before the Lord. If you’re older and your kids are grown, you have more time to spend in service and ministry and that’s something we’re all called to do (Titus 2:3-5). Maybe finances aren’t as big of a deal in that stage of your life so you can spend more time in service and ministry.
If you’re a young mom with a newborn baby, service and ministry is honestly, the LAST thing on your mind right now. You’re just trying to sleep at night and focusing on caring for your precious little one. So it really depends on the season of life you’re in as well.
Just make it a matter of prayer, before you and the Lord, as well as the desires of your husband and decide what is right for your family together.
But know that this does not come before your kids, your husband, or God, even though it may seem that way. Be mindful of how much time you spend working so you don’t end up putting your work first, which if you work online, is always a temptation. Steer clear of that.
Your work can look like many things such as working a 9 to 5 job or leading a ministry or helping at the homeless shelter. Each item on this list is important and deserves your full attention when it’s time, so make sure you also respect your work and be thankful for it. Treat it well and do a good job with your whole heart, working as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24).
If you are looking to start a side business, there are MANY things you can do. I’ve been making money for 24 years at this point and I’ve done it all and seen it all. My FAVORITE way to make money is creating printables to sell. I feel this is, at this time, the most lucrative way to make money for many people. You can get more information about starting to create and sell your own printables here. That blog post will give you the info. you need to see if it’s the right step for you.
If you don’t want to create printables, there are LOTS of things you can do. Check out my where to start making money now blog post here.
“What are some good examples of serving?”
There are many things you can do in your own local church to serve. That’s usually the best place to get started. But there are a lot of other ways to serve too. Here are some ideas to get you started…
- You can give financially to struggling moms in your community
- Bring a meal to a single mom down the street or someone who just got out of the hospital. Offer to watch her kids while she gets some much needed rest.
- Offer to help another mom pack their stuff if they are moving
- Use your skills to help others. An example of this is that I love graphic design and photography and I’m told I’m good at it. I feel like God has really blessed me in these areas to learn to do well in it over the years. I can share those gifts with others by making THEIR lives easier. So I have an account where I provide resources (stock photography and graphics) for commercial use on my Freepik account. This helps other people be able to save time and make money. This is serving others (I plan to put a ton of Christian stuff on there too so it’s furthering the kingdom). Please note, this is a BRAND NEW account I JUST opened up this week, so it’s not really gotten going yet; I’m still building it. 🥰 What are you good at? How can you turn what you’re good at into helping others?
- Volunteer your time in a non-profit organization
- Clean up trash at the beach or your local park
- Donate items to a homeless shelter (they love clothes and hygiene products the most)
- Be a good friend
- Mow your neighbor’s lawn
There’s a ton of things you can do to serve others. Just be open and pray that God make you aware of the needs of others in order that He can use you to serve. 🙏
#6: Fellow Christians
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10
Christians should definitely be a priority as you prioritize your life and, yes, this DOES come before others such as nonbelievers or the watching world. The notion that you separate God’s time from God’s family would be foreign to Jesus. Christians are your brothers and sisters, and they come first before nonbelievers.
Spend time with other believers, encouraging and praying for each other, edifying each other and stirring each other up for good works (Hebrews 10:24).
This doesn’t mean to snuff those who don’t yet believe in Christ or are opposed to the gospel; it simply means the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ come first so that they may be strong and fulfilled in order to continue sharing the gospel. We keep each other uplifted and accountable all to glorify God.
Mark 3:35 says, “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Your allegiance and priority is to the household of God and your family within it.
#7: Outside/Extended Family and Friends
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8
Just as your immediate family is important, so are your extended family and friends. It’s important to spend time with them, catching up and sharing your life with them. They care about you and will be there for you when you need them.
Sometimes life gets busy and it’s hard to find the time to get together. But it’s worth making the effort to stay connected to the people who care about you. They can offer support and advice, and they’ll be there to celebrate your successes with you. So make sure to keep them and prioritize them in your life – they’re worth it.
“What if my extended family or his extended family doesn’t accept us or treat us well?”
The Bible does not DEMAND for us to spend time with those who treat us badly, period. We are called to honor and respect our parents and extended parents, however, that doesn’t give them the license to treat us however they want. It just means we provide for them and honor them.
A good example of this would be if your parents (or his) are in financial need. It’s our responsibility as Christians to provide financially for them. This is one reason why it’s important to have a side income and grow a savings account. You never know what will happen for your own family, but more than that, you cannot know what will happen to your extended family and we are called to take care of one another in love.
If your family is not treating you well, you can back off from spending time with them. Perhaps even going a month or so without seeing them and letting them know why.
Think of it like this. The person in your family is a bear. They attack you and slander you and be mean to you, but they are a parent and you’re called to honor them, correct? Exodus 20:12.
You wouldn’t walk right up to the bear and spend time with him or he’ll bite your head off. At the same time, when the bear is fed, loving, being nice, you can go up to the bear and spend time with it. Give the bear some food, etc.
You want to protect yourself and your husband and children, but you want to also honor your parents (and his) and sometimes this is a delicate balance.
Outside of your own true physical needs (food and covering, which would fall under #2 with your husband as you are one flesh), we are to come last.
Let me explain the balance of this…
An example is if I have to go to the bathroom and my kids want to eat. I have to take care of my own physical needs first and then tend to what they want. They are not going to starve to death in the two minutes it takes me to use the restroom. Our own physical needs come first.
You need to take care of yourself. Flat out. Period. Make sure that you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising. These are needs. Your body needs to be taken care of so that you can take care of everything else in your life.
You need more than 2 seconds of “Me Time” as well for your mental and emotional health. Everyone should have a break from the daily grind every week. This is taking the Sabbath day, which is #1 God, but doubles as your time too.
But thinking of yourself, as #8, here we are not talking about your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, we are talking about all our hopes, dreams, desires, etc.
For example, let’s say hypothetically, you dream of starting up a blog. This is not a need, it’s a want.
First thing you’d do is pray about it. Seek God’s will on it (that’s #1). Then, talk it over with your husband (#2). Does he want you to do this? Does he see it as a good thing or a bad thing? Do you have time for it? Do you understand it’s a long-term money-making option, not quick bucks?
Maybe he says he agrees with it and you want to do it. You think it’ll be good for your family, it’ll help you serve more and help provide income for your family (#5).
Then the question becomes, do you have all your other steps in place?
- Is your home managed well?
- Are your kids well cared for? Maybe they are in school now and you have time to work on a blog and you want that creative freedom of expression. Awesome.
- Is your husband well cared for, and you’re investing in him? Are his needs met?
- Are you able to handle the new responsibilities of running a blog? Luke 14:28-30
If those priorities are already all taken care of and well managed, and you and your husband agree you want to start a blog and you feel it’s God’s will for you, then do it!
Nothing is holding you back, but you must have your life prioritized. If you start a blog and put your desires first, but your house is a mess, the kids are neglected and your husband never sees you anymore, it’s NOT a good thing and wouldn’t be God’s design for your life.
We must be willing to put ourselves last and sacrifice for those around us. This does not mean we never get our way. But we can have our desires if we put them in proper perspective and priorities. 🥰
After you have all your priorities down, whatever else is left on your plate that doesn’t line up to where you’re going or any of these priorities, should be closed out. Start working on closing out all loose ends and stop spending time on areas that are not fruitful in your life.
Once you’re able to do that, your life will be completely peaceful and streamlined! 🎉