Seaside, Nov. 14

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Priorities are interesting. There are those we are aware of, and those we don't even know we have; those we act out as habit, and those we must put our minds to.

For the most part, our days are built out of habit. Waking up, doing the dishes, going to work, cleaning the house, and the like. For me, this list is quite short. Brushing my teeth, making the bed, and, right now, looking for jobs. Sometimes, we are engrossed in our habits so much that they harm us without even knowing it. These tiny habits eventually turn in to a lifestyle.

Then, there are the priorities that we conciously want. For most of us - specially with the New Year approaching - these look more like losing the weight, making more money, and generally, achieving something. I definitely fall in to the category of "lose the weight". However, these consious priorities all dwindle down to motivation, whereas habitual priorities don't.

Motivation in so important in that one magical, or daunting moment when we know that we have to make a choice. Will we choose to motivate ourselves to stick to our priority, or not? Will we follow what we know is good for us, or ditch it for some other source of fleeting pleasure? When what we've set our sites on is either easy, or exciting, motivation is easy to come by. But what happens to us when our sites are set on something that takes work to accomplish? What happens when there is a deep heart pang that urgently resists what we know is good? Although we know that we can do anything we want, and we know that all of it isn't that beneficial (I Cor. 6:12 and 10:23), what do our actions suggest? Are we true to "not being mastered" as Paul suggests, or do we faulter?

My generation is so entitled that most of us just give up (if we even tried), and give in to the now (a conversation I had with my friend about finances and saving for things is a good example). Quite frankly, I find it to be quite a battle to resist the "now" and go for the "later". Somewhere in our "growing up DNA", we have been programmed to ditch priorities and just have . . . Have the big toys, go for the exciting trip, ditch the values becuase what's in front of me is just "better".

But see, for me, this entire entry seems messed up! It's hard for me. I have a daughter . . . I have a daughter. A daughter that didn't live very long, but was still and will remain, part of our family. As a mother, how do I make her a priority? Children are always priorities! All of the "other mothers" have it easy. They become accustomed to habitual priorities becuase they have to go shopping with their kids, make the meals, clean up after them . . . just be a mom. But for me, Arie can't be part of my habitual priorities because I can't take care of her. (But can I care for her?) I will never have the blessing of teaching her truths about our world.

So that only leaves concious priorities. But then again, how is she a concious priority? I'm living my life, but she's not here. Yes, we strive for things that "aren't here", like falling in love again, but how do you pursue a lost child? It's really a contained incident that only has emotional ramifications. My tears are real, but she's not here. The weight I have to lose is real, but she almost isn't. I keep convincing myself that I actually do have a daughter and that I was actually pregnant. This is so hard. My heart wants Arie to be a priority, and so does my body . . . still. But she's just not here!

I guess I just live my life, adjusting to my new "normal" without her. How can she be a priority? I don't know . . . I just don't know.

With all of this silent turmoil, I must strive to continue making my husband a priority. He still works, bikes, needs food, and love. He still encounters "those days" at work and has a heartbeat. To make him a priority is of utmost importance to my heart. He means so much to me and if I choose, my actions could be "mastered" by what is easier instead of what is "beneficial".

Everything comes down to choice. Eve ate the apple and that was her choice. Every morning we wake up and have . . . choice. What will you do with yours? Hold it close and don't take it for granted for it quite literally could make the difference between life and death.

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