by Tara Furman


“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

Have you ever noticed how the world easily lures our attention and priorities away from the things that really matter? It’s subtle, but before you know it:
  • You’re frazzled with no peace and you’re anxious.
  • You lose it over a glass of spilled milk.
  • You’re constantly in a hurry because you fail to put margin into your day.
  • You have no patience with anyone—especially your husband and children. Not only that, but they are getting on your nerves.

The way an empty stomach growls when it needs food, these red-flags are indicators that my attention and priorities have shifted.

Many years ago, I read A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. GREAT READ! From that book, I wrote down the concepts I didn’t want to forget. I then placed them in my prayer journal. The page is old and getting tattered. But I still refer back to it—it’s rich!

Not only that, it’s extremely helpful in holding me accountable to what’s really important in life: my relationship with God, my family and my home.

How are you doing in these 13 areas?

  1. I will get up before my family in order to prepare myself spiritually and physically.
  2. I will prepare breakfast for my family and sit with them while they eat. (I don’t normally sit with them in the morning, because my boys aren’t talkers. But I’m in the kitchen, available if they want to talk.)
  3. I will work diligently to send every member of my family off in a good mood.
  4. I will consult with my husband every day to see if there’s anything special he wants me to do for him. (I don’t always ask him this question per se, but I always jump at the opportunity to help as he discusses the day with me.)
  5. I will keep a neat and orderly home.
  6. I will respond positively.
  7. I will meet my husband’s needs.
  8. I will put my husband before my children.
  9. I will personally meet and greet each family member as he or she returns home.
  10. I will be predictably happy.
  11. I will prepare special, good food for my family.
  12. I will make dinner a special time.
  13. I will grow daily in areas of the Lord, marriage, family and homemaking.
Sometimes we have to say “no” to good things, in order for us to say “yes” to the better. When we do, we’re not so easily allured by the shiny, sparkly things that ultimately leave us frazzled and impatient.
*If you are like us, the list above can feel both convicting and stifling at the same time! None of us will perfect the points listed above each day. And depending on whether or not you work outside of the home, your list might look a bit different. But the heart of the matter is true for each of us: Are we shifting our focus to lesser things that keep us from serving our families joyfully and faithfully? We are so thankful for God’s grace and His strength in us when we feel weak. What is one area of service within your home that you have developed a negative attitude toward? We encourage you to ask God to change your heart in that area and to help you find a renewed purpose and joy in serving your family. Be encouraged today! May the Lord strengthen us in our weaknesses! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Tara FurmanTara Furman

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