Setting Priorities Biblically

setting priorities biblically

After working an extremely stressful job for almost 7 years, I realized that my priorities were out of order. Time with God or even for myself had gone by the wayside. Work had become my top priority, followed by laundry (more work) and cleaning the house (even more work). Making time for family, friends, or the blog was nearly impossible. I was exhausted all the time.

Setting My Priorities

As I was writing my Life Plan (How Changing My Life Helped Me Move Forward), one of the steps was to prioritize my “life accounts.” Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy write in their book,  Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, “The people who live and lead with the most joy and contentment are those who have clarity about their priorities.”

So, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, my life accounts are Faith, Self-Care,  Art (my husband), Kids, Parents & Brothers, Friends, Creative/Career, and  Financial (in that order). But how did I prioritize these accounts? I tried to follow God’s Greatest Commandments, in Matthew 22: 37-40:

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (NKJV)

How does this teaching correspond to my life accounts?

Well, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”, to me, means that God and my faith come first.  In practice, this means that I do my devotions and Bible Study first thing in the morning (after feeding the dogs). It also means that I will make it a priority to find a church home.

The second part of the commandment is a little more tricky. It reads, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Many of you have probably seen the acronym JOY which stands for Jesus, Others, Yourself. Growing up, this was the order I was told my priorities should be.

Since then I have learned the lesson of putting on my own oxygen mask first. Think of it this way. You are on an airplane, accompanying a small child. The plane hit some turbulence and oxygen masks drop down from the ceiling. If you assist the child, before you put on your own oxygen mask, you run the risk of passing out before the child’s mask is secure. Instead, as any good flight attendant will tell you, you should first put on your own oxygen mask before assisting those around you.

So to me, when Jesus says, “love others as you love yourself,” it means that I must take good care of myself, in order to be of service to others. It also means that when others are my priority, I should treat them with the same respect that I would treat myself. I should honor someone else’s request for down time and respect their own need for self care.  I should also assist those who need help in taking care of themselves.

I have found that after setting my priorities according to the Great Commandments, that the other priorities, such as Career/Creative and Financial, sort of just fall into place. There are times when this way of prioritizing seems counter-intuitive to everything I was taught. Then I remember,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NKJV)

What are your priorities?

How We’re Fighting the Effects of Aging In Our Senior Dog #AwesomeAsEver

Katie, our black lab/chow mix is 12 years old now. Since we moved to Oregon, in October, we had definitely noticed some signs of aging in her. She was sleeping almost all the time, and didn’t seem interested in doing much anymore. I was thrilled when Hill’s® Science Diet® asked us to review Youthful Vitality For Dogs.

senior dog vitalityThis post is sponsored by Hill’s® Science Diet® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the new Hill’s® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality pet food for cats and dogs over the age of 7, but Window on the World only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Have you noticed any signs of aging in your 7+ pet? An easy reminder what to look for is the TellTAILS signs of aging:

T– THINKING – Your pet is now confused by ordinary things, like how to find their bed.

A– ACTIVITY – Naps have become more appealing than playing or exploring.

I– INTERACTIONS – Your pet doesn’t socialize with you as much as before.

L– LOSS OF CONTROL – Your pet is well-trained, but has started having accidents.

S– SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE – Sleep patterns have changed, with more awake time during the night.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, like we did with Katie, it might be time to talk to your vet and/or change your pet’s food. Consistent vet visits and changing your pet’s food are just two things that can help older pets to continue to remain healthy in their later years.

About the Product

Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality is formulated with ingredients to help support:

  • Brain Function
  • Energy and Vitality
  • Healthy Immune System
  • Healthy Digestive System
  • Luxurious Coat

Youthful vitality is available in Chicken Recipe for dry in both Original and Small & Toy Breed varieties, and Chicken stew in both large and small can sizes.

Our Experience

First, let me say that Katie loves the taste of Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality.  It is hard to get her to sit still and wait until I put her bowl down before she tries to eat it!

After the first week, we could already see a difference in Katie. She was napping less and interacting with us more. She had even started running and jumping again!

Now, after 8 weeks on Youthful Vitality, Katie is back to her old feisty self.  She is in the middle of everything, including our own dinner preparations. She runs back and forth across the backyard every morning and every evening, just for fun. Katie headbutts us if we don’t give her enough affection.  She even gets annoyed if we (accidentally or on purpose) interrupt her meals.

senior dog vitality
Katie does NOT like being interrupted when she is eating her Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality!!

Find out more about Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality, including an interactive link to help you determine your pet’s “real” age.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill’s® Science Diet® . The opinions and text are all mine.