“Action expresses priorities.” Mahatma Gandhi
So I posted this to my FaceBook status the other day and can’t stop thinking about the strong truth behind it. It goes right along with the other favorite is “Actions speak louder than words”.
This year by choosing my word for 2012 and blog, I believe this quote has become very true for my life. I have stepped up to life and said that this is my priority: taking care of me (spiritual, physical, emotional); relationship with Jim, Mary, and Sam; relationship with friends; and our home. Do I have a LONG way to go? YES! Will these be continual priorities? YES! But I have taken huge strides.
I love to read, but have often placed on a back burner because I do not have time. But in reality, by choosing the type of books I enjoy reading (non-fiction), I can take care of me by reading and learn ways to improve relationship with family (currently reading Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages and 5 Love Languages for Teenagers – will have a blog). I have read One Thousand Gifts, which changed my attitude and makes me pause on a daily basis and increases my spiritual life. Can I read a book in one setting like I use to? NO – generally due to time constraints and can’t stay awake – lol! But I can read a little each day by using the time waiting to pick up the kids. I say taking care of me is a priority – by reading (action) expresses that priority.
I say that my relationship with Jim is important. But what actions support this. I mentioned earlier that I am NOT a morning person; however, I have been getting out of bed with him in the morning and making him coffee. When he leaves I say a prayer for him and watch for the instant messenger button to come on that he is signed in and know he made it safely. However, I didn’t order coffee and we are out. I knew he was running low at work too… so I say he is a priority but fail to make a basic need (coffee is a need for him, not just a want – LOL). I know some will say, he could order or buy his own… but that is NOT the point! I am 99.9% responsible for the purchasing in the home (especially groceries and from Amazon) and I knew. I just procrastinated. Does he love me any less – NO! But note to self – getting up and making coffee and saying a prayer (ACTION) expresses that priority. But ordering coffee (action) also expresses that priority – always room for improvement.
I say that my relationship with Mary is a priority and she has expressed that eating together (same room without TV, computer, phones) is important. I am sad to admit, this is NOT our norm – generally kids eat before Jim even makes it home and we often eat in the living room watching N.C.I.S. However, Mary is a priority for me – so yesterday, I cleaned off the kitchen table (big process – trust me) and we sat at the table and enjoyed our meal together. It was a big step for us… and I know many of you are still gasping that this was our life. I am learning that if you know something is important to someone you love, it is vital to start doing that TODAY. Family meal time at kitchen table (ACTION) expressed that Mary (and family time) is a priority.
I say that my relationship with Samuel is a priority and truly know many of his “triggers” to happiness. This weekend we went to see Mary’s friend in a play inPittsburghand Samuel got to tag along because Jim had class. I knew that the play and people would likely be overwhelming for him and would need a distraction. I also know that he loves Toys-R-Us (and he knows exactly what he is looking for before we walk through the door and can be in/out in less than 15 minutes usually). So, we stopped at Toys-R-Us before the play so he could get something to distract him from the chaotic surroundings. We were out in 15 minutes and the distraction worked as planned as he was able to be in “his world” during the loud music and people. Toys-R-Us quick trip (ACTION) expressed to Samuel he was a priority. (Stopping at Chik-Fil-A and going to the play expressed to Mary she was also a priority).
Oh, and getting up early in the morning started out to be an action just for Jim. However, I am really loving time for a cup of tea, listening to SPIRIT radio on TV, reading some devotionals, packing lunches before getting kids up, getting myself ready before the kids get up, etc. Now, I can give the kids undivided unrushed attention in the AM.
It is important to say “I LOVE YOU” but PREPARE for ACTION, because ACTIONS speak louder than those words (and support the words). ACTIONS express my priorities – even the small actions can speak volumes!
“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him “… – Titus 1:16 (NAS)
Just like people we profess that we love _____, but our deeds deny that…. May my ACTIONS speak louder than my words! Definitely something I have to re-examine in many areas of my life….