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I’ve been reading 31 Days to Build a Better Spouse and have committed to spending the month of January praying for my husband.

At first I was doing great. It’s a simple read, and a simple little daily task.

One day we had a little “You’re speaking Man-Language and I’m speaking Woman-Language” spat. Nothing really.

And that night I realized, after picking up my e-reader, that I hadn’t prayed for my husband in almost three days. How in the world did it happen so fast?

Well, it’s a matter of putting “first things first.” Every single day. Over and over and over and over. That’s the part that always trips me up.

Right now, in our lives there is just so much going on, that even what we know to be first, what we know to be right, what we know to be best, doesn’t get done in the priority we know we have committed to. Tasks must still be done. Our move. Homeschooling our girls. Preparing for the packers. Making dinner. Laundry. And oh, throw in a small surgery for me and a week or so of bedrest in there.

Commitment is always so hard to reconcile with the daily calendar and to-do list isn’t it? Sometimes I feel like I’m just “fitting” my faith life in, instead of letting everything I do be influenced and permeated by my faith. I ask others how do you do it, and the stock answer of “putting it on my calendar” or “scheduling a time”, sounds great and all, but really, let’s face it. It doesn’t work! If y’all could just see my calendar, color-coded, long lists organized to the nth degree. (I am not exaggerating.)

It’s so much easier to say, “Tomorrow, I’ll ________” or “When I _________, then I can __________.” And mean it. Truly mean it. And then allow the defeat and self-condemnation swallow you up when of course it doesn’t happen.

On Sunday, we heard two different groups of missionaries speak at Church, and I really felt the need to help sponsor children to attend school in Honduras. The missionary mentioned how she was able to use Bibles in school, to teach the children English! How awesome is that? And yet when I came home and balanced the checkbook, I thought, “Oh, maybe when we pay off that debt we can afford the extra $30-$40 a month.” And once again I realized I was falling in that same “if/then” trap. 

So, no. I am not going to let that happen to me this year. I choose to complete what I start. I will put God first. I will put relationships before the task-master to-do list. I will reach out to others and seek for ways to use my purpose.

I will stop everything I’m doing, even writing this blog post and pray for my husband. (Realizing that yet again, I’m behind because I’ve lost track of what day it is!) What’s more important, the deadline or the “task” well done? And better still, I’d like to change my mindset because it’s not a “task” or a duty to pray for my spouse. It’s an honor.

It’s a gift that God has given us, the ability to pray for those we love.

I will not groan inwardly with the phone rings because someone has called yet again to check up on me, I will thank God for the chance to reconnect. I will look forward to those interruptions, because life happens in those interruptions.

And I will pray. I will pray for my spouse, so he can start his year off in the right place and on the right path that God has created for him this year, and I will pray for my children, that they will learn of God’s love and of God’s world, and of the place that God has created for them in this world. I will pray for all those that cross my path, because God can use that crossing to lay them on my heart at that moment.

The act of prayer, is my way of putting my wish for the movement of God in that person’s life first.

And this is the change I pray for in myself, that the movement of God happens in my own life, metamorphasizing my view until I can see like Him.

And I will see not a year filled with lists and tasks and duties, but a year filled with blessings and gifts and promises.