If you came into my bedroom and opened my closet door, the first things you would see (if you ignored the dirty clothes on the floor) would be the red Coach bag my sister-in-law gave me for my fortieth birthday alongside the backpack my friend, Karen, brought me from her trip to Paris. I love these bags – they are the nicest ones I own since I usually buy cheapies! (I can’t spend too much on a bag because I buy way too many — they always fit!)
Not only are they lovely bags, they mean a lot to me because of who gave them to me. Every time I open the door of the closet, my treasured bags are right there.
Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21 ESV)
Treasures catch our attention, don’t they? Whether it’s your favorite handbag, an heirloom from your grandma, a piece of jewelry or a finger painting from your child, treasures capture our hearts.
And, we treat our treasures differently than we treat other things, right? Whenever I take off the diamond wedding band Phil gave me, I never just lay it down anywhere as I would a cup of coffee. I give it special attention and care each time I slip it from my finger.
Just like my bags are in a prime place in my closet, it’s the same with our thought closets. Every time we think about choices or consider what is best — every time we sneak a peek in our thought closets, our treasures (our priorities) should be prominent — front and center, because they matter so much to us.
But if they are so valuable, how do they sometimes get shoved to the back? In other words, if we really value certain things — people, priorities — then why are they the last things on our minds when we get busy and are bombarded by decisions and life’s clutter?
Distractions aren’t always bad things, but they can keep us from the best things. Distractions can become so big that they overshadow our priorities. That’s simply the nature of distractions. They occupy more prime space in our thought closets than we can really afford to give them. As a result, what we value most may be shoved to the back of our minds.
You would walk into the gallery, looking for the legendary painting. But the first thing you would smell would be the strong odor of Pine-Sol. You would have to pick your way to the back wall by stepping over buckets, pushing back mop handles, and shifting boxes of supplies to make a path. And then, at the back of the room where the painting should be, a big slab of plywood is leaning against the wall! To actually get a view of da Vinci’s portrait, you practically have to rearrange that junky room.
So, how do busy women like us keep our treasures front and center?
By talking to our souls.
What you tell your soul in those crucial moments of decision throughout your day will make all the difference. When you are tuned in, your treasures won’t get overlooked. Here’s what I mean:
Whenever I’m asked to speak somewhere, I ask myself, “How does this fit into my ministry purpose?” Being purposeful (not just busy) in ministry is a big priority to me. If I don’t have a good answer, I won’t accept the offer. The invitation may have been an excellent opportunity (and believe me, when the offer involves a beach, it’s awfully tempting). But even a good thing can become a distraction if it shoves my treasures to the rear of the shelf.
When I’m asked to volunteer for something, I ask myself, “How does this impact my family?” If the impact is positive or minimal, then I can easily say yes without ignoring my family who I treasure.
You get the idea. So, since you talk to yourself too, here are two questions to ask your soul in any situation.
1. Does this opportunity still allow me to prioritize what I treasure?
2. Will this choice cause me to treat what I treasure with less value?
We busy women need to take a second to tune in to our treasures and take note of what distracts us. That way even the good stuff won’t overshadow what is best.
Then jot down 3 distractions that can potentially keep you from prioritizing your treasures.
Lord, we lay before you our treasures. Help us to put them front and center in our thoughts and lives. Help us to be aware and tuned in so we don’t let distractions take priority over what we truly value. Amen.
What treasures and distractions did you jot down? Please share them in the comments below.
P.S. Recently, I gained wisdom from talking with some of my author friends like Lysa TerKeurst and Laura Story while revising my book, Self Talk, Soul Talk. It’s releasing as the Me, Myself, & Lies book this May and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Click here to be the first to know!