Written by: Judy E. Denby

It's only the middle of August, but already I can easily state that this has been a summer like no other. 1999 will be remembered as one of the busiest years in my life, although also one of the most joyful. I married my husband, then tried to adjust to the newlywed life while we maintained residences and jobs in two different states (he in Kansas, Iím in Maine). Before any of that was settled, his mother became ill and we were off to Florida to help her. We returned three weeks later, after a frustrating trip, still waiting for God to point us in some direction, and lead us to one household in one state. I went back to work for two weeks, and then we went to Douglas Camp in Massachusetts for about four days (all my work schedule would allow) of Christian fellowship and study of evangelism (including 1 baptism). (Let me pause here long enough to say that every day was enriching to my Christian life, and although I've never been a camp person (I don't do well with insects, and life without my microwave seems like a real hardship), I highly recommend it to anyone simply because it is a chance to pull away from the rest of the world for a while, and to draw closer to God.)

Once camp ended, I went back to work for three twelve hour shifts, and then we flew to Missouri, where I had a job interview. Forty two hours later, we flew back to Maine and I went back to work. Now I have a visit with my parents and a family celebration the weekend of August 14th, while I wait to hear about the job. If it comes through, it means packing up and moving to Missouri only one year after I moved to Maine from the Midwest. (I still have not unpacked all those boxes!) Sometimes I'd just like to collapse in bed, pull up the covers, and hide for a week or two - but I know I don't have time.

My point here is not to invoke your pity or to complain, because God has been very good to me. There comes a time, however, when I realize that I am so busy that the really important things get pushed aside, while I (superwoman, AKA super nurse, super wife, super friend, super daughter-in-law, etc.) try to accomplish all the tasks that I set before myself. I had visions of the perfect married life for us. Peter and I talked about the idea that we would continue to go on “dates” once a week, to keep our romance strong. We said we would make time daily to pray and meditate on God's Word together. (These things happened infrequently due to schedules, time and/or money). Even my personal relationship with God has sometimes taken second place to my job, my service to others (helping Peter's mom, being Douglas Camp Nurse, etc.), and my various commitments. It's not that I don't try to make time for the important things - I just know that I'm not putting the effort and time into making first my relationship with God and then my relationship with my husband all that they should be. No wonder I'm feeling tired and stressed.

Probably no one has gone through exactly what I have, but we all still have our stresses, cares and commitments. I know that I am not alone for I go into Christian bookstores and see books and devotionals that tell us how we can experience a meaningful relationship with God in anywhere from thirty seconds to fifteen minutes a day. I'm not saying these are sinful, and I confess that there have been days when I felt fortunate to have a whole fifteen minutes alone with God. I truly believe, though, that God deserves more, and if my relationship with Him is to grow, I need to devote more time to Him, making Him # 1.

It's hard to change habits and I worry that something isn't going to get done (I'm a bit of a perfectionist) or maybe I'll let someone down… I have to believe, however, that if I let Him, God will take care of it all while I'm working on making Him top priority. Even Jesus had to take time away from the crowds and disciples to spend time with His Father, so I'm following the best example. And when life gets crazy, I'll be better prepared to state, like Horatio G. Spafford:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

What ever befall, God has taught me to say,

It is well, It is well with my soul.