Walk Your Talk–Making First Things First



Over the past several months I’ve been processing and trying to live John 15:5. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” In previous blogs and newsletters I’ve shared with you my process of “resting in God the way a tree rests in soil.”* (Read “Be The Tree” blogs on the right.) I shared with you my drawing of a tree and its roots going deep in God’s

  • Love
  • Sovereignty
  • Adequacy
  • Faithfulness
  • Forgiveness

We’ve talked about ways to remind ourselves to do that throughout the day—setting the alarm on our phones, every time we get more coffee, go to the restroom, change a diaper, or check our social media.

And yet, I find myself on this day as our girls’ two weddings and a baby come closer struggling to rest in God. Yes, I have lots yet to do. And I have lots of opportunities to spend time with the kids—time I won’t have later when they’re back in school or moved to different locations for work. It is a season of many good things, but that I don’t want to miss. I can become overwhelmed. How do I do what I need to do for the weddings and be ready to help Kelsey when the “grand” arrives and still be totally present when the kids are here?

Jesus tells us, “apart from Me you can do nothing.” Only by resting in Him will I achieve all He has for me.

The answer is counterintuitive—rest in Jesus and allow Him to work through me to accomplish all He has planned for me.

One thing God is showing me is

Relationships first.

In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote, “You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.”** Effectiveness with people means making a connection with them, showing them they are loved and cared for. As I prayerfully read these words, God gave me permission to lay aside my plan for the day and be in the moment with those I most care about whenever they pop into my day.

Mr. Covey went on to say, “What is important to the another person must be as important to you as the other person is to you. You may be working on a high priority project when your six-year-old child interrupts with something that seems trivial to you, but it may be very important from his point of view . . . By accepting the value he places on what he has to say, you show an understanding of him that makes a great deposit [in the relationship].”

Jesus lived this way. He always put people first. The Gospels record many times where Jesus’ plan was interrupted by someone. In Matthew 9:18-26, Jesus is interrupted on his way to heal a little girl. When they woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touched His robe in hopes of being healed, Jesus didn’t wave His hand over her to heal her and continue on His way. He stopped and talked with her. He healed her physically and spiritually. He was alert to God’s leading for the moment.

But what about all I have to do? As a dear friend reminded me, “It will get done.” So true. God cares not only about our precious loved ones, but about the details of our lives. My friend went on to remind me how Jesus’ first miracle was to “keep the party going” at a wedding. God cares about our weddings. He cares about the details of our lives. He has us. Our part is to lean in to God. Rest in Him the way a tree rests in soil. He will take it from there.

What area of your life tempts you to put a to-do list before your loved ones?


*Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.

**7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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