Liz Montigny reflects on the peace and simplicity that comes from living a right-ordered life.
Recently I was reminded of what a right ordered life is. Here's what I mean by right ordered: you may know that we're intended for relationship with God first, then our spouse, then our children, and then everything else—work, ministry, volunteering. It got me thinking about how much disorientation and stress comes from a disordered life.
I used to say “yes” and figure it out later. But the problem is all those yeses add up. Here are some ways I have slowed myself down so that I can live a right-ordered life.
Praying at the start of my day. Turns out the idea of "giving your first hour to God" from Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) makes a difference. I like to ask Him what I should focus on for the day. He always allows enough time in my day for what is essential when I put Him first.
For several years now I have also committed to at least one holy hour a week. I have been going to Adoration for years and it has transformed my prayer life and helped me face challenges, like car repair and a dead refrigerator in the same week before school begins, from a place of peace.
It may feel backwards, especially when you have little ones, but if you want to have a good relationship with your children, you have to nurture your relationship with your husband. I'm not saying we have the model marriage; however, when we go on regular date nights and have our weekly check-ins with one another, we have a deeper emotional connection, can pray with more care for the other, and have a better understanding of whatever cross the other is carrying.
When your children can see their mother and father prioritizing their faith and their marriage, they feel more at peace. This peace can then bring more calm to the household. As a mom to three boys, I find this to be a huge benefit.
Make sure that whatever your everything else is—your work, your ministry, your volunteering, your book club—that it's bringing glory to God and not distracting from your time with God or diverting you from deepening your vocation in marriage or motherhood.
As the saying goes, you are replaceable at work. (Even if you're a solopreneur, this is still the case ... I'm a life coach, and there is someone out there doing what I do but differently.) Anything else besides work should bring glory to God and simply enhance your life or your community. If it's bringing nothing but disorder, should it really be a part of your life right now?
Be sure that your relationships with God, your husband, and your children are above all else because you never hear anybody at the end of their life regretting that they did not work enough.
Copyright 2023 Elizabeth Montigny