What's important

Now, I don't LOVE forwards, but I got this one from a friend, and I just loved this illustration. I've been thinking more and more lately about how to prioritize my life, and what things really do matter, and this one came on just the right day for that.


One day, a professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things -- your God, family, children, your health, friends, and favorite passions. If everything else was gone from your life ...

but these things still remained ... your life would still be full."

The professor continued, "The pebbles are the other things that matter ... like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he said, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the golf balls first ... the things that really matter.

Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


I've been feeling lately like sometimes I fill my jar with sand & pebbles before the golf balls, and he's absolutely right, if you do that, you can't fit the golf balls in. I really want to work on determining what is actually a golf ball, and what may be a pebble or sand. I'd also like to start getting a little coffee in my jar.


Fresh Starts

I don't care what they say about Spring and fresh starts, Fall will always be the fresh start for me. We live in a school year calendar society, and Fall means a new year (and new pencils!!*). The chaos of summer is over, and the order of Fall has arrived. It's Ella's first day at school today, in her second year of preschool. She may have been a little hesitant last year, but this year I couldn't get her to stop and take a picture because she wanted to go. NOW.

Natalie has adjusted well I think. Much better than Mommy. She has played everything there is to play, and really seems to enjoy having it all to herself. I am hoping these times of Ella at school lessen the amount of fighting we have during the day. Perhaps all that was needed was a little alone time.

I, on the other hand, was not prepared. In the future I will need to be much more caught up with work the night before a preschool day, because Natalie alone is far more high maintenance. Her attention span when playing alone is about 30 seconds, which means I haven't gotten a whole lot done today. And yet, in the time I have found, I am doing this. Priorities?

In other fresh starts, Ella started dance this week! I have a tiny dancer! It took a little convincing for Daddy, but in the end it came down to Ella enjoying it. Imagine my distress when she then informed Daddy that she didn't want to go to dance class. Hush!!! She did seem to have fun, although parents have to wait in the hall so we're not distracting, so I couldn't see if she did. When I asked her she said, "I don't want to talk about it, I'll tell you next week." 4 or 14? Later she showed us how she makes an X, so it must have been at least a little fun. If you're looking for a home for outgrown leotards & skirts, we're happy to help out with that.

* I don't think I can properly convey my excitement over school supplies. I love them. New pencils, notebooks, folders, crayons. I was thrilled this year that we needed to get some supplies for Ella. She needed a pack of glue sticks, I bought 5. They were 20¢. She needed a pack of jumbo crayons, I bought 2. They were 80¢. For only 50¢ you can get a fresh start in the form of a pen. Love it. Thank you, Jesus, for back to school shopping. It's the little things, isn't it?