Attending the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference recently was the culmination of months of preparation. First, I had two full book manuscripts to put in shape in order to show them to publishers and editors and agents at the conference. Then there were two workshops to organize. Not to mention manuscripts for other writers that I had been asked to critique. How could I ever get it all done and still live my normal full life?

I had to make difficult choices.

One of those choices was to pass on visiting all my English as a Foreign Language students from last semester. I grew to love each one and desired to see them succeed in learning my language, but this summer allowed no time for me to visit each person in his or her home.

Another difficult decision involved temporarily setting aside visits with older shut-ins, more people I love. Our relationships had to go on hold. Would one or more of these dear people leave this life before I had time to squeeze in another visit? One of these friends is turning 100 this month!

But now that the conference is past? I can shift my focus. I can step back into life and renew these friendships. Setting priorities doesn’t have to mean saying no forever, but rather it may mean merely adjusting the timing. My friends are patient. A lunch, a phone call, a movie. Relationships are forever.


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