The Macs

Thursday, January 20, 2011

be intentional.

I have never reflected on the past year and anticipated the year to come as much as I did when 2010 rolled over to 2011. I have been praying about what God has in store for me and my family this year. I know very well that we don't always know what lies ahead in the year to come. Sometimes there are unexpected joys and sometimes there are unexpected sorrows. I'd like to tell you that I know exactly what this year holds, but I don't. What I do know is that each day that the Lord gives me this year is a gift. I know that I don't want this year to "just happen". I know that I don't want to waste these precious days. I know that I want to be intentional.

As I thought about my goals and priorities for this year I kept coming back to how I really needed to work on being intentional in all of those areas. I want to be intentional in my time with the Lord everyday. I want to be intentional in my prayer life. I want to be intentional in filling my mind with Truth. I want to be intentional in how I love and respect Joel. I want to be intentional in how I love and teach and discipline Levi. I want to be intentional in how I manage my time as a stay-at-home mom. I want to be intentional in creating order and a peaceful atmosphere in my home. I want to be intentional in my relationships with family and friends. I want to be intentional in showing God's love to those around me. I want to be intentional in continuing to share my story.

I could go on and on. But when I think about all the areas in my life that I need to be intentional in...all the areas that I need to improve on...all the areas I need to grow in...it gets overwhelming. It makes me want to quit right now. Thankfully, even though I will fail miserably many times, I don't have to do it on my own. In fact, I can't do this on my own. What a relief since it is only January and I have many months to go! This being intentional thing is going to take some major discipline on my part. It is going to mean laying aside some things that I would rather do, to invest in the people and priorities God has placed in my life. But as I seek God, he will give me the strength I need to live intentionally. Wouldn't it be great if I got to the end of the year and could put a check in the box that meant I learned to be intentional!? Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. Just like walking through grief, learning to be intentional is going to be a lifelong journey of allowing the Lord to work in me.


This sweet boy needs a mama who is intentional. So this is what I am asking myself: Am I making my own plans or seeking God's guidance for what he wants to accomplish in and through me this year? I want to be intentional. And I want to be intentionally seeking Him each day.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 16:9 (The Message)

I will share more later about what I am doing to grow in this area of being intentional. What about you? What are you doing to be intentional this year? I would love to hear.

30 Comments:

Blogger Tara said...

that's my goal this year too! i felt like i was just coasting and i desperately desire to know at the end of my life that i lived every moment full of purpose and intention. i would love to hear more about what you're doing to be more intentional!

January 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger CassJustCurious said...

I'm working towards that too. I'm not sure why this particular post touched me so. But I'm going to tell you that you helped me on my path to find Jesus. And I'm really grateful for that with such a full heart I have tears in my eyes. Your faith, your love, how that reflects in your eyes and in your relationships, as a mom and as a wife is inspiring to me.

So, thank you.

January 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Jess,

WOW what an awesome post once again. I actually printed this off and have it on my fridge to read EVERY Day! Thank you for reminding me to be "intentional" in all that I do. Sometimes, life gets soooo busy that I forget to remember what is important. You truly are an inspiration to me, and I thank God daily that you all came into our lives! Take care and Thank you!

Love to you all!

AMIE

January 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

I've been following your blog for a while and I love this post. Your actions are a great testimony of your faithful walk with Jesus. I too wake up everyday being grateful for another day in my life. Beautiful message! I need to be more intentional as well so I'm looking forward to your future posts regarding this...
Thanks and God Bless!

January 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I think that is a beautiful goal. One that you will always have to work to achieve and one that will always be fulfilling.

January 20, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

I am a SAHM of 3 but now all are in school. I was excited about this stage in life but over-committed myself. I had to have some frank conversations about time committments and have pulled back. I am becoming more intentional in my role as a SAHM with kids in school. It sounds so vague but it's something my family needs. Hubby is gone on business trips a lot so the responsibilities fall on me, which is fine, I just need to get a handle on it all. Best of luck to you!

January 20, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger flower power momma said...

While sorting closets I ran across The Daily Walk Bible. My intention has been to read the suggested scriptures daily.
Missed a 2 weeks, but on track now.

It's exciting to see how God is using you and your life experiences in others lives. Yeah God!

January 20, 2011 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Solomon said there is a time for everything, tears/joy, life/death, plant/harvest...I think we need to ask God what time Of intentional living is it for me today? Broken down into days makes it work so much easier for me.

January 20, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Everday Edwards said...

Intentional is my favorite word. Being intentional is my life goal. Great post!

Jaimi

January 20, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger The Muncies said...

blog follower for a while now -- coming out of the cracks!

i love this article about keeping goals:
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/01/5-steps-to-making-new-years-resolutions-happen/

January 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

I love that intentional is a frequently used in my vocabulary. Now if only I could be as intentional as I want:).

But...I am working. My goal this year is to be intentional about: putting the Lord 1st (in my time, family, money...), being with my kids & enjoying the moments instead of worrying & fretting over things I can't change, more discipline in my daily routine, & having a home that a tired husband longs to come home to after a long day.

As long as I can put the Lord 1st, I know He'll help me! Putting yourself aside is the biggest part of being intentional I'm finding & I'm so glad you mentioned it...reassurance. Thanks for being so open. It's like a breath of fresh air...

January 20, 2011 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Devon said...

wow...i have a blog post brewing in my head that i was going to entiltle "deliberate" -- same ideas as your post. i love it.

i'm going to be (or at least try) to be intentional with my quiet times with the lord, in loving my husband, in instilling good traits in my girls, in getting financial set and spending wisely and in taking care of my body.

its not easy but i really feel the lord pressing on my heart.....thanks for sharing!

January 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

We just started something new with our kids (Ages 5 & 3 and one due in March) that so far I LOVE!!!!

Every night we do "the candle." We have a special candle that we light and the four of us sit on the couch and read a Bible story. Sometimes we color a picture to go with it. Sometimes we act it out. Sometimes we look at a short video clip online that has to do with the story, etc. Then we sing a worship song together (Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord has been the fav. this week) and then each person takes a turn praying! You should hear my little sweet three year old pray! Oh it's precious. Then the kids get a bedtime snack and it's off to bed for the night. It's been great so far. We've skipped a night here and there and I feel like that's okay. Our goal is to just do it most of the time. My husband and I decided that this year we need to be intentional about teaching our kid's God's word b/c God gave them to us, so it's our job (not the job of a Sun. School teacher 2 hours a week).

Grandmom is coming over to babysit tonight and the first thing my son asked was "Does she know how to do the candle?" So cute. Amazing that we're only on day 20 and it's already a big part of their day!

January 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger My name is Amee said...

Wow! You have summed it up. "Intentional" is exactly what I need to be but didn't really realize it until I read your post!!I feel like like I have just been coasting along (especially 2010 alot happened..new job..) so I've been trying to do better since Jan 1st. Now I'm going to really try to do even better!!! Thank you so much for posting such a wondeful inspiring post!
I can't wait to hear more about your intentional goals! :)

January 20, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

It's me again... just wanted to share one more thing that my husband and I decided to be intentional about with our kiddos.

We're adding a new baby brother to the family in March, so we decided to be intentional for the entire month of February in showing our kids how greatly they are loved by their family and by Jesus. We want to fill their "love tanks" up as much as we can before the new baby comes and Valentine's month is the perfect time to do it.

The Plan:
We're going to make Valentine Mailboxes out of Cereal boxes. They're going to hang them on the door knob to their room and each morning they will find a message of love in their mailbox. A note from mommy or daddy. A card. A Hershey Kiss. A Bible verse that talks about how Jesus loves them or how God created them so perfectly. etc. I'm going to have grandparents and aunts and uncles send special notes and I'm going to have my kids make each other surprise through out the month to put in the mailbox for each other. Their mailboxes are not going to be for toys or gifts...just messages of love. I think it will be so fun for them to wake up to each morning. And I'm excited for their days to start out by hearing how greatly they are loved by their family and by their Heavenly Father! They hear me tell them all the time that I love them, but I want them to understand deep in their hearts all the unique things I love about them and how loved they are by Jesus.

January 20, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger This is the day! said...

What a great post! I need to be intentional with my prayer life and quiet time with the Lord. Our church is starting a new series called Greater Things and we are doing a church wide 21 day fast. I am so excited about what God has in store.

January 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger This is the day! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

This is awesome and just what I needed to read. I just became a mom to a sweet baby girl and feel so incredibly blessed. I am going to be intentional on being the best mom, wife and sister in Christ that I can be.

Thanks for sharing! I cant wait to start to be intentional on so many things that have been slacking in my life.

January 20, 2011 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Kylie and crew. said...

I'm working on being intentional with my time...especially during the waking hours of my children and more importantly being intentional with my quiet time! I do well for awhile and then...I get too busy for awhile. I can tell such a difference when I'm in the Word!!

January 20, 2011 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Intentional is one of my very favorite words. It is also one that my husband uses to describe me because he says that I say anything done without being intentional is just really in vain.

Being intentional takes effort from me. It takes that extra moment to stop and really make what I'm doing count...not just for today, but for eternity. I was created to serve HIM, to bring HIM glory. If my everyday words, actions & thoughts are not intentional then they are self-made and those don't count.

I am in it for the long run because I know it will take me all of life and the many seasons I will journey through to learn how to continually be intentional.

Thank you for your words of encouragement! It is so fun to know there are other women out there in this big world just living out life in all the diapers, homework, dinners, dishes, husband-loving, child-rearing day-to-day life really wanting to please God!

January 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger mama b said...

i'm in the middle of reading Radical by David Platt - whew!! that is a HEAVY and challenging read. we as americans just don't "get" how risky it should be to be Christians. anyway, as part of his recommended "radical experiment" i'm trying my hardest to read through the Bible in 2011. yiiikes! that intimidates me! i'm also trying to be more sacrificial in my giving...of my time, resources, etc. not just out of excess, but so much that it stings a little.

January 20, 2011 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Les said...

I also just read Radical like the commenter above me and I'm being intentional on reading the Bible daily. I found my "Bible in a Year" and started on the first of the year. I'm also wanting to be intentional in serving the community around me... even the neighbors next door.

January 20, 2011 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Sarah B said...

Beautifully put. Intentional. Thank you for the inspiration to put this word on my dashboard.

January 20, 2011 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Mindy M. Harris said...

Jess, thank you for sharing your heart on the matter of intentionality. God is showing me that while I have a natural tendency to be intentional with my friends, I leave the leftovers for my family, for God. My friends will forever be important to me, and I need them, I'm going to focus more on quality time with the Lord, and with my family.I also felt convicted about the order in the home part that you wrote about (I hate cleaning!)...
I agree in prayer with you that the Lord will guide you in all the ways you desire to be intentional.

January 20, 2011 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

This is exactly my goal for the year, but I called it "focused". I want to choose people over activities that seem more pressing. I want to look my second grade students in the eyes when they are telling me stories, and pay total attention (even when they go on a wee bit too long!) I want to consult God first and not my "To Do" list each day. I want to lift my calendar and checkbook to God and say, "What would YOU have me do with these?" Let's walk 365 days this year with intentional focus and see how it changes our lives.

January 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger L ~ S said...

I've never thoought of that phrase before, but I REALLY like it!

January 21, 2011 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

Love this...so true! Maybe you can re-post it once a week as a reminder/wake up call when us moms and women get buried with the craziness of life. :) I'm doing Beth Moore's scripture memory where you pick out a bible verse of your own choice and post it on her blog on the 1st and 15th of each month. I need this accountability and structure and it is a good way to keep my mind filled with truth in a very busy and stressful season of life. blog.lproof.org

January 21, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger nichole said...

How encouraging your post is to me! I try to remember when I'm struggling in this area, that one day I will stand accountable to every thought, every word, every action. I want to be pleasing to the LORD, I want Him to be happy with me! This often gives me the extra boost I need to keep trying to be intentional!

January 21, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger the brokaws said...

What a great post. I could go on and on about the things I want to be intentional about too. Thanks so much for the reminder and your encouragement!

January 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger ~Momma~ said...

What a great post! It goes hand in hand with my new goal this year which is to "clean up" my relationships with some extended family members. Too often I find myself taking a passive role with others which leads me down the path of feeling like I have to please them and then I find myself on the receiving end of their hostility when I inevitably fail.

In my current Beth Moore workbook "When godly people do ungodly things" she gave a great illustration for me to keep in mind with all of my relationships. That is, rather than get "entangled" with others, I should try to imagine the cross between me and the other person. The horizontal line represents the love and continued relationship while the vertical line represents clear boundaries. I love that visual and it keeps everything very simple and clean.

Thanks to your post, I'm going to add the word "intentional" into my goal and be much more intentional with my desire to put my relationship with God, my husband & my children first while continuing my relationships with others in a loving, clean and INTENTIONAL way. Thanks!

January 22, 2011 at 6:57 AM  

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