Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Intentional Living

I never really thought about it, but this is a great, great word.
INTENTIONAL: Done on purpose; deliberate.

I've heard this word mentioned alot lately in my life. It's weird when you start to hear the same word in several areas of daily life and wonder if it's God speaking to you.

I think we let our lives lead us alot of the time. You wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, make dinner, play with the kids, watch TV and go to bed. It's so easy to get caught in a rut of life. I am guilty of this. You aren't intentional with your life, with your actions or your thoughts. Being intentional isn't always easy. It means you have to DO things and on purpose, It means you don't just spend your money, it means your money is spent with intention and it has a plan. You don't just show up for church and go home; going to church with intention means you get the message and use it in your daily life the six days following Sunday. You don't just lose weight by just eating what you want, you have to eat intentionally, with a plan. Things have to be done with thought.

When I started this year, my word was FOCUS. Am I focused all day every day? No. Not hardly. But I do feel like I am starting to live life intentionally.

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There have been some plans Jason and I have had to make for our future this year. Sometimes, plans for the future are very hard to make. We will be purchasing a home in the near future, which requires lots of thought and lots of intentional planning. This means intentional planning with our money and our careers. Where do we want to live? What school district? What type of house do we want to buy? Lots of questions to ask and answer. It took us a few months, but we finally came up with a plan of how we wanted to get to the next step. We aren't in love with what we have to do, because it involves us living in a home that we don't love right now so we can get where we want to be.

As soon as we made our plan, things started coming up. Decisions. Opportunities. Out of nowhere, our plan was being challenged. Not in bad ways, we just had a couple of chances to veer off our plan and were faced with some pretty big decisions. We had an opportunity to pay more and live in a nicer, newer, larger house. We struggled with that decision because we would love to move. But we knew in the back of our minds, it went against our plan. We could justify moving in many ways. Would it have been horrible to veer from the plan? Not necessarily. But we just kept having this feeling it wasn't the right thing to do. Hmmm, God? Yes. He knew our hearts and when you seek His guidance, He will give it to you. Even if it's not easy, (hopefully) you will make the right choice.

Jason was up for a promotion, but he just didn't have a peace about it. It would have been more hours, more responsibility and not much more pay. In the end, it just wasn't meant to be. He kept telling me that he just didn't feel good about it. It would have probably meant us changing our routine, me having to come to work later and leave earlier from work to get Avery, and it would have meant less flexibility for his schedule. Right now, his flexible schedule is worth more than a little more money in the bank. But, it went to someone who cared about it more, who would ultimately be happier than Jason would have been. But it's so hard to turn down a promotion, you know?

We ask ourselves how we are being intentional as parents. Do you have a plan for what type of child you want to raise? We realized the other day that while we are intentional in Avery's learning (we teach her letters and songs and numbers and shapes, etc) we aren't always intentional in teaching her the Bible and learning how to pray. In the same way you don't just wake up one day and have kids with manners, you don't just wake up to a kid who loves God and knows His word. I am sure alot of people who are good people and think they are doing great things have come to their children being 10 who are not mannerly and not well behaved and gone, "Why are they like this? They know better than this!" And while I am sure it's not always the parents, but I ask, "Did you instill in them good manners every single day? Did you make them say 'Yes sir' 'Yes ma'am' every single day? Did you make them read the Bible and learn verses all the time? Did you teach them to pray?" I am bad about it myself. But I realize that I have to make sure I am intentional about the type of girl I want Avery to be if I want to give her a good foundation for becoming a teen and young lady.

How intentional are you being in your life? I challenge you to live your life on purpose.

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