Tuesday, September 2, 2014

intentional living

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days. ~Dorothy Canfield Fisher

My alarm clock was out of job all summer, I never missed it. But, that changed this morning at 5:40. It was most shocking. Summer didn’t just slide to an end, it came to a screeching halt. It's a rude wake up. 

I feel completely unprepared for the first day of school. We haven’t even picked up all the supplies yet, or figured out our after school sports issues. And back to school clothes? Um, the kids will be showing up in their worn out summer best. And it's going to be okay.

I want to be intentional and organized. But my plans typically end up sideways and I’m learning give myself grace when things go wonky. Even though things rarely turn out the way I envision, I always have the same question this time of year. How do I do this season well?

The Bible cautions me to make the most of my time, to catch every opportunity and be careful how I live (Ephesians 5:15-16). I want to be intentional in every area of my life. But my want to doesn’t always translate into what I actually do. I admit my selfishness, my laziness, and my tendency to go towards what is comfortable instead of what I really need. I need a rope of redemption. So I pray for grace and I choose to live purposefully.

It matters, this life we have. And though the days feel long, the span of our life isn’t and we’ve only got a set amount of time to live well. Throughout September I want to explore this idea of intentional living, or living life with purpose. 

For me intentional living means pursuing what matters and keeping things simple. However, somewhere in between the thoughts of intention and the action of intention I get distracted. Why do I pursue an intentional life at all?

Why pursue an intentional life?

A life lived with purpose breathes out hope. This world needs the hope of people who know Jesus. It doesn’t mean we get it right all the time. It means I try and stumble towards grace and invite others to see Jesus alive in me. But that requires that I think about how I live.

We pursue a purposeful existence because God calls us to be good managers of what he gives us. Life is the greatest gift, and I want to manage it well. 

It's important to note here that intentional living (or life lived on purpose) means something different for each one of us. Sometimes it's helpful to ask good questions during the intention seeking process,  Life with a Mission shares some great questions to spark intentional living

As September rolls in, I’d like to occasionally look at this life on purpose and explore what that means in the middle of carpools and after school sports and burned dinners. 

I’d love it if we could encourage each other on this road. Share in the comments (or on Facebook or Instagram or when we bump into each other at the grocery store) what an intentional life means to you.


  1. Being intentional and giving myself grace is so hard sometimes. I need to remember to celebrate the wins, no matter how small they may seem. Thank you!

    1. Yes, it's that whole grace thing. I am learning (very slowly) to celebrate the wins and not to despise small starts. I sometimes get to doing nothing because I want to finish what I start right then, or I wait for the perfect conditions.

      Grace, grace, grace!


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