The areas in life where I have reaped the greatest rewards, harvested the most fruit and enjoyed the most success are the areas I’ve approached with the greatest intention. Conversely, the areas in my life where I want to improve, but don’t become intentional, these are my greatest sources of nagging weight.
Every December, I read through my journal to assess how the previous year played out: how I’ve grown, what I’ve learned, what God did through me and in me.
Last year, for me, was a lot of good intentions and not a lot of fruit. I saw myself let another year go by where I did not follow through on some goals. I saw myself often journaling, “Where has this day gone? Wow! I can’t believe it’s the end of the month already!”
Day after day.
Week after week.
Until entire year slipped through my hands, with very little to show for it.
(Except a few more wrinkles and age spots on those hands.)
(Holy cow, I need a manicure.)
This year, I sense God leading me to approach life with great determination and resolve. Not only to actually tackle some important goals He’s placed on my heart, but also to free my mind of the weight of incompletion.
INTENTION: a determination to act in a certain way:Resolve.
- It’s one thing to aspire to obtain my personal trainer certification (for the last four years). It’s another to sit down with my calendar and plot out time each week to read and study the material, schedule myself to attend a live seminar and then book a date to take the exam.
- It’s one thing to hope my kids are equipped for life when we launch them from our nest. It’s another thing to jot down some key areas in which I want them to grow, set aside some time to train them and then seize opportunities to allow them to practice their new skills.
- It’s one thing to wish I would lose the last 10 pounds of my Lexapro weight. It’s another thing to track what I’m eating and step it up on my workouts.
- It’s one thing to miss the intimate female friendships I had when I was leading a home Bible study. It’s another thing to make an effort to reach out to these women on a regular basis, invite them in my home or meet them for coffee (
even whenespecially when our schedules make it very difficult to do so).
I catch myself often thinking things like, “I really should tell my husband more often how much I appreciate everything he does for me and the kids.”
Or “I really should call my Dad (or my friend Pam or my sister) more often.”
Or “We really should do family devotions.”
Or “I really want our family to serve the underprivileged on a regular basis.”
On and on and on, I can think of example after example where I allow the busyness of life (or social media!) to snuff out my time. Where I procrastinate on important things (phone calls, especially. Man, I SUCK at making phone calls!) and allow weeks, no MONTHS, to go by. And the worst thing, is that during those months of procrastination, I stuff all those things I wish or want or intend to do into a giant bag, and I drag that bag around with me. I drag around the mental weight of priorities out of whack–of life lived without intention.
(Honestly, it’s the mental weight that keeps me off balance more than anything!)
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoingformulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
Matthew 7:12-14 The Message
Sure, some things we have to set aside for a season (remember the To-Don’t List? ). We can’t do everything. We can’t even do everything we want to do. We have to say no to some good things for the sake of better things.
But even in my To-Don’t List, I want to approach it with greater intention. If I am intentionally setting aside a task or activity for the sake of balance, then that task/activity should not torment me every time I neglect it. I am neglecting it with PRAYERFUL INTENTION. No guilt allowed!
I want 2013 to be a year of progress and completion. I want to knock out some goals. I want to move past this place of walking around in circles, doing the same things, re-doing, then going back and doing them again…but never really getting anywhere.
(Mostly because I keep getting sidetracked by the laundry. And Facebook.)
I just want to go for it! I want to run ahead (intentionally, not recklessly, because I will be open to God’s direction or re-direction along the way.) I want to stop being afraid I will crash and burn. I want to stop being afraid that I’ll miss God’s will or that I’ll run toward the wrong thing. I want to trust that God is strong enough and loud enough to grab me before I run out into traffic.
Because He is.
This year, balance for me will mean listening for God to direct me and then setting out to be intentional about those things.
(And then listening for God some more.)
(And then doing whatever He tells me to do.)
(With great intention.)
Week Two Focus:
- Can you identify one or two areas in your life where you have had great success or have been very fruitful?
- Do you see a connection between your inner resolve to tackle those areas and the level of success you achieved?
- What are some “I wish” or “I hope” thoughts you’ve been stuffing into your bag and dragging around, keeping you off balance?
- Is there something you feel you should address with prayerful intention this year?
- What if you took a few minutes this week and jotted down a plan?
- Do you think a lack of follow-through could be rooted in fear?
Lord, Deliver Me From My Lameness (This one is very hard for me to read, because I realize I never followed through on my commitment I made in this post. LAME-O!!!)
This is the second of a weekly series I am doing the entire year, called Better Balance in 2013 (BBi-2013). I am in the midst of creating a button on the navigation bar at the top of the blog where you can click and get every post for the entire year. It should be up this week and I will add to it as I create additional posts.
Don’t miss a single week by subscribing now. Updated posts will magically and quietly appear in your inbox. I won’t use your e-mail address for anything else. And you can unsubscribe any time you want.