I’ve been praying about this post for over a month now, and I knew I wanted to write about being intentional.
Intentional means done on purpose, deliberate, intended and conscious. Being intentional with your time means aiming to do everything consciously and on purpose.
I realised that in order to talk about being intentional, I had to change my perspective first, and this came to light in the form of a fruit gummy that I had dropped on the garage floor.
I needed to find it or else it would come into the house on the bottom of a shoe and end up stuck in the carpet.
Despite looking all around me I couldn’t find it, and it wasn’t until I changed my position that I got a new perspective. And you know what…from that new position, with a new perspective, I found it!
Gummy saved, carpet crisis averted!
It was in the garage, fruit gummy in hand, that I realised if you want to be more intentional with your life, you just might need to change your perspective first.
So, I'm learning that in order to be more intentional, I need to change my perspective as well. I've been praying about how to be more intentional, disciplined and structured instead of so distracted.
I’ve landed on these three words and actions that may help me, and maybe they can help you: delete, dedicate and decide.
Over 2 months ago, well into the fall semester, I found myself completely irritated, agitated and frustrated with how many notifications I was receiving on my phone.
Specifically, student notifications!! I’m a Christian writer that is disguised as a 4th grade reading teacher. I have apps on my phone that pop up at all hours and days - when kids and their parents are looking at their work and projects in their online portfolio. I realized how frustrated I was getting every time someone looked at their work over the weekend. Or at 12:00am. Or 3:00am!
I would gripe, complain and approve their posts all while grumbling. I needed a new perspective.
I did what I should have done years ago on my personal phone: I turned off the notifications all together.
I read that the average person gets 46 notifications a day on their phone. I think I was getting more than that so deleting the notifications has helped me be more intentional about setting (and keeping) boundaries with work and home. This has been a good “delete” for me.
What about you? What do you need to delete that will help you be more intentional and help with your perspective?
I am also trying to be more intentional and change my perspective on the crazy things my family does, mainly showing livestock. As I write this, my two teenage kids and precious husband are in a huge barn at our school giving warm, scrub-down baths to our 4 show pigs.
It's messy, frustrating, silly, cold, wild and crazy, and can I just say it's about as easy as herding wild cats. (I mean, have YOU ever given a pig a bath?)
We have a livestock show to show these pigs and see who has the best. It costs hundreds of dollars each weekend just to show up, not to mention the thousands we've invested into the actual pigs and the hundreds of dollars in feed, bedding and vet bills each month. But we continue to do it because you don’t win and get better at doing easy things.
Doing hard things builds character. Learning to work through the hard and frustrating part; learning to lose; learning to win and be gracious. Learning to know that you’ve done all you can do on your end to make the pig look and walk its best.
After that, it's all just an opinion. But I’m learning to make this time more intentional, to find my kids’ gifts in the midst of the chaos of pig poop.
God made my kids good at this crazy thing, so here’s to early mornings, long days, late nights and lots of stress!
I know that if I can change my perspective, and dedicate this time in the pig barns to the Lord, whatever the outcome is, we can ultimately give Him the Glory, win or lose.
How can you perceive something that’s hard and frustrating but dedicate it for His Glory and be intentional in dedicating your days to Him?
Did you know we make about 35,000 decisions each day? I’m a teacher AND a mom AND a wife. I think that number is LOW; waaay LOW! I make that many decisions by noon on any given school day!
My 13 year old loves to play basketball, but showing up to practice on holidays and weekends and nights is extra hard some days. It doesn't just happen. She has to make a decision every extra time she goes to the gym; she’s having to decide to give up free time to put in gym time. She always has to make a decision to be intentional about being better.
What do we ever get good at that doesn't involve lots of practice and the decision to be intentional?
The choice is yours in order to be more intentional - to get better at meeting God in the midst of the mundane and ordinary; to delete something that is hindering your heart or your health; to change your perspective about a wearisome task that might just give you a new perspective.
I’m in the middle of teaching my 4th grade students about perspective and will always tell them: “Where you stand, depends on what you see. But what you see, depends on where you stand.”
May we delete what stands in our way, dedicate a new perspective to God’s glory and decide to stand on holy ground.
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