living with and without intention.

I’ve been trying this last week to really fill my life with voices of truth and encouragement, over things that seek only to entertain or inform. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still indulged in some entertaining things – some favorite shows and podcasts, etc – but I’ve gotten lazy (re: lukewarm) about my more influential podcasts and reading material in favor of the ease and convenience of the stuff I consume Judy for entertainment alone.

I cant really pinpoint specifically what it was, but I think it might have been in having a conversation with some family last weekend about our marriages and families. It just got me thinking over the next few days about my lack of intention in SO many things. Not even just how I’m listening to only the true crime podcasts over my Christian or marriage podcasts, but in everything: in my marriage, in my parenting, in my family, in my home.

Today, I heard it put into such clear and perfect terms on the Love That Lasts podcast with Jeff and Alyssa Bethke. Jeff said that we have such a tendency to prioritize whatever the most pressing thing is in the moment – the last minute trip to the grocery store, the work project that’s due tomorrow, that load of laundry, the seventeenth snack for a “starving” child… you get the idea – over what we would actually define as our priority – date nights with our husbands, devotional or quiet time with the Lord, quality family time, or even personal time. These are just my personal examples obviously, I really believe there are endless things here, Christian or not, married or not, parenting or not.

And it’s not that it’s inherently BAD or wrong to prioritize something that needs handled in that moment. But when we fall into patterns of living our life that way, we fall out of intention in our lives. We get lazy, complacent, and lukewarm.

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16 NIV)

And I don’t want to be lukewarm. I don’t want to be lazy. I don’t want to be complacent.

Especially about the things that deserve my effort and intention, like my God, my husband, my children, and my own heart.

In a very practical sense, the Bethke’s offered up just how they maintain their intentionality and priorities in their own lives, and they recommended, one, defining what you need to or want to prioritize, and two, actually scheduling those things first throughout the week, and planning the rest of the week around those pillars. Which sounds much less stressful than realizing halfway through the month, that you haven’t taken time to meditate/read/have a date night/whatever.

So that’s the goal. It’s a Saturday right now where I am, and tonight I’m going to put my priorities on paper (likely in categories of like, daily, weekly, and monthly), look at my calendar, and make sure the truly important things get scheduled first. And I hope to keep scheduling them until they become such a habit, that I don’t need to micromanage myself like that anymore. But until that comes, and even if it never does, I’d rather live my life with intention and purpose than to just drift through without meaning or reason…

and I’d rather my family and God know that they meant that much to me that I thought of them and worked to always keep them prioritized, and gave them see how I was able to live lovingly sacrificially for them, without totally devaluing the work that needs done to invest in myself, no matter what season of life I was in.

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