“There are many plans in a man’s heart,
nevertheless the Lord’s counsel – that will stand.”
~ Proverbs 19:21 ~
On the Christian radio station K-LOVE ( I love K- Love by the way!!) in January they were talking about having a word for the year that would be one you could focus on and ask God to reveal things to You about that word. I prayed and asked God what my word should be for the year. One word kept returning to me over and over, INTENTION! After thinking about it, I realized I needed that word. It summed up what was happening in my life as well as what I needed to work on.
To give a brief history of what God has been doing in my life for the past year is God has give me clarity on the wandering path that I have been on since I graduated from high school. After trying three different majors, I ended up quitting school for many reasons, but the biggest one was lack of direction.
My plan was to stay home, have some kids, and raise a family and live happily ever after. Well, life is funny and rarely happens like you think it will. I worked as interior designer for about nine years. Then I tried another career option, Life Insurance Sales.
In January of 2010 , I was really questioning whether selling insurance was the path for me or not. After six months of prayer, I finally got a clear leading as to the direction God wanted me to go.
I am happy to say that path is still being worked out. In June I am going back to school to complete my degree to teach high school. There is more to the path that God is laying out for me, but I will share more on that another time.
I decided this year to think, plan and live more intentionally. These are some of the ways that God laid on my heart on how I can live more intentionally. I am not doing all of these to the fullest, but I have great intentions!
Are you living your life with intention?
- Intentionally seeking God –By spending time with Him daily.
- More than a muttered prayer on the way to work. There is power in prayer.
- More than that short e-mail devotional. Really spend time at the feet of Jesus. You don’t have to sit for long hours reading the Bible.
- Stop and “Be still and know that He is God.” Ps. 46:10 – Read a chapter and really dig into it. If all you have time for is a few verses each night or morning then do so. The point is to spend intentional time focusing on your Savior.
- Intentionally pursuing ways to share Christ with others
- Who have you showed the love of Jesus this week? To a stranger or a friend. You do this as you go about your day. Be open to opportunities to share the love of Christ.
- Who have you invited to church?
- Who have you prayed for their salvation? Have you asked them whether or not they are saved?
- Intentionally raising your children to know God and live out their faith.
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – Talk to your children about your faith as you go about your day. At the dinner table or when dealing with a difficult situation.
- Let your children see that you turn to Jesus when you are hurting and when you struggle. Let them know that you turn to your Heavenly Father for all your needs.
- Intentionally working on your marriage and/or family relationships for those that are not married
- Spending time together with your spouse may be very hard to do depending upon the stage of life you are in right now.
- It is the big rock theory. Put the big rock in the jar and the sand will fill around it. If you put the sand in first, there will not be room for the rock. The rock representing your marriage. The sand is all the little things we must do daily.
- Schedule your time with your spouse at the beginning of the week. Plan for at least a few minutes of each day alone, and then once a week to have lunch, dinner or some extended time alone. Does not always have to be a formal date, but time together. This is one that my husband and I have struggled with for years. We are working on being intentional about it now.
OR are you just trying to survive? Life can throw so much at us so fast that we don’t know which way to turn next.
However, if you are living with intention, you will have guidelines for the path that you need to take. For example, I am intentionally working on my marriage for us to have more time to spend together. Then I get asked to help with VBS at church which is a five night commitment.
You must know the rest of the puzzle for this to make sense. I go to school in the morning and work in the afternoon till 5:30pm. I am a Sunday School teacher for the college and career class, and I like to go to the gym at least two times per week. I have the gift of teaching, but that doesn’t mean that I must teach at every opportunity. Not to mention a family and a home to tend.
The key is when I am living with intention then that guides all my decisions. I can gracefully decline to teach VBS this year, because the intention of my life right now is to work on freeing up time for my family and not finding more things to do that take up my time. God will call the people He needs. When living with intention, God will guide you where He desires you to go by asking Him for clarity in your direction. Now it may take months to receive clarity, but keep seeking God and He will reveal His plans for you. Jeremiah 29:13
The list above is merely a guide. Pursue your Savior with intention and he will show the “how to do” whatever He desires you to do. We can find many good things to do, but that doesn’t mean it is the best for us right now.
Other ways to become focused is through discovering your spiritual gifts by working through a spiritual gifts survey. One that I recommend is on www.Chazown.com through LifeChurch.tv.
Another great resource that I am working through right now is Creating a Life Plan by Michael Hyatt. Click on the title to take you to the place to download this powerful resource. You should see a pop up on the screen to download his e-book on this topic. If not, please notify me.
A great book for women on this topic that helped me tremendously is A Woman after God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George.