I like to think that I am intentional. I like to think I am an intentional parent, an intentional wife, intentional in ministry, an intentional friend and an intentional sister. I am also intentional about what I am not intentional about. The more I am intentional the more I am likely to reap the fruit of being intentional.
The word intentional is defined as:
‘doing something by intention or design, pre-meditated, conscious, deliberate, planned, knowing, purposeful, purposive, set, voluntary.
The opposite of intentional is to be non-deliberate, non-purposive, unintentional, without planning, spontaneous and reactive.’http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intentional
The word ‘intentional’ is all about what I am being deliberate about to ensure I get the outcomes I am hoping for. It is can be as simple as the opportunities we want your kids to experience or even the amount of you want to spend on your house. Being intentional effects the daily grind and the trenches of life. It has an impact on routines and the rituals we choose to have or not have in family life.
An intentional parent is someone who thinks through what they want their kids to experience and the choices and sacrifices needed to ensure those experiences and opportunities are available. Intentional parenting is just as much about what I don’t allow as what I do, what I decide not to do in favour of what I do choose. Being an intentional parent means i don’t just leave it to chance for my kids to turn out great but I read, I pray, I seek wisdom, advice, council and make decisions that will produce those outcomes. It is all about what I hope my kids will bear fruit in and being intentional with the seeds of those intentions and weeding out the other seeds.
I am intentional about my family routines and rituals. Steve and I are very intentional about the majority of our parenting and our family values what we do in the trenches of every day is not ruled by what is happening around us or to us but by the outcomes we are looking for regardless of those circumstances. We are intentional in our conversations, our language and our decisions. It can be a decision as simple as the sport our kids do after school to the music we won’t let them listen to. We are intentional about the money we spend and even the money we spend on our kids. We are intentional about how we do holidays and where we go. We are intentional about how we do family celebrations and how we do Christmas, Easter and and even pocket money.
The same goes for my marriage. Doing life on auto pilot with not intent is bound to give me an auto pilot sort of marriage. I have to intentionally build things into my marriage that I would like to bear fruit in. I can make excuses about why I can’t be intentional and it won’t be long before things I never intended to happen start to bear fruit.
Being intentional is broad and effects all aspects of my life, my generosity, my thought life, issues of my heart, my health, my relationships, how we do hospitality, how often we have people over and even what I preach. Being intentional works. it helps cast off restraint. Does that mean there is not place for fun, flexibility, and spite site. Absolutely not. in face the mo intentional Steve and I have become the more we are likely to intentionally create space for spontaneous fun.
I am amazed how many people, even christians do life on auto pilot and simply wing it but want different outcomes to the ones they get.
I love that God is intentional. You can see it in what he has designed and created. He was delibate and intentional in what he created, how he created and the time he took to create. He was intentional in bringing about his purpose. He is intentional in his plan of redemption and his plan of salvation. He is intentional about the kingdom and how he build his church. He is an intentional parent, intentional in his leadership, his guidance, his discipline, his favour, his provision.
Even if we are not intentional, the enemy is. Our enemy the devil has every intention to get you side tracked, distracted, frustrated and ensure you lose site of God’s intentional for your life. He is intentional about who he wants to take out and he will use every weapon in his arsenal. e will use disappointment, discouragement, confit, crisis, disaster, lies, experience, jealousy, envy, bible tells me that he is seeking who he may devour. He is deliberate and intentional about who he thinks is devour-able.
In my efforts to be a intentional, I am also discovering the things that will dismantle my good intentions: excuses, self doubt, toxic thoughts, second guessing, selfishness, circumstances out of my control, a lack of flexibility, being unteachable, hindsight, foresight, pain, offence, unforgiveness, bad experience, good experience, other people, life, pleasing others, peer pressure, business, weariness, worry, fear, lack of vision, lack of focus, out of focus, being too focused, hormones, a bad day and even the weather.
The Bible is so beautiful in the way it helps us with our intentionality. The bible tells me (John 15) to abide in the vine but unless I am intentional in abiding…then I am going to find myself abiding elsewhere….You have to be intentional in abiding. The writer in Hebrews tells us to fix your eyes on Jesus. That takes great intentionality. Setting your hearts and minds on things above is intentional.(Col 3:2).To give thanks in everything is intentional. To only think about what is true, noble, pure and of good report has to be intentional. To honour others above yourself is intentional. To confront fear is be intentional. To believe and not doubt is intentional. To choose not to whinge and moan and complain is intentional. To forgive is intentional, to repent is intentional, to confesses intentional, to declare something is intentional, to activate faith is intentional….
There are some things we can not be intentional about but we can be intentional with our response such as the way I respond to crisis, disappointment, pain, offence and even rejection.
Being intentional makes space for the things that are of value rather than the things that arise in the moment. Being intentional helps us navigate the strong tides of culture and helps us see the path ahead. Being intentional is not about being in control…but rather being deliberate about letting to do control.
As a daughter of God and a wife of a godly man and a mother of a godly home some of the things I am intentional about are different to my peers. When I choose to please my peers at the cost of my intentions I pay a high price …not immediately but eventually.
Being intentional is a way of creating more outcomes I want than outcomes I don’t want and it also prepares me to respond well to the outcomes I don’t want rather than reacting to them.
I am intentional about what I am intentional about.
I am intentional about running. A marathon runner has to be intentional not just with running, but with time, with diet, with sleep, with managing injuries, where to run and how long to run and what sort of run. A runner has to be intentional about what they don’t do in order to do what they are passionate about. What they do when they are not running has impact on their running. So too being intentional and deliberate and purpose driven helps us run the race with a sense that we run to win rather than running aimlessly.
Cultivating a heart after God, cultivating relationships, all takes intentionality.
SISTERHOOD is intentional. It is something I have deliberately and intentionally chosen to be a part of Hills culture. It is a value of Flourish that is intentional in its priorities, its language and
its outcomes. Sisterhood is intentionally counterculture. In a world where everything we do is egocentric, and in it’s efforts to keep us ego centric and selfish, sisterhood for us is intentionally christ centred. Sisterhood is intentional in its efforts to make you less selfish, less busy, less preoccupied, less materialistic, less covetous, less offended, less disillusioned and less disappointed. Sisterhood is intentional in it’s purpose to stir your heart with unselfishness, generosity, care, compassion, kindness, humility, love, hope, peace and restoration. To be intentional in playing your part in the sisterhood means you will have to be deliberate in how you use your time, your resource, your passions and your gifts to bless. Sisterhood is purpose driven and deliberate in its efforts to get you to do something rather than feeling overwhelmed enough to do nothing. I am intentional about what the Hills Sisterhood is but how intentional are you in the part you play. Being intentional as a sisterhood is something that we all can be. Thank you (in advance) for living intentionally, deliberately, on purpose….