Spirit of Intentionality

By 11:56 PM , , , , ,

Intentionality. That is my word for 2016. 

I recently took a class that challenged me that "I don't have time" is not an excuse. You do have time. Time is a choice. What you choose to do with your time is up to you. Whether you choose to spend time to sleeping, working, playing, investing in yourself, or investing in others the face is you choose how, where, and when you spend your time. As simple as an idea as this may seem this completely resonated with me. 

Humor me for a moment. I want you to draw a line on a sheet of paper. Put an x on the right side of the line. Now write your birth date on the left side of the line. Now I want you to put another x on the line of where you think you are in terms of what percentage of your life you think you have used up. For example, if you are 30 you should probably shade out about 35-40%. Now shade out from your birth date to the x on the line. Everything that is shaded is your past. You can't change this...it is what it is. However, everything to the right is your future (what you have left) and what you choose to do with it and how you choose to spend that time is up to you. As morbid as an exercise as this might seem it does give you an unique perspective. 

Don't misunderstand me. I am as busy and can just as suckered into this crazy life as anyone. I am a full-time working mom of a toddler. If that is not crazy enough I am also a wife, a Christian, an aunt, a friend, a cousin, a sister, a daughter, a lover of water and Netflix, the list goes on and on...

You guys let's get intentional with our time. Let's start learning how to say "no" to the o.k. and/or good things so we have the capacity to say "yes" to the great things. I highly recommend Lysa TerKeurst's book "The Best Yes," for more on this subject. 

Another thing I have been thinking about is how I want people to talk about me at my 80th birthday party. What things do I want my husband to say about me? What do I want my son to say? My family? My friends? My co-workers? The way I want to be remembered and the legacy I want to leave are the "best yes"  activities I want to be intentional about investing my time and energy in now.

Don't get me wrong. This is NOT easy for me. Saying no is hard. I, like many woman, am a people pleaser at heart and want nothing more to make everyone happy all the time. However, I am learning that I can't be everything to everyone. Research shows that you can only be good at 5-7 roles at a time. I can guarantee you I play more than 5-7 roles but I do find that when I don't focus in on just 5-7 I am not truly doing any well. (And no family does not count as one role. Being a wife is a different role than being a mother which is different than being a daughter which is different than being an aunt which is different than being a sister....you get the idea).

So what does being intentional with my time look like for me? Well, I took the time to actually write out what those 5-7 most important roles are in my life right now and I ranked them 1-7. To me if it does not fall in one of those numbers I think twice before committing much or any time to it. I have also put together very specific goals and action steps for each of these roles. If, for example, one of my goals for being a wife is to be my husband's biggest supporter what tangible action steps can I take this week, this month, and then this year to support that goal?

I have examined how I am using my time and carved out extra time for some of the things that really matter to me. For example for me my quiet time is very important. I used to do my quiet time every morning before I got out of bed. Then came the little guy and that started to become less realistic. Thanks to the "First 5 App (also highly recommend this)" I still got a short study in (usually sometime while blowing drying my hair every morning) but I was not truly getting real "quiet time" with the Lord. So now every evening before I sit down to watch any TV or crawl into bed I dedicate 15 minutes on the clock for my own quiet time.

Another tangible thing I am doing each day to keep myself accountable is I am writing down at the end of each day one thing that I accomplished that day towards my goals. This simple exercise as been life altering for me. I was shocked to see how many days went by before I started getting intentional with my time that I was busy the entire day but didn't truly accomplish anything of real significance to what matters to me. 

All in all that was one really long way to say time matters and this year my new year's goal or resolution if you have it is to be intentional about my time and what I choose to allow myself to get invested in because life is a gift and I want to use what time I am given on this planet to glorify God to the best of my ability.

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  1. "Intentional" has always been one of my favorite words. For me it's that thought that I have the ability to focus my energy on whatever I choose to focus it on. Life doesn't have to drive me. To some extent, I can drive life.