Intentionality

Making my way through the airport, slowly stepping back into reality after a week away, I found myself winding through the various over-priced shops to pass the time. While I love the thrill of flying, a day spent in the airport is often less than enjoyable. These travel days are almost always full of new acquaintances, plenty of unhealthy snacks, and a long list of unread books or assignments which would take up my time. My eyes glanced across the wall of magazine covers and landed on the words which would inspire me to take a step back and to remember my ultimate focus; God. The Spring edition of the Magnolia Journal stuck out on the wall of celebrity news like a breath of fresh air. A staircase covered in lush green, Joanna Gaines sitting ever so peacefully and the words “intentional living” filled the front cover.  In a sea of unreal expectations and drama of Hollywood was one couple who made it their mission to inspire and embrace intentional living in this world and this Spring journal was my first taste of their influence.

As I sat in that crowded terminal, flipping through the pages of the journal, I started thinking of the impact intentionality has had on my own life. There are many examples of dear friends and family members who have faithfully poured into my life day after day. They took that blank-slate; a horse-crazy little girl, dancing around in her princess dresses and poured countless hours of patience and love into showing her the love of Christ and the power of a purpose-filled life. I remember all of those years of piano lessons, my mom’s consistent and patient reminders to practice and my teacher as she lovingly went over the material week after week, even when it was obvious I was not practicing. This intentionality of others in my life inspired me to pour the same effort into my music and something which used to be a chore has become a beautiful escape, a vehicle for ministry, and a great joy in my life. As I sit here today, I am so thankful for those who have come into my life and I am so excited, now more than ever to continue sharing that same love to those who are walking the same journey.

If you are anything like me you can flip off HGTV (after at least four episodes of Fixer Upper) or close your computer (after mindless hours on Pinterest) and be “inspired.” My favorite Marvel movie, my favorite author or character or even a close friend who I look up to, all of these things cause me to be inspired even for a just a moment to live better, to be better, to be different. But of what value are these desires? Sure, at that moment I may be inspired to tackle a huge house project like I was Chip Gaines, to look like Wonder Woman, or decorate my house like Joanna (but seriously, how does she do it?), but what seemed attainable while I was sitting on the couch quickly slips out of my grasp as I take my first steps.

We are called to live intentionally but not for our own desires. We will unpack this more in a later post but we can be challenged by these instructions found in the book of Galatians. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Our goal is not to satisfy the desires of our flesh but instead to walk in step with our Father. With that said, we are also designed to enjoy the beauty of creation, to come together in our homes as a community and to experience the fruits of our intentional labor. There is deep value in this daily return of faithfulness. Looking back to the areas of my life I committed my time to as a child, I can see the fruits today. Looking forward, I want my life to be a reflection of my intentional commitment to God and His goodness. That journey starts today.

We must not be hindered by regrets of the past. Our Lord has given us new life, free of all our past mistakes. We are free to live for him. This life is a journey with many ups and downs, often holding regrets as well as precious memories. The actions of our past and future have consequences and impact on the person we are to become. No matter the past, we can look to the future because our great God has given us new life and a new purpose, to love and serve Him in all we do.

There are two major themes of intentionality I want to break down over the next couple of weeks. The first is the focus of our intentionality. What is it that we spend our time and energy on and how can we shift our motivation to center on Christ. Secondly, I want to share some of the simple ways I was inspired to live intentionally every day. As we walked through the idea of hospitality this past year, I am always looking for ways to come back to that topic. In her Spring journal, Joanna shared some great recipes, tips, and advice on how she lives intentionality which I would love to share. I look forward to sharing this idea of intentionality and how it can be a great step towards the daily return of faithfulness in our faith and daily lives.

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