Possibly, “intentional” is my word of the year.
Can I choose a word when it’s already May?
I don’t usually “do” the “word of the year” trend, but in the last several weeks, intentional is the word on repeat through my brain.
Intentional in my marriage.
Intentional in my prayer.
Intentional in my domestic duties (ahem, get dinner prepped before 4:30pm, right?)
Intentional in my social media time and posting.
Intentional in my creative work.
My husband and I were talking about how simple it seems, to be intentional, but how it’s easier said than done. When we act with intention, we’re acting with purpose. What motivates me? What gives meaning to my life? What do I hope for (in my marriage? for my health? for my children’s education?)?
When I answer these questions, I have a reason for everything I do. (though, truth be told, it’s still hard. I have all the good intentions of finishing this post and giving a freebie print…yet here I am a week after I began, still clackety clacking on the keyboard.)
I want to be healthy, so I eat less sugar (go away, Easter candy). I want to create a beautiful, cozy home for my family, a peaceful place to rest and play and pray, so I clean up and decorate and set up a prayer space. I want to bring beauty and joy into other people’s homes, so I spend time creating prints and listing them in my shop. I want to grow as a Catholic, into the woman God created me to be, so I seek God in prayer and reading and the quiet moments of my days.
Being intentional probably looks different for everyone. What my husband does and what motivates him is different than what motivates me and what I do, in many areas. Sometimes what we do looks similar. We’re both motivated by our marriage vows to work on our relationship for the long-term, and we’re motivated by a desire to know each other as good friends. We’re (more) intentional in the time we spend together, in the conversations we have, in how we spend our family time.
Lest you think I’m an expert, this is a bit new to me.
I’ve spent years responding to life as it came at me. Instead of being purposeful (even when responding to unexpected things), I’ve been reactive and spontaneous. Now? It took a month or so of really hard life stuff to change me. It was Lent, and not only was it Lent on the calendar, it was Lent in my life. Hard, hard, soul-hurting hard. In the midst of the deeply trying times, I chose prayer over despair, hope over despair, finding God and myself over dwelling on the hurt and mess. I’m choosing out of love, responding out of a self-knowledge that I’m loved by God, choosing my actions to work towards a greater goal. If I have to put down the prayer book for a child, it’s because my vocation as a mother *at that moment* trumps my quiet time.
When I have to step away–again–from this post (right now), it’s because my toddler is awake and needs breakfast.
Or when I turn down a ladies’ night to spend the evening in with wine and a movie and my husband, it’s because my relationship with him is more important than commiserating about homeschool blues.
And when I keep doing the same daily things, when I have to react to unexpected things, it will be more intentionally with love and offered with as much grace I can muster, knowing that God willed me to be in this life, with these people in my family, and to be here serving them.
The end. I have to hit publish now or I never will. :insert the “laughing-crying” emoji here:
And because it’s May, because it’s the month of Mary, because I said I’d have a freebie download, enjoy this 5×7 of the Magnificat. For Mother’s Day ideas, and another printable for kids to write notes to Mom, go here.