I love the idea of being intentional. I am also very practical, so I am always thinking about how can I make ideas work and what this look likes in real life.
In order to be more intentional, we have to develop habits. We cannot expect to lose weight without exercise or healthy eating choices. We cannot expect our relationships to be perfect by wishing or waiting. These things require being intentional and making a daily, consistent effort.
Habits are things you do every day without thinking. For example, if you want to develop a habit of eating cheese at 10 am in the morning every day, then you have to develop an intentional plan. You would need to make sure you have enough cheese, you may place the cheese in the fridge within easy sight and reach. You might even set an alarm to remind yourself to eat that cheese at precisely 10 am. This is a silly example,of course, but I think you can see my point. Everybody has multiple habits every day, some great, some not so great. Driving to work the same way every day is a habit, so much so that many times you do not even realize how you drove from point A to point B.
Currently, I am trying to be intentional about speaking God in my family’s life. A personal habit that I have developed, and which has proven to help me be intentional is praying every day at the same time. I definitely think quiet moments of prayer should happen every day with no distractions, however, the habit I am referring to is a habit to pray while doing everyday tasks.
This habit originally stemmed from a place of fear and anxiety. When I first became a nurse, I was terrified that I was going to kill somebody. I would lay awake at night anxious and thinking of all the things I should have done better or different. It was then (thirteen years ago) that I would pray on my way to work every day. I would pray for myself; I would pray for my patients; and I would pray for compassion and patience. Working with sick people every day requires a great deal of patience and compassion, which, quite frankly, I do not possess without God. This habit, developed out of fear and anxiety, calmed my mind and my spirit.
Fast forward eight years to the birth of my first child. One of my greatest fears was that I would lose her or my husband (Still is many times). So, I added in praying for safety for my daughter and husband. I even say mostly the same prayer everyday.
As previously stated, my current goal is to be more intentional about praying and speaking God into my children’s lives, not only with silent prayer, but out loud where they can hear me. I think it is so important to talk about God out loud to our children and really, everyone in our lives. I want my children to know God and know to whom they belong. I am really not great at the speaking out loud (you are reading a blog), and I am seeking more ways. Since I already established the above habit of praying on my way to work, it made it easier to start saying these prayers aloud with my kids in the car. They do not always want to listen, but I do it anyway. Even if we have a bad morning, I still say a prayer and I tell my daughter I love her and that I have prayed for her to make good choices and to not let one bad choice affect the rest of her day.
One final point. I believe God made us to be creatures of habit. Let’s take a look at a couple of passages from the Bible:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ” Deuteronomy 6: 5-9
God knew we would need to build daily habits and routines in order to be intentional in our walk with Him.
I would love to know some habits that help you live an intentional life! Please share below!