A Journey Begins with One Intentional Step

I am always busy.

There are days where it feels like I don’t sit down from the time I get up in the morning until the time I stumble into bed at night.  I cross off checklists daily and fill them just as quickly.   And yet for someone who does so much, it often feels like I accomplish very little.  I spent the past couple of months contemplating what I had intended to do during 2016 and what I actually did, and it turns out, I strayed from my path – often, and far.  I don’t always think that’s a bad thing, but when there is no intention to it, it becomes harder to justify precious time spent on fruitless efforts.

The holiday season arrived this year with the usual set of expectations and long lists of things to do so that we would be prepared to celebrate all of the traditions we do together as a family.  But we found our plans changed in many ways with an unexpected early admittance to the hospital for my mom for a major surgery that kept her in the hospital from the day after Thanksgiving until the week before Christmas.  Unlike in the past, I didn’t want to just try and cram everything into our schedule and hope for the best.  I’ve been there and it isn’t a place I wanted to go again.  The last time we found ourselves working through a hospital stay for my mom around the holidays it led to exhaustion and an overwhelming desire to just get through the holidays and be done with it.

I missed the joy that year, but more importantly, my family felt that absence and this year I had a seven year old who needed to see that life gets in the way no matter how hard you try to plan for it, but it is how we choose to work through it that ultimately determines how we feel about it.

As I organized my thoughts and prepared to journey into the busiest time of the year with my mom almost two hours away in the hospital, a high volume of work coming up for my job, a second grader to teach daily, and a home to maintain, I experienced my first real taste of what life is like when you choose to live with intention.

It. Was. Life-Changing.

I found myself simplifying my daily to-do list and then I decided to choose only a few of the most important holiday activities, the ones that would make the most impact, and let the rest go.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by all of the things we had coming up that still needed to be done.  I didn’t spend my time in the present worrying about how I was going to get everything done in the future.  I invested all of myself into those well-chosen moments and for the first time since my son was born, I enjoyed so much more because we did so much less, but we did it with intention and purpose.

I knew then that 2017 would be my year to enter into a life lived with intention, a life where I choose what I will do AND how I will do it and to move forward with a purpose beyond completed check lists and days filled with hurried, unmemorable moments.  This will be my year to begin the journey towards building up the memories that will live on as a testament to the kind of life I choose to live.  I am delighted to have you join us here at With Every Intention as we share our journeys down this intentional path!