Do you know what it means to live a life of intention? The dictionary defines intentional as, “done on purpose, deliberate.” Things that you do with meaning and on purpose! Days will sometimes go by when I feel like every intention I had flew out the window. I make plans and do not follow through, and put off til tomorrow what I don’t have to do today. This season has been one of throwing all my good intentions out the window, seriously. The only thing I feel like I have done with intention over the past few months was keep breathing (and eat chocolate).
Since Ben’s death my heart has been heavy for my children and what the future looks like for them. We live in a scary world, one where no one is safe from sickness, loss, and grief. I have felt the burden of being the single big influence in their life and the stress of what a load that is to carry. With that in mind, I decided several weeks ago that my goal for 2018 was to be a more intentional parent. Even though I have more time for my children now than ever before, I am realizing how little time I truly spend intentionally with them.
The other day my daughter wrote me a book. It was entitled, “How Daddy Got Sick.” It was painful to read and it left me in tears as I read about how she believed he got sick and died. I remembered that I am not the only one grieving this massive loss… they too feel the influence of it in their young minds. It is my job to determine what they do with that loss and how they move forward from here. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
So I came up with four reasons why I want to parent more intentionally in 2018:
- I want them to know how important they are! I want my children to know they are valued and loved. I want them to know how much they not only meant to me, but also to Ben. And the only way I can do that is to make sure that I am spending time intentionally teaching them, praying with, and playing with them. And I need to do it by putting my phone and Social Media down and letting them truly see that they are more important to me than any of those things!
- I want to raise heroes for Christ. I want them to grow up to be strong spiritual leaders like their dad (it’s what he prayed over them every night). I want them to know what they believe and why. And In order to do that I need to be spending time praying for them and teaching them what it means to be a believer and follower of Christ.
- I want to teach my children to radiate joy. I want them to know that a loss can be tragic and not overcome them. I want them to know that no matter what you face you can pick yourself back up off the floor eventually and continue living life to the fullest. It might not always be easy, but it is worth the fight!
- Because if I don’t set the example, who will? I have an obligation as a parent, to reach my children for the kingdom. I can’t rely on grandparents, teachers, or every Sunday School teachers to meet their needs. It has to be me. And I want to do it well!
Do you parent with intention? Do you live a life of intention in other areas? I’ve been convicted about quite a few areas the past few weeks and am determined that this will be the year I start living my life intentionally… both as a parent, as a child of God, and as someone who values their own life and the lives that the Lord has blessed me with.
If you are someone who struggles in this area, or who feels they are really strong in this area, I would love if you would share with me about your journey! I am praying that this year you will find something in your life that you can do with intention!
**If you are looking for a great resource on intentional parenting, there are two great books coming out soon that I have the privilege of reading advance copies of! Brave Moms, Brave Kids by Lee Nienhuis & 936 Pennies by Eryn Lynum! I can’t recommend them enough!