Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Art of Living Intentionally

Thinking about my #OneWord365 and I found this old blog draft that I never posted. It's still incomplete, but it makes me feel that much more excited that I chose intentional as my word! 

Since I've come back from India, I've felt the huge challenge of living an intentional life. I'm the classic, go-with-the-flow kind of girl, and while I don't think I've necessarily been simply a follower, I know I am more reactive in my choices than proactive.

India showed me the power of what it looks like to intentionally give of your life and your time to others. And I've really been wanting to make sure that my life just isn't there, but that it's a life of impact. That I'm not wasting my days or my resources, but I'm making the most of them for the glory of God. And that takes some serious intentionality! 

I just finished the book Notes from a Blue Bike, and she goes through how she and her family live intentionally when it comes to work, school, travel, relationships and... there was one more that I'm forgetting. While the book definitely felt more for moms and at times felt a little bit redundant, it was a good example of how being intentional can make for a better life and it can look differently for each person. I hope that I can begin to be more intentional in everything I do. 

Not the best start to living intentionally! :-)

I totally wish I finished this blog... I have a vague idea of where my mind was going when I started this. I think I was planning to go through each of the topics she tackles and discuss my thoughts and how living intentionally in that area might look for me. But eh... that was months ago. Just be on the lookout for #intentional and #oneword365 hashtags on my Instagram instead! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Happy New Year, guys!

It's crazy to think that 2014 is over and 2015 is here... and yes, I am quite aware that it's been here for almost a full month and I'm just now acknowledging it (well, on the blog at least).

Let's do a little bit of catch-up like we did last year, shall we...

1.  I still live in the same place (no new moves, yay!)... although there might be a new move in June. It's the cutest place I've lived in since moving to Houston, but the landlord is a bit crazy. My neighbors are amazing though... we all hold false hope that we'll find another triplex we can all move into at the same time (we can dream, right?).

2. I still teach and I'm still a course leader. And I still love both... but I'm also beginning to think about what might be next.

3. I can no longer call myself a runner, but I did buy a bike!

4. My family got A LOT bigger... my niece was born last April and my sister got married in December! The niece is the cutest and my new extended in-laws are so much fun.

So... what's in store for the New Year? 

I've never been one to make New Year Resolutions... they just seemed so binding. And it's depressing when you don't complete them. But I did start out the year looking at Jennie Allen's Dream Guide and thinking about what I dream for this year. It was a good exercise and really got me thinking about what changes I'd like to see. 

But then I also heard of this whole idea of choosing one word to define your year. It started also with Jennie Allen (whose word is "Fun") and then I heard about it also from Annie F. Downs (whose word is "Sabbath") and I've been inspired to pick a word of my own: Intentional. 

Not a fan of this dictionary definition because I feel it creates a negative connotation to the meaning of being intentional, and I definitely am not thinking about wrongdoing or contamination or anything sinister. 

When I think of intentional, I think about being proactive. Actively going after something, actively making a effort to seek change or whatever. All my life, I've been a very "go with the flow" person. While I wouldn't call myself passive, I am definitely very reactive. I do things because it fell on my path and sounded like a decent plan so... why not? I want that to stop. 

I want to take time to be intentional with friendships... actively spend time with people, call them, check in on them, show them I care. I want to be intentional with my job... I want to choose the projects I work on, speak out about things that excite or bother me, try new things on my own. I want to be intentional with my relationship with God... actively spend time in the Word, and pray, and seek out opportunities to serve and grow and stuff. I want to be intentional about life. 

I love the idea of picking a word because it's a great lens to sort of drive every decision you make throughout the year. And if you have friends or a community who you're accountable to, they can help encourage you to live out your word which is awesome. 

So far my word has been good for me and there are a lot of new things I've taken on or tried, opportunities I wouldn't have seized in the past, because I've chosen to be intentional about them. I just feel more connected to people and feel more purposeful in general. 

And who knows? Maybe it's some sort of placebo effect or something, but I feel great about this new year and I'm excited to continue to be intentional! 
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