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The focus of being intentional


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I am revisiting this post today because I need it. With the new year came grand ideas and goals, now I need to make sure I keep myself on track with the true focus of being intentional and setting goals — growing my relationships with the Lord, with my husband, with my children, and with the rest of my family. Join me?

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Being “intentional”…

We’ve heard it many times, from many different places, but what exactly does that mean?  How do I be intentional?  And maybe more importantly, why should I be intentional?

The past few days I’ve been reading a book called Grace Walk.  My eyes are really being opened to how easy it is to become legalistic about all the “doings” of the Christian life. We become so consumed with doing all the right things, being a good Christian like so and so, doing more, ministering more, praying more, reading my Bible more, and on and on.

We get so caught up in trying to “measure up” that we forget that Jesus wants a relationship with us!

The reality is that we will never measure up. Our good works are as filthy rags. The only way we can “measure up” is living our lives IN Him and allowing Jesus to live in and through us. Our lives will then become all about having and growing our relationship with Him…not about us and all the things we feel we should “do” for Him. As we live our lives focused on our relationship with Jesus, the “doing” part will take care of itself. Out of our growing relationship with Jesus, those good works will follow.  Good works not done out of “duty” or “guilt” but out of a true love for Him.

This same mentality can creep into our homemaking and homeschooling as well. We make our “to do” lists and life becomes all about plowing through those lists so that we feel good about what we accomplished. We feel that if we can cross of all those items on our list for the day that we are a “good” mother, homemaker, and/or homeschooler.

But is that what it is really all about? Should that be the focus of our intentionality…our lists?  No!

Just as in the Christian life our focus should be on our relationship with Jesus, so in our homemaking and homeschooling our focus should be on relationships…first with Jesus, and then with our family.

Our to do lists should never become all about the lists. Our lists should be the result of our desire to be intentional in growing our relationship with the Lord and with our family.

Do you see the difference?

Here is an example:

Focus: The Lists – I could set up a cleaning schedule for our home with lists for every family member – what jobs to do and when. I make sure everyone has a job each day and every day we make sure everything gets done and crossed off the lists. At the end of the day if I can look at the cleaning list and see everything crossed off, I can feel good about my homemaking skills and that I am making the kids help. I know that if anyone happens to “stop by” that they will see my clean home and see what a good mom and homemaker I am.

Focus: The Relationships – I decide that as a family we need to set up a cleaning schedule to keep our home in order. My desire is to instill servant hearts in my children, so before I set the schedule in place we sit down together and talk about what we will be doing and why. I start small, with only little and somewhat easy cleaning jobs each day. I come alongside and teach the kids how to clean as we work through our jobs each day, and focus on having good attitudes while cleaning. By starting small, not all the cleaning jobs will get done every week at first. My focus is not on getting a clean house for others to see, but working on my children’s hearts in the process. The clean house will come in time. When someone happens to “stop by” I am more concerned about them seeing a home where we all love each other and have helpful, servant-hearts than about seeing a spotless house.

Many of you have purchased Intentional Planner memberships and are really making progress in being more intentional in your home.  Here is what one reader recently emailed me:

Hi Sheri. I just wanted to let you know how my experience with the Intentional Planner went this past school year…Thanks to my Intentional Planner subscription, which was a wonderful idea on your part btw, we had the best school year yet. Finally everyone knew what they were doing, when they were doing it! We got in 3 extra field trips because I didn’t lose as much time (sometimes DAYS) wasting time trying to figure out everything to be done.  Five out of 7 meals a week were planned ahead of time thanks to your meal planning advice. My kids finally started memorizing their Bible passages… I could go on and on, but ‘ll just finish this off by saying thanks again, and recommending the Intentional Planner for anyone who suffers from any type of time warp during their day. God bless my friend.  ~ Stephanie

I am so very excited that the Intentional Planner is making such a difference in people’s lives. But I just want to encourage you today to make sure that it isn’t all about the lists…all about the “doing”.

Let’s be intentional about growing our relationship with the Lord and with our family…then all of our to do lists will be put in their right place…and used as a tool to draw us closer to Him and our family.

Have a blessed, intentional day!


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