Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Living a Life of Intentionality

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

Think about it mommas.  How often do you turn on a news program in the morning—all you want is a cup of coffee and to feel like a grown up?  Your babies are playing at your feet and you want to start your day energized and in a good place.  And, while turning on the news might not be “wrong”, what you end up taking in is a news story about a family killed in a head on collision. Or a health crisis looming that makes you fear just taking your babies to the playdate in the next town over. 
And your day suddenly unravels.  Your heart is no longer in it for the long haul.  Rather than rising up from that couch with energy and confidence about the day ahead, you suddenly want to climb back in bed and hide from the world outside. 
So you grab your phone and you sign onto Facebook.  Or twitter or Instagram.  All because you don’t want to feel alone.  You want to connect with someone, anyone who is feeling your same anxiety, your same feelings and thoughts.  Someone who saw that same news story.
But instead, you get the perfect momma.  The one who is already up and dressed and wearing makeup.  And her babies are freshly bathed and actually at that playdate that you missed.   And you’re still at home in your jammies.  With a cold cup of coffee.  Afraid to leave the house. Or maybe just running really late. And feeling completely inadequate. 
Sound at all familiar?  Or maybe some variation of this? Can I be completely honest in saying that so often this is how I have allowed my days to go? 
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
This verse has been one that God has brought to me repeatedly during 2014 and it has been the catalyst for making some changes over the course of this past year.  We live in a time and place where anxiety and fear dominate so much of the heart and mind. 
And so we medicate—literally (with antidepressants) and figuratively—with reality television and sitcoms and old 90’s reruns. With the internet—social media and games like Candy Crush and Farmville.  We shop more.  We eat more.  We exercise more. Anything to numb us or take our minds off of reality and the harshness of life. 
When we really stop to think about it—we have SO much control and ability to filter what we allow into our lives.  And we are COMMANDED to do so.  God knew that this would be a struggle for humankind.  He knew that turning on the news would cause fear and anxiety over flying or going to a movie theatre.  He knew that signing onto a social media site would lead to the struggle of comparison and dissatisfaction and ungratefulness.  Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  And I am so grateful we have a God who promises that world IS conquered.  Such hope!
But He also asked us to protect and safeguard our hearts while we are here on this earth. 
And so, I began to notice these things about myself.  I began to look for the avenues that were causing anxiety, that were leading way to fear and instability. 
I began to pray that the decisions I make moment to moment will be done so through the filter of Proverbs 4:23. “Lord, help me to, above all else, guard my heart. Guide me.  Lead me.  Show me what is causing anxiety, depression, tension, comparison, ungratefulness.  You name it.  Show me what is ultimately keeping me from being the woman You created me to be.  From being the wife and momma that YOU want me to be. And as I filter these things out of my life, please show me what to replace these things with that will ultimately bring LIFE to me and to the people around me."
And from this prayer I was eventually led to my theme for 2015.
The theme of Living a Life of Intentionality”.
I don’t desire for this to to be a New Year’s Resolution, but rather a plea to God to make this a year of continued change in my heart and in my life.  A continuation of 2014 and the ways I’ve watched Him grow me over the course of this year.  It’s been one of learning discipline and starting to hope.  I’ve seen Him birth desire and new dreams in my heart and I’ve heard Him speak to me in ways I’ve never heard—or maybe I just wasn’t hearing before because I was allowing all of the outside noise of the world to really cloud my listening skills.
Moving forward with this year, I’m making intentional changes.  I’m taking a year off completely from television and media (magazines, radio etc...) And with my time I'm asking God to show me how to really pursue relationships with other mommas.  How to give life back to them and be an encouragement.  I want to be intentional with the ways I use my time through creating things and photography and reading and blogging.
I’m going into this year knowing that it won’t be a year of perfection.  There will be loads of of messups and ugliness and seeking Grace.  But I’ve got so much hope for how God is going to continue to change me and use me.  And I’m just SO excited.  Like-- Kid on Christmas Eve excited!
My greatest desire is to intentionally blog about this journey and in the process, share my life (the good and bad) with other mommas. I hope my heart for mommas shines through as I journey through this year and see what God has in store for me and how I can be a blessing to others and ultimately make this the way I live life .  With purpose and intentionality.  I hope you’ll journey along with me and ultimately be encouraged! 

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