Tuesday, April 10, 2012

IHIH {Part Two} - Becoming Intentional

Yesterday we talked about what it means to live an intentional life.  As a Christian, choosing to live with intention is often easier said than done because we have to fight with our flesh.  But, that doesn't mean it is impossible, as long as we rely on God for strength, wisdom, patience, and anything else we need.  If we ask of Him, he will give freely.

Today, I wanted to share my personal story with you:
how I went from just living life to embracing an intentional life...

I grew up in a home with a working mother {who was a wonderful mom; always striving to give us her very best every single day} and amongst people who didn't really see the value of a woman being at home.  In fact, when I was a kid, I assumed the job of homemaker was as ancient as black and white television.  However, the idea of caring for children and keeping house all day long intrigued me.  I spent my teen years reading all kinds of books on marriage and family in order to "prepare myself" for this life I dreamed of.

After high school, I did what every smart young lady was "supposed" to do: I started college.  After about 6 months, I flunked out, moved back home, and became depressed.  I was being "encouraged" by everyone around me to either start school again or work towards a career.  Problem was, I didn't feel like either of those options were right for me.  Granted, at this point, I wasn't married and didn't have children yet.  Needless to say, I was confused and frustrated.

When I finally decided to forget my homemaking dream, God brought someone into my life who would turn my world upside down: my husband.  In eight months flat, we went from first date to marriage altar.  Approximately 6 months after that, we bought our first {and current} home.  Two months after that, we were expecting our first {and only, for now} blessing.  Nine months after that, we brought that little bundle of joy home.  So, in case I lost you, let me paraphrase: in a little over two years, I went from being a single young lady, frustrated with my life and ready to give up, to being a wife and mother on my way to realizing my dream.

I share all that to encourage those of you who feel like God isn't working fast enough.  I know how you feel.  I started to wonder if God was even listening.  I mean, I had a desire to be a godly wife, marry a godly husband, and raise godly children, but I just felt like God wasn't paying attention.  Or, maybe He just didn't care.  Truth is, He did care and was working "behind the scenes", scripting my life's story.  It just had to be in His timing so that He would receive the glory.

At this point in the story, even though I was a wife and mother, I was not yet able to be a full-time, stay-at-home mother and homemaker.  Once again, frustration set in and I began to question God.  And, once again, He proved to be in control by allowing me to quit my job in April 2010.  At this point, I was living my dream: wife, mother, and full-time homemaker.  You'd think I would be happy, right?  Making that the end of the story.  You know, "and she lived happily ever after..."

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Nope!  My hard-headed self was STILL not content.  Somehow life wasn't looking like the picture in my head.  My child did not always act like the angel I though he'd be.  In fact, he cried. A lot!  And, as he got older, he pouted and disobeyed and yelled and pouted some more.  And my husband?  Yeah, he wasn't the prince charming I took him for.  Shockingly, he was not as dotting as I dreamed.  Plus, he came with a lot of dirty socks and undies.  Oh, yeah... that house I envisioned?  With its spotless, well-decorated interior and white-picket fence?  Non-existent.  My reality was a home that I could barely keep clean because I lacked the know-how and discipline to maintain it well.

After only three months of living the dream pulling my hair out, I decided it was time to reenter the workforce.  Only, I was going to do it on my terms.  Yep, I was going to start my own business.  I thought this would give me the freedom to put my son back in daycare, yet "be available to him if he needed me".  {Typing that out makes my stomach hurt; to think how ignorant I was.  "IF he needed me"?  What was I thinking?  My son ALWAYS needs me!}

 For the next fifteen-or-so months, I was riding a roller coaster of emotions.  One minute I chased my "dream" of entrepreneurship with all of my being, convinced I could create a life that I would be happy with.  The next minute I'd feel so ashamed of my selfish heart, beg God to forgive me, and jump back into my role of wife, mother, and homemaker with a renewed sense of purpose.  Only to fall back into the trap of trying to figure life out for myself again... and again... and again.

About six months ago, I came across the concept of "designing a life of intention" and, though the blog that introduced me to this idea was geared towards business owners, I thought, "I could apply this to my role as homemaker".  And that is exactly what I've done ever since.  Of course, instead of trying to focus on solely creating a life that I want to live, I began by looking at the kind of life that God wanted me to live.  From there, I have put together a list of my personal intentions {goals that I want to work towards in order to contribute to the bigger picture of my life - more on that later}.

And that, my friends, is how I started my journey towards intentional living.  Tomorrow, I'm going to identify 7 key areas of intentional living and then, later, I'll share some of my personal intentions with you.  My goal is to "check in" with you on a regular basis to update you how well/not so well I'm doing.  I also hope to encourage you in your own intentions: to cheer you on when you're doing well and to pick you up again when you fall.  Yes, I said "when", because we are all going to stumble in this journey.  And, that's okay.  It's a process in which God sanctifies us and works in our lives in such a way that He is sure to receive the ultimate glory.  And, you know what, I wouldn't have it any other way.


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Linked To:

Titus 2sdays at Time Warp Wife
Teach Me Tuesdays at Growing Home

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