Saturday, January 21, 2012

Webster's Words: Intentional


 adj \in-ˈtench-nəl, -ˈten(t)-shə-nəl\

Definition of INTENTIONAL

: done by intention or design : intended <intentionaldamage>
If there could be a word to describe our desire for this year, it's this one. That every action we take would flow from it. Too many years disappear with regrets but a year of intentional living should hold no if onlys.

It's January 21st and we've already had our share of purposed and purposeless but the former is winning with a kitchen calendar as our weapon of choice. In fact, every RA in our building is required to have this chosen weapon to help redeem their days. And it is proving effective.
There are days that I'd much rather trade intentional for comfortable. Like Wednesday when we went to play group where moms and kids come from large homes with 2.5 kids and housekeepers that help with their work. I suppose we could call our sweet custodians the keepers of our foyer but often I don't see it that optimistically. That day I wanted a big house and lots of new clothes and no knocks on the door at 11 pm. Then I remembered in all my wishing that God hasn't called us to a big house or even a lot of privacy.  He's called us right now to be fully present and faithful. In 2012 it looks a lot like nine RAs and 120 students.  But there is joy in the present.  And this, yesterday, was a glimpse of it.

I'm discovering how good it is to be stretched.  To spend time with people you perceive have nothing in common with you except thigh high tikes.  When you intentionally break out of the comfortable even if it feels a lot like a fish-out-of-water experiment. 
Intentional is not easy.  Like the five days this week when my body didn't want to run two miles around the block or dare think about the thirteen it's training to run come April. Lazy days are easier. But lazy days don't produce endorphines that add richness to every daylight hour.
Intentional takes effort. Dying to self and living for others. Listening to brokenness. Praying over fears. Patience with fire alarms at 3 a.m. Compassion for the one who burned popcorn to set it off. Laughter for the one who thought Jesus was coming back. And more laughter for the one who neglected to grab clothes because his roommate said, "Hurry Jack, the building is burning down."

Intentional recognizes it is not about me.  Like Jason keeping his word and going on a guys' polar bear plunge when his body begged to go to sleep. Like another fire scare last night and a baby who wouldn't sleep. Then a sleepy afternoon and a baby waking just as I closed my eyes to rest. Holding him I said with eyes closed, "It's not about me, is it? I wish it was, but it's not about me."  He pried my right eye open to reaffirm my somber sentiment.
It takes energy. Sleep (thank you, precious Daddy, for rescuing this tired Mama today). Good, long Jesus time. Huge calendars. And a whole lot of determination to make this year count.  
It takes being intentional every day regardless of feelings. And tonight intentional means pressing post and heading outside my door. 


The Frisk Five said...

I love this. So very encouraging. I have to remind myself everytime I think about not homeschooling, "It's not about me." Thank you so much. Good luck on the Half Marathon :)

Martin LaBar said...

Amen, and God help you.