Living Intentionally

I have a list of things I need to do daily for my spiritual, mental, and physical health. In the grand scheme of life, they are pretty small, but to me, they are THE DIFFERENCE.

Earlier this week, my mom shared with me how she wanted to take the morning and study her scriptures, but so many little things kept popping into her head to get done. As she started to do all of these things, she stopped herself and sat down and began to read. She said, “I had to let everything else go and do what I set out to do.”

A couple of days later my husband and I were talking about exercising. He said, “I keep telling myself that I will find something, but I don’t. I just need to find it and start.”

As I have thought about these little moments with my husband and my mom, I remembered the book by John Maxwell calledĀ Intentional Living. It is a fantastic book that is worth the time. What he talks about in the book is anything we want to accomplish in life is possible if we are intentional about it.

What this means to me is I need to devote focus and energy to the areas in life that I want to improve and change. So many times we are led to believe that life will get better, just wait. Or you can change your weight and health by taking this magic pill. Or if I think it the universe will make it happen.

These are all passive solutions. They don’t work. I know, I have tried them.

What I have learned in my little journey is: LIFE IS NOT PASSIVE.

I have always struggled with goal setting. To me it has been a great idea, however, when I set down on a goal journey, I am often frustrated and disheartened. I have read books, listened to podcasts, attended seminars, etc. You name it, I have done it.

The end result?

I come away with so much energy, set my goals, and then LIFE HAPPENS. The goals get pushed to the back burner and there we are.

Except…

There are those that I have followed through on and they have changed my world a little bit at a time.

Years ago I made a promise to God that I would spend time in the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon daily. I knew that if I did this, I would have the spiritual strength and guidance I need. I have missed only one day.

Over 200 days ago I made a goal to study French daily. Back in my 20’s, I spent 16 months in France and Switzerland serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The time there and the language have been a huge blessing to me. So I decided to recapture it.

After a few bouts of sadness a long time ago, I learned that exercise was the best anti-depressant I could ever use. I made that decision to workout at least 4 times a week. That decision has taken me down some amazing paths of earning a black belt in karate, trail running through some beautiful terrain, and pushing myself physically to a point of new strength.

Everything I have devoted focus and energy to, I have been successful. But it takes making an INTENTIONAL DECISION to get it done. I have to set aside all of the little thoughts of “do this” or “you should just rest” or “take the day off” or anything else that wants to pull me down. And more days than not, it is a fight to get these things done.

But when I do… I feel so good.

I am grateful for the inspiration I had this week to look at and see the things that I have been able to accomplish. Finding purpose in life has been something that I have struggled with. Yet, the more focus and energy I give to the things I want to accomplish, the more purpose I find.

It is a beautiful part of our journey to discover and own who we are.

 

The Process

Wow.

The past few months, but especially the last few weeks, have been insane. It is one pivot after another. If we were on a map program, it would constantly say, “recalculating”.

We back a few months ago, we felt like we needed to put our little house up for sale and move. Crazy as it is because we just celebrated our first year in this home. Yet, we could not deny the feeling and subsequent pieces of evidence that have come that tell us that we need to move on….again.

Fortunately, our lives have been such that big changes are something we have experienced. There are times when I have craved the opportunity to put roots down for longer than a few years. Then there are other times when I am ready to make a change and move on. I truly believe that these feelings are a blessing, because they keep my mind and heart open to what is around the corner.

As we have been projecting, getting the house ready to sell, we have also been looking for a house. Trying to find the next place that God needs us to be. This has proven to be a challenge that has shaped us in ways we didn’t expect.

We have put offers on three different houses. Each one we thought for sure was THE ONE. And then, it wasn’t. Leaving us confused, sad, and relieved. It is interesting to know that we were supposed to put offers on each one because there was something we needed to learn from them.

It has been a purifying process to live through. Sometimes I would wonder why God would give us this strong feeling that we needed to move, yet there was nowhere to go. Ultimately I know that to trust God is to trust the process He will guide us through.

It has been amazing that with each disappointment has come a partial understanding of why. Looking back, even at this point, I see that we may have not been totally unified on one of the properties, but we were trying to make the other one happy. I see that financially these properties would have been a constant drain on us. I see that it may not have been the best place for our family for one reason or another.

I am sure that when we finally get to our place, we will see the reasons for this process unfold clearly. Until then, I am grateful for these little nuggets that bring understanding, comfort, and a knowledge that even when I am not in control of the process…

HE IS.

This is powerful to know. It is comforting even when our house is sold and we don’t know where we are going. It is comforting when we have looked at every house that we think is a possibility and absolutely feel like it is the wrong place for us. It is comforting when the one that shouldn’t make sense, does.

This process has taught me that sometimes I need to look outside of the box I think is the answer. I have learned that unity with my husband on our feelings is ESSENTIAL for our peace and happiness. I have learned that God’s plan for us has never made sense, but hasĀ always worked out in amazing ways.

Searching for Him in the processes of life leads to greater insights into ourselves and those around us. It teaches us that we are not alone. That He is in control when we are not. That He is mindful of us on so many levels. That what is important to us is important to Him.

This knowledge of Him makes the process of life so much better. Not easier, just better.

 

Growth Spurt

We have two amazing children. I say that because I am their mom and I see all of the incredible little things that they do. One of the most amazing things I see is the way that they grow…physically and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAspiritually.

They have a little growth chart on the back of their doors, where every month we measure how much they have grown. Some months there is barely a visible change; other months my jaw literally drops. What is crazy to me is the months that I don’t see a great change on the chart, I see the most growth in them.Continue reading “Growth Spurt”