Intentional Living


I saw the shadowy figure standing over me and shot straight up, gasping for air.  “Mom, it’s just me.”

“Gosh, you scared me to death.  I’m sorry.”  My mind tried its best to process what was going on.  The clock showed 3:30am.  My senses were slow to come awake.  He was wide awake, talking at a pace that made following the details difficult.  The fear in his voice begged me to awaken quicker.

“Mom, please.  I had the worst dream of my life.  It felt so real.  It was an angel type creature.  He was standing in front of me and told me that I would die and go to Heaven on November 14th.”

“Oh, honey.  I’m so sorry.  It was just a dream.”  I guided him down the hall towards his room.  The whites of his eyes glowing in the deep black of the hallway.  His mind and mouth raced as he relayed every tiny detail.

“I just want November 14th to hurry up and get here so I can quit worrying about if I will really die that day.”

The next morning he was quiet, contemplative.  I knew he was thinking of the dream. He thinks deeply, life tends to worry him more than it should.

Attempting to lighten his mood, Steve told him, “Well, I guess live every day like it’s November 14th.  Like it’s your last.”

With a little grin, he shrugged his shoulders, “I guess.”

What does a New Year mean to you?  For some it’s a little like awakening from a bad dream with the sudden relieving realization that it’s a new day.  And you are alive.

What would this year look like if we lived every day like it was our last?  I imagine it would be the epitome of intentional living.  Moments seasoned with grace, compassion, love, and mercy. Not reckless abandon or checking off a bucket list.  Would I move slower through my moments because I don’t want them to end?  Would I savor the flavors of each moment I encountered? Would I hug tighter?  Would I laugh harder?  Would I look deeply into the eyes of the ones I love?  What would it look like?

I’m not a big New Year’s Resolution maker.  I am a big goal maker though.  I’m always evaluating my goal progress and making adjustments where needed.  The New Year is just another day to evaluate life and make course adjustments.  I tend to do this frequently.  Always evaluating, processing, planning, figuring things out.

This year our family has a common goal.  We are praying for more kindness, compassion, gentleness, and patience within the walls of our home, with the ones closest to us the Lord has graciously given us.  We desire to treat each other better than we treat the world.  In the everyday stresses of life, it’s the ones we love the most we tend to hurt with the words that slip out too quickly.

The moments of life are precious and fleeting.  Our prayer is to take intentional living to another level.  We are moving beyond living in the moment – though we want more of that too.  We want to live in the moment and soak in every ounce.  And then give it all back out.  Soak it in to give it back.

It’s not just living in the moment, for the moment.  It’s BEING the moment.  It’s living in the moments in order to be the moments.  It’s savoring every second so we can pour it back out. Into the ones we treasure most.  It’s taking the focus off ourselves and putting it on the ones we love.

It’s being the blessing.  Because we are blessed.