Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Intentionality - Part 1

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“But he knows where I am going.
    And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold."
~ Job 23:10, NLT ~ 

When the calendar turned over to a new year, one of my esteemed friends posted an intriguing question on her Facebook page, "Do you have a 'focus word,' or theme for yourself in 2013?"  After giving it some thought, I came up with mine -- Intentionality.  It came rather easily because, reflecting back, I could clearly discern how much of my time was spent being swept away by the tyranny of my circumstances in the past year.  My father passed away unexpectedly 19 months ago, and the repercussions of his death made life wretched, not to mention the immense grief that descended.  We moved my mother into assisted living this past year, saw her through cancer surgery, and helped her settle in to a whole new way of life without Dad.  We saw our son through a life-threatening bleeding episode that put him in the hospital for days and kept him in a wheelchair for months.  Our youngest daughter had just started to bloom from the cooperative effort of her educators at the grade school when she was dropped from an IEP down to a 504, transitioning to the intermediate school.  Needless to say, the new school year brought a whole host of new challenges.  Later in the year, our son had such anxiety centered around his hemophilia that it almost landed him in a hospital.  During that time, his toe was broken and he spent months more in a wheelchair.  All of this made me, along with my precious family, miserable.  Deciding to spend the next 12 months of my life approaching my days in a much more intentional way was the perfect remedy to this misery.

However, let me reveal to you, the parent raising a child with unique and pressing needs, what happens when you begin to set your face towards intentionality:  You suddenly see how many unintentional things discordantly occur in your life.  That extra bite of food you never intended to take; that glass of wine you never intended to pour; those words you let slip out of your mouth when you should have given them thought first; that task that diverted your attention from what you really intended to do all become the enemy.  Cleaning house with all of this clutter suddenly becomes an enormous task.

Yet, I will still contend that intentionality is a worthwhile pursuit.  When I was an investment broker, we used to hear repeatedly in our sales training, "If you aim for nothing, that's exactly what you will achieve."  I can attest to the truth of these words.  And raising children whose serious and often urgent needs disrupt our schedule or rhythm demands that we recapture the framework and remainder of our time.  Otherwise, chaos and misery are sure to pervade our family life.  

Friends, are you willing to make the journey pursuing intentionality with me this year?  I am anxious to share with you all that I am learning as I sit silently each morning, soaking in what God has to teach me about this much-needed endeavor.  I am also anxious to hear from you about what you do to be intentional and deliberate in your life.  I think we would both grow if we could make the journey together and keep each other sharp.  (Proverbs 27:17)

Let me leave you with this thought from God.  The Lord tells us in Deuteronomy 28:13, "If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom." (NLT.  Emphasis mine)  This means that our Father intends for us to be leading deliberately with thoughtful planning, not to be whipped to and fro by the tail of our circumstances.

I will share more wisdom in the days ahead that the Lord has been pouring over me in regards to intentionality.  Are you coming along?

PRAY:  Oh, my merciful God, You do not want me to be swept away by the temporal things around me.  By Your Holy Spirit power, You intend for me to be intentional.  Guide me as I listen to Your voice and pursue Your best for me.

~ Barb Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. Many blessings for writing so clearly what it is like to be a parent of special children and for so clearly understanding how God is in this! Thank you! It is so true that when you specifically go in a direction, the obstacles and distractions become more obvious. Thanks be to God that he is willing to make our path straight. My intent is to continue decluttering while working on better habits and routines especially since nearly everyday is different. Hugs!