Last month I spoke in a Ladies’ Meeting our church has for it’s ladies to get together for fellowship. I have no photos to make it “pretty.” And it is rather lengthy, but I pray these thoughts will be a blessing to someone!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Living Intentionally ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the hardest elements of life in general, for me, has been finding purpose in the mundane. For myself, and many women, that looks like washing dishes and treating stained laundry–after it’s already been washed & dried–oh MY!

For others it may includes driving in rush hour or mindlessly typing memos.

This learning to live deliberately has been a struggle for me since before I even realized it was something I needed to learn. It is LIVING GRACE.

And I have found it is something that must be TAUGHT to my children also! If we have no purpose… well, we have no purpose. Life seems pointless and boredom [or worse] ensues.

As an intentional woman, living deliberately as a Christian lady, it is as important that I scrub the bathtub with a song in my heart as it is that I hand the cashier a tract and invite her to a service.

There are several references to being PURPOSED or DETERMINED in what we do in the Bible. I only wrote out a few. {at the end}

It is imperative that we make the decision each day to live this gift we have called life intentionally, deliberately, with purpose, allowing GRACE to perfect our patience.

We must make a plan-even if it must be changed to accommodate life. We must reason and be thoughtful about the activities of our days.

When we hurry and scurry through appointments and activities, especially with our family/children, we miss the opportunities for life-touching. I cannot touch your life if my mind is already finished with my task and my body is rushing to catch up. Yet that is how I often approach simple responsibilities.

I think we all know what that feels like.

And this life-touching, caused by intentional living, is where a full Christian life becomes accessible. To have your life impact another–for the better– is what being Christlike is about.

And it requires that we slow down.

We have no idea whose life we may touch. Having a smile on my face while scurrying through Walmart in record time, with 4 kids in tow, may be just the encouragement another young lady expecting her first needs to get through the day.

I know it would have given me encouragement!!

Saying a kind ‘hello’ to someone we pass as we scurry to an appointment for which we are late may be the difference between someone continuing a search for ‘meaning’ -God- or just giving up.

We cannot expect those around us to know or understand the hurry of our schedule. We must speak words of edifying so as to minister GRACE to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

And I can tell you from experience that those ideas are not just a figment of my imagination. Because *I* have been on the –other– side of similar scenarios. [I tend to think some of you have been also-needing encouragement, but simply not finding it anywhere.]

I am easily influenced to the negative. I must PURPOSE to find the positive and look for God’s hand… or I do not see it.

I must look for His Grace, on purpose.

And this is one way the Lord grabbed a hold of my own heart –this  being deliberate. For me it has recently been specifically in the area of Motherhood. When I do not purpose to stop a task and spend a moment connecting with my child, that moment is lost, and I did not redeem it. It was a coupon that expired before I had a chance to use it.

Only, it is one of the most valuable coupons ever given.

For  myself, using these coupons and redeeming my time has meant that I realize the relative insignificance of ALL the dishes being clean in the next 5 minutes compared to leaning down to hug my 4 yo, and look her in the eye as she tells me a story or asks me to “taste this, mommy.” Maybe not EVERY time, but at least 4-5 times–she cooks all day long! 🙂

It also means dropping to the floor, on purpose, several times during the day–thinking, “when was the last time I sat on the floor and talked to my baby-man?”–and sit on the floor and look into his sweet little face and let him gibber TO me instead of AT me, for just a minute.

Literally, he will be over it in 60-90 seconds.

It means paying attention when the older 2 trip over each other to tell me of their day when they get home.

It means stopping supper prep and turning to fully embrace my husband when he walks in the door.

But the Lord has also dealt specifically with womanhood and Christianity in my heart… and their relationship to each other– but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

As ladies, we ARE the “softer” soul in people’s lives. We often create peace… or chaos… just by being present. We were created to help, teach and comfort {whether you ever marry does not change what is woven into the very fiber of our being as females; and no matter your “temperament,” you were created to help and teach and comfort}.

I think sometimes this desire gets squashed early in this world in which we live. And that creates chaos. We were made to be the voice of encouragement, while men are more often the voice of reason… since encouraging means emotions… and we are also emotional creatures.

Intentionally being a Christian and a woman… is a tall order. We have to look for, deliberately seek out on purpose, people that need help and encouragement. We have to premeditate on how we can use an opportunity for teaching truth kindly, to our children if we are mothers; to other children in our care if we are an authority for them; even to other adults, when the Spirit prompts a gentle word. Speaking the truth in love… which shows a maturity in Christ, and aids in the maturity of another.

Sometimes, I have to throw away produce. I buy it with the intention of eating well that week… and the next week I find it sitting on the bottom shelf completely uneaten… and inedible. Because I did not deliberately prepare and then eat the food, it was wasted.

And when we do not deliberately use our moments for SOMETHING {and even sleep is meaningful! periods of rest can and should be planned or even just grabbed spontaneously when needed!} BUT when we do not deliberately use our moments for SOMETHING, our day becomes as those fruits and vegetables that I throw out in a soggy mess.

And I have more than plenty soggy messes accumulated in my short days as wife and mother and woman.

But God—-He does not condemn my whole being to the refuse because of it.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

He gently makes each day new. Each day is whole with the opportunity to live it on purpose, taking —taking, grabbing hold of--the moments He sends our way.

Embracing them and touching the lives around us. Not just a casual brush, but a deliberate, intentional impact on a person… specific and on purpose.

This purpose, this determination, this deliberate life lived FOR GOD, lived for LIFE TOUCHING… will change so much about how our days play out. It changes attitude. It changes dress. It changes words spoken. It changes music listened to.

It simply changes who we are and how we live each day.

It is exhausting, but My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9

And when we really just do not know what to ask for or how to pray, the Lord will help us….   Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26,27

PURPOSED:
Psalms 17:3
Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Daniel 1:8
But Daniel purposed  in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
 
Acts 19:21
After these things were ended,  Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Acts 20:3
And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.

Romans 1:13
Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Ephesians 1:9
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

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Let’s be a BLESSING on PURPOSE!

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Come over and chat. I am on at least once a day.

 

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