At this current stage in my life (young child, working full time), my ideal night (almost every single night) would be to put on stretchy yoga pants and stay at home. It is very rare that I want to make the effort to do anything at all.
I know this “having a young child” phase is just a phase, and let me tell you - it is real…full of exhaustion and added responsibility and added things to manage and more. However, I find myself using the “having a young child” situation as an excuse for many things.
Because I have a young child, I make excuses so that I do not have to:
• Have people over for dinner
• Actually pick up the phone when someone calls (or call them back)
• Make an effort to talk to our neighbors
• Do something thoughtful for a friend I know needs it
• Ask someone I don’t spend as much time with to do something
Yes, having a young child is overwhelming, and it demands all of me, all of the time. But, I allow it to also be a crutch I use to bypass many things that I feel the Lord calling me to do…it’s just so much easier to do nothing!
And let’s be honest, for lots of us (myself included), it’s not just during the “young child phase” - I made excuses before my son was even born when I was working long hours at a demanding job, or when I had a lot of “change” going on in my life due to moving, or when it was really cold and I just didn’t want to get out.
Being intentional is hard work. It requires forethought and planning. It requires you to do things even when you’re tired. It requires you to think about someone else besides yourself, even after long, hard days that demand so much of you.
But, I really don’t want to look back on this season in my life and see how devoid it was of love. Because, to me, being intentional is about showing love.
What are ways we can be intentional, or “glow” love locally to those around us, even in difficult seasons?
Here are some things I am planning to do this month:
• Send a card (in the mail!) to a friend
• Take half of a batch of cookies (I'm already making) to the older neighbor across the street
• Invite someone I don’t necessarily know as well to come over for coffee
• Text someone I haven’t talked to in a really long time just to let them know I am thinking about them
• PRAY for someone who pops in my head
• Invite someone to go out to eat with us (no house cleaning then!)
• Send a book I recently read to someone I think will really enjoy it
• Cook a meal for a new mom
I hope by giving myself a goal and writing things down that I will be more intentional this month….each of these should take me less than 5 minutes to complete (well, except the cooking ones, but I’ll already be cooking for our family, so pretty easy).
I am always surprised how doing one intentional thing stirs me to be more aware and eager to do another - once I start making the effort, I am more in tune to continue making the effort…which makes it all easier.
Do you struggle with being intentional during certain seasons of life? What are small ways you are more intentional?