Living an intentional life requires us to maximize ordinary moments. Maybe you’re like me, and your mind instantly starts to race with all the details of work required when we’re optimizing anything in life. If that’s the case, take heart! Today’s post isn’t about creating more work; instead, it’s about recognizing opportunities around us, taking nothing for granted, and living with purpose and focus. Today, I’m talking about intentional living.
I’m talking about making deliberate decisions to live in the present moment nstead of steamrolling past them. It’s the type of living that requires us to ponder the goodness tucked into each task. It’s mastering the art of living with a spirit of gratitude. Gratitude for the butterfly that flutters around the grandbabies as they play. Appreciation for the breeze that blows or the shade a large maple tree provides in the heat of summer days. It’s experiencing ordinary moments that would go unnoticed if we didn’t pause and capture the beauty and value they contribute to our lives.
Don’t be like some who confuse ordinary with mediocre. Ordinary moments are a canvas of opportunity revealed to each of us at a specific moment in time. So how do we maximize them to create the life story we want to live out?
Three tips for an intentional life.
Say no more; say yes less.
Warren Buffet said, “The differences between successful people and very successful people, is that the very successful people say no to almost everything.”
I think we could benefit from applying this strategy to our daily lives as women, wives, and mothers. If you’re like me, you might question every “no” that you muster up the courage to speak. You second guess yourself and wonder if you’re being selfish or question your priorities.
Let me stop you right there and share how I overcame that battle in my mind.
When I need to say no, I tell myself, “Every no you give, gives you 100 ways to say yes.” Yes, I can keep the family schedule on track, yes, I can get to bed on time, yes, I can keep up with the laundry, yes, yes, yes!
As a young mom who struggled to say no, I remember driving to deliver a meal to someone in the church who was sick; I was completely frazzled. My home was a wreck, and my children were cranky. I prayed, “Lord, I’m trying to be a blessing; please help me in this.” As I continued to pray and finally made my way home, I began to realize that just because Jeanette has a good idea, it doesn’t mean that God’s blessed the plan. I have to say no more and yes less.
Cultivate a positive mindset.
Many of us are familiar with the famous quote from Iron Lady, “What we think we become” In fact, the entire phrase went like this,“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become.” There is nothing new under the sun is there? The Scriptures tell us to think on what is pure, lovely, and a good report.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We can purpose to think about these things that are pure, but what do we do when those negative or cynical thoughts invade our mind without an invitation? Friends, God’s been good to give us instruction in this area too. It’s in these times that we must take our thoughts captive. 2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Scriptures go on to tell us that our words have the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
If we want to begin living more grateful filled lives, then we need to start with our thoughts!
I share this point last just in case some of you overachievers take action promptly and unplug immediately. I want to make sure you read the rest of the post. HA! Just teasing you all, but seriously we won’t ever be able to fully live in the moment if we are even unconsciously aware that people may be contacting us be it by phone, social media, or email. I remember the awkward feeling when we lived off the grid, and I knew no would be stopping by unannounced, calling, or needing me to reply to an email. It was surprising how much more I accomplished with ease. I deliberately schedule the time to unplug to this day, and you know what? I never regret it, in fact, I find that I crave more of it.
Friends, it’s time for us to stop talking about living an intentional life. It’s time for us to stop talking about being fully present and living more grateful. It’s time for us to do it! How will you start maximizing on the ordinary moments of your life? I think I’ll start by sharing a bowl of ice cream and giggles with one of my children.
We could add more tips to this list, couldn’t we? Post your suggestion in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood