I realized last week that I do not live intentionally. I know, I know- that familiar saying, “live intentionally” is very cliche and at this point, almost void of any meaning. But when I change it up a bit and ask myself, “Do I live with intention as I make my daily plans?” That invokes much more of a stir in my heart. And the truth is, I have been living most of my existence without really, truly knowing why I”m doing the things I do. I’m not referring to the part of my life that is in service to my church and community- I feel like it’s easy to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing when it comes to that, even when it’s hard or I don’t necessarily like it. But the daily ins-and-outs of “stay at home” motherhood, the monotonous, regular, ordinary moments that make up most of my week- well in that, the purpose has been unclear and the intention lost.
I think this last very challenging season that I feel as though I’m coming out of has started helping me see that there shouldn’t be any difference between my purpose in church and community life and every other part of my life. Last year I would have said that I already knew that, and arguably, there was at least a head knowledge of it. But it’s clear to me now that it wasn’t a principle that my life was marked by. Faith and it’s purpose should travel across the plane. And if my purpose is clear- to love God and worship Him by advancing His kingdom and enjoying/being content with the plan He has for my life- then intentionality seems much more reasonable.
Last week I started to ask myself why I feel like I need to obtain and accomplish certain things; why I put so much thought and stress into them. It was very eye opening. I couldn’t answer myself when confronted with the question, “why, though?”
Why do you want that extra money so badly? So that I can build a patio deck in the backyard.
Why do you want that patio? Well… then I’ll be happier?
Really Megan, you’ll be happier? I… think… so? I mean, I’ll get to sit on it and enjoy being outside. And we can have people over for cook outs.
Can’t you just take a chair out there, or better yet, sit on the grass, and enjoy being outside? Why is marveling at creation contingent upon making that experience more comfortable? Why would engaging in fellowship ever be put on hold over the arrangement of trivial backyard space? ….I… umm…
Megan, of what eternal value does that patio hold? ….
A week later, as I am typing that line of questioning with myself, I tear up a little. Such precious moments lost trying toiling with no understanding of why I’m even toiling.
Living unintentionally has proven to be chaotic, disorganized and ultimately unsatisfying. I feel myself continuously being nudged towards the edge of not wanting to live that way anymore. It’s such a gross waste of our most out-of-our-control resource- time.
Last year I wrote a blog post about the bravery in being content. I want to confess that while I believe that what I wrote is true, I don’t think it was necessarily true of my life. In all honesty, I thought I was content and living with intention, but I think that was also because life happened to be fairly easy at that time. I see how the last 7 1/2 months partly existed to show me that I wasn’t really subscribing to what I was saying I believe. But what a beautiful, gracious God I serve, that He would love me enough to expose me for the fraud I can be and then allow me to get low enough to experience the truth and the consequential freedom it brings.
Purpose, intention, and contentment are tethered to each other, and this year has felt like a journey in finding out how that is so and what that looks like. It’s a hard journey, but so far it’s proving one worth being taken by.
It’s sweet, the way the gentle scent of lavender infused with the harsh aroma of coffee grounds in the air hit my nose when I walked in from dropping Daniel and Abram off at work and school. Almost as if the two smells teamed up and said, “We won’t allow her to be down today.” Well, it worked. I feel inspired to create and breath freely. I can’t say it was the same for yesterday, and I don’t know if it will be true for tomorrow, but today… today is fresh, and the fog in my heart has dissipated. My flesh fights to scare my mind into thinking that this cannot last, but my mind tells my flesh to hush. For it knows the truth: happiness very well may fade away, and tomorrow might feel dark. But worrying about that now only turns bitter the sweetness of the lavender and coffee grounds that fill my soul. No, no need to control. Control isn’t mine to dictate time and day with anyway. Contentment, however, is lavishly given to us for the taking.