At First Glance I have scheduled a Vision Day every year to measure everything we do against our mission statement. To make sure we are staying on task. My largest fear is that we will end up where we didn’t mean to be. It’s the slow drift away from where we started, not necessarily bad, but not where we intended to go or end up. I never want to look back and wonder how we got here.
Sometimes I worry about this for my personal life, wondering if I’m doing things, small things now that will allow me to drift in a direction, causing me to end up where I didn’t mean to go. I try hard to be aware and to stay the course.
Recently I turned 38, and leading up, I decided to fast and pray in order to come up with a game plan for these next two years. I decided instead of freaking out in some capacity that I was soon to be forty, I dreamed about who I wanted to be when I got there. Two years of discipline and intentionality so I hit forty grateful for who God created me to be and the place I am in life.
The intentionality isn’t about my job and accomplishments, that’s not my priority when I turn 40, but rather the person I am. Being comfortable in my own skin, confident in who God created me to be, spending my time where He has called me, and using my resources in ways to bring Him glory are my priorities.
I simply want to be intentional with these areas…
Decluttering the noise – There is so much noise in the background. So many distractions in life: TV, social media, and more. A couple simple things I’ve committed to is watching less TV, deleting FB on my phone, and adding a timer to my phone to know how many minutes a day I am distracted by it. These are small things, but I really believe if I am intentional here, I will have room for some of the other things listed below.
The Spirit – Part of decluttering the noise is so that I can be in tune with with what is happening around me, especially when the Spirit prompts. I know for a fact that the Holy Spirt speaks, leads, and guides. I also know I so often miss his promptings because I’m too busy, too distracted, and life is simply too loud to hear His small still voice.
Time – To be present! Whenever I’m texting while hanging out with my friend, she always says “be here now!” I hear her words often, saying it to myself when I know my mind is wondering. I like todo lists. I like getting things done. And I like being time oriented. None of those things are bad, but often they take me away from the here and now. So much of my mental energy is spent on what needs to get done and what I’m doing next. I desperately want to be in the here and now, and give time to the things that matter.
Money – It’s not about spending none and giving the rest away. Although, believe me, I am often tempted to do that. It’s a matter of being intentional not to “nickle and dime” it away, to not just spend it on selfish desires. Rather, spend it on things we need, on things that allow us to grow closer to God and each other, on things that encourage people in their faith or marriage, etc. It’s not about just using less. It’s about being intentional to encourage and help others with it.
People – I desperately want to make the person in front of me my priority. All the above ultimately is done for the sake of people. I want my time, money, and energy to be flexible so that I can engage people, love them well, and be present with them when they are in my presence.
In each of these categories I have set achievable goals, so these become my natural way of functioning when I turn 40. I certainly don’t anticipate these changes happening over night or having all these areas perfected when I hit 40, but if I am not intentional, I don’t know where I’ll end up drifting to. I simply want to make my life completely available for what God has called me to do and for the people around me.
In order to launch this new two year journey of discipline and intentionality, I started a new journal. This is the front page of it, with a few key verses and phrases I want to focus my heart and mind on in these next two years.