This is a word that is following me around quite a bit lately. I hear it, read it, think it and sleep it. Intentional. What does it mean to be intentional?
I went to Webster’s Dictionary to look for a clear defination of intentional. Here’s what I learned: Webster’s Dictionary isn’t a lot of help. Intentional is defined as “done by intention or design.” Great. Awesome. Way to help.
So I looked up the word intend.
“To direct the mind to.”
Much better. This definition actually gave me something to think about. Because to be intentional really does require thought. It means I must direct my mind toward an action. It requires work and planning and it’s hard…
To live and live well, one must be intentional. I forget that a lot. Actually, it feels like I forget that every single day. How often do I go to bed and run through the day and realize I went through the motions? How often do I reflect on the day and see that I merely survived?
This is not intention.
Lee and I are blessed to have wonderful leaders and friends and supporters around us who are constantly encouraging us to be better. Yesterday we spoke at length with many of these people about placing Stones of Remembrance out for our kids.
Orchestrating moments in the kids lives that they can look back at and point to as a time when God was there.
A time they remember.
A time they felt loved.
A time when they discovered who they were created to be.
When the Isrealites crossed the Jordan River into the promised land, Joshua commanded the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Isreal and said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder…Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you sall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Isreal forever.”
I have to be intentional with my children. I have to set out stones of remembrance for them. Sometimes these things are easy – they naturally flow from the every day moments of life – as long as I’m paying attention, of course. Like the day the tornado didn’t come through. We were intentional in pointing Sloan to God’s answer that day.
But if I’m not planning ahead – if I’m not intentionally seeking ways to set up stones of remembrance – I will miss opportunities.
The same goes in every area of our lives. Lee and I are being challenged in many different ways to be intentional in our giving. We must intentionally stretch ourselves to give more. We must be intentional in budgeting so that it is easier to make giving a priority.
We have to be intentional in our marriage. We must be intentional in our careers, intentional in the way we spend our time, our moments.
Setting up stones of remembrance – this is my heart as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter and sister. As a child of the Lord Most High. Because someday I will look back and point my children and, hopefully, grandchildren to those stones…those moments. And I will be able to tell them, “Look. Look what the Lord Most High did for you.”