A friend emailed me last week about Part I. Looking at the date, I realized that it has been over a month and I haven't written Part II yet. Someday, my life will again be my own. Just not today...
Another friend asked me at Christmas time what I get for the kids stockings. I honestly told her junk. Stocking stuffers are the last things I buy and it's easy to spend way more than I meant to, so I would often go the dollar store and just buy crap to fill the stockings. It excited the kids to open it Christmas morning, but they would either play with it once or not at all and I would just end up throwing it away.
So this year I decided to be intentional.
Being intentional at Christmas meant buying stocking stuffers I knew the kids would use--legos and crafts for the boys and a few toys for Jillian. It meant the stockings were far from full. But it's also meant I've not thrown away a single toy or gift from Christmas. Sweet.
If you've visited or talked to us recently, you may notice that being intentional has contributed to some pretty significant changes at our house. Most of the changes have to do with the food that we eat. But I'll get to that in a later post.
I have written about my daily struggles with balancing home and work. It is so easy to get caught up in the all the stuff that needs to be done. I tend to perseverate on the whole of a task--laundry needs to be washed, dried, folded and put away before I consider progress has been made. And it drives me nuts when I can't get one load done that way in a single day, or I can't complete all 10 of my loads in that way during the weekend. Trust me, I've tried. I just can't get it done.
I've realized over the past few months this is a mindset I take on frequently. And it is not helpful. Or even true. But it's so easy to believe. So I've decided to ditch this mindset. That's right. I decided. That's it.
There's been a number of blog posts and articles I've read recently that I totally resonate with. Rather than try to explain things in my own weird and often overly detailed way, I've linked to the articles below.
Read them. Breath them. Believe them. Live them.
Read about being intentional at work here.
Read about being intentional with your kids here.
Read about being intentional in regards to others here and here.
Hmmmm.. Now think.
I had a wonderful conversation with someone I work with a few weeks ago that also resonated with me. In fact, I can't get it out of my head and I've already shared it with several people. He told me the best we can do as parents is throw mud and hope that it sticks.
How's that for being intentional?
And so I do. From the choices I make about the work I bring home, the time I spend with my kids, and the examples I set for them when I speak or interact with others. They are watching. And I hope the good stuff sticks. I know I'm not perfect. In fact, Simon uses one of my favorite expletives more often than I am willing to admit here, but I am present. I am fully aware of the choices I make, even when they are bad ones.
For the record, this is hard. I remind myself daily of my desire to be intentional. If I don't, I am easily caught up in the stuff of every day. But my kids are worth it. Chris is worth it. I am worth it.