Living intentionally means having with a particular destination in mind. Therefore, I need to have some sort of idea of what I am working towards to give me a sense of direction.
1. What do I have in mind for summer? What would I like to do or see? Make a list of everything that comes to mind.
2. What sort of pace am I envisioning? If my dream summer is dominated by low-key moments, then I will need to say ‘no’ to things that conflict with that vision. This might even mean turning down some really cool opportunities from time-to-time because I simply cannot do it all. (Nor do I want to!)
3. How would I like to spend my family time? Time alone?
4. Who do I want to go out of my way to make time for this summer? Which relationships will come first?
5. What sort of time commitments am I already facing? Is there anything I have agreed to do for the wrong reasons (obligation, guilt, pressure from others, etc.)?
6. What am I willing to say ‘no’ to in order to make room for more ‘yeses’ that line up with my vision?
7. When making summer plans, am I leaving wiggle room on the calendar? It is important to have unstructured time as well! [to unwind, think, rest, be spontaneous, work in the garden, read a book, bake a cake, etc. – some of the richest moments come out of downtime]
After making my summer wish list, I began to feel a bit scrambly. Okay, A LOT scrambly. Because I was clearly pushing things beyond human capacity. Simply put, there is no way I be able to do everything on that list. So begins the task of deciding what matters MOST to me. Here’s where I am at so far:
Shared meals with family and friends.
Hanging out with my husband.
Cooking and baking.
Playing with the munchkins.
Visiting my grandpa.
While it may not seem like a big deal to everyone else, making time for this sort of stuff is really challenging for me – especially when facing multiple deadlines. If I am not careful, lines become blurred and deadlines become the priority. [Deadlines aren’t really the problem; making the most of my time in front of the computer IS.]
Honestly, even after working this all out I was still feeling pressure. Then I flipped over the page in my daily calendar and read this:
As you look into the day that stretches out before you, you see many choice-points along the way. The myriad possibilities these choices present can confuse you. Draw your mind back to the threshold of this day, where I stand beside you, lovingly preparing you for what is ahead.
You must make your choices one at a time, since each is contingent upon the decision that precedes it. Instead of trying to create a mental map of your path through this day, focus on My loving Presence with you. I will equip you as you go, so that you can handle whatever comes your way. Trust Me to supply what you need when you need it.
Which let me to this verse:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26 (NIV)
Reminding me to stop. And talk to God about my big plans for the summer. When I am rushing through life – whether it be carpooling, list-making, grocery shopping, or multitasking in some way – I can barely hear my own voice, let alone God’s whisper.
Stop. And let God be part of those plans. What does He have in store for this summer?
[For those of you joining me on this 30ish-Day Challenge, begin by working through the list of questions above. Do not feel discouraged if you don’t feel inspired or have any ‘vision’ whatsoever at this point. Today is Day 1. Keep journaling and things will become more clear with time, I promise!]