I wanted to do a Wordless Wednesday post featuring current pictures of my kids but I don't really have enough good pictures to post- sorry Brittany! I will be more diligent about taking them over the next few weeks. Of course opportunities abound but I am not always ready with camera in hand so I will have to work on that.
I am thinking a lot about being intentional these days- about living intentionally, acting and being "on purpose" with a specific purpose or goal or outcome in mind. I think that I have gotten to the end of far too many days without having accomplished enough or failing to complete more that one necessary task. I really despise feelings of regret and I don't enjoy feeling as though I have wasted my time or other people's time either for that matter. However, I often do just that. At this point in my life, I am 100% responsible for how my children spend their time. Damon and I plan together and I always ask him for suggestions for our activities but as the homeschooling, full time caretaker of these children, I pretty much direct their every moment, every day. At 8yo Joelle is becoming more independent with each passing day. She is definitely no longer a little kid. But she most certainly needs my direction and guidance for how she spends her time and I feel a real need to help her understand the value and worth of time well spent. My boys unfortunately would rather watch tv than anything some days and I can't stand that. They are never allowed to watch it nearly as much as they would like to but they would like to just the same. When I lived in the Midwest I never thought I could adjust to how some of my friends who lived more rurally would let their kids just run around freely on their acreage without direct supervision. Joelle loved our visits with those families. She enjoys being free to roam like that with her friends. I am a city girl through and through but if I had that much land I would certainly send my kids out on it these days- just to be outside, to run around and be kids. So this summer, I am aiming for more outside time for all of us. It is hot here in the MidAtlantic in the Summer but most mornings are tolerable- even in Late July and August. My intention is to get us all up and fed and out the door no later than 9:30 am (after some math practice, bible study and chores). We should be able to accomplish 2 1/2 hours of outdoors before lunch and if we're at the pool where we'll have some relief from the heat, maybe 3 1/2 hours or so total before it either gets too hot or Noah starts to collapse from needing a nap. It doesn't sound like a lot but it will be for us, especially f we can do it everyday. That's what I intend to do. Ah, intentions. Have you ever heard the saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions?" Well I just googled it, looking for a source and actually I learned that Samuel Johnson, the person often credited with it, didn't really say it that way. Apparently what he said was just "Hell is paved with good intentions." Either way, I don't want my good intentions to go unaccomplished and end up either paving the way or the streets of Hell (it's not Bible y'all so worry that I take it literally, I'm just making a point, ok?). But I would rather see myself accomplish all I set out to or meant to accomplish with no regrets for not actually getting it done. Paramount in my thoughts about this, as is the case with most things, is parenting my children. I mean to be intentional about passing my faith on to my children. I came to know Jesus Christ at 19 years old. I pray that my children will have real, meaningful, established relationships with Him long before that. But, if that is to happen, truly happen in their lives it will be as a result of Damon and I intentionally passing our faith down on them. Ted Tripp says in his book Shepherding a Child's Heart that Christian parents must remember that our children won't be children for ever. I am paraphrasing here but he admonishes parents to think about our children as brothers and sisters in Christ and as such help them in their early years to train their hearts to know and love God from their youth. That doesn't come from sending just sending them to children's church or playing gospel music in the car. It has to be more intentional, more on purpose than that. I can't remember ever in my life- I know there are examples of it, I probably just wasn't aware of it- when the culture was so interested in the hearts of young people. But now, I can see with every tv show, commercial, magazine cover, and song on the radio that the world is interested in the heart of young people. I feel as though my kids are being assaulted by unhealthy images everywhere we turn. So, I choose to intentionally turn their hearts and minds to the Word of God. I know God created my children to impact their generation for His Glory so it is up to me to teach them now to be in this world and not of it. Living intentionally is my heart's desire tonight. To have a goal, think it through, develop a plan for accomplishing it and work to that end. I intend for us all to eat more healthily and get more exercise and sleep each day. I intend for us to have more scheduled family time together so our kids begin to value time spent with each other rather than take it for granted. I have lots of good intentions, so many things I want to be sure to do. I also know that I only have limited control of my life. My times truly are in His hands, but I also believe that it is God that worketh in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Tonight, I am seeking His face to know and understand what He would pleased for me to do, asking Him to make me want to do it, and then yielding to His hand as He works in me to get it done. From shepherding my children, to going back to school and everything in between, He is teaching me to be intentional about my intentions and to live each day on purpose to the Glory of God.