Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Being Intentional

There are days and times that are meant to be fun and relaxing holidays, but they get overlapped with other life events that can pile on responsibilities and pull the joy out of our expectations. These can be good things, but none the less things that require our attention, work, and focus.  Honestly, I can struggle to keep my joy and expectation during these times.

This past weekend was Mother’s Day weekend.  There were also a few other things happening – It was also my husband’s birthday (which I was very excited to celebrate!), the start of a 4-day event where I work (which would require many hours of work), and a need to get with family to celebrate my husband’s mom.  There were also the stresses my husband is carrying with his job and commitments.  Needless to say, the weekend was busy and filled with running from one thing to the next.  It is so easy to become stressed in moments like these.  In seasons like these.

I can find myself so stressed and focused on what is being demanded of me that I can’t even enjoy a holiday.  I can’t even laugh at the joke my daughter comes up with in the back seat.  I can find myself short-tempered.  I can find myself so stressed by the demands that what should be fun and a blessing is just another stressful requirement in life.

Knowing what was required of us this weekend and the coming week, our family intentionally set aside time on Saturday morning to just hang out as a family.  Just the three of us.  We went out to breakfast to one of our favorite local spots (one of our little family’s Saturday morning traditions).  Then we went straight to the beach.  It was restful, fun, and filled with laughter.  It was the perfect antidote to the demands creeping in on our lives.

We were intentional about it.  It is so important to be intentional about creating time to just be together.  No agenda.  No distractions.  Just being.  Just enjoying.

It’s like that with the Lord.  We have to be intentional about spending time with Him.  We have to set aside time to just be.  No agenda.  No distractions.  Just being.  Just enjoying His presence.

That is where our peace is found.  When I think back on how I walked through really difficult times in life, it was out of an overflow of the intentional times I had spent with the Lord.  I knew God’s presence.  I knew Him.  I knew He is good.  I knew He had my best at heart.  I knew He had a future planned for me and I could hold onto that hope.

Have you listened to the hymn “It is Well” and heard the story behind it?  How did Horatio Spafford honestly pen those lyrics of peace flowing like a river when contemplating the loss of his daughters?  It could only have been out of the intentional times of fellowship he had spent with his Savior.
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
How does “Peace like a river” flow in our lives through difficult times?  Only from a reservoir that comes from Peace Himself.

There is no substitute for intentionally spending focused time with those we love.  Intentionally learning those we want more of in our lives.   We have to be intentional to truly be relational.  We have to be intentional to truly have peace in our lives.  We have to be intentional to truly have joy in our lives.  Otherwise we allow chaos to reign.  Otherwise we have nothing to pull from when we find ourselves wanting.

God is faithful.  He is always there.  He always has peace waiting for us.  He always has love waiting.  We only have to partake of it.  We only have to turn and recognize all that He wants for us.  We only have to turn and tell Him, ‘here I am and I need You.’

He is there. He is our anchor.  He is our lighthouse.  He is our peace. Be intentional about looking to Him and you will find all of those things.

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