Being intentional is so very important in life. It is too easy to be scattered, distracted, and to lack focus. There are too many choices in everything, every day.
The question: What is essential?
How do you determine what is essential in your life, for the next moment, for the next month, for life?
What are the values that are non-negotiable that help you determine what is essential?
Believers in Christ have the Truths of the Scriptures that are a plumb-line for decisions in life. Yet beyond that, I am realizing how beautiful our individuality is as created beings. The Lord also has bestowed on us wonderful spiritual gifts to give bloom to in various areas of our lives for the purpose of glorifying Him.
There are certain values that we want to be intentional about focusing on in life. Values that help us in decisions about what we want to do, who we want to spend time with, and where we want to be.
I have taken some time to consider the ones that stand out as important to me.
I am realizing more and more how important belonging is to me. The belonging I have in my relationship with the Lord, the belonging I have with my husband and family, and the belonging I have with my friends. I want to guard that, I place high value on having those relationships in my life.
Right along with belonging is connection. I value deep connection with the Lord and others. It is important to pour myself into those important relationships, and grow in intimacy within them.
I also value creativity. I am a daughter of the Creator of this universe. He has gifted me with a creative mind that I can use to bless others with. Maybe that means cooking creatively with leftovers, or decorating our home in a beautifully, creative way. Maybe it means being creative in writing or in women’s ministry activities. Or demonstrating creativity in how I touch others lives with Christ’s love.
Another area I value is joy. I am realizing that this is an area I want to grow in. It is too easy to have circumstances and attitudes keep you on a rollercoaster, rather than having the constancy of the joy of the Lord holding you above all of that.
Finally, I value play and playfulness. I look around at the beautiful creation that the Lord gave us to enjoy and see so much playfulness in the scampering squirrels, the diving dolphins, and the fluttering butterflies. I have to believe that the Lord wants us to find ways that we can play. A few weeks ago, I was mowing the lawn and a monarch butterfly was floating from dandelion to dandelion sipping nectar and then coming close flying around me. It was delightful. It was playful.
So, what is the point of all this? The bottom line is when you recognize what you value, it helps you to be able make intentional choices. Just as your God-given purposes help you sift through the choices of what you want to put on your calendar, your values can benefit you in the same way.
When we discover what our purposes are and what we value we can look at our calendar, our daily lives, and see if we are being true to who God created us to be. We can see if we are being true to ourselves. We can focus on what is essential and grow in living that out.
I find that I get overwhelmed by too much on my calendar, I get frustrated with too much cluttering my closet, and I get exhausted by too much on my to-do list. Finding what is essential helps me to have energy as well as feel less stress in doing what is most important. Finding what is essential helps me to choose what I need for what I am doing.
So, what is essential to you?
What do you want to be intentional about? What do you value?
How can you benefit from taking time to determine the answers to those questions?
And more importantly, how can you glorify the Lord with your choices?