Saturday, January 05, 2013


Every end of the year, I try and come up with a list of wishes for the new year... but of course, focus on  accomplishing one thing. Lets face it... a list is SUPER difficult to get through... especially for this Mom who struggles through daily checklists. One of my wishes, which is probably one of my hardest things to accomplish and therefore truly a resolution, is to be more "intentional"...

 in·ten·tion·al (n-tnsh-nl) adj. 1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary. 2. Having to do with intention.

And to understand "intentional" a little better, lets do a quick look up on the word, "intention":

in·ten·tion (n-tnshn) n. 1. A course of action that one intends to follow. 2. An aim that guides action; an objective.

I know what you're thinking... "Don't you usually think before you act?" or "How do you get through your day without planning?" or "Don't you set goals for yourself?"... now remember what I said in that first paragraph?... I truly struggle even with a day to day checklist/to-do list... I tend to be sporadic, a "fly at the seat of my pants" kind of girl. Being intentional... actually takes a TON of effort, while it might come naturally for many.

Yes, I want to be intentional in my walk with the Lord, friendships, relationships with my family (extended), and with my husband...I'm hoping that by working in one area, I might be able to rub off on the rest. However, this year I'm striving to be more intentional... in PARENTING. And although it's only day 5 of the new year... I can already say that it's going to be a difficult task... but nonetheless, a task.

Wanting... yearning to be "intentional" in parenting, means admitting that often I let "busyness" and "being tired" get in the way of my goal. I "happen" upon results, instead of strive for them... When really, I need to be more focused on the goal... I need to pursue "the goal"... I need to be more engaged in Charlotte's life... not because I'm her mom, and I should be... but rather because I DESIRE to be. I recently read this awesome resource on an app on "Intentional Parenting" and wanted to share this with you (these are NOT my words):

"Intentional parents know that, in order to reach the goal, we must teach our children. Unfortunately, the word “teach” conjures up a picture of school desks and textbooks in most people’s minds. But that’s a very limited view of teaching based on the model the ancient Greeks gave us. “Teaching,” to them, meant dispensing knowledge. So they would gather as many brains as possible into one room in order to have the teacher dispense knowledge efficiently. The Hebrews, however, had a very different concept of teaching. To “teach” in the Hebrew culture meant building a relationship, spending time with a person in order to learn from watching him and interacting with him. Now, this form of teaching took a lot of time; it was in no sense efficient. But it was highly effective. God has called parents to that effective kind of teaching. We are called to develop deliberate relationships with the children He has entrusted to us. Those relationships form the bridge for effectively imparting wisdom and preparing our children to be godly adults. Once we have built that bridge of a relationship, we will have an effective transporting structure in place for teaching our children. We can give them the best gifts a parent can give."

Tough thing to strive for? yes.  Is it something that I'll accomplish 100% in 2013? definitely not. Has being in the middle of a crazy international move in the middle of the holidays helped? not one bit. Is the strive worth it? absolutely. I will not give up.

Do you all tend to be "intentional"... or do you struggle as I do? Please tell me I'm not the only one out there! Please someone, join me on this journey...

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6).
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  1. Great perspective! I find my relationships with my children getting "lost" at times. It definitely helps to take a step back, re-evaluate and set goals. You are such a great mommy :) Happy 2013!

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Karen, and you are DEFINITELY not alone. I love the quote... relationship is key for us with our families (spouses and children) just as it is with our heavenly Father... as long as our relationship with Him is healthy the rest of our relationships always line up the way they're supposed to :)

  3. Great Post! I do struggle! I love your commitment to improve and move forward. If we never stop striving after it, those improvements will come, and we will be better for going through that process.

  4. Thanks so much Karen. I have to admit, I am unwinding from a trying day with a robust and active toddler and there are times when I feel like pulling out my hair. Tonight I opened a bottle of sparkling cider, poured it in a wine glass, and pretended it was wine (seems fancy) while I watched Abbot and Costello with Charlotte. It really helped, but your post about intentional parenting helped more. Sometimes I (and I hope other parents too) are so busy surviving in the trenches of parenthood that we forget that yes, our child is being horrible (horrible!) but this is a very brief season in their life and all too soon it will slip away. I'm sure I will have more energy to redirect my little explorer when I remember that not only are we trying to teach our children not to strip down and streak in the commissary (exaggerating) while screaming like a banshee (not exaggerating), but we are trying to teach them what is like to be a child of God and the child of Godly parents who do not freak out when this happens. If I had been more intentional in planning my day, we would have gone early enough that we wouldn't have bumped into nap time when crazy shows up. I guess what I mean to say is, Thank you. And, Me too.

  5. Hi! Just came upon your blog and read this post. Love it. I look forward to building this relationship with my 4month old. =) I wanted to ask, is the app titled "intentional parenting?" That sounds like something i'd like to read on the daily.. Thanks!