live intentionally

I feel like I’m always hurrying and accomplishing nothing.  Anybody else?

Maybe I’m hurrying doing the wrong things.

Or

Maybe I have the wrong attitude about the things I’m doing.

It’s probably both.

I know that the rush of laundry, cleaning, cooking, and kid smooching is right.  But, I don’t need to clean obsessively or make hard recipes that take hours.  How many extra-curricular activities is okay for our family and how many is a strain- emotionally, financially, physically?  Volunteering is great but am I spreading myself so thin that I’m not effective?  Working out is healthy, the internet is useful, hobbies are fun but am I neglecting the important things?

I heard a speaker, Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt,  over the weekend who talked about living intentionally.  Each day is filled with mundane things that get boring and hated because they are unchanging and never-ending.  Laundry, dishes, work, meal prep, commutes, driving kids, etc.  She gave 3 ways to find satisfaction and joy in the mundane:

1. Prepare.  Think about the task, tell yourself you’re going to do it.  Get excited about it.
2. Participate of Purpose.  As you do it, tell yourself the reasons why you’re doing it.
3. Remember and Celebrate.  Think back and congratulate yourself on the accomplishment.  Let the feeling of accomplishment flood you with power and confidence.

She gave the example of making your bed but you can apply it to anything.  Here’s my brain’s dialogue with itself, using the above steps:

1. I need to make my bed.  I’m going to make my bed.  I’M going to MAKE my BED!!!
2. I’m making this bed so I don’t just get back in.  I’m making this bed so it looks like the cover of a magazine called, “Amazing Beds.”  I’m making this bed so at least one part of my room is clean.  I’m making this bed to serve Luke, who gets up early and is super quiet as he gets ready for work. Work that gives me the blessing of being able to stay home to raise our kids.
3. You made your bed today, good job.  The kids destroyed the living room and dumped a brand new box of cereal on the kitchen floor you just swept?  YOU MADE YOUR BED.  YOU ARE A MACHINE.  A box of cereal cannot knock you off your path toward total awesomeness.

Instead of striving to be super-human, strive to reach YOUR unique potential.

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