Mamas, Let's Be Intentional This Summer
Parenting is hard. It's nitty gritty. It's exhausting.
Even once we exit the trenches of baby-and-toddlerdom, it's still rough. The challenges change, but there are hurdles to surmount nonetheless.
It's so easy to get caught up in the moment.
Adulting is hard. Work, marriage, running a household, paying bills on time, meeting expectations and deadlines... it's enough to make one wish they were a bear and it was winter and hibernation were in order.
Life is hard.
Sometimes, we trudge through life the best we can.
Sometimes we use autopilot. We feed our kids, clean our homes (perhaps), and manage to not strangle our spouse.
Yet life was not meant to be merely survived.
We were made to thrive.
When we are intentional about parenting, for example, we pour ourselves into raising our kids. We set goals. What specific things do you want to accomplish with your children this summer? Do you want to read the Chronicles of Narnia series as a family or perhaps another series you enjoyed as a child? Do you want to take the kids camping for the first time or try a new state park? What speaks to you? Write it down. You have 18 summers between the time your child is bitty and when they leave for college. This is not the time to plod through. Make a goal for this summer. Now make a tangible plan to achieve that goal. It doesn't have to be huge or extravagant. Now, make it happen.
When we're intentional about marriage, we do more than show up each day and breathe. What have you done today to pour into your relationship, in a positive way? What steps have you taken to make your spouse feel loved and valued? Put down that phone and pick up his hand. Talk. If we are not intentional with our partner, it's easy to grow apart. Marriage is like a plant. It must be tended in order to flourish. We can't wait until our spouse is "perfect" or makes the first move. Do you want a better marriage? Put in some work. Today. And tomorrow. Never cease. You'll be amazed what happens.
When we're intentional with our lives, amazing things happen. What are your interests? Your dreams? Write them down. Are you happy where you are today in your career, hobbies, or interests? Yes? Wonderful. Pour into it. No? What can you do to improve your contentment? How can you grow into the person you dreamed you would become? It's often an internal change-- and hard work-- that leads to happiness. Pour into yourself. If you are not where you want to be in life, make tangible goals and literally-- I mean this-- write it in a visible location in your house. My career goals are written on my whiteboard. Make yourself short-term goals and take small steps every single day to reach for your success. Rome wasn't built in a day. Do you need a degree or certificate in order to get the job of your dreams? Sign up for them. Don't wait any longer. Apply for scholarships or take out a student loan if need be. Just make it happen. Do you dream of accomplishing something big? Get out there and do it. It doesn't matter how unlikely it is. Make a plan, set goals, and make them happen. No one can do this for you.
Bored? Try something new today. Get involved in your community. Volunteer. Try a new sport. Join a community garden. You'll not only find a satisfying outlet, but you'll become more interesting as well.
Lonely? Reach out to two or three new people today. And I don't mean Facebook. Get to know a neighbor. Join a club or organization related to your interests. Reach out and spend time with friends you haven't seen in a while. We are all busy. I get it. Yet time with a friend, whether walking, enjoying a mug of coffee, or even chatting on the phone and connecting on a deeply personal level is well worth the time. We are social creatures. We crave connection. Yet we're more disconnected than ever.... unless we're intentional about changing that.
Mamas, let's be intentional this summer.
Intentional in our parenting.
Intentional in our faith.
Intentional in our marriages.
Intentional in our friendships.
Life is far too short to sludge through it.
So make it count.