Sunday, January 24, 2016

Put Down Your Phone...

This is the phrase that has continually been ringing in my ears over the last couple of weeks but it seems like the volume turned up this week.  So…what did I do proactively and on purpose to continue in my INTENTIONAL living?  Did I put down my phone?  Did I decrease my scrolling?  Did I change any of my mindless habits?  Was I intentional about having “live” conversations instead of constantly managing the buzzing of my phone?  NOPE!  I didn’t do any of those things!  And what has the Lord has done for me due to my obedience in this area, you ask?  He has graciously highlighted the amount of time and the # of times that I check my phone to SEE if anything is there!  I mean…I wouldn’t want to miss the latest scoop, pic, recipe or news within moments of it happening!

This week I have been AWARE of the constant checking, mindless scrolling, watching senseless videos, and time sucking that my phone is stealing.  But I am totally allowing it.  It is like I am watching a criminal come into my space, take my things, and I just wave at them as they leave…with my STUFF!  The stuff that I hold dear, the stuff that I would hate to actually have taken away but nonetheless I sit back and idly allow it to be taken away moment by moment, minute by minute, 3 minute video by 3 minute video.

I was listening to a study this week by a pastor from Montana named Levi Lusko…it was a message from the series entitled The Fourth Wall in which he is teaching on Practicing the Presence of God...the reminder that the Lord is always with us and we need to live as such.  It is a great series…I highly recommend it!  The message covered so much but as I was listening he went on to share about the distractions that we are faced with that cause us to forget that we are living life with our Heavenly Father and that He is WITH us!  Then he gave a few statistics about phone usage that I don’t remember exactly so I found my own!

Keep in mind I listened to this message after the ringing in my ears about my INTENTIONAL living and the distraction that I have allowed my phone to become.  It was eye opening and it was convicting and it was gracious that the Lord continued to remind me that I am at a stage in life where I have been given some time back and that I am squandering plenty of it…looking at a 5” screen.  The Lord is with ME and wants to be with ME!  

Now…I will be honest…I do NOT plan on destroying my phone, never using my phone again, and right this minute…I’m NOT even deleting social media and every app that steals my time.  What I am doing is making small changes – turning off notifications that bing and beckon me even when I’ve intentionally PUT MY PHONE DOWN and living life with a timer!  I haven't determined what the time will be but it's all about baby steps in the right direction, right?  Once my PHONE TIME timer goes off…my phone gets put down!  I am hoping that with the Lord’s help and the gift of self control that I can intentionally put down my phone, look around, be intentional in my relationship with my Heavenly Father and in my “real life” relationships with people. 

What is God asking you to PUT DOWN?  I truly believe that for each of us…it is different.  We all have things that steal our time and energy from living the life that the Lord has laid our specifically for each of us.  I challenge you…ask Him!  Ask the Lord if there is something that you need to put down to intentionally enjoy His presence.  And be ready for the answer!  I’m all about some baby steps into INTENTIONAL living!  Let’s get going!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Guilt Problem...

I have a guilt problem!  And I know it!  I've heard it said that admitting you have a problem is the first step in winning the battle...well I know that I have a guilt now what?

I want to be INTENTIONAL in minimizing the guilt that I put on myself.

You see...truthfully...I have NOTHING to be guilty about.  I self impose guilt that was NEVER mine to possess.  I also don't think I'm the only one with this issue.  I think lots of moms/wives/women have this disease.  It's so crazy...our kids get sick and we feel guilty...because we took them outside, we forgot their coat, we had to get a job to assist in family finances so they were in daycare...and we feel guilty!  As kids get older...they make a dumb decision and have to suffer the consequences (some ugly consequences) and we feel guilty...because when they were little we didn't spank them enough or we spanked them too much, or we let them go to the party where they made the bad decision, or we just didn't warn our kids about the pitfalls and the real consequences that they could face.  We plan a personal day off and we feel guilty because we aren't there with our students, we work with a team of people and we feel guilty because we feel like we let them down by spending a day off campus or out of the office.  We sit down for a few minutes after a long day and our spouse asks what's for dinner...and we feel guilty because we haven't decided yet or we don't care!  Our spouse decides to help with the dishes to be nice because he sees that we are tired and we feel guilty because he was nice!  I mean SERIOUSLY...I have a guilt problem.

Am I the only one with this issue?  I am hoping that the answer is NO!  But I do know that my case is pretty severe.  So today I did something INTENTIONAL: performed with awareness, done deliberately, consciously, or on purpose to work on my guilt problem!  And for the moment...I don't feel guilty!  I did something FOR ME!  I took a PERSONAL day off (before Spring semester hits full tilt) and kept it personal!  I was determined to be INTENTIONAL about it being FOR ME...full of down time, time with my heavenly Father, rest, without a list of to dos, minimal email checking, not checking in on my classes (my sub is awesome and I made sure she had what she needed before I left campus yesterday), and doing what I intentionally chose to do.

We all have areas in our lives where we need to intentionally tackle things that the world has let in that God never intended for us to hold on to!  Things that bind and trap us!  Guilt is a trap!  Your problem/trap might not be the same as mine but it needs to be tackled nonetheless.  What have you self imposed or picked up that the Lord has not placed on you or given to you?  What can you do today to INTENTIONALLY take the first step in winning the battle?  John 8:36 says, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."  Let's live free!

Now...let's be real for a minute...I do not think that my guilt issue is solved because for one day I focused on me and didn't get caught up in the guilt that might be knocking at the door.  But I do know that the Lord never intended for me to live under the weight or bondage of guilt that is self imposed.  So today I feel free and that is a WIN for my INTENTIONAL 2016.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

An Intentional Check Up...

I started the year with an INTENTIONAL leap!  Forward progress...leaping good how's it going?  Well...maybe it's time for an intentional check up. Standing today NINE days into 2016 with the word intentional as a banner over my year. Have I been?  

According to Webster INTENTIONAL means the following: done with intention [an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result] on purpose; intended, of or relating to purpose.

What have I done in the last NINE days to be intentional [on purpose] in my relationship with people and in my relationship with my heavenly father? What have I done intentionally in regards to my health and wellness? What have I done intentionally in keeping up with the daily chores of life?  What have I done intentionally to LEAP?  Or was my LEAP 9 days ago my last INTENTIONAL move and now I'm stuck on other rock?

I don't want to forget my INTENTIONAL today I get back to it and LEAP onto a path but am I on the right path?  And how do I know?

Sometimes paths are paved and pretty easy - Other times the path takes you can be messy and difficult.  You have to watch your step!  Sometimes there is no path at all but there is a little bit of a clearing.  Your visibility isn't completely blocked.  So you trust the Lord and keep INTENTIONALLY walking into where the Lord has lead you.  Yet sometimes the path is non-existent, blocked, or packed with obstacles.  After seeking the Lord and determining this is the way to go..."walk in it" you pull up your boot straps and move forward...trusting completely in the Lord and with purposeful, intentional, determination in your steps you move forward.  NOW...just KEEP walking well - one step at a time, forward motion on the path that God has you on today.  The great news...God's plan doesn't change NO MATTER THE PATH!!  So leap off the rock and get moving on YOUR path and I'll get moving on MINE!

My INTENTIONAL check up on Jan. 9, 2016

  • I have cooked dinner 3 days this week (I was out of town 2 days!)
  • I have been to the gym or to the park 5 of the last 5 days!  YAY!
  • On my walk today - I listened to a great sermon that fed my mind and heart!
  • I took the time to INTENTIONALLY do a check up!