living intentionally

Intentional. It was the word He gave me for 2020. The year of all things change, strange and uncertain. For that year, the Lord gave me the theme word of being intentional with clear direction towards Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The verse starts with a conjunction as if in answer to whatever the situation is, AND in that And even that AND yes, in that…whatever you do. Whatever it is that you pursue or however it is that you respond, whether in word or in deed, you are to do everything that you do in His name. Being able to stamp His name on it with gratitude.

The year got off to a normal start but somewhere in mid March it hit a wall in the US and the horrors of TV news—people with masks, hospitals overflowing, shortages in the grocery store—hit too close for comfort. Suddenly it felt personal and my world felt rocked.

My youngest’s newly planned birthday celebration was cancelled with plans for “later in the summer.” The Bible study group I was serving in came to a screeching halt. And all things in my little corner of the world began to teeter. We brought my mom home from the complications of her hip replacement surgery just in time for orthopedic hospitals to close, on account of virus spreading and fear.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus…

It rang through my mind as I wondered where to find footing. Living out of my guestroom for the second time in a year as my mother lived with us needing full time recovery care, was not making for a very easy stage for intentionality.

How could I live intentionally if I can’t leave my house? I already know these people. My nearly grown sons drew closer to home as my college son’s course went online and my senior in our homeschool felt his social life closing down.

In word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus…

I picked up my gratitude journal, surely it begins there. Like a hunt for Where’s Waldo I sought to find every gift I could pin down in this trying time.

As the pages of my journal filled up with thanksgivings, so did my soul.

I became intentional again to keep track of those gifts, to really see them and give thanks for them. I began to notice the slowing rhythm of my home and how full the dinner table was once again.

I put the phone down more and looked into their eyes more. Asking questions, listening and really appreciating the time, the gifts and the presence of my people made the roller coaster on the news seem farther away.

As the year draws near the end, I am sure I have not mined all the riches of the intentionality that the Lord has called me to, yet I can look back and see how I would have ridden the waves of fear, instability and anxiety had it not been for the reminder to come back to the Anchor and be intentional with where he has placed me for this season AND in this year.

Have you found it difficult to be intentional in 2020? How might 2021 be a fresh start for this?


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8 thoughts on “living intentionally

  1. I love your thoughts on “and”. Our God is a God of “and”, of abundance, of generosity. This AND that. When looking for intentionality , gratitude is a good place to begin.

  2. Mariel, such a great post! I loved how you returned to that verse and attempted to focus on your word each time you faced an obstacle. Though you may not have succeeded every time, it was a discipline to continue to allow the Lord to show you the way! thank you!!

  3. Mariel … I love this living intentionally lifestyle. No matter what season we find ourselves, but especially this unending uncertain saga, the choice to live intentionally gives purpose to our days and a faith focus that leads us forward. Thank you …

  4. I love this how you drew intentional and gratitude out of the verse and used that as an anchor for the year! The concept of a word for the year is a new one for me, but one that I am now praying into for 2021 – thank you for sharing.

    1. So glad the post blessed you! I have being doing a word for the year for about 5/6 yrs now and it always proves to be such a good tether to what the Lord is teaching me that year. I would love to know your word for 2021 once the Lord lays it on your heart.
      Xo

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