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Posts Tagged ‘Intentional’

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21 has great meaning for me, but it has been haunting me lately.

I fully understand that whatever we treasure is what holds our hearts, but what is the ‘treasure’ that this verse refers to?

191cd71c32b32d23ffe64781368f6800The treasures in my life will be different from yours, but we all have them.

Often it is said that if we look to where we spend our money, we will see where our priorities, our treasure, is located. Our spending is so darn … clean these days. We do not give to the church from what is in our pockets (perhaps because there is nothing in our pockets), we place a written (post-dated) cheque or it is automatically withdrawn. We do not give to the poor, a representative send us information on how they help the poor, and request that we ‘support’ them in their meeting of the needs of those with less. We do not give gifts that bless individuals with love and appreciation, we hand over a plastic card, so that they might purchase whatever their hearts desire (I am not saying that I do not like gift cards, in case anyone thinks differently … after all my birthday is coming … but, I digress).

I think though, that I have been haunted by this verse lately, not in the context of my money being my treasure, but my time.

I made a conscious effort to note how I spent my time on a recent Saturday.

  • 6:30-9:30am – writing and researching (with a little laundry thrown in there)
  • 9:30-10:30am – tidying, making a ‘to do’ list
  • 10:30-11:00am – ablutions (one needs to be clean)
  • 11:00-12:00 – errands
  • 12:00-1:00pm – taxiing kids and friends
  • 1:00-4:00pm – thrift store shopping with daughter and her friend
  • 4:00-5:00pm – more taxiing of kid and friend
  • 5:00-7:30pm – baking
  • 7:30-8:00pm – dinner with hubby and son
  • 8:00-9:30pm – making frame for bathroom mirror
  • 9:30-10:00pm – writing blog post for next day
  • 10:00-12:00 – chatting with hubby, playing mindless game to prepare me for sleep
  • 12:00 – lights out

And that was my day!

Now in there were a few short conversations with my other kids, texting with friends, and bathroom breaks as well.

This day was a good one, in my economy of time, as I got to invest in one child significantly, and accomplished both things that needed to be done as well as things I wanted to do, for my own well being.

But, what it reminded me, is that choosing how to spend my time means making intentional decisions to prioritize well. Had I not intentionally offered my time to my daughter and her friend, I would have chosen to spend my time more self-focused!

I ALWAYS choose to spend my time self-focused!

The only way to change that is to be intentional about how I spend my time.

I need to plan.

I need to think ahead.

I need to meet the needs of my loved ones by giving my time to them, in ways that they desire, not necessarily the ways I desire.

If I am to say, with any measure of authenticity, that my family is my treasure, then I need to choose wisely how I spend my time.

I challenge you to record how you spend your time today, or, better yet, yesterday when you didn’t have this to remind you of your treasure.

Just sayin’.

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If you are reading this, then yes, you have survived the chaos that can be associated with Christmas Day.

For me, Boxing Day means two things; one is that I am ready to take down the tree, and clean up the house, and the other is that I start to think about next year.

Over the next few days, my posts will be related to my thinking about next year. Each day I will share Ten Goals that I have for myself, my children, my marriage and my relationship with God.

Today, I am starting with my ten goals for 2013, related to my three children.

Wheaton+Family-38-2-1602627366-O

God has blessed hubby and I with three healthy, productive, God-fearing/loving children. There was a time when we wondered if we would even have children with our own DNA. There was a time when we understood contentment with one, believing that our chances of carrying another to term would never be. There were dark and sorrow-filled times, times when we cried out to God, times when we grew to understood that today we only see a part (1 Corinthians 13:12) …

As parents we have taken those experiences, that pain, of the past and promised to not forget the gifts that these children are to us. Oh, we fail – daily we fail as parents, but our hearts desire is to not take them for granted, not forget our responsibility to be active in their lives, and to daily hand them back to their Creator.

My goals, as their mom, for 2013 are:

  1. Be intentional in spending at least one time per month with each child – they are individuals, and I need to know them individual
  2. Pray with each more often – so easy when they were young, but it is still such a beautiful thing to lay our burdens at His feet together
  3. Be more involved in assisting them with school work (even unsolicited … mostly unsolicited) – I often am so desiring that I give them independence in their school responsibilities that I forget that they still need help, and I am able to help them!
  4. Tell each child, every day, that I love them – I cannot just think it, for their benefit I need to give wings to my thoughts
  5. Do not end the day, or go apart angry – this applies to so many relationships (every relationship). There is wisdom in “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26)
  6. Laugh with them – Oh how sad to spend a day living under the same roof and not sharing a laugh together … what sweet memories laughter provides!
  7. Tell them why I love them – not just ‘I love you’ but ‘I love how you ….’, ‘I love that you ….’
  8. Tell them that I am proud of them – I do believe that success breeds success, and if I let them know of the successes I see in their lives, I believe that it will magnify their ability to do even greater things
  9. Praise their father, in their presence – although hubby and I do not parent exactly the same, we are one, united front when it comes to our kids, and our kids need to know that we love each other, and that we respect each other … and thinking it is not enough … I need to give words to my thoughts.
  10. Give them wings – I cannot hold them too tightly, I need to hold them with enough flexibility that they can come and go. God’s example to us is to give us the choice to come to Him … there is no better parenting example! And there can be no greater gift than having my child choose to share their life with me.

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We were heading to do a bit of back to school shopping, my youngest daughter and I. It was a shopping trip with a mission … to purchase what was needed, and get back home … on budget, and with our relationship still intact (those of you with teenagers understand the near impossibility of that).

I decided to start our evening off right, with a mother-daughter dinner. This enabled conversation, planning for the evening, and full bellies.

As we were sat at a table, another family was seated just across from us … a mother, a daughter and a preschool son. My daughter noticed them and oued and awed over how the older sister was caring so tenderly for her younger brother (how she could not see herself in the place of the older sister, and how good it would be to treat her younger brother with tenderness … at least once in a while … I do not know. But, I digress).

And this moment, at the beginning of our evening, started a most wonderfilled evening together. She started a theme, and we began to seek out similar moments, intentionally.

The theme altered slightly, from children in general, to little girls and their fathers. And so, with her impetus, we began seeking fathers and daughters to observe. And, we did this all evening.

There was a man at Costco with his daughter in a cart. The preschool aged daughter was holding a package. Her dad looked at her and told her not to open it, he then looked away, she looked at us, grinned, and giggled with the twinkle in her eyes communicating that she would not stop trying to open it.

Then the little girl who cried she wanted to go home, and dad hugging her.

And the little girl dressed up, in a pretty dress, riding on top of a mattress set, on top of a cart … looking like the princess and the pea … dad pushing her on it.

By the end of the evening we had purchased all that we had sought out, we were on budget and we were still talking (an amazing accomplishment). I am convinced that it was because our ‘purpose’ for the evening had changed. Oh, we still got clothes and food and school supplies, but we also got to lay our heads on our pillows that night with the beauty of wonder filling our hearts and souls. We sought wonder (intentionally), and it was there.

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