Take Time to Live Intentionally

Over the last month I have become lethargic. This season has been full with my husband launching a new business, with periods of insomnia and multiple sicknesses. I have been in survival mode. I have stopped doing any planning, journaling, or seeking to simply evaluate where I am going. Aimless walking is the feeling stirring in my soul. I felt lost. I’m running haphazardly. I am thankful for the grace that God supplies for these seasons, but also for the grace he provides to guide me out of the forest again and onto the straight and narrow path before me.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)”

My time is certainly limited with my calling to nurture my three little ones, but I want to make each moment count. This life is precious and short. I want to be faithful with the gifts God has given me to be used to impart life in my home and extending out from my doorstep. I want to bring life to every relationship entrusted to my care – my husband, children, and the brothers and sisters and needy around me. Investing intentionally in my relationships is what I am called to do. I want to live for Jesus. And we have a faithful guide, the Holy Spirit, who promises to walk before us. Through prayer, He directs us as to the most effective use of our time. He is faithful to inspire us.

I want to balance my time so my family gets the meat and not the scraps of my time and energy. I want to take simple practical steps to build up, encourage, and strengthen these relationships. How can I spend quality time with each of my little ones? How can I encourage my hubby? I’m not trying to take on a boatload of projects…I’m just praying weekly about one way to bless each of these precious lives. One simple action. One doable act. I am certainly not limited to one…but I feel a greater chance of accomplishing any if I start with one and then let the juices flow to inspire more.

I want to think each day how I can bless another today. An email of love to my hubby. Getting down and dirty with my kids. A simple text message with a verse or word of encouragement to a friend just to let her know she is in my thoughts. A small handwritten card with truth to inspire a weary soul. A simple pot of soup to nourish a needy family. A bouquet of flowers from my garden to bless a sister. I want to write words of truth.

We need focused time…It might be a weekly planning retreat or just an hour or two before the week begins on a Sunday evening to think, pray, and plan. Designate a specific time when you could intentionally plan for your week.

Taking a few minutes on a daily or weekly basis can redeem many a wasted hour. You may not get to every dream on your list, but that’s okay. We are not striving for perfection, but God glorifying intentionality in the grace that He supplies. This last week I took a chunk of time on a Friday afternoon to sit down and just prayerfully think. The results?

This week has been filled with sweet intentional moments…visiting a dear friend in the hospital while her son goes through surgery, taking a walk one-on-one with my little guy and talking about trucks and wind in the trees, surprising hubby with his favorite treats, planting flowers in the garden with my kiddos, acting out “The Wheels on the Bus” around the yard, and reading books in the front yard enjoying a beautiful sunny day. Scattering God’s love to those entrusted to my care. It does not have to be extravagant. It just needs a little love. I want to savor each moment that I have been given and live it to its fullest. I feel blessed to be His hands and feet and I just can’t stop…

Free printable: My Weekly Intentional Living Plan. 8 simple questions to evaluate at the start of each week in helping to grow in Christ-likeness and living a generous intentional life in each priority relationship in your life.

Here’s some further inspiration to get you started:
15 Little Ways to Bless Your Husband

12 Ways to Love Your Husband Without Saying A Word
Take the 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
Reaching Out to the World from Your Doorstep
100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child
100 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids
100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference

My favorite quote that inspires me again and again in this call to be intentional in the short life I am living:

Only one life,
T’will soon be past.
Only what’s done
For Christ will last.

“So I keep stopping and loving one person at a time. Because this is my call as a Christian. I can do only what one woman can do, but I will do what I can. Daily, the Jesus who wrecked my life enables me to do so much more than I ever thought possible.” – Katie Davis, Kisses From Katie

Photo Credit

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

31 Responses to Take Time to Live Intentionally

  1. Desiree December 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I need to really break my life down into small pieces and how to live life totally intentionally. I don’t have small children but I am too complicated.

  2. Stephanie May 1, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    I just found your blog and I am in love!!! Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

  3. Lauren April 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Lindsay, I have been reading your blog for years now-it was actually the first blog I ever read. I am always so encouraged and inspired by the words God goves you and always passing your link around. Thank you for your honesty and all the hard work you put into this blog!

  4. Sara S. April 19, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Thank you for this encouraging post. God so often uses you to speak to me. I know that from time to time we all get discouraged and tired. I want you to know that you bless so many other people with your honest and open sharing about what is happening in your heart and what work God in doing in your heart. Thank you for reminding that I am not the only one who feels this way. I pray that you and your family are blessed and thank you for your blog.

  5. Alyssa F. April 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I can relate in a small measure as my husband is gone for a year (military) and I have 3 little ones and another on the way. I am so blessed to have these children and to have this responsibility, but it can be draining. It is good to seek comfort and peace in God when it’s hard to find rest and peace. He’s the only one who can truly provide what is needed.

  6. Janice April 18, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    So glad for this post! I’ve been frustrated lately listening to so many of my friends talk about all the TV they watch. I even get teased for not knowing much TV trivia! it’s not that the shows they watch are particularly bad-it’s just such a waste of a life! I didn’t know how to put the importance of living intentionally into words so I’m glad you did. I’ll be sharing this post with some friends!

  7. Emily April 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Thank you for this. I have tears in my eyes because God has used you as an answer to my prayers. Now I must pray for the grace to follow through! Shall we pray for each other?

    God bless you.

    Emily

    • Lindsay April 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Yes! Bless you sister!

  8. Christie S April 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    What a lovely post to stumble upon. Thank you pintrest! This was such an on-time word for my to read. So encouraging and motivating. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately with such a busy life style. Mothering, youth pastoring, counseling, homemaking, and working a part-time job. I think your advice is just what I need! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  9. Kate April 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Take my advice, please!! I am probably about 10 – 15 years ahead of you on the same path you are walking. My kids are nearly grown. I homeschooled them and am still homeschooling them. Looking back, if I could have done a few things to get myself out of the same feelings you are now feeling, if I had an older Christian mommy to counsel me, I would have flourished and grown much faster with fewer pitfalls. When you are feeling overwhelmed… put away that home management binder. I had a big one, too. I followed it ~ and when I followed it my home stayed tidy, my schedule hummed along, and my pantry stayed full and provided gorgeous meals. The problem was that my kids were grouchy, my soul was exhausted from the rote mechanical process of it all, and I was royally burnt out. That made for a gumpy husband as well!! I forced myself into a 4 page one and only put the most important things on it. Toss out excess toys and kiddie gadgets. Let grandma get upset because you threw out the expensive doo dad that kept the kids “occupied”. Turn off the TV and the videos. Postpone the dishes. No one is going to get food poisoning! Do double-duty recipes and eat them for leftovers. Pop all photos into a box and postpone the scrapbooking until they are older and more self-sufficient. Take them to the park! Get out and enjoy the sunshine even though “Tuesdays are mopping the floors day” or whatever. When an older woman says you will have a clean house when the kids are grown, she’s right! Breathe in the sweet scent of childhood! These are the years you will long for when you are old ~ make sure you are doing what you enjoy and making beautiful memories because it passes all too quickly. You will never regret not having followed your binder. And most of all… don’t spend your quiet time with the Lord all alone ~ but have time with the Lord with your kids at your side. Pray WITH them. Read your Bible WITH them. Sing praise songs WITH them. They will mimic you and learn from your worship/study/prayer only if they actually SEE you doing it. Love your husband and ASK him if he would rather have a spotless home or have you enjoy a couple hours doing something fun with him!
    You may be already doing all this advice. This might not apply to you at all. But it is shared with a mother’s heart.
    This time will pass… all too quickly.
    Enjoy it all, dear sister!
    Kate

  10. Ariana April 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Thank you for this post Lindsay. It’s superb and is exactly what I needed to hear. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord works in our lives! God bless your week!

  11. LaShanna April 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Love you so much, my sister-in-Christ!!! When I read your posts, I am always pointed back to Christ. I am printing this sheet out, because this is exactly where I am now. I needed this!! Thank you so much for the time, effort and realness that you put into this wonderful blog!!!!

  12. Luann April 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    thank you for exhorting and urging me on in the Lord. this print out is SUPER FAB and needed.
    Romans 1:10-12

  13. Becca April 13, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Lindsey – this was an honest, gorgeous piece of writing. I echo a lot of the other comments and your words; it so quickly becomes apparent that when there is no plan I feel like I “fail” at everything or everything is half done and nothing was done well. I love, “I’m not trying to take on a boatload of projects…I’m just praying weekly about one way to bless each of these precious lives. One simple action. One doable act. I am certainly not limited to one…but I feel a greater chance of accomplishing any if I start with one and then let the juices flow to inspire more.” So poingnant…simply being intentional in small steps grows forethought and ability to do even more and serve intentionally. Really, really loved reading this!

  14. Christie April 13, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Thanks Lindsey for sharing your struggles so we can pray for you and your family! My husband too has started a business and managing my time to devote to him and his work, home schooling my 3 children, waiting expectantly for my 4th baby and first time home birth, and showing our house that is for sale has me completely relying on the grace of God and His peace. Living in light of Ephesians 3:20-21″ Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” The power working in us, The Holy Spirit, is our strength. Turning 40 this year, the Lord has had me focus on being purposeful in all areas of my life. May you and the other sisters in Christ follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and walk in all that God has prepared for us to do in this life as we look forward to being with Him in Heaven.

  15. Samara April 13, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Great post Lindsay! One of the things I most appreciate about you (and have come to expect :-) is not just a great post like, “live intentionally!” But you also fill the need of the how-to: attaching a PDF with steps to ponder and take! I love that! I am so that kind of person – I search your blog probably weekly, whether it is looking for a step-by-step for menu planning, preschool, planning an art space for my kids, what to buy on Amazon, whatever. I praise God for you!

    • Lindsay April 14, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Thanks Samara! I love hearing from you and praise God that He can use me to be a blessing to you!

  16. Lacey Wilcox April 13, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Loved this. I’m so challenged, because when I stop living intentionally, I immediately find myself growing more and more dissatisfied, bitter, and selfish toward my circumstances rather than embracing them as a gift of grace. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Carly Turner April 13, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Thank-you for this post! I’ve been in a similar rut. My daughter was in the hospital for over a month recently and even though we have been home for several weeks now, I’m having a hard time getting back into my purposeful planning. I was just thinking yesterday how I really need to switch gears from just surviving to living on purpose. Thanks for the encouragement!!!

  18. Kenedi - Real Food Whole Life April 13, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I just recently found your blog. I’ve only had time to read few post so far, but have really appreciated your insights, openness, and desire to serve others in this way.

  19. Kirstie April 13, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    This reminds me of something a missionary said that I was listening to yesterday. She and her husband mentor churches in Cambodia in how to be salt and light in their communities. They often start out with big ideas like “let’s start an orphanage!” but the idea is so big that then nothing happens. This couple helps them brainstorm small ways to get involved in blessing their community, like planting a garden for a widow or filling the potholes in the road after the rainy season. I am looking forward to reading your links on “little ideas.” Thanks for blessing my day. I don’t usually chime in here, but I always get something out of the posts.

  20. Lanai April 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    This post is for me, thank you for being transparent! I tend to go through seasons in life that I feel like I am merely existing and so far away from the person I know God has called me to be. I see and know that God has grace for these seasons and I am SO Thankful. I tend to wonder how to get out of the slumps and be intentional about it so this post was golden :-) thanks again! I’ll be praying for this season in your life. Know that God does have a purpose for even this. Be encouraged my sister :-)

  21. Kelcie April 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Love this! Thanks for the encouragement!

  22. Vinae April 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I am in the same boat as you described: five weeks ago I gave birth to my third child and on the same day my husband’s job transfer came through. We are leaving the state in two days and I have been in survival mode the last five weeks, just trying to get through each day without losing it. I haven’t been very intentional about much. I realized that the other day when I yelled at my 5 yr old – when was the last time I took time to spend with God? It had been a while. Thank you for the reminder to be intentional about blessing others. I also need to be intentional about blessing myself as I bless the Lord and pray and spend time in the Word. Thanks for your encouragement!

  23. Sasha April 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    I just want to write you to say,I don’t know you other than you are my sister in Christ. I want you to know during my hard times and trials I am comforted by you. I feel you are my friend, who I don’t know living for the same plan. Yes, we have not met (that we know) :) . Though am grateful for you, I am grateful God gave you me as a friend. I am more of an introvert and slowly but steady TRYING to live a radical life for the Lord. I feel comfort from you because I don’t have alot of other fellowship with others my age. You are a comfort. I Love you and I am glad you are here. Keep going strong. God is using you in more ways than you know.

    • Lindsay April 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Bless you Sasha! You are a fragrance of Christ by offering such sweet words of encouragement. Praise the Lord!

  24. Memorey Penwell April 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Thankyou I needed this today!! I hope God sends you some encouragement as well :)

  25. Liz April 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I needed to hear this today. I’ve been in a similar rut. I’m just coming out of my first trimester and have two other children as well. I have been tired and uncomfortable and feeling sick for weeks! Needless to say, I feel like I have done nothing for weeks: cleaning, cooking, or spending quality time with the family. I hope that as I get my energy back, I can start making progress again bit by bit. Thank God for grace!

    • Lindsay April 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Liz, I wish I could write so much more here…but I wanted to remind you that even in the rut, this work you do is precious. It is a beautiful work for Jesus. When I struggle with insomnia, I have to let go of other things and just focus on feeding and comforting my family. That is really all I can do. He gives us different seasons and I am comforted to know that even in these times of overwhelming challenges, His grace is sufficient for me.

      • Alisha M. April 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

        Lindsay,
        I realize this is an old post, so not sure you’ll see this. I THOUGHT I had insomnia as well. I figured I was just tired from the sleepless nights of breastfeeding and stress of raising small children and I just must not be able to shut off my brain to sleep. Or I would wake up and be up for a couple at night, or wake up at some off hr and never go back to sleep.

        After a couple more years past and the little ones were in elementary school I finally went to speak to a doctor. Turns out I have moderate-severe sleep apnea confirmed by a sleep study done at the hospital. I was in denial of the possibility of sleep apnea since I am young and very healthy. I thought sleep apnea was for old, overweight men.. Wrong! Young, healthy women can have it too.

        Anyways, just wanted to caution you there as I was in the “I have insomnia” camp for years and my whole family severed with me from lack of sleep. It may be something to look into.

        Now I wear a CPAP breathing machine at night and my whole family thanks me!!

  26. Anna April 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Another wonderful post. I so appreciate your Christ-centered focus that is apparent in your life and writings. God bless you, Lindsey, as you seek to live for Him.