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“Intentional” is my “one word” for 2016. Why?
Here are a few examples of my usual state of oblivion:
I once zoomed right around a corner and into the men’s restroom, not paying one bit of attention. I was ready to do my business when I realized there was a man in the next stall.
On one occasion, I tried to get in someone else’s locked car in the grocery parking lot.
Last week, I put my shirt on backwards three times.
In a row.
Intentional: Done with intention or on purpose, intended.
Being intentional actually improves your quality of life because you don’t have to go back and redo the stuff you did halfway.
I don’t know how my husband likes his cocoa wheats because I never watched him make them (and now that he’s recovering from surgery and wants some, that’s not a good thing). I’m clueless as to the combination for a good cup of coffee in the new coffee maker. I can’t remember where I put the lid to the applesauce. I’ll drive by a construction site several times before realizing a new store is coming to town. “When did THAT get there?!” “It’s been there two months” Jim chides.
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The Last Straw
Last week on our trip to Duke, I didn’t pay attention to where Jim parked the car before his surgery.
Of course the whole procedure took the entire day so it was 8:00 before he could leave the hospital. I caught the elevator down and quickly glanced at the sign for the underground concourse.
Taking off, I realized my route did not look anything like it had that morning.
“I’ll run into the right place directly” I lied to myself.
After a long jaunt, I saw it wasn’t happening and retraced my steps to the information desk.
“When I arrived this morning, it was not dark outside and plus that was a long time ago. Also, I can’t seem to remember how to get back to the parking building.”
Information Lady giggled and directed me back to the elevator and instructed me to go to the “T” level.
Well, duh. Jim made sure he pointed that out when we arrived.
My one word for 2016 is Intentional. Because I'm tired of missing out on life. Click To Tweet
As I made my way along the concourse, I called my folks to catch them up on the procedure. Not paying attention to where I was going (ahem), I reached the end of a hallway behind a large group of people awaiting another elevator.
I ended the phone call, wondering if I was in the right place. Being the last to board the elevator and still in a daze, I answered the guy rather stupidly when he asked what floor I needed. “Uh – I don’t think I’m going right now.” And jumped out.
After walking around in a circle for two minutes, I decided to get back on that elevator, which was now empty.
Upon reaching floor 6, I strode onto the now sparsely populated parking lot and searched for my car. After making a full circle (twice), I realized there must be another floor 6 in another galaxy, accessed by a different elevator.
By the time I re-boarded the elevator, Jim phoned (poor thing), and as I explained my dilemma, he tried (in his drug-induced state) to talk me through.
I confidently told him I was sure I’d found the correct elevator and would see him soon. “Push the red button on your key fob so the car will honk and you can find it” (his parting words).
Reaching a different floor 6, I stepped out into what looked like the exact same parking level. I almost cried (again) and when I pressed the red button, I got nothin’.
However, as my gaze moved past the first tier of cars, I recognized my dirty one with the West Virginia tags. (I must have been out of range for the alarm.)
Praise be, we were in business!
Only I forgot about the parking ticket.
Intentional: Done with intention or on purpose, intended. Click To Tweet
I won’t bore you with the details of how I braked at each floor wondering where the ticket boxes were, only to drive to the end and be able to pay with my credit card (later Jim reminded me he had given me the parking ticket – it was in my bag the whole time – strike two).
Shooting out the gate and across the street, I tried to make up the difference in wasted time.
Only I went the wrong direction.
After meandering in and out of medical parking lots and traffic lights in the dark and despairing of ever getting back to the correct facility (there are many), I pulled up to the hospital door.
After being wheeled out to the car and painfully climbing in, Jim said, “You don’t know what I’ve been through.”
…I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Some people are aware of their surroundings, passersby, and the paint color on the wall. Those would be the Jims of the world (better known as The Intentionals).
The Ruthies of the world just sort of float by and don’t pay attention to anything unless they’re interested in it.
This is how I was made. I’m a non-payer attention-er.
But I can do better. My people need me to do better.
My poor husband will fare better next time we visit Duke if I pay attention.
Being intentional means:
Putting down the phone
Looking at the other person when he’s talking
Noting facial expressions during conversation
Being in the moment
Doing my best (even if I don’t want to be doing that thing right now)
Being intentional means doing my best (even if I don't want to be doing this right now). Click To Tweet
Practical methods of Intention:
Folding the clothes and putting them away, even though I have 38477523 more loads to go.
Taking the time to hang up when I just changed my mind about wearing (again).
Not automatically saying, “Yes”, but “I’ll pray about it” instead.
And finally, the Intentional Question:
Is “I don’t have time to do this well” really code for, “I don’t want to do this”?.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ. ~Colossians 3:23-24, ESV
Yesterday, before my daughter left for her last semester in college (boo hoo hoo!), she poured a little dishwashing liquid out and intentionally gave the bottle an extra squeeze when setting it down.
Two tiny bubbles floated upwards towards the ceiling and she giggled, “I always do that, mom, cause I like to see the bubbles! You gotta look for the bubbles in life, ya know?”
And then, she intentionally unloaded and reloaded my dishwasher so I wouldn’t have to after she left.
What does that Scripture say – a little child shall lead them?
Sisters – I feel lead.
2016 is the year I’m going to improve my life by being Intentional. You can hold me to that.
(I know my people will.)
How about you? Does the word “intentional” resonate with you? Do you have a word for 2016? Let me know in the comments!
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