Have you ever tried to get your child’s attention when you need him to hear you?
You’re crying, “Look at my eyes! Look at my eyes!” (as he looks everywhere but into your eyes)
When their eyes are not focused on ours, their attention is elsewhere. They don’t hear our instruction. They miss the importance of what we’re trying to say.
Isn’t this a wonderful example of how you can go through your day? Your eyes are focused on so many different things – to the point that you miss the importance of what is needing your attention right in front of you.
What pulls your eyes away from the most important things?
What draws your heart away from the relationships in your life?
What drains your time so that you’re spent and unable to focus?
These are good questions to ask as you evaluate what it looks like to live an intentional life.
Are you maxed out with so many extra curricular activities that you aren’t able to spend any time together as a family in the evenings and on weekends? Are you using social media as a means of mental escape? Do you find it easier to allow yourself to get lost in your work than to interact with your spouse and children?
So what do you do when you’re overly committed, overwhelmed, and overly distracted?
A focused heart. You don’t have to say yes to every request for your time and attention. When you slow down and only assign a few tasks to your day, you are able to better handle any problems that arise.
Aim for quality of output vs. quantity of workload
When Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings said “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread” I think he was describing how every parent feels. When you are not going at max capacity you can better appreciate all the little moments in your day that give you reason for gratitude, joy, peace, kindness, and hope.
An open heart.It’s amazing what you can miss when you’re zooming through your day at lightening speed. When you rob yourself of intentional focus, you then live in a state of distraction with your eyes focused everywhere but on what actually matters.
Living intentionally pulls your eyes back to what is most important and doesn’t let you get sidetracked by inconsequential things.
And you know what? It’s inconvenient to live that way. It’s sticky, and messy, and there’s great potential for hurt as you open yourself up to relationships around you; especially with your kids and spouse. But what blessings come when you live with a heart wide open instead of closed up because you’re just too busy to deal with other people.
Don’t try this alone!!
Accountability is so important. Being willing to be vulnerable and share where your struggles lie in this area will give opportunity for huge growth. Relationships are worth the struggle it takes. Get into a Bible study where you have meaningful time set aside to share in each other’s lives. Plan a weekly play date with other moms. Have people into your home for coffee or dinner. And when it gets hard, don’t give up.
What are ways that you stay intentional in your day to day life?