In our last article we talked about living intentionally in the busyness of life. (You can find that here) And while it’s always beneficial to evaluate what takes up room in your heart and drains energy and focus, sometimes you can’t help the distractions in your life. Maybe you’re a mom of small children. You can’t put them on hold while you go be intentional somewhere else. Maybe you have a demanding job and don’t have the option to make a change. There are many reasons why life can be taxing that don’t have anything to do with extra fluff.
So what do you do when your life has been reduced to the bare minimum and STILL you’re drained, distracted, and overwhelmed?
How do you live intentionally when life is just HARD? How do you remain focused when the obstacles you face seem more and more daunting every day?
Be intentional with what is in front of you. It’s important to grasp this concept, or else you could spend your whole life looking at an abstract future thinking “when I get to that stage of life…THEN I’ll be able to make a difference” or “there’s got to be more to this life than changing diapers or pretending to respect a horrible boss”.
When we see the mundane and ordinary moments as insignificant…..we’ve missed a great opportunity for growth
Each season is different. Each season has its joys and struggles. Don’t let illusive promises of future ease keep you from being faithful with what’s right in front of you.
Be willing to allow the direction of your day to change if a need arises. Maybe you had a super fun play date planned with other desperate moms (and their kids, of course) and when you’re about to get in the car to leave your child projectile vomits (What? Of course this has never happened to me….I’m speaking in hypotheticals here). Maybe you got to the office with a plan of action for your day and your boss comes in and completely vetos it (Again….it’s not like this has ever happened to me…). Maybe you’re super scheduled and organized and have your day mapped out and a friend calls and needs someone to talk to and ends up staying for like 6 hours.
When we get so focused on OUR to-do list and lose sight of other’s needs our hearts remain hardened instead of softened
Your natural self-protecting instinct is going to tell you to harden your heart. But it would be a shame to walk through your days like that. It would be a shame to waste opportunities to give freely to someone else, all the while gaining so much more than you’re giving.
These are lifetime kinds of mindsets. These habits won’t be perfected overnight. It takes being willing every day to lay down your own desires for the good of another. It’s not normal to live in such a way. It’s revolutionary and counter-cultural. It takes energy and focus to be intentional with what is right in front of you. It takes self-control and LOVE to lay down your goals and put another’s needs before your own. Especially when those needs belong to someone that is kind of hard to love (or respect) right then.
Do you have ways in which you live intentionally even when life is complicated?