As 2019 begins, many will make resolutions and plans for the
year. A few years ago, I was challenged
to choose one word that would be set my vision for the year. That year my word was “dream.” I had forgotten what it was to have
dreams. I had become accustomed to just
getting by: one day at a time. I
recognized that I needed to dream again.
I needed to set my sights on something new and better in my life.
This year, I have two words.
The first word is “Hope”. Hope was the word given to me when I took a “Word
of the Year” quiz. I can always use
hope. The other word came to be a bit
more subtly. During my quiet time, I heard this word
whispered into my heart: “intention”. So,
in 2019 I will focus on living my life with hope and intention. How do I accomplish this?
First, I wanted to know what these two words mean. I found that they are very similar.
a determination to act in a certain
way : resolve
a feeling of expectation and desire
for a certain thing to happen.
desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim goal, plan, design
What does it mean live a life of intention and hope? Is it just setting goals or objectives and
wishing it all goes well? Choosing a
word (or words) each is year is different from resolutions. Resolutions seldom work because they are
based on the type of person I’m tired of being.
I focus on the negative and are expected to be “broken”. Instead, I want to focus on the person that God
wants me to become: the transformation process.
A wise friend of mine has pointed out that a person’s focus can
be found by reviewing their calendar and checkbook. We spend our time and money in the areas that
are the most important to us. I don’t
hesitate to keep my business appointments in my Outlook calendar. I have all kinds of bells and whistles to
remind me when to pay bills, when to get up, when to take medications, when appointments
are scheduled. So, why don’t I use these
same reminders for my personal life? If
I intend to spend more time in Bible Study, I should block out that time in my
calendar instead of saying I want to “read the Bible more”.
Because I want to be intentional about how I spend my time,
I need to be aware of my time, also. Much as I have to plan how to spend or same my
money, I need to do the same with my time.
I already know how much time I spend commuting to and from work, the
hours that I am in the office and how much sleep I need. I also know my basic commitments for church
and life group. That’s where my calendar
begins. I also know that I NEED to spend
time with my husband and my children as well as friends. It’s all too easy to say “we should get
together” and never actually do it.
Scheduling a date night with my spouse is an easy way to be sure we get
some quality time together. Instead of
waiting for one of the kids to call me or drop by, need
to put some time in my calendar to check in with each of them. If I am intentional about spending time with
my children every month, I will set appointments with each of them throughout
the month. It doesn’t have to be a huge
event, but I MUST decide to schedule and follow up on these times. The same thing goes for friends. I need to spend time with friends to keep me
grounded. Finding a convenient time for
both of you may take some work, but the effort is priceless.
While I’m being intentional with my time, I need to schedule
time to refill my own reserve. It’s not
only okay to take some alone time, it’s important to do so. I need to block off time each week for my “creative”
side to emerge. I need to release myself
to create. As a student, I spent a lot
of time practicing my music. As an
adult, I have been known to think of that time as a “waste”. But, I’ve learned that I need that time.
Does every moment have to be scheduled and every dollar
earmarked? No, definitely not. I want to be intentional with my life, not
controlling of every aspect. There is
also value in being spontaneous, flexible and generous. Calendars or the budgets
should never be your master, just helpful tools to guide you. When 2020 arrives, I want to look back at
2019 and not wonder where I spent my time and money. I want to know that I invested wisely in the
lives of my family and other around me.
So, the challenge for this year: Be Intentional with Hope. Don’t sulk because you haven’t received a
phone call from a loved one: CALL THEM
FIRST. Don’t wait for friends or family
to suggest a visit: INITIATE THE
SCHEDULE. Stop with the passive/aggressive
comments and just reach out to the ones you want to be near. Life is too short. Make the trip. Spend the time. Be intentional in 2019.
Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!
Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Ephesians 5: 11-17 MSG