At the beginning of the year, I picked a word of the year for the very first time. I always wondered why people chose one word, because how did they decide? And then somewhere around the first week of January, a word hit me and it was so obvious it was from the Lord that I tucked it into my heart and have carried it in my mind ever since.
My word was Intention. It meant that this year my family would no longer just survive — we would THRIVE. And it would start with me being intentional.
As I sat down to write down some words for you guys today, I realized that one of the biggest ways I’ve learned how to be intentional is by being grateful.
When I am slowing down my mind so that I can be intentional with my actions, words, heart, I do so by doing one important thing first. I look around me and find things I’m grateful for in that very moment. The sun, the birds, the cluttered house, the heart beating, the breath. Once I focus on that gratitude, I notice something happening.
It’s as if all the things around me start to rise up. They start to fill the room. Fill my soul. And they rise higher than my stress level. And that gratitude takes form and begins to shape my thoughts and actions. Suddenly, I’m intentional.
I’ve become intentional with my husband, my children, my work, my diet, my sleep, my friendships and even my self-care. I can’t even tell you what a life-changing thing this has been for me (I highly recommend it).
I have gone years with huge life struggles, and I know what it’s like to feel as though “being intentional” is a luxury only people with an easy life get to do. I get it, I do. I “survived” for a long time with that belief system, but it held me back so much. I definitely wasn’t thriving.
Only did I start to thrive when I took a hold of the things God had laid out on a platter before me saying, “Here, my daughter, take this life, take me, and soar,” and realized I had the choice to make things different in my mind. My revelation was that my perspective really could be God’s perspective. And it wouldn’t take all that much effort on my part. In fact, it took surrender and an easy trade.
God’s perspective is that I’m worthy of a peaceful, joy-filled life. And that I deserve to head in that direction and keep going until I find it, or I find Him. He wanted to do it, to change my perspective. I need only take the platter from Him – full of His gifts – and give Him my plate – full of burdens and suffering. The easy trade.
Have you ever thought about living an intentional life? Do you use gratitude as the catalyst for change in your life?
I would love to hear your stories!
By Arianne, of Mabel + Riv