Intentional Living – a 21 day challenge

I’ve been thinking a lot about intentional living lately. Most of it probably stems from the upcoming guest blog series, “May”keover Month, which focuses on ways to be intentional in your shepherding routine with children (tune in to Shepherd My Child this May for the series)! As a result, I’ve found I’ve become more intentional in trying to “educate” Shaan again (we’ve developed “themes” with our toys where I work in applicable worksheets, puzzles, reading, math, etc. – read more about this on our family blog here). Tonight, I was thinking more about myself and things I want to change about me. Two things came to mind – a physical thing (my posture) and a spiritual thing (my prayer life).

Let me explain…

Being a stay-at-home-mom (for me) is glorious and fulfilling, but also equally exhausting and overwhelming. Caring for and thinking about another human being 24 hours a day takes its toll. You can see it in my posture. As of lately, my husband has taken to calling me “the hunchback of Notre Dame.” His sense of humor is so annoying…I mean, endearing! Ha! I carry the exhaustion in my shoulders and, therefore, I “schlump.” It’s ugly. And, honestly, it probably makes me feel even more “schlump-y” and overwhelmed. But it’s a bad habit that has crept up, and now I need to work on fixing it or you can call me “Quasimodo” in a few years:

Here’s another one – my prayer life. God has really been talking to me about my prayer life lately. He wants more, and I need more. Specifically, I need more “intentional” prayer for our family. Rather than praying for things as they creep up in our day-to-day or even thanking God for the everyday things, I feel like God has been telling me to be more proactive in finding a daily quiet time to set aside time to pray for things in the future (like Shaan’s future school and teachers, or his future spouse). Or, to be more deliberate in praying for general things (such as Shaan’s salvation). I’ve read a really great book called “The Power of a Praying Parent” and I am reading another great book called “Praying the Scriptures for Your Children,” but the problem with books is that I read them, love them, and forget a lot of stuff in them or don’t work it into my daily routine after the fact. God is telling me to GET ORGANIZED/GET INTENTIONAL with my prayers, and He’s really put some stuff on my heart that may eventually make itself into a daily devotion/prayer aid for our family. If it does, and if it really helps me, I promise to pass it along.

So, where does the 21 day challenge come in? I think it’s probably a myth, but there is a lot of stuff on the Internet about how bad habits can be changed in 21 days (more recent research says it probably takes more like 66 days on average to change a bad habit, but I like 21 days because that places the end of my challenge at Mother’s Day 2013 if I start this evening). I am challenging myself to try and break some bad habits as it relates to posture and prayer over the next few weeks.

I want to be more deliberate and my physical bad habit should be easy enough to fix if I think about it over the next 21 days. My spiritual one may be a little harder, but I trust God will give me the grace I need to take it to the next level. We’ll see where I land by Mother’s Day. What about you? Do any of you have anything you want to focus on with me over the next 21 days?

Can be physical or spiritual, or neither or both!

Drink more water? Drink less wine? Exercise more? Eat less? Pray more? Worry less? Read the Bible more? Complain less? Compliment more? Yell less? Sleep more? Spend less?

Whatever it may be, I encourage you to take the 21 day challenge with me and work towards making “small steps” to break our bad habits! May certainly is a great time for a “May”keover, after all! :)

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