1.Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom who loves to connect with people, craft, and explore with my family. Before staying at home, I was a 1st grade teacher for 7 years and LOVED seeing those little Firsties learn and grow their first full-on year of school. I also have a love for music (singing and playing guitar) and the great outdoors. Just about every summer for the last 6 years, my husband and I have planned a backpacking trip exploring everywhere from the Shenandoah Valley to Yosemite, CA!
When I’m not chasing after my cutie patootie ,energetic one-year-old little girl, I’m usually planning my next Teachers Pay Teachers lesson (to stay connected with the classroom in some way!) or helping to plan the next church event with my girlfriends.
2.What does intentional living mean to you?
Intentional living to me means living with purpose and direction. It means planning and focusing my time and effort in a specific area, in a specific direction.
For me, I have a great desire to follow God’s leading in my life and reach out to others so they can experience His love too. Intentionality for this situation means devotions daily to stay connected to Christ, time spent seeking His will through prayer, planning events that fall into my goals in this area, and surrounding myself with people who have some of the same passions I do.
Intentional living also means writing down my goals and aspirations. I realize that if I don’t write my plans down, they just don’t happen. After all, A goal not written is only a wish!
3.What are the benefits to living intentional?
The benefits are that I won’t just float through this life without any purpose or direction. When you live intentionally I believe you’re less likely to watch your days go by and wonder “what did I do with my day? what did I do with my LIFE!?”
4.Have there been some challenges for you along the way?
It’s embarrassing in some ways to admit, but I did have a hard time getting rid of my shoes and clothes, in the process of simplifying our lives and cutting back. I think I also tend to be more of a “we might need that someday” person than Nick is. It was eye-opening for me to see that simplifying also meant being resourceful, by using what you own and not taking what you don’t need.
So I definitely had some struggles in letting go and shifting my thinking from what I had been used to.
5.What ways were you not able to live intentionally in the past?
In the past I’ve always had general goals that I wanted to do, God-willing, but lacked the part where I aligned those passions and goals with my life. I still like to “go with the flow” but I feel that God was calling me to take a serious look at life and think to myself, “What would I want to look back on my life and see? What does God have planned for me?”.
I think back to the year before I was married, when I first started teaching. I often wonder, now where did all of that money go?!?! I imagine what I could’ve done with it if I were on an organized/intentional budget…savings, giving, etc.
So a good rule of thumb for me is to say, “in 10 years what will I think of this decision? Will I wish I’d done anything differently?”.
6.What does intentional living look like in your life today? What are you passionate about?
Honestly, I’m still figuring out how to line up my core values with my lifestyle, but I am learning to be more focused. Focused Intensity/Time x God = Momentum (Focused Intensity over Time multiplied by God equals Momentum). I’m learning to embrace boundaries with my time as well as financial, relational and more! This means that I’m scheduling more (still allowing myself flexibility) and planning out my week’s work ahead of time (it’s like lesson planning all over again!).
Currently I’m passionate about:
*God – Sharing Christ’s love with others is something I feel we’ve all been called to do. If you knew about an amazing treasure or better way to live and didn’t share it with me, I wouldn’t consider you a very good friend at all. Besides that, I’ll bet that treasure would become worthless if you kept it to yourself and were selfish with it. I want to share what Christ has done in my life so that we can share in the joy together! God is still working on my heart to show me if there’s an overall ministry He has in mind for me, but for now I’m trying to take the day to day tasks and live each day for Him. I’m working on that contentment. One day at a time, sweet Jesus!
*Family – Family is such a huge part of my life and I delight in quality time with them. Being with family is just one of those things that fills me up and rejuvenates my soul!
*Creating – I love creating lessons for teachers/kids that will elevate their characters as well as make learning fun. This has become my second job next to being a full-time Mom. I also really enjoy crafty things like sewing, baking (I consider baking a craft, because it tends to be experimental with me), and gift giving!
*Healthy Living – I go through stages of my life where I’m super committed and focused when it comes to eating well and exercising and when I’m not in that stage (I have a serious weakness for chocolate and peanut butter…hello Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!) I often find myself wanting to be back there. Healthy Living goes beyond just eating well and exercising and is about living a balanced life- Physically, Mentally, Spiritually and Social/Emotionally. I love to be outside in the fresh air, especially if the sun is shining, and I know that I feel best when I am eating whole foods (and an occasional Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Cup! Ha!).
*Simplifying – This has been a recent passion of mine and has completely changed my outlook on life. When we decided to cut back on our possessions and obligations, it really allowed us to focus our time and energy on our other passions. I’m still working on contentment, but have found that less is definitely more when it comes to stuff!
*Being Resourceful/ Green Living – There is something so gratifying for me about making something healthier and cheaper than what I could buy in the store! I really enjoy making our own laundry detergent, deodorant, “shampoo”, face wash, all-purpose cleaners and more. It’s assuring for me to know what exactly is going into our cosmetics and cleaners, especially with our curious little tot on the move.
7.What are some practical suggestions for those wanting to live more intentionally?
Don’t delay, start today!
I’ve found it really helpful to know that it’s ok to take baby steps, and that someday those baby steps will turn into big leaps toward your goal once compounded. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed when I see the BIG picture and I have to tell myself one day at a time, one little step at a time. So I simply ask myself “what’s the next right step for me, right now?”. Then I do it. After that I go on to the next.
Let’s say that you’re wanting to simplify and cut back on your possessions. Map out a plan to sort through each room or section, and take those steps one at a time. Clean out that drawer or cupboard. Don’t forget to celebrate the accomplishment you’ve made!
You want to become Vegetarian but think it’s too big of a leap all at once for your family? Start by adding a salad at every lunch or a green smoothie with your morning breakfast, then work into a “Meatless Monday”. Pretty soon you will reach your goal!
It’s really the little steps towards your overall goal that make the biggest difference.