All Spring, I have watched our beautiful Robins build their nests for upcoming chicks. All day, one twig at a time, they build that nest. The male watches out for predators and danger while the female gathers the sticks and twigs and builds and builds. They never cease. They are quite intentional. They know the purpose for the day and set out to achieve it.
I often think about animals when pondering the meaning of being intentional. Purposeful. Skillful. Meaningful. Noticing. That is what I want to be. Wake up with my purpose at the forefront of my to-do list. Skillful at directing my hand to do the things that affirm my purpose. Meaningfully communicate with every word that I speak. And, notice all that is around me...without distractions of the dailiness of life.
When I first set out on my journey toward intentionality, I didn't actually know what I was desiring. I knew I wanted my life to be simpler. I wanted to have less distractions. I wanted to be less materialistic and more minimal. I desired to live with a patient heart, joyful eye and true intent. As I researched more and learned from others, what I finally learned is that what I really wanted was to live with intention. Leaving nothing to chance or accident. I now call it Intentionalism. Living with intention in all I do. From my morning routine to the schedule I keep with my five children, to minimizing technology to eating a whole and natural diet. I want the things that I am doing to enter with purpose and leave with intended result.
Last year I lost my dad, three years after losing my mom. He lived with us and went through his last months here in our home with Hospice guiding us along. My dad was one of those people. You know, one of the ones you remember. He lived his life meaningfully. He wanted to be a great husband and a wonderful father. And he achieved both of those goals. He was only 75 years old. However, his 75 years were lived with purpose and love and kind words. I learned so much from him...especially from his last months. He didn't have time to alter his life's mission. He didn't have time to turn it all around and change how he spoke to people and how his hands were used. He only had time to ponder upon that which he had lived. How he had lived. I was blessed to see a man who had no regrets take his last breath. This is how I want to live. With intent. With purpose. With meaning. With no regrets. And I believe it needs to start now.