Intentionally Intentional Successes and Fails

Remember when 2011 was fresh and new? Everyone was picking out a word for the year? The one I chose was INTENTIONAL.

Unlike New Year’s resolutions, I haven’t forgotten about my word. Whenever the Spirit nudges me to do something and I think I don’t have time/energy/money/fill-in-the-blank excuse, my word pops into my head. “Remember how you said you wanted to be more intentional in your relationships and spiritual growth?” Oh. Yeah. That. 

I’ve had quite a few successes in the intentional living department, but quite a few failures as well.

Intentional Living Success: Tri-State Spring Break Tour

Part of me was wanting to just hang out at home and vegetate…but I decided that I do too much of that already. Plus, I was already plagued by guilt because I hadn’t visited my parents’ home since January of last year (we’ve been together, just not at their house). So, I loaded up the kids and we drove over 1,000 miles in a week. We visited every immediate family member save two families, played dress-up with cousins, ate lunch with friends at my girls’ old school, got our toes “did” and played some “Just Dance 2” with my BFF, met my newest nephew (the furry one–bottom center) and my daughters got to experience the rite of passage that is “learning to drive on the farm” with their Pop. Was it an exhausting trip? Yes, but it was also refreshing, and I was glad that I took time to invest in relationships and make some memories.

Intentional Living Fail: Apple Pie

I made my dad an apple pie before we started on the Spring Break Tri-State Tour because, when I made one for his birthday, he went on and on about it. However, The Husband was a little jealous because I never make him pie (disclaimer: I didn’t even know he liked pie). I ended up driving away and leaving it in the fridge! Oh well…it ended up being partial win-win situation. My parents are on a low-carb diet and The Husband got to eat pie to his little heart’s content.  🙂

Intentional Living Success: Meals for Friends

Let’s face it: we love others through food…or at least that’s how it’s been done in my Southern family and countless Italian families through the years. I’ve been trying to be more conscious of the times when I could bring a meal or a dessert to others when they could use a little help and/or a visit. This weekend, I made a pot of beef stew (winter made a reappearance) and tried my hand at making Irish Soda bread. I thought the stew was going to be a fail (Note to Self: do not try to multitask while food is cooking), but it turned out very nice…and the bread was even delish. I delivered it to a very sweet older lady from church who just had knee surgery, and I got to visit their home for the first time. There’s just something about being in a person’s home that helps you get to know them a little better, know what I mean? I have a several  other food-related projects in the works for today (if I can make myself get off of the computer!)

Intentional Living Fail: House and Home

Just Hanging 🙂 by  mysza831.  Shared under a Creative Commons License.

I’ve been trying really, really hard to keep up with things on the home front, but it’s a never-ending battle–one that always seems to kick my hiney. I know nothing says “I love you” like having clean undies or ironed shirts or warm meals or clean toilets…but why do there never seem to be enough hours in a day? Why are there constant interruptions that leave me off-task? I’ve tried several different routines, but I haven’t found anything that works for me consistently without overwhelming me. It doesn’t help that, while on the Spring Break Tri-State Tour, my good friend (wife and mother of 4 with an always-immaculate house) tells me that she only does laundry once a week–5 loads and done! Maybe she meant to say 15 loads because that would make more sense. Her washing machine certainly doesn’t seem industrial sized, either! So, I’m taking the challenge to see how many loads it takes for me to get to the bottom of the baskets today. At any rate, I feel like a constant fail on the housework end of things. I have good intentions, but  intentions don’t do dishes or mop floors.

Intentional Living Success: Bible Reading

I am SO thrilled that I have been able to stick with the Bible in 90 Days reading plan. I’m in Revelation now! In literally hours I will be able to say that I have read the Bible from cover-to-cover and I’ve stretched and grown spiritually along the way. Score!

Intentional Living Fail: Grandparents

I have always tried to be good about writing to my grandparents (they don’t do internet and I’m not much of a phone talker). Sometimes I do well, sometimes I don’t. Much like my Compassion kids, I have to add letter-writing to my to-do list or days will pass with no action on my part. My grandmother (“Ma-Maw”) has always been the keeper of family history/stories. In the past couple of years, I have felt a certain urgency to get those stories recorded in some way before they are lost forever. I was inspired by Story Corps to do this, and I had even found a service that would allow me to record interviews through telephone lines. I planned to set aside one day each week to call Ma-Maw and interview her. Have I done it? Nope. Intentional Living Fail.

Intentional Living Success: Exercise

Let’s end this on a high note with a success! I had gotten really lazy and unmotivated to exercise and work on healthy living sometime after my 5K last fall. For years, I had done an at-home cardio workout called Turbo Jam with great success. When the new version–Turbo Fire–came out, I saved my hard-earned substitute teaching dollars and bought it. I have been trying to follow the workout schedule and I generally work out 5-6 times a week now. I need to work on my eating habits a little more, but I feel better knowing that I’m not being such a slacker on the activity end of things. By-the-by…Turbo Fire is not for the faint of heart (or knees)! It will make you sweat like spit-roasted pig. No joke!

So, has your one word stuck? Has it helped you focus this year? What have your one word successes and failures been?

This entry was posted in Contemplations, Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Intentionally Intentional Successes and Fails

  1. Hmmm…I didn’t have a word. I think that may be my problem. I’m being nudged a lot lately. This morning I’ve determined to do something about it. I need to make some changes and what better time to begin than now. I really enjoyed this post and your honesty. We always have both success and failure. It’s part of being human. Thank for taking the time to show us both. While we won’t be perfect, there are some things we can do better (intentionally – I like that!). This is a great post!

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  3. Shan says:

    I want copies of those stories when you get them.

  4. Jessica says:

    We are still rocking our word “Respect” in regard to our relationships around here. But I haven’t thought about it hard enough to decide if we’ve had calculable successes. Lol.

  5. Amy says:

    We don’t have a word. I hate going with the flow (of what everyone else is doing) I’ll get one after everyone has forgotten. Lol :-p

    Laundry. I do 2 loads 2 times a week and 3 loads on the 3rd day. What really helped us is to get rid of the extra clothes.

    I have been more intentional in loving my friend’s and family. Loving by going above and beyond. Loving by calling, by writing, by just taking a moment to stop.

    Loved this post. 🙂

    • Megan says:

      Update on the laundry: there’s NO WAY my friend only does 5 loads per week with 6 family members who are all involved in sweaty sports (therefore requiring multiple changings). No way. I have done 8 loads during the last two days. Maybe I was that far behind, but still….I think I will be down to the bottom of the barrel in one more load, then I will see how many I have to do next Wednesday to get a true representation. Everytime I try to get down to the bare necessities, we have some kind of crisis where I automatically wish I hadn’t gotten rid of them. (It’s not like we have a extraordinary amount of clothing, especially not me). We shall see.

      • I do a lot of laundry too. My husband always says I’m doing too much, but it’s dirty, so what am going to do with it? Wash it, that’s what! Seriously though, I must be doing something wrong.

  6. Carrie Hernandez says:

    Declutter! Working on it this week, with the help of my dear Mama! This too will help with the LOADS of laundry.

  7. Rebecca says:

    First, I just want to say, way to go 🙂 From what I can tell, you are doing pretty excellent.

    I didn’t choose a word for 2011. I have the last 3 years, and this year I thought about it, never felt moved to one word, and felt like if I did it it would be because its the thing to do. Having said that, I am keeping “intentional” in mind for next year. It is definitely something I (sporadically) try to be, but could definitely focus on more.

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