That's my one word for 2014. My goal for the year.
I want to be intentional with the things that I do. With the way that I spend my time. With the words that I choose.
I want to be intentional with the time I spend with my family. I've been reading some from Hands Free Mama (link to come) and what she has to say has really resonated with me. I do not want Ella to know me as a distracted mom who must always have her phone, laptop, iPad, or schoolwork out. The things I do and the people I connect with on there pale in comparison to her and her Daddy. They are the two most important people in my life and I will be intentional about being 100% present with them when we're together. I will cut out those distractions and intentionally find other times to take care of those obligations.
I know that it is impossible to be 100% 100% of the time though, so I want to be intentional about giving myself down time. Time to read, study, pray, or just veg out sans guilt because I know that to be the person my family needs, I need this.
I want to be intentional about the way Brandon and I handle our finances and the way we give of what we have. I have had a very hands-off approach to this in our marriage to date, mostly because Brandon best knows what income he can reasonably expect from gigs and students who may or may not pay for their lessons. I need to shoulder more of the management burden and find ways to intentionally give what God has put on my heart to give.
I want to be intentional about the way I do my job and the amount of time it takes outside of my contract hours. Any teacher can tell you that it is near impossible to get everything done to be a good teacher inside of the workday. Music teachers (even elementary music teachers who don't have competitive ensembles like me) are actually expected to work beyond their contracted time. Truth be known, much of that "off-contract" time, especially when my students are performing, for me is the most fun and most joyful part of my job. But there are other parts, tons of planning, grades, more planning, meetings, phone calls, planning, paperwork, etc that end up happening after school or in the evenings or on weekends. I want to be intentional about how much time I allow those things to take up and how I manage my time while working on them.
There are other areas that I want the word intentional to permeate as well.
Housework - Brandon and I regularly admit that we are "dumb"esticated when it comes to caring for our home. We're making small strides but I hope to do more.
Dates - Yeah, we've had two since Ella was born. Our 4th anniversary and our 5th.
Words - This could be an entire post on its own. I'm tired of platitudes and empty Christian-y sayings. "Blessed" is one of those words. I think it is overused and misconstrued to the point that its meaning is watered down in the best of situations and hurtful in the worst. If I say God has blessed me with a beautiful family, health, and home, to some that implies that He is withholding that blessing from others. I don't believe that and that would never be my implication but there are brothers and sisters who have been deeply wounded by words and thoughts such as this. I want to be extra thoughtful and intentional about the words I choose.
So there you have it. My word for 2014. Intentional. I will be intentional about who I am and what I do. And above all I want to intentionally share the love of my Savior with those around me.
Happy New Year!