To Be Intentional Doesn’t Mean To Do More (freedom of intentionality)

“All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you,” Gandolf the Grey, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I want to steward well the time God has given me. Yet too often it seems as if every second is prefilled for me. Work, children’s events, doctor visits, laundry, dishes, house to clean, bills to pay, baths to give or showers to take, meals to make….

The list of to-dos seems exhaustive. And at the end of each day I’m left wondering if I’m doing anything that really matters.

Be Intentional

Wanting More

This year, I purposed to gain some freedom from my to-do list. But to do so, I need to be intentional with what fills my minutes, my hours—to place more priority on the important over the urgent. I need to pay more attention to do what will mean the most to those I love, including God, myself, and my family.

Being intentional about what we should address and what we should put aside each day is not easy because the urgent things scream for attention. They flash neon colors until you notice and act.

But they are not always the things we should be noticing and acting on …. at least not the first things. They are often not what we value most or deem most important. But they grab our attention for two reasons.

  1. They are loud and brassy.
  2. They are easier to attend to then what we should be doing.

Certainly, there are times when the urgent requires us to act (a child who needs our attention, a health concern). Often though, those things that beg for our time could wait if we could just tune them out.

That requires intentionality.

Life Is Short, Be Intentional

Psalm 90:12 suggests we are to number our days carefully, to be wise with the time we have.

“Teach us to number our days carefully
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Psalm 90:12

That means we should consider what fills our days and purposely put the important over the urgent.  My “importants” include

  • spending time with God in prayer
  • spending time in the Word
  • exercising and eating healthier
  • protecting family time
  • making time for friends
  • carving out time to minister and reach out to others

I plan out when they’ll get done before each day starts; otherwise, they don’t get done. The urgent will once more win out, like it did with me the first couple months of the year:

After deciding intentionality would be my focus word for the year, my Bible time decreased dramatically for a short while because the urgency of packing my daughter’s lunch or  scrolling through my Facebook feed grabbed my attention. And my sleep still takes the brunt of all the fires I try to put out or the squirrels I chase.

Do What Matters Most

The goal of being intentional is not to do more or to nail perfection, but to do the things that matter the most. For me, that’s all about serving God and my family and advancing the Kingdom by reaching others with the hope He offers.

The goal of being intentional is not to do more or to nail perfection, but to do the things that matter the most. Click To Tweet

When reflecting on your life, what things are important to you? Are you achieving them now? If not, maybe inserting a little intentionality into your days will help.

Our days on earth are fleeting, so let’s not simply stay busy doing. There’s no freedom in that. Instead, let’s stay busy doing those things that really matter and replace overwhelm and frustration with satisfaction and a feeling of purpose.

Because our days on earth are fleeting, let's not simply stay busy doing. Let's stay busy doing those things that really matter. Click To Tweet

Interruptions will happen, we will miss goals. Being intentional doesn’t prevent that. But it does help us get back on track, making the most of each inches-long day we’ve been gifted, all for God’s glory. 

Lord, make me aware of my end
and the number of my days
so that I will know how short-lived I am.
In fact, you have made my days just inches long,
and my life span is as nothing to you.
Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah
Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow.
Indeed, they rush around in vain,
gathering possessions
without knowing who will get them.
Psalm 39:4-6

Fleeting Life Prayer - a vapor

Lord, thank You for each of our lives. Even though it is fleeting, a mere vapor really, You’ve endowed it with purpose. Help us to be intentional about living out the life You have for us, to steer clear from distractions and stay the course You’ve plotted. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen. 

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

4 comments on “To Be Intentional Doesn’t Mean To Do More (freedom of intentionality)
  1. Thank you Julie. Blessings IN Jesus Christ!

  2. Julie: We all need to be more aware of what is important in our daily lives. Thank you for the reminder, Peace and blessings to you and yours.

  3. Julie Sunne says:

    Hi Cecelia! It’s always a blessing when you comment, and you’re welcome.

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