Intentionally Intentional

In high school, I kept a journal of sorts; mostly because I enjoyed decorating the cover. I had been deeply hurt by someone close to me in my younger years when they discovered a journal in which I had scrawled my deepest thoughts and frustrations.  I was humiliated and disgraced for having written those things down, so after that I didn’t write down much of what I was thinking.  I took time to write inspiring quotes I came across, Bible verses I wanted to remember, hilarious things my friends’ said, but the one thing I regularly took time to write was a list of goals.  I would draw out columns and write my goal, how I planned to accomplish it, and then a blank column to write about my success of the goal. They related to grades, friendships, sports… nothing life-altering, but kept me on track.  I am a list girl, and there is something so satisfying to me about making check marks.  Like seriously, yes, I add extra things to my list that I’ve already done, just to cross them off.

One day, sitting in science class, another teacher happened to see me doodling in my journal, and asked if he could take a look at what I was doing.  After flipping through the pages, he said something that has stuck with me into adulthood.  He told me to always keep writing down my goals; that people who write their goals are the people who achieve them,

In a life of keeping up with kids, jobs, extracurricular activities, a home, church, writing, and a medical conditional of the energy-sucking, strength-gobbling, painful, discouraging variety, it is easy to find myself caught in a tumble-dry cycle of surviving the day to day ordinary that must be done to keep the wheel turning.  I remember in the aftershock of losing Ellie, thinking I never again wanted to rush my children to bed, turn down a request to read them a book, or make them wait to tell me something. I never wanted to miss a moment and risk having regret… but then, at that time I didn’t know life would continue to throw big, life-changing waves in my course. I didn’t know I would face days of having nothing left to give.

 In these days of new and refining challenges, I am finding it more important than ever to intentionally create moments that etch lasting, joyful memories in the hearts of my little people… in a way, a “list of goals,” to make sure I am taking the time to stop and pause these instants that are but a breath, and yet, such a lifetime.

This summer we decided to starts making a bucket list for each season.  There are always a number of things that we eagerly look forward to with the changing of the weather, and so we sit and brainstorm a mess of ideas, our hearts pounding and our mouths racing as we blurt out all the “must-do’s” that we can dream into being, and somehow plop them into an organized  guide to help us remember to slip these extraordinary moments into our ordinary days.

Summer Bucket 2015
Were there days I messed it up?  Days I was too tired or too weak or too scheduled to follow through with what we thought our day would look like? You bet.  But we didn’t quit.  We kept pecking away at that list, even to the very hems of the Autumn weather, and eventually each idea that sprayed across excited lips became a time and a place, a memory that took shape and engraved all sights and smells and emotions across the planks of our remembrance.

Let’s remember to be intentional.  Make a list, set a goal! Don’t wait until tragedy to start living like you mean it.  Make moments, make memories, make an impact.  Even something as simple as chasing down the ice cream truck is taking back space in a heart that needs it. Take back those spaces, push out the fear, and the struggle, and the pain, and replace it with a moment of delight.  Those memories? They’re forever.

And now… a little photo dump of our summer….

My biggest, picking from the garden!
Sunscreen all around!

Egg Yolk Tattoos

PJ’s all day!  Which may have been…. staying in bed all day?

Camp out!

Beach face?

Homemade pizza!

Ok, hugging a wookie wasn’t exactly on the list, but you have to admit that’s one for the books 😉

Next up….FALL!!!!! What’s on your bucket list?!

Please leave me a comment, it lets me know you’re listening!

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