I heard a quote somewhere before and it goes like this:
"Direction, not intention, determines your path."
It's a simple statement but one that's really hit me between the eyes as of late, especially when it comes to relationships. Specifically, I'm thinking of my husband and kids.
My intention, of course, is to always love them, have them know that I love them and to always be a source of encouragement in their walks with God. My intention is to have a family who loves God completely and to allow Him to use me as a tool for that to happen. My intention is to have kids who are influential, hard working members of society who have a passion for things that are just and, above all, that they would love God and love others. These are the things I dream about when I think of my family and my hope of what we'll be.
But my intention isn't what gets me there. It's the every day choices I make that determines the direction I'm headed.
I have to ask myself, have I been heading toward this direction with the way I've parented my kids so far?
Has God been a part of our every day so that He's naturally a part of their every day when they're away from me?
Have I spent time with them that is full of both quantity and quality?
Do I allow them to just be themselves and engage in their worlds rather than expecting them to join me in my own?
Have I exposed them to seeing needs around them or (I'm waiting for the gasps on this one!) even allowed them to be needy by not stepping up and providing for them but allowing God to answer their prayers instead?
Have I been sensitive to the needs of my family and truly sacrificed and worked to ensure that they feel loved and supported?
You see, of course my intention is to have all of these things be a part of our normal lives. But when the calendar gets full and dinner is going and kids are wailing and the phone is ringing and there is work to be done at every corner I turn, it's very easy to pop on the TV and not fully engage again until we say a quick prayer before bedtime and possibly read a story or two.
The choices I've been making as a mom are choices that benefit me. I'm getting my day's work done, but at whose expense? I'm answering emails and calls and making sure that photos are edited even earlier than the deadline I told my clients but it takes two or three times for my daughter to say my name before I turn away from my task to dress her Barbie. When was the last time I sat and played Barbies? Or built Legos? Or turned a movie on to snuggle in and relax together rather than checking off my to-do list in the hour and a half of time it allows?
One of the things we've made for this December is a step in the direction we're trying to go. We have made December a "no game month." This simply means that computer games and phone games and Ipad games aren't an option...for any of us. Even for me, I'm allowing myself to check email, respond to what I need to, and, if I do much of anything else, I will write a blog about my family. The people who are headed on this journey with me.
Hopefully, I'll have lots to write about playing dress-up, playing board games, coloring and running around outside. And hopefully in this little step, it will lead to another little step and then another and another...until I'm completely intentional with the direction of our course.
How about you? How does this relate to your work? Relationships? Leave a comment because I'd love to know who else is with me on this!