My husband will tell you that my favorite word is any form of intenion//al/ality.
At some point in my early young adult years I crossed paths with people who knit intentionality into their days to the point that it was a lifestyle, and I desperately longed to fuse it into mine.
As I have, life has become fuller [with understanding, expectation, relationships, curiosity and the way I know God] and brighter [with hope and health and healing].
Many times though, it starts and ends with simple intention.
But someone once told me that intention is nothing without delivery.
I used to let that simmer in my gut for far too long, in a nasty way.
And now I disagree, 1000% (unless we’re speaking to things like getting the dishes done).
Our good, tender, knows-us-intimately, Father also knows the nature and place of our heart and our moments. He gets us, even when we don’t get ourselves in the “what is happening in my life” times…He knows our intention. When we live with Him, He becomes our intention, He carries it and holds it for its right time. He reveals our intention and makes it into a likeness that is fitting for our now. He uses our intention, when rooted in Him, for good.
As I’ve (been forced and sometimes chosen) to let my guard down this week, I’ve had a lot of time to think on this and bury the nasty.
I’ve intended to spend more quality time with my son before his “brubber” comes. I’ve intended to unpack all the boxes in our new home and enjoy the nesting process in these last few weeks. I’ve intended to fuel my body well with home-nourished and cooked meals as we prepare for G’s arrival. I’ve intended to be productive and work extra hard for my home-based business so that when G does come I can “slow down” in that department. I’ve intended to kindle new friendships and be present for those I know are in the thickets too. I’ve intended to send Christmas cards and handwritten notes to all the loved ones. I’ve intended to respond to the myriad of people who have reached out and been present to us, which means more than words can spill, even when they have their own stuff going on.
I have intended.
And life has happened.
And I am a human.
And there is grace.
And He is using this time.
I’ve had to whisper these sweet-everythings to myself the last week as feelings of guilt and insignificance and doubt have crept in.
I have said things like, this is horrible timing. This is not what I need. This isn’t what I wanted December to look like. And it has, in all my flesh, felt that way in many loud moments.
It is so easy to listen to all the voices of the world. High on opinions and self-righteousness and the I just have your best interest in mind’s and questioning until the sun-rises. It is exhausting living to dutifully please them or seek their adoring words and match standards that I never set in the first place.
So I’ve had to stop doing that.
I’ve had to be couch-ridden and live on leftovers from kind friends, guzzling down all the liquids and snuggling my sick son with screen time given in…and in that space, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my favorite time of year.
Christmas is magic to me, and I have wept like a baby that this Christmas is everything it should be.
And not in the manner of presents all wrapped, and carols on repeat, and cookies in the oven, and parties attended (in fact, most have-to my demise-been cancelled), and Christmas movies before bedtime and fires roasting with toasty stockings.
Though I love all of those things, you know it-and I know it… meaning gets misplaced and missed completely for so many and so easily in this Christmas season.
My intentions have led me to humility and remembrance and a gathering of sorts, of the most tender places of my heart.
The magic of Christmas is the slow down, and the restful surrender. It is the reminder of what waiting in hopeful anticipation actually is. And that waiting is birthing something beautiful. It is the undoing of all my human weakness, carrying me to the “It is done for you” gift that I never deserved.
It is, as my pastor put so well the other day, the distance between my reality and my expectation.
Goodness, that hope came as skin and flesh and bones of a baby. If that doesn’t shake you to your core with life and promise, I don’t know what can. Have you ever stopped to think about that?
He came ALIVE so that we could live–really live– alive…even in our undoing.
And I am undone.
I am no longer fastened to people-pleasing and the non-essential. I am not tied to the go-go-go pace that life on earth screams. I am unraveled from the material and I’m set apart from unrealistic expectation of people…and instead I am a big ball of mess sitting tangled up in JOY in the hands of my Maker who came as a literal baby to breathe child-like-freedom and “I got you” into my needy heart and days.
This little family of mine is growing. And we intend to live our lives full in His love.
But we know that life will happen–because it does happen–and in that, we rest in the gift of grace.
We rest in the fact that He is good, always.
We hope you give yourself the space to do the same.
So as the magic of Christmas continues to dawn, live with the intention to gather as much as you can in the form of presence beyond the presents.
Merry Christmas to you and yours in a mug full of love.
(On a side: I’m going to go get my son from his (oops, morning) nap that his snotty, temper-tantrum morning self begged for and pray that it didn’t mess up his long-nap-in-the-afternoon schedule that people say is best at his age…or is it when He’s sick? Ha…the mamahood high horse, I promise to never ride into your space)