1. the fact of being deliberate or purposive.

This word has been in my head for the last few days. Maybe it should be my word for the (rest of the) year? Maybe for next year too? There were a few things that highlighted the word ‘intentionality’ to me over the last week.

Last Thursday I had a video call with a friend/leader from church. We’ve caught up a couple of times since I did a course with church in the first part of this year. Basically she wants to help me to find my purpose and grow and reach my potential – all of which is really encouraging. Since the last time we chatted I’ve done quite a few questionnaires and ‘tests’ to work out what my values and gifts are. When we were chatting about those my friend was asking how I was going to make sure that these things were prioritised in my life.

Over the last few years I’ve been working out lots about who I am as a person and what is important to me but this conversation really made me realise that I need to prioritise certain things in my life and not feel bad about making time for them. By a process of elimination I had worked out what my most important values are and then we talked about how I could make sure I have these things in my life. My top five values are love, connection, adventure, growth and making a difference.

More wisdom from Bob Goff on Instagram

This post popped up on my Instagram and made me think again about intentionality. It’s really helpful to think about it this way. In the past it’s been easy for me to have my identity defined by what I do/did rather than the other way around. Who am I? Who do I want to be?

On Sunday morning we had some input from Bill Johnson from Bethel Church, Redding CA. during our online service. A story he told made me think about this again. He said there are three redwood trees behind his house and they each drink 40 to 50 gallons of water a day. They had a drought a few years ago and he was saying that during that time no one would resent the trees for drinking their 50 gallons of water because that’s what they were created to do. He said “It’s not selfish to behave as we were designed to be.” “Our responsibility is to discover what we were designed for.”

Sometimes I feel guilty about spending time on things like adventure and connection because they’re not things that bring in money or particularly benefit my family in any way. When I think of myself in the same way as the trees though it puts a different slant on this. If this is who I’m created to be then I need these things in my life to grow and flourish. Isn’t that enough reason to be intentional about prioritising them?

What are your thoughts about intentionality? Is it important to prioritise things that are important to you even if they don’t seem to benefit anyone else? I’d love to hear your opinions.


13 thoughts on “Intentionality

  1. I like the idea that it’s not selfish to be who we were destined to be! Now if only someone could help me discern who I was destined to be! I am learning to put myself first when I realize that doing so doesn’t create a loss for another, and sometimes even choosing to do so even if it means another might be unhappy with me doing so. I’m only now learning that I have the same rights to take care of myself as others do! Good luck on this journey, my friend!

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    1. That’s the hard part right? Who was I destined to be? I’m glad you’re also taking more care of yourself now. You deserve to be taken care of. Thank you my friend. Same to you.


  2. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be of use to anyone else. But then, you have t9 wonder when individual needs aren’t great for the populace at large. I think it depends on the what the individual needs/wants and how it affects others

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  3. I never really understood the meaning of “finding your purpose,” (maybe because I haven’t found mine yet). I think life itself is a purpose. You find new purposes every day and you might lose some in the way!

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  4. In order to love others we have to be able to love ourselves first. I am in a recovery program, and there is a part of the program that is selfish, but there is also the part that we get what we put into it. This means helping others. I had to completely relearn myself at the age of 40. All my likes, and dislikes we wrapped up in 21 years of marriage is some else’s dreams that were not mine. I think God intended us to find our strengths. We can’t be of use to anyone if we don’t know our right hand from our left. I have leaned I can say no to things, and have boundaries in my life. If I need a day I take a day. It is not selfish. I am no good to anyone if I can’t function properly. I don’t know if this made any sense. Thanks for sharing! 💜 Lisa

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      1. All I know is I only have today. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised. So I live very much in the moment. I can look at my past with a glance, if I stare too long it will catch me up. Future tripping is also no good for me. I have to trust my unknown future to a very known God. That being said that does not mean I don’t make plans weeks out, I just try hard to keep my life as simple as possible “one day at a time”. 💜 I am going with the older me now a little wiser, making the very best of the days God gifts me that are left here on earth. At first starting over at 40 seemed defeating, but in actuality it was very exciting. I found all these new likes, hobbies, and passions. I could have never done that had I not been forced to endure the pain of what was, and move on with what is. It was not a fun time in my life, a lot of grieving came with it. I certainly knew if I ever were to remarry what I prayed for in a man. That was a huge thing for me. I married at 20, and of course thought it was until death do we part. That is not how all the story went though. So yeah I am better for all of the pain which for me began at a very young age. God has always been faithful to be there for me through it all. It was just up to me to willing to accept His help 💜😊.

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