HABITS vs. INTENTIONALITY

Hey friends, how are you today? How was your weekend? Spring continues to ‘spring’ in our neck of the woods although it’s still a bit chilly.  The neighbor’s yard is filled with the vibrant colors of yellows, whites, and purples of the tulips as they bloom.  

The squirrels are busy as they ‘squirrel’ away their stash of fresh food or sometimes, they are so loud as they quarrel with each other because their stash is now a bit smaller than the next friend.  

The birds chirp, early each morning, to remind us to spend time with the Lord.  They share with each other the beauty in the sights of their travels.  They tell each other of the greatness and mercy of God. They warn each other, as the day breaks with dark, dreary, gloomy clouds, against the busy that may be brought on by anxiousness of the future.  They remind each other of their Great and Mighty and Loving God.  

Last week I had an epiphany. It was a rather profound moment for me, as you can imagine.  As a matter of fact, I was a bit surprised at the predicament in which I found myself.  It was rather unexpected; I did not see it coming; my fault really. I blinked; you see.  I was not intentional, I allowed habits to guide my footsteps and so I failed to see the log, placed in my way to perform its task.  That task was to trip me and that, my friend, was very much for my own good.  The trap that I allowed myself to fall into was that of busyness.  

How is that even possible, with all the restrictions put in place for our protection, during this time? Believe me, it’s possible.  I found out that what I had done was simply exchange one busy for another kind of busy.  This busy ensured that I did not even have to leave the comfort of our home.  Now I had the time to complete all the unfinished projects. Now I have the time to clean and declutter and reorganize. We started with the kitchen, living room and bedrooms and then went on to the attic and basement. And let’s not forget the pantry and closet and every other nook and cranny. 

The busyness continued, when really what the Lord desired was my attention all this time.  I was busy before the coronavirus disrupted our way of life as we know it.  Habits were slowly making its way into my life again.  Now don’t despise habits (good ones, that is). We do need to get into the ‘habit’ of our devotional time.  Our time spent with the Lord should always be given priority, and these are good habits to cultivate and to teach to our kids. Going to church, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ are also good habits.  Habits are a necessary and needful part of our every day lives.  But habits do not necessarily bring along growth of our lives, intentionality does that. 

Intentionality does not put a time limit on our devotions.  Intentionality seeks and surrenders, while habits get a job done.  Habits complete tasks without thought, rather by instinct.  Habits are handy and are usually  time savers.  Although habits do not bring growth, nor necessarily maturity, habits prevent us from going too far away from what we know.  Habits create boundaries and boundaries are good for us, especially as people of God. We need to habitually be kind, patient, gentile and loving.  We should always strive to develop better habits which takes…. You guessed it…. Intentionality.  Even good habits are born out of being intentional and to strengthen these habits, we still have to be intentional. Busyness, prevents us from intentionality and causes us to lean toward habits; that done without thought. That occurs because the part of the brain used for conscious ‘God and me’ time is busy as it details a plan of attack on the overwhelming task of cleaning out the attic. 

Do you see where I’m going with this? The Lord has given me something I ask Him for; more time.  But I’ve used this time unwisely.  And if I were to go back into society tomorrow, I would enter pretty much the same way I left. Wouldn’t that be a shame? I would miss out on the beauty the Lord wants to bring to my life.  I would miss the growth and maturity, He desires to add. I would miss the changes, He would delight in making to my character.  

Deep breath Brenda.  Slow down, Brenda, the Lord desires your attention. It’s for His glory, but for your good, slow down, my child. 

How are you doing? What book of the Bible have you been reading? Do you read topically or whole books at a time? What have you learned during this quarantine time? What lesson has been cemented? 

Let’s continue the conversation over on Instagram. Follow my Instagram and I will follow back, just let me know in the comment section. I would love to meet you 🙂

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40 Thoughts

  1. I just started Hosea. I read all of 2 Kings, most of 1 Kings, and parts of Chronicles that tied in with Kings before that.
    I tend to do both. I start off reading a chapter, then the Lord highlights a phrase or verse, and I look up the cross references and chase down other treasures that relate to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Lord seems to be continuing lessons He brought to me as I cared for my Mom…His faithfulness, Our need to take life moment by moment, He works His purpose, man nor sickness can stop it, He will bring good to His people, and finally…He will come. He will not tarry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! I was using this time to get some chores done. However, I think they were essential for me. Now that I have more free time I am working hard to use it to optimize self-care and live slowly as this will help me improve my life and, therefore, connect with God. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The habit of “doing what comes naturally” is a hard one to break! It requires stopping, listening, and waiting on God to reroute our path. I confess this is a hard one because downtime doesn’t come naturally to me, especially now when my mind and body want to be “doing something” to help. So for now, I pray a lot! The needs are overwhelming!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This was a beautiful post Brenda (and I will find you on IG :-). I’ve been reading the Bible in one year and just entered Joshua. In combination with the Old Testament verses, the plan will also place New Testament verses as companions. The Law and the Love~perfect. The gift of time is great, as you say, if you are using it wisely. I’m glad you’re not hurt from the “trip”, and I know that these times can grow me and bring me even closer to my Lord. God bless you for your writing and inspiration. And how you are honoring him and helping us all on this journey. He is our hope and the never-changing truth!💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend. To our great and mighty God be all the gory 🙂 Reading the Bible in one year is an exciting feat. I did it a few years past and the most difficult was keeping up as we came toward the end of the year :). May the Lord bless you and keep you

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for your wisdom and reminders, Brenda! Even to consider the birds, and to Breathe, and maybe for me, especially to be intentional amidst the busyness. You’ve helped me to realize that I need to not just keep busy to replace fretting, but that I can be more directed and thoughtful despite it. I must also say: love your Easter (?) outfit, you look so 40’s glam! Hmm, maybe I should try harder at that too : ) Thank you and stay well, blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is indeed a word for this season. If we are not careful, we would be all caught up in the busyness. And in it, exclude our fellowship with Him. I do believe its a time for more seeking to gain strength in this time and the days to come after this is over. We can’t go back to the normality without an increase in Him.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. God bless you, dear Brenda! Sometimes we just have to clear out the clutter and THEN we see the tug of God. I say, good for you in the cleaning out of so many areas of your home. I can’t think straight when my home isn’t straight.
    I’ve been reading through the gospel accounts, and my theme has been “death to self.” It’s not a pretty, heart-warming time with my Lord, but much needed as I wrestle with my flesh: what I need to put aside, give to God, cry over. I know that peace comes in the morning, so I have much hope in the miracle workings of my King.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is an absolutely WOW post and so needed at this time. I have also been guilty of using my time unwisely. Zing! I’m re-blogging so that others may think about how they use their time. Blessings, my wise friend!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thanks Brenda! We do need to use this extra time wisely by seeking the Lord and taking time to listen to His voice. I enjoyed reading the difference between habits and being intentional. I really like your hair too!

    Liked by 3 people

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