I have recently discovered something about myself. I work well with a calendar filled with actual “events” and “outings.” Ever the pragmatist I have two calendars in my kitchen. One is the monthly dinner calendar and the other is the standard (boring) family calendar which includes appointment dates/times for the doctors, dentist, the vet, and my course schedule.
At the end of the summer the Engineer and I came up with the novel idea that our time should be spent more intentionally. I am not saying to stop making medical appointments or neglect Fido’s need for flea and tick medication but we realized that so much of our time was being consumed without our consent! We made the resolution to do something about this problem.
One commitment we have made is to join several of the small groups that our church offers, and this has made a huge impact on our family’s weekly outlook. The kids get a chance to hang out, make a craft, do a Bible lesson while we enjoy time of fellowship and Bible study with other adults. [So here’s my testimony to offer concerning small groups & the local church: STOP BEING A PEW POTATO AND MAKE IT A POINT TO GET ACTIVE.]
While making our faith a more intentional part of the day-to-day, we are also trying to be a part of the outings offered by our kids’ schools, community, and most recently my husband’s job. Enter my antic dote:
Last week the Engineer’s company had a gathering on the Bay. The event was low key and everyone was asked to bring a side dish. Since it was a hamburgers and hotdogs gig (and I saw that people had already signed up for the “easy” items like chips and soda), I decided a salad would be a good (healthy) choice.
But I didn’t want to make just any salad. I wanted to make a Fuji Apple Salad complete with a homemade dressing topped with toasted pecans. So, looking at the calendar and seeing the “BAY OUTING” I made plans to go shopping and make a delicious contribution courtesy of the Trent household.
Knowing that the salad would have to be made the day of the picnic, I had allotted plenty of time to get it all done. What I didn’t plan on was my daughter’s preschool dismissing late and my Baby Bear doing anything she could do to avoid napping. This was the genesis of the downward spiral. With the Twins about to get home from school knew I had to work furiously.
So there I am in the kitchen with my baby in a sling (screaming because she’s teething), and my 3 year old under my feet giving me the rundown on all the nasty things the boys in her class did that day. While I “listened” I began to check off the recipe. Dressing: done. The apples, sliced. The salad fixin’s: washed, prepped, and ready to go. All that remained was toasting the delicious pecans that complete the salad (and make it almost magical).
I get them on the stove in the melted butter (please no comments on calories), and even though my Baby Bear is still crying I am shushing her with a lullaby because I know this will “only take a second.” Then… the phone rings. Thinking it was the Twins’ school I answer. There’s a woman on the other end who explains that she is conducting a national survey about the upcoming election and--- “OH NO!” I screamed! “Ma’am are you okay?” she asks. I reply “I’m okay but my husband’s nuts are on fire!”
That is the day that I learned how to get a pollster off the phone in one succinct sentence. She didn’t even give me time to explain that I had been working so hard at being more intentional about my time and that I wanted to make something (I mean really make something) for my husband’s work event. Nope. And there I was left with burned pecans, kids chaotically entering my home from the bus, and one Baby Bear who had finally fallen fast asleep.
As a Theology major I can’t help myself from wondering “What does God think about my good intentions?” Proverbs 16:1-3 helped me to see that (1) Good Planning (2) God Centered Motives and (3) Commitment are required for quality spiritual growth. Good intentions alone will not make me an asset to my church or anyone else.
Making the decision to join in is just step 1; it is by God’s grace that I will pursue to become a more committed ambassador for the sake of Christ. This is what separates the “good” from the “holy.” My prayer is that we all dedicate more time towards having holy intentions.