Be Intentional…

make every moment countAt the start of a new year, I always take time to think about what is most important to me.  My hopes and dreams and wonderful new experiences I would like to enjoy with my family. This year I also reviewed resolutions made in the past and noticed a recurring theme. The intention to make sure that no matter where I am, or what I am doing, to try my absolute best to MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT.  To make a difference in the lives of the people I love and care about.  Whether at home, work or wherever my life’s journey takes me, to try to bring goodness to everything I do.  I have come to realize that its actually much easier to stay “busy” keeping up with a busy schedule than it is to be intentional about carving time out of the day to do things that bring greater joy.

glacierHere are a few steps that I have taken to be
more intentional:

  • Finding new sources of inspiration.  The life of St. Therese of Lisieux continues to enrich my own.  I am enjoying the book “The Way of Trust and Love” a Retreat guided by St. Therese by Jacques Phillippe. Fr. Philippe shared these writings as a retreat and at the request of participants, wrote it as a wonderful book.
    I may never get to France to enjoy this retreat in person, but I can certainly read the same wonderful writings.Also rising earlier in the day to spend a few quiet minutes reading Scripture.
  • Volunteerism:  Finding small ways to contribute a little bit of time to the church brings a lot of happiness, especially to the people I am helping.
  • Reading about people who changed our world for the better: learning about how they accomplished so many great things in the face of great adversity.  Here are some great books I recommend to learn about being intentional with your life’s purpose:
    • Lincoln on Leadership (Don Phillips)
    • A Million Miles in 1000 Years (Don Miller)
    • Capturing Grace (Jeremiah)
    • Thrive (Arianna Huffington)
    • Quiet (Susan Cain)
    • The Leader with no title/the Monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma)
  • Figuring out ways I can do less – but be better:  Intentionally creating more white space in my day to think and breathe.  Basically asking myself, which problems do I want to have and where do I absolutely want to go big?  Adopting more of a “I choose to” vs. “I have to” mindset.Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a great book about how to be more discerning when it comes to your time.

Ever Lasting Day…No Other

Ever Lasting Day

Ever Lasting Day…from the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux

My Life is but an instant, a mere passing hour,
My Life escapes and flies away, this single day, no other

You know O Lord:  a future bleak?
Beg you for tomorrow, I shall not, cannot!…
But keep my heart pure,
put me in your shade

Just for this day, no other.

Soon I shall fly to sing your praise,
And I leave this day, no
Then I shall play the angels lyre
And no longer say that on my soul it sets,
This day no other,
But on my soul it shines:
Your everlasting day, all other!

This beautiful poem was written by St. Therese of Lisieux.  Her life and writings greatly inspire me.  Even as a small child, she had the gift of knowing the greatness of God’s love and through simple every day gestures, she showed her love for Him. In many of her writings, she tells us not to focus so much on our weaknesses.  Instead, we must accept God’s love for who we are – flaws and all.  He is not wanting us to be super human beings – only our love.  I am sharing this with you friends to pass along her wonderful message of “living for the day”.  It isn’t easy in today’s world to live our lives one day at a time.  There is so much uncertainty, so much on our mind, and very good reason to think about all things we must plan now to prepare for tomorrow.

How do we not let all of this thinking consume us?  We can easily lose our sense of peace if we are not careful.

In her prayer, St. Therese first acknowledges the brevity of life. She admits that the future can look worrisome.  Yet though she knows that she can ask the Lord for the assurance and promise of another day, she vehemently chooses not to.  Instead she asks for the purity of heart and for the protection of his shade.  She asks this of God – just for the day – no other day – not tomorrow or always – just for that moment of time.  That day alone.  I am not sure at what point in her life she wrote this poem.  She may have written it during her tremendous illness.  This beautiful Saint suffered greatly and was given no aid to ease her physical pain. It may very well be that she knew she was approaching her last day on the earth.  She completes her prayer by describing the magnitude of the day in which she was living.  It is a day that is – everlasting – because it was given by God.  She gives him ownership and says “your everlasting day.” A day filled with so much wonder that it shines on her soul.  St. Therese gives us a wonderful way to think.  To treat each day as no other – to let every day be worth — all other.  How wonderful are her words….I continue my journey in learning all I can about my patron Saint, my beautiful St. Therese – the Little Flower.

St. Therese of Lisieux - the Little Flower and my patron Saint

St. Therese of Lisieux – the Little Flower and my patron Saint