On Being Intentional


intentionalOn today’s Faith & Family Live Cast, Rachel Balducci and I had a discussion about the concept of choosing one word this year for a New Year’s resolution.  Rachel hasn’t chosen hers definitively yet, but is pondering the word “Grace”.  I think that word fits her perfectly and is also very key to what she is anticipating this year — the birth of another wonderful family member and the launch of her first book.

Since our conversation, I’ve been pondering what my “one word” would be.  There are so many good ones… “grace” (taken, LOL), “fortitude”, “thanksgiving”, “fat free” (tempting…LOL!).

I think I’ve decided on my word for 2010:  “Intentional”.

When I stop to anticipate all that will happen in my world this year — the launch of a book, Eric’s college selection and departure, Adam learning to drive, a high school graduation, tons of trips, and just life in general — it all starts to get a bit overwhelming.  I so often easily flit from item to item on my to do list, knocking off the top few quickly and leaving the tough stuff to be tackled at some later date.  The result is a sense of barely controlled chaos that often leaves me feeling like I haven’t given my best to any one thing.  The balls may all be being juggled up in the air, but the juggler is often worn out and ready to drop a few, if not all of them.

So this year, I’m going to work on being intentional.  In my prayer life, in the way I organize my time and my space, in my eating and exercise, and most importantly in my relationships.  Life’s twists and turns will still mean that plans may change and on the fly decisions will need to be made, but in general I’m going to try to slow down a bit and be more careful, prudent, thoughtful and intentional in my approach to things.

Two examples from the past two days of this philosophy being challenged:

  1. Yesterday, I had a follow up appointment with my radiation oncologist.  All is well, but his regimen has me scheduled for a mammogram in three months and another follow up with him the week following the mammo.  The old Lisa would have put it on her “to do” list to call and make those appointments, procrastinating and seeing him a year from now.  The intentional Lisa scheduled the appointments before leaving his office.
  2. Today, we were notified that our credit card has been compromised.  Blessedly, the activity was caught quickly and we will not be penalized or held financially responsible.  The old Lisa would have freaked out and felt angry.  The intentional Lisa counted our blessings, made a few phone calls, said a prayer for the thief and moved on.

These things are baby steps.  But the truth of the matter is that most days are made of those baby steps.  What we do along the way, the intent and purpose with which we live out each day, will define the changes we can make within ourselves and how we can serve the world around us.

I’m likely to fall off of my “one word” wagon numerous times this year.  But it feels good to have a watchword, a theme, for the progress I hope to make personally this year.

It feels…intentional.


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Lisa. You are off to a great start on your focus, now to “intentional – ly” not forget and fall back into old habits. That is where prayer, fortitude and God’s grace will be necessary! There is also an organizational tool called “eat that frog”. Which means that you do your most difficult chores on your to do list first. Whenever I have implemented this concept, I always reflect saying, “I should have done that long ago, it was not as big a feat as I thought!”

    My word for the year is PRAYER, 2010 is going to be a focused year of prayer in my life. Along with keeping a prayer journal, I have given every person in our extended family a week in which prayer and fasting will be dedicated to his or her intentions and needs. I am looking at every situation that arises as an opportunity to bring it to God in prayer and meditation. So, I pray for your “intentional” actions and for Catholic Mom’s success. Thank you for your ministry!

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