“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” This is what a Life with Intention means to me. An overall theme I’ve been learning the last several years is life is short and we are only given one day at a time. It is my desire to live a life of intention in the day-to-day, celebrating God’s beauty in what I have previously overlooked.
The late Albert Einstein states it beautifully,
“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Something stands out in my mind from 2006-2007, a time in our lives when we enjoyed pregnancy, the celebration of birth and life, and then the grief of losing our son, Noah Steven Graves, at only 7 months of age…our daughter was 4 at the time and needed her parents. Noah was an infant, sick and dying in the hospital, also needing the love of his parents…and a miracle. And, Jason and I were a married couple, best friends, still needing one another in those roles, in spite of our hellish reality. I knew I couldn’t fix it all, but I knew I could be engaged where I was, with the person in front of me. So, while Jason was at the hospital with Noah and me at home with Emily, I’d be engaged with her, snuggling, reading, playing, soaking her in and pouring into her. And then, at the hospital, spooned close to my baby connected to life support and foreign tubes all keeping him physically alive, I would pull in close, talk to him, kiss his nose and eyes and ears and fingers and toes, whisper into his ears the prayers of my heart, sending them straight to God, breathing in his smell, knowing I would forever have one foot in Heaven and one on Earth until my day comes. And then, in the moments when Jason and I were able to stop talking solely about medical terminology or the finality of life, we’d hold hands, remind each other we were in this together, and soak pillows with our tears, holding one another tightly, looking to God and knowing if we could walk this hand in hand, we could do anything with God’s strength and grace.
And so, it’s in those memories of hospital life where I learned the importance of INTENTION, living in the here and now, treasuring the people around me, soaking in the little things, celebrating what the world would call mundane but what is truly sacred, holy, beautiful, and often a glimpse of God’s unconditional love.
INTENTION, for me, is reading aloud to my kids, going on dates with my husband, sitting with friends over coffee, closing my mouth and opening my ears, taking soup to a neighbor, listening to that voice in my head that tells me to reach out to someone in need. Sometimes it’s just saying, “No” to something or someone, and being alone, quiet with myself and God. I don’t do it perfectly, AT ALL, but that isn’t the goal. Perfection is the enemy of our lives! INTENTION, however, is trusting the God who sees a bigger picture, more beautiful than I can conceive, and jumping in with both feet, no matter how muddy the splash!